Nicki Katz, Casting Director.
The art of storytelling is composed of talented, passionate and hardworking show business aficionados. As artists we live out our days admiring the directors, writers and actors who bring our favourite narratives to life. We are all visionaries and the truly gifted understand the importance of collaboration when bringing a creative vision to life.
At the forefront of this collaboration are casting directors; their job is to work with directors, producers and writers to ensure only the best actors are discovered and hired. It goes without saying that a great casting director not only is a champion team player but also holds a remarkable eye for talent.
With a career in the entertainment industry spanning 10 years, Nicki Katz has cast over 75 Award-Winning commercials, feature films, TV series, and short films, which have screened at festivals around the world. Nicki has had feature films premiere at Sundance film festival, including Sophie and The Rising Sun, and has cast box office hits including Annabelle: Creation. Her indie thriller Excess Flesh premiered at SXSW and was distributed through Midnight Releasing. Nicki has also worked on several Emmy Award-Winning television series, including Transparent, Brooklyn Nine-Nine, and Training Day. Her national commercial work recently includes McDonalds, Dominos, Hot Wheels, and Toyota campaigns.read more
“What have you done to make LA feel like home?” – Miranda O’Hare
I remember the first day I landed in LA very clearly, it was mid July and LA summer was in full swing. I had nervously survived the ordeal of going through customs for the first time and having my green card be officially approved. After zero hours of sleep on the plane, having left behind my family, my lovely life in Sydney and my then boyfriend, I was jet-lagged and emotional to say the least.
“His palms are sweaty, knees weak, arms are heavy
There’s vomit on his sweater already, mom’s spaghetti
He’