LISTEN TO THE KEYNOTE SPEAKERS
Founder + Host
Known to many as “The Booking Magnet”, Christine Horn is a Broadway, film and television actress, a career coach for actors and the author of “Playing Small: The Actor’s Guide To Becoming A Booking Magnet.”
Inside her online show, Actors Daily Bread and her podcast The Hollywood Bound Actor, Christine reveals how she cracked the code to become a working actor.
With over 20+ years of experience and over 65 Film/TV credits, you’ve seen Christine in Snowfall, Grey’s Anatomy, Black-ish, Stomp the Yard, Good Girls, S.W.A.T, Terminator: Dark Fate, The Good Doctor, Tyler Perry's The Haves and the Have Nots and Boo! A Madea Halloween just to name a few.
Christine believes that most actors play small. Their thoughts sabotage their success. And she's on a mission to help other actors master their mindset, acting, marketing and auditions. That way, they can have the career they desire and deserve.
Actor + Coach
Since starting his acting career in 2008 as an improviser and stand up comedian. As of now Dave has over 300 bookings in film, tv, commercial, and industrial and voice over work. As a writer, producer, and director, Dave has over 200 corporate, social media, and commercial videos under his belt.
Dave’s 20 years of teaching experience, public speaking, and business knowledge combined with his over 12 successful years in the entertainment industry have allowed him to help thousands of actors and entrepreneurs grow their careers through his classes, workshops, and one-on-one coaching.
Celebrity Makeup Artist
DAY BYRD, formerly known as DAY HILL, may be one of the most innovative in the industry. She has been a driving force behind many brands that are household names. With over 20 years of experience in the entertainment industry she has worn many hats. From wardrobe stylist to wig designer, makeup artist, to brand creator, DAY BYRD is best known for creating the iconic makeup looks that helped seal the popularity of pop sensation Nicki Minaj.
Day has had the opportunity to work with many of today's celebrity trendsetters such as Ciara, NeNe Leaks, Missy Elliot, Tony Award Nominee Saycon Sengbloh, Broadway legend Kenny Leon, super model Jessica White, Fantasia, Sheree Whitfield, Chilli of TLC, Drake, Lil Wayne and many more. Her work has been seen on the covers and pages of Cosmopolitan magazine, Rollingstone, Essence, VIBE, Ebony, Allure, and several dozen more.
"Creating visually is my ministry. Whether or not it's makeup, wig design, creative directing, or brand consulting, it's God's gift to me... So it's what I give to you. "
"When your goal is to bring your best game, you come to me, because I come to win!"
Emmy Nominated Actor Melvin Jackson Jr. was born on April 4th in Washington D.C. He now resides in Los Angeles with his wife Emmy nominated actress Kelly Jenrette. In which they are the first African American married couple to be nominated for an Emmy in the same year.
Melvin is the father of 3 boys. He is best known for his roles as Bernard on the HBO hit series "The Wire" and as The Bully on the hit CW show "Everybody Hates Chris". He most recently portrayed the legendary rapper Kurtis Blow in the NAACP Award winning BET’s “The New Edition Story”. He is a talented actor, comedian, writer, producer, director, host, & author of a children’s book titled “The Adventures of Jimmy The Fly” that he co-wrote with his wife and is available on amazon.
Melvin also has lived overseas for 8 ½ years in Islamabad, Pakistan & Ankara, Turkey. Melvin has been nominated for Outstanding Actor in a short form comedy or drama series for his comedy web series he executive produced, Stars in and co-wrote with his wife Emmy nominated actress Kelly Jenrette titled “This Eddie Murphy Role is Mine, Not Yours”. Which can be viewed on his website www.melvinjacksonjr.com or on his YouTube channel Melvin Jackson Jr Tv.
LEARN FROM INDUSTRY PROFESSIONALS CASTING DIRECTORS
Jason Kennedy started his career as a talent agent in South Beach before moving to Los Angeles to pursue a career in television and film casting. He is currently casting the popular long-running CBS series NCIS and NCIS: LOS ANGELES. Jason is a member of The Academy of Television Arts & Sciences. He is proud to be serving his community of casting colleagues on the National Board of Directors for the Casting Society of America.
