Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Starbound's America's Got Talent Auditions!

    

On December 4th and the 5th, we here at Starbound Talent were privileged to be asked to audition in the Toledo area for Season 12 of the hit NBC television show Americas Got Talent. We would like to give a Special Thank You to The Toledo Blade and Explore 419 for help with advertising this spectacular event!
We held auditions to pick the top 20 and then an extra special 6 were chosen in addition to the 20, to be seen by the executive producers of the show.  We saw close to 100 people come out to Starbound to audition for the coveted spots, which guaranteed you a Front of the Line Pass at the shows auditions in Cleveland December 10th.
         Hopefuls auditioned for Starbound’s owner and Director Wendi Davis. She saw many talented singers, dancers, comedians, etc., all different age ranges and walks of life. We even had the talented and remarkable dance school “Touch of a Dream” come out to audition as well.
         Then the chosen group headed to Cleveland to audition without having to wait in that terribly long line, and hopefully make it to the next round of auditions. We even had a few people from our group, chosen to be spotlight contestants and had the cameras follow them around and throughout the audition process!
         All-in-all, it was a successful and fun 2 days of auditions, and the ones chosen had a great time in Cleveland auditioning and were excited and thankful for the experience.


         So, be sure to tune in next year to Americas Got Talent on NBC (check local listings for channel) when Season 12 airs! You never know, you might see someone from Toledo!


Wednesday, September 28, 2016

5 Trends To Add To Your Fall Wardrobe

Wondering what to look for to update your wardrobe this fall?  Well we’ve got your back, and decided to compile a simple fall shopping list to help you stay on trend and avoid breaking the bank, even in the chilly weather. While shopping, here are a few items to consider. Perfect for castings and everyday life, these pieces will not only step up your fashion game but have you ready to walk the streets with style and show up to castings with a leg up on the competition. Now don’t you just LOVE us?!

1. Duster Coats - For a new take on a trench coat, grab a duster! Wear it open for a flowing, draping effect for a dramatic entrance when you walk in a room. Or, wear it buttoned or tied for a more structured look when you are on the go. Either way, its perfect and in style for castings and errands!



2. Ballerina Shoes - The concept of the ballerina flat has been revamped! This style now features metal, bling, ribbon that ties up the leg, and even heels. From boho to retro, this new style will work for you!! Casting time, throw on your heels and slip your flats in your bag, strut your stuff! After your casting, throw on your flats and stay in style for that subway 




3. Embellished Bags - From patches and pins to beads and bling, statement bags are a must this season! Go for a tote and fill it with your model musts or downsize with a city bag for just the essentials. 




4. Chokers - Thick and thin…it’s all in! Stay classic with thin velvet ribbon choker or spice it up with a thick statement choker. Stay thin for castings and pump it up for the streets with statement chokers made of lace, chain, and metal!





5. Extra Long Sleeves - A bit out of the ordinary but totally on trend! Cover those fingertips with extra long sleeves as seen on the runway this Fashion Week. Hey, ladies, at least your hands will stay warm on these cooler fall nights! 



Monday, September 26, 2016

Success Story Update: Sarah Bomber




This week our Starbound Talent success story will feature Sarah Bomber. Upon doing my research for this update I got the chance to speak to Sarah (through email, but it was still addressed to me!) and she told me her story from when she came to Starbound to where she is now, in her own words!

