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    Posted June 9, 2011

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Yes, You Can - Book Jobs Through Equity EPA, ECCs

By Melissa Robinette

There is a dirty rumor on the street and I'm here to tell you that rumor is not one bit true! I have heard it, not only in New York, but all over the United States! The dirty rumor: "People never book work from an EPA (Equity Principal Audition) or ECC (Equity Chorus Call)." I don't know where this rumor came from or even how it got started, but I do know I do not have to look far to prove it wrong.

I'm an Eastern Regional Chorus Councillor who, like many of our members, does not have an agent. The only way for me to book a job is through an EPA or ECC. I'm currently working at the Riverside Theatre (Vero Beach, FL) in BUDDY, THE MUSICAL that I booked from an ECC. I even booked the Off Broadway hit THE MARVELOUS WONDERETTES through an EPA and get called back for Broadway often.

According to Keith Howard, Director of Auditions, in 2010 New York City alone held 613 EPA sessions and 306 ECCs. Equity members not only book jobs, but high end jobs through the system!

Equity member Paul Schaefer went to an EPA for the Broadway company of PHANTOM OF THE OPERA. Six months later he got a call from the casting office with a callback. Before he knew it he was making his Broadway debut with THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA. Currently Paul's official titles are "Marksman" and "Raoul/Phantom understudy."

Erin Wegner attended the EPA for the YOUNG FRANKENSTEIN tour last summer. Four callbacks for three different characters later, she landed "ensemble" and the cover of "Elizabeth" and "Frau Blucher." In fact, Erin states that 12 of the cast members from YOUNG FRANKENSTEIN got their jobs from EPA/ECCs.

Jamil Chokachi and Justin Holcomb recently booked the new Off Broadway, two-person play, CHANNELING KEVIN SPACEY from the EPA. This was the first time Jamil has booked a job from an EPA. He says, "I went to this EPA because the character breakdown was very thorough, seemed exciting, and it was right up my alley. I had one callback and the process was simple and comfortable."

Heather Parcells of WONDERLAND on Broadway booked her first two Broadway Shows (CHITTY CHITTY BANG BANG and A CHORUS LINE) through ECCs and the national tour of SOME LIKE IT HOT starring Tony Curtis from an ECC.

Jana Cardia recently appeared in SWEENEY TODD at the Fulton Opera House thanks to an ECC. She has lived in NYC for ten years and has always had an agent, but has only ever booked work through an EPA/ECC. She stresses that it isn't that her agent doesn't get her appointments or open doors for her, she just has better luck through the EPA/ECCs. Jana says, "I am grateful to have the ability to create my own opportunities through the good old fashioned process of pounding the pavement!"

After all; if you don't show up for the audition, you won't book the job!

(This article kicks off a new series in Equity News on EPA Success Stories. Next month, we'll report on EPAs in the Central Region. Members have been submitting their stories and we hope to publish them in future issues. If an EPA/ECC has helped you get a job, send your story to Helaine Feldman at helfel22@aol.com.)

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