Fred Savage, Former Co-Chair of the Looking Ahead Advisory Committee (and former young performer!) joined us for our 2014 Looking Ahead Awards.

WHAT IS LOOKING AHEAD

If you’re a professional young performer (9-18) living in Southern California, Looking Ahead was created for you!
 
We’re here to build community for young performers to help you and your family manage all the unique things about working in entertainment.
 
We take trips to colleges and visit a wide variety of workplaces in the industry to give you a broad sense of the careers available.  We meet monthly during the school year to develop leadership skills, while parents meet simultaneously to network and hear about resources.  We provide one-on-one and family-based sessions around emotional issues or education planning.  We go all over LA on community service field trips.  And we have a lot of events that are just for fun.
 
And you can be as involved as you want.  Some members attend events as often as once a month; others come once or twice a year.  However you choose to participate, Looking Ahead can be an important part of your Hollywood support system.
 
The Looking Ahead program is one of the programs and services offered through The Actors Fund.

 

THE ACTORS FUND

The Actors Fund is a national, nonprofit human services organization founded in 1882. We help all entertainment industry professionals – not just actors! – working in film, radio, theater, television, music, opera, and dance when they are in need, crisis or transition. With offices in Los Angeles, Chicago and New York,  the Fund reaches over 17,000 of our colleagues every year, and approximately 300,000 more through Web-based services. Our 25 programs are based on a simple philosophy of meeting the crisis with professional support and help when people are in trouble, and preventing the crisis by helping people build a more stable financial life in the creative industries by accessing affordable housing,  developing strong financial management skills, understanding affordable health insurance and health care, and securing better sideline work and building parallel careers.

MEET THE STAFF

Chris Smith small.jpgSocial Worker and Supervisor of the Program
Chris Smith, MSW

Originally from Sacramento, Chris moved to Honolulu to obtain a B.A in Psychology from Hawaii Pacific University and a Master’s degree in Social Work from the University of Hawaii.  It was in Hawaii that he first worked with kids, as both a group leader and director of an after school program with the YMCA of Honolulu.  Just before joining Looking Ahead, he spent the last two years working at a hospice program in Sacramento.

Education Counselor

Melody Lawson, MSW

Melody attended the University of Texas at Austin, earning a Bachelor's Degree in Psychology and a Master's Degree in Social Work.  She then worked as a middle school social worker for three years, focusing on dropout prevention and high school readiness.  She moved to Los Angeles in 2015 with her then fiance (now husband!), where she began working to help former foster care youth transition into independence.  In her spare time, she enjoys traveling with friends, watching documentaries and hanging out with her cat, Truffle.  Melody has a passion for helping young people develop into their full potential.

 

vy1.jpgYouth Services Specialist 
Vy Nguyen

Born and raised in Olympia, WA, Vy went to school in the northwest and earned a BA in English at Western Washington University. After graduating, Vy moved to Southern California when an opportunity came up to pursue a career in music and dance. Vy traveled as a singer and dancer for several years before returning to school to earn a teaching certification in Child Development at the Los Angeles Valley College. Over the years Vy taught dance at various studios, taught afterschool enrichment programs, provided tutoring at public and private schools, and was a Preschool teacher at UCLA and NBCUniversal. Education, performing arts and event planning are her passions which she enjoys bringing to the Looking Ahead program.

 

Administrative Assistant 
Michael Massey

Michael recently moved to Los Angeles after spending some time in Seattle, Chicago, and Austin working with arts organizations and education programs. Some of his favorite projects have involved teaching stagecraft and production-based classes and workshops with Seattle Children’s Theatre, Salmon Bay School, and The Northwest School. Michael holds a BA in Theatre and Dance from The University of Texas at Austin.

 

 

 

ADVISORY COMMITTEE

Corbin Bleu
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Affiliation: Entertainer, Co-Chair of the Looking Ahead Advisory Committee, and Former Young Performer.

