Sunday, March 27, 2016

N.M. Film Focus: On Class, Casting

N.M. Film Focus: On Class, Casting

BY CHRISTA VALDEZ As a global audience eyes the growth of New Mexico’s film and emerging media industry, locals are regularly presented with opportunities to “get into the business.” Here are some resources and events to get you started.

Class acts

The acclaimed Chubbuck Acting method, studied by Brad Pitt, Halle Berry and Sylvester Stallone, will be taught by Rebekah Wiggins in an intensive weekend course through Southwest Sceneworks. The next beginner intensive is scheduled for March 26. Visit to learn more.  Area casting director Jo Edna Boldin is currently enrolling students for her Audition 101 workshop. Open to the 18-and-over set, Sol Acting Academy has become a theatrical instruction institution here in town. Managed by Vivian Nesbitt, the training resource and performance space offers classes for aspiring performers of all ages and skill levels. A perennial favorite for budding actors is the Albuquerque Actors Studio class taught by renowned local Lora Cunningham.

Get cast!

Albuquerque-based casting companies are looking for fresh faces for the following series pilot and television series: “Preacher,” “The Night Shift,” “Longmire,” “From Dusk Till Dawn” and “Midnight, Texas.” Visit the websites of White Turtle Casting, EG Casting and Lorrie Latham Casting for more details. To be considered for background work on these shows, submit your interest to Robert Baxter via email at But before you do, read the next paragraph. No experience is needed to apply for background roles. The information casting directors find most valuable is an accurate physical description of yourself, including height and weight, hair and eye color, ethnicity, a clear current photo, accurate contact information and any special skills or physical characteristics you have. For your schedule of availability, I advise Thursday through Monday and every day after 5 p.m. Physical attributes like full-body tattoos or no tattoos at all are important to note. Save yourself and the casting director time and effort by being thorough. Skills like horseback riding, firearms training and all sorts of sports, musical and other specialized training can help get you cast; sometimes, what makes you, well, you can even bump you from the background into a featured role. And, remember, casting companies do more than places, faces and types: they also need your car or truck. One of the casting directors listed above asks people to include a photo and detailed description of all the vehicles you own, and that’s sound advice.

Get exposure

The New Mexico Film Foundation’s annual Actors Showcase is a prime opportunity to see local talent in action. This year’s showcase is scheduled for Saturday, March 26, at the South Broadway Cultural Center. Visit to learn more. Sponsored by Cine Magnifico, The Indie Scene is a quarterly film showcase at the National Hispanic Cultural Center featuring some of the best short films, video segments and music videos by filmmakers from all over the state. Submissions of shorts and videos are open now at Dubbed the “little Sundance of New Mexico,” the Taos Shortz Film Fest happens April 7 through 10. Get info at On April 9, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., the state film office hosts its annual Albuquerque Film & Media Education Summit at CNM. Visit to learn more. And save the date for AFME 2016, slated for April 18 through 24. The experience takes place at multiple venues along historic Route 66. Visit for details. A new Southern New Mexico film community effort will take root when the first Film T or C festival kicks off on May 6. Go to to ask questions or get involved. It’s also time to make plans for the Roswell Film Festival. Submissions are open through April 18 at The fest itself happens May 19 through 21. New Mexico film expert Christa Valdez, of, reports on movie industry news for ABQ Free Press.

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