Sujotta Pace (Casting Professional, Stage Manager, Actress, Teaching Artist, Writer, Activist) holds a B.F.A from North Carolina A&T State University and is an M.F.A. candidate at Florida Atlantic University. She recently became a part of the Roundabout Theatre Company’s Casting Team as a Casting Associate. Pace previously worked at Actors Theatre of Louisville as the Professional Training Company Producer & Casting Associate. There she was a part of the producing and casting team responsible for the full season of programming at Actors Theatre and most directly contributed to the casting of the Humana Festival of New American Plays, Beyond the Crossroads, Block Association Project, and Fix It, Black Girls. She also just had the honor of working with Tara Rubin of Tara Rubin Casting on Today Is My Birthday which will be produced by Yale Rep. Previous credits include Kenny Leon’s True Colors Theatre Company (casting director, Protests, Plans, and Red Velvet Brownies) BOLD 2020 ( casting director, BOLD Ten-Minute Play Festival), MCC Theater (assistant director, Collective Rage) and Classical Theatre of Harlem (line producer, A Christmas Carol in Harlem; stage manager, Antigone). She is also a Founding Instructor of a 9-Week BIPOC Casting Training Program hosted by Broadway For Racial Justice. Where she was able to educate aspiring casting professionals on Breakdown Services, contracts/offers for actors and outside casting personnel, the audition process and more. Pace has also worked regionally at Long Wharf Theatre, FAU Repertory Theatre and 7 Stages Theatre. Onstage she has performed Off-Broadway and regionally and is a member of Actors Equity Association and is a member of the National Board of Directors for Casting Society of America.
Jamie Castro has been casting film and television for over 15 years. She is currently casting the upcoming feature film ABOVE THE LINE. Before starting her own company - Castro Casting - she was a Casting Director with Linda Lowy where she worked on GREY'S ANATOMY, SCANDAL, STATION 19, FRIDAY NIGHT LIGHTS and INVENTING ANNA to name a few. Jamie spent much of the quarantine staying connected to actors via coaching and career consultations.
Working with Elizabeth Barnes since 2015, I have been involved with such projects as the Emmy nominated Netflix series GLOW, What/If, Siren and Blood & Treasure. Our work on GLOW also earned us 2019 & 2020 Artios Awards nominations alongside fellow casting director Jen Euston.
I recently partnered with Liz as co-casting director on the Quibi short form series, Don’t Look Deeper directed by Catherine Hardwicke, and the Freeform Pilot, Close Up, executive produced by Pete Nowalk.
I was first drawn to casting while still pursuing a career as an actor. Once given the opportunity to work on this side of the room—I was hooked. I love what I do, I love actors and I am always looking for opportunities to work with and support other creatives in the industry.
Becca started in the industry on the agency side working on a tv/film desk in Atlanta before moving to LA to pursue casting. She's worked on a variety of comedic series in LA as an associate and more recently has had the privilege of working on a highly anticipated drama series out of the Southeast.
Lisa London has been a Casting Director for 30 plus years and has cast over a 100 successful film and television shows. She has discovered and/or cast along with her business partner, Catherine Stroud, many notable actors and actresses early in their careers who have all gone on to become stars; such as Miley Cyrus in Hannah Montana, Jonah Hill in Grandma’s Boy, Emma Stone, Katharine McPhee and Kat Dennings in House Bunny, Selena Gomez in the Disney pilot of What’s Stevie Thinking, Jennifer Aniston in her first feature, Leprechaun, Brad Pitt in the series, Freddy’s Nightmares, Mark Ruffalo in the CBS series, Due South, Megan Hilty, Adrian R. Mante and Victoria Justice in The Suite Life of Zack and Cody and Yara Shahidi in her first television series, The First Family.
Plus in the challenging year of 2020, Lisa and Catherine have cast 7 films that went into production, The Inheritance in Columbus, Georgia, Basement in Long Island, Romancing The Cure in Malta, Canyon Del Muerto in New Mexico, Old Henry in Nashville, and State of Consciousness and Eddie and Sunny in Rome.
She is currently teaching monthly on-line audition classes where she helps actors with
many aspects of their careers such as audition technique, improvisation exercises, making stronger choices, breaking down scenes and she helps actors build confidence in themselves including assisting them to turn their goals into realities.
