If you're in the area, come out to Swig in Perrysburg tonight at 9:00pm. Sit back and enjoy food while listening to a live acoustic set by Paytra Gessler and Chris Brown. LIKE Paytra's Facebook page to keep updated on where she is playing and to follow her journey.
Tatiana Owen's song "I Know U Know" was recently featured on CBS's Person of Interest. This week it will be featured on Smule's Sing! app. Sing your favorite songs from the top hits, or perfect a song and then share it with the world.
Tatiana goes live this Tuesday, November 12th at 12:00pm est. Sing along with Tatiana and Sing! fans from around the world.
Supernatural fans check out the trailer for Mary Loss of Soul. After Mary, the 15 year-old, vanishes from her family's lake house, she returns without any memory of the traumatic events she has experienced. A wrathful spirit begins haunting them but the Solis family's biggest fear is watching Mary unbecome.
SB-EG's Anne Bex plays Sophia Solis, Mary's younger sister.
"Newcomer Anne Bex is as comfortable in front of the camera as she is on the playground. As bright and charismatic in real life as she is onscreen, Director Jennifer B. White has called Anne Bex the new young Drew Barrymore."
Keep an eye out for the release of Mary Loss of Soul sometime in 2014 after the film festivals!
SB-EG's very own Olivia Stuck is headed to the premiere of "Last Vegas" in New York City tonight! Olivia plays the role of young Sophie alongside Douglas, De Niro, Freeman and Kline in the movie.
"Last Vegas" tells the story of four childhood friends that head to Las Vegas to relive their glory days but quickly realize that the decades have transformed Sin City and tested their friendship in ways they never imagined.
"Last Vegas" is in theaters this Friday, November 1st.
Paytra has always been a go-getter. She never lets anything stand in her way of doing what she is truly passionate about which is singing/songwriting. She puts her heart in all that she does and most importantly wants to connect to her audience, so let her know what you think of her new single and what you hope to hear from her in the future!
Check out her other songs such as "The Party Never Ends" that is about her love affair with New York City, "BFFL" is all about the perks of having a best friend for life and "I'm Not That Girl" empowers young women to be strong and independent.
We look forward to hearing many more songs in the future by this up and coming artist. Stay tuned for her "Runaway Love" video!
Auditioning in New York City is always an interesting adventure. Most production companies will rent some studio space for a few hours at a time in an old office building in Midtown. The studios are often cramped and noisy. The walls are thin and the actors are many.
This past week I auditioned on the 12th floor of an office building, on 36th street, for a role in a pilot of a comedy series. There were no audition appointments, so there was about 20 to 25 people waiting in a narrow hallway for their two to three minutes of face time with the casting directors and producers. Everyone is trying to be nice and courteous but the tension and nerves make the room feel heavy and cramped.
Everyone has their headshots, resumes and the “sides” that we were provided to look over before performing them. I had about an hour of time in the holding area. Like with most auditions, one or two people in the hallway nervously cannot stop talking. These two individuals begin rehearsing the same part for which I was auditioning.
It did not take long for me to realize that these guys were making the same mistake that I have seen time and time again. Their problem was that they were “acting”. It was so obvious that they were “acting”, that I would bet a lifetime of earnings that they do not get so much as a callback for the role.
When the art of acting is developed properly, it comes across as being very real and conversational in nature. When the scene calls for two people to have a dialogue, it should look and sound like a real conversation that two people, in real life, would be having.
When preparing for an audition that calls for you to perform a dialogue in a “side” or a scene, you have to make the casting directors feel as though this is a real conversation between two people.
Listen: You need to listen to your scene partner. Don’t make the mistake of only “hearing” the words and waiting for your turn to speak. A real conversation between two people will involve hearing the words, but also matching the energy and tone of the other person. Really take the time to listen to how the person is delivering their side of the conversation to you and your job is to match that tone and energy.
Natural pauses: In a normal conversation between two people, the conversation would not sound rehearsed or planned. A normal conversation involves two people that have no real idea exactly what the other person is going to say or how they are going to say it. In a real conversation, each person listens to what is being said to them and they think for a moment of a response and then they deliver the response. Don’t rush so quickly to say your lines. It will come across as rehearsed and disingenuous.
Expressions: Being “real” as an actor is not only about what you say, but your body language as well. Too many actors forget that the character is a “real” person. If the script call for you to say, “No, I don’t believe you,” for instance, there is going to be some sort of natural movement of your body that indicates, “No.” That movement may be a wave of a finger back and forth or a shaking of the head back and forth. In a real conversation, you wouldn’t just tell someone “No” and then not have the body language that would back that response.
Remember, it is acting. This isn’t rocket science. Be natural. Be human. Be real.
