Friday, October 31, 2014

Bela Lugosi on the set of DRACULA (Tod Browning/Karl Freund, 1931)

The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (silent classic...first Dracula film)

Nosferatu, Eine Symphonie Des Grauens (1922)

Originally released in 1922 as Nosferatu, Eine Symphonie Des Grauens, director F.W. Murnau's chilling and eerie adaption of Stoker's Dracula is a silent masterpiece of terror which to this day is the most striking and frightening portrayal of the legend.

Another side of Bela Lugosi, AKA "Dracula"

Bela Lugosi


10 Essential Films of German Expressionist Cinema.

  by Ekin Göksoy
best german expressionist films

Like Italian Neorealism, German Expressionism had a direct relation with the politics of the time. Neorealism emerged after fascism destroyed Italy. In response, leftist filmmakers tried to create a cinema which dealt with the social realities produced by fascism. 

German Expressionism was born in between two World Wars, in a growing Germany where Weimar Republic had a promising future. The German Emperor had been overthrown and democracy was established. Nevertheless, this new Republic still had its problems. There was a looming economic crisis and anti-Semitism was a on the rise. In the midst of all this, the new Republic promised freedom. The music and literary scenes were on the rise in Germany.

After the Allied ban on cinema was lifted on 1920 – a ban on making films against Allies of WWI – Germans started to search for a project which could combine social critique with the artistic perfection of German filmmakers. This project was Das Cabinet des Dr.Caligari – The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari. This film which defined German Expressionism was critically hailed in Europe and further afield. It had a significant impact on filmmaking and brought about an opportunity for German filmmakers to work in international projects, particularly in United States.

After World War II, prominent cultural theorist Siegfried Kracauer wrote an important book on Expressionist film detailing how it foreshadowed the Nazi regime and the total eclipse of reason which accompanied it. Of course, German Expressionism was much more than a precessor of Nazism. This movement has many films with a unique style which can be attributed to its relationship to and reflection of architecture. 

Expressionism has a city-in-its mind: a city with sharp angles, great heights, crowded places; a city which is unsettling, distressing and in a constant state of anxiety.
To depict life in Weimar Republic, filmmakers chose unrealistic, cartoon-like places with dark colors, painted on canvas backgrounds which resemble Edvard Munch’s paintings (an Expressionist painter from Norway best known for his painting ‘The Scream’). 

After the rise of Third Reich, German Expressionist filmmakers had no choice but to move to the US. The traces of the filmmaking approach that they brought with them can be tracked in the 1940s film noirs.

German Expressionism, in fact, had a very short life span; however, its cinematic style evident through such things as lighting, sets and subtle, metaphorical language has had a great effect on history of cinema.

10. Schatten – Eine nächtliche Halluzination – Warning Shadows (1923)
Warning Shadows (1923)

Warning Shadows tells the story of a baron, his wife and four men who are her lovers. Set in 19th century Germany, the story follows a shadow player who uses his art to narrate the stories about each of the baroness’s lovers. Each story is in a way a prophecy in which the baron realizes that these men are after his wife, becomes jealous and does terrible things to them. Each story is told through shadows as a warning sign to men.

Warning Shadows is a powerful film where the lighting was characteristic and unique, as was the shadow work. Director Arthur Robison, aware of the power of the shadows, tries to imitate the shadow play with his actors also. 

Set in a claustrophobic castle, camera tracks through dark and narrow corridors and shows the characters behind doors in the shadowy candlelight. Despite its confusing ending, Warning Shadows is an important example of German Expressionism.

9. Der Student von Prag – The Student of Prague (Paul Wegener & Stellan Rye & Hanns Heinz Ewers, 1913)
the student of prague (1913)

This film tells a classic Faustian, ‘deal with devil’ story, a German legend famously reworked by Goethe, although Christopher Marlowe had popularised it in England two hundred years before Goethe’s version. 

In the film, a student in Prague saves an aristocrat woman and becomes obsessed with her. He makes a deal with a mysterious sorcerer who promises him wealth and fame. Known also as the first feature length horror film, The Student of Prague seems to be inspired both by The Portrait of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde and Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson.

The Student of Prague is an important film for German Expressionism and has a remake in the same style which is equally important. In 1926, Henrik Galeen, director of The Golem, shot its remake, which is also worth checking out it.

8. Der Müde Tod – Destiny (Fritz Lang, 1921)
Destiny (1921)

Great German director Fritz Lang’s first important movie Destiny is a tale comprising three stories. The scenes binding the three stories together have an uncanny setting but the film can be seen as an epic love story. A woman is given three chances by Death in three different settings, a Persian, a Venetian in Renaissance and in China, to save her love from death.

In Destiny, Fritz Lang uses innovative effects and hints at the unique style which he develops in his transition movie M. Douglas Banks bought the screening rights in the US and used its Persian extracts in his own movie, Thief of Baghdad.

