Want to break into the movies?

Find out how at Flint event By Chad Swiatecki

Flint Journal October 01, 2009,

Clemon Crum thinks it’s time aspiring actors and other film industry talent in the Flint area cashed in on Hollywood’s growing investment in Michigan. Which is what led the Flint resident and entrepreneur to organize Saturday’s “Michigan’s Next Movie Star” showcase and workshop at The Whiting for prospective actors, writers, camera talent and others looking to break onto the silver or small screen.

“Hollywood is coming to Michigan but most of that business is going to Detroit when we could be doing things right here,” said Crum, a co-producer of the event. “It seems like a lot of the reason we’re getting passed over is because there’s not an awareness of what we have here, and a lack of training on the technical side of things. We’re trying to change that.”

For a first foray into nurturing the Flint film economy Crum’s Manifest Productions and Brady Events and Marketing of Grand Blanc have scheduled veteran character actor Robert Miano, television star Dustin Diamond and motivational speaker Diana Fletcher to give presentations about what it takes to achieve a career in the entertainment industry.

Would-be starlets will also get to network with local photographers, prospective agents and other entertainment professionals, and audition for one of several spots in “Happy Deathday,” a horror movie filming in Michigan soon.

Crum secured Miano and Diamond for the event while they were in the Flint area filming “Minor League: A Football Story,” a movie he invested in making. “People will get some real perspective on what it’s like in Hollywood, that you can’t get out of any book or class,” he said. “People will benefit from hearing their stories and the networking opportunities they’ll get.”

Elizabeth Brady Marasco, owner of Brady Events, said she and Crum looked at similar workshop events in Detroit — which had a part in 30 films in the last year versus Flint’s three — to determine what locals needed to hear to help them get a start in front of or behind the camera.

“What really works is getting stars involved so they can share what it takes to do this,” she said. “We expect this will be the first of many events that will educate people about all aspects of the movie industry. We want to establish a baseline level of training in this area so when a movie comes here we have the people they need to make it work.”

While Diamond and Miano will share insights into their careers, Fletcher will help attendees prioritize their lives so venturing out in a new career isn’t so daunting. “When you’re trying something new it can be very exciting but there’s also the chance that we can freeze, your heart starts racing and fear takes over,” said Fletcher, a published author and life coach based out of Pennsylvania who centers most of her presentations on learning to handle and reduce stress.

“With something as unique as pursuing an acting career, there’s the chance that other people won’t understand something that’s so out of the mainstream or have an idea that going to auditions isn’t really working. Handling that all comes back to eating right and taking care of yourself, so you can deal with the stresses that come from striking out on a new career.”

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