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Casting call for aspiring actors

Posted: November 17, 2013 2:00 a.m.
Updated: November 17, 2013 2:00 a.m.

Residents of The Performers House in Newhall in 2010. Back row, left to right, Adam Laney, Joseph Bayard and Dean Weber. Front row, left to right, Nicole Ramsey, Jobeth Wagner and Nikki Baker. Signal archives

A unique residential acting program is slated to re-open its doors by late fall.

Performers House, or “PH” for short, is a non-profit 501c3 established to provide training, support and a place to call “Home” for aspiring actors.

Residents chosen for the Performers House look forward to not only mandatory acting classes, but also meals and celebrity mentors for students demonstrating exceptional skill and readiness.

As an extra reward for excellence, up to three SAG-AFTRA cards will be awarded yearly to eligible students. PH will also offer a wide range of extra-credit studies such as stage-fighting, voice over, self-defense, stunt training, fitness, basic editing and more.

All of these options are included free in the monthly tuition fee. PH residents can also look forward to celebrity teacher Dave Sheridan towards the beginning of the year and in the spring of 2014 celebrity guest speaker Doug Jones.

This talent incubator was birthed in the heart of Katie Gillette, a 14-year-old singer/actress whose untimely death in 2001 from cystic fibrosis both touched and broke the hearts of many.

Due to her shortened life expectancy, Hollywood wrapped its arms around both Katie and her sister, Gabby, who also has cystic fibrosis.

When Katie was told that she had only a few days to live, she asked her family to continue her mission of providing disadvantaged young people the same opportunities she received.

For the next decade, her mother, Christy, and sister, Gabby, ran Performers House. However, in 2011, the residency program had to close its doors due to unforeseen circumstances.

In June of 2013 Christy Gillette turned the directorship of Performers House over to Jessica Soss and Tamara Blue.

Jessica is a PH alumna who went on to become, not just a working actress, but also a producer, screenwriter and talent manager. Tamara Blue is a multi-talented photographer, marketing designer and Director/Organizer having led several groups. She brings strong leadership, business management and artistic skills to PH.

“I am excited to have PH up and running again in order to pass on the support and opportunities I was given,” Soss said. “Without their support my career would not be where it is today.”

The duo hired Adam Williams as assistant director/security manager as well as PH alumna, Jobeth Wagner, in the position of student liaison/advisory board member.

“Even though Christy is no longer running PH, she is still an active member on our board,” Blue said. “While honoring the original goal and vision, PH will undergo many changes and a fresh makeover to better serve the rising stars of tomorrow.”

Anyone interested in learning how to become a resident, donating or offering other support can visit: Donations to Performers House are tax deductible.

Editor’s Note: The Signal originally profiled the local Performers House at its original location in Newhall in 2010. For the full story of its origins and the Gillette family see The Signal's original story, "A Daughter's Dying Wish." 



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