7. Der Golem – The Golem (Paul Wegener & Henrik Galeen, 1915)
The Golem (1915)

Again a love story but this time a sinister one. The Golem is directed by Galeen and Wegener who also play the leading roles. It tells the story of a man who buys a clay Golem statue and brings it to life. However, when the Golem falls in love with the man’s wife is rejected by her, he becomes brutally out of control.

Inspired by an ancient Jewish tale, The Golem has overtones of Frankenstein with its changes of character depicted in emotional ways. The film is set in a German village in which buildings and houses are made of mud-bricks; but all the streets seem endless and all the houses have disturbing shapes and surprising curves. The setting is designed to prepare us for the bitter ending of the movie.

6. Der Letzte Mann – The Last Laugh (F. W. Murnau, 1924)
The Last Laugh (1924)

This is the first film on the list that is not a horror movie. The Last Laugh, written by one of the pioneers German Expressionism, Carl Mayer, starring the well-known German actor Emil Jannings and directed by the talented but ill-fated Friedrich Wilhelm Murnau, tells the story of a doorman of a great hotel. The film has nearly no intertitles and those that Murnau chose not to add do not convey dialogue. It focuses on life of a middle-class citizen in the post-war period. As an important film of German Expressionism, The Last Laugh also is featured within Kammerspielfilm ecole.

In the film, the poor, old doorman played by Jannings is demoted to washroom attendant in the hotel. He seems dogged by misfortune – even to the point that as the film was about to end on a touch of hope the writer/director iintervenes via an intertitle and changes his life completely. 

With its innovative, maybe even revolutionary style, The Last Laugh is a great example of F. W. Murnau’s talent and imagination. It is considered the movie which made him famous and paved the way for his move to Hollywood.

5. M (Fritz Lang, 1931)
m 1931

M, magnum opus of acclaimed director Fritz Lang, is a rather late movie of the movement. It is the only ‘talkie’ on this list and has both political and artistic importance. Joseph Goebbels, propaganda minister in the Nazi Government, always showed an interest in Lang’s filmmaking and had a special connection with this film. He asked Lang to direct Nazi propaganda movies. Lang said he would think it and escaped to Paris that night. Lang always thought that Goebbels got the movie “wrong”.

M is set in Berlin which is haunted by a child-molesting serial killer brilliantly portrayed by Peter Lorre. The film moves between the story of the killer – who whistles the tune of ‘In the Hall of the Mountain King’ whenever he feels the urge to murder – and the police who are hunting him. Its striking ending is a big question thrown on the face of German people. The film depicts the mass hysteria of then-Germany in a very visionary way. It was an early warning of the rising Nazi dictatorship, or perhaps of all potential dictatorships.

4. Die Büchse der Pandora – Pandora’s Box (G. W. Pabst, 1929)
Pandora’s Box

G.W. Pabst is known to international audiences for two things. The first is this film; the second is being mentioned by name several times in Tarantino’s Inglourious Basterds. Of course, Pandora’s Box has a significant value for Pabst’s career. However, the movie owes its fame to Louise Brooks, an American star, who played the leading role, Lulu, a flapper and the mistress of a rich man.

Pandora’s Box tells the story of Lulu, an ill-fated seductive young woman who can be seen as the first example of the femme fatale. Her character annoyed lots of people in Germany since her behavior was viewed as immoral. However, Lulu made Louise Brooks famous and inspired the female characters of film noir. The film is a brilliant portrait of Weimar era and the Jazz age, where there is no place for “free” women and what awaits for those who would like to stand alone and strong is tragedy.

3. Metropolis (Fritz Lang, 1927)

Metropolis is an important example of German Expressionism and of early science fiction. A great inquiry on future of humanity, a critique of society, a prominent dystopian film. Fritz Lang’s remarkable work has dazzlingly designed sets, costumes and unpredictable characters. Beneath its magnificent artwork and set design, the film tells the eternal conflict between oppressed and oppressor.

The movie depicts the story of Freder, son of the ruler of the city and Maria, a working class woman who strives to overcome the social and economic stratification of the city. The city was designed to reflect the social hierarchy with the upper classes living in imposing high-rise buildings and the lower classes dwell underground. A mad scientist, Rotwang, creates a robot identical to Maria in order to thwart the revolt led by Maria and Freder. However, nothing goes as he plans and through Freder’s character, a way to connect the brain and hands is found.

Metropolis received mixed reviews at the time. It was technically breathtaking and revolutionary. However, its message was criticized by both right and left wing scholars in Germany. Nevertheless, it is an indispensable movie. With its subtle references to art history and religious texts, and its design influenced both by Dutch Masters, ancient architecture and Art Deco, Metropolis is a great movie for all cinephiles. It provides important social critique despite the ending being considered by many as naïve.

