LaTeace Towns-Cuellar

Casting out of L.A. and our Responsibility

We have film makers that have worked really hard and have received backing and distribution and have their projects in and on some really great venues. Then we find they cast out of Los Angeles. It’s frustrating right. Well the deal is…. that’s their deal. The money people/backers put that in as part of the deal. Before you go off in a huff, hear me for a second. The reason they are required to cast out of L.A. for the main parts is because there’s an infrastructure there for that. I’ve lived in L.A. and studied at Playhouse West under Jeff Goldblum. Acting is a way of life there. I may have only been in the classroom twice a week but you better believe that we rehearsed and studied every day. When I lived there my life consisted of class, rehearsal, studying and working out. Hell, I was 25 lbs lighter. Not a good thing. I was way too thin. You can be too immersed in something. I know we have other lives here and we have to pay the bills. You know what, most actors in L.A. are starving actors too. They have to work a full time job too. Now with that being said, it’s probably 4 or 5 part time jobs that equal 1 so they can get the flexibility to audition. There are a few actors who have that mindset here. We’ll need more. And we’ll need the support around us to do it. I’m not saying I have all the answers but I do have some observations and experience. When we have more experience and know how things work, only then can we work to change them. You’re not Superman and Wonder Woman. It’s going to take a very long time to make the changes we want to make here but we can do a lot. Louisiana is now the host of most of the films being made. When I started acting 16 years ago, UPN, MTV as well as other networks came here to film. We want that again. Astronaut Wives is coming in the fall to film here. Of course the main parts are cast out of L.A. but we ‘should’ have the opportunity to show ourselves in the smaller parts to the point where if they get picked up as a show over time the casting directors get more pull and start using us for larger and larger roles because they saw us and said – dang, those Texans really have something to offer (this goes for any city you’re in). We have to work our asses off. Remember this is a business and business is about the bottom line. We have to make their jobs easier when they get here. Not just for them but for our local film makers as well. We have to bring our A game so they can show it to the backers and they begin to trust that we can do the job. Here’s to getting us stronger, working together, believing in ourselves and showing them they can believe in us too.