On May 8th, 2021 our open call helped performers of MENASA (Middle East, North Africa, and South Asia) descent raise their acting profile and visibility to a powerhouse panel of film and television talent agents, directors, producers and casting professionals.
Over 200 MENASA actors submitted, 80 of whom were scheduled to perform a one-minute monologue in the three hour virtual initiative produced by our team at Studio For Performing Arts LA in collaboration with the MENA Arts Advocacy Coalition.
The following VIPs volunteered to join the panel:
Angela Mickey, Casting Director, Liz Lewis Casting Partners
April Webster, Casting Director, April Webster Casting
Rosalie Joseph, Casting Director, CBS
Ani Avetyan, Casting Director & Producer
Rachael Jimenez, Casting Director, Goodman Theatre
Barrie Adleberg, Writer/Producer & Founder, Split Ends Media
Mike Mosallam, Writer/Director, Brothers, Breaking Fast (President, Mike Mosallam Productions)
Janelle Bernard, Theatrical Talent Agent, Daniel Hoff Agency
Marilyn Atlas, Producer/Manager, Marilyn Atlas Mgmt. & Co-Author of "Dating Your Character"
As a recent study by the MENA Arts Advocacy Coalition showed, only 1 percent of all television actors are of MENASA descent.
This underrepresentation can make it difficult for upcoming MENASA performers to find work and struggle to be seen by casting directors and other industry professionals. We are working together to help performers from these areas get a foot in the door through their virtual open call.
Here are 3 ways you can support the MAAC, a not-for-profit organization:
1) Please click here and join their MENA Talent Database for related opportunities
2) Follow them on Instagram @menaadvocacy
3) Please click here to make a donation, every little bit helps!
This initiative was free for actors of ages nine and up who are of MENASA descent and able to legally work in the USA.
The open call was part of our studio’s scheduled series of events to assist performers from different backgrounds and regions around the world. These diversity initiatives help performers to improve their exposure and be considered for professional acting opportunities and are produced by our director, Walid Chaya.
The following actors were scheduled and performed for this diversity initiative:
Najat Arkadan Washington
Elor De Mayo
Tina El Gamal
Melissa Ngassa Abe
Sophie Zmorrod Laruelle
For information about our next diversity initiative, please subscribe with your email below for our studio updates and follow us on Instagram @studioforperformingarts
For the current studio schedule please visit studioforperformingarts.com.