Bio:

CORBIN BLEU comes from an extensive background in film, television and theatre. Bleu is probably best known for playing Chad Danforth in Disney’s Emmy Award-winning High School Musical franchise. Corbin was recently seen on Broadway as Ted Hanover in the Tony-nominated production of Irving Berlin’s Holiday Inn, winning Bleu the Chita Rivera Award for Outstanding Male Dancer in a Broadway Show. Additional Broadway credits include:Godspell (Jesus) and In the Heights (Usnavi). Other stage highlights include Hairspray (Seaweed, opposite Harvey Fierstein and Marissa Jaret Winokur) and Mamma Mia! (Sky, opposite Dove Cameron and Jennifer Nettles), both at The Hollywood Bowl. Bleu’s film credits include: To Write Love on Her Arms (starring opposite Kat Dennings), Nurse 3-D and The Monkey's Paw, to name a few. Corbin’s television credits include: Franklin & Bash, Blue Bloods, Psych, Castle, The Fosters and Chicago Med. In 2013, Bleu partnered with Karina Smirnoff on the multi-Emmy Award-winning ABC hit Dancing with the Stars, placing a close second. A Brooklyn native, Corbin currently resides in Los Angeles with his wife, Sasha.

Quote: “Having grown up in the industry myself starting from the age of 2, I know the challenges and pitfalls that the youth in our industry face. I am so happy that today the opportunity exists for them to have access to a program as dynamic and effective as looking Looking Ahead. And I'm grateful to sit as Co-Chair to such a caring organization of people. My wish is for every kid in this business along with their families to know that Looking Ahead is there for them!”


Sharon Lieblein
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Affiliation: Casting Director, Co-Chair of the Looking Ahead Advisory Committee

Bio:

Sharon Lieblein, CSA, is a freelance Casting Director in Los Angeles. Most recently she served as VicePresident, Casting and Talent Development, for Cartoon Network Studios. Lieblein oversaw live- action talent and casting for the Studio and served as the executive liaison between talent and the different divisions within the studio and network. She was responsible for identifying, casting and managing talent appearing on Cartoon Network Studios scripted and alternative live-action projects.

Prior to Cartoon Network, Lieblein was on staff for 13 years at Nickelodeon, where she served as Vice President of Talent & Casting. In this capacity, she oversaw all live-action casting for Nickelodeon Networks, including pilots, TV movies, specials and promos. Among her projects were such signature Nickelodeon shows as iCarly, Big Time Rush, Victorious, Zoey 101 and Drake and Josh, and she helped discover such talent as Emma Roberts, Lily Collins, Miranda Cosgrove, Victoria Justice and Drake Bell. She also oversaw animation casting at the network for two years.

Prior to joining Nickelodeon, Lieblein worked as a freelance and in- house casting director on various feature and television projects including Witt-Thomas Production’s The John Larroquette Show (NBC) and Pearl (CBS).

Lieblein has been a working member of the Casting Society of America (CSA) since 1995 and an active Television Academy member since 1999. Additional affiliations include serving as Co-Chair of the Advisory Committee for Looking Ahead, a program of The Actors Fund.

Quote: “Looking Ahead is important to me because - A large portion of my career has been dedicated to discovering young talent. I feel like it’s my duty to give back to all of the kids that are trying to follow their dreams. I look forward to the day that every young actor in the industry is a Looking Ahead member.”

 
Olivia Aaron
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Affiliation: President, Looking Ahead Leadership Council

Bio:

Olivia Aaron has been a member of the Looking Ahead Program and Leadership Council for eight years previously serving as Secretary and currently as President.  She is a Senior in High School and has been acting professionally since age six.  Her career has juggled acting and Independent study with other aspects of filmmaking  including producing, screenwriting, directing and editing both independently and under the auspices of US Performing Arts Camps at Pepperdine, Occidental and USC.  She is also an avid and serious photographer and culinary enthusiast.