Sarah first came to Starbound in 2008 as she says “a shy teenager”. She grew up in the Findlay area, in Ohio, with a very musical family and spent most of her free time taking lessons for singing, harp, piano, and others. Once she came to Starbound she says, she “was given the tools she needed in order to open up and become more confident through the safe and comfortable environment provided to learn and grow at Starbound”. This is where she feels she received the foundation that she needed in order to begin to concur the entertainment world!
Sarah then auditioned the same year for IMTA with a Sara Bareilles song titled
“Gravity”. I even got to hear her audition tape, and as we all know Sara Bareilles has a wonderful voice but in my opinion…Sarah Bomber’s version was sooooo much better than the original (sorry Bareilles fan’s just being honest here)! From that audition she was chosen to attend IMTA in New York City. Because of IMTA Sarah said “this was the first time I could see my largest dreams as a real possibility".
Being seen at IMTA she was able to meet a New York vocal coach, and agent. She then moved to New York for a brief period of time. While there she continued her high schooling at the prestigious Interlochen Arts Academy. After graduating high school she then attended Central Michigan University, where she continued her love of the arts, and began to work professionally in Music Theater. 
Sarah has been in musical theater productions all over the U.S. Including Ohio, Michigan, Pennsylvania, to name a few. She was also nominated for awards, and originated roles during her time at CMU. Sarah then graduated with her BFA (Bachelor of Fine Arts), in Music Theater. Sarah is now currently the lead vocalist on the famous “Queen Mary 2” performing in 8 different shows. With solos included. She continues to pursue her dream of being in musical theater, and lives back in New York City. 
We here at Starbound are very proud of you Sarah, and wish you continued success!   

*PS..Can we get a discount on tickets? We would all love a vacation! 


Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Success Story Update: Tanner Buchanan

Tanner Buchanan first came to Starbound Talent in 2008 a native of the Findlay Ohio area, when he was still a wee lad at the tender age of 10. His first audition was with Starbound’s owner Wendi Davis. When I spoke to her about what she remembers about his audition with him, I’m told initially he came in to dance and auditioned with a tap dance routine. Which according to Wendi was spectacular and amazing, to say the least. He ended the dance with a back flip…in his TAP SHOES, which Wendi says caused her to scream “So loud”! After that there was no choice but to accept him, and he began to work on his acting skills, since he was already a great dancer. Once he was ready with his acting skills, he attended IMTA in New York City in 2008 with other Starbound Talent, where he won a few awards in his categories. This lead to Tanner being seen by many different agencies, and agents and he found a match with Talent Works Agency. He then began booking commercials and getting his feet wet in Tinsel town.  

Tanner now has been in many other commercials, movies, and television shows. A few you may recognize him from such as his recurring role in “Game Shakers” (Nickelodeon) where he plays Mason Kendall a student and Babe’s (Main actor) crush. Also (formally ABC Family, now Freeform) “The Fosters”, where he played Jack Downey; a quirky foster care teen that Callie and Jude (2 of the main characters of the show) meet at foster care youth event. If you watch this show you know his character was recently killed in the season 3 finally. He has also had guest starring roles in other shows such as “Grey’s Anatomy”, “Modern Family”, “Girl Meets World”, and “Major Crimes” just to name a few others. 

But this is not the last you will see from Tanner Buchanan…No, No my friend! He recently booked the new political drama on ABC this fall called “Designated Survivor”. Which stars Kiefer Sutherland, as the former Secretary of Housing and Development turned President of the United States Tom Kirkman. Due to an explosion during the State of the Union address he is the only successor remaining next in line. Tanner Buchanan stars opposite Sutherland as his teenage son, named Leo Kirkman, who will have to now deal (along with his family) with with a father who is thrust into the Presidency.  


This new show is set to air on ABC network, beginning September 21, 2016. So set your DVR’s and watch this Ohio native in his new role. We here at Starbound are proud of Tanner and wish him continued success!   



Thursday, September 15, 2016

Everything You Need To Know About Casting Reels

You have made the decision that you want to become a serious working actor and either snag an agent or audition for a role. So what is the next step that you need to take you may be asking? Making your self a casting/demo reel. This is essentially your advertisement to people showing all you are capable of doing in the acting world. Casting or demo reels are used to send to agents and or casting directors in order to grab their attention by putting selections of your highest quality material together in order to get them to want to sign and represent/cast you in a role. Casting/Demo reels are quickly becoming the most important part of professional casting submissions- even more important to some, than headshots and resumes. Many actors use clips from student films, independent films, web series, or privately produced productions to make their reel. But if you are just starting out it is acceptable to record yourself (or someone record you), performing various scenes. Below are a few tips and suggestions that you may find helpful in beginning your journey to making your casting/demo reel!

