Los Angeles (October 19, 2010) — Screen Actors Guild Affirmative Action & Diversity hosted a daylong series of career workshops on Saturday at SAG headquarters, attended by hundreds of members representing the broad diversity of our membership.
“Get Your ACT Together” SAG Diversity Careers in Focus Conference featured ten career and talent development panels and workshops. Topics included “The Business of Stunt Coordinating,” “Acting Beyond Stereotypes,” "So You Think You Can VO?...Lo que puedes hacer con tu VOz," “New Media, New Opportunities,” and “Diversity Works for Young Performers,” where manager Addison Witt told the audience, “The message from us today is your own empowerment. Believe in yourself and prepare for the success you can visualize.”
During the stunts session, panelist and stunt coordinator Melissa R. Stubbs revealed her own struggles in the industry: "You have to reprogram people to accept a woman as stunt coordinator."
In a panel about moving beyond stereotypes, Emmy-nominee Lupe Ontiveros talked about taking risks and auditioning for roles that may not sound like you on paper. “You just have to make it happen for yourself,” she said. Actor Tamlyn Tomita discussed confronting stereotypes in a script: "When you encounter something that's not cool in the script, you don't just complain about it, you have to come up with another suggestion on how to do it differently."
Back Stage presented three workshops, which gave participants practical information on commercial auditions, actor deals, and tips on becoming successful in television and film.
Running concurrently all day were “speed casting” sessions presented by the Casting Society of America. SAG members rotated through five-minute, one-on-one interviews with four casting directors who provided valuable advice and feedback. Members also received tutorials on iActor, the online casting directory exclusively for SAG members.
"We were able to offer truly exceptional career and talent development workshops and seminars for a community of actors who are often underrepresented and underemployed,” said Rebecca Yee, national director of Affirmative Action & Diversity and senior EEO counsel. “We are grateful to the many industry professionals who participated on Saturday for their demonstrated commitment to diversity and equal employment."
“Get Your ACT Together” was presented in conjunction with SAG National Spanish Language Media Task Force, SAG President’s National Task Force for American Indians and SAG New Media.