IMTA is not the only reason to contact SB-EG. Yes, many of the top actors, performers and models at SB-EG go on to the national stage at IMTA with hopes of beginning a professional career. There are, however, a large group of individuals that come to SB-EG with much more modest and career-driven goals. Public speaking, gaining confidence in large group settings and the inner challenge are just some of the reasons that people have contacted SB-EG and embarked on this journey.
As a product of SB-EG, and an IMTA alum, I can attest to the remarkable changes that I witnessed in both myself, and the people around me. I began an acting career at the age of 43. You are never too old to begin a new career. Had I not decided to make acting my fulltime profession, I would still have benefitted from the remarkable workshops and been able to apply them to any professional career.
Communication Skills: The ability to confidently communicate with people is a common denominator of successful individuals in all walks of life. The ability to display a certain sense of confidence and have a “presence” is an attribute that is priceless. Too many people speak with their head down, nervously fidgeting with their hands, not looking people in the eyes and their voice trails off insecurely. Spending time in workshops with SB-EG is a way to overcome these negative habits and showcase a new found sense of confidence in the workplace.
Public Speaking: Some people feel more comfortable in smaller groups and have a fear of speaking in public settings. Large groups of people can seem intimidating to some people, particularly if they lack confidence in what they are saying or in themselves. Acting workshops at SB-EG are a great way to overcome these fears. Learning to convey a positive and confident message to a large group of people is what SB-EG workshops teach you. The classes are non-judgmental and very hands-on experiences with seasoned actors giving you constructive advice.
Voice and Speaking Coaches: A major component of being able to communicate effectively is your ability to speak in a clear and concise manner. By taking the acting workshop classes at SB-EG, you will learn some very effective vocal techniques to help you speak more clearly and enunciate properly. The classes involve vocal and physical warm-up exercises. These exercises will help you to use your diaphragm when speaking and develop better speech patterns. As an actor, or as a business professional, the ability to speak clearly is essential to gaining attention and respect from your audience.
Becoming and actor and preparing for IMTA is the reason that I chose to contact SB-EG. What I gained from their experience and guidance is a set of skills that are far more universal than I would have anticipated. If your goal is to put yourself in a position to potentially embark on a career in the entertainment industry, there is no better advice that I can give you than to contact SB-EG immediately. If you are a professional and are looking to improve your confidence and speaking abilities, please phone 419-474-4777 or email to SB-EG(
The movie features Robert De Niro, Michael Douglas and Morgan Freeman who play three sixty-something year old friends who take a break from their day-to-day lives to throw a bachelor party in Las Vegas for their last remaining single pal.
Check out the trailer and stop it at the 2 minute mark to see a glimpse of Olivia!
Lyman, a scout from New York City, came to our Starbound studio a couple weekends ago to help find Toledo and surrounding areas hidden treasures.
This gave aspiring models, actors, singers, dancers and songwriters the opportunity to audition and show off their talents in front of Lyman, Wendi Davis and the SB-EG directors.
We had such a great turn out and found a lot of great talent that were accepted to go to IMTA.
What is IMTA? It is the International Modeling and Talent Association where the world's top model and talent agents, managers and casting directors come to find new faces. SB-EG is known for taking their students national to L.A. and NYC and most of our success stories have come from taking them to IMTA.
IMTA offers unique performance and educational opportunities for aspiring models, actors, singers, dancers and songwriters to showcase their skills and learn from the industry professionals who can get their career started.
We have already started working with our new and old talent to prepare them for IMTA. We are so excited to hone their craft, teach them how to audition and help them make the connections they need to be successful in this industry!
When I first began working with Starbound Entertainment, in February, 2013, I was told that I needed to choose a monologue that I would memorize and use for the IMTA competition in July. The monologue needed to be no more than 60 seconds in duration and it needed to be something that I was comfortable performing in front of a large group of people. The monologue that I chose, which began as something I would only perform in the IMTA competition, evolved into one of the most valuable assets in my acting resume.
My primary monologue, a dramatic piece, has evolved with me as an actor. I have performed my monologue at countless auditions and it has helped me book several paid acting gigs in just a short amount of time. Casting directors often tell you to bring your own monologue to an audition. That monologue is your first, and sometimes last, chance to impress the casting agents. It needs to be performed flawlessly and with the energy and personality required to draw attention to yourself and distinguish you from the other hundreds of actors auditioning for the same roles.
What is a Monologue?
To many actors it seems as though everyone would have this inherent knowledge of what a monologue, as opposed to a dialogue, entails. Many people, myself included, who are just diving into an acting career, have never performed, nor have ever been exposed to, a monologue. I literally had to go home, after my first acting class at SB-EG and research the subject before I could make an educated decision.
