Role Of The Casting Director

 

The casting director’s responsibility is to find actors who are right for the parts of a particular production and arrange to audition them. To do this task, the casting director might go through a personal file or rolodex of actors; contact one or several agents to search for actors, and for projects large enough, putting a notice on a breakdown service.

  Check List for what you need to know about the Casting Director’s job
Generally, the casting director can be thought of as a prescreener. In the end, directors, writers and producers make the final decisions on who to hire. Naturally, there can be exceptions to this.
Among the sources that agents tap for actors are: agents they know, to a lesser degree agents they don’t know, managers, their own files of headshots, personal recommendations, actors they have seen perform in various venues like Off-Off Broadway.
Casting directors will look at your photo and resume and then ask you to read. If they like the reading they will then go ahead and schedule a time for you to come back and audition for the producers and director.
Casting directors use a combination of intuition and experience to send candidates onto call-back auditions with producers and directors. Many casting directors were actors early in their careers; others were stage managers, and/or assistants to various producers or casting directors before moving into casting themselves.
Some casting directors work in-house, but nowadays many are freelance hires with their own businesses that have to be licensed.
Once the director and producers have decided which actors they want to hire, the casting director is the one who then negotiates money, schedules and billing with the actors or their agents.
Since they want you to do your best, which in turn reflects well on their job performance, casting directors have been known to impart subtle signals, helpful hints and conventional wisdom while escorting a prospect into a reading. Therefore pay close attention to what they might have to say.
 Use our communication tools (chat room; message board; messaging tools etc.) to reach others who can provide you with more help and information

Casting directors, many of whom belong to the CSA (Casting Society of America), work for producers and directors with the main task of finding actors to audition for a production so the client (producers, directors) can determine which actors will best fit the roles for the production. Once the director and producers have decided upon which actors to hire, the casting director then negotiates money, schedules and billing with the actors and/or their agents.

Most casting directors are freelance or independent contractors and have learned their trade through an informal apprenticeship since there is no school that teaches the skill. The Casting Society of America, located in Hollywood, is a nationwide professional organization of casting directors, but is not a formal union for the group.

There are several types of casting directors. As mentioned before, there are independent casting directors who are hired for a particular project by theater, television, film, or commercial producers. Most of these independent casting directors have offices, but others travel, depending on the location of the project they have signed on to.

Another category are the casting directors who work for advertising agencies.

It’s their job to find actors for television commercials, radio spots, voice-overs, and print.

In contrast to the first group mentioned above, there are in-house casting directors, such as daytime serial casting directors who specifically work for the studios and networks.

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Web Based Organizations Offering Casting Services

Castnet.com
127 West Church Street
Suite 300
Orlando, FL 32801
Phone: 866-582-4201 ext. 2273
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
www.castnet.com

Castnet.com
5670 Wilshire Blvd
Suite 1620
Los Angeles, CA 90036
Phone: 888-590-9994 ext.273
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
www.castnet.com

The Link
Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences
Attn: Mr. Keith Gonzales, Editor, Academy Players Directory
8949 Wilshire Boulevard
Beverly Hills, California 90211
Phone: 310-247-3000
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
www.submitlink.com

 

Some known ways in which casting directors go about the process of finding talent for a production include:

  • Going through their files and selecting talent from actors whose work they are familiar with.
  • Contacting talent agents (usually those they already know) and requesting submissions for a production 
    Terms to Know

    Audition. A formally arranged session (usually by appointment through an agent) for an actor to display his or her talents when seeking a role in an upcoming production of a play, film or television project, usually to a casting director, director or producers.

    Callback. A second audition where an actor is either presented to the producer and director or, in the case of commercials, is filmed on tape again for final consideration.

    Casting. When a casting director puts out the news that he needs to fill a certain role that requires an approximate age range and appearance such as a certain ethnicity, height, build or look.

    Cold Reading. Delivering a speech or acting a scene at an audition without having read it beforehand.

    Concept Meeting. A gathering of the producer, director and casting director to reach an agreement about the look and quality of each character in a script.

    Image. The casting type or quality you wish to convey and portray to the theatrical community.

    Pre-reads. An advance reading by a casting director who is unfamiliar with an actor’s work prior to taking the actor to meet a producer or director.

