Have a smashing Memorial Day weekend!

Summer’s official here and the 2011-2012 t.v. season is just around the corner (and, just in case you are wondering, there are only 212 shopping days left ’til Christmas)!

Before you take a long weekend break, watch the promo for the new NBC series Smash, which will be premiering sometime next season on t.v. In case you haven’t heard about it, it’s about the making of a Broadway musical. The promo features lots of casting directors and auditions.

Do you think they will get it right? But, even more important, do you think it will be entertaining?

If you’re looking for a summer performing arts program in New York, check out our classes and seminars using the tabs at the top of this page.

What are some of the “must haves” that a casting director looks for in an actor?

New York casting Director Jerry Kallarakal with DDO Agency talks about some “must haves” for actors. Watch below!

Using Facebook to Boost Your Acting Career, pt. II

by Bob Johnson

Some (including Fortune magazine) have said that Facebook is taking over our lives. According to Facebook:

“Facebook has seen amazing growth in the past 12 months with now over 640 million users, 50% of active users logging in each day and 65 million users accessing the site through a mobile device. The site has now overtaken Google as the no 1 site visited on the web globally!”

So, how can you take advantage of Facebook to pursue your dream of acting in New York City — besides befriending casting directors, agents, directors, joining groups and more?

Well… one way to get noticed is to create a Facebook advertising campaign. It doesn’t have to cost you a lot of money and it could put your face in front of casting directors who log into Facebook.

Have you ever noticed that, when you log onto Facebook, there are some ads on the right hand side of the page? Have you ever noticed that the ads usually have to do with something that you are interested in (teeth whitening offers for alumni of the university that you went to from a dentist, an ad for a pit bull rescue organization if you have an interest in pit bulls, etc.)? It’s called “targeting.”

When you create a Facebook ad campaign (click here to learn more), you get to pick and choose who you would like to see your ad. You select who you are targeting when you create the ad. If you are a group of mommy punk rockers, for example, you can target your ad to people who are interested in punk rock.

You set a budget for the ad and you only pay when someone clicks your ad. A cabaret performer acquaintance of mine had a week-long gig at Feinstein’s at the Regency and decided to create a Facebook ad campaign to boost ticket sales. I believe he set a $300 budget for the campaign and, indeed, he saw a bump in ticket sales.

Imagine what you could happen if you put your face in front of a casting director every time he or she logged into his or her Facebook account? With targeting on Facebook, you can find out.

Acting in New York City can be a challenge, no doubt about it. Just because your face is in front of casting directors when he or she logs into Facebook, does not mean that you will get cast by that casting director. But, next time your head shot or post card comes across that casting director’s desk (or e-mail), you might look familiar. Plus, wouldn’t it be cool if that casting director clicked right to your website?

You never know what could happen. And what have you really got to lose? You don’t have to spend hundreds of dollars, you can set your budget to $10/week — or $50 for the length of the campaign. How much have you spent on your acting career already? What’s an extra $10-50, right?

If you do decide to give it a try, let us know how it worked!


Can Facebook help you with your acting career?

by Bob Johnson

This week, I happened to catch an Facebook update from a friend of mine who also happens to be a New York casting director. The update was a casting notice that would be perfect for another friend of mine who works to perform in NYC.

Claudia, my “another friend,” isn’t a Facebook user but because the announcement seemed perfect, I connected the two of them. Claudia went to audition yesterday for the gig. I don’t know if she booked the gig but she had her first audition for a casting director in a long time.

If Claudia had been using Facebook, she may have stumbled upon the notice herself.

Take a moment to listen to what Liz Ortiz Mackes, a casting director, about how she uses Facebook. After you do, start using Facebook to help YOUR acting career!

Thanks, Mom!

This is the trailer from one of the most talked about performances from the ’80s by a living actress. The performance won a Razzie Award, was snubbed by the Oscars and wasn’t well-received by the critics.

The actress asserted that this role killed her acting career. Always pay attention to your choices.

Let’s take a brief break from our regularly scheduled postings, so you can (in case you haven’t) — in the words of Paramount — “Meet the biggest MOTHER of them all!”

Happy Mother’s Day!

RIP: Sada Thompson & Arthur Laurents

This week, Sada Thompson and Arthur Laurents died.

Click here to read the New York Times obituary for Laurents, writer of Gypsy, West Side Story and The Way We Were.

Click here to read remembrances by Patti Lupone, Harvey Fierstein and Jack Viertel, artistic director of City Center Encores! on Playbill.com. He was 93.

Tony and Emmy Award winning actress Sada Thompson also died this week. Click here to read her obituary on Broadway.com.

Thompson was best known for her role in the 1970s television series Family. She was 83

Are improv skills really that important for your acting career?

Erica Palgon, at an Actors Connection New York acting seminar, talks about improv skills and commercials.