Experts from all aspects of Hollywood bring their knowledge to NRG Center

HollywoodHoustonHOUSTON — Houston area actors with dreams of Hollywood stardom can get an edge on the competition at the Hollywood Advantage at NRG Center October 17 and 18 with a seminar and workshop on casting and entertainment presented by industry professionals.

The Nationwide Talent Academy will teach current proven techniques in vital areas such as auditioning and improvisation while providing valuable insight to the business from the experts’ point of view. What casting directors are looking for and what actors need to know about talent agents, managers, casting directors, resumes, pictures, and more will be covered in a complete intense seminar on Saturday. An additional seminar on Sunday will provide material tools to use in pursuing a career including a Headshot, valuable contact lists, an audition tape, and more. Aspiring actors can take one or both seminars. This is a rare opportunity to learn the proper steps to seriously pursuing a career in acting from top professionals in their field.

“This seminar and workshop gives people in the area an opportunity to meet folks they don’t usually get to meet. If someone was in Los Angeles, it would be no big deal,” said Jeff Gitlin, who is heading the seminar. “Houston is one of the largest community theater areas in the country. We’re providing the means and the ability to meet these professionals who are outstanding in their fields.”

The Nationwide Talent Academy brings in four experts with long experience in stage, film, and television.

 Jeff Gitlin has been an L.A. talent agent and manager and has worked with ICM, 3 Arts, and Abrams Artists. He has produced the wildly popular interactive hit play “Tony ‘n’ Tina’s Wedding” in NYC, Las Vegas, Maui, and Bermuda.

 Barbara Lauren is a leading Los Angeles and Las Vegas casting director with over 4,000 projects cast. She is a recipient of the CLIO Award for Commercial Casting.

“Barbara’s specialty is casting commercials,” said Gitlin. “She has over 4,000 commercial credits, and has done TV and films. She was involved in the ‘Modern Family’ episode that just won an Emmy. She’s also an actress.”

 Larry Pellegrini is the co-creator and original director of the Off-Broadway cult hit “Tony ‘n’ Tina’s Wedding” who helped make it a national phenomenon. He has had an overall development deal with Castle Rock Entertainment.

“Larry wrote and directed ‘Tony and Tina’s Wedding.’ It’s grossed $450 million around the world,” said Gitlin. “He’s worked with CastleRock Entertainment to develop TV series. Larry brings a director/actor/theater background to this event.”

Randi Siegel specializes in finding, developing & producing talent, projects, and in overall career strategy. She has worked closely with the career development of clients such as David Spade, Adam Sandler, Bob Saget, Rob Schneider, and Andy Dick, and launched and developed the careers of many talents, most notably Jimmy Fallon.

“Randi and I used to hang out in comedy clubs, scouting talent and learning the business. She discovered Jimmy Fallon and developed his career, successfully leading him to Saturday Night Live” said Gitlin. “She was an EVP and Executive Producer at National Lampoon, so she brings a manager/producer/studio background to the table.”

The Hollywood Advantage is an educational industry seminar open to all ages. It is not an audition or guarantee of work. It is a workshop to give actors tools to better pursue career opportunities.

“We have assembled a great team to work with diverse backgrounds. Whether it’s stand-up comedy, musicals, theater, acting, commercials or more behind the camera stuff, like directing, we’re bringing an expert in that field. That’s what makes this seminar so unique,” said Gitlin.

“Some companies say, ‘We’ll make you a a star.’ We don’t say that. We’ll give you the tools to take the next steps,” Gitlin said. “We’ll walk you through what to expect at an audition. We’ll get you familiar with the lingo.

“We’ll also let you know what to look for to tell if someone is a scam artist. I saw some company in Oklahoma charging $8,000 to get people started in the business. I was appalled! That’s what gave me the idea to bring this vast resource to areas like Houston.”

The seminar will be held at NRG Center, One NRG Park, in Houston. A parent or guardian must accompany minors.

Registration information is available at

DRAWING: We will have ten (10) tickets in our drawing. Each ticket is worth $300. SERIOUS INQUIRIES ONLY. To enter, CLICK HERE.

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