Acting in New Orleans
The New Orleans market has exploded for actors the last few years – it’s currently the number three market in the US after Los Angeles and New York City for film and television work. The state has offered a lot of benefits, which certainly helps to woo production companies to Louisiana – and the actors who are already in New Orleans and those who are moving there are working to step up to the demands. Shanda Quintal saw the challenge and took action.
In March of 2011, Shanda was in need of a Dutch accent, and when she went looking for resources online, she found AccentHelp! ”I just ordered and started working on my Dutch accent with your program and I’m very impressed,” she wrote to me.
Shanda is the director of the New Orleans Actors Resource Center. ”I started working on NOARC about two years ago, and my main goal was to raise the bar for actors here in New Orleans. Somehow, that has grown to incorporate the entire state of Louisiana and has extended as far west as Los Angeles and as far east as Atlanta and Miami (for actors who want to work in Hollywood South). I started NOARC as a way to try and get more resources for actors down here, and AccentHelp is one of the things they could use!”
Shanda was impressed enough with AccentHelp that she wrote about her experiences in the NOARC newsletter. ”I found a pretty amazing site to help me with accents that you, too, may find useful one of these days. It’s called AccentHelp and they have quite a lot of accents that you as actors may need to use. I’ve gone through the program for the accent I need, and I absolutely love it.”
Louisiana Actors Expo
We connected via email, and I found out Shanda also hosts the Louisiana Actors Expo through NOARC. In the fall of 2011, I had the opportunity to present a workshop for the Louisiana Actors Expo, and finally got to meet Shanda in person. She oversaw the enormous undertaking that included workshops, panels with casting directors and agents, and rounds of auditions – enlisting a huge group of actors and other film professionals to wrangle the expanding event.
It’s been expanding each year and is becoming a great opportunity for actors to network with each other, to meet other professionals in the industry, and to hear directly from casting directors and agents about what works. Shanda said, “Although this was the third annual Expo, it has only been 20 months since the first Expo, so I think we’re doing fine!” Better than fine. Thanks to Shanda’s network of people, the New Orleans market is getting better all the time.