Quote: “Looking Ahead means a lot to me as a young performer because the industry teaches us that other kids are our competition, and the Looking Ahead Program has made a place where we don't have to always be competing with each other. Looking Ahead is a space where we are all actors, so we can forget that we're actors and just hang out with our friends and learn valuable life skills along the way.  Even though I'll be aging out of the program in a couple years, I still hope to volunteer and help the program in every way possible.”


Christopher M. Allport
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Affiliation: Director, Composer, Performing Artist

Bio:

As a young actor / singer / dancer, Christopher M. Allport made his mark in the studio world by the age of eight.  Feature, TV and recording credits, during formative years for Disney, Fox, MGM, WB and Sony, paved the path for a successful transition into adulthood.

Graduating from Loyola Marymount University, magna cum laude, Allport began developing his own creative content, and currently is a successful film and music director.  Allport is CEO of Allport Production Studios International, Inc., where the collective focus remains on human resources, talent and artistic integrity.  He has developed features, television specials and live variety shows that tour all over the U.S. and Europe.

Quote: “As one of the founding members of the Looking Ahead program, my interest in transitional years has influenced the positive development of many young careers — it’s great providing guidance and encouragement to artistic talent, worldwide.”


Scott Appel
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Affiliation: Scott Appel Media

Bio:

Scott Appel is a personal publicist and digital media manager with over 20 years experience in the entertainment industry.  His clients over the years have included Matthew Morrison, Ashley Tisdale, Jennifer Love Hewitt, Jamie-Lynn Sigler, Jensen Ackles and Ben Savage, and current rising stars Renée Marino, Thomas Kasp and Johnny Ortiz.  Scott is a member of the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences and is an avid photographer in his spare time.


Ashley Argota
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Affiliation: Former Young Performer

Bio:

Ashley has been performing since she was five years old, and is best known for her roles on shows such as "True Jackson, VP", "Lab Rats", "How To Build A Better Boy", and "The Fosters". She starred in Disney's hit Broadway musical, "The Lion King", as Young Nala at only 11 years old. After appearing in many television shows as a teenager, she returned to the stage at the Pasadena Playhouse alongside Ben Vereen in a Lythgoe Family Production of "Aladdin and His Winter Wish", where she played Princess Jasmine. In most recent years, between shooting multiple films and television shows, she has made time for her love of the stage and performed in many musicals, most notably as Juliet in Bradley Bredeweg's award winning "Romeo and Juliet: Love is a Battlefield", a modern take on the classic story of Romeo & Juliet, set to the epic anthems of Pat Benatar. 

Quote: “Growing up in the business can be lonely and difficult for any young performer. To be able to spread the word and let young performers know that there's a place for them where they can connect with others just like them, and learn how to grow up in the business in a healthy way, is so important and exciting, and I'm honored to be on the Advisory Committee for such an incredible organization.”

 
Cynthia Bain
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Affiliation: Cynthia Bain’s Young Actor Studio and Former Young Performer

Bio:

Cynthia Bain has been the Owner and Artistic Director of the renowned ‘Cynthia Bain’s Young Actor Studio’ (CBYAS) for the last two decades. She began her career as a young performer at the age of 14 as a Guest Star on the hit show ‘CHiPs.’ Cynthia later earned a Bachelor’s Degree from UCLA School of Theater, Film and Television, and subsequently trained for many years with the legendary acting coach Roy London, while working professionally as an actor. During this time, she discovered her experience and talents were uniquely effective behind the cameras and began directing, teaching and coaching young actors. Many years later, Cynthia and CBYAS are recognized as being preeminent industry experts, coaches, and performance consultants to networks, studios and young actors. Her students include some of the top young actors working today in film and television including Academy Award Nominee Hailee Steinfeld, Emma Roberts, and hundreds of other successful young actors.