2. Nosferatu (F. W. Murnau, 1922)

The first Dracula adaptation into big screen, Nosferatu is the magnum opus of director Murnau (at least in his German period, since Sunrise is also a masterpiece) . Nosferatu is the classical vampire story with “nosferatu” replacing “vampire” and Count Orlok replaced Count Dracula. This film is a classical example of German Expressionism with its dark/light games, use of shadow and its cornered, harsh costume and space design. For example, the city where Thomas Hutter (Jonathan Harker in the original) lives has a peaceful and realistic design; but Count Orlok’s castle, his costumes and the vampire itself obviously has one of the most disturbing design approach ever in film history.

Max Schreck, actor who played Orlok in the movie, played his role so convincing that the rumour that he is really a vampire continues today and even inspired a movie in 1999, Shadow of the Vampire. This movie was sued by relatives of Bram Stoker and it was decided to be destroyed; all but one copy survived up to date giving a chance to all cinephiles in the world to watch this amazing movie.

1. Das Cabinet des Dr.Caligari – The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (Robert Wiene, 1920)

The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari is a truly masterpiece and the most characteristic movie of the genre. Also, it is the first movie with a twist in the tail. Caligari, with its genre-defining set design, make-up, costume design, unrealistic use of paints, lights and shadows is the most important film of German Expressionism.

Furthermore, Caligari is the movie which is used both in Siegfried Kracauer’s book “From Caligari to Hitler” (1947) and Rüdiger Suchsland’s documentary “Caligari – When Horror Comes to Cinema” (2014). It is seen as an important reflection of the German society and the political situation which led the Nazi Party, Hitler to the government and whole world to a tragedy.

In the movie, Dr.Caligari a magician type doctor comes to a city and exhibits a somnambulist which he can control hypnotically. The somnambulist has a striking ability to answer questions about the future when in sleep. Somnambulist Cesare actually is a slave of Dr.Caligari and their master/slave relationship brings horror to the city and madness to the leading characters of the film. But who is really mad is not certain until its striking end.
Dr.Caligari has an innovative style which comprised flashbacks, dream sequences, twisted endings – a new approach in cinema which is still fresh and eye-opener. With its exaggerated acting and stylish expressionist understanding in the “unreal/past/dream” scenes and its more consistent narration in the frame story, Robert Wiene marks his name in the history of cinema with this unbelievable movie.

Author Bio: Ekin Can Göksoy is a social scientist/author with an M.A in Cultural Studies from İstanbul Bilgi University, Turkey. He is working on subcultures, sociology of Internet and freedom. He is an occasional cinema writer pursuing his aim of making movies since 7th grade when he watched The Man Who Knew Too Much of Alfred Hitchcock who happened to be his favorite director of all-time.



Zombie 101

A university course on Zombies found some interesting psychology and human anthropology lessons by studying its students. In a classroom of over 300 students there was laughter at the original "Day of the Living Dead", a film that at the time was considered the most scary horror film ever made, and which somewhat accurately represented what Zombies are, if they exist. The Haitian Zombie's are or were drug induced slow moving followers and/or dead who came back to life, rotting body parts falling apart and with a thirst for human meat and blood. The same students were awed and silent during a modern Zombie film with fast moving Zombies who looked and acted as if they were hyper-alive, counter to the legends and beliefs that gave rise to the Zombie tradition..

Zombies of the 1950s to 70's were popular as part of the fear and paranoia that existed with the slow crawl of communism and the ever present threat of a nuclear attack. Today's zombies,  and in fact the turnover in politics and of television programming, reflects an impatience with whatever is current and the need for fast change, accelerated by computers, cell phones and a feeling of unrest at what is to come.
So this Halloween we offer more on the Zombie legends.

