THE MODERN HONOLULU hotel played host to two back-to-back events this Fall, drawing hundreds of top-tier (and rising star) actors, filmmakers and other Hollywood types. On Saturday, October 19th, THE MODERN HONOLULU's ballroom was transformed into a lecture hall where more than 300 working (and aspiring) actors engaged for three hours in "The Business of Acting: The Inside Scoop on Casting" during a special presentation. The event was hosted and arranged by the Hawaii International Film Festival (HIFF) in partnership with the SAG - AFTRA Union. Top L.A. and Hawaii casting directors, working actors and producers offered their time to increase attendees chances of seeing themselves on the silver screen.
Casting directors Rene Haynes (Twilight saga) and Rachel Whitley Sutton (Lost, ER, Hawaii Five-0, The Descendants) launched with a workshop entitled "Audition Do's & Dont's" that covered presentation, preparation and execution for actors.
Hawaii talent was well-represented: Honolulu-born actor (and former Miss Hawaii USA) Kelly Hu (X-Men 2, Vampire Diaries, Army Wives) sat alongside director/actor Keo Woolford and actor/SAG-AFTRA Native Americans Committee Chair Delanna Studi (Dreamkeeper, The Only Good Indian) and Ren Hanami (Chair, National Asian Pacific American Media Committee for SAG-AFTRA), to converse and share their successful experiences in Hollywood. Attendees scribbled notes, asked questions and conversed freely with the actors in an open forum setting.
Follow a short break, select attendees were asked to perform scenes (from films that were showing at HIFF) which were then lightly critiqued by the panel of experts. Valuable information was garnered – "Make the words your own!" and "Never stop your own audition. Always keep moving forward." and "React to what you hear." – were a few tips from the pros.
As the sun sank over the harbor beyond THE MODERN HONOLULU, the Sunrise Pool deck was transformed for the closing ceremony and gala for the film festival. "Best Narrative" and "Best Documentary" awards were presented to filmmakers, and guests had the opportunity to mingle with visiting actors from east and west, as HIFF has a rich history of drawing top talent from the Asian film world.
Guests – which included festival organizers, founders and filmmakers – imbibed on Morimoto Waikiki and THE MODERN HONOLULU created fare, while sipping unique (and colorful) cocktails eloquently crafted by THE MODERN HONOLULU's skilled mixologists. Local stars Daniel Dae Kim (Lost, Hawaii Five-0) and Henry Ian Cusick (Lost) palled around with HIFF founder Anderson Le and producer Angie Laprete and chatted openly with guests.
With the stars twinkling far above the nearby waters of Waikiki there was no shortage of star power enjoying their time at Hawaii's most fashionable hotel, THE MODERN HONOLULU.