Quote: “As a devoted teacher of young performers, and as a former young performer myself, I am acutely aware of the unique challenges young actors working professionally face. I was thrilled to discover ‘The Looking Ahead Program’ over a dozen years ago when I was initially invited to speak on a panel. I am honored to have served on its Advisory Committee ever since. It has been a pure privilege to witness first-hand the amazingly beneficial impact this program has had on its members. In the sometimes confusing and demanding world of professional young performers, Looking Ahead offers an invaluable and remarkable safe harbor and home.”


Adam Bennett
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Affiliation: Studio Teacher and Education Chair of Local 884

Bio:

Adam Bennett has been a studio teacher for nearly ten years.  In that time, he has worked in every medium of the entertainment industry - including numerous films, television programs, national Broadway tours, commercials, and the music industry.  Adam serves as Education Chair of the IATSE Local 884 creating professional developments and information resources for teachers and parents.

Quote: “The entertainment industry is an amazing world - but a world meant for adults. Kids working in the business are surrounded by adult demands on everything from their time to their behavior. But, kids need to be kids. They need to make mistakes, take risks and fail, learn, grow, socialize, play, and learn some more. They need a safe space within the industry that allows that culture of youth to thrive. That is the effort and mission of Looking Ahead – and, as a part of Looking Ahead, I am a part of that effort too.”


Tracy Bobbitt
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Affiliation: Founder and Editor, Hollywood Mom Blog

Bio:

Tracy Bobbitt is the Founder and Editor HollywoodMomBlog.com the premiere website for parents of professional child actors.

Voted the “BEST Los Angeles BLOG” 2014 by LA HotList and named in the “Top 5 Power Mom Blogs” by CBS, Hollywood Mom Blog (HMB) has been a trusted news outlet and information resource since 2010. But first and foremost, HMB is a community assisting moms and dads with the challenges of parenting children in the entertainment industry.

As HMB editor, Tracy has been featured on MSNBC News Raw, The New Rikki Lake Show, The Jeff Probst Show, OutQ 106 on SiriusXM Satellite as well as numerous print and online publications.

Tracy is the Hollywood Mom of SAG actress Jordan Bobbitt and the wife of award-winning feature film Property Master Russell Bobbitt. They reside in Los Angeles, CA and on location in Atlanta, GA.

Tracy proudly serves on the Advisory Committee of The Actors Fund’s Looking Ahead program and, as the parent of a teen actor, has personally experienced the many ways in which the Looking Ahead program has benefitted her own child.

Quote: “I value Looking Ahead because it’s a program dedicated to the growth and development of our children as a whole – mind, body and spirit.”

Elizabeth Boykewich
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Affiliation: Senior Vice President, Casting & Talent - Freeform

Bio: 

Elizabeth Boykewich is currently the Senior Vice President of Casting & Talent at Freeform within the Disney-ABC Television Group. Earlier in her career, Boykewich worked on features including Fifty First Dates, Anger Management, X-Men, X2, Big Daddy, Deeds, The Animal, Parent Trap, among others. Boykewich joined then ABC Family in 2005 to lead the department and was integral in the series The Secret Life of the American Teenager, Bunheads, Melissa & Joey, Greek and 10 Things I Hate About You. Since the switch to Freeform, series under Boykewich’s oversight have included hits Pretty Little Liars, The Fosters, Switched at Birth Shadowhunters, Stitchers, Baby Daddy, Young & Hungry and Monica the Medium.More recently, she has overseen the casting for Freeform’s newer series Grown-ish, The Bold Type, and Siren.

Quote: “I am involved in the Advisory Committee because of my commitment to advocating for young performers and because I wish to help them succeed.”


Cheryl Diamond
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Affiliation: President, Local 884, IATSE, Studio Teachers Union

Bio:

Cheryl Diamond is the current President of IATSE Local 884, Studio Teachers/Welfare Workers. She was born in New York and moved to California when she transferred to UCLA where she got her teaching credentials. Employed as a Studio Teacher for over 25 years, Cheryl has worked on many television shows including "Seventh Heaven," "Buffy, the Vampire Slayer," "Medium" and is currently on "Jessie." She loves her job and enjoys working with children of all ages.

