Wednesday, February 18, 2015

How Can My Child Meet Disney and Nickelodeon Casting Directors?

Wendy Alane Wright with Award Winning Casting Director Carol Goldwasser
(CAST DISNEY SHOWS: Austin & Ally, Dog With a Blog & Hannah Montana)

In Los Angeles, child actors have the opportunity of doing workshops and 3-week intensives with Disney and Nickelodeon Casting Directors all year long. These CDs see these kids regularly so they know their talent, skill level and in fact, watch them grow up.  They know which kids are ready for the small roles, and which ones are ready to star in a series. They are following their progress.

When kids live out of state that don't have that luxury. Out of state kids don't have that continuous exposure to these very important people. If you live in LA, I always suggest to my clients and their parents to attend classes and workshops with Disney and Nickelodeon Casting Directors at least 3-4 times a year. There are 3 training schools in LA that I highly recommend that have these Casting Directors in regularly, as well as OUTSTANDING acting training for kids. They are, in no particular order:

My advice is go to their websites, get on all 3 of their mailing lists and stay updated about upcoming workshops. Be sure to enroll your child in them often. 
But FIRST BE SURE your child is ready to do CD workshops by having your children take numerous acting, improv, and audition classes  at these 3 schools first. Many series regulars go to classes at these schools 5 times a week. So be prepared to live there.

If you live out of state and are planning a visit to LA for spring break or the summer, those are perfect times to visit these 3 schools and take classes. The level of training is professional and invaluable. Be sure to tell then Wendy Alane Wright sent you.

To get you familiar with who's who, here are some of the important CDs you should be looking out for for your children to do workshops with.

Casting Directors who cast shows for DISNEY

Carol Goldwasser
Barbie Block
Sally Stiner
Gayle Pillsbury (Zane/Pillsbury)
Bonnie Zane
Dana Gergely (Brice/Gergely)
Brandi Brice
Howard Meltzer
Suzanne Goddard- Smythe
Ruth Lambert
Robert McGee
Sheryl Levine

Casting Directors who cast shows for NICKELODEON

Barbara Stordahl
Angela Terry
Daniel Aufierro
Amber Horn
Jamie Snow
Lori Wyman
Harriet Greenspan
Sean Cossey
J.J. Oglivy
Krisha Bullock 

Of course when your agent or manager submits your child for roles being cast by the above TV royalty they bring in the kids they want to see for auditions. It's important that you realize Casting Directors receive about 1,500 pictures for every role. They typically call in about 100- 200 to audition in person or see tapes, 25 or so are called back and only 5 are in the finally running for a job. ONE lucky person will book the role. So those are the odds 1 in 1,500. I think doing the workshops help your child become recognizable to the casting directors and therefore increasing the odds of getting the chance to audition at all.

My company WAW Entertainment is always looking for new & talented kids and teens. If you have a child who is serious about acting feel free to email me their headshot, pictures, resume and demo reel if you have them to If you child is what I am looking when I receive your email I will get back to you to set up a Skype Consultation. 

But FIRST read another one of my blogs to learn what is expected of you if a manager in Los Angeles is interested in your child:

Wendy Alane Wright
Talent Manager
WAW Entertainment

Wendy Alane Wright is a Hollywood talent manager and the president of WAW Entertainment. Her clients have appeared on television networks such as ABC, NBC, TNT, CBS, Comedy Central, BIO, Lifetime, and more. They have booked TV shows including “Modern Family,” “Blackish,” “Extant,” “The Colony,” “Animal Kingdom,” “My Haunted House,” and “Henry Danger,” as well as hundreds of commercials for major spots including Shutterfly, Mercedes, Visa, Taco Bell, Honda, Legos, Hot Wheels, and many more. Prior to being a manager and a talent agent at Burn Down Entertainment, Wright assisted many high profile managers, agents, and publicists. For 20 years she was a recording artist, actor, and music producer, and is now the author of five books called, “Secrets of a Hollywood Talent Manager.” Wright teaches the business of acting all over the country and is on the faculty of schools including the New York Studio for Stage and Screen in North Carolina and LA Acting Academy in Phoenix, Arizona. For years she has appeared in numerous magazines, and on radio shows and talk shows including “The Oprah Winfrey Show.”

Monday, February 9, 2015



Video Taped Auditions are happening more and more often. It is CRUCIAL you learn how to master the technology regarding this very important audition skill. This is one of the very best articles I have ever read on SELF TAPING and I thought I should share it with you. This was written by my friend JACK TURNBULL owner of Actorsite in North Hollywood. Jack is responsible for training and building more series regulars than any one in the industry. If you are looking for acting training for your child i HIGHLY recommend you sign up for classes at ACTORSITE.