8 Things Everyone Needs To Know About Zombies

1. They Are Everywhere 
Across many cultures around the world, there is a concern that the dead could return to walk among the living. Sometimes these ghouls are merely tricksters who are having fun at our expense; other times they are vengeful creatures who were treated poorly in life and are exacting revenge. Perhaps it's a mother who died in childbirth. But there are very few places in the world where you won't find them.
2. Most Will Eat You If You Get Too Close
These days, zombies are basically understood to be ghouls who consume the living. In fact, a large proportion of those who study zombies argue that they are basically a metaphor for consumption. George Romero's Dawn of the Dead famously suggested this, showing zombies wandering through a mall in a strangely similar way to when they were humans. So if zombies represent how we are when we are at our worst (say, the morning after Thanksgiving outside an electronics store that is practically giving flat-screen televisions away), we should be very afraid.
3. Zombies Don't Always Attack The Living
In some cultures, including much of the African and Caribbean traditions from which the word "zombie" originated, zombies are more mindless servants that do the (more often bad, but sometimes quite neutral) bidding of a zombie keeper who has possessed them. In such cases, zombies tend to represent particular kinds of slave or labor relationships.
4. A Zombie Attack Is Probably The Worst Thing That Can Happen To You
The reason zombies are so terrifying to us is because they represent one of our greatest fears: a loss of our autonomy, our ability to control our bodies and minds. It is fitting that these monsters have been largely represented as rotting corpses, because that's literally what they do to human beings: They decompose us individually and assimilate us into a giant, undifferentiated horde, just like the Borg in Star Trek (which essentially was one, roving, intergalactic zombie).
5. Of All The Undead Things You Could Become, Zombies Are The Worst
As opposed to vampires, which are often represented as seductive, youthful superhuman creatures (or more recently as overly emotive teenagers), zombies are almost always cursed with an irreversible, less-than-attractive subhumanity in the single-minded pursuit of some task or thing (such as flesh or brains). With only a few imaginative exceptions, zombies cannot love, laugh or live freely.
6. They Have Become Fast — Because Our World Is Fast
Zombies, like LOLcats videos, have gone viral; and when things go viral, they move fast. As the themes of zombie films have shifted from Cold War worries about the slow chemical effects of radiological exposure (the source of zombie outbreaks in films like Night of the Living Dead) to terrorism-era fears about rapid bacteriological exposure (for example, in 28 Days Later orResident Evil), the zombies have similarly accelerated. The more rapid our lives, communications, transportation and technology, the more quickly threats to them are experienced.
7. Oh, Yes, Zombies Are Real
Scientists have discovered and manufactured bacteria, viruses and parasites that have zombie-inducing qualities. And stem cell and nanotechnology research offer real possibilities for the reanimation of tissue. There is also significant debate as to whether zombie neurotoxins exist; there is a whole branch of pharmacology devoted to determining whether such compounds can be found in nature.
8. You May Have Already Been Bitten
The digital age is beginning to fundamentally change the ways in which human beings interact with each other. Immersion into our smart phones and our second lives in virtual worlds offer novel and exciting experiences, but also erode the lived, bodily dimensions of our humanity. The impact of technology on society is hardly new, but it certainly has accelerated in the past 20 years. So given the recent explosion of the undead in popular culture, one should wonder whether all of this might be suggesting an imminent zombie apocalypse? Or, perhaps, we are already in the thick of it.
FIRST published 10/30/2012

Christopher Lee & his sinister harem, DRACULA A.D. 1972 (Alan Gibson, 1972)

The cast of DRACULA (Tod Browning/Karl Freund, 1931).

SAG, Membership First and the Performers Alliance

Excerpted from a dissertations
c 2000
by Art Lynch

Chapter 4

A Social Movement: The Rhetoric and Social Actions of the Performers Alliance

            The history and evolution of the Screen Actors Guild is continued in this section, which will examine developments since 1997. These observations may shed light on the impact of new technologies, corporate mergers and the evolution of the entertainment industry into one of the dominant economic forces of the new century. We will look at how, even in this international mega-merger economy of the entertainment industry, a small group of dissatisfied individuals, acting as a social movement, may still affect the future of and shape of an industry.
            The purpose of this portion of this thesis is to review the formation, aspirations and rise of the Los Angeles based Performance Alliance (PA) and to look at the rhetoric and social actions of actors active in reinventing the Screen Actors Guild.            The evolution of the PA as a social movement using rhetoric and organizing methods will be examined. The PA started in March 1997 to build a grass roots movement of Los Angeles actors dissatisfied with the 1996 Commercial and Industrial National contract, in particular only minor gains made in cable rates. The Performers Alliance, as a movement of its own, formed in reaction to what the founders saw as the lack of responsiveness by elected union leadership to threats to the livelihood of professional actors. (Robb, 1997)

An Evening with Edgar Allen Poe, starring Vincent Price

Zombie Colloquium

News 88.9 KNPR (click here)

Zombie Colloquium


Zombies are a hot commodity these days in books, movies, television and computer games. So what do they offer that other monsters -- such as vampires, extraterrestrials and robots -- do not?
Ponder the themes of contagion, social collapse, betrayal and survival with three zombie aficionados.

GUESTS Francisco Menendez, chair of UNLV film department, film-maker
Julie Johnson, Director of Advising, UNLV College of Fine Arts
Robert Thompson, Professor and Director of Bleier Center for Television & Popular Culture at Syracuse University

John Carradine as Dracula in HOUSE OF FRANKENSTEIN (Erle C. Kenton, 1944)

Bela Lugosi

Bela Lagosi in the stage version of "Dracula", which he performed thousands of times, starting long before is film appearance (photo 1927). He created the iconic Dracula vision based on the book. Below is Ed Wood with the sweater girl and Bella Lagosi (at Paul Marco's Christmas Party, 1954). Bottom is Ed Wood as Nat Pikerton (1920).

Nosferatu (1922...the first Dracula)

Thursday, October 30, 2014

The ability to earn a living acting, or serving others, under attack!

Actors are finding their ability to earn a living being eroded by a growing movement who feel that talent should work for free, and that it is a privilege just to be able to show off your talents. The issue of musicians in community theatre has drawn strong response from community theatre actors and tech who resent musicians being paid. The concept of professionals needing to be compensated for their talents and work is under attack in our society. Now a deeper threat as over a dozen states and at the federal level legislation strengthening the mislabeled "right to work" provisions as "protecting workers", moves to de-certify or cripple public unions, or to drain any ability to provide health care or legislative protection for workers moves forward in the name of "a budget emergency."