A monologue is one actor that acts out a scene, alone, on stage. Typically speaking, a monologue is a speech given by the actor that is a small, dramatic, part of a larger scene or act for a movie or performance. The actor delivers the scene in a dramatic way as to give the audience a glimpse of their personality or struggle. Monologues can be dramatic, comedic, modern or classical. Although monologues in IMTA are limited to one minute, they are, generally, up to two or three minutes in length.
What Kind of Monologue Should I Choose?
Your personality, age, gender, appearance and level of comfort all play into the decision on what type of monologue to choose. Remember that this is a piece of work that you are going to memorize and develop to perform in front of complete strangers. It needs to be a reflection of not only your acting ability, but your personality as well.
Age and gender specifications are the easiest, and first, place to start. My very first monologue I chose was a comedic piece that just didn’t fit with my age. It became clear that the piece was written for a single, twenty-something guy. Clearly, and this goes without saying, you would not choose a monologue that is obviously written for the opposite sex. Some monologues are sex and/or age neutral, however, and fit everyone.
Your appearance and personality are the next factors to take into consideration when choosing your monologue. If you are the type of person that comes across as being very energetic, funny and outgoing, you may want to steer clear of dark and depressing monologues for fear it may be too far out of your comfort-zone. You appearance can play a big part of this. If you have the physical presence of someone that is large and intimidating, you may not want to choose a monologue that tries to make you seem weak and timid as it would not fit and would be obvious to the judges or casting agents.
Your level of comfort with the piece is also essential. This needs to be a piece that you feel relaxed and comfortable doing in front of a large group of strangers. If you do not feel comfortable talking about sensitive subjects in front of people you do not know, you will not want to pick a subject matter that takes you out of that level of comfort. Monologues can be taken from any play, any movie, any book or speech. There are so many options to choose from that there is no reason to choose something that makes you feel uncomfortable.
What Are Some Keys To A Great Monologue?
I was once told by one of my acting coaches that, “A great monologue is one that shows at least two different emotions.” This is the best piece of advice I have ever been given regarding the subject. You have to be able to show the judges or the casting directors that you have the ability to show more than one emotion effectively.
Read through your choices and look for ways that you can exhibit more than one emotion. When at all possible, make these two emotions far enough apart so that it really emphasizes the contrast. For my monologue, I chose a scene from one of my favorite movies and it was originally done by Al Pacino in the movie, “Glengarry Glen Ross.” In that scene, Pacino is arguing with Kevin Spacey’s character and he does an amazing job of showing several emotions over the course of the monologue. Even cutting the original scene from four minutes to the required one minute, I was able to convey those emotions effectively.
Another key to a great monologue is one that can be done in such a way as to give the audience a vivid image of just exactly, “who” you are talking to. A great monologue not only gives the audience a glipse into you and your character, but they should walk away from your performance with an idea as to just who exactly you were talking to.
It Is All In The Delivery!
Now that you have chosen your monologue, it is time to practice and cultivate it. You should practice the monologue hundreds of times. The monologue should be so ingrained in your mind that you can do it without even thinking about it. It should be more than, “memorized”. It should become almost second nature to you so that no matter how nervous you get for the performance, the words and the emotions will just flow out without having to force it or think about it.
Be confident and seek out advice. As you are preparing for IMTA, you will perform the monologue dozens of times in front of your acting coach and your fellow actors. Take the praise and criticism and grow from each practice. Every time you perform it, you will become less and less nervous and this will show in your development. Make this monologue your own and do not underestimate yourself. I am of the impression, now that I have been a working actor and been to countless audition, that anyone can deliver a great monologue given enough practice.
Remember, the monologue is your chance to make a great impression and give insight into your personality. Having the freedom to choose your monologue is the exciting aspect of what you need to take full advantage.
Kevin Barbaro is a SB-EG alum that is a working actor, writer and producer. You can follow his career on facebook and on twitter. You can also view his IMDb page.
The diverse group from the Toledo area didn’t disappoint. SB-EG, with a long tradition of discovering local talent, collected a slew of awards over the course of the week. The group, in addition, was highly sought-after by talent and modeling agencies from all over the country. One SB-EG talent, Julia Yu, was named the Female Child Actor of the Year!
Recapping the awards, it is clear that the owners, managers and coaches from SB-EG are incredibly successful with regards to discovering and developing Toledo-area talent. Many of the 2013 NYC IMTA alumni are currently in negotiations with agencies from around the nation. It all started, for each of them, with a simple phone call (419-474-4777) or email to SB-EG (
One of the local talents, 2013 Sylvania Southview graduate, and current freshman at the University of Toledo, Mitchell LeStrange, walked away from IMTA after having been named “Honorable Mention Young Male Actor of the Year.” Joining Mitchell, in that same category, was Bryce Tipple.