Quote: “Looking Ahead is important to me because it connects and supports young performers and offers special services to help them succeed in life.”


Ilene Graff
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Affiliation: Western Council Liaison

Bio:

Ilene Graff is a Grammy-nominated recording artist (for her CD BABY’S BROADWAY LULLABIES) who is best known as the mom on the TV comedy, MR. BELVEDERE. Currently, she is recurring character on the CW’s HART OF DIXIE. Broadway work includes runs in PROMISES, PROMISES (pit singer; Fran Kubelik), and GREASE (Sandy). The highlight of her Broadway career was creating the role of Cleo in the Cy Coleman-Michael Stewart musical, I LOVE MY WIFE. She co-starred with Glenn Close in the Disney film version of SOUTH PACIFIC, and also has appeared in concerts for The Actors’ Fund honoring Harold Arlen, Kander and Ebb, Jule Styne and the late great Cy Coleman. Ilene has had sold out engagements at cabarets across the country, including successful concerts at Birdland and the Metropolitan Room in Manhattan, and along with her family The Graffs, at New York’s newest nightspot, 54 Below. Married to composer Ben Lanzarone, they are the proud parents of Nikka Graff Lanzarone, a Broadway musical theatre performer.

Quote: “In a business where kids are expected to grow up too soon, Looking Ahead provides a vital service for hard working young performers by providing a safe, nurturing place where they can just be kids. Whether it's through educational counseling, social services, field trips or community service, Looking Ahead is where youngsters are cared about as a whole person, and not a career. And it's fun!”


Darby Hinton
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Affiliation: Former Young Performer

Bio:

Darby Hinton started his acting career at 6 months old and continues acting today. He is best known for portraying ‘Israel Boone’, Fess parker’s son on the long running “Daniel Boone Show”, and being ‘The Salem Rapist’ on “Days Of Our Lives”, and ‘Cody Abilene’ in the cult classic “Malibu Express”. For complete credits check IMDB. Darby is an active member of ‘A Minor Consideration’ and former member of ‘SAG-AFTRA Young Performer’s committee’ And he is very proud, from the very beginning, to be on the Advisory Committee of Looking Ahead.

Quote: “Why Looking Ahead is important to me: Growing up as a ‘Child Star’ I am keenly aware of the many pitfalls and the downside of an otherwise exciting and fun career. Over the years I have lost way too many of my fellow child performers to drugs, alcohol, and suicide or witnessed otherwise loving and caring families ripped apart by the pressures of fame and success, or the lack there of. And one has only to pick up a paper or watch the news to see that it is still going on today. From my perspective the two greatest reasons for this tragedy is isolation, (which has only gotten worse with all the home schooling), and not being prepared for what comes next as one grows, changes, and matures. Looking Ahead addresses both of these issues in a fun and positive way and by not only helping and being of service to the young performer but also their families as well. Looking Ahead continues to create a unique community where young performers can come together and share what is really going on in their lives with other kids that actually “get it,” while at the same time learn the joys of giving back and being of service to others, or simply ‘looking ahead’ to what may come next all in a safe, fun, and very well supervised environment.”

 
James Blakely
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Affiliation: Vice President of the Looking Ahead Leadership Council

Bio:

James Blakely has been acting for seven years, and greatly enjoys singing and playing guitar. His favorite musical genres are grunge and thrash, and he hopes to pursue a career as a musician. 

Quote: “I became Vice President of the Looking Ahead Leadership Council because of the good Looking Ahead has done for me. I want to do good for Looking Ahead, and help facilitate the same positive experiences I've had for others.”


