Caryn Mendez is helping entertainment industry executives from the West Coast with the difficult job of finding new talent on the East Coast with her unique publication, "The Talent Report." Started in September 1998, the newsletter goes out every month and profiles new talent writing and acting in New York's off-Broadway and off-off-Broadway scene.
Mendez, publisher and editor, and her scouts sees 20-30 productions a month and includes every production crew and actor in her weekly e-mail updates, which is part of the subscription. The monthly publication however, pinpoints "the needles in the haystack" as Mendez says. When she or a scout sees a production they evaluate the actors on their stage presence and looks for the charisma every actor must posses. For writers she tends to be more technical and looks for their "structure, plot and character development," she says.
The report does not endorse everyone Mendez and her staff see. Mendez feels it is better to leave out an actor if this is not his best performance, so there is no negativity in "The Talent Report." Some of the artists Mendez has profiled are now working in films, and Seana Kofoed can be seen opposite Matthew Broderick in Night Must Fall on Broadway.
Mendez is a veteran of the entertainment industry, having worked beside Executive Producer Lorne Michaels at "Saturday Night Live" and served as the Talent Associate for the show's 97-98 season. Before that she was in L.A., working with Brillstein-Grey Entertainment. Her vision is not to do the job of talent agents, but to "focus their time" and bring attention to artists that are somewhat obscure and put them in the spotlight. With the Sept. 1999 anniversary issue, Mendez is hoping to expand "The Talent Report" to include regional activities. She will begin to cover theatre in such major cities as Chicago. For subscription information please call (212) 879-8735.
--By Angelica Roderick