The voters spoke and those they elected are now directly attacking the security and professionalism of unions, including SAG-AFTRA.

With Congress, specifically the House of Representatives, and shifts in many states to Republican governor's and legislatures, legislation is already being created to curb the "power"of unions, rights of workers, allow for cuts in union workers (replaced by lower paid workers without union protections) and speed national "right-to-work" legislation.

This does impact actors, as increasingly states will face what we do in Nevada, incentives used to increase non-union work and to encourage non-union workers to Taft-Hartley, allowing them union benefits and pay without joining a union.

An A.F.L.-C.I.O.’s internal memo warned labor leaders, “With the enormous losses in state legislatures around the country, we will face not only more attacks on working families and their unions — we will face more serious attacks, particularly in the formerly blue or purple states that are now controlled by a Republican trifecta.”

Union leaders particularly dread the spread of right-to-work laws, which prevail in 22 states, almost all in the South or West. Under such laws, unions and employers cannot require workers to join a union or pay any dues or fees to unions to represent them.
Unions complain that such laws allow workers in unionized workplaces to reap the benefits of collective bargaining without paying for it. Pointing to lower wages in right-to-work states, unions say the laws lead to worse wages and benefits by weakening unions.
But lawmakers who are pushing right-to-work laws argue that they help attract investment. “The folks who work day-to-day in economic development tell us that the No. 1 thing we can do to make Indiana more attractive to business is to make Indiana a right-to-work state,” said Jerry Torr, an Indiana state representative who backs such legislation.
Some union leaders say that proposals like right-to-work laws, which have little effect on state budgets, show that Republicans are using budget woes as a pretext to undercut unions.
Republican lawmakers plan to introduce legislation that would bar private sector unions from forcing workers they represent to pay dues or fees, reducing the flow of funds into union treasuries. In Ohio, the new Republican governor, following the precedent of many other states, wants to ban strikes by public school teachers.
Some new governors, most notably Scott Walker of Wisconsin, are even threatening to take away government workers’ right to form unions and bargain contracts.
“They’re throwing the kitchen sink at us,” said Randi Weingarten, president of theAmerican Federation of Teachers. “We’re seeing people use the budget crisis to make every attempt to roll back workers’ voices and any ability of workers to join collectively in any way whatsoever.”

A group composed of Republican state lawmakers and corporate executives, the American Legislative Exchange Council, is quietly spreading these proposals from state to state, sending e-mails about the latest efforts as well as suggested legislative language.

- Art Lynch

Monday, October 27, 2014

3 Habits to Break When Prepping for Auditions

3 Habits to Break When Prepping for Auditions
We are told to bring ourselves to the role. And no matter what, your preparation has to work for you. However there are three things I often see that can interfere with an actor’s process.

1. Memorizing. This is something that so many actors focus on and can take away from the performance. No one will book a job simply because they are word-perfect; it’s about the essence and what you bring to the role. When you get caught up in the words you limit what you want to do with them. What is their meaning? What’s behind them? What is your intention when speaking them? Some actors prefer to memorize first then run the scene countless times until the scene becomes clear. However with the pace that film and TV auditions move at, I have found that approach can be shaken. I encourage actors to learn their lines. Let them be real to you first. How would you say them? What's your point of view? Where would you pause when we aren’t expecting it? Let them sink into your body as you learn them, instead of just in your mind.

2. Being the breakdown. I see a lot of actors fall into the trap of only going by what the breakdown says, which limits and confines choices. I suggest you read the material, do your research, and then after you have exhausted all aspects of understanding the sides, then make your choices based off what you know to be true and not just what the breakdown has told you to be. 

You also need to be aware of what you naturally bring to a role. If the breakdown is: Beth Grandt works for the FBI. Guarded and reserved, Beth has had to fight her way to get where she is in life. She is usually the only woman in a world dominated by the boys. With that, I know that part of the work I will need to do is to find her softer side and vulnerability as I already will bring a strength to any character I play. 

3. Playing a guessing game. Similar to basing your choices off the breakdown, there can be a habit of trying to guess what they are looking for instead of bringing what only you can to the role. If you do exactly what’s written on the page and then are trying to be the breakdown, then where are you in the role? There are of course exceptions—what I call the cookie-cutter auditions where your job is to do what’s written simply, easily, and move the story along.
I know my ongoing clients fairly well and we love the process of finding what they personally can bring to a role; what speech patterns, ticks, moments, or movement we can use that is unique to them. 

I love the art of auditioning because it can be challenging in so many ways. 

But there is one key to cracking that code: you.

Movie Sound: Tank battles in "Fury"

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Friday, October 24, 2014

We need you to pay your SAG-AFTRA dues. Who is we? Your Nevada brothers and sisters , but also your union.

Important Notice About your SAG-AFTRA Representation
We want your membership to be counted.