Karla Huff
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Affiliation: Owner, Dream Talent Management

Bio:

Karla Huff is the co-owner of Dream Talent Management, one of the premiere boutique management companies in Los Angeles.  DTM is comprised of 3 offices throughout Southern California that cover children to adults, actors, dancers, singers and influencers, and they have been in business over 14 years and in the entertainment industry as a whole for over 25.  Dream’s intention is to guide, develop and direct the careers of their amazing talent with an emphasize on personal ethics, standards, and commitment to excellence.   They believe in being actively involved in their client’s careers on all levels, and really feel that being in the position of managing especially kids is an honor and a privilege and an important responsibility.  To that end being on the Advisory Committee of this amazing organization, The Looking Ahead program, is one of the most important things Karla feels she can do. 

Quote: “I am proud to align myself with such a true gift to our industry kids and families.  The programs and support they offer our community is invaluable and whatever I can do to support their work is of the utmost importance to me!”

 
Heather Marcus
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Affiliation: Studio Teacher Member of Local 884

Bio:

I started working as a Studio Teacher  in 1992 right after I graduated from Boston Univerisry with a B.S. in Education.  Since then I have added credentials in Home Economics, Social Science, and Mathematics. I have been fortunate to work in such a virbrant industry while doing what I love, working with children. I am married, and have two amazing daughters.


Quote: “While on set I do everything in my power to make working in the entertainment industry a positive experience for child actors. I’m excited to join the advisory committee to further my commitment to making that experience better.”


Jacky Olitsky
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Affiliation: Labor Representative, Local 700 IATSE, Editors Guild

Bio:

Jacky Olitsky is a Labor/Business Representative with the Motion Picture Editors Guild for nine years, following a decade-long stint as a Business Representative at Screen Actors Guild. An advocate for her members, she has built and fostered long-standing‎ relationships within and outside the entertainment industry. Born in Virginia Beach, Jacky has lived in Los Angeles and been in the Motion Picture Industry since 1995 committed to protecting young performers and promoting their careers. She has served on the Advisory Committee since its inception twelve years ago.

Quote: “I sit on the Advisory Committee for one simple reason...I hope to be able to help and make a difference in the lives and careers of young performers.”


Cindy Osbrink
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Affiliation: Owner/Agent – The Osbrink Agency

Bio:

Cindy started The Osbrink Agency twenty-one years ago in a one room office, and is currently known as one of the Top Youth Talent Agencies in Hollywood. Osbrink has since grown the company into a full-service agency providing the Entertainment and Fashion industry with many visible youth clients in film, television, commercial, voice-over and print. Cindy loves finding and starting brand new talent.

She has represented numerous fresh faces of Hollywood which include Dakota Fanning (The Twilight Saga: New Moon & Eclipse, The Runaways, The Secret Life of Bees), Elle Fanning (Maleficent, We Bought a Zoo, Super 8), Tyler James Williams (Go On, Let it Shine, We the Peeples, Everybody Hates Chris), Tyrel Jackson Williams (Lab Rats) Atticus Shaffer (The Middle, Frankenweenie), Jae Head (The Blind Side, Friday Night Lights), Jake Lloyd (Star Wars) Max Burkholder (Parenthood) Molly Quinn (Castle), Josie Loren (Make it or Break it) Laura Slade Wiggins (Shameless), Leo Howard (Kickin' It, Conan the Barbarian), Amandla Stenberg (Hunger Games, Columbiana), Kenton Duty (Shake it Up), Blake Michael (Dog with a Blog,(Lemonade Mouth), Colin Ford (We Bought a Zoo, Jake and the Never Land Pirates) Maggie Jones, (Ben & Kate, We Bought a Zoo, Footloose) Kaitlyn Dever (Last Man Standing, Bad Teacher) and Cameron Boyce (Jessie).

Quote: “I am honored to be a part of Looking Ahead. The program allows children to be children in our business of Hollywood with the support and knowledge of a healthy path for their futures to become amazing adults. Looking Ahead and everyone involved is a true gift for our children!!”

