I wish I could have taken all the actors and producers in town with me to this year’s ShowBiz Expo at the New York Hilton (at 54th Street and 6th Avenue). It’s a great place to meet producers, editors, filmmakers, publicists, designers, talent managers, agents, and directors who are in ‘the business’, and attend their workshops and roundtables.
Since I couldn’t do that, I brought back some interviews with those attending, talking about what they learned.
But, first, The Expo is more than workshops. I love talking to vendors – acting schools, cosmetic surgeons, theatre marketing firms, among many others. This year, my favorite was Danforth Prince, President of Blood Moon Productions, whose company is “applying the tabloid standards of today to the Tinseltown scandals of yesterday”.
Danforth greeted me and Judy Stadt, whose radio program “The Lunch and Judy Show” I appear on weekly, with a warm smile and introduced us to his publications including “Howard Hughes Hell’s Angel”, “Humphrey Bogart, The Making of a Legend”, and “Merv Griffin: A Life In the Closet”. Hey, I love reading ‘dirt’ about Hollywood legends, and I had a feast browsing through the books in front of me and schmoozing with Danforth, who has co-written several of the ‘exposes’ with celebrity biographer Darwin Porter.
Take a look at the Blood Moon Productions website, and watch the short video of Danforth Prince explaining what motivates his company to write a series of new biographies of Hollywood celebrities with ‘a daring kind of love’. I can’t wait to read the newly-released “Damn You Scarlett O’Hara”. Do they really have evidence of the Danny Kaye/Laurence Olivier affair? Watch Danforth talk about this new book.
He gave me a copy of “Hollywood Babylon Strikes Again!”, described as “More of the lurid, “Dare-Not-Speak-Its-Name” stories that even Confidential Magazine in the 50s was afraid to print. Once again, beautiful bombshells and handsome hunks emerge from The Glory Days of Hollywood, unapologetically presented at their sleaziest, most corrupt, and most deliciously decadent. I read it cover-to-cover on the Greyhound Bus as I made my way back to The Nation’s Capitol at 2 AM on Sunday morning. It was so sleazy, and I felt so slimy after I finished reading it by the time I reached the DC station, that I had to take a shower right away when I walked into my home!
Watch Danforth interview the 2010 ShowBiz Expo’s organizer Zach Lezberg who talks about what ShowBiz Expo is about.
And now for some attendees:
Last year, I interviewed a young playwright, filmmaker, a veteran director, and a Silver Spring, MD singer, dancer, writer, poet, composer, producer, songwriter, and musician.
This year as I met a director/producer, a motivational speaker/entertainer, and a dance educator/singer who shared their experiences and future goals with me: Judi Mark, Susan Horowitz, and Ty Turner. All three are very personable, experienced, and have worked very hard to succeed during a difficult financial time.
Judi Mark: I have been a dance educator for many years and am now on my own pursuing my artistic fulfillment. Please visit me on my website: I regularly sing at the Algonquin Hotel in NYC on Sundays at 7:30.
Susan “Dr. Sue” Horowitz, Ph.D.: I am a Motivational, Entertaining Speaker, author of the best-selling book: “Queens of Comedy” (based on my interviews with famous comedians like Lucille Ball and Carol Burnett), a Singer-Songwriter of the CD “Keys of Love”.
I’m also a Blogger and singing host of the JCT Variety Show. I am a Professor, and award-winning author of musicals, plays, screenplays (“Cine Golden Eagle)”, and children’s books. I have written a book of poetry called “I Am Loved”, and composed many songs, I have appeared on TVand radio Appearances including: E! Entertainment, NBC Must See TV, Good Day New York, MTV, and the Joe Franklin Show. Many of my clients include corporations, cruises, colleges, resorts, associations, hospitals, and my C.U.N.Y. students. My mission is to entertain, educate, and empower my audiences. My website is here.
Ty Turner: I am a Director/Producer for Tacao Films. The bug first hit me for directing was being on the set of the film “Atlantic City” starring Burt Lancaster and Susan Sarandon (non-credit) standing behind the director and learning how movies are made. From there I started following other films being made “12 Monkeys” starring Bruce Willis as well as others. I joined and became a member of The local film festival committee showcasing the film “Sling Blade” Billy Bob Thornton. Along the way I started attending workshops which let me to connecting with people in film, television, radio and theater, in which I either directed, produced or acted in.
Joel: Why did you attend the ShowBiz Expo?
Judi: I wanted to connect with professionals in the field for learning and networking experiences.
Susan: I attended the ShowBiz Expo to make connections in the entertainment industry to further my career as a performer, writer, speaker, and media host.
Ty: I attended showbiz today to meet and network with other talent in the business and to get Up to speed with some of the latest technology used in the business.
Joel: What were some of those suggestions you picked up, and have you acted on them since you left the Showbiz Expo?
Judi: I attended the workshops that pertained to performers, producers, casting directors and writers. I was able to share my experience and listen to others, and make connections with those who had common pursuits. You gave me some leads in the DC and Philly area, but I need someone to help me present my work.
Sue: I attended the workshop where we met and did on-camera interviews at several booths for JCT Multimedia. It opened up opportunities in the following areas: creating and performing my singing act for cruise ships, resorts, and special events; producing my family audience play and film and my multi-cultural musical “Boulevard X”; finding an agent for my acting or singing; appearing in the media as a guest performer and/or author of my book “Queens of Comedy”; and finding guest for the JCT Variety Show, where I am the Singing Host/Interviewer. I have acted on these lead since the Show Biz Expo, and I hope to have some concrete success.
Ty: I attended the directors focus groups, learning from others their approach to the business and meeting people like you Joel, Judy Stadt, Tim Price, Producer Van Dean as well others. I was given some advice in the areas of directing in 3D, Promotions, filming in other states. It was suggested that I do some voiceovers from a rep from Doriane Elliott casting.
Joel: What’s next for you?
Judi: I learned it’s important to follow up with my new connections. As I continue to build my show, I am looking for representation and promotion of my product. I will also continue to audition and submit myself for SAG and AFTRA roles on film and TV as well as constantly take class, rehearse with the top pros in the field and look for ways and means to present myself in professional venues.
Sue: I am continuing to pursue these leads and continue to create.
Ty: I am finishing my short film (in post now) and to continue to try in making and creating great capture.
The next ShowBiz Expo is on December 4-5, 2010 at the Los Angeles Convention Center, in Los Angeles, CA. You can register for free here or check back on their Web site for news of next year’s meeting in NYC.