    Reader. Another actor who is paid, or volunteers, to help the casting office by playing all the other characters during an audition so the casting director can concentrate on the actor being screened.

    Screen Test. A recorded audition to determine a person’s suitability as an actor for film or television.

    Type Casting. Assigning a role to an actor on the basis of his or her surface appearance or personality.

    Typed-out. The elimination of an actor during auditions because of such obvious features as height, weight or age.

    For a full glossary listing click here
  • Issuing the release of a cast breakdown on a breakdown service.

When casting directors hold preliminary auditions, they eliminate those actors whom they feel are not right for that particular production at an early and predictable stage. Usually actors are “typed out” or lose out because of a poor audition. When they’ve narrowed down the playing field to the most likely candidates, the casting director will then bring in the producers, director, and playwright to the audition where the decision as to who will be cast in roles is now made.

 

How to Meet Casting Directors

Actors can meet casting directors in similar fashion to the way they can meet talent agents. Casting directors go to showcases, Broadway plays, and off-Broadway plays. They watch movies and television shows, and look at actors’ reels to become familiar with actors in an available talent pool. Aside from an agent’s submissions, you can meet casting directors through referrals by another actor, through mail submissions, or by paying for introductions or auditions at places that sponsor them, like networking facilities. Another way is to make the rounds, stopping by a casting directors office (where permissible or it could backfire badly) and leaving a picture and resume.

 

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Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetuer adipiscing elit. Aenean commodo ligula eget dolor. Aenean massa. Cum sociis natoque penatibus et magnis dis parturient montes, nascetur ridiculus mus. Donec quam felis, ultricies nec, pellentesque eu, pretium quis, sem. Nulla consequat massa quis enim. Donec pede justo, fringilla vel, aliquet nec, vulputate eget, arcu. In enim justo, rhoncus ut, imperdiet a, venenatis vitae, justo. Nullam dictum felis eu pede mollis pretium. Integer tincidunt.

 

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Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetuer adipiscing elit. Aenean commodo ligula eget dolor. Aenean massa. Cum sociis natoque penatibus et magnis dis parturient montes, nascetur ridiculus mus. Donec quam felis, ultricies nec, pellentesque eu, pretium quis, sem. Nulla consequat massa quis enim. Donec pede justo, fringilla vel, aliquet nec, vulputate eget, arcu. In enim justo, rhoncus ut, imperdiet a, venenatis vitae, justo. Nullam dictum felis eu pede mollis pretium. Integer tincidunt.

 

DUMMY TEXT

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetuer adipiscing elit. Aenean commodo ligula eget dolor. Aenean massa. Cum sociis natoque penatibus et magnis dis parturient montes, nascetur ridiculus mus. Donec quam felis, ultricies nec, pellentesque eu, pretium quis, sem. Nulla consequat massa quis enim. Donec pede justo, fringilla vel, aliquet nec, vulputate eget, arcu. In enim justo, rhoncus ut, imperdiet a, venenatis vitae, justo. Nullam dictum felis eu pede mollis pretium. Integer tincidunt.

 

Relevant Associations & Organizations

Actor’s Fund of America
729 Seventh Avenue (48 & 49 Sts.), 11 Floor
New York, NY 10036
Phone: 212-354-5480
Los Angeles: 323-933-9244 ext:50
Career management and counseling mostly for sideline and second careers; educational grants for retraining and education.
Email (NY/LA): This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
http://www.actorsfund.org/human/work.html

Casting Society of America
606 N. Larchmont Boulevard, Suite 4-B
Los Angeles, CA 90004 -1309
Phone: 323-463-1925
Fax:323-463-5753
Functions like a society for casting directors, also carrying advice on its website for those seeking to enter the casting director field.
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
http://www.castingsociety.com

Casting Society of America
2565 Broadway, Suite 185
New York, NY 10025
Phone: 212.868-1260 x22
Functions like a society for casting directors, also carrying advice on its website for those seeking to enter the casting director field.
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
http://www.castingsociety.com

Non-Traditional Casting Project (NTCP)
1560 Broadway, Suite 1600
New York, NY 10036
Phone: 212-730-4750
Fax: 212-730-4820
NTCP works to promote inclusive hiring practices and standards, diversity in leadership and balanced portrayals of persons of color and persons with disabilities.
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
http://www.ntcp.org

   

For a full listing of helpful associations and organizations click here