Lisa Rapport, Ph.D
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Affiliation: Professor, Department of Psychology Wayne State University

Bio:

Lisa is a Clinical Psychologist who teaches in the doctoral program at Wayne State University. She earned her doctorate at UCLA and specializes in psychological assessment and research methods. She has been with Looking Ahead since its inception. With support from the Actors Fund, SAG-AFTRA, and Paul Peterson’s organization “A Minor Consideration,” she and a student, Matt Meleen, conducted the first scientific survey of former young performers. The study examined outcomes and predictors of well-being among adults who were famous young performers. The results of the study (published in The Journal of Personality Assessment) were among the guides used to develop the Looking Ahead program.

Quote: “Looking Ahead is important to me because it provides support for young performers to succeed in life, now and in the future. I’m very proud to be a part of this extraordinary organization.”


Michael Rosenfeld
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Affiliation: Vice President, Counsel, The Walt Disney Company

Bio:

Mr. Rosenfeld specializes in labor, employment, and immigration law. He serves on several boards in addition to Looking Ahead, including the Council for Global Immigration and the Motion Picture Industry Pension and Health Plans. He earned a B.A. from Princeton University and a J.D. from Whittier Law School.

Quote: “The peer support, community-service opportunities and old-fashioned fun which the Looking Ahead program provides are experiences young performers will carry with them for the rest or their lives and, hopefully, pay forward to the next generation.”

 
Josh Rudoy
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Affiliation: Former Young Performer and Sr. Investment Advisor at Argyle Capital Partners

Bio:

Josh grew up in Los Angeles and was extremely fortunate at the age of 9 to have the opportunity to meet with a talent agency. Soon thereafter, he landed a role for Steven Spielberg’s, “Amazing Stories.” From age 9 to 15, Josh continued work as a child actor and starred in various movies/tv shows such as Harry and the Hendersons, Flatliners, ALF, What A Dummy and Beauty and the Beast. Josh later graduated from The University of Southern California, where he met his wife Kathy. After 8 years of working for two Wall Street firms, Josh co-founded an independent investment company in Century City in 2012. Josh serves on the Advisory Committee for The Actors Fund's Looking Ahead program which was created to help professional young performers and their families thrive amid the unique challenges of working in the entertainment industry. Josh is also active in The Wilshire Rotary Club where he currently serves on the Board. Josh resides in Los Angeles with his wife and two sons; Reid and Chase.

Quote: “Looking Ahead is important to me: because when I was a young performer I struggled to find a balance between work, friends and school. At that time, there was no program in place to help facilitate the difficulties of assimilating into “a normal life. Looking Ahead utilizes all the key components (community service, education, family and financial support to bridge that gap.”


Fatna Sallak-Williams
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Affiliation: Director, Background Actors Department, SAG-AFTRA

Bio:

Fatna is the National Director of the SAG-AFTRA Background Actors Department with more than 15 years experience in labor relations. She has worked as a business representative for the union’s San Francisco office, a case manager for the SAG-AFTRA Los Angeles Legal Department, as well as a senior manager of the SAG-AFTRA Theatrical Contracts Department. Throughout the years, she has interpreted, enforced and explained SAG-AFTRA collective bargaining agreement provisions to members, colleagues, signatory companies and all third parties involved with SAG-AFTRA covered productions.  


Carol Lynn Sher
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Affiliation: Director of Commercials and Modeling, Young Talent Division at Cunningham Escott Slevin Doherty

Bio: 

Carol Lynn is a Senior Agent and Director of Commercials and Modeling, Young Talent Division at Cunningham Escott Slevin Doherty in Los Angeles.
She has won The Telly award for “Best Casting in A Commercial” for the Women in Film Organization. She is a member of the honorary Speech Fraternity Tau Kappa Alpha.
She has worked at CESD a large talent agency with offices in New York and Los Angeles, since 1990. CESD is most known for breaking the stars of tomorrow – some of whom include: Miley Cyrus, Jennifer Lawrence, Hayden Panettiere, Kristin Bell, Demi Lovato, Jesse McCartney, Thomas Mann, Victoria Justice, Miranda Cosgrove and Darren Criss to name a few.
Carol Lynn is thrice awarded Youth Commercial Agent of the Year Heller Award by the Talent Managers Association including this year.
Carol Lynn serves on the Board of Advisors for www.childreninfilm.com. She is currently the top rated agent and overall industry professional on www.childreninfilm.com.
She is on the Board of Advisors for the Julie Nation Academy in Santa Rosa, California. She has judged pageants including the Miss Montana pageant for The Miss USA pageant.
She speaks at conventions and industry panels including SAG New York, Young Performer’s Committee, World Presidents Association, and more.
Her seminar, “Build Your Team and Your Career” has been presented before thousands of actors and parents.

