For actors, it's learning the business


May 31, 1991|By Eric Adams

So, you want to be in pictures? If you've got the right stuff -- and some money to spare -- opportunity may come knocking next weekend.

Two groups, Hollywood Talent Search and Take Two TV Commercial Seminars, will be in Baltimore to find or educate undiscovered talent.

"Most of the talent in Hollywood is stuff we've seen already," said Ellen Seidman of Hollywood Talent, which is conducting its pilot program at the Pikesville Hilton June 8-9. The Los Angeles-based organization targeted Baltimore because Ms. Seidman, a native, has ties here.

For $150, area actors will screen test with Jennie Garth (of the Fox network's "Beverly Hills 90210") and have the results, a tape of which they will be given, evaluated by three industry executives from Los Angeles: Chris Black from the Agency for the Performing Arts (which represents Steve Martin and John Candy, among others); Miles Levy, a manager with James/Levy Management who represents, among others, several stars on "L.A. Law" and "China Beach"; and casting director Fern Champion.

If the hopefuls do well, Ms. Seidman said, they will be encouraged to go to Los Angeles or New York with the representation of whichever of the three agencies liked them. But no promises are made.

"You never have any guarantees," said 28-year-old ballroom dance instructor John Squirek, one of more than 50 aspiring actors who've signed up already. "This, at worst, will get me an audition tape with a known actress."

The New York-based Take Two TV Commercial Seminars will offer a three-hour seminar June 8 on how actors can promote themselves to agents and casting directors, including preparations, the auditioning process and performing techniques.

"One of the main ideas behind the seminar is to teach the business," said Peter Librach, an agent with New York's Oppenheim-Christie Agency who will be taking part in the seminar at Spicer Studios. "Most people have a background in the craft [of acting], but not in the industry. That's what we want to provide."

Also featured will be perspectives on the industry from veteran commercial actresses Joanne Ritchie and Mary Denham (who've done more than 200 network commercials between them) as well as Michael Roscoe, head of New York's Michael Roscoe Casting.

The seminar will cost $50 per person, or $40 for students and senior citizens. For information, call 298-1200. For details on the talent search, call 764-6222.

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