Video auditions are IMPORTANT and getting MORE IMPORTANT all the time. -  Jack Turnbull

Shooting your VIDEO AUDITION:

BEFORE YOU TAPE YOUR AUDITION, BE SURE TO PRACTICE YOUR SCENE AT LEAST 50 TIMES OUT LOUD! All of this preparation won’t help if you suck at your acting, so BE SURE TO PRACTICE IT OUT LOUD at least 50 times. Most scenes are just one to three minutes, so that means that an hour of prep will help you ROCK YOUR AUDITION! PREPARATIONS is the MOST IMPORTANT ASPECT!

1. BACKGROUND: Keep a simple background but DON’T USE WHITE. I like shades of blue and gray, but browns are great too! Keep it simple and not too busy, but not white.

2. CAMERA: Use your IPHONE or SAMSUNG phone. Be close to the phone for good sound, about 3 feet or so. Make sure you are in a room with curtains and carpet for better sound, they keep the room noise down. Don’t be 4 or more feet away, as the sound will be lost. Remember, on a film or TV  set, the sound recorder needs you to speak loud enough to record, don’t swallow your words thinking you are being emotional. Emotions are expressed, not suppressed in film/TV. If you use a camera, be sure you are close for good sound or use a separate microphone. I like the phones better because they have super microphones.

(There are many selfie stands  available at AMAZON)

3. TRIPOD: Use a SELFIE STAND on a table or mount on a tripod. Tons of these at .  They are cheap and very effective.Five head light from Target…use 100 W CFL Bulbs.

4. LIGHTING: Use a huge window if you have one—no direct sunlight, only reflected light, or use a SOFT light source like the 5 head lamp at TARGET. Put 100 W CFL lamps in it and you have a super light source. Place it behind the phone/camera so it lights the face from the front, not the side. Or, if you wish you can order a softbox set like those shown here:

Screen Shot 2015-02-05 at 12.32.18 PM
Sample audition framing….

5. Frame your audition in a head and shoulders shot, unless directed otherwise. Make sure you don’t leave a lot of space at the top of the frame. The top of the head should be close to the top of the frame.

6. Go right into your scene at the beginning. No photos, no title, etc. Go into your scene. Don’t try to be cute, it’s your PERFORMANCE they want to see, not a photo montage or other time wasting items.

7. The READER should stand 3-4 or more feet BEHIND the camera, so your eye line as you read with the reader is good. The reader should NOT be closer to the camera than the Actor, because their voice will be too loud. Actor should look at the READER for the audition, and at the camera for the SLATE. You should be able to see the actor full face but not looking into the camera, but at the reader. Don’t look at the camera during the audition, only in the slate.

8. USUALLY you SLATE at the end of the scene. SPEAK SLOWLY AND CLEARLY. Usually they want NAME, CONTACT INFORMATION, HEIGHT, CONTACT INFO and sometimes they request other information.  If they want a full length shot in the slate, scan the body up and down quickly! If you want to put a slate card with your contact information, this is when you put it up. Some auditions, they want you to hold a paper with your info in the video, make sure it is clearly written and do a close of up of it.

9. NAME YOUR VIDEO: TITLE-ROLE-YOUR NAME. For instance, if the ROLE is SAM and your name is SUZY SMITH and the project is call ICEMAN, name your video  ICEMAN-SAM-SUZYSMITH.m4p. Use abbreviations if the title is too long.

10. If you are uploading or emailing, be sure to include your CONTACT INFORMATION in all correspondence. That would include your PERSONAL CONTACT if you are not represented, and your AGENT and MANAGER if the tape is for them. If it’s a personal submission like on Backstage or LACASTING, most agents and managers don’t want their info listed, so put your personal information. They can’t hire you if they can’t find you. You would be surprised to see the fantastic audition videos sent in without any contact info.

11. Casting likes uploads to sites where they can download the video if they like your performance and send it to the producers with their other videos. That’s why we recommend VIMEO or GOOGLE DRIVE for your uploads. You can post a comment if you have good luck with other services. I personally like YOUTUBE to view videos, but they aren’t easy to download, just the link.

All the best,



Produced by Robgraves Productions, Los Angeles

I also think every child actor who is starting out should have a Slate Shot, Personality Clip and a Commercial or Monologue like the one above uploaded on their Actors Access, Casting Frontier and LA Casting Accounts. To watch click here:

A 30-second sample like this gives casting directors a clear idea of your child's personality, the way they talk, look and speak. As you start submitting your child for different commercials, student films, short films and music videos - you can add these clips to your submissions to INCREASE your auditions.

Once you start getting work you can replace the monologue and commercial demos with actual footage from the jobs your child books. I have partnered with Robgraves Productions to create great HD demos to use with your child's submissions. $175 for 3 clips.  Please contact me to set up your child's session with cinematographer Kent Hargrave. (818) 203-6080 or

See you on the Red Carpet!

Wendy Alane Wright
The Hollywood Talent Manager
WAW Entertainment

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