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Dan Lehman
NYC
Recent Activity
20 years before becoming America's sweetheart and winning an Academy Award for her performance in The Blind Side, Sandra Bullock was another struggling young actress who actually had to audition for roles. In this never-before-seen footage from 1991, Bullock (then 27 years old) adopts a Jersey accent and big hair to audition for an unknown film: Watch another clip from Bullock's lost audition: According to Yahoo!, Bullock didn't get the part. But just a few years later, she became a movie star thanks to her performance in Speed opposite Keanu Reeves, followed by memorable roles in While You Were Sleeping,... Continue reading
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Mary-Louise Parker has written a letter to Nancy Botwin, the character she plays on the Showtime series Weeds, for the Fall 2011 issue of Bullett. The piece offers insight into what the prolific actress finds most compelling about the role (mainly, Nancy's questionable morality), and also suggests the ways an actor can get inside the mind of a character without fully losing their own sense of identity off screen. Beginning "Dear Nancy," Parker questions her character about the inventory of a certain duffle bag. Then the actress says to the character she created: "I have grown to love you. We... Continue reading
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Jonathan Lipnicki, the breakout child star of Jerry Maguire opposite Tom Cruise, celebrated his 21st birthday in Las Vegas last weekend: That cute six-year-old is all grown up -- and mature enough to smile even though his name is misspelled on his own birthday cake. On Friday, Lipnicki tweeted: "Thanks to everyone who is wishing me a happy bday! It means so much!" As a child actor, Lipnicki also starred in Stuart Little and Stuart Little 2, along with other TV and film appearances. He will also be seen in the new movies For the Love of Money later this... Continue reading
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Use this helpful "Shakespeare Insult Kit" to impress your friends (while you belittle them) with your sharp tongue: Continue reading
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In a new interview with The A.V. Club, Adam Scott (Parks and Recreation, Party Down) discusses his career trajectory, why he regrets not going to college, and how ensemble casts make him look good. The actor also admits that he related to the characters in Party Down, the Starz original comedy series about struggling actors and writers who work for a low-rent catering business, because he already "understood the humiliation and pain" of being an actor. Read an excerpt from the A.V. Club Q&A below: AVC: Looking at your career trajectory, it kind of feels similar to Henry’s [in Party... Continue reading
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In this issue: Back Stage celebrates our 50th Anniversary! CEO John Amato, Publisher Jeff Black, and Editor-in-Chief Jamie Young thank our readers and pledge to serve actors for another 50 years. Also in this special 50th Anniversary issue... As Back Stage celebrates another milestone after a half-century of publication, we examine the history of the "actor's bible" and how we plan to turn our past success into a bright future. Back Stage staff and contributors share decades of memories and experiences from working at the actor's trade publication, industry professionals pay tribute, and famous actors offer testimonials about how Back... Continue reading
Benjamin Gooch, Matt Flynn, and Ryan Shibley star in this hilarious new parody music video about actors doing background work in TV and movies, with music and lyrics based on Eminem's "Lose Yourself." Watch the video to see their take on the life of a professional extra: The video was directed by Court Dunn. -- Daniel Lehman Continue reading
Rolling Stone asked Josh Gad and Andrew Rannells, currently starring together in the hit Broadway musical The Book of Mormon, to interview each other for the video below, and they used their musical talents and natural chemistry to discuss performing with each other, Rannells' love of Gloria Estefan, how to pitch Book of Mormon to a Mormon, and more: Continue reading
In this video, comedians at the Laugh Factory in Hollywood offer their advice for comedians who are just getting started in funny business. Check it out to hear words of wisdom from comics such as Harland Williams, Elon Gold, Johnny Sanchez, Deon Cole, Donnell Rawlings, Darren Carter, Jim Tavare, and more: Sanchez sums it up best: "There's an old saying in real estate: 'Location, location, location.' In comedy, it's 'Stage time, stage time, stage time'." Continue reading
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Deadline reports today that comedy star Jonah Hill and writer/stand-up comedian Hannibal Buress have sold a new comedy project to Fox. Details of the show's style and concept are yet to be determined, but the sitcom will be co-written by Hill and Buress, and Buress will star. “My initial dream was to write a show for Fox News, but Jonah convinced me we’d have a slightly better shot at normal Fox,” Buress said. This will be the comedian's first starring role; his most recognizable onscreen role is probably playing a homeless man in several episodes of 30 Rock. "From the... Continue reading
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In this issue: Actor Frank Langella, currently starring in the Roundabout Theatre Company's revival of Terence Rattigan's "Man and Boy," is on the cover to talk about acting, careerism, and aging. Back Stage's "Spotlight on Dance & Movement" includes: a look at Pace University's new college dance program that trains dancers to work in the commercial entertainment industry; how choreographers can hone their dance-making skills on college campuses; and our comprehensive listings of undergraduate and graduate dance programs and dance studios. As soaps are being cancelled or move online, Back Stage asks, "Is there a future for the soap opera?"... Continue reading
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In this issue: Seth Rogen, producer and co-star of the new cancer comedy 50/50 with Joseph Gordon-Levitt, is on our cover to talk about auditions, his early career, and turning a personal story into a funny film. The recent Screen Actors Guild elections, which determined control of SAG's New York division, turned out to be less surprising than many predicted, with incumbents retaining their seats and a merger between SAG and AFTRA on the horizon. Back Stage's "Spotlight on Los Angeles Acting School & Coaches" examines the pros and cons of studying from a working actor, as well as listings... Continue reading
