THE WINNER IS…”
May 28, 2010
Be the next ‘Hollywood Idol’! Join us on the
upcoming L. A. Backstage Tour 2011 and bring your talent to Hollywood to compete in the
big arena. The L. A. Backstage Tour trains and hones your acting skills and brings you
to Los Angeles for the most amazing week of your life. Boost yourself up and don’t let your fans
down. We will bring you to a professionally competitive performance level and introduce you to the top
entertainment industry professionals in the mighty ‘City of Angels’. Act now…live the life you dream!
The L. A. Backstage Tour 2011
offers you the rare opportunity to begin transforming this dream into reality. Each participant is provided first-hand with
the knowledge and tools necessary to survive, and even thrive, in the exciting entertainment industry. The journey begins
in December 2010 - right here in the metro Orlando area. Amy Allen, Producer / Director of the L. A. Backstage
Tour, along with her staff, will coach you, selecting a monologue and commercial that is tailored just for you. For
ten weeks prior to taking flight on your whirlwind journey to Los Angeles (February 2 – 5, 2011), you will work on honing
your craft and becoming professionally ready to audition for the top industry professionals in Hollywood. The
L. A. Backstage Tour “opens the door” for you to meet the top talent agents, casting directors,
managers, writers and producers in the “biz”, where you will receive attention, feedback, and possible representation.
Additionally, you will experience a complete introduction into the world of television and film including several VIP
Back Lot Studio tours, a live TV show taping, the Actor’s Forum (an intimate seminar with several successful actors,
directors, and producers), and a visit to many of L.A.’s landmarks and top “hot” spots. The
upcoming legendary L. A. Backstage Tour offers you a shining moment in the spotlight and the chance to join
the exclusive club of numerous successful past participants.
NOW is the time to invest in yourself; your passion, your dreams, and your future. We
invite you to contact Amy Allen, Producer / Director, at 407-876-0006 for further information
and registration. Rehearsals begin in just six months! Give yourself the opportunity
to secure the competitive edge and begin to…live the life you dream!
WHAT'S ON TALENT AGENT MARSHA HERVEY'S MIND?
April 8, 2010
**Original article posted April 7, 2010 by benwhitehair in Thousands of Stories at Playbills vs. Paying Bills and entitled "'If you don't have green hair
and purple teeth, what can you do?' Thoughts from Agent Marsha Hervey." http://playbillsvspayingbills.com/2010/04/07/%e2%80%9cif-you-don%e2%80%99t-have-green-hair-and-purple-teeth-what-can-you-do%e2%80%9d-thoughts-from-agent-marsha-hervey/
Hervey is a veteran of this business if there ever was one. She started in entertainment as the mother of a wonderful actor,
seeing the business through his eyes. Martha then began managing, a job which took off for her. She co-founded the Hervey/Grimes Agency with Pam Grimes in 1991, 5 years after the two had started as managers.
Once a Mom, Always a Mom
than anything, you can tell that Marsha not only cares about this business, but also her clients. Hervey/Grimes remains a
boutique agency for that very reason. The amount of effort spent on each individual client is substantial, and Marsha likes
working with people she enjoys spending time with. She prides herself on maintaining strong relationships with her clients,
and treating them with the respect, and expectations, of a mother.
are great if they’re really looking out for you,” Marsha said. However, because of the legal restrictions on mangers
(e.g. they can’t negotiate contracts), they must bring something to the table your agent is not. Ideally, a manager
should have relationships with casting directors, producers, and other industry players, which the agent does not have. Moreover,
agents are in their office all day going through breakdowns, pitching clients, and working out logistics. It is thus
up to the manager to keep the actor in line, making sure they are confirming times, checking their emails, and just in general
being on top of their $hit.
The Agent’s Job
Marsha made it very clear that she holds herself
and the rest of her agency to an extremely high standard. They are working countless hours getting clients auditions. They
are submitting on 100 – 200 commercials per day, in addition to 50 or 75 theatrical jobs. Their agency has a number
of assistants both in and out of the office (yay interwebs!) all working to get the clients on their roster into “the
room.” The number of actors vying for any given audition spot is tremendous, so it often takes a team with decades worth
of relationships to keep a roster of actors working.
The Actor’s Job
In a town as competitive
as Los Angeles, even an audition is a huge win. An agent is often cashing in on the aforementioned relationships just to get
a client the audition. An actor, then, needs to do everything in their power to help the agent. This means not only
keeping your acting chops sharp in class, but also working on your attitude to, as Marsha said, “become a warm and fuzzy
person if you’re not already.” As Jonathan Prince also discussed, so much of getting the job in this town is being the type of person people want to work with.
