Aaron starred on the NBC live-action musical comedy series California Dreams. The show followed the exploits of seven high school friends in southern California. Together they formed a rock and roll band called “California Dreams.” Aaron played Mark Winkle, one of the band’s lead singers. The show aired from 1992 until 1998.
Prior to landing his role on California Dreams, he did a wide range of theatrical productions, including Bye-Bye Birdie, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dream Coat, Tea and Sympathy, Torch Song Trilogy, Guys and Dolls, Rumors, and, the critically acclaimed, Bobby Socs It To Ya. Aaron has recently returned to the stage, starring in Arsenic and Old Lace, Owl and the Pussycat, Mousetrap, and Harvey at the Cultural Arts Theatre.
Other television credits include Silk Stalkings and a pilot called Impact, a talk show for teens.
Film credits include Lorenzo’s Oil, From Venus, and Children of the Corn: Fields of Terror (based on the book “Children of the Corn” by Steven King.) Other film credits include Wicked Spring, Heaven’s Neighbor, and Tangy Guacamole, Captain, An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge (a remake of the 1962 Academy Award winning film), The Pain Within, and Biophage. As well as starring in these last films, Aaron was also an associate producer on them. Most recently, he is in production of a documentary called Why God Quit Talking, which he is directing and has executive producer credit.
Aaron has also done a variety of national commercials, including a P.S.A. on AIDS that he received the “Ace Award” for.
Aaron is most proud of the work he has done helping aspiring actors break into the acting industry. He travels the country coaching up and coming talent in the art of acting, specializing in monologue and audition prep, scene study, character breakdown, and improvisation.
In his off time, he speaks to students about drugs, peer pressure, and many other topics affecting them. He also works hand-in-hand with non-profit organizations, such as D.A.R.E., Make-A-Wish, St. Jude’s Hospital, Special Olympics, the Love Ride for MDA, and the Ami Thom Foundation, just to name a few.
Having been in this industry for well over 30 years spending many of those as a working print model and actor, in both the mid-west and NYC, it was a natural progression for Deano to direct his attention to behind the camera. It now has been over 20 years since Deano began test shooting for both models and actors, both new and experienced. He has been very blessed and fortunate enough to have had the opportunity to shoot for magazines, catalogs, record labels and major professional sporting events. His business talents don’t stop there, He also adds Casting Director, Producer, Educator, Mentor, and as an experienced MC/Host, Deano still has the opportunity to be in front of thousands of people from Modeling and Talent events to major sporting events. Wanting to continue to give back to such a wonderful industry, himself and his business partner Aaron Jackson also started Bootcamp for Actors as a way to get real world education into aspiring actors and actress’s. “There is no better gift to give then the gift of knowledge!. “My main goal is to make your photo opportunity enjoyable, relaxed and fun, that way we can let the magic happen and create some really great photo’s. I look at every opportunity as a priviledge. So, what do you say…Le’t go have some fun!”
Karen Kayser Benson
After 45 years of working with actors in New York and California, as a casting director, agent and talent manager, Karen Kayser Benson moved to SW Florida to establish her new business as The Casting Coach. Her passion for the theater and all the actors connected with it – whether it’s stage, film and television, is demonstrated by her role on the board at TheatreZone and as an Ambassador at GulfShore Theater in Naples. While in New York, she co-created Acting Management, a full-service acting school which attended to all the needs of the legitimate actor – head shots, resumes, contacts with agents and managers, how to audition technique and all aspects of the business of pursuing a career in Show Business. As the leading casting director at Steve & Linda Horn, Karen auditioned thousands of actors over 15 years, giving many of them opportunities to earn a living while pursuing their individual passion for the many venues of the Business, at the same time calling many of them personal friends.
Karen welcomes the opportunity to continue this relationship with actors from the local Florida area, inspiring and encouraging all those who seek a role in this profession.
