So you want to be a SOAP STAR?

and Jorge Arauz

Someone from this campus could be the new evil clone/paraplegic/kidnap victim or onion-sniffer on the longest-running daytime drama ever: CBS’s Guiding Light. Casting Director Rob Decina held one of five open casting calls at UM’s Cosford Cinema on Wednesday to find new talent for the soap opera.

“I think there’s this sense of style here [at Miami]and this incredible, warm energy that I’m aware of that’s really exciting,” Decina said.
The open call lasted four hours. CBS cameras were at the event, documenting the activities that went on for most of the day.
Each hopeful filled out a short application with basic contact and descriptive information. A write-in section allowed applicants to elaborate on any prior acting or related experience.
Many mentioned the acting experience they received posing in front of a bathroom mirror or socializing with people they really didn’t like.
“I’m just doing this out of curiosity – I say, try everything once,” said Frederico Cuodra, a sophomore who joined the line thinking it was for a free movie preview. “I haven’t even seen Guiding Light.”
Actor Marty West, who plays 18-year-old Shayne Lewis on the show, walked up and down the line outside of Cosford Cinema, chatting and stapling headshots [requested but not required]to applications.
West’s character is a paraplegic recovering from an unfortunate car accident.
West, 24, told The Miami Hurricane that he got his start in L.A., at a casting call much like Wednesday’s tryouts.
“I tried out in L.A., flew to New York for a screen test about eight days later and signed on about eight more days after that,” he said.
Many of those present were clueless as to what to expect.
“Nobody told me what to do, so I’m just going to go in there and be myself,” Aaron Serbu, freshman, said. “I’m just here to have fun.”
Others weren’t as calm.
“Man, I’m nervous,” Kendrick Ribeiro, a sophomore at Florida Atlantic University, said. “I hope they’re looking for a character that worries too much.”
During the process, applicants were asked to enter Cosford Cinema in groups of two or three to answer three basic questions: “What school do you attend?”; “What’s your major?”; “Why are you here today?”
Academic majors ranged from theatre arts to journalism to psychology and biology.
Reasons for attending ranged from “I wanna be famous” to “I’ll do anything to miss class.”
“I just want to make my mama proud,” Ribeiro said.
Each audition lasted a few minutes, and those auditioning were told that callbacks would be sent out later that afternoon – maybe.
The Miami Hurricane was unable to obtain the exact number of individuals who had been called back at press time.
Two finalists from UM, a male and a female, will advance to New York City with eight others from other colleges throughout the country for a live screen test on The Early Show, where viewers will vote for their favorite potential star.
Winners will star in weeklong summer roles on the drama.
The Miami Hurricane is in the process of obtaining the names of the UM finalists. We will spotlight each in an upcoming issue of the paper.

Samantha Riepe can be contacted at; Jorge Arauz can be contacted at

September 26, 2003


The Miami Hurricane

Student newspaper at the University of Miami

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The Miami Hurricane is the student newspaper of the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Fla. The newspaper is edited and produced by undergraduate students at UM and is published weekly in print on Tuesdays during the regular academic year.