Actors should also maintain
the industry relationships established by the agent, by sending post cards, for example. Marsha warned, though, to only send
postcards when you actually have something to say (e.g. to share a recent booking on a show), or better yet, to compliment
the person you’re sending the post card to on one of their recent accomplishments (e.g. an award they were
recently nominated for or received). Oh, and don’t forget the assistants. Just like the assistants in Marsha’s
office are consulted when deciding on a potential addition to the agency’s roster, so too are casting assistants often
asked for their experiences with an actor. And before you send that bouquet of a dozen long-stem roses, remember that a simple
hand-written thank you note goes a long way.
Due to the electronic nature of the business these days, people are often
introduced to an actor with nothing more than a postage-stamp size thumbnail picture. As such, meeting—and making a
positive impression on—casting directors and other industry players in person is crucial. This means doing workshops,
or finding other ways to develop these relationships.
Finally, you need to be easy to contact, and return any phone calls or emails from your agent within half an hour.
This business moves extraordinarily fast, and it is embarrassing for an agent to have to tell casting that they can’t
get a hold of their client. It’s 2010. Get a smart phone. Stay in contact. “We’re like your mother,”
Marsha said. “The kind of mother who needs to know everything. We need to know where you are and when you’re
going out of town.”
Getting an Agent’s Attention
Hervey/Grimes opens all pictures,
many of which come through casting directors and current clients. More than anything, Marsha is looking at each actor as an
entire package. She pays special attention to training and the credits on the resume, noting that the older you are the more
an agent is likely going to expect on a resume. If you don’t have larger TV or film credits, Marsha wants to see that
you have experience on a set, whether that’s doing short films, student films, or the like. Echoing Tracy Curtis, Marsha also noted that ethnicity is in. If you’re gorgeous and ethnic you have a very good chance of getting lots
of agent meetings. But at the end of the day, like most agents, Marsha is always looking for the best actor. However, remember
that agents don’t want to have their own clients competing against each other. If an agent decides not to sign you or
call you in, they might think you’re great but already have someone like you on their roster. Don’t take it personally.
Follow up in a few months.
If you are fortunate enough to get an interview in Marsha’s
office, you will perform a cold read, no matter how good your credits are. The audition is what gets you the job, so she needs
to know how well you can do in the room. Yet again, Marsha reiterated how important it is to have a good attitude and be likeable:
“Maybe it’s because I’m a mom, but I can spot a bullshit artist very quickly.” You don’t need
to be a sycophant, just be the kind of person people want to have over for dinner. This may very well be the one thing that
gets you an agent…and the job.
On Booking the Role
Marsha noted how difficult it can be
to actually book a role, but also said that she expects her clients to get call backs. There is so much outside of your control in terms of actually getting the job, but if you’re consistently getting called back you’re 90% of the way there.
These days even name actors are reading for co-star and guest-star spots, but Marsha had some phenomenal advice when you find
yourself sitting across from your favorite star. Rather than freaking out, let the star be unhappy that they are there with
you. If you have an audition, you have just as much chance to get the job. Commit to the choices you made, then go into the room and be an affable person. Confidence is everything.
If you haven’t noticed from the other interviews, there seems to be a trend here: passion, hard work, and a positive attitude are absolutely crucial. The people who already
have success in this industry demonstrate these qualities, and that’s what they’re looking for in you.
The following articles and photos were featured in recent issues
of The Southwest Orlando Bulletin.
From the November 16 - December 6, 2006 issue:
L.A. Acting Workshop graduate Doug Jones is enjoying success in Hollywood.
L.A. Acting Workshop’s next Original Backstage Tour will take place from Feb. 7, 2007, through Feb. 10, 2007, in Los
Angeles, and will feature Hollywood actor and L.A. Acting graduate Doug Jones.
Jones has performed in Fantastic
Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer, Hellboy, Hellboy II, Men in Black, Men in Black II, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Stuck on You,
A student at L.A. Acting during the 1980s, Jones worked with Philip Karr before moving to Hollywood.
From the July 20 - August 2, 2006 issue:
L.A. Acting Workshop changed the dates of its 2007 Backstage Tour.
The tour provides actors exclusive access, insight
and introductions to key entertainment professionals. In addition, participants are coached to audition live for top Los Angeles
casting directors, talent agents and managers.
