June 11, 2014

State Theatre School of Acting

Dear Film, Game, Music and Entertainment People, Friends, Investors and Fans,

The Network Austin Mixer is proud to feature guest speakers from the
State Theatre School of Acting on Wednesday, June 11th at
Baby Acapulco’s Central Location at 5610 North IH-35, Austin TX 78751.
Networking begins @ 6PM; speakers start @ 6:45.

This panel will offer more information about acting than you can imagine, so do yourself a big favor and attend this Mixer!

Babs George is the Founder & Director and Brittany Flurry is the Administrative Assistant at the State Theatre School of Acting.  Our panel will tentatively consist of the following professionals (subject to change since a few may have potential conflicts), to be emceed by Babs George. Click on each guest speaker below to read more about them:

Babs George


Carol Hickey


Pierce Purselley


Adam Roberts


Paula Russell


Tony Sears


Mj. Vandivier


Remember: Please Carpool and arrive early to get a table. We expect a huge crowd, just as we had on April 9 and May 14!
Notice: If Baby Acapulco’s parking is full, you may park at either the Capital Inn (just north of Baby A’s) for $5 or at Super 8 motel (just south of Baby A’s) for $8. That’s why we say ARRIVE EARLY AND PLEASE CARPOOL! Please pay the folks at the desk at either motel when you have to park there so your vehicle doesn’t get towed away.

Let friends interested in the media world know about the Mixers. We put them on to provide opportunities for you folks to network and get information about acting, films, TV, and media. See you at 6 pm at Baby A’s on WEDNESDAY JUNE 11!


Last Months’ Mixers Followup:

On WEDNESDAY MAY 14 we had a second panel of Casting Directors, which consisted of:
Vicky Boone ~ Vicky Boone Casting
Rachel Flanagan ~ Rachel Flanagan Casting
Beth Sepko, CSA ~ Beth Sepko Casting
John Williams ~ The Cast Station
See photos on Facebook, and tag yourself if you were there!

On WEDNESDAY APRIL 9 we featured the first of two panels of Casting Directors, which consisted of:
Toni Cobb-Brock and Sally Allen ~ Brock/Allen Casting
Brad Burton, CSA, and Kim Burton, CSA ~ Burton Casting
Donise L. Hardy, CSA ~ A Casting Place
See photos on Facebook, and tag yourself if you were there!

We extend our deepest thanks to all these Casting Directors for their insights, advice and professionalism. They answered numerous questions from our attendees, and we were honored to have both panels!


Biographies of Our Panel of Guest Speakers this Month from the State Theatre School of Acting:

Babs George founded the State Theatre School of Acting in 1993 and has been the Director since its inception. She is a professional actress and has been a member of SAG and AEA for 30 years. Babs graduated Magna Cum Laude with a BFA in Performance from the University of Utah, and an MFA in Classical Acting from The Shakespeare Theatre’s Academy for Classical Acting at The George Washington Univ. She has been awarded the Austin Critics Award, the B. Iden Payne Award, and the Austin Chronicle’s “Best Actor/Actress in Austin” Award. In addition to her extensive stage career, Babs also pursues film, television and commercial work, and recently filmed a recurring role for the ABC series, My Generation. She has been an adjunct instructor in acting for the University of Texas, Texas State, Southwestern University and St. Edward’s University.  Ms. George has studied with many prestigious teachers over the years including Uta Hagen, Michael Kahn (Shakespeare Theatre), Ann Bogart (S.I.T.I. Company, Viewpoints and Suzuki), and Tina Packer (Shakespeare & Co.).

Carol Hickey has studied with some of the most prestigious instructors in Acting at HB Studio in New York and 7 years in Los Angeles with Harry Mastrogeorge. She has a degree in Theatre from University of California, Santa Barbara. She earned her living working on commercials and television series (Gilmore Girls, Six Feet Under, Scrubs, ER, NYPD Blue, Judging Amy, Big Love, National Tide, AT&T, Kelloggs, Cisco and many more) in Los Angeles. She also has received awards for her work on stage, developing premiere works in Los Angeles and in New York with The Canyon Theatre Company, along with name actors such as Mark Ruffalo and Kathy Bates. She worked as an instructor through East L.A. Classic Theatre to inner city, underprivileged youth and has primarily served as a private audition coach here in Austin.

Pierce Purselley has been improvising for over seven years, performing in festivals all over the country, and recently headlining festivals such as the Milwauakee Comedy Festival.  While in Austin he has produced many short films, music videos, and currently is the Executive Producer of Mortified Austin: Angst Written.  This past fall he co-produced the documentary, See The Dirt, which was accepted into multiple festivals and won the Austin Film Festival Best Short Documentary of 2012.  Pierce currently teaches improv at ColdTowne Theatre and where his two man show, Miller and Purselley, creates a whole one-act play in the moment every week.  Miller and Purselley were recently named the best troupe of ColdTowne.  He also guest lectures on Improvisational Drama at The University of Texas and is excited to begin teaching at The State Theatre School of Acting.  He is also in a Ke$ha cover band, Hot & Dangerous, and you should ask him about it.

