Recognized by many as the industry leader in actor showcases designed to highlight diverse talent, the CBS Diversity Institute Talent Showcases are in their seventh year and are attended by senior level CBS Entertainment executives, as well as showrunners and casting directors from series on CBS as well as other networks and high level talent agents.
To date, across all categories, 289 actors have appeared in the CBS Diversity Talent Showcases and as a direct result there have been 1690 auditions and from those auditions actors have landed 460 roles.
Upcoming Talent Showcase:
CBS TO SPONSOR NINTH ANNUAL DIVERSITY SKETCH COMEDY SHOWCASE
January 2014 Showcase Will Be Directed by Rick Najera in Association with SAG-AFTRA, East West Players and The Robey Theatre Company
Photos and Resumes Should Be Sent to SAG-AFTRA by Friday, August 16
Or Electronically via www.breakdownexpress.com
CBS will sponsor its ninth annual talent showcase for diverse sketch comedians in January 2014 in Los Angeles. Executive producer and writer Rick Najera ("Mad TV," "Latinolouges" "Nothing Like The Holidays," "In Living Color") will again direct the showcase. Fern Orenstein, CBS Vice President, Casting, will again cast and serve as the executive producer for the showcase.
“Every year, Fern Orenstein and Rick Najera continue to exceed expectations as they feature diverse talent of incredible ability in both the actor and writer ranks for industry insiders, culminating in four packed showcases” said Josie Thomas, CBS Senior Vice President and Chief Diversity Officer. “As part of our broad based diversity efforts, the CBS Diversity Sketch Comedy Showcase has now launched 90 careers as series regulars and recurring roles, and continues to be an industry leader for identifying and highlighting diverse comedic talent,” she added.
CBS Entertainment executives, casting directors from the Network's primetime and daytime programs, as well as casting directors from shows on other networks, will attend the Showcase. Also an invitation has been extended to casting directors from production companies that work with CBS.
Photos and resumes should be sent to SAG-AFTRA, 5757 Wilshire Blvd., 9th Floor, Los Angeles, CA 90036 (c/o EEO and Diversity Department, Attn: CBS Comedy Showcase). Submissions can also be sent electronically via www.breakdownexpress.com through the "actor's access" section and the link listed as the CBS Diversity Sketch Comedy Showcase.
All submissions should be received by 5:00 PM on Friday, August 16, 2013. Please note: The showcase is focused on African American, Asian American, Latino, Native American, Pacific Islander, LGBT actors and performers with disabilities. Actors should possess extensive sketch comedy experience. Each audition will require a one-minute original sketch comedy monologue consisting of unique characters.
The Network's ongoing talent showcases are part of the CBS Diversity Institute, a comprehensive program designed to identify and develop diversity within the writing, directing and talent communities. In addition to the Diversity Talent Showcases, currently in its ninth year, the CBS Diversity Institute includes the CBS Writers Mentoring Program, the CBS Directing Initiative and numerous actor workshops conducted nationwide, as well as writer workshops conducted in Los Angeles.
Other CBS showcases have included Latino American Talent Showcases, Native American Talent Showcases, Asian Pacific American Actors Showcases in association with East West Players, African American Showcases in collaboration with The Robey Theatre Company and a showcase for performers with disabilities in association with the California State Media Access Office. Additional events are planned with these and other groups.
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Most Recent Showcase
CBS’ most recent talent showcase was the eighth Multicultural Sketch Comedy Showcase held January 16th & 17th, 2013, at the El Portal Theatre in Los Angeles and filled the house for 4 performances. 22 actors selected from more than 5,000 applicants wrote and performed their own material under the supervision of Director Rick Najera. The Showcase was produced by CBS Casting VP Fern Orenstein who has been in charge of a variety of Diversity Talent Showcases for CBS since 2002. "The CBS diversity showcase provides an excellent platform for original work in which great talent is exhibited and future stars shine. From the outset of the Diversity Institute in 2002, the showcases have been a critical component and Fern Orenstein’s success in making them a ‘must see’ across the industry is to be applauded.” -- CBS Senior Vice President and Chief Diversity Officer Josie Thomas.
Other CBS showcases have included Latino Talent Showcases in partnership with NOSOTROS, Native American Talent Showcases in association with American Indians in Film and Television, Asian Pacific American Talent Showcases in association with East West Players, African American Showcases in collaboration with The Robey Theatre Company and a showcase for performers with disabilities in association with the California State Media Access Office. More events are planned with these and other groups.