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Milwaukee's Daily Magazine for Friday, Nov. 21, 2014

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In Movies & TV Commentary

Casting agent Paul Weber, who will be holding a workshop for local actors in Milwaukee on Saturday, has casted roles for "Stargate," among many others.

So you want to be on TV?


Actors and actresses who enjoy their craft are happy with whatever role they get to play. However, some stages are bigger than others, and experience and exposure can launch careers.

To be able to make it in the movies, the theater or on TV, one needs to have a healthy attitude and determination, and know there's two parts to show business – the show and the business.

"I have a lot of contacts, so I've had the chance to be in the room and see what people have to go through to impress a casting director. You have to know what they are looking for," said Rex Sikes, an actor and filmmaker from Wisconsin.

Sikes has always been a promoter of Milwaukee and the talent base that resides in Wisconsin. And as listeners of his Movie Beat interviews know, he has a good read on what is happening in productions for the large and small screens.

He is presenting a workshop from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday at 320 E. Buffalo St. in the Third Ward that is meant for area actors to get information first-hand from a casting director. Featured presenter for the event is Paul Weber, a casting director with a pretty impressive resume – "Spartacus" on Starz, the "Stargate" franchise of TV series that have aired on the Sci-Fi network and a number of other notable projects while with MGM and on his own.

"It's great for me to be working with actors in a classroom situation, because I don't get to do that while I'm working," Weber said of being able to conduct a workshop like this in Milwaukee.

Weber said that before people needed to network in the L.A. area for a chance to be cast in a production, but now the playing field is international. He just recently was the first American casting director to hold a teaching event in South Africa.

"All over the country and all over the world, on tape they are looked at as equals," Weber said. "(Actors) have to be as competitive as possible."

Actors may have a preconceived idea about the casting process, but usually, as Weber eludes, that casting directors can see the potential within the person if it is there.

"They need to treat it as a business," Sikes said. "It's really talent, business and luck."

Tuition for "The Art of The Audition" is $175. Actors are asked to bring their headshots, a bag lunch and comfortable clothes, as they will be practicing their craft. Contact Rex Sikes at rex@amazingrex.com or call (262) 790-1993 for details. Find out more about Paul Weber here.

IN THE PITS: As NASCAR comes to Road America on Saturday, you can expect a number of racing enthusiasts to converge on Elkhart Lake this weekend. Sportscaster Bill Michaels will be among them, taking his huge RV on the road.

"We will be right in the pits, staying there overnight," Michaels said. You can hear him locally on 1250 WSSP as well as stations in his network in Sheboygan, Madison, Green Bay, Wausau, Marshfield and Marinette and Marquette, Mich.

The race will be televised on ESPN.

SYNDICATION DEAL: CBS comedy "2 Broke Girls" – which only debuted last fall – has been picked up by TBS for syndication starting in 2015. It's early, but not surprising, for a cable network to pen a deal for a show with a rating success. Plus, it fits in well with is original programming of "Men At Work" and current stable of other comedies such as "Big Bang Theory," "The Office," "Seinfeld" and "Family Guy."

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