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The Casting Society of America's Artios Awards, which are presented every year to recognize outstanding achievement in casting, are always an opportunity for actors and casting directors to share their love for each other in a more casual setting than the audition room. This year's awards were presented last night to casting directors at dual ceremonies in New York and Los Angeles. Megan Larche, who began her career at Binder Casting and is now Associate Producer for Fox Theatricals as well as an independent casting director, became a NY board member for CSA less than a year ago. She was... Continue reading
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Last night at the Artios Awards in New York City, Back Stage caught up with casting director Nora Brennan, who casts children for the Broadway and national tour companies of Billy Elliot the Musical. "It's very exciting," Brennan said of the annual event. "It's an opportunity for all the casting directors and agents to get together when they're not working, and recognize the best work going on in theater, and film, and television. I think it's a lot of fun, and it's thrilling." The Artios Awards are presented each year to CSA members for outstanding achievement in casting in theater,... Continue reading
YouTube user monkophile has uploaded four audition tapes from the casting sessions for the Emmy-winning AMC series Breaking Bad. Check out these videos of Aaron Paul, Anna Gunn, Dean Norris, and Betsy Brandt. Aaron Paul (Jesse Pinkman): Anna Gunn (Skyler White): Dean Norris (Hank Schrader): Betsy Brandt (Marie Schrader): (Thanks to Vulture for finding these.) -- Daniel Lehman Continue reading
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"Tell Your Friends! The Concert Film!" premieres in NYC (Left to right: Kurt Braunohler, Leo Allen, Rob Paravonian, Kristen Schaal, Liam McEneany, Victor Varnado, Christian Finnegan). Photo credit: Lindsay Aikman/Michael Priest Photography. Last night, Sketchfest NYC presented the New York premiere of Tell Your Friends! The Concert Film!, a documentary about the indie comedy scene in New York City and the long-running comedy show "Tell Your Friends!," which is hosted each week by Liam McEneaney on the Lower East Side. McEneaney and director Victor Varnado (The Awkward Comedy Show) say their goal was to create a filmed document of the... Continue reading
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Jeremy Seglem began his acting career about five years ago, in a collection of short comedic web videos called "Treading Water." Since then, in partnership with writer/director Tim Young, he's continued to produce original video content for the web -- first as the co-creator and star of the mockumentary series "Twilight with Steve Cooper" and its follow-up, "Behind the Steve," and now as the co-creator and writer of "Cop/Cop," a new improvised comedy series starring Tyler Gilmore and Rob Cuthill as two inept cops who will go to any lengths to get a confession. The first episode of "Cop/Cop," titled... Continue reading
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In this issue: Captain American himself, Chris Evans is on our cover to talk about his early career, his worst audition experiences, and how he transitioned from playing a superhero to a flawed hero as a drug-addicted lawyer in the new film Puncture. In Back Stage's "Spotlight on Headshots and Marketing," headshot photographers in New York and Los Angeles discuss what makes an effective headshot. Tyler Labine has been acting since he was 9 years old, but you probably still only know him as "that guy." That could all change this month, when he stars opposite Alan Tudyk in the... Continue reading
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"Two years ago, I planned on killing myself in my garage. Now, I'm in my garage doing the best work I've ever done." This is how viewers are introduced to comedian and podcast host Marc Maron in his new independent comedy pilot, which premiered as part of the New York Television Festival's Primetime "Opening Night Comedy Extravaganza" last night in New York City. Presented with the eponymous working title Maron, the show opens with Maron speaking directly to the camera, sharing his neuroses with someone we'd assume is his therapist. But no -- he's just trying to connect with his... Continue reading
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In this issue: Actor/writer/director Albert Brooks talks to Back Stage about his long career and his latest role, playing a mobster in the new film Drive opposite Ryan Gosling. In our "Spotlight on Acting Schools & Coaches," New York acting teachers (including William Esper, Maggie Flanagan, Terry Schreiber, Larry Moss, and more) discuss their influences and mentors. Plus, see our comprehensive list of NY acting schools and coaches. Back Stage reviews the new Broadway revival of Follies. And more News, Reviews, and Advice Columns -- Plus production listings and hundreds of new casting and job notices in NY, CA, and... Continue reading
According to The Apiary, Broadway actress Mary Faber is rumored to be under consideration to join the cast of Saturday Night Live as a featured player this season. Faber currently performs on Broadway opposite Daniel Radcliffe in How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying, and has also appeared in American Idiot and Avenue Q. She has studied improv at UCB and The PIT. Watch Faber's SNL audition reel: In August, Lorne Michaels said that nobody would be leaving the cast of SNL this year, but that he would still hold auditions for possible additions. The Apiary also reports that... Continue reading
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In this issue: Tom Hardy and Joel Edgerton, stars of the new film Warrior, fight for roles that inspire them. Back Stage's "Spotlight on Commercials" includes: strategies for starting your commercial audition off right, what you need to know about commercial reels, and more. Also read profiles of recognizable commercial actors like Jonathan Goldsmith (a.k.a Dos Equis' "Most Interesting Man in the World") and Farris Patton, the face of Orbit gum. Plus BackStage.com exclusives about Jerry Lambert, who plays Sony Playstation's VP Kevin Butler, and Brian Huskey and Rachael Drummond, who say improv helped them land their roles in the... Continue reading