Attention actors, writers and directors...Get into the ACTS!
East West Players is currently accepting renewal and new membership registration for its career development program, Alliance of Creative Talent Services (ACTS). Come be a part of the growing APA artistic community by joining our program, which seeks to educate as well as heighten the visibility of Asian American artists.
In the past. ACTS members have participated in special events sponsored by major television networks. This last year ABC, CBS, and NBC held talent showcases. From these showcases, various artists signed with new representation, booked jobs, and one even landed a series lead on a CW pilot. Thanks to Suzy Nakamura (Help Me Help You - NBC series), two lucky ACTS members spent a day on the set with Suzy after attending an ACTS mixer and winning a raffle. CBS VP of Casting Mini Series Fern Orenstein conducted workshops focusing on headshots, and veteran voice over artist Karen Huie lead an ADR (Additional Dialogue Replacement) workshop.
For a $100 membership fee, here are some of the benefits you can expect:
Membership for ACTS are currently being accepted online. You may join at any time and your membership renewal date is based upon the date you join. Please go to www.ewpacts.org/join and become a member now!
Questions? Contact Arts Education Director Marilyn Tokuda at email@example.com or (213) 625-7000 x15.
EWP and the APA Media Coalition
How EWP A.C.T.S. began: After the LA Times wrote the startling article in 1999 that stated that, in 26 new prime time tv shows premiering that fall, there were no actors of color appearing as regulars, a number of APA actors and activists, including current EWPACTS member Jack Ong, responded with outrage and a call to action. Ironically, EWP was founded by a number of Asian American actors and artists who were frustrated by the lack of opportunities in Hollywood back in 1965, so this was a natural cause for us to take up. We were founding members of what has become the Asian Pacific American Media Coalition, and in August of that year, we were invited out to the Baltimore headquarters of the NAACP, along with representatives from the Latino and Native American communities, and we agreed to join in coalition with them in trying to negotiate with the four major networks (which include ABC, CBS, FOX and NBC) agreements that would presumably lead to greater diversity in their prime time lineups.
It took about a year to hammer out agreements with each of the four networks, but by August of 2000, all four of them had agreed to devote a large part of their focus on increasing diversity. The APAMC is made up of a number of different civil rights groups that include groups representing the Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Filipino, Southeast Asian and South Asian communities.
The National Asian Pacific American Legal Consortium, an umbrella group that lobbies on civil rights issues in Washington DC, is probably the most active organization in terms of leadership, and East West Players is probably the most active in terms of setting up projects and initiatives with the various networks.
Other Los Angeles-based members of the Media Coalition include Visual Communications, the Media Action Network of Asian Americans, and the Asian Pacific Legal Consortium. Obviously, change is coming slowly. Each year, the various different coalitions get together, and each of them gives each network a letter "grade", based on the work they've done in increasing diversity. They are graded in a number of different areas, including the number of regulars in prime time, the number of recurring roles, and their percentages overall. They're also graded in other areas, like writers, directors, producers, and other areas, like vendors and things that you're probably not so interested in.
The regulars in prime time are by far and away the most heavily weighted, though we also give each network credit for their "commitment to the initiative", which means, what kind of programs do they have in place to get more people of color in front of and behind the cameras? In addition, the entire coalition grades each network, and these are invariably the ones that the LA Times and other media outlets run with.
In 2009, FOX and NBC received C+'s, ABC and CBS both received B-'s. Currently, all the networks have hired VPs of Diversity and we are happy to say that they are not only willing to help us but continue to actively solicit ideas for programs. Many of the ideas have been implemented with great success and we are proud to see many of our EWP ACTS members participate.
This program is sponsored in part by the National Endowment for the Arts and the California Arts Council.
EAST WEST PLAYERS