The Division of Veterans Services at the New York Film Academy College of Visual & Performing Arts (NYFA) joined Veterans in Media And Entertainment (VME) to welcome the Casting Society of America (CSA) to the College’s campus in Burbank, CA for a panel discussion specifically tailored for military veterans. The stellar group of industry professionals shared all-important information about the ‘business’ side of the acting vocation.
The event was held under the auspices of CSA’s “Commitment to Diversity and Inclusion”. CSA’s Diversity Initiative has the mission of providing knowledge and opportunities to many different populations including veterans who are pursuing careers in the entertainment industry.
The panel featured legendary casting directors including April Webster (“Star Wars: The Force Awakens,” “Star Trek,” “Criminal Minds”), Jon Levy (“ER,” “Shameless,” “The Brave”), Tricia Wood (“La La Land”), Jason Kennedy (“NCIS”) and Paul Dinh-McCrillis (“Get Big”). Russell Boast, Vice President at CSA and Jack Kennedy, Director of Programs at VME moderated the event.
The attendees were treated to an inspiring two-hour discussion that provided an in-depth look at how casting directors approach the process of audition and selecting actors for roles in film, television, and commercials. The esteemed panel of casting directors also spoke about how veterans’ military and life experiences can help during the casting process and when the actor is on the film set. Veterans are often highly disciplined and very capable of working in a team environment.
“NYFA was proud to host this event on our campus and to collaborate, once again, with the membership of Veterans In Media And Entertainment, and now with CSA in support of the veteran community in our area”, stated Michael Kunselman, Veterans Coordinator at NYFA’s Division of Veteran Services.
“The panel discussion with the CSA was an excellent learning experience and extremely informative for me as a new actor. I appreciated the opportunity to have been given the chance to hear from some of our leading casting directors from the industry. They all had useful information to share and some of the main points that resonated with me were to trust myself, learn to be my authentic self and the importance of knowing and connecting with the material,” said Douglas Prideaux, US Army, BFA Acting student at the New York Film Academy.
NYFA has been honored to support over 1300 veterans who have studied at the College since 2011. This collaboration is just another step in supporting this newest generation of veterans who are pursuing their aspirations to be successful in the entertainment industry post-military service.