Sep 30, 2011

Acting Coach Steve Coulter

Steve Coulter will be teaching a 6-week Advanced Scene Study Class at the Alliance Theatre, as part of their Artist-to-Artist Master Class Program. Classes begin Moday, October 10th. To register, go to
Or contact Chris Moses at the Alliance Theatre, at

Sep 28, 2011

The Edge of the Woods Casting

We received the below casting notice from one of our clients. This is all the information we have on this. If you have any questions please direct them directly to Matt's email.

Hello Everyone,
I’m working with director Grainger David to cast his SAG short film called The Edge of the Woods.  It’s a very quality project that has already won several production awards, including a $75,000 grant from the South Carolina Film Commission, and a camera package from Panavision.  The visual effects company Framestore (Harry Potter, Captain America, The Smurfs, Salt) has signed on as a co-producer to create the creature in the film. 
The project falls under the SAG Ultra Low-Budget agreement.  Travel, accommodations and per diem will be provided in addition to the day rate ($100/8hours - $175/12 hours).  The film will be shot in Charleston, SC or Columbia, SC in early 2012.
Instructions for submission are copied below as well as attached to this email.  The cast breakdown and sides will come in a separate email, which will be sent out shortly.
Thank you all for your continued help and support.  Please let me know if you have any questions!!
Matt Sefick
The Edge of the Woods is a 15-minute live-action short film about an 11-year old girl who is trying to convince her parents to let her keep the pet monster that lives in their basement. Alice lives in a world that looks every bit like rural, 1930s America. But her small town hides a dark secret. In fact, Alice is one of the last children to grow up with a Thing - a small, misshapen, watery-eyed creature that wandered in from the woods on the day she was born. Alice's parents are conflicted about her strange "pet",  but when the Thing escapes one night and disturbs a neighbor's trash, the local sheriff is called and Alice and her father are forced to bend to the community will. Their long, sad walk to the family's Thing graveyard in the woods builds to a deeply heart-wrenching conclusion.
Grainger David is a director and screenwriter from Wadmalaw Island, SC. He is a graduate of Princeton University and received his MFA in Directing from New York University's Tisch School of the Arts, where he held the WTC Johnson Fellowship. His previous short films have played in festivals around the world. Grainger has also worked as a gas station attendant, a firewood splitter, and a National Magazine Award-nominated journalist, and he once interviewed the President of Mongolia. He is currently in pre-production on his 2011-12 South Carolina Production Fund-winning short film, The Edge of the Woods. 
Instructions for Submission:
I would like to present the best possible auditions to the director of The Edge of the Woods.  Therefore, I ask that you follow the instructions listed below when making your submissions.  If your actors self-tape and submit their own auditions, please make sure they follow the below instructions as well.
Please send auditions ONLY to this email address –
Please do not upload audition videos to any public site for any reason.
Before the submission process begins, please consider the following:
-  The Edge of the Woods is a SAG Ultra Low-Budget project and will pay those rates - $100/8 hours up to $175/12 hours.  Travel, accommodations, and per diem will be provided.
-  When recording the audition, please have the actor look at the reader (who should be right next to the camera) rather than directly into the camera lens.  There are exceptions (for instance, if the audition is for a news anchor it would be appropriate for the actor to look into the camera), but as a general rule, eye contact with the reader works best for us.  If the actor is talking to more than one person in the scene the actor should make sure that their eyes appear to move from person to person.
-  Our director has specifically requested the following – during the audition please frame the actor from their chest to their head.  And at some point – preferably in the slate - we need to see a full-body shot of the actor.
-  Please have whoever is reading with the actor read in an appropriate manner – in a low tone so as not to overpower the actor.  This is not the reader’s audition.  We do not want anything to take attention away from the actor. 
-  Please have your actors audition one at a time.  For us, having 2 or more actors audition for roles in the frame together does not work. 
-  It works best for the actor if they are able to memorize the role they are reading.  Having the sides there to reference is certainly acceptable, but if the actor is reading all of the material looking down, we have trouble seeing their face, and it is difficult for the producers and directors to make a selection when they cannot see what’s going on in the actor’s face.
-  Please put the slate at the END of the audition.  Also, if the actor goes from their performance straight into the slate, please have them pause for a few seconds between the audition and the slate to allow some separation.
- Additionally, please let the audition play out in its entirety for the video.  If you do not this can often cut off a reaction or something else that an actor may be doing near the end of the audition, particularly if the reader has additional lines after the actor’s last line.  It helps us if the camera stays on the actor for a couple of seconds after the audition to make sure we are seeing everything that is there.
-  The setting for the audition should as neutral as possible.  If the actor is recording the audition in their house, have them do it in front of a wall or other neutral backdrop.  We do not want the producer and director checking out the contents of the actor’s house while they should be paying attention to their performance :)
-  If the actor uses props during the audition, just be sure it does not become a scene about the prop(s). 
-  Specific wardrobe is not required, but please consider the proper dress for each audition. 
Please follow the below instructions for audition submissions:
-  Submit all auditions to and only this address.
- If you have a question that needs more immediate attention, you will want to email that to me at 
-  Along with the auditions, please send via email (to the resume and headshot of the actor.  It helps everyone if I can show the actor’s resume to the producer and director as they view the audition.  Even resumes with limited experience can be helpful.
-  The auditions should be emailed as QuickTime file attachments no larger than 25 MB (if using a PC, Windows Media or .wmv files work as well).  The current size limit for gmail attachments is 25 MB’s, so if you submit anything larger your email will not come through properly.  Even if you are using a service like ‘You Send It’ to submit, please try to keep the file size close to or below 25 MB.  If you have any questions about compressing your files, please email me at and I can offer suggestions.
-  If the audition file includes multiple scenes, all scenes should be included in the one audition file, if possible.
- Correctly naming your audition file, headshot, and resume is very important for us.  Doing so allows us to efficiently organize and archive the auditions.
-  The name of the audition file should read:
ActorsFirstName.ActorsLastName.CharacterName.AgencyAbbreviation.extension (extension could be .mov, .avi, .mp4, or .wmv)
-  The name of the resume file should read:
-  The name of the headshot file should read:

If you have any questions, please let me know.  While these instructions are very specific, they will help us get the most out of the auditions and help us present your clients in a way that benefits you and the actors as much as possible.
The cast breakdown and sides will be sent to you shortly.  If you follow the above instructions, I know that it will be a “win-win” situation for everyone when we review your audition submissions. 
For the sides email Justine at ONLY IF YOU FIT THE BREAKDOWN!   Thank you all for your continued help and support.
Matt Sefick


Abe: 40-55, Caucasian, Male; A hardworking farmer who loves his daughter, Alice. His
stern, conservative nature is tested by Alice’s devotion to the strange monster that lives in
their basement, and her desire to keep it longer than their community rules allow.

Helen: 35-50, Caucasian, Female; Married to Abe. Helen admires Alice’s independent
spirit, and is sympathetic to her cause. But she also has a basic faith in the community’s
rules about keeping pet monsters past a certain age, and is afraid of the consequences for
her family – and for Alice, especially – if they break those rules.

Paul: 40-55, Caucasian, Male; Local Sheriff. A large man, whose friendly and
personable public demeanor hides a cruel and intolerant nature.

Alice: 10-15, Caucasian, Female; Smart, creative and daring, with a big heart.

Sep 15, 2011

Kids Comedy Corner

Sep 8, 2011

Chez Group Workshop


Shay Griffin and the Chez Group announce a four week children's and teen's acting workshop series, Lights, Camera, Action...! led by Hollywood film director, Lance Dreesen beginning Sunday, September 18th.

Casting director, Shay Griffin, will simultaneously host a parents' workshop on one of the four scheduled Sundays...the exact date has yet to be determined but will be announced prior to the first scheduled workshop September 18th. This event will allow parents to get an education on how to best help their children succeed in this highly competitive industry. There will be time allowed for a question and answer session, as well.

The workshops are scheduled to run four consecutive Sundays, beginning September 18th and continuing through October 9th. All participants will attend all four Sundays...September 18th, September 25th, October 2nd, and October 9th.

There will be a morning session each Sunday from 10 AM to 1 PM for ages 6 to 11...and an afternoon session each Sunday from 2 to 5 PM for ages 12-17.

The sequence of classes is as follows:

Week One - How to Make the Camera Love Us!
Week Two - How to be a Great Film Actor
Week Three - How to ACE an Audition
Week Four - Let's Film a Scene

In Week Four, all the pieces will be brought together and the actors will film a scene...then we will watch it and see how everyone did! Parents are invited to the showing!

Shay Griffin will also view the scenes filmed by each participant in the class following the final session.

The location of the workshops is the Residence Inn by Marriott Atlanta/Buckhead at 2960 Piedmont Road, Atlanta, 30305. The phone number is 404-239-0677 if anyone should need to book a room. Please be sure to ask for the special Chez Group rate of $99 per night.

The cost of the four week workshop series is $265. For your convenience, we offer is the direct link to the training page of the website to get the complete workshop details and to register,

If you have any qurstions, please feel free to contact Mary Ann at

The Chez Group
2221 Peachtree Rd NE
Suite D, Box 335
Atlanta, GA 30309
404-771-1361 (C)