Do and Don’ts to Remember!

  • Casting Reel should be 60-90 seconds tops. No longer. You don’t want to do the entire scene or show your entire part from the play you are using…leave them wanting MORE!
  • Most of the time the viewer decides if they like you from in the first 10 seconds, so GET their attention and KEEP it!
  • Know your type (what types of characters you are best at playing (examples: Comedy, Preppy, Serious, Dramatic etc.) and focus your material in a way that highlights it. As your reel continues you can diversify and show your range. 
  • If using more than one clip have each self contained, and run about 15-20 seconds depending on the amount of clips.
  • Label each individual clip; at the top of the clip
  • This way you will have a large variety of clips to choose from and the viewer can pick and choose which they want to see or send.
  • Make your reel easy for people to view; instead of emailing the intended person a huge email file they will have to download then load. Try making it a click-able link...this could be the difference between getting seen or ending up getting deleted.
  • Make your reel focus on YOU! Even if other actors are in the scene, avoid covering them too much.
  • At least 75% of your reel should cover you, they want to see your face, emotions, and how you convey yourself, and your body movements because as we all know these things can make or break a scene!
  • Have someone who has an objective eye (NOT your mother or other family members who think nothing YOU do can be wrong/different/better!) to help you edit to get to your final copy.
  • Make sure your reel is good quality (High Definition) and professional.
  • Finally, make sure your contact information is easily viewable in the video. You want them to be able to contact you without having to hire a decoder to decipher your information. After all that hard work you want them to be able to easily contact you when they realize you are the next SUPERSTAR! 


How to Make a Casting Reel!

  • Get sides (aka Script)
  • Slate into camera -If the audition you are doing the reel for has their specific set of slate rules follow theirs. 
  • Then turn head a little and look next to the camera
  • Deliver lines (scene)
  • Look back at camera when you are done with lines/scene
  • Person who is assisting with the scene/other character should not read lines exaggerated, but in a tone above mono-tone 
  • When the script calls for direction (such as character closes door; take the direction but minimize it) so pretend you are closing the door or whatever the direction states, but NEVER turn your back to the camera even if in script.
  • Make sure you have a plain background/wall (no bright colors stick with neutrals such as white, cream, beige, etc.)
  • Wear solid color shirt with absolutely no logos, patterns, pictures, or other distracting things. Also make sure it compliments your skin tone
  • Appearance should be clean cut, nothing extravagant, look presentable!


*Last but not least… Remember the golden rule when it comes to Casting Reels: “No Reel is BETTER than a BAD reel”.



