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Jana Black

A Taste of Entertainment Featuring Endless Varieties of Flavors


Film, Stage & Showbiz Expo
Sunday, September 21, 2008
The Hilton Hotel, New York
1335 Avenue of the Americas ( at 53rd Street)
ShowBiz Expo 2008. Photo by Steven Rosen

In the city that never sleeps, it would be a surprise if show business did. On Sunday, September 21, entertainment professionals gathered under one roof with industry vendors, actors, and anyone else involved in the entertainment industry for the Film, Stage & ShowBiz Expo.

For the attendees, the Expo provided an opportunity to generate new customers and introduce new products and services. It seemed like showing up at ShowBiz Expo could jump start anyone's career in entertainment, whether the aspirant's field of interest was acting, producing, directing, or even insurance or transportation. While walking on what felt like a freshly cleaned carpet at the Hilton Hotel, one couldn't help but notice the numerous booths catering to a never-ending crowd of aspiring actors. They impatiently waited in line at registration, meanwhile fixing their hair or outfits, fidgeting, and hoping to be discovered at one of the many Broadway auditions taking place throughout the day.

One step further down the south corridor was the Headshot Lane, a section reserved for photographers who specialize in shooting actors' headshots. Although the lane was announced as the perfect place for casting directors looking for fresh talent, reality looked slightly different. It was crowded with actors looking to have their pictures taken and maybe secretly anticipating an actual casting director to arrive. Could it be that this anticipated personage got lost somewhere around the tooth whitening booth?

ShowBiz Expo 2008. Photo by Steven Rosen

Besides luring young actors into investments that promise to boost their career, the ShowBiz Expo also offered a wide range of exciting new software, like FrameForge 3D Studio2, designed to assist filmmakers in previsualization and storyboarding. Another potentially lifesaving resource was "Framepool," an online digital archive containing a collection of over 3000 hours of footage available to filmmakers worldwide. With these and many other pampering services being offered to people in the industry, one couldn't help but wonder where the line between technology and art really lies.

Somewhere between the section for theater make up and International Insurance Brokers was the booth of the Midtown International Theatre Festival, offering a variety of comedies, dramas, musicals and readings taking place in seven theaters in Manhattan. Another organization catering to theater audiences was the Theater Development Fund (TDF), which offers a variety of memberships and access to affordable ticket prices. What a bliss in a society desperately trying to remain cultured while digging through endless ticketing websites in search for affordable admission to many shows.

ShowBiz Expo 2008. Photo by Steven Rosen

Apart from the variety of exhibitors, the "ShowBiz Expo" also offered a large number of workshops, master classes and forums that covered all aspects of show business from financing a film project to special effects, insurance, and distribution. It also featured production meetings, movie screenings and live casting calls.

The Film, Stage & ShowBiz Expo was originally envisioned by producer Zachary Lezberg, who observed a lack of an event that incorporates all fundamentals of, film, television, theatre, music and all other components of the entertainment industry. The result was a one of a kind melting pot for industry professionals, performers, publicists, marketing companies, and many others.

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