Quote: “It’s easy to say life is tough in the acting business for young talent; at the same time it’s not as easy to say you’ll volunteer to help the way forward for them in this tough business.”


Judy Taylor
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Affiliation: Senior Vice President, Casting & Talent Relations, Disney Channels

Bio:

Judy Taylor, Senior Vice President, Casting and Talent Relations, Disney Channel, oversees all casting, guest casting, talent booking and day-to-day talent relations for live-action series and movies on Disney Channel and Disney XD programming for kids age 6-14. She brings an extraordinary wealth of experience and expertise to developing and nurturing original series and movies.
Taylor oversaw the casting for several of the Disney Channel Original Movies, including "Descendants" and "Descendants 2," the global sensation "High School Musical" and "High School Musical 2," the "Camp Rock" movies, "Let it Shine," "Lemonade Mouth," "Teen Beach Movie" and "Teen Beach 2" and Disney Channel and Disney XD's original series "K.C. Undercover," "Girl Meets World," "Austin & Ally," "Jessie," "Kickin’ It," "Lab Rats," "Good Luck Charlie," "Shake It Up," the Emmy Award-winning "Wizards of Waverly Place," and the global smash hit "Hannah Montana," among others.
She joined Disney in 2004, although as an independent casting director, her association with Disney Channel spans over a decade. She began her career as an assistant at Fenton-Feinberg Casting, and rose to a partner in the firm which was then renamed Fenton-Taylor Casting.
In feature films, her credits as a casting director include all three "Back to the Future" movies, the "Free Willy" franchise, "The Little Rascals," "The Mighty Ducks II and III," "Sister Act," "Total Recall," "Honey, I Shrunk the Kids," "Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade," "The Goonies," among many others.
A native of DeSoto, Missouri, a suburb of St. Louis, Taylor graduated from Stephens College with a BFA in Theatre Arts.
She is the mother of two sons and resides with her husband Mark Taylor (an actor/director) in Los Angeles, California.


Angela Williams
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Affiliation: Life Coach, Entertainment CEO, Author, Speaker

Bio:

Angela J. Williams has gathered a vast amount of knowledge and experience that spans over 30 years in the entertainment industry as a professional singer, songwriter, literary author, producer, performer, as well as CEO of a literary and a music publishing company. Angela eventually dissolved all of her creative duties to home school her three children. She emerged as overseer and COO of the businesses and successful careers of her three sons, Tyler James Williams: Everybody Hates Chris (CW), Let It Shine (Disney), The Walking Dead (AMC), Criminal Minds: Beyond Borders (CBS), Tyrel Jackson Williams: Backyardigans (Nickelodeon), Lab Rats (Disney XD), Brockmire (IFC) and Tylen Jacob Williams: Instant Mom (Nick at Night). In the midst of balancing all of this she returned to school earning a B.S. in Business Management and a M.S. in Psychology. Angela is also an ordained minister, motivational speaker, life coach, business consultant and spiritual mentor to couples and others in the entertainment industry. She is the author of My Child is Going to be Rich and Famous: How to Successfully Balance Family, Parenting and Entertainment, and The Circle of Love. Angela is a member of Women in Film Los Angeles and the American Psychological Association.

Quote: “I sit on the Advisory Committee because Looking Ahead echoes my passion to help others survive and thrive in the world of entertainment.”