Faces of Hollywood Diversity: The Future Is Now

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Everyday actors of different races, and physical challenges are forcing casting directors and producers to look at them, to think differently, to make decisions that literally change the ways we relate to people in media, and each other.

On April 4th, The American Film Institute will present (Faces of Hollywood Diversity - the future is now), a panel of children, teenagers, and Hollywood expert and talent manager, Addison K. Witt will share their perspective on a much talked about hot topic. Different from other diversity panels, this group will address how much their own images are a factor in the youth markets. While diversity in Hollywood is a numbers game for studios, networks, and watchdog groups, children, and their households are more sophisticated today, and therefore open to a lot more choices. This motivation comes from a desire to watch people that reflect their own images and ways of thinking. Industry decision makers should be aware that today's desire is tomorrow's demand. While it seems that children and teens are comfortable talking about diversity, and what they will watch, there is still a lot of work that has to be done. Two of those that are helping are veteran child talent manager Addison K. Witt and acting teacher extraordinaire, Constance Tillotson.

The panel is interested in helping other young people who dream Hollywood bright lights and red carpets understand how much they truly matter. "Our objective is to create a more complete representation of the world we all live in," says Addison K. Witt.

The actors on stage range in ages 9 to 20 years. And everyday actors of different races, and physical challenges are forcing casting directors and producers to look at them, to think differently, to make decisions that literally change the ways we relate to people in media, and each other. Television is still getting an overall poor score in the area of equaled diversity. This panel is one of many that are pointing out why diversity is relevant, and why we each have to take responsibility for a more even Hollywood.

Actors from the following TV series and films are present:
AMC/SONY's "Breaking Bad" star RJ Mitte has cerebral palsy. He discusses his personal challenges, bringing more attention to his disability, and yet, insists on presenting the character as "normal" as possible. RJ Mitte is the first actor with CP to have a series regular role on television.

Nikki SooHoo, known for Disney's "Stick It," has two films that are released this year, Bring It On: Fight to the Finish," starring Christina Milian, and "The Lovely Bones," starring Rachel Weisz and Mark Wahlberg. Nikki is currently shooting a pilot for CBS. Nikki SooHoo is Chinese.

Other panelists are Nick Fowler, Jean Emmanuel Cassues, Cecy Olivo, and Chagoury.

The panel is hosted by SAG Conservatory National Vice Chair, Constance Tillotson, CEO of Sterling Studio.

Faces of Hollywood Diversity is created by Hollywood expert, Addison K Witt of Witt Entertainment Management, Inc.

Space may be reserved by calling 310.600.1843.

When:     Saturday, April 4, 2009
Time:     1-3pm
Where:     American Film Institute
                 Mark Goodson Theater
Address:     2021 N. Western Avenue
City:    Los Angeles, CA 90027

Host:    SAG Conservatory

Moderator:    Constance Tillotson

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Addison K. Witt
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