A little bit about meÖ
It was never my intention to be a casting director.
I wasnít quite sure what I wanted to do and didnít start casting till I was 29 years old. It was the coaxing of my friends (who insisted I would make a great casting director) that I applied for work experience at a casting company and my future was set. Fifteen years later, I can say, casting is a career that some people are just born to do, you either have it or you donít, and I have it.
There are a few key elements that make me a great casting director.
I am a treasure hunter.
I love unearthing unknown performers. I am very loyal to theatre and film actors ,particularly great theatre actors. What I love about theatre is its unedited, it is the greatest way to judge a performance. Because I do spend the time following actors work, they know when I invite them to test its not on a whim, its because the role is right for them. A lot of actors balk at the thought of casting for a TVC, its a rush when a brilliant actor who after a little coercing, huge doses of flattery and a touch of stalking agrees to test. My reel is full of actors who exclaimed ďNo thank you, I donít do ads!ĒI weirdly feel a sense of fulfilment when casting performers who were difficult to pitch, I liken it to Marlin fishing.
Iím a matchmaker. I love to connect people.
I get so excited when I know an actor is perfect for a director. There is nothing more gratifying than the phone call after a job when the director gushes about their cast, my favorite lineďyou were right they were perfect, thank youĒ. If the casting thing doesnít work out I could be a Shadchan, although I think you need to be Jewish.
I am a great listener.
I spend a lot of time listening to people. I love storytellers and every body has a story. When someone is willing to share a story especially if its personal, you both feel a connection its fundamental. I like seeing the joy it gives people when they know you are genuinely interested in hearing their story. Not many people have the patience or interest in listening to people, I do and I thoroughly enjoy it-to the point I make it a hobby. People are afraid to talk to strangers, which is a shame, its a lost opportunity to hear someone share the most amazing unique story. Clients will enquire how I found someone or how I unearthed a story for a project. Its pretty easy- we just started talking and then I listened.
I really love people.
I love every day people, they always have the most interesting history. I cast a lot of real people and the reason Im so good at it is because I am genuine. I have cast everything from street kids in Soweto South Africa to Aboriginals at Uluru to Leiderhosen-clad Bavarians in Prague. I feel privileged to meet people and share time with them.
Im as dedicated and passionate as the day I started.
Someone once likened me to a dog with a bone, not so nice but true, I just wont give up. I will work a 24 hour shift if need be, Im just as dedicated to the project as the director and producer. I do work with great directors and great directors are usually passionate, hard working, dedicated and unrelenting- they expect the same from their team. I get bored if Im not passionate about working on a project or the people Im working with. I will do anything to cast the right actor Iíll visit them at their house, Ill meet them back stage after theatre Ill meet them on set, I work hard on presenting the best option.
Iím a great director.
I have learned direction from incredibly gifted directors they taught me everything I know. I have spent 15 years in studio, I donít use studio directors/assistants to direct talent, I personally direct every single actor that comes through studio. I always write a short list for directors and Im not vague about it, I know what every actor brought to the script, what worked what didnt and why.
Hope this helps you get a little insight into why I love what I do.