The Performer's Academy on Cox Channel 3 The Mix

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This month see The PerformerÂ?s AcademyÂ?s owner, Natalie Costa on Cox 3Â?s show, The Mix this August and September.

This month see The Performer’s Academy’s owner, Natalie Costa on Cox 3’s show, The Mix this August and September.

The topic for discussion was getting your child into the entertainment industry from a parent’s perspective. Natalie’s pursuit started when her own daughter was just 5 years old. Having one of those children that everyone raved about, prompted her to try to get her an agent and help her audition and hopefully land a commercial or two.

“The goal was never to have a child star. But hopefully, she would book a job and earn enough money for college,” states Costa.

However the pathway to Hollywood was paved with vultures. She spent a fortune on useless portfolios and inept managers. Time ticked by and the credit card bill rolled in for the portfolio – but no jobs or auditions were to be found. Her daughter started to mature, her baby teeth fell out and she cut her own bangs. “She didn’t even remotely look like the pictures that I spent a fortune on,” complains Costa. Constant calls to the “agent” and “manager” ended with comments like “it’s really slow out there now, nobody’s auditioning.”

Natalie learned the hard way that there are just a few basics that are important before you take the steps to put your child into the business. The first is this must be the child’s idea. They have to like performing and feel comfortable doing it. If they would rather be home having root canal work – it’s not for them. Secondly, mother/father have to be supportive. Someone has to drive them to LA for auditions. Children cannot be pulled out of school to audition. The law requires that all minors audition from 3-7 PM. Work permits have to be signed by the principal and processed with the California Department of Labor. No child works without a work permit.

Photos are required. An actor needs a COLOR headshot. (Black and white photos are yesterday’s news). You don’t need to EVER buy a portfolio. Models need a comp card and a portfolio is a scrapbook of all the work (tear sheets) of the work they have done.

The mistake Natalie made was in the thinking that just because her daughter was beautiful landing jobs would be easy. The mistake was that her daughter was very shy in public. At home, she performed everything from Disney movies to shows on the Food Network. But in public she would take a few minutes to warm up.

That’s a phrase that brings a smile to Natalie’s face. “In the entertainment industry you don’t have a few minutes to warm up. You have to be on when you audition for agents. They have to believe that you are bookable and they have to want to represent you. If you are shy, it will not work.”

Training is the most important factor for the entertainment industry and life. Since most elementary schools have nixed the arts from their programs, children have very few options for the arts.

The Performer’s Academy offers workshops in acting, singing, dance, musical theatre for children, teens and adults and caters to the beginning, intermediate, and advanced level actor.

Acting skills are used in the classroom, the studio set, or the boardroom. A monologue is the same as an oral book report, a sales presentation or a closing argument. It just depends where you are in life.

The Performer's Academy offers programs that are affordable and taught by film directors, working actors and industry professions, all whom are working in the entertainment industry today.

Jeff Celentano, Executive Director of Drama, is about to direct a feature for Soleil Film, "Say It In Russian". Casting director Rosemary Weldon is casting this picture and should shoot by the end of 2005. Jeff's extensive resume and bio can be found on the Perfomers Academy website. Check out his film page and look at the movie stills from some of his films.

Tracey Abbott currently is casting for a hysterically funny musical called, "I Love The Knight Life" - a medieval times musical with disco music!. Casting for a children, teen and adult version is beginning now. Tracey is a working actress and also a stand up comic and can be seen in comedy clubs throughout Orange County and Los Angeles.

Tune in this month to The Mix on Cox 3. The Mix” is a half-hour television program geared towards a female audience. The hosts of “the Mix” are former OCN Anchorwoman Leslie Leyton and Bridget Kelly. This program is seen in approximately 275,000 homes in Orange County and our Palos Verdes system. The show is also seen on Adelphia Cable and airs in 1.2 million homes during their prime time regional block throughout Southern California.


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Natalie Costa
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