Pilot Season 2000 has come to a close and throughout Hollywood there are some very satisfied agents and managers and some feeling a little discouraged. This manager is feeling "sort of in between". Some things to be proud of but some disappointments also....
This turned out to be a tough season for some of the kids in my group who tend to have the most success. Mostly it came down to be just "not quite right" for many roles out there -- lots of callbacks and feedback from casters regarding how wonderful these kids are but that they just weren't quite right for the role. A few of the kids are with an agency that really struggled to serve them -- first an agent left to become a producer and then 2 weeks after a new agent was hired, the head agent had to be hospitalized and at home for weeks so some of my best kids did not get out as much as they should.
Gabe Clifton is 11 now but still on the small size and while this kid probably went to producers almost 100% for every series, film,episodic role out there, he ended the season with no new bookings other than one day on a soap opera. Gabe is such a solid actor and a very special boy -- he will hit it very big one of these days and then there will be no stopping him!
Gabe's long-time friend and Burbank neighbor is Nicki Dixon who is almost 12. She had a decent season, some good auditions, several producers sessions and she did a McDonalds commercial.
Casey Floresca, age 10, spent 2 months as part of my Hollywood family. Being Asian she usually has fewer auditions than anyone else but she always books a job before she goes home -- often she gets a cllabck the day she is supposed to fly home, stays and books the job. There was a flurry of auditions for her near the end of her stay and she had some callbacks for KFC and othercommercials so we felt sure she'd have that last-minute booking but it just didn't happen for her this season. Let's hope summer is better!
Madison Gordon is almost 9 and then it is going to start getting very good for this little "Tatum O'Neal" blonde sprite! She had some good auditions, went to producers for 90210 and did her usual Mattel work. She also flew with her mom to St. Louis and currentl has a couple "Wuv Luv" commercials on the air now. Turning 9 will be a boost for Madison -- that's an age where work picks up more.
Also turning 9 in June is Reed Hasty who is a new client. Reed has done very well with commercials and print during the past two years but is ready to pursue TV and film and he is going like gangbusters now. He had lead role in a USC film and also did another one more for fun. Now we are anxiously awaiting the final decision on a film role playing a young Tim Robbins in "Human Nature." The caster told me that Reed is the only boy still under consideration and he had a works session this past week with the director, Tim and his co-star Rhys (last name I can't rememebr -- the guy with the dirty feet in Notting Hill with Hugh Grant). I am very confident that Reed will get this role! That coupled with being 9 will start opening doors later this summer! Also, welcome to another new client, one of Reed's friends Sean Driscoll, Sean is 9 and brand new to the biz.
Long-time client Gabby Gillette, almost 15 has been much busier since she moved to AEF. She has had callbacks on some pilots and movies of the week and recently filmed a promo for The Learning Channel. She had fun playing "French Kiss" in a short film titled"007th Grade" a spoof on James Bond as a junior high kid.She also had the lead role in "The Innocents Mission" which completed filming in April and worked with Craig Hauer on that. We popped several teens from our classes or management group into the film as extras. Amelia Iraheta was also featured in the film as the "pretty but uptight" Janet in the film.
Amelia is doing so well. She is 15 and came from Seattle in late January. She is with KSA and they love her! She is currently in rehearsals as the lead in a wonderful AFI film called, "The Girl Next Door", set in 1958 when Barbie dolls hit society. She has also had some good auditions for films and for the pilot, "None of the Above" and she just had another callback for lead in a film. This past week she and Rachel Glenn filmed a national anti-drug commercial that starts airing on MTV and WB, etc in September.
Rachel has had a disappointing season since her agent spent much of it in bed. She just didn't get out as much as usual and she also turned down a number of auditions because the material was a bit raunchy. She did work one week on Craig Hauer's series, "Bloodhounds" and she enjoyed the commercial shoot this past week. Her MErcedes commerical is still on the air so residuals coming in and lo and behold she just got another check from Bill Nye the Science Guy from 1993!! Her Nickelodeon episodes are also airing alot so she's checking the mailbox everyday for residuals! We're hoping for a better summer season. She is 16 now and a high school grad so she can work like an 18 year old and that will open up opportunities. It was also nice that Rachel was a nominee at YOUNG ARTISTS AWARDS this year -- for best performance in comedy -- and she was a presenter to Thora Birch who won for her role in "American Beauty".
Another Young Performer nominated this year was Alyssa "Joey" Norcliffe for her lead role in "DREAM PARLOR". After she did that film,she took most of the past year off to pursue horseback riding and is just now coming back to showbiz.
Robby Seager's Splitsville movie has aired again recently. Don't know why it never got theatrical release -- it was a good flick. He's spent the entire school year in Seattle, did some print work. He'll be in L.A. this summer after his 9th birthday.
One of the new kids in the group is Georgia Burgess, age 10 from Marysville, WA. She arrived the end of January --in just 2 months she booked a national commercial for Sony Playstation and she had a lead in a USC film and worked four weekends. There's a screening May 4 and she's very excited. She'll go back to Washington til late June and now has both commerical and tV/film representation for her return.
Josh Martinez, age 18, took off most of this year for school and music but he did manage to get a small recurring role on the soap, GENERAL HOSPITAL. Gwen Hillier, the caste is so great and really wants to help Josh work his way into a better role.