SB-EG blogger, Kevin Barbaro, caught up with Mitchell to talk about his experiences and life after IMTA.
Barbaro: What was your favorite part of IMTA?
LeStrange: “My absolute favorite part of IMTA was the people I met. Regardless if I was waiting to go into a competition room or walking around the Hilton lobby, there were always interesting people to meet.”
Barbaro: What was the most beneficial aspect of working with Starbound before entering the competition?
LeStrange: “StarBound had first-hand accounts and success stories with regard to students they put through their program over the years. The experience they shared with me, gave me that extra confidence that was much needed in an atmosphere like IMTA.”
Barbaro: What part of the IMTA competition was your favorite? Your least favorite?
LeStrange: “My favorite competition was, for sure, the monologue. I was able to show my own colors with regard to material instead of just reading the same thing as every other guy. My least favorite would have had to be the entertainment host, as I really couldn’t prepare as much for that one. It wasn’t until after the competition that I realized we really were not supposed to memorize the whole thing!”
Barbaro: Were you nervous at any point?
LeStrange: “I was nervous for the majority of the week; both in and out of the competitions. I was nervous preparing. I was nervous performing. I was even nervous at the awards ceremony. I had to learn very quickly how to mask my nervousness. I feel as though I was able to pick that up really quickly.”
Barbaro: Given what you know now, would you have done anything different?
LeStrange: “I think I should have gone even more over the top than I originally had thought. I regret having that ‘woulda, coulda, shoulda’ feeling after a couple of auditions.”
Barbaro: What has happened since IMTA for you?
LeStrange: “Since IMTA, I have been contacted by several managers from LA that want to work with me. This is all very exciting since I am just getting started in the business.”
Barbaro: What is your ultimate goal with regards to the entertainment industry?
LeStrange: “My ultimate goal is to work my way to the top of the industry. I have always dreamed of this and I don’t care how long or how difficult it is for me to accomplish that goal.”
You can follow Mitchell’s progress right here on SB-EG Blog. We will continue to update all of you on the progress of your local Toledo-area talent.
Here is a list of all the award winners from the Toledo-based group from IMTA New York 2013.
Akemi TV Real People (Honorable Mention)
Kevin Barbaro Male Actor of the Year (Honorable Mention) Cold Read (Honorable Mention) On Camera Host (2nd Runner-up) Theatrical Headshots (Honorable Mention) TV Real People (Honorable Mention)
Tabatha Brock TV Real People (Honorable Mention)
Steve Caldwell On Camera Host (Honorable Mention)
Jacqueline Flickinger Dancing Junior (Honorable Mention) Screen Test (Honorable Mention)
Lexi Galton Dancing Junior (Honorable Mention)
Alyssa Grace Cold Read (Honorable Mention)
Lauren Klocinski Dancing Female (WINNER) Screen Test (Honorable Mention)
Lexi Lee Female Junior Actor of the Year (2nd Runner-up) Cold Read (WINNER) Dancing Junior (Honorable Mention) Screen Test (WINNER)
Mitchell LeStrange Male Young Adult Actor of the Year (Honorable Mention) Monologue (Honorable Mention) Sitcom (Honorable Mention) Theatrical Headshots (Honorable Mention) TV Real People (Honorable Mention)
Chase Owen Monologue (2nd Runner-up) Screen Test (Honorable Mention)
Erin Snyder TV Real People (Honorable Mention) Scholarship to NY Film Academy ($2500)
Christopher Soto Fashion Print (Honorable Mention) Monologue (Honorable Mention) Sitcom (Honorable Mention) Swimwear (Honorable Mention) TV Beauty (Honorable Mention)
Bryce Tipple Male Young Adult Actor of the Year (Honorable Mention) Cold Read (Honorable Mention) Monologue (Honorable Mention) On Camera Host (2nd Runner-up) Theatrical Headshots (Honorable Mention) TV Real People (2nd Runner-up)
Luke Vass Male Pre-Teen Actor of the Year (Honorable Mention) Cold Read (Honorable Mention) Monologue (Honorable Mention) Sitcom (Honorable Mention) TV Real People (Honorable Mention)
Maya Williams Monologue (Honorable Mention)
Julia Yu Female Child Actor of the Year (WINNER) Monologue (WINNER) Screen Test (1st Runner-up) Toys R Us Commercial (1st Runner-up) TV Beauty (Honorable Mention) TV Real People (WINNER)
Yelia Yu Cold Read (Honorable Mention) TV Beauty (Honorable Mention)