The new tour dates are Feb. 7, 2007, through Feb. 10, 2007. Registration
is now open.
For more information, call (407) 876-0006 or visit www.laacting.com
on the Web.
From the February 18 - March 3, 2006 issue:
While in Los Angeles, participants of L.A. Acting Workshop’s Backstage Tour enjoy spending
time on the set of Friends.
L.A. Acting Workshop announced plans for its seventh season of
The Backstage Tour. Because of the popularity of previous tours, registration is almost full for the trip, which takes place
April 20 through April 23.
The Backstage Tour provides actors the opportunity to experience live TV-show tapings, studio
and back-lot tours, and hands-on seminars with professionals.
The highlight of the trip is an opportunity to audition
for Hollywood managers, agents and casting directors. Previous attendees have been asked to sign for exclusive representation
with top Los Angeles talent agents.
For more information, call Amy Allen at (407) 876-0006 or visit www.laacting.com
on the Web.
From the December 17, 2005 - January 6, 2006 issue:
Enjoying a cup of coffee on the set of the TV show Friends are L.A. Acting Workshop’s Backstage
Tour participants (l. to r.) Leah Escoto, Sarah Allsup, Heath Butler and Ryanne Boring.
Opening Doors for Aspiring Actors & Actresses
by Toni Daylor
Camera! Action! Consider the magic of those words. What person has not watched a movie or TV-drama series and secretly thought,
I wonder what it would be like …?
Whether these thoughts are a passing fancy or the expression of a heart’s
desire, it is safe to say that most people are fascinated by the world of entertainment. Some, so consumed by the notion of
stardom and convinced of their talent, are willing to sacrifice everything for a chance in front of the camera. However, reality
can deal a hard lesson as evidenced by the number of aspiring actors waiting tables in Los Angeles or New York City, while
pursuing their elusive “big break.”
Although talent and passion are undeniably the foundation upon which
an actor stands, that is not always enough. Connections, training, experience, and — yes, it is worth saying again —
connections, are the fuel that launch a successful career in the tough entertainment industry.
Enter L.A. Acting Workshop.
the direction of Windermere residents Philip Karr and Amy Allen Karr, L.A. Acting has played a major role in helping students
reach for the stars for nearly 25 years.
Amy founded L.A. Acting Workshop in 1981, and it soon became recognized as
one of the top acting schools in Los Angeles. In 1991, the couple moved the business to its current Southwest Orlando location
to be closer to family and tap into the resources of what was touted as “Hollywood East.”
Amy Allen Karr and Philip Karr of Windermere, owners of L.A. Acting Workshop, are connected to a vast network
of professionals that help launch successful careers in the entertainment industry.
The Karrs, seasoned
and highly credentialed industry experts, bring an impressive resumé of accomplishments and accolades to the table. This,
in turn, affords them access to a vast network of entertainment movers, shakers and decision-makers.
Amy received degrees
in English, speech and drama from Boston University; a master’s degree in theatre arts from the California Institute
of Arts; and is a graduate of the prestigious East 15 School of Acting in London.
She has performed professionally
in theater, television and commercials, and maintains memberships in the Screen Actors Guild, American Federation of Television
and Radio Artists, and Actors’ Equity Association.
Amy has won two coveted L.A. Drama Critics awards, acknowledged
as the equivalent of a Tony Award on the local level.
In addition, Amy has taught theater-arts at the college level
and worked in all facets of the entertainment community, including teaching, research, production, casting and administration.
the son of a stand-up comedian, was immersed in show business at a very young age, rubbing elbows with the likes of Red Buttons
and Tiny Tim. He soon discovered his acumen for identifying and developing talent, which has translated into more than 30
years as an acclaimed entertainment professional.
As a prestigious talent agent in New York, Los Angeles and Orlando,
Philip developed thousands of actors for TV series, feature films, commercials, and Broadway shows. His award-winning clients
include John Travolta, Danny DeVito and Halle Berry, to name a few. He served as a personal manager and helped to create the
careers of Heather Locklear, Tiffani-Amber Thiessen and Jennifer Love Hewitt.
Does one have to be of the caliber of
John Travolta to enroll in classes at L.A. Acting Workshop? Absolutely not, the Karrs quickly contend.
3 through 70, walk through their doors for a myriad of reasons. Although some have set goals to work in the highly competitive
acting market, many just recognize a passion and love for performance that yearns for expression. Regardless of the motive,
all are ensured the highest level of training in a safe, nurturing, fun environment.
