Despite the remarkable evolution of technology, which is giving audiences more choice than ever before, much of the global population is still missing from our screens.
How do we create content, across all platforms, that reflects the world around us and those who inhabit it – people from differing racial backgrounds, seniors, women, people with disabilities, lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender individuals?
During this lively discussion we will hear about how – and why – some of the US’s largest commercial networks are attempting to foster casting diversity. Are we keeping up in Australia and New Zealand? What practices can we borrow and adapt to ensure our huge pool of talent is being represented in a way that benefits actors, audiences and the industry?
Jandiz Estrada Cardoso, Program Talent Development & Inclusion, NBC/Comcast
Jandiz has cast for pilots and series with networks including AMC, ABC, CBS, Starz, SpikeTV and MTV, as well as tent poll films with feature studios including Disney, WB, Paramount, Universal, NewLine and Screen Gems. In 2010, she joined NBCUniversal’s New York casting office, covering all pilots, and the last season of the Emmy Award Winning series, 30Rock. In 2013, Jandiz wrote the foreword for the acclaimed resource book, “Actors Choice: Monologues , Volume 2.” She was Voted “Backstage Magazine’s” Reader’s Choice Award for Audition Coach of the Year, along with other honors. Currently heading all in-front-of the camera initiatives for NBCUniversal’s Talent Development & Inclusion Department, Jandiz spearheads fellowships & scholarships with Second City in Chicago and UCB in NY and LA, executive produces the LA & NY Scene Showcase, NBCUniversal Short Film Festival, and StandUp NBC, where she awards up to 4talented performers Talent Holding Deals with the network. She is a proud member of Casting Society of America.
Chum Ehelepola, actor
Fern Orenstein, Senior Vice President of Casting, CBS
Fern is Senior Vice President, Casting at CBS Entertainment. She is responsible for supervising the casting of long-form and event series, reality programming and CBS's original mobile content. Fern has spearheaded hundreds of actor showcases and workshops as part of CBS’s Diversity Institute program designed to give minorities opportunities in front of and behind the camera, many of which Fern will detail in a few moments. In 1999, Fern was jointly nominated for an Emmy Award for her work on the CBS mini-series Joan of Arc. She is the recipient of two Media Access Awards and two SAG/AFTRA Crystal Awards for her diversity work. In October 2013, she received the Talent Managers Association’s Heller Luminous Award for her work in diversity for actors.
Brett Maline, actor
Peachy Pascual, Director of Casting, ABC Entertainment Group
Peachy oversees scripted primetime casting for various series and pilots for the ABC Television Network and ABC Studios, which includes “Fresh Off the Boat,” “Secrets and Lies,” “The Real O’Neals,” “Galavant”, and “Grandfathered.” Since 2007, Ms. Pascual has overseen the production and execution of the ABC Discovers: Talent Showcase in Los Angeles and New York, a program that aims to discover, train and nurture up-and-coming talent. In June 2013, she also assisted in the launch of ABC Discovers: Digital Competition, the first ever national digital talent competition by a major television network that exclusively targets actors and comedians. Ms. Pascual began her career nine years ago in ABC Casting as an Assistant working on series “Ugly Betty”, “Modern Family,” “Reaper” and “Eli Stone.” Since then, she has worked through the ranks of Coordinator, Manager, Senior Manager, to her current role as Director where she was the executive in charge of casting for series like “Forever,” “Selfie,” “Trophy Wife,” “Cougar Town,” “Army Wives” and “Body of Proof.” She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in English from the University of California Los Angeles.
Erik Rivera, actor
In 2010, Erik had the privilege of being chosen by NBC to represent their network’s Stand-Up for Diversity College Tour. The tour took Rivera from coast to coast, bringing laughter to over fifty colleges and universities. On top of touring, the NBC program has also help put Erik on everyone's radar. In 2012 Erik was honored to make his Late Night debut on the Tonight Show with Jay Leno, a recognition that has been a springboard to many comedy greats. 2013 he teamed up with Eva Longoria and Unbelievable productions and sold a half hour sitcom to NBC, loosely base on his stand up comedy. Last year he achieve another comedy milestone when he was tapped to film his 1st One Hour Special, "I'm No Expert" which aired on Fuse & NuVO. On April 12th, 2016 follow Erik and his family as they star in the highly anticipated docu-series, "Living With Funny" only on Oxygen!
Moderator - Adam Moore, SAG-AFTRA EEO & Diversity Department
Adam is National Director of EEO & Diversity for SAG-AFTRA. Since joining Screen Actors Guild in 2005 as Associate National Director of Affirmative Action and Diversity, he has been responsible for developing and implementing a national diversity plan of action to achieve accurate representation of those groups historically excluded from the entertainment and news media. Such efforts include the creation of educational programs, conferences, and workshops; development of public relations strategies; and the enforcement of non-discrimination and diversity provisions as outlined in the Union’s contracts.
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