By Marina Anderson
It’s pilot season and the Oakwood Apartments in Toluca Hills is buzzing with families moving from a veritable smorgasbord of vendors on Sunday, Feb 15th. Rose Forti, Activities Director, guides guests around the clubhouse introducing each to acting schools, private coaches, photographers and various organizations, all offering services to children and family pursuits of bright lights and fame in Hollywood.
Every year come pilot season, hundreds of families migrate to Hollywood to test their fate at securing their children in the entertainment industry. Confident that their child can be a star, parents take sick-leave and vacations in order to chaperone their kid’s adventure out west. But where do they stay? Where would they get a chance to meet casting directors, agents and managers? What are the noted schools where their child can take classes or workshops that they can’t enroll them in their hometown? Forti helps them co-ordinate it all.
One vendor, Jim Richer, owner of Thexposure Studio in Hollywood, exudes excitement. “It’s a kick to see all the incredible talent that comes to an event like this. Many enroll at our school for classes. We try to offer what no one else does.” Indeed, this popular school is offering a special spring break package that includes pictures, performance slate as well as six workshops with top casting directors such as Howard Meltzer (Hanna Montana), Robert McGee (Wizards of Waverly Place), Terry Berland (Trident, VW, Six Flags…), and Melissa Moss (High School Musical 1,2 &3), all in one week!
At the next table is RPM Talent Agency owner Tiffany Atwood. “We see amazing talent and potential that come to these events and have signed on talent this way. The Oakwoods is probably the place in town for families pursuing a career here.” With Warner Bros. studios practically in their back yard, Disney Studios and NBC in the neighborhood, the Oakwood Apartments certainly is a great place to stay!