Tuesday, September 13, 2016

New York Talent Scout Visits Starbound

This past weekend Starbound Talent held auditions for the upcoming trip to IMTA Los Angeles. The auditions featured IMTA veteran, former Broadway and Television actor, David McCowen. David came to Starbound Talent all the way from New York for this special event. Mr. McCowen along with the extraordinary talent finders Starbound Presidents Wendi Davis and Justin Shivak held auditions from Saturday to Sunday hoping to find those special few.
Auditions were being held for a multitude of talents including singers, actors, dancers, and models, along with a new section at IMTA for songwriters to name a few. The purpose of this event was to find through auditions the many talented women, men, and children who reside here in Toledo and surrounding areas of Lucas County. Those who show superior talent are then chosen by Starbound to attend classes and hone their craft even further in hopes they will be ready to attend the annual IMTA Convention that is being held in Los Angeles this year. 
Those wising to audition came to Starbound Saturday or Sunday. Participants were first shown a video with talent from IMTA who has gone on to become famous and able to work in their respective industries and make a living doing what they love to do. The video even featured a few stars from Toledo, Ohio such as Adrianne Palicki, Alyson Stoner, Olivia Stuck, and others that have came from Starbound Talent and have went on to star in blockbuster movies, television shows, print ads and more. 
Then it was time to Audition! Seeing a mixture of emotions in the participants from nervous energy and anxious (mainly from the older ones) while the littler ones were ready to show out…in a good way. There were a few little kids who stood out to me, and who you could definitely tell were there because they wanted to and not because mommy or daddy “made them”. A little boy named Nathan who looked to be 5 or 6 walked the runway and ended with an “uhh why?” look and stance (I later found out dislikes modeling class which explained it all!). It came time for him to recite his commercial and he nailed it, and the cute voice only made it that much better. Then there was another little girl by the name of Gigi who even before she went to audition was giving facial expressions and looks that had me giggling to myself.  Then this little girl got up to do her audition and the expressions her face gave let you know she loves to act. Then she exclaimed was the line “Chomp or Bite-Ohh I don’t know!” which only added to the cute factor. 
Ok! I know it is starting to seem as if I am a little biased towards the children, but what can I say? Whitney Houston said it best; they are our future and so stinkin’cute!
Now… On to the others where we had a variety of ages auditioning, there were also a few standouts. There was a teenage boy named Chase who played a cover acoustic version of a song and had me, and everyone else swaying and tapping our feet in our seats. This young man had the vibe all the little teenage girls would love and I can see him one day performing and the girls going as the kids say CRAY! Also a young man by the name of Keyron who has done local shows around Toledo and who’s audition was very funny. Last but not least we had a young lady by the name of Moriah who was there to support her friend and was not planning to even audition. She ended up reading a screen test playing the part of the “airhead” exact and hilariously. Then she sang a song and her voice was very unique and calming. Just goes to show you never know when an opportunity or talented person may be.
All in all it was a very successful weekend and many talented people were found and chosen and will hopefully represent Starbound Talent at IMTA this upcoming January. Contrary to popular belief Toledo does breed talent!

So if you or anyone you know has that “IT” factor and has a talent you feel needs to be seen. Make sure you give Starbound Talent a call! We’d love to help you hone your skills and live your dream career. Make sure to follow us on Instagram @STARBOUND_TALENT.

Thank you to everyone who auditioned!

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

What is a Slate? Why Your Slate is Important?

How do you start your audition? You slate! Slating is your way to introduce yourself to the casting director and directors. It is your chance to show your personality and show them that you are going to be great to work with. Here are instructions on how to slate! 

Standing up straight  
State your…
  • Name, first and last.  
  • Age (optional for the mature actor)
  • Agency, Manager or Freelance 



Make sure you are standing up straight and not moving and don’t forget to talk loud and clear. Make sure you enunciate clearly so everyone can hear your name. Add a “Hi, I’m" or a “Hello, my name is” and then your name. It is okay and recommended to pause slightly in-between your first and last name. If you are on camera make sure you are looking into the camera and not around the room. If not on camera, look at the people running the casting. Be friendly, not like you are reading a line.  This is your introduction, have energy so that there is a light in your eyes. If they don’t like your slate, they probably won’t listen to your audition.  

Before you perform your material, take a breath. This gives you a moment to get into character. Remember not to rush through your slate. The moment is all about you! 

ABOVE ALL ELSE FOLLOW THE REQUIREMENTS OF ANY AUDITION! 


Below are examples of good and bad slates!

