The Business: Maximizing Your Professional Young Performer’s Success

Wednesday, October 18, 2017 at 6:35 PM (PDT)

For young performers working in the entertainment industry, it is easy to let career aspirations take priority while other important aspects of life are put on the back burner. In an effort to best prepare young performers beginning their careers, this panel will provide parents and young actors insight on how to balance life and work, being competitive within the industry and practical advice on how to plan for the road ahead. What is the role of the parent in a child’s professional career? How important is social media in my child’s professional profile? How can the parent aid in the decision making process? How can the young person ensure they don’t miss out on all the valuable experiences of youth?


Nicole Jolley, Amsel, Eisenstadt, Frazier & Hinojosa Inc.

Sharon Lieblein, casting director
Sharon was the VP of Talent & Casting at Nickelodeon Networks for 13 years, then the VP of Casting and Talent Development at Cartoon Network for 3 years, and has since partnered with Fern Champion to cast numerous series, films, TV movies and New Media projects including; the CMT limited series Sun Records, Lifetime movies Beaches and Surviving Compton, Netflix series Greenhouse Academy, Nickelodeon series Mutt & Stuff, Awestruck/Awesomeness TV limited series Confess. Upcoming feature Nightmare Cinema, among others.

Judy Taylor, casting director
For the past 13 years, Judy has served as the SVP of Casting & Talent Relations at Disney Channel. She began her casting career in 1973 working as a casting assistant to feature film casting directors, Mike Fenton & Jane Feinberg. What was supposed to be a 4 month temporary position turned into a 17 year commitment during which she became a partner in the independent company and cast films including ‘The Goonies’ and ‘Back to the Future’. With two small children, she decided to free-lance on her own from 1992-2004, working with various partners, continuing to cast primarily features such as ‘Sister Act’ and ‘Mighty Ducks 2 & 3 for Disney’. This led to her current job at Disney Channel, where she oversees casting for all live-action series and movies – highlights include past hits, HIGH SCHOOL MUSICAL and series that launched careers for Miley Cyrus, Selena Gomez and Demi Lovato, as well as the current hit, KC Undercover starring Zendaya.

Moderator – David Michael Paul
David, a native of Arizona, moved to the city of angels to pursue his dream of becoming a full-time, professional actor. Once in LA, his growing dream led him to appear in TV, film and commercials. David is a 10 year veteran of The Looking Ahead Program. As an alumni of Looking Ahead, he has volunteered as a group facilitator for the Leadership Program and has presented at the Looking Ahead Awards. In David’s journey as an artist, he gives tribute to Looking Ahead as supporting his life transitions and giving him the chance to have fun with fellow artists and providing the opportunity to give back to society through their many community service activities. He quotes “Looking Ahead will always have a treasured place in my heart for allowing me to be a teenager in a business that often tries to make child actors, adults too quickly.”

Join the conversation!  Tweet your questions to #SAF, comment on YouTube or email