When Halloween comes to an end, something important will occur that affects how you and your fellow members will be represented in union governance matters for the next two years.
A count of local membership (a census) will determine the representation of locals in the SAG-AFTRA Governance system. To make sure your local has maximum voting power on the SAG-AFTRA National Board and at the SAG-AFTRA Convention in 2015 we need you to be counted.

In order to be counted in this census, your May 2014 dues must be paid by Friday, Oct. 31, at 11:59 p.m. PT. To check your balance and to pay your dues online by credit card, log into your member account on If you have any further questions, please call Cashiering at (323) 549-6752 during normal business hours.

Let's make sure every member in your local counts — and if you've paid your dues bill from last May, thank you.

***Special Note: This census notice is regarding any May 2014 dues owed and does not include the November 2014 dues bill that you will receive later this month.***

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Las Vegas and Beverly Hills Agent/Manager seeing new talent

Casting Talent Agency 
Seeking Fresh New Faces  

Casting Talent Agency seeking fresh new faces for upcoming film and television projects for our Las Vegas and Beverly Hills division. Come in and register Monday, September 30th and Tuesday, October 1st from Noon - 6PM. There will be a headshot and full body shot taken for our database. Come camera-ready for your session. NO charge! 

For more information contact 702.369.0400

Casting Talent Agency
Casting Call Entertainment
2790 E. Flamingo Rd.
Las Vegas, NV89121

About Us
Casting Call Entertainment is a full service entertainment company who helps actors to gain control over their art, teaching them to rely on their own imagination, instincts and creative choices. Our classes which include scene study, cold reading, audition techniques, improvisation, and  film classes produce confident actors who bring an original voice to every production. Along with our sister production company Dark Water Productions we create short films and full-length features to showcase our talent. Our studio gives you the knowledge every aspiring artist needs to be successful in the entertainment industry. For more information or if you would like to join our studio please call us at (702)-369-0400.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

A testimonial from Morlon Greenwood.

My / Our  student at Casting Call on Friday nights (7 to 9:30 PM). Being a retired NFL player and professional at everything he does, Morlon will only settle for the best training...e Morlon is approaching it like a pro, making great inroads over a relatively short period of time. We are all proud of him! Look forward to seeing you in class, Morlon!
A testimonial from Morlon Greenwood.

To be the best actor, that must come from within. Having the drive to become a success is only apart of the equation, the other part is having the proper guidance and direction. That's where Casting Call Entertainment comes in, their expertise and knowledge of the acting world is superb. I've gained so much insight in so many area's on being an actor, its amazing. From analyzing scripts, Improv classes, being on camera and learning how to market yourself are just a few of the many learning experiences that Casting Call Entertainment has to offer. So if you are serious about your acting career, Casting Call Entertainment is where you need to be.

5 Biggest Mistakes a Theater Actor Makes On a Film Set

Be on time. Be professional. Be thankful.

5 Biggest Mistakes a Theater Actor Makes On a Film Set
You just landed your first film job! Congratulations! However, working on a film set is much different than in a theater. Here are the top five mistakes theater actors make on a film set – and how you can avoid them.

1. Don't assume it will be like the first day of play rehearsal. First day of a theater rehearsal is often a welcoming experience. Even if you have a small part, you feel like part of the family. You bond. You become a cast. Being on a film set always feels like being the new kid in school. When you arrive at your call time, the set already appears to be a well-oiled machine where everyone but you knows what to do and where to go. 

Not to worry. 

Almost every person on the set is connected by headset to almost everyone else. Stop the first person you see with a walkie-talkie and introduce yourself. Tell them your name, the name of your character – even if it’s just “Reporter 3” – and ask them who you should check in with. They will likely be able to direct you to someone who will take you to your trailer and tell you when they will be ready for you in hair and makeup. You’ve gotten past the first hurtle. You’re there.

2. Don’t assume help will be offered. It is important to remember that you were hired with the expectation that you know what you’re doing. It’s rare that someone will just notice your deer-in-the-headlights expression and pull you aside to help. I have usually found that people are more than willing to help with tips and advice if you ask. However – and this is important – you have to ask. Don’t pretend to know something that you don’t. Movie sets have their own jargon. The make-up trailer is probably the first (and most comfortable) place to ask for a little advice.

3. Don’t assume you are going to have rehearsal time. In film time is money, so we don’t spend a lot of it rehearsing while a crew of 150 highly-trained (and highly-paid) artisans stand around and watch. This is doubly true in television. You will likely do one read-through of the scene, and one “rehearsal for marks” – where any physical movement in the scene is recorded and your blocking marks are delineated with colored tape on the floor. 

You will then be released while your stand-in works with the camera crew. Use this time to rehearse on your own or with your scene partner if they are willing. (They may not be.) You can either head back to your trailer and work on your two lines so that you know them backwards and forwards and sideways, or you can stay there on the set and watch the camera rehearsals. 

If you’ve never done this, it can really help to watch your stand-in stepping through the blocking and watch how the rest of the crew is working. Here is where you might also be able to pull aside a kind member of the crew and ask some questions.

