“Casting is a non-stop job. Offices don’t close for lunch, in fact, that’s when you catch up on admin. If you’re not at the theatre, you’re still at work at 8 or 9pm most nights. Despite this, it’s wonderful to be a part of a production at such an early stage that millions of people may see and interesting to see how different a show may have been if a different actor had taken the role.”
Emily Jenkinson has worked as a freelance casting assistant for some of London’s most busiest and dynamic casting offices.
Her first break came from Shaheen Baig (Peaky Blinders, Lady MacBeth, God’s Own Country). “Given that the website features pictures of the casting directors as children, I sent in an application saying “attached is my CV and a picture of myself as a small child.” It must have been memorable enough for them take a chance on me a few months later!”read more
“Basically, the actor’s job is to be the ultimate detective, collect all the pieces of the puzzle and put it together to create a fully formed, nuanced, believable character.” – Jess Loudon
Generosity of spirit is crucial in this industry. Whilst it is important to keep things close to our heart it is equally important to share our passion and combine knowledge and talent amongst our community. In short, what you give, you get back.
Jess Loudon is an abundance of generosity. From the moment she walks into a room you instantly feel the weight of the world fall off your shoulders into oblivion. The first time I met Jess was when I was auditioning her for a role, with a big smile, and a voice showered in enthusiasm she introduced herself and I knew, before she even began her audition monologue, that she simply oozed talent.
“We constantly shape shift, we figure out ways to attain our dreams and pursue them at full force.” – Miranda O’Hare
Recently, I went to a casting for a feature film here in LA. The usual transpired, it was in the Valley which with traffic (and there is always, always traffic in LA) is an almost hour long drive from my apartment in West Hollywood, sometimes more. It was a balmy 100 degrees (LA is in a constant state of sweltering heat). Despite the usual challenges, I arrive with five minutes to spare, deeply impressed with myself for not being late. I have my script in tow and a mild whole body sweat that I’m trying to pass off as a general glow. I sit in a packed waiting room; the actor sitting next to me me tells me that they’re running an hour behind. Excellent. I wait, I run over my script, I eat a snack in my bag, I stare at my phone, time passes. Eventually after an hour and fifteen minutes, I am called into the casting room. As I walk in, I am surprised by just how many people are in this room, mostly men. Very little is said to me. Someone asks me to slate and to begin the first scene; I barely know where the reader is.read more
“At the end of the day we are all pursuing this industry because it’s fun and makes us happy.” – Alexandra Keddie
“Alexandra Keddie captures the bewilderment of visiting ingenue, Jackie Coryton”
– Herald Sun
I have to admit that I have a secret girl crush on Alexandra Keddie. It all began around the time of the US 2016 election campaign. Whilst the entire free world was fixated on the Clinton|Trump theatrics I furtively imagined a world where the greatest actress to ever exist pulled a rabbit out of a hat (or in this particular case three Oscars) to become the first female President of the United States of America. A world where talent, imagination and fierce brilliance inspired humanity, a world where Meryl Streep reigned, “That’s all.”read more
This month I wanna chat about Trailer Tension!
You’re on a job, a big job that you’ve dreamt of, and worked your butt off to get. You’ve done all your work, your prep, got your hair and make up done, you’re just waiting to get costumed, hanging in your trailer when ‘bang’ all of a sudden, you are completely paralyzed! Doubtful and terrified, wondering how the hell you got there, querying if the director (who up until now you thought was brilliant!) is insane because he cast you and now you’re sourcing the nearest escape route!
WHAT DO I DO??!!! My usual solution of throwing on the trainers, getting my heart pounding and endorphins flowing is not gonna work because I’m wanted on set in 30 minutes and the make up team are not gonna be happy if you sweat off the hour of hard work just because you’re nervous!
“Casting is the biggest job, because once you get down to it, it has to be an equal exchange. Casting has to be about so many things: Do they understand the character’s life? Do they understand the language, the environment, the relationships? Do they understand me when I ask a question or offer a direction? Are they intrigued by my offers or defensive towards them?”
– Faran Martin
During our time speaking with the many talented creatives like you who make up the Casting Networks world the same feedback emerges time and time again: Commitment. Collaboration. Community. Creativity.
From LA casting offices to West End costume departments, we hear praise and passion for artists who are “a joy to work with”, with “humility and kindness”, artists who are motivated, expansive, driven by curiosity and craft.
“I learned very quickly when I started directing that of course I was itching to find out about the characters from the inside, but I had to detach my ego from the process. I had to be as open as I wished the actors to be, and be curious about each person’s process.”
Faran Martin is driven by this commitment to curiosity, exploring cross-contextual play through her stage-work.
“It’s made me more aware as an actor of how exciting it is for a director when an actor is willing to be playful.”
This month Ali shares tips on how to stay healthy and glowing whilst travelling.
It’s a quick one this month with soooo much going on. I booked a job that saw me fly home, get off the plane and go straight to studio. Fourteen hours on a plane does not make for a very present Ali on the day of arrival but, alas, it had to be.
As I write this it is Monday October 2nd and I spent the past week nursing possibly the WORST head cold borderline flu I have ever had (it is a good thing I am not dramatic right?) Today, I awake to the news that 59 people are dead and more than 500 people injured because of a senseless gun crime in Vegas. I sob, I yell, I blame, I argue, I talk to my best friend in France and we sob some more. My flu complaints are beyond trivial now with my heart and all hearts weeping for the victims, their loved ones, and all humanity as we are reminded yet again of the fragility of life.read more
Diversity in casting simply means that our screens reflect the true diversity of our world. This ensures we are engaging with content showcasing authentic portrayals of our daily lives. According to a recent US census, disabled people make up 19% of the population meaning nearly 1 in every 5 Americans live with a disability. That is an alarming statistic, especially when you stop to consider whether these numbers are being accurately reflected on our screens.
“Casting all actors and directors: This is the month to make it Short+Sweet.”
The curtains may have just closed on the 2017 Melbourne Fringe but don’t despair, October still holds plenty of delights for the theatrically unsatiated.
Aside from the larger main stage events for the theatre-going, this independent production ‘shoulder season’ between the Edinburgh and Adelaide Fringe is a great time to incubate new projects and get back amongst the industry for some ‘connecting’ (the warmer and more mutually-beneficial version of the somewhat grubbier, graspier, and frankly a tad 1980’s cheap suit-sounding ‘networking’).
Connectivity is the lifeline of the industry, where we as artists, casting professionals and all industry talent can create a vibrant hub of collaboration. But how best exactly to get amongst it?