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Casting Hothouse - New Zealand 2015

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The Equity Foundation is giving you the chance to work with leading US, Australian and NZ casting directors on the skills you need for successful castings and auditions in the New Zealand and international market.

November 24 - 27
The University of Auckland
34 Princes St, Auckland

Matt Skrobalak, US casting director (The Good Wife, NCIS, Jane the Virgin)
Marisa Ross, US casting director (How I Met Your Mother, The Chicago Project)
Kerry Barden, US casting director (Still Alice, Dallas Buyers Club, The Help )
Tom McSweeney, Australian casting director (Terra Nova, The Family Law)
Nikki Barrett, Australian casting director (Pirates of the Caribbean 5, The Great Gatsby, Hacksaw Ridge)
Stuart Turner, New Zealand casting director (The Weight of Elephants, Nightshift)

Full bios of our terrific line-up of casting directors available here.

casting hothouse nz 2015

THE CASTING HOTHOUSE

In 2015 the Equity Foundation will hold an innovative skills-based casting workshop which will focus on improving employment outcomes for New Zealand performers in the local and international market.

The Casting Hothouse will take place from Tuesday November 24 to Friday November 27 at the University of Auckland.

The aim is to make NZ actors more competitive when they audition and screen test. This event is only free for financial Equity members. Non-members will be charged $NZ500.

As our market grows and becomes even more international there will be further opportunities for NZ actors. You need to be competitive and have the skills to take advantage of these opportunities.

At the moment, the requirements to succeed in the international casting environment are quite different to the local casting environment. When a performer goes overseas and goes for castings, it is a very different experience. You are not confronted with just one audition a day – you may have five. And you have to be prepared for the competitive and business like atmosphere.

The Casting Hothouse is not designed to assist NZ actors to leave NZ permanently. Rather it is an opportunity to equip NZ actors with the tools to work overseas as well as NZ and to show overseas companies that NZ has a professional talent pool. It will assist NZ performers to maintain a long lasting career.

HOW IT WILL WORK

Three US casting directors, two Australian casting directors and one New Zealand casting director will issue scripts, film mock auditions, look at camera and reading techniques, provide feedback and give the participants the skills to handle the pressure and get them through the whole experience unscarred.

Six groups of 14 will work over four days. The first afternoon will be spent taking US accent refresher classes with an “In Conversation with Casting Directors” and drinks in the evening. The following three days will be spent in smaller groups dividing the time between six different casting directors.  Scenes will be sent to you to learn.

The intensity and length of the classes will ensure that the training and skills development is hard wired into them and their audition and casting skills become instinctive.

APPLICATION AND SELECTION PROCESS

There are only 84 places available. It will be open to both members and non-members of Actors Equity.  Previous Hothouse attendees can re-apply. The screening process will be rigorous with applications selected by a panel of experienced industry practitioners.  

This is a big investment from Equity with major support from the New Zealand Film Commission and Showcast so only participants who are able to fully commit to the three and half days should apply. The agenda of the three and a half days has been carefully designed to ensure 84 members get maximum exposure to all opportunities so attending for only part of the time is not possible.  

APPLICATIONS NOW CLOSED.

Applications close Monday, October 5.

APPLICATION BIO AND RECENT PHOTO

Submit your bio and photo as one pdf document. If you are a member of Showcast please upload your Showcast bio and photo as one pdf document.  If you are not a member of Showcast then please upload a biography including headshot in one complete document – in pdf format-maximum two pages please. The bios/photos need to be formatted for easy viewing by each of the casting directors in order to allocate specific scenes.   You can join Showcast here.

COST

Through its support of the Casting Hothouse, Actors Equity covers the costs for its financial members and Nga Aho Whakaari members as a benefit of membership.  The cost for non-members is $500.  You will be required to make this payment only if your application is successful.

EQUITY MEMBER?

You must be a financial member of Actors Equity to attend this workshop free of charge. If your membership is in arrears please email anna.majavu@actorsequity.org.nz  If you select to make your payment method direct debit we will waive any outstanding fees!

NOT AN EQUTY MEMBER?

Non-members who gain a place in the Casting Hothouse will be required to pay the $NZ500 fee when invoiced by our membership centre. If you become an Equity member for this opportunity you will need to remain financial for two years. To join Equity visit https://nzequity.alliance.org.au/join-equity-today

DIVERSITY

The Equity Foundation recognises the diversity of the New Zealand performer community and seeks to encourage a more realistic representation of New Zealand society on our stages and screens. To this end the Equity Foundation strongly encourages applications from performers of varied experiences, ages, perspectives, and circumstances including performers from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds and performers with disabilities.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Is it open to non-members?

Yes, it is open to all NZ actors.

Is it open to NZ actors outside of Auckland?

Yes – this is a national initiative so members from all over NZ are encouraged to submit an application.

Is there a minimum age for applicants?

Yes. You must be 18 years or over to attend the Casting Hothouse.

What is the selection process?

An application with a biography including headshot in one complete document – in pdf format needs to be supplied. A panel of independent industry practitioners will make the selection and all applicants will be informed if they have been successful or not.

Does it cost anything?

Through its support of the Casting Hothouse, Actors Equity covers the costs for its financial members and Nga Aho Whakaari members as a benefit of membership.  The cost for non-members is $500.  You will be required to make this payment only if your application is successful.

Do I need to prepare anything?

You will be using a US accent in at least three of the workshops so you might want to practice your US accent. Also – you will be sent a few scenes a week in advance to learn and prepare.  You will be given the opportunity to refresh your US accent at the three hour afternoon class on Tuesday, November 24, 2015.

Will I be filmed?

Yes you will be filmed in at least two of the workshops and the casting director will keep these for their reference. Unfortunately we aren’t in a position to offer anyone copies of their filmed scenes.  

Do I have to stay for the whole Hothouse?

Yes you do. This is a big investment from Equity with major support from the New Zealand Film Commission and Showcast so only participants who are able to fully commit to the two and a half days should apply. The agenda of the three and a half days has been carefully designed to ensure the 84 participants get maximum exposure to all opportunities so attending for only part of the time is not possible.  

Will lunch and afternoon tea be provided?

Lunch will not be provided but fruit and juice will be available. There will be networking opportunities at drinks following Hothouse.

Please Note: Our limited resources are being directed into ensuring you have the best possible professional program.  This means that we are unable to assist with travel or accommodation costs so all delegates will need to find their own way to Auckland and organise their own accommodation. Venue restrictions also prevent us providing lunch so delegates will need to be able to provide their own.  There will be networking opportunities at the drinks on Tuesday and Wednesday night.

The deadline for this application is close of business Monday October 5, 2015.

 

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