Lisa also wrote a book, From Start To Stardom (The Casting Director’s Guide For Aspiring Actors). The book is a step-by-step journey, laying out what you need to know to have the best shot at stardom. The book is available on Amazon.
There isn’t much you can say about Sherrie Henderson that doesn’t end with ‘that’s just silly’. Whether it is in regards to her deep love for the classics: Scooby Doo, Inspector Gadget (the original ones done in the 70's/80's) & The A-Team (the original series) [that’s just silly]; her commitment/dedication to casting and the continued success to the actors she meets who are truly artists, and deeply, and passionately love this craft/medium as much as she does; or the actual sandbox under her desk where she rests her feet while she works [that’s just silly]. Sherrie is a proud member of CSA, CCDA, and The Academy of Television Arts & Sciences.
Thus far, she has been blessed to work on wicked cool projects like: Tim & Eric: Bedtime Stories (Adult Swim) Comedy Bang! Bang! (IFC) The Birthday Boys (Exec. Prod. Ben Stiller & Bob Odenkirk) (IFC), Jon Benjamin Has a Van (Comedy Central), Tim & Eric Awesome Show, Great Job! (Adult Swim); and most recently a pilot for Freeform starring Phoebe Robinson.
Working in the entertainment industry has allowed Sherrie to cast & work with some brilliant actors such as: Octavia Spencer, George Wallace, Moses Storm, Rosario Dawson, Tracie Thoms, Feraz Ozel, Prentice Penny, Niecy Nash, Tosin Morohunfola, Steve Han, Helen Hong, Vivian Bang, Ashley Hinshaw, Aaron Takahashi, Kyle Mizono, Prentice Penny, Jonathan Groff (the producer, not the actor), and many many more!
Lucky doesn’t even begin to describe how Sherrie feels about the industry, and the job she gets to do everyday [that's not silly at al]).
GET REAL, TANGIBLE ADVICE FROM WORKING ACTORS
Accomplished actress Wendy Braun has built a dynamic career as a versatile performer shining in roles in both film and television.
She’s enjoyed four seasons on the celebrated original Netflix series, Atypical, opposite Jennifer Jason Leigh and Michael Rapaport. TV.com declared, "A stand-out among the recurring cast is Wendy Braun,” for her hilarious portrayal as the uptight but well-intentioned Kathy, on the hit show.
With over 75 TV + Film credits, over 100 commercials + thousands of voiceovers, Braun has combined decades of invaluable on-set experience with her passion for inspiring others. As the CEO + founder of ActorInspiration.com, Braun provides practical advice and empowering tools to help actors create radical breakthroughs in their lives and careers.
Braun (and her signature Success Breakthrough Workshop online course) was recently featured in Forbes for her game-changing work helping thousands of creatives worldwide to overcome obstacles and discover success on their own terms.
Actors who listen to Wendy’s guided meditations say, “I felt better in 15 minutes than I have all year.”
Download your free guided meditation gift for “Easing Anxiety + Improving Well-Being” here: ActorInspiration.com/ease
Enoch King is a Georgia native and he began his career path at Tri-Cities High School Visual and Performing Arts where he met his mentor Freddie Hendricks and joined the critically acclaimed Freddie Hendricks Youth Ensemble of Atlanta where he performed such pieces as Enoch has been blessed with the opportunity to work with Horizon Theater, Ga. Shakespeare Festival, Aurora Theatre, Theatrical Outfit, True Colors Theatre, Alliance Theatre, Jewish Theater of the South, and Dad’s Garage. He has performed regionally with American Stage(St. Petersburg,FL.), MetroStage(D.C.), Heritage Theater Festival(Virginia) and has taken the stage in Amsterdam with ANNE and EMMETT. He is the recipient of the Suzi Bass Award for Best Supporting Actor in a Play for THE CHRISTIANS at Actor’s Express. His movie credits include UNCLE DREW, THE WATSON'S GO TO BIRMINGHAM, DRUMLINE, THE FIGHTING TEMPTATIONS, and MADEA’S FAMILY REUNION. He has also appeared on T.V. with KEVIN(PROBABLY) SAVES THE WORLD, TYLER PERRY’S HOUSE OF PAYNE, BET’S LET'S STAY TOGETHER, and various commercials.
