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Wishing all of you a wonderful, prosperous, joyous New Year ahead!
It has been a great year and we look forward to the coming year with enthusiasm and positivity.
There have been a few challenges and growing pains this past year and I thank all of the talent and casting alike for their patience during the transitional periods. Namely, in the beginning of the year-I dealt with some personal life changes which were difficult at best to deal with and then in the spring welcomed my two sons to the business, focusing on the summer ahead and that good old saying..."the show must always go on" was my mantra.
Sadly, in the fall I lost my wonderful assistant Natasha who went on to pursue her degree in Creative Industries since she loved working with us so much-she plans on one day coming back. While she continues to work with us on a casual basis, we hope that she will come back full time upon her graduation. Good Luck Natasha! You are missed.
My son Eric joined me as background booker. Eric has truly been a godsend to me and the background division. He has helped me to be able to get back to what it is I need to focus on this year. I receive nothing but positive feedback from talent and casting alike which does me proud! I can tell you that he earns more than his keep working late into the nights, and weekends at all hours, so that clients know they can always count on us to book our talent truly 24/7 as we aim to do when needed. Thank you Eric for your hard work, and for sticking it out. Since he was performer himself as child and understands the demands of this business and has a well-rounded perspective on the booking side, as well as the performer side of things. He seems to love all of the talent as much as I do..and treats everyone with respect, and loves what he does. I am so glad, as this was the thing I feared the most, with expansion. I needed to be sure that everyone felt that personal touch that I was so set upon with this agency. I have heard the compliments, and received the wonderful feedback and it warms my heart when I hear talent say, he goes out of his way to return a message, an email, or wish someone happy birthday! Thank you Eric...we love having you here.
As well, Ryan my other son (Eric's twin) was able to work this summer assisting in the office. Since he is still a student and due to graduate this spring form U of Guelph with his Bachelor of Commerce-Marketing degree, I am hoping he will be able to join us full time sooner than later. It was nice having him the few months around the office and his help was much appreciated.
Michelle our bookkeeper was also a fabulous new addition that I welcomed to the agency in the summer, and she has been fantastic to have. Lightens my load for sure! Thanks Michelle for the work that you do, that helps make it easier to stay on track!
As a smaller boutique agency-I must often wear many hats. I am happy to say it was well worth the hardships initially as I see Eric working so well with all of you, and the background division doing wonderfully this year despite the changes, and the workload. Thanks to all of my principal talent for their patience while I trained him and others while overseeing business operations on the whole this year.
I am proud to say this is now a "family business". I had aspirations when I started this agency again after some time away, that they truly meant what they said when they told me they wanted to learn the ropes, and I was not disappointed. While I bit off what I could chew without them in waiting for their graduation and avail to free up..it wasn't easy..It is all ithoe up..it wasn't easy..It is all worth it now..I see the wonderful men my boys have become andd are endless.
Since I do understand the difficulties as well as the advantages of having a five (5) year business expansion plan in place that include my two sons-I have taken the next steps ahead and I will be looking to expand my principal agency to include a children's division and on-board another principal agent this year.
It is my hope that bigger/better things lay ahead for all of us, and that we continue to work full-steam ahead bringing nothing but enthusiasm, positivity and professionalism to the table for all!
Thank you for your support and patience this last year, and for calling upon us to represent you, or to book for your shows... Your business and loyalty means a lot to us.
Truly appreciate all of you. Happy New Year to all, and wishing you nothing but the best!
Liisa, Eric and team.
Natasha will be working alongside me beginning mid-February through to June. She has worked in the past for a production company as an Intern and is looking forward to her placement here with us over the next four months. She has a desire to work in this business, and will pursue a degree in the fall. L.A. Entertainment is lucky to have her during this time.
Please join me in making her feel as comfortable and welcome as possible. We hope that her time with us helps her with her future career goals and the journey ahead!
This has been a very busy month of auditions for Principal Talent...thanks to all of those who continuously get out to their auditions, and maintain their positive outlooks! You really make my job a joy, and for that I am grateful.