Realizing the important role “the
arts” play in the development of children, L.A. Acting offers three specially designed programs for ages 3 to 18, as
well as summer camp opportunities.
Only offered at its satellite campus at Montessori World, L.A. Acting Tiny Tots
Theatre Workshop enables children between the ages of 3 and 6 to explore and inspire their imagination through singing, dancing
The full-service house of programs offered at the L.A. Acting studio, located at 1575 S. Maguire Road in
Ocoee, include the L.A. Acting Youth Players, an after-school theater-enrichment program designed for children in grades kindergarten
through fifth. Students learn the basics of acting and character development through creative storytelling, improvisation,
scene and monologue work, theater-sports and games.
Students in grades six through 12, who join L.A. Acting Teen Players,
learn stage and on-camera acting skills, audition techniques, improvisation, character development, and scene and monologue
work for stage, television, film and commercials.
Adults learn and hone skills necessary to enter and compete in the
professional acting arena through The Working Film Actor workshops. Additional adult classes incorporate voice training, stage
performance, scene study, audition techniques, on-camera acting, musical theater, self-image, and more, to maximize each participant’s
Through the creation of two unique programs — The Backstage Tou
r and The Actor’s
Co-op — L.A. Acting’s clients are further enabled to launch successful entertainment careers.The
offers aspiring actors a real-life, behind-the-scenes look at Hollywood in action. In addition to
guided tours and sightseeing jaunts, the apex of the experience-packed, four-day odyssey is the opportunity for participants
to meet and audition for some of L.A.’s top talent agents, casting directors and managers. Again, this is possible through
the relationships the Karrs have maintained throughout their professional careers.
“We get calls from our industry
friends in L.A. asking when we will be bringing another group,” Amy said. “They look forward to seeing us because
our actor showcases are well-prepared and presented very professionally.”The Backstage Tour
is conducted in April and October of each year.
Showcasing talent in person is definitely the preferred way to break
into the business. Logistically, it is not feasible for someone living in Orlando to be available for auditions at the drop
of a hat. For those wanting to stay competitive, yet unable to relocate to L.A. or New York, the Actor’s Co-op is the
Conceived by Philip, the Actor’s Co-op allows actors to audition for major industry roles without
leaving Orlando. Using his vast professional network, Philip is able to offer clients the opportunity to read for lead roles
in feature films, television pilots, soap operas, etc. Professionally recorded audition tapes are submitted directly to the
casting professional. Among the many benefits of being in the co-op, members receive private coaching before the taping of
each audition, giving them a distinct advantage over those who have a one-chance opportunity to read at the live audition.
Acting is a full-service house that offers programs for all levels and ages of aspiring actors. Three basic components —
inspiration, training and enabling — are the embodiment of its philosophy.
“People generally knock on our
door because they have a creative calling to fulfill — they are born with a desire or passion for acting,” Amy
said. “Whether we help them be successful in a school play or land a role on a television series, we do it with the
same high level of integrity and commitment.”
L.A. Acting Workshop is located at 1575 S. Maguire Road in Ocoee.
Free introductory classes are offered. For more information, call (407) 876-0006 or visit www.LAActing.com
on the Web.
From the May 21 - June 3, 2005 Issue:
Participants of L.A. Acting Workshop’s Backstage Tour take a breather in front of Sony Pictures Plaza
during a recent trip to Los Angeles.
L.A. Acting Workshop, in association with Solitaire Entertainment,
sponsored a Backstage Tour — an original, behind-the-scenes tour of the working entertainment industry in Los Angeles.
Local actors had the opportunity to meet and audition for industry professionals who offered guidance, advice and insight
into how to gain the competitive edge in Hollywood.
For more information about the next Backstage Tour, scheduled for
Oct. 20 through Oct. 23, call (407) 876-0006 or visit www.laacting.com
on the Web.
From the December 18, 2004 - January 14, 2005 issue:
Participants of L.A. Acting Workshop’s Backstage Tour to Los Angeles gather for a group photo.
Acting Workshop, in association with Solitaire Entertainment, offers informational seminars about the Backstage Tour to Los
Angeles the second week of every month, on Tuesday and Thursday at 8 p.m. and Wednesday at 7 p.m.
The tour enables
actors to experience the many facets of the entertainment industry, including TV-show tapings, movie studio tours, and question-and-answer
sessions with industry professionals. Attendees also can spend time with talent agents, managers and casting directors in
a unique social setting that affords each actor the opportunity of a personal audition.
For more information, call
Amy Allen at (407) 876-0006 or visit www.laacting.com
on the Web.
