An Interview with Casting Director Manuel Puro

An Interview with Casting Director Manuel Puro

Casting director Manuel Puro has been on the casting scene for over two decades now, and recently he’s gone one step further to create something truly outstanding (and one of a kind) for actors globally – an international online self tape course. Actress and writer for Casting Networks, Angela Peters, recently took part in Casting Director Manuel Puro’s new online course, The Acting Habit, and had an incredible experience working on self tapes daily with actors from all around the globe. Self tapes are the way forward, and here Angela talks to Manuel to find out more about why he created this course, the importance of getting a self tape right, and more about his casting career.

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His & Hers: The Balancing Act of Sensible Fitness vs Obsession

 

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Welcome to His & Hers, in which an entertainment industry business advisor and actress/mentor give their take on the latest topics that come up when they’re mentoring and coaching actors. 

This month John Byrne, an entertainment industry business advisor who writes for The Stage and coaches actors around the globe, compares thoughts with Angela Peters, actress and acting mentor with clients in the UK, LA, and AU, on the topic of the balancing act between being sensible with fitness vs unwarranted obsession.


John Byrne: In addition to working in the acting world, I have several clients in the music industry. While the myth that every road musician is a combination of Ozzie Osbourne, the late Lemmy from Motorhead, and all four members of Spinal Tap (including the self-destructing drummers) is as untrue as saying that all actors are like Stephen Toast. I have come across my fair share of wild men and women over the years.

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His & Hers: Revelling in the Joy of Resolutions (That Count)

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Welcome to His & Hers, in which an entertainment industry business advisor and actress/mentor give their take on the latest topics that come up when they’re mentoring and coaching actors. 


This month John Byrne, an entertainment industry business advisor who writes for The Stage and coaches actors around the globe, compares thoughts with Angela Peters, actress and acting mentor with clients in the UK, LA, and AU, on the topic of Resolutions—and how you can make acting resolutions that actually count.

Angela:

Every year, hundreds, perhaps millions, of actors sit down about now and plan their goals to take over the acting world. I’ve coached actors as they do it, I’ve received emails asking for support as they work on them, I’ve read the tweets and Facebook comments professing that this year will be different—and why not? The new year is about making resolutions and vowing to do things differently; it’s a chance to start again.

But what really counts are the goals that can actually be put into practise—the goals that are actionable, the goals that allow an actor to feel good about themselves.

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Interview with Producer Ado Yoshizaki Cassuto of ‘City of Tiny Lights’

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Riz Ahmed in ‘City of Tiny Lights’

This week we were thrilled to catch up with Ado Yoshizaki Cassuto from NDF International, who has just produced the Toronto Film Festival screened City of Tiny Lights, starring rising star Riz Ahmed. Ado is no stranger to the time it takes from getting onboard with a film to actually having its big screen debut, and in this case, film festival screenings at multiple prestigious festivals around the globe. Here, we caught up with the producer to find out all the tips and tricks of surviving in this business for the long haul.


Casting Networks: So Ado, it’s been four years ears since you made LAST PASSENGER with Dougray Scott and Tara Tointon, which BFI, Pinewood, and Pathé came on board to help with. What have you been working on since?

Ado Yoshizaki: A variety of projects, some that were in development both before and during Last Passenger, and some new projects that we either initiated or were brought by directors. In the end, City Of Tiny Lights began to generate buzz and, through 2013 and 2014, became the focus of my efforts. Putting it together was like working on a giant jigsaw puzzle – it wasn’t easy and took years! I worked step by step, very carefully, to make those already involved feel more and more comfortable and, at the same time, bringing on top companies and partners, cast and creative collaborators, to generate and keep momentum going through to the magic moment when you close finance and are in prep.

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His & Hers: A Look at Biggest Actor Mistakes

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Welcome to His & Hers, in which an entertainment industry business advisor and actress/mentor give their take on the latest topics that come up when they’re mentoring and coaching actors. 


This month John Byrne, an entertainment industry business advisor who writes for The Stage, and coaches actors around the globe compares thoughts with Angela Peters, actress and acting mentor with clients in the UK, LA, and AU, on the topic of What we think are the biggest mistakes actors make.

John:

It does surprise me sometimes when I meet with actors who want help because they are not getting work or can’t get an agent, but who appear to have a laundry list of jobs they won’t do – from commercials, to fringe plays, to theatre in education. I can certainly understand it when actors have already done a lot of a certain kind of work, but quite often this picky attitude seems to come from actors who are just starting out and haven’t done very much at all. The rationale I often hear given is that “casting directors won’t be interested in coming to small plays or children’s shows” or that the big casting directors won’t rate work done on commercials, or even that “the actors I admire don’t do that kind of work so I don’t either.”

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The Casting Room: An Actor’s Perspective

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We all want to be in the room – participating in castings, getting seen for the next big show or film. But there’s another magical and interesting time to be in the casting room; it’s when you’re invited in to be a reader for a casting director.