Kevin Sizemore is an established film and television actor and producer known for his down-to-earth approach to show business. Kevin was born and raised in Princeton, West Virginia and graduated from The Art Institute of Pittsburgh and later studied at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts. Once landing in Hollywood, Kevin got his first TV role on “Matlock” alongside Andy Griffith. From there, he has landed countless recurring and guest starring roles on such shows as “Fear the Walking Dead: Flight 462,” “Chicago P.D.,” “Resurrection,” “Under the Dome,” “Prison Break,” “24” “NCIS,” “Rizzoli & Isles,” “Desperate Housewives,” “Weeds,” “Will & Grace,” “JAG” and with the legend Dick Van Dyke on “Diagnosis Murder.” No stranger to the big screen, Kevin has starred in many box office and fan-favorite films including “”Mine 9,” “Woodlawn,” “A Christmas Tree Miracle,” “Ticket To Nashville” and “The World We Make” to name a few. Kevin is also the host of the rebooted classic “The Miracle Show" and currently he is filming a mini-series for HBO/MAX. Branching out into the world of producing, he created GKg Productions and has produced the films “Intensive Care,” and “Believe.”. Kevin is married to celebrity personal trainer, author and host of “Health Interrupted Podcast", Gina Lombardi. Their son Gunnar Sizemore, is a successful voice actor on many animated series "Kung Fu Panda" "Craig of The Creek" etc and is an up and coming writer and director.
Crystal Lee Brown is an Emmy® Nominated actress, audition coach and self-tape specialist. She serves as an on-set Dialogue/Acting Coach for multi-cam television and owns and operates ITAPE LA, a self-tape and audition coaching company in Los Angeles, CA. Her clients have an increased callback/booking ratio and she's highly recommended by agents and managers. Her passion is to help actors gain control of their auditions by having fun and releasing fear. As an actor, Crystal's niche as the hip and witty charmer with an East Coast flair has landed her roles on SHOWTIME, STARZ, NETFLIX, HBO, ABC, CBS, TNT, and The CW, National Commercials for Top Brands, including Apple, Best Buy and Walmart and feature films, including, Warner Bros., Judas and the Black Messiah, Lionsgate’s, Uncle Drew and 20th Century Fox’s, Hidden Figures. Currently, she can be seen as a Recurring Guest Star on Season 2 of Hightown on STARZ.
Carl is best known for his Guest Star recurring role as Officer Gordon on Tyler Perry's The Haves and the Have Nots (OWN network). His recent TV credits include: a recurring role on MacGyver (CBS), Paradise Lost (Paramount TV), The Bobbi Kristina biopic (TV One), and The Quad (BET). Before his break into TV, Carl flourished on the International stage. His performances as Lucius Jenkins in Jesus Hopped the A Train and John in The Whipping Man earned him "Best Actor" nominations at the Jessie Richardson Theatre Awards held in Vancouver, British Columbia (2010-11, 2014-15 respectively). Carl holds an MFA in Acting from the University of Washington-Seattle and has been seen on regional stages from Portland, OR to Halifax, NS.
Laura Niemi started her career as a theatre actor, working with The Odyssey Theatre, South Coast Rep and The Geffen Playhouse. She is the founder and Artistic Director of the Lost Angels Theatre Company, which garnered four Ovation awards (both for her as a performer as well as a producer) for their West Coast premiere of Tracy Letts' "Killer Joe". LATC then produced the hit production "Bug" (with Laura again producing and performing), continuing the company's successful relationship with Letts. After seeing her work in "Killer Joe", William Friedkin tagged her for the role of Pat Monday in "Man From Nebraska" at South Coast Rep alongside Kathy Baker and Brian Kerwin. She landed her first TV role in Joss Whedon's "Firefly", and since then has been continuously working in both TV and film. She can currently be seen playing Marilyn Pearson in the award-winning hit TV show "This Is Us" and has two movies coming out this year: "The Last Thing He Wanted (2020)" with Anne Hathaway, Ben Affleck and Willem Dafoe; and "Those Who Wish Me Dead (2021)' alongside Angelina Jolie.