I wanted to take this time to congratulate the following on their recent bookings..
Also, I would like to thank all of the BG Casting Directors who have booked our talent. We look forward to continuously serving you with the very best options for both union and non-union talent. Thanks so much for allowing us to present those to you! I know our talent our super happy with the work, and we are thrilled to be able to assist you with your projects!
Wishing everyone a wonderful year ahead! Best, Liisa
Congratulations this week goes out to the following performers--for a job well done!
Two of our talent appear this year in festival shows..I will endeavor to get out to see them, at the Hamilton Fringe Festival and the Toronto Fringe Festival respectively!
I will post their posters here, for more information if anyone wants to attend as well.
A big congratulations goes out to the talent booked recently on Commercials for Canadian Tire, US hair product, and a Toy Commercial!
Risa, Vincent and Emily...thank you for a job well done! Also a huge thanks to all of you who attend the auditions with a positive and enthusiastic attitude. It is very much appreciated! Best, Liisa
More and more bookings are coming in, and your patience and persistence is paying off! We have moved to an office that is located conveniently located in the heart of The Junction/Bloor West Village.
Booking is by appointment only please.
The new office address is:
3325 Dundas Street West Suite 1A
Toronto, ON M6P 2A6
Tel: (same) 647-686-5277
Located just east of Runnymede.
Hope to see you here soon!
I want to talk about the importance of Mentoring someone who has a desire to enter a profession, with limited knowledge/experience. Many of us can remember being helped by someone who might have had a keen interest in our well being, and shared their knowledge and experience with us freely. This would have helped to develop skills that we could use over our lifetime.
That is exactly how I got started in this business at the ripe young age of "17", oops did I say that??! Yes, 17...just fresh out of high school, four months after working a boring office job surrounded by chemical and mechanical engineers-I had the nerve to approach an agent and ask them to hire me, or else I said, I would find a suitable job likely with their competitor. It was my dream to be a performer when I was young, but there was no one there to fuel that fire-to help me develop the skills I would need to continue on after high school.
There is nothing worse that having no one to direct, to counsel, or even advise. Ultimately, I abandoned the idea of playing in an orchestra, and set out to work. I had to-as I needed to be self-sufficient and fast. I was on my on my own. While my friends were off pursuing the higher education I could not afford, this business, was there on the flip side, welcoming me with open arms-where ultimately I found the place I felt I belonged--and lost myself in my my work. I have no regrets, just wished at times there was someone who could share the ups and downs with me along the way.
The relationship that was built then with my own mentor played a crucial part in my personal and professional development. I still look back even now, and feel somewhat saddened by the fact, that we lost contact over the years, and she is no longer in this industry. Of course, I made mistakes, I did things I can honestly say I wished I did differently-but overall, I am happy with the end result of who I am today. Little did I know that even after years away from this business to raise my twin sons and travel/live abroad--that I would still be here as passionate as ever, and determined to do what I can to help others who burn with the same passion I had then, and still have now.
I would like to introduce to you- "Samantha Hayes" who has embraced the opportunity to learn all she can about this industry from the perspective of an agent in order to help fulfill her future goals and ambitions.
L.A. Entertainment welcomes her warmly. This mentorship will hopefully serve as yet another reminder of how vitally important the trusting relationships are that we have built and fostered along the way!
I hope you enjoy your experiences, and share them with others down the road one day in whatever you do-
by giving back to someone who might remind you of yourself one day. Pay it forward Samantha. You certainly remind me of my own self and my own ambitions when I started, and that is a lovely thing.
Determination, Persistence and Time have a funny way of making things work out.
Thanks for reminding me of that. Liisa.
Lots of Work goes into getting talent booked! Thanks to all who have opened their doors to us as we strive to develop newer up and coming talent who are ever so grateful for the opportunities you have given them!
