Biz Talk – The Ins & Outs of Professional Acting – Virtual
A Conversation With Industry Professionals
This info and Q&A session offers aspiring actors as well as parents of child actors a rare opportunity to gain insider advice, ask questions, and hear the real deal from a top agent (Barbara Coleman of Innovative Artists), manager (Dave McKeown, director of Edge Management), casting director (Emmy winner Jeanie Bacharach), and actress Cynthia Gibb about breaking in and working as a professional actor. Child/teen actors Jamie Mann (Netflix's Country Comfort) and Shiloh Verrico (Netflix's Country Comfort, and currently shooting Disney's Bunk'd), as well as their moms, will be on hand to chime in on their experiences riding the show biz rollercoaster.
Whether you/your child is just getting started or you've already been working for while, this is a chance to ask everything you want to know: How do you find representation? What are some do's and don'ts when meeting with agents or managers? What is the difference between an agent and manager? What are some self-taping tips? What are casting directors looking for? How can I help my child with audition prep? What happens when I/my child books a job? If my teen wants to act professionally, what about college? What about breaking in later in life as an adult?...
When: Sunday, May 22, 1 to 2 p.m. EDT
Where: On Zoom
Who: Aspiring professional actors of all ages, parents, and anyone curious about the biz
Cost: $60 per family
Have a conflict? Receive the recorded version for $40. Enter DISCOUNT CODE: RECORDING at check-out. Feel free to email us questions ahead of time for the panelists.
Barbara Coleman has been a talent agent representing young talent for over 40 years. She currently represents children and teens at Innovative Artists, for commercials, voiceovers, animation, television, film, and theatre. Through her many years of experience, Barbara has become extremely well-versed in the rules and regulations established to protect children in the industry. She is often consulted by producers and casting directors to ensure their projects are in accordance with guidelines. Current projects with clients in lead roles: Sweettooth (Netflix), Mare of Easttown (HBO), Baby Sitter’s Club (Netflix), Bluebloods (CBS), Good Girls (NBC), Life & Beth (Hulu), Raising Dion (Netflix). Feature films: Hillbilly Elegy directed by Ron Howard, West Side Story directed by Steven Spielberg. Broadway: Mrs. Doubtfire, Caroline or Change. Many animated projects: Bubble Guppies, Santiago of the Seas, Little Ellen, Rolling with Otis, Bea's Block, Pinkalicious & Peterrific, Friends in OZ, SuperKitties, to name a few.
Dave McKeown began his career with Shirley Grant Management in 1998 and headed up the theatrical and on-camera division until 2021, when he launched Edge Talent Management. In his 23 years as a manager for young and emerging artists in show business, Dave has represented and developed such talent as The Jonas Brothers, Kathleen Herles (original voice of Nickelodeon’s Dora the Explorer), Dascha Polanco (Orange is the New Black), Meg Donnelly (American Housewife), Devin Druid (13 Reasons Why), Alexa Swinton (And Just Like That), Jack Messina (Manifest), Swayam Bhatia (The Mighty Ducks), Alex Boniello and Michael Lee Brown (Dear Evan Hansen), among many others, including Westport’s own Jamie Mann (Country Comfort on Netflix), Cameron Mann (Mare of Easttown on HBO), and Natalia Mann (A California Christmas on Netflix). McKeown’s clients are very busy working in many feature films, network television series, and on Broadway.
Jeanie Bacharach is an Emmy Winning and 5-time Emmy nominated casting director. She began her career working in the theatre in NYC, casting for shows at Lincoln Center and Manhattan Theatre Club. She has been casting for television and film in Los Angeles for the past twenty-plus years, most recently on Station Eleven (HBO Max), The Dropout (Hulu) and the upcoming limited series The Patient (FX) and half-hour series The Bear (FX) and Presumed Innocent (Apple TV+). Her previous work includes the original casting for The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel (for which she won the Emmy for Outstanding Casting for a Comedy Series), Snowfall (FX), Nashville, Ally McBeal, Judging Amy, Brothers and Sisters, Manhattan and AMC's Preacher and the Hulu series Castle Rock. Having started out as an actress, albeit briefly, she very much enjoys the creative and collaborative process of casting and working with actors. It is her personal mission on every project to make the room as conducive to actors doing their best work as possible.
Cynthia Gibb’s career started at the age of 14 when she was signed by Ford Models. She booked her first film at age 15 (Woody Allen’s Stardust Memories) followed by numerous national commercials (Noxema, Bubble Yum, 5-Alive). Gibb was on her way to attend Middlebury College when a two-year contract was offered by Search For Tomorrow. Gibb planned to attend college after that but a five-year contract on the series Fame derailed her plans to study political science. Over 60 films, television movies and series later, Gibb has a lot to say about the pros/cons of going pro as a minor and following this career path. (One of the best parts about choosing to do the soap was being roommates with Jeanie Bacharach in NYC in the 80’s!)
Jamie Mann began studying with Cynthia Gibb at age 8, just as he was signed by manager Dave McKeown. He went on to star as “Billy Elliot” in over 50 regional performances of Billy Elliot the Musical and played “Dunlap” in Because of Winn Dixie at Goodspeed Opera House. On screen, Jamie stars as “Brody” in the music-themed Netflix show Country Comfort with Katharine McPhee (and fellow panelist Shiloh Verrico!). He has danced with the New York City Ballet in The Nutcracker, Swan Lake, and Harlequinade, and with Alvin Ailey at the Apollo Theater. Jamie just completed his freshman year in the renowned musical theater program at the University of Michigan. He is represented by Innovative Artists and Dave McKeown has been his manager for over a decade.
Shiloh Verrico has followed up her starring role as "Cassidy" in the Netflix comedy series Country Comfort with another series regular role, this time as "Winnie" in Disney's popular show Bunk'd. The 11-year-old New Jersey native is currently in L.A. shooting Season 6. Shiloh began acting in the theater at age 5, appearing in two off-Broadway shows. The acting bug officially bit her the following year when she was cast in a national television commercial for Breyers Vanilla Bean ice cream. She has subsequently acted in a number of features and short films such as Crown Vic, and appeared in multiple co-starring roles on network series such as The Flight Attendant. Shiloh has always found joy in singing wherever she goes and studies voice with Cynthia Gibb (you may have heard her stopping traffic in our Main Street concert last summer in Westport!). She enjoys playing her ukulele and guitar and was able to demonstrate those skills and her signature husky voice on Country Comfort. Shiloh is represented by Paradigm.