Adam Roberts has served as artistic director, musical director, or choreographer for over ninety productions to date, with choreography credits including two European concert tours. Having taught and coached musical theatre voice and dance styles throughout the country, his students have appeared both on and off-Broadway, in regional theatre and national tours, and on film and network television. Mr. Roberts’ Austin credits include productions and/or faculty positions with Austin Children’s Theater, Austin Conservatory of Theater (of which he currently serves as Director), Austin Shakespeare, Ballet Austin, the Paramount and State theaters, Theatre at the J, St. Stephen’s School, ZACH Theatre, and others. A member of the Austin Critics’ Table, he is a contributing writer and arts critic for the Austin Chronicle and is currently authoring a book focused on music analysis for practitioners of musical theatre. Mr. Roberts is also highly active as an interpreter of sacred music, having served as musical director at Calvary United Methodist Church in Tallahassee, Florida, and Covenant Presbyterian Church in Wellsville, Ohio. He holds a Master’s degree in Music and the College Teaching Certificate from Florida State University and received undergraduate degrees from Youngstown and Kent State universities.

Paula Russell is a professional actor, singer and director with 30 years of teaching experience. She is a member of SAG/AFTRA, Actors Equity and TXMPA, AFF, The Austin Film Society and is a founding member of Austin Creative Alliance. In Los Angeles, she interned by invitation as director-in-training on Taxi, Cheers, WKRP and Newhart under James Brooks, James Burroughs, Will McKenzie, Joan Darling; and directed at the famed Ensemble Studio Theatre, Cast Theatre, Actors Playhouse. In Austin, Paula directed two plays at the Long Center Rollins Theatre and continues to coach casts for film and theatre. Among others, she coached the lead actor in Austin High that premiered at 2011 SXSW, lead actor in Slackers 2011,  two of the lead actors for Lovers of Hate (Sundance, SXSW and Netflix) and the lead actor in Zero Charisma in 2012.  Under Actors Equity, Ms. Russell both performed the lead role and directed the musical, Always, Patsy Cline. The Paula Russell Band plays frequently at Austin venues. She coaches privately in addition to teaching at the State Theatre School of Acting.

Tony Sears is an actor/director who studied Drama at Furman University, The University of Georgia, and l’Institut des Etudes Européenes in Paris.  He spent several years as the Associate Artistic Director of the Hilton Head Island Playhouse (now the Arts Center of Coastal Carolina) before moving to Los Angeles, where he spent 20 years working on both sides of the camera. He worked in the Art Department of several films and TV shows, including three seasons of the series Star Trek: Voyager, assisting Emmy Award winning production designer Richard James.  Sears later returned as an actor in two episodes of Voyager, playing a Starfleet Officer and the Borg Drone, Four of Twelve. Tony has appeared in numerous roles for film, television, and stage and has directed many theater productions on both coasts.   He played Dr. Davies in season six of Lifetime’s Army Wives, and has made guest appearances on such popular shows as Drop Dead Diva, Dallas, Devious Maids, ALIAS, Judging Amy and Buffy the Vampire Slayer.  He has also produced and directed for the camera, including Public Service Announcements, Industrials, a documentary (The Queen of Sunset Boulevard) and several short films. Sears first began experimenting with kinetic energy in performance at The University of Georgia, under the direction of the late August Staub.  In Los Angeles he trained and later taught with Darryl Hickman, exploring the Actor’s use of moment-to-moment energy.  Before coming to Austin, he taught his own acting workshop in North Hollywood, where he experimented with how the creative imagination informs the flow of real-time, organic energy through an organized structure, free of  “acting tricks.”  Sears encourages actors to tell their story.  They may use the author’s words, wear wardrobe’s clothing, stand where the director tells them, but it is the actor who ultimately breathes life into the role. Sears is currently developing a television series based on characters from the Mary Magruder Katz novels by Barbara Levenson and in pre-production for the feature film, Jimmy & Mia which he will direct in and around Austin, TX.

Marijane Vandivier is a professional Equity actress with more than 50 years experience in  theatre, television, radio,  commercial and film work; she just completed her role in the up-coming PBS 75th anniversary of Orsen Wells, “War of the Worlds,” radio show.  Mj studied at the American Theatre Wing in NYC, where she appeared off-Broadway in “Late Arrival.”   Vandivier holds a B.S. in Psychology and Theatre from the University of Houston.  Marijane has been a certified lessac Voice and Body Teacher for over 18 years.  Early on Mj traveled singing with her show-band in Vegas, Reno, Tahoe, LA, New Orleans – ending in Houston where she took up residence and embarked on a successful 30 year TV career.  Many Texans grew up with her popular KPRC-TV children’s shows – Happy Hollow and Marijane’s MagiCastle – followed by her long running news / talk show, Wake-up Houston on Kuhtv-TV.  Marijane performed in Houston at the renowned Regional Alley Theatre in, “A…My Name is Alice,” and “The Traveling Lady.” Numerous roles for Theatre Under the Stars including, “Can-Can, Bye-Bye Burdie , Houston Music Theatre and The AD Players, in “Steel Magnolias and other roles.  Mj had the pleasure of working with Horton Foote in one of his favorite plays, “The Traveling Lady,” at Baylor University followed by performance in New York City at the Actors Studio.  In Austin Mj has performed at St. Edward’s Mary Northern Moody Theatre in,” Ring Around the Moon,” Austin Playhouse in, “Enchanted April, and Agatha Christie’s “The Moustrap,” Tex-Arts in ,”Nunsense,” and Zachary Scott Theatre in ,”Always, Patsy Cline,  “Dividing The Estate,” and “Harvey.” Vandivier has been a B. Iden Payne and recent Critic’s Table Award nominee.  Mj has taught at St. Edwards University and the State School of Acting where she also works with private clients.


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