In 2009, I was wearing a lot of hats. In addition to directing plays around town and freelancing as a casting director, I was teaching on-camera classes for actors and leading casting workshops for graduate film students. At the end of those classes, the acting students always wanted to know where they could find more on-camera opportunities and the filmmakers always asked about where they could find local actors. Those conversations gave me the idea for the first Virtual Showcase.
So I rented a studio space, put the word out, and then recorded a full day of actors performing scenes and commercial copy. A few days after the first showcase went live, several actors landed some nice auditions and a couple more were contacted by local talent agencies about representation. Word of mouth continued to grow and I decided to try it again the next month. The stories of cool opportunities and great auditions continued with each successive showcase and ten years later the Virtual Showcase is still kicking.
As of 2019, over 1000 actors have participated in the Virtual Showcase and the distribution list now exceeds 250 industry professionals. Word of mouth in the Chicago community remains our best advertising. Here’s to the next ten!
-Matt Miller, Founder & Owner