“You don’t have to be great to get started, but you do have to get started to be great.” A graduate of The Ohio State University where she received her B.F.A in dance, she moved to Los Angeles less than a week after graduation to begin her career. Her love of all things creative (dancer/choreographer, actress, VO artist, writer, producer, director) has led her to fully accept all of her many talents and Keena now calls herself a multi artist.
Keena is starring in Tyler Perry’s new TV show Sistas on BET and recurring on the CW’s All American. She has also had roles on the hot Golden Globe and Emmy winning show Atlanta, S.W.A.T on CBS opposite Shemar Moore, recurring on Amazon’s Gortimer Gibbons Life of on Normal Street and many movies on Netflix such as RedLine, American Hero and more. She also is the voice of many popular video games like Fortnite, Spiderman, Star Wars, World War Z and more and can be heard at Disneyworld and other theme parks for the brand new Pandora World of Avatar and Star Wars Land.
She has danced for many notable artists such as Kelly Rowland, Gloria Estefan, Marc Anthony, Jay-Z and so many more. She also choreographed the 25th anniversary of the hit Broadway show DREAMGIRLS at the Ford Theatre.
Her first short film, Kai, won numerous awards, played in more than 30 film festivals and received TV distribution. Her first feature film led to a three picture distribution deal, she won a NAACP award for her one woman show Keena UnBranded that she also wrote, produced and starred in and her film Lindon Passing was HBO nominated. Through her company, Now, Go Get it Done, she helps writers and creatives develop their content in all stages from pre to post.
DaJuan Johnson is a consistently working actor, certified life coach and the founder of Think Bigger Coaching. Currently you can catch him recurring as Detective Rondell Pierce on Amazon’s hit show BOSCH - the seventh season premiered June 25th. DaJuan’s credits include his ABC backed Emmy campaigned performance on Grey’s Anatomy and his lead role in the Emmy nominated YouTube series The New 30. Credits also include NCIS, Narcos, Suits, Agent Carter, Brooklyn Nine-Nine, Days of Our Lives, General Hospital, Private Practice, 24, and Bones, and now he is also on a mission to help actors #uplevel their careers with confidence.
His mindset strategies are grounded in real-life experience as a veteran working actor. He has helped hundreds of others break through personal blocks and integrate best audition practices so they can book more work and quickly move to the next level.
Leander Suleiman has been a working actor in the Southeast for a lot longer than anyone anticipated. She's a medium-ish fish in a medium-ish pond and enjoying every drop of it. After making a splash on the professional stage, she enjoyed a dip in the commercial market before taking the plunge into TV & film. Her most recent credits include Madam Secretary, NCIS: New Orleans, and Miracle Workers. Coming up, you can catch Leander in a Paramount+ movie (based on a book), a Netflix show (based on a book), a series on the CW (based on a book), and a crime thriller (based on a book)… how novel?
Donna Russo is an Actress, Dancer and Public Speaker, a Performer with two unrelated conditions: FSH Muscular Dystrophy and Turner Syndrome. She has Danced in National Touring shows and Modern Dance Companies. Donna has appeared in many Tv and Film projects. Donna Russo is Lead Actress/Dancer on the International Web Series Donna On The Go Created and Produced by Peggy Lane. Donna has a degree in Dance from Mercyhurst University and was hit later in life with FSH Muscular Dystrophy. Having a passion for Dance Donna still Dances but, differently.
Charity Purvis Jordan is a world-class actress with a background in drama, and a knack for comedy. Charity is a winner of a Suzi Award for her performance in Synchronicity’s production of Eclipsed. She’s a published author, teacher, and co-owner of ArtistDirector Media. She was a “Best Actress” nominee at the BronzeLens Film Festival, won "Best Web-Series" at BHFF, and shined in the Oscar-nominated film "Selma" as well as the award winning series “The Underground Railroad”. Charity can be seen on NBC’s Constantine, on Aspire TV's Mommy Uncensored, or in Amazon’s Z… The Beginning of Everything. Charity has graced the stages of Holland, South Africa, and Los Angeles but is excited to be back home for this amazing event. Charity says, "It is an honor to work with the Booking Magnet again… there is room for all to succeed in this industry."
Carl Rousseau Gilliard is the President/CEO of the Gilliard Media Group, LLC (GMG), based in Los Angeles, CA. GMG provides media consultation, casting, media content creation, publishing, coaching and entertainment production services. His wife, Latonya Gilliard, serves as Vice President of Operations.
