‘Star Power’ entertainment industry event set for May 1Written by Staff Reports | | email@example.com
By Chase Will, Toledo Free Press Staff Writer
On May 1, The Mad Ave. Collective will host Holy Toledo: You Got That Star Power, an event that offers anyone aspiring to work in the entertainment industry the opportunity to network with local professionals.
Throughout the five-hour event, over 30 organizations will have information tables listing upcoming casting calls and production gigs. This event will launch the Greater Toledo Film Commission.
“We’re one of the largest metropolitan areas that doesn’t have a film commission,” said Vincent LaMarr Smith, creator of the event. “I’ve been advocating for three to four years to get some energy going toward putting people interested in the industry together.”
Smith said the biggest benefit of attending the event is the human element of meeting face-to-face with professionals who live in the immediate area.
“I’ve been producing films for the Syfy channel, Lifetime channel and for theatrical releases for about eight years,” said Rich Iott, co-creator of the event. “One major benefit is realizing there are a lot of people in Toledo involved in the film industry in a big way. They live in and work from Toledo, but may be involved in projects in LA or Vancouver or wherever. There’s a guy here in Toledo currently producing a film with Salma Hayek, and a lot of people who may bump into this guy daily may not know he’s traveling back and forth to LA on a regular basis.”
Smith and Iott successfully hosted a similar gathering 18 months ago. The upcoming event, however, has been expanded to welcome all areas of the industry.
“We think Toledo could be successful at attracting larger-scale projects. It’s inexpensive, easy to navigate and we have just about any scenery you could ask for short of mountains. And everything’s within 20 minutes traveling distance,” Iott said. “There are also tons of great screenwriters in the Toledo area. Some of their work, which gets stumbled upon, has been used as a basis for production on the Lifetime channel. There’s a lot of underexposed talent in the city.”
“There will likely be many people at the event who are looking to produce or invest in new projects,” Smith said. “For a little guy who may be an actor or actress or director, you’re going to be able to mingle with these people and possibly launch your career.”
Recent success stories of Toledoans in the film industry include Glass City Films, which just acquired international distribution for an upcoming film, and Charissa Gracyk and Gillian Perdeau, cousins living in the LA area who are currently shooting “Holy Toledo,” a film about Prohibition-era Toledo.
Casting for modeling and acting jobs will also take place at the event, so headshots and résumés are recommended.
The Mad Ave. Collective is located at 1600 Madison Ave. The event will take place on the second floor beginning at 9 a.m. For more information, visit www.madisonave collective.com or contact Smith at (567) 868-2994.
Tags: Charissa Gracyk, Gillian Perdeau, Greater Toledo Film Commission, Holy Toledo: You Got That Star Power, LA, Lifetime channel, Syfy channel, The Mad Ave. Collective, Vancouver, You Got That Star Power