The Crusader Newspaper Group

David Talbert prepares future actors and revs up for release of Almost Christmas

By Elaine Hegwood Bowen, M.S.J., Chicago Crusader

During her history making and Emmy award-winning speech last year, Actress Viola Davis stated, “Let me tell you something: The only thing that separates women of color from anyone else is opportunity. You cannot win an Emmy for roles that are simply not there.” Like so many others in Hollywood, David E. Talbert shares the sentiment of Davis, but wants to move from just media conversation to action confirmation.

For that reason, Talbert has given the next generation of minority actors, writers, directors and producers in major cities across the country an opportunity to break into Hollywood and see their dreams come true.

Fresh off the heels of two back-to-back, much-heralded runs of his Multi-City Actor’s Workshop & Talent Search in 2014 and 2015, Talbert has launched the third installment of his Actor’s Workshop & Talent Search concurrently with the release of his highly anticipated movie “Almost Christmas,” which hits theatres nationwide on Friday, November 11.

“Based on the report by USC’s Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism, the need for more diversity in Hollywood is apparent,” said Talbert. “It is my hope that my workshops will create a bigger talent pool and fully open cracked doors.”

Although Talbert’s workshop recently passed through the Chicago area, Teresa Sykes was at last year’s workshop and was ultimately cast in “Almost Christmas,” and she also has a starring role in Talbert’s latest theatrical stage production, “Another Man Will,” which will be released on DVD nationwide in January of 2017.

Through hands-on instruction by Talbert, participants learn acting for stage and screen, techniques for auditions and cold reads, get advice for breaking into the industry, and receive monologue/scene critiques. This year, special guest Damien McKay, Head of Casting at Universal Pictures (“The Fast and Furious” franchise, “Fifty Shades of Grey,” “Straight Outta Compton,” “Jurassic World” and “Pitch Perfect”) has teamed up with Talbert for the work-shop tour to interact with students, observe scenes and monologues, and share invaluable insight on what it takes to be a working actor in Hollywood.

As in years past, everyone who attends the workshop will receive a private one-on-one audition from Talbert for the chance to be cast in his upcoming stage play tour as well as his new feature film projects. The cast of Talbert’s new film “Almost Christmas” also includes two other young actors who attended and auditioned for his Workshop Tour last year – Karl Bynes, who attended the Philadelphia workshop, and Sulondia Hammond, who attended the Atlanta session.

Perfect for the professional and the beginner, David E. Talbert’s Actors Workshop & Talent Search gives attendees a chance to learn first-hand how to elevate their craft and get their foot firmly through the door of the entertainment industry. What makes Talbert’s Actor’s Workshop & Talent Search really unique is the ability for participants to be able to audition with an award-winning Hollywood director with more than 20 plus years in the business and to gain valuable insight from the Head of Casting for a major film studio.

“This year, the lack of diversity in Hollywood was front and center in the minds of everyone,” stated Talbert. “Although this has always existed, the lack of diversity at this year’s Oscars made it more apparent than ever. I am, as I have always been, dedicated to training and equipping other African-Americans and all minorities who want to get into this industry. Whether in front of the camera or behind it, I am doing my part to make sure they have access to what I know.”

David E. Talbert’s Actor’s Workshop & Talent Search moves on to New York on Saturday, October 15, at the New York Marriott Marquis and will be in Washington, D.C. on Sunday, October 16, at the Mayflower Hotel.

The registration fee for the workshop is $279 per person. Workshop sessions will include the following topics: Acting for Stage and Screen, Audition Techniques, and Monologue and Scene Study. Those interested in attending the workshop in their city should visit to receive full details on registration and location. Space is limited and early registration is encouraged. Reserve your seats today.

About Almost Christmas:

“Almost Christmas,” written and directed by Talbert and produced by Will Packer (“Ride Along,” “Think Like A Man” series, “This Christmas”), tells the festive story of a beloved patriarch who asks his family for one gift this holiday season: to get along. If they can honor that wish and spend five days under the same roof without killing one another, it will be a Christmas miracle. The all-star cast of “Almost Christmas” is led by Kimberly Elise, Danny Glover, John Michael Higgins, Romany Malco, Mo’Nique, JB Smoove, Gabrielle Union, Omar Epps, Nicole Ari Parker, Jessie T. Usher and DC Young Fly.

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