Carl is also the Co-Creator of the Bill Duke Media Foundation's Youth Media Camp, a non-profit organization with a distinct emphasis on offering new media arts and financial literacy to inner-city youth, ages 15 thru 18, in South Los Angeles, California.
Carl is a graduate of Michigan State University, and a native of Detroit, Michigan, by way of Chicago, Illinois. Upon moving to California, he dove into acting and landed many television and film roles, which facilitated his masterful skills in networking and forming relationships that has catapulted him into becoming extremely well-respected in the industry.
Carl has numerous film credits, including: Inception (Warner Bros), Red Eye (DreamWorks), Coach Carter (Paramount), and many television credits, including: Shameless, Greys Anatomy, Amazon's The Last Tycoon & House, MD, just to name a few. Mr Gilliard is presently recurring on the hit action/drama, The Family Business, now streaming on BET+. He has appeared in dozens of independent short and feature films. He is also the Creator, Writer, Executive Producer and Star of the HIT digital series, Two Degrees. Season One is currently available on Facebook and YouTube as Two Degrees The Series. www.youtube.com/twodegreestheseries
Along with starring on the large and small screens, Carl has appeared in dozens of stage plays, including Ninth Wave, South Of Where We Live, The River Niger, Waiting For The Rain, The Living Quarters, and Sweet Lucy's Love Lounge.
Carl is an accomplished NAACP Theater Award nominated Producer and Director. He produced and directed, Section 8, Power Couple Struggle, and Peace Be Still in Los Angeles. Carl also produced Steel Magnolias with the FCBC Repertory Company, the drama ministry at Faithful Central Bible Church that he founded in 2006 and led for 10 years. Steel was also nominated for multiple NAACP Theater Awards.
Carl resides in Los Angeles, with his wife and business partner, Latonya Gilliard. His children include Corinne Gilliard, a Producer and Executive at Spotify, Colin Gilliard, Musician/Director, and three Bonus children, Raven, Joshua & Jordan.
Originally hailing from Ohio, Joe came to Los Angeles in pursuit of his dream of acting and has never looked back. Joe has been seen in recurring roles on HBO's LOOKING, LUCIFER and GREY'S ANATOMY. Other credits include guest star roles in MAD MEN, CODE BLACK, TRANSPARENT, THE ROOKIE, All Rise and the lead in Netflix's IN-LAWFULLY YOURS.
Recently, Joe starred as "Malcolm" in Alan Ball's HBO series HERE AND NOW. He was also in the Fox feature Lucy in the Sky starring opposite Natalie Portman and directed by Noah Hawley. He had the pleasure of playing the role of Don Frey in the Fox Feature Ford VS. Ferrari directed by James Mangold. Currently he is working on a limited series for Apple.
When not pursuing his career, Joe is usually with his wife Joni (a post-production executive producer) and their two children. Together Joe and Joni work to instill kindness, hard work, and of course a great love of the Buckeyes in their children.
Brie Eley is a classically-trained actress and content creator from Sugar Land, Texas.
After studying at the British American Drama Academy’s Midsummer program at Oxford University, she earned her degree in Theater and Arts Administration from Marymount Manhattan College. Upon graduation, she worked in marketing at Second Stage while acting onstage in New York City and regionally. Her growing interest in on-camera work, improvisation and production led her to act in and produce the award-winning film We are the Hartmans. The film was an early crowd-funding success acquired by Netflix when they still sending out DVD’s.
Seduced by closet space and sunshine, she relocated to Los Angeles and quickly booked tv (2 Broke Girls, Grey’s Anatomy,) and continued to act onstage. Currently, Brie can be heard narrating The High Republic digital series for STAR WARS and seen in commercials for Ross, Geico, OnStar, and Pizza Hut. You can also watch her on the Saved by the Bell reboot and season 4 of Atypical.
Along the way, she also started Here and Ready, a private collective supporting more than 1,100 Black actresses across the US and Canada. In 2020, Here and Ready began producing educational seminars, hosting networking events for the Casting Society of America and launched a talent database website, which is free to access. This year, Here and Ready launched their consulting arm for anyone who wants to be here and ready, too.
WEBSITE: brieeley.com / hereandready.co