4. Don’t assume you are going to receive any direction at all. This one is always a little surprising to young actors who are used to the collaborative nature of a theater rehearsal. On a film set, the director is solving a thousand different little puzzles with the help of many highly specialized artists, and you are just one small piece of that puzzle. If you can do all of your own work and replicate what you did in the audition room, which is how you got this tiny little role in the first place, do it. Your job when you’re playing a small part is to not make them do another take because you can’t say “Mogadishu” when the pressure’s on. That’s how you get to play larger parts.

5. Don't forget you're wearing a body mic. This one slips up even experienced pros. If you have been fitted with a wireless lavaliere (“lav”) mic, you very quickly forget that it’s there. However, unless you or one of the sound people has actually turned off your battery pack, that mic is live, and what you are saying can be heard by anyone on the set who’s wearing headphones. 

We are used to being able to have a little whispered conversation at a rehearsal for a play. We’re actors; we like to complain. It helps us feel smug and superior when we’re really scared and insecure. 

You may be tempted to give into this on a film set, especially if you are feeling frightened and insecure. Don’t. 

Remember, you are only one tiny piece of this big mosaic. You haven’t yet earned the right to complain.

Be on time. Be professional. Be thankful.

Timothy Davis-Reed is a veteran of more than 150 episodes of network television, including two seasons as a series regular on "Sports Night" and six seasons as White House Press Reporter Mark O’Donnell on the Emmy-winning hit "The West Wing."  Other television appearances include "Harry’s Law," "Big Love," "Studio 60," "Monk," "Desperate Housewives," "24," "Scrubs," "Arrested Development," "7th Heaven," "The Drew Carey Show," "Still Standing," "Will and Grace," "Star Trek: Voyager," and the pilot "Chestnut Hill." He made his professional debut in Syracuse Stage’s production of "Cyrano de Bergerac" with John Cullum which later went on National Tour. He’s played leading roles with Riverside Shakespeare, Manhattan Stage, Theatre at Monmouth in Maine, The New York Shakespeare Festival in Central Park, Playwright’s Theatre of New Jersey, The Alliance Theatre in Atlanta, and several other productions for Syracuse Stage. He is currently on the faculty of the Syracuse University Drama Department, teaching on-camera acting, audition technique, and scene study.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Ten Ways to a Better Audition

  • 1. Get the lines down

    They’re not important. You really need to commit them to memory so that they just fall out. You should be so used to your lines that there’s no memory of them. You’ve seen actors saying phrases like “I mean…” and “ummm…” or just plain freezing. The audience isn’t stupid. We know that this is a form of buying time. The actor is trying to remember a line. By doing this – you’re taking us out of the story. Get the lines down!

    2. Forget the subtext

    “Whhhhaaat?” I hear you say. Forget it. Your director will look after this in the form of actions. She is in control of story. Your job is to find character. And you do that by being in the moment – not by trying to second guess how this relates back to your character. Subtext is not your concern. Don’t tell anyone I said that. Reality is. I know this is controversial, but bear with me . . .

    3. Examine a physical element of the other actor during a scene.

    Eyes, clothes, hair. How do they carry themselves?

    4. Choose one thing the other actor is doing and physically copy it.

    Copy a different thing each time. See how the director likes it.

    5. Listen carefully to the other actor.

    Not only their lines. Always listen to the other actor. On and off camera.

    6. Pick something about the other actor’s costume.

    A necklace, a ring, a charm, tie or cufflink and admire or loathe it. Don’t indicate. Think the thoughts.

    7. Repeat the other actor’s line in your head

    On a significant line, really think about what the other actor said. Say it again in your head. Was it meant to hurt / praise / teach you? (your character) How do you feel now? Feeling comes before action. Repeat the line, then Feel the effect.

    8. Ignore the camera.

    Obviously. Don’t be too concerned with the frame. It’s always a close-up, Darling. Let the camera find you (it’s the Cinematographer and Director’s job to sort this stuff out). If the Director wants you to point your head a certain way, or hit a mark – find a character reason to get there. Discuss this with the director. Or invent your own reason. If it’s an ad you’re doing – direct yourself. The camera wants to see you thinking. We can feel your thoughts – there’s no need to project them.

    9. Let yourself feel the environment

    When you walk on, feel the air, the heat. Listen to environmental noises around you. The wind, birds, the hum of traffic. Smell the grass. Get into a place where even a loud noise might make you jump. Really tuck yourself in to the given circumstances that surround you. You might allow yourself to feel giddy during a scene.

    10. This scene is his / hers

    Even if the scene is actually your scene storywise, convince yourself that it really belongs to the other actor and really help them get it right.

    All of the above will make you look good on screen. These “tricks” will take the emphasis of you and your “performance”. Acting in a scene should finsih with the feeling that you’ve been awoken from a dream. If you can remember all of these things, your ego will be so distracted that it won’t start chewing up the furniture during a take (ie. you won’t be accused of over-acting because, really, you weren’t acting in the first place).