Liisa Allen understands that with newer, less experienced talent there are shortcomings that over time-true talent overcomes. It is our hope that with workshop attendance, and the experience gained by getting in the room in the first place, combined with disappointments & failures --young and newer talent can learn and grow, and with some guidance pursue their dream aiming towards the future.
It has been a very exciting New Year already with some of my principal talent booked/working so soon in the new year. I am equally excited about the upcoming year for Background performers.
Because I want to ensure you are being marketed in the best way possible, I am going to switch to booking people and maintaining actors using a service- BG4HIRE, and manage extras from there. It is similar for Principal Talent who I have on CASTING WORKBOOK.
If your interested in pursuing BG WORK this season and onwards...I encourage you to build a profile asap using this website BG4HIRE: This service is free to UNION members, during membership drive and $25/year for NON-UNION people.
Agents are using this service with ease, and I myself will be switching to this, since I do not charge a registration fee, at this time for BG performers I will be urging you to be member there so that I may book you with greater ease. Please let me know when you have done so. Their website is below for your review. Most of you have worked with me for the last two or three years, and understand that I am all for efficiency. This will make things much much more efficient. You will continue to update your data on my database as needed. When you build your profile, please ensure you put LA ENTERTAINMENT of course as your agency. Thank you very much!
PLEASE SEE ASAP
Bookings are happening now..and the season is fast coming upon us!
All the best, Liisa Allen
Over the last year, I have been encouraged with the level of professionalism I have encountered when booking Background Performers. Ideally, you have shown up on-time, were well prepared, found the correct location even in the wee hours of the morning, and surely arrive on-set with a big smile on your face to spend the day amongst peers, strangers, and production crew who aren't always as chipper as you may be.
There were however, a few people who I had to remove from my roster, due to lack of professionalism, and lived to regret ever placing them in the first place. I cannot imagine how the person who referred them to me felt afterwards.The fact that they were let them down as well, saddens me- since they spoke so highly of them to begin with. Hopefully the very very small few people I speak about; will reflect and realize that in life you should never burn your bridges.
If you suspect that this is just a curiosity--steer clear. This business is not for everyone. If it isn't for you, but plod ahead....you might encounter a first, second and maybe third booking and eventually, the novelty wears off and you stop taking the steps necessary to ensure that professionalism is paramount while working on-set under L.A.. Entertainment --you may even not care at all by that point. Let me assure you that there is no room for experimentation on a film set, you cannot go to work, and walk off when you feel to. It is a serious business, that has put a considerable amount of resources in order for that shoot day to even occur. It is usually a unionized environment, and schedules are tight, budget even tighter. If anything or anyone gets in the way or causes a delay in shooting, it can be catastrophic for a business like mine. I believe that a new person always deserves a shot at working for me, but usually it isn't until after a waiting period, when I see their persistence and eager attitude.
So, it even surprises me when I get a call-or am alerted to the fact that someone has become a liability or a risk to the production, myself and my client. I can guarantee that each and every interaction I have with you, will be nothing but professional and straightforward and that my expectations are the same from you. Sadly, when you work with others, despite great references sometimes bad things happen to the best of us. I would not hold that against a referee. I simply, chalk it up to human nature. Working on a movie set is not for everyone. But for those of you who are ever willing to run out last minute when necessary, go the extra mile when needed, refer that special friend who had that special skill, or just simply been there at the right time-I thank you so much for a job well done!
It never escapes me that all of our time is valuable. Your time, spent waiting for your call times, late at night, the Casting Director's time spent rifling through my pictures online, or fielding emails back and forth with me, is priceless. I will always give more, and do more for those willing to deliver nothing but the best, for the best. It is a wonderful business when we are all on the same page, moving towards a higher and much more simpler way of doing things. Your conduct, represents me. Your image and preparedness represents me-but most of all, it is the Casting Director who I cannot thank enough for taking chances when necessary to book some of you new faces as well-since it is her reputation that is always on front-lines and the pressure to deliver the highest caliber Background Performers is ever present.