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Why A Good Headshot Is Important

A good headshot is important in the entertainment industry. A headshot is a professional photograph, where the face is used as the main focus to grab attention. Headshots are a way to promote yourself to agents, casting directors, or any auditions you may attend. The main goal of the headshot is to get you noticed and help get you work. It is important that you keep your headshot current with your look. It needs to reflect who you are now, if you have any changes in your look, you should get an updated photo. Remember the main reason for a headshot is to identify who you are, so be yourself! 
Here are some tips for a great headshot:

1. The day before you have your headshot scheduled get enough sleep, drink plenty of water, and eat well. This will help you look and feel better while at the photo shoot.
2. The most IMPORTANT thing to remember is you need to look like your headshot. You want them to know it is you when you walk in the room. A headshot is supposed to be the best representation of who you are.
3. DO NOT wear too much make up. You want to go for a more natural look and be recognizable. You do not want your picture to look like it was from a beauty pageant. 
4. Keep your clothing simple:
    • Stay away from a lot of patterns and large logos
    • Choose a color that looks good with your skin tone (no neon!)
    • Keep jewelry to a minimal
    • Do not wear all white, it can wash you out
    • Pick a shirt that falls well on your shoulders and neck and that won’t be too revealing.
5. Try to show as much of your personality as you can. You want whoever is looking at your headshot to see how unique and authentic you are.
6. Your eyes say a lot about who you are. Try to really connect with the camera and show that you’re smiling with your eyes.
7. Mix up your expressions. Don’t just give one look. Show the different sides of you, so the photographer can capture the best look.

8. BE RELAXED. If you are nervous or worried, it will show, have fun and don’t sweat the small stuff. If you have a zit or blemish, it will get edited out of the photo.
Below are some examples of our actors headshots. All of the headshots were taken by Rick Luettke.


Tuesday, August 23, 2016

What NOT to do at your Next Audition

Have you ever wondered how casting directors choose actors?  Well, if you know the answer to that question you can stop reading this blog now. We have asked this question to over a dozen casting companies and everyone has a different answer.  However, we did find out that they eliminate actors immediately for a lot of different reasons and what they call “annoying behaviors/common sense mistakes”.  We know that auditioning can be a frightening experience for most actors, so here are some common sense tips or don’t ever do this! We have also provided a demonstration to help you understand.

Please don’t do any of these!
  1. Don’t chew gum
  2. Don’t ask dumb questions
  3. Don’t whisper
  4. Don’t wear to much makeup
  5. Don’t complain/make excuses

Alyson Stoner: Taking The Industry By Storm

Alyson Stoner was born to be a star. When she first came to Starbound, she was young and spunky. Her firecracker-like energy translated into her dance routines and acting material. Her talent did not go unnoticed at IMTA. She was sought after by dozens of agents.  

Alyson Stoner took her acting and dancing skills to Los Angeles shortly after competing at IMTA in New York 1999.  She landed her first job acting on a Hallmark commercial. Soon after, she was seen dancing in a JC Penny commercial. Missy Elliott then cast her in the iconic role as the little girl in the pink jumpsuit and pigtails in her ‘Work It’ music video. 
Alyson’s big break came when she landed the role of Sally on Disney’s ‘Mike’s Super Short Show’. Disney loved the young actress and had her guest starring in shows such as ‘Suite Life of Zack and Cody’. Years later, Alyson starred on Disney’s ‘Camp Rock’ alongside Demi Levato and the Jonas Brothers. Alyson has broken into the voice over world as she voices ‘Isabella’ on the show ‘Phineas and Ferb’. 

Not only has Alyson starred on the Disney Channel, she can be seen on the big screen in movies such as ‘Cheaper by the Dozen’ alongside Steve Martin. She also stars in the ‘Step Up’ series. 

Between TV movies, TV series, Movies, commercials, and continuous dance classes, the busy superstar has now began her music career! Alyson started releasing covers on her YouTube channel while she was writing and recording her on original music. Alyson released her first single ‘Woman’ this year! She performed this single here in Toledo at the Lexus Rocks the Runway fashion show. 

Currently, Alyson is performing her newest single ‘Dragon’ throughout the country on the ‘Girls Night In’ tour.! 


Alyson’s talent and hard work has lead her to be the 16th most searched star on IMDb and lead her to have a major social media presence. Make sure you keep up with Starbound’s amazing alumni Alyson on social media as she takes the industry by storm!