    When the camera is up your nose, all you have to do is think and it will be faithfully recorded to a hard drive. Not very romantic, I know – but we’re living in a technical age.
    Note: Acting does not use tricks or games, it uses skills, craft and talent both natural and develvoped through working on your craft.  I teach Friday evenings from 6 to 9 at Casting Call Entertainment. I did not write the list above, nor do I agree or disagree with items on the list. I am passing these on should they help you in your own craft, skills and in using your own talents. - Art Lynch

Robin Williams on Inside the Actors Studio

Acting Saved My Life; Like a Fish Needs Water



How good you are, how skilled, how studied depends entirely on how much you want to put into it.

There is aptitude and there is talent. Both can be developed to meet personal, community, and professional needs.

Opening our minds; agreeing to disagree; positive argumentation; understanding how we all communicate and why are key to citizenship, personal growth, prosperity and education itself.

There is no more important job than teaching, and I am gratified to be a part of this profession. 

I enjoy the opportunity to help students open their eyes, to dream, to flex their muscles, expand their horizons, forge new paths, and reach their goals. 

I hope that students see how much I enjoy being in the classroom, and that this enjoyment (really passion and enthusiasm) creates a positive classroom experience. My philosophy is rooted in passion, engagement, support and flexibility.

I believe every person has potential, perhaps more than they may realize.  The struggle may be great, but we have it in us to get there.  Individual effort is important, but reaching out for help is equally important. Also important is having a quality of curiosity, openness, and persistence, and being willing to experience some discomfort along the way.  

For many students, going on stage, being on camera or going to college is scary – taking a lot of determination, with many students being the first ones in their family to take this step.  Coming from a working class Chicago background, I understand that students may want to focus on practical goals. I also continue to appreciate the impressive diversity of the students in my classroom, in terms of age, nationality, and socioeconomic background.

I believe in an open discussion classroom and encourage students to ask questions and learn from each other. I learn from them every term. I also assume that students have different learning styles, coming from different places and backgrounds.

Students have the opportunity to excel to their personal best through written work, discussion, tests, and assignments. I offer a variety ways to engage students, through lectures, story telling, films, web-assist and online resources.  Occasionally I have students who are surprised (or frustrated) that a speech class would include a range of topics, including current events, history, and social issues.  By covering these issues students are given topic ideas, learn more about different sources and become exposed to conflicting opinion. 

Research and presentation skills are needed for future academic and professional growth. This provides good preparation for developing speeches, and helps to have a learning experience that is more interesting and challenging than a rote series of theory lectures and speech assignments. Plus this helps to encourage a habit of critical thinking.

Teaching communications, particularly public speaking, acting, critical thinking and media means that many students are going to be more anxious than in other classes. When you are up there you are vulnerable. An important part of my job is helping students gain confidence through a gradual progression toward goals. Students are often pleasantly surprised that they have achieved (or simply survived) this experience.

I recently completed my PhD in Education with research focused on the work of John Dewey, and I am reminded why this philosopher impressed during my undergraduate days in Chicago. The notion that learning should be an active process of discovery, and be relevant to student learning [that teaching should not crush curiosity and creativity] and that an education is a social and community project, not merely an individual goal, grounds my philosophy. I will never become complacent about teaching, and hope to continue offering my services as long as I am allowed.

Art Lynch

(702) 454-1067

Casting Call Entertainment Friday Nights (free audit)

Great class!

Come join us Fridays at 5:30 (beginners and kids) and 7:30 (experienced, and adults with some on camera training). First class may remain if they wish to the end of class at 9:30.

Casting Call audits.

2790 E Flamingo Rd, Las Vegas, NV 89121
Phone:(702) 369-0400

Now forming acting, voice over and auditioning classes

Budget cuts have reduced advertising and may cut staff, but acting classes through the Boulder City Parks and Rec will continue. We are expanding to Thursday evenings at the same low park distict based rate for professional, beginner and intermediate acting, voice over, auditioning and on-camera course work. With six or more regular students improvisation will be added!

Join us and have fun.

Only $40 for a full month of 1 and a half hour (children) or two hours a week (teens and adults).

Boulder City is only a half hour from downtown Las Vegas or the Strip, fifteen minutes from Henderson and is "a world away" in its small town charm and atmosphere. Head toward Lake Mead and the Hoover Dam and stop by BC on the way!



Ten times the value for the dime, in a small town environment.
10 minutes from Henderson, half hour from downtown Las Vegas and the Strip.

Registration is now underway for  acting classes through the Boulder City Parks and Recreation District. The classes are small, flexible and good for beginners as well as advance actors (arrangements can be made based on your interests and experience). On Camera, voice over, theater stage, auditioning and improvisation are planned as part of the courses
Boulder City

Call 293-9340 or 293-1915.

or (702) 454-1067 for information

$40 monthly fee for weekly classes, 
group discounts available.