PAUL WEBER C.S.A. IS NOW A FULLY INDEPENDENT CASTING DIRECTOR AND PRODUCER AFTER YEARS AS EXECUTIVE HEAD OF TELEVISION CASTING AND FEATURE CONSULTANT FOR MGM. HE HAS ADVISED ON A NUMBER OF MGM FEATURES INCLUDING THE JAMES BOND FRANCHISE, “FAME”, “ZOOKEEPER”, STARRING KEVIN JAMES, ”HOT TUB TIME MACHINE” STARRING JOHN CUSACK, “RED DAWN” STARRING CHRIS HEMSWORTH, JOSS WHEDON’S “CABIN IN THE WOODS-3D” AND THE SOON TO BE PRODUCED REMAKE OF “TOTAL RECALL”. HIS MGM TELEVISION CREDITS INCLUDE “DEAD LIKE ME”, “POLTERGEIST”, AND ‘THE OUTER LIMITS” FOR SHOWTIME, AS WELL AS THE IMMENSELY POPULAR “STARGATE” FRANCHISE FOR THE SYFY NETWORK. MGM HOME ENTERTAINMENT MOVIES INCLUDE “PICTURE THIS”, STARRING ASHLEY TISDALE, “LEGALLY BLONDES”, “WAR GAMES II” AND “INTO THE BLUE 2”, AS WELL AS “THE INITIATION OF SARAH” AND “CUTTING EDGE ” FOR ABC FAMILY. AS AN INDEPENDENT CASTING DIRECTOR HE CASTS “SPARTACUS” AND THE UPCOMING SERIES “NOIR” FOR STARZ. NUMEROUS LIFETIME TELEVISION CREDITS INCLUDE “THE HAUNTING ON SORORITY ROW” STARRING LEIGHTON MEESTER, AS WELL AS THE ½ COMEDY “JACKIE WOODMAN” FOR IFC, ALONG WITH THE AMERICAN CASTING FOR THE UPCOMING CBC SERIES “HIGHLAND GARDENS” AND “CRACKED”
HIS INDEPENDENT FILM CREDITS INCLUDE, MOST RECENTLY, “ROSE BY NAME” WITH THOMAS DEKKER. HE IS CURRENTLY CASTING “BEULAH” STARRING DAKOTA FANNING AND RYAN PHILLIPPE AS WELL AS “THE UNEXPECTED” STARRING PAUL GIAMATTI, AND “THE STUPIDEST ANGEL”. OTHER CREDITS INCLUDE THE ROMANTIC COMEDY “TABLE FOR THREE” WITH SOPHIA BUSH AND BRANDON ROUTH, AND THE THRILLER “LAZARUS CHILD” STARRING ANDY GARCIA AND ANGELA BASSETT. HIS PRODUCER CREDITS INCLUDE “HOLLYWOOD NORTH” STARRING SIR ALAN BATES, MATTHEW MODINE, AND JENNIFER TILLY, AS WELL AS THE UPCOMING “THE STUPIDEST ANGEL”.
HE IS A MEMBER OF THE CASTING SOCIETY OF AMERICA, THE WRITERS GUILD OF AMERICA AND A PROUD MEMBER OF THE ACADEMY AWARDS HOST COMMITTEE.
MR. WEBER ALSO CONDUCTS HIS POPULAR COLD READING AUDITION INTENSIVES AND SCENE STUDY WORKSHOPS WORLDWIDE. HIS WORKSHOP FOCUSES ON THE PERSONAL DIRECTION AND GUIDANCE THAT WILL GIVE THE ACTOR A KEEN INSIGHT INTO THE COLD READING PROCESS, HELP THE ACTOR DEVELOP AUDITION AND MARKETING SKILLS, AND PREPARE THE ACTOR FOR A SUCCESSFUL CAREER IN THE INDUSTRY. AS AN INSTRUCTOR HE TAUGHT THE POPULAR CLASS “THE WORKING ACTOR, GET THE AUDITION, BOOK THE JOB” AT UCLA. HE IS PRESENTLY WRITING A BOOK ON THE AUDITION PROCESS.
Aaron Marcus - America’s Premier Acting and Commercial Modelin Career Coach
You have seen him on Law & Order: CI, The West Wing, The Wire, Homicide, Life on the Street, McDonald’s Molson Beer, and in over 1,133 other acting and modeling projects. Aaron actually does what he teaches and will show you the same techniques that helped him work as a full-time actors and commercial model since 1986. Aaron is also the author of the top selling book, How to become a Successful Commercial Model, which is now in it’s fifth edition. He has given well over 400 workshops throughout the United States, Australia and Mexico.