Why is this so magical? Because it’s the one and only time an actor is given the opportunity to sit in a room and learn through active participation and observation without any pressure. It’s the one time an actor gets a free lesson one-to-one with a casting director without even knowing it. And it’s the one time you don’t have to perspire, freak out with an urgent loo visit beforehand, focus on your affirmations, or play your tune to get you in the zone. Instead, your role is to make the actor auditioning look as good as possible, through supporting both the actor and casting director, effortlessly making their exhausting day that much easier for the duration.

Over the years, I have been fortunate enough to participate as a reader for over half a dozen casting directors in this capacity, as well as helping smaller producers and directors out when they’ve had auditions for their personal projects. So I thought, why not share some of the Dos and Don’ts from an actor’s perspective? We all hear it from the casting director, but what about that general overview from one actor to another, you know, just telling it like it is?
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The Actors Are Come

Photo credit: tonynetone via Foter.com / CC BY

‘The actors are come hither, my lord.’

(Hamlet, Act 2, Scene2)

The only moment Shakespeare’s Hamlet appears genuinely happy is when a troupe of actors arrive at the gates of Elsinore. Wracked with guilt over his failure to avenge his murdered father, betrayed by both his girlfriend and adulterous mother, Hamlet’s spirits rise as he greets a genuine band of brothers on stage. “You are welcome masters, welcome all. I am glad to see thee well. Welcome good friends.”

Among these friends, we find no producer or director. We learn that these actors are in need of a writer, a role which Hamlet is ready to take on for the performance of The Mousetrap the following night. But for the first time in the play, Hamlet has no doubts. When it comes to great drama, actors are the key to success.

Things have changed quite a bit since the seventeenth century. A shift took place with the rise of directors’ theatre in the early twentieth century. But it is the increasing dominance of film and television drama today that has changed the rule book for actors. Today the process is becoming the focus of attention, rather than the play.

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Because you Cannes Cannes Cannes

It’s nearly time again, the buzz word is Cannes! Every year thousands of hopefuls descend upon Cannes, ready to meet producers, sales agents, see films, walk the red carpet, and more. The lure of one of the most popular and celebrity-studded festivals of the calendar year is too much to ignore.

Having travelled there five times myself, I’m no stranger to the glamour, long nights, sore feet, and champagne only diet. It’s everything it says on the Kellogg’s packet.

Cannes is like being at a stylish party that goes on for three days.

It’s also not for the faint-hearted, so if you’ve decided you absolutely must go, here’s a list of a few things to pack, and to make sure you’ve considered. This list isn’t for everyone, especially if you’re going to be attending as part of a production or a film that is officially entered in the Cannes Film Festival (not the Short Film Corner). However, if you’re a punter wanting to join the excitement for the first time, or you know something you’ve acted in will be in the Marche being sold, this might be your perfect time to sample the unrivaled glamour of a film festival in the south of France.read more

Physiology and Acting: The Perdekamp Emotional Method

The Perdekamp Emotional Method (PEM) is a relatively new style of acting training developed by German acting teacher Stephan Perdekamp that offers classes and workshops across the globe. Some of the actors endorsing PEM include Garrett Wang, known for playing Harry Kim on Star Trek: Voyager (LA), Sven Rygrock, known for Zulu alongside Orlando Bloom and Forest Whitaker, and Jon Sidgwick, known for EastEnders. We went to PEM instructor Sarah Victoria for more info on this new style of instruction.

As with any interview we conduct with someone in the entertainment industry who’s offering services, this should be taken as informational, rather than an endorsement. We always encourage you to do your own research and decide if any photographer, teacher, class, school, or style sounds right for you. That said, more on PEM!


CNI: Firstly, can you tell us a little bit about yourself and how you came to learn about PEM?

SV: I am an actress trained in the techniques of Strasberg, Stanislavsky, and Meisner at institutions in London and Vienna. I came across PEM during my second year of acting school and immediately decided to train PEM full-time with its creator Stephan Perdekamp.

The reason for my immediate and clear decision was on one hand due to PEM’s direct and effortless access to authenticity, intensity, quickness, and ease in approaching emotions and on the other hand, because PEM offered me the missing link between mere psychological acting and the instinctive, guttural biological and organic level of performance I always strived for.read more

Actors, Will You Cross The Shores?

Actors traveling abroadEvery year when pilot season hits, there’s a flurry of excitement about what to do next. As the self tape requests flood in, excited actors chance the idea of getting their O1 visas and making a break for Hollywood. Will they cross the shores or stay where they are?

I won’t lie. I’ve considered it myself a million times. The glamour, the contacts, the red carpets, the studios. Who wouldn’t want access to that. And truth be told, it’s probably something I will work towards sooner or later.

I guess any move is the same. I did it myself many years ago by venturing all the way across to the other side of the world to hit Britain. Sure, it doesn’t have quite the same pizzazz as LA, or the snowy sparkle of New York, but it’s still a big city and offers much more of the big industry feel than I was finding available in my happy Brisbane surroundings at the time. And yet, with any move comes great expectations and equally, much fear and trepidation.

There are also some other minor (major) details that get left out of the gym locker conversations about moving continents to pursue an acting career. Some of these things impact a person so much more than they realise, and they really ought to be on the ‘check list’ when deciding if one is really ready to jump ship and live abroad. read more