Ari Weinryt ,12 ,had three callbacks for the feature film, "BLOOM"-- we were so sure he'd get it but did not. Gino Buccola went to producers for a role in same film -- that's about all he did this season as he is so involved with sports! But the caster for Bloom recognized him from "Chuck & Buck" which she saw at the Sundance Film Festival". Ari also worked on "007th Grade" with Gabby ( and oh how they wanted Gino who just couldn't find the time!) Ari also had a lead in "THE MAJESTIC FOUR" a USC film and a lead in a short film called "THE BARITONES" a spoof on The Sopranos. He also went to producers on the Meat Loaf movie and a couple other projects.
Ari joined the group after meeting David Henrie on a Quaker Oats commercial last summer. David lives in Phoenix and hasn't been able to spend much time in L.A. due to heavy ice hockey schedule. He's got two commercials currently airing though, Rugrats video game and two verisoins of E!score. On a brief trip to L.A., David did snag the one boy's lead role in "THE GIRL AVENGERS", a new internet series directed by Stacy Keenan who starred several years ago on the sitcom, "My Two Dads".
Young Performers sent 8 kids in to audition for GIRL AVENGERS. Five of the 8 had callbacks and three were cast as principals. WHITNEY KIM, age 10, got one of the three leads. David was a bully and Noah Makela was a kid he picked on. Noah's sister Rebecca was an extra, as were a couple other kids from our group, Serene Sahar and Samantha Argueta.
Samantha is 9 years old and has done quite well since she attended our Boot Camp in February and was placed with an agency in late February. She has had commercial auditions 2 or 3 times a week and has had callbacks on all but one or two. She was "on avail" for one and she filmed one for the Partnership for Drug-Free America. That's really quite good for just 2 months in the business!
Catherine Black, age 9 and her sister Elisa, 12 are still in "development" and hope to interview with agents in the next month or so. Cathy has had several auditions and usually gets callbacks. She recently filmed a lead role in a USC film.
Another girl who came to our group through BOOT CAMP is Alyssa Monka, not quite 7. I snapped Alyssa up right away and got her placed with COAST to COAST. She had been with another agent for 9 months and had only had a half dozen auditions in spite of booking Mc Donalds her first month in the biz. So we put her with COAST and she had a dozen auditions in a couple weeks including a role on FRAZIER-- and she went to producers. Not bad for first TV audition!! She also was selected to do the anti-drug short film with Samantha and Serene -- pretty cool when a director plans to hire two girls for a project and not only hires both from my group but finds the money to hire a third one as well! Speaks pretty well for the kids in our group. Alyssa also did a USC film and had several days of filming in the lead role. And she had a callback for a lead role in a feature film -- that's still not cast yet. The director LOVED her, said she had amazing talent but that she seemed a little mature for the role.
Little ones --- well, not as much activity for them -- Mikey Watson and Michael Wren, both turning 5 had some callbacks. Mikey had a small speaking role in the film, "The Innocents Mission". Tyler Evans, age 4 had a blast with a recent print job and has big plans for buying more Barbies. The entire Makela family ( including mom and dad) filmed a Mc Donalds commercial -- we're hoping none of them are downgraded. I was ecstatic that week. I had three families ( Gabe Clifton's with Nicki Dixon posing as sister -- and David Henrie's family with pretend dad, our own Henri Lubatti -- so they were the Henri Henrie family). Alas, only one family filmed!
Speaking of Henri Lubatti -- he finished his season on Felicity and then did a guest star role on "ANGEL" the Buffy spin-off, played a French guy on the soap, PASSIONS (weird show!) and then played a Russian spy in a Murder She Wrote movie of the week. He went to producers for several pilots and I thought for sure he'd get one but I guess Whoopi Goldberg didn't click with him as we had hoped!
Looking forward to seeing some kids come back in to town for summer -- definitely Robby Seager and I can't imagine summer without Casey. Sean Timmons from San Jose will spend most of the summer here -- he just left after 2 weeks here and is coming back for one day of filming in May with Amelia. Bethany Allen will be 7 and Coast would so love to have her back in town! Madison Gordon may even move here from Salt Lake so that's so exciting and her older brother is going to try the biz. Shad and Hallie Sager plan to come for a month or 6 weeks this summer for training and some auditioning. Maybe Jonathan Brown will have had enough of Seattle and return to LaLa Land. Haven't heard from Ben Grinberg in Minneapolis -- he spent the last two summers here and it's hard to imagine July without him! Last summer we had quite a houseful -- one week we were so packed! We had Victoria, Hallie, Teru, Phaedra, Casey and Maria! Fun, fun, fun! Our house also had Sean Timmons as little brother. Nearby with John and Ingrid Shaw were the boys, Shad, Ben and Jonathan.
So, that's the latest news. I am
looking forward to summer and feel that it will be a good season.
The kids in my group are so darn good! I was very pleased
to hear that someone at the American Film Institute commented to
someone else that Donnajeanne Goheen is almost a legend at AFI --
that everyone there knows how good the kids in my group
are. That kind of comment is as good as a commission any
And remember, LUCK IS BEING PREPARED WHEN THE OPPORTUNITY COMES!
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