Donna McKenna Casting
Donna McKenna is an award winning international independent film casting director and producer. She has worked alongside critical acclaimed actors from film, television and Broadway. Ms McKenna is known in the industry for discovering unique new talent as well as recognizing the seasoned professional whom take risks and play against their type. Her devotion to others in the entertainment industry is displayed by teaching instructional seminars and motivational speaking. She encourages actors to follow their dreams and pursue their career, if needed she is there to guide them on their journey to success.
Donna holds a seat on the Board of the Long Island Film and Television Foundation while also hosting The Long Island Film Makers Connection meetings.
Craig Graduated from Wittenberg University with a BA in Theatre. After training with the Second City in Chicago and Improv Olympic, Craig spent five years performing with ComedySportz of Denver and 5 years on the road as a Stand-Up Comedian. Locally, Craig has performed, taught and directed with the Naples Players and KidzAct for 4 years and is currently performing with Naples City Improv. His most recent television credits include Assistant Director of Curious Kids on WGCU. Craig is also presently serving as the Performing Arts Director for the Center for the Arts of Bonita Springs and is teaching acting and improv to kids and adults while directing 3 plays a year for their Youth Theatre Department.
Bobbi Spencer has spent over 35 years in the Performing Arts as an actress-singer, director-producer and teacher. She became an Equity actress at eighteen years of age and subsequently joined Screen Actors Guild, American Federation of Radio and Television Artists and the Dramatists Guild. She has won numerous leadership awards for her artistic contributions to the Arts in the Tampa Bay Area and twice presented with the Best Actress in a Motion Picture in the State of Florida by the Florida Motion Picture Association. She was the recipient of the prestigious Getchell New Play Award for her collection of one act plays Another Dimension. Spencer has performed in over 30 Equity shows, 150 commercials and Radio 10,000 and TV voice-overs. Her film and television credits include Psycho IV, The Specialist, Seven Sundays, Lay of The Land, All Shook Up and the TV series Swamp Thing. As director of her own non-profit children’s theatre company, Bobbi directed or produced such musical productions as Peter Pan, Wizard of Oz, Alice in Wonderland, Grease, Godspell, How To Eat Like A Child and Wanna Play to name a few. She presently produces and performs Cabaret shows for retirement communities, acts for the Chicago-based Law Actors and regularly voices and produces radio and television commercials.
Industry veteran and FORMER CEO of Unique Casting, Ed Arenas, has worked with some of the top directors in the industry today; Oliver Stone, Michael Bay, Steven Spielberg, Steven Soderberg, Darren Aronofsky, John Badham, David Frankel and Producers such as Jerry Bruckheimer, Brian Grazer and Barry Jossen. More recently Ed Arenas added Executive Producer and Producer credits Mr. Arenas has been in the film business for over twenty (20) years, leaving Deloitte-Touche in 1988 and immediately immersed himself in every aspect of the film industry. Starting as a production assistant, before working under Russell Mulcahy; Director of “Highlander.” It was during this time he fell in love with the casting industry. He has had the honor to work with the likes of Oliver Stone, Jerry Bruckheimer, Michael Bay, Steven Spielberg, Brian Grazer, Steven Soderberg, David Frankel and many more. Over his tenure Ed has created extensive synergistic relationships with casting directors not only nationwide, but global as well. It has been Ed’s charismatic, creative and “hands-on” approach to building the individual careers for many famous actors/actresses, that has earned him a reputation as one of the most capable casting directors in the industry. With his impressive credits (see imdb.com resume listing), personable demeanor and always professional business acumen, he will always be a “standout” when being considered for major film, tv or commercial projects.
Ed Arenas was educated at the University of Florida in Engineering and Computer Science which led to a position as an Emerging Business and Software Implementation consultant. Determined to pursue his creative passion led him to a career in the film industry. Ed has worked in almost every aspect of the film industry and garnered credits as an Executive Producer, Casting Director, actor, best boy (electrical/lighting crew) and director’s assistant.
As his career in the casting industry evolved he utilized his knowledge from his business background to improve the way things had been traditionally done. While casting the movie “Drop Zone”, John Badham praised his use of technology in the presentation and taping of actor’s auditions, which lead to the creation of Casting Assistant TM Software in 1996. The first ever software for casting directors anywhere in the industry