For decades, there was one tried and true method for agentless actors and other show-biz types to find work: Trudge down to the local newsstand and pick up a copy of Back Stage or the on-again, off-again Show Business as soon as they hit the stands, then leaf through the pages of these papers to find out who's looking for somebody to play Mordred on Broadway, Estragon on the Lower East Side, Mister Snow in Cincinnati, or Lady Macbeth in Dallas. Particularly ambitious folks would often go out in search of the casting papers late at night on the day before the official release date, in order to get a jump on the competition.

Now, thanks to the Internet, such late-night sojourns are becoming unnecessary. A new website, www.thebuzznyc.com, lists notices sent in by companies and individuals seeking performers, directors, writers, musicians, etc. for all types of projects, "from student films to major motion pictures, modern dance to ballet, black box theater to Broadway, stand-up to sitcom." According to founder and administrator David Marcus, a former employee of TheaterMania.com, "The site was created by theater and internet professionals. We plan to provide New York City performers with the best, up-to-date casting notices and to help out in any way we possibly can. Whatever questions people have, they can come to us."

Marcus vouches for all of the notices that appear on the site. "Everybody who posts has to explain to me who they are and where they're from," he says. "We post reliable notices. We already have over 1,300 members and the site has been live for less than two months." Those who have jobs to offer, as well as those who seek employment, will be thrilled to hear that thebuzznyc.com does not charge to post notices or to view them. So, how does the site support itself? "Through advertising," Marcus replies. "We already have several advertisers--and the more members we get, the easier it will be for us to sell ads."

According to Marcus, the site is distinguished by its sharp focus. "There are other sites that post casting notices," he says, "but none of them does that exclusively. We do one thing and we do it well. I'm out there every day, getting the word out; I went to Juilliard recently and they were very supportive." Aside from notices, thebuzznyc has buttons that link to pages including such valuable information as lists of NYC casting directors and talent agencies, plus direct links to the websites of Actors' Equity, SAG, AFTRA, the Directors Guild of America and the Writers Guild of America. Registration is required in order to use the site--but, again, it's absolutely free.