From the April 17 - 30, 2004 issue:
Hot, fresh, new faces added to the set of ER, when members of L.A. Acting Workshop’s
Backstage Tour to Los Angeles visited the Warner Brothers Studio Lot. Pictured are (l. to r.) Robbi Mitchell, Yasmin Mangum,
Kim Stinger, J.P. Mitchell, Sean Flynn, Laura Gardner and Axelle Rayrolles.
From the September 20 - October 3, 2003 issue:
Participants of a recent L.A. Acting Workshop The Backstage Tour shuttle from VIP back-lot
studio tours to industry auditions to strolling on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Pictured at the famous Chart House Restaurant
in Malibu are Adonnis Balkum; Antonio Elias; Jennifer Ferguson; Tina Jett; Andrea Jordan; Gwendolyn Lai; Erin Lett; Andrew
Matthews; Carla Newberry; Jessy Norton; Nicholas Paisley; Jaime Queen; Victoria Restina; Ken Rush; Renne Seabrook; Jason Tropf;
Danielle, Jerome, and Linda Woodland; Amy Allen; and Philip Karr.
L.A. Acting Workshop began more than 20 years ago in Los Angeles with the purpose of training would-be actors.
Under the collaborative efforts of Amy Allen, director, and Philip Karr, creative director, the workshop grew. Today, L.A.
Acting Workshop is a full-service house offering turn-key solutions for actors of all ages. Their concept is threefold: offer
the training and skills needed to prepare, inspire and encourage passion within, and offer the keys needed to open the door
and make one’s dream a reality. Passion and inspiration are the driving force for success in the entertainment industry.
help make success a reality, L.A. Acting Workshop developed The Backstage Tour, a unique, behind-the-scenes look at the Hollywood-acting
scene. Now embarking on its third year, the tour has inspired many local actors to pursue their dreams while also providing
a realistic look at the obstacles that may lie in their paths. Aside from guided tours and sightseeing, the “jewel”
in The Backstage Tour’s crown is the opportunity to audition live in front of some of Hollywood’s finest talent
agents, casting directors and managers. These professionals offer guidance, advice and insight into the workings of the industry.
Participants not only receive the opportunity to showcase their talents, but are also given time to network with the people
who can make a difference in their careers. For more information about upcoming Backstage Tours — Oct. 14 through Oct.
16 and Feb. 12 through Feb. 14 — call (407) 876-0006.
From the August 16 - September 5, 2003 issue:
L.A. Acting Workshop, in association with Solitaire Entertainment, announced the dates of the third and
fourth seasons of The Backstage Tour. The tour includes a trip to Los Angeles that provides actors opportunities to meet and
audition for industry professionals and gain valuable insight about developing a rewarding acting career. Attending actors
also experience live TV-show tapings, studio tours, back lots, and hands-on seminars. The highlight of the trip is when participants
audition live for Hollywood managers, agents and casting directors. The July 2003 tour was rewarding for the attendees, with
a strong number of talent being asked to sign for exclusive representation with top Los Angeles talent agents. In addition,
two actors extended their stays to interview and audition for the soaps Guiding Light and Port Charles.
winter session will take place Feb. 12, 2004, through Feb. 14, 2004, and the fall session will be Oct. 14, 2004, through Oct.
16, 2004. Anyone wanting more information is encouraged to visit www.backstagetour.com
on the Web.
From the March 15 - April 4, 2003 issue:
Philip Karr is director of The Backstage Tour, a joint venture between L.A. Acting Workshop and
Solitaire Entertainment Inc.
L.A. Acting Workshop, in association with Solitaire Entertainment Inc., opened registration for
The Backstage Tour. The original behind-the-scenes tour of the working entertainment industry in Los Angeles gives actors
the opportunity to meet professionals and learn more about developing a real and successful acting career. Most actors living
in Los Angeles today are not represented and find it difficult to even get an appointment with an agent. Many travel there
unprepared to compete with the enormous pool of actors.
The highlight of The Backstage Tour is the opportunity for
the attendees to audition for industry professionals, one-on-one, in a professional setting. Additionally, workshops and seminars
with Hollywood managers, agents and casting directors allow participants to gain valuable information about the television
and film industry. Actors also experience actual TV-show tapings, studio tours, back lots, invitational film screenings at
the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, and more.
This year’s event takes place June 28 through July
2. Registration ends shortly, so those interested are encouraged to sign up soon. For more information, visit www.LAActing.com
on the World Wide Web or call (407) 876-0006.