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How You Can Become Part Of ‘Hollywood South’

Film IndustryBy now you’ve probably seen one of several film crews in and around the New Orleans area.

But you may be surprised to hear casting directors are looking for someone like you.

Our Darian Trotter tells us how you can become a part of Hollywood South.

“I love you dad, but I can’t just ask you about sex,” actor Phillip Youman is heard practicing his lines. “I just can’t.”

This is how careers in the film and television industry are launched.

Given the large number of productions filmed in New Orleans, there are plenty of opportunities for beginner and experienced actors.

But experts say you can’t just show up for an audition.

“People think that they can walk right into this business and take the world by storm,” Producer-Director Tommye Myrick explained. “It doesn’t happen that way.”

“You may fit the look, but they want to know that you know what you’re doing when you get on set,” Actress and acting coach Jaqueline Fleming added. “That’s where training comes in.”

“You have to come to class, you have to apply yourself so that when you go into your movie auditions, the correct way to handle yourself,” actor and acting coach Trazi Lashawn said.

Meet some famed fast-trackers in New Orleans who are putting people to work.

Trazi Lashawn is an actor who’s opened a production company in The Esplanade Mall.

Jaqueline Fleming is an actress, and acting coach.

Her studio is located in Old Metairie.

Ms. Tommye Myrick is a director, producer, and acting coach.

Youman continued rehearsing, “How am I supposed to have that conversation with my dad, the reverend?”

Myrick’s group and one-on-one classes are offered at the JuJu Bag Cafe in Gentilly.

“Phillip what you’re not doing is thinking and it’s the thought process that makes it believable,” Myrick pointed out.

Our experts agree, it takes dedication and sometimes tough direction.

“It’s very humbling, and you have to be vulnerable to be an actor and open yourself up,” Fleming said.

“That’s why classes, workshops, are so critically important,” Myrick added.

Last year, the film industry pumped more than 531-million dollars into the local economy.

Experts say you don’t have to be a big name actor to claim your piece of the pie.

But before the head-shots, auditions, and call-backs you have to put in work.

“Anybody who thinks that they can act or like to act like they can act,” Leshawn said. “We want to make sure that they can.”

“They’re looking for just ordinary people and if you are an extraordinary talent who’s ordinary in your demeanor and your look, you have a very good chance of being cast,” Myrick said.

If you think you have what it takes to be on-camera in “Hollywood South” you can get started as early as Wednesday.

A FREE acting workshop is being offered Wednesday night between 6:30 and 9pm at the JuJu Bag Cafe, located at 5363 Franklin Avenue in Gentilly.

Contact information for the three acting coaches featured in this report is listed below:

Jaqueline Fleming, Jaq’s Acting Studio,  jaqsactingstudio@yahoo.com

Trazi Lashawn, Best Motion pictures, (504) 800-4573 or becauseiact@gmail.com

Tommye Myrick, The Juju Bag Cafe, thejujubag@gmail.com