Cyber Casting Couch Now Available

Published July 3rd, 2000 - 02:00 GMT

Sure, aspiring actors still need to wave their head shots and resumes at Hollywood’s players, waiting for their big break. But now they’re going online in search of their big break, according to ABC Online.  

Lisa Beach, an independent casting director who has worked with studios like Warner Brothers and New Line, explains. 

“One of my policies is to leave no stone unturned. And I expect there are a lot more stones out there than I ever imagined now that there is access like this on the Internet,” she said. “I have a feeling that if the teen movie genre continues with the kind of freight-train force that it has, we will need more kids out there. And the kid in Kansas who cannot find the bus fare to Hollywood can now put himself on the Internet and may be right for the part.”  

Desperation and the world of Hollywood go hand in hand, and those Kate Winslet and Leo DiCaprio wannabes turn to Chad Manning, who went from frustrated actor to Web entrepreneur, teaching “the biz” to fresh-faced kids, according to ABC.  

The Online version of television service stated that Manning knows Hollywood angst. He spent 12 years as a struggling actor before he co-founded this Web site so he could produce a second income. His best role to date has him sliding down a pane of glass in cheese commercial. But be warned: Only the serious need to apply for membership and server space on his Web site. 

“I’ve been getting strict on the rules. No Polaroids. No hand-written resumes,” he said. “I stress professionalism so I can continue getting casting referrals.” 

The site, castingyou.com, is one example of the growing trend of how actors and casting directors are using the Web to seek and fill jobs. Consider it a sort of cyber-casting couch, sans fling with the casting director. For a small fee, Channing helps performers get their resumes together in a professional format. Then he reserves server space for that person, with an e-mail account, so the actor can post his resume and head shot on the Web.  

Channing also provides a list of resources to help his members find jobs with an extensive database of members-only casting calls, which are updated daily. He also gives advice to help get performers acting and voice lessons, and helps naive actors from falling into bad straits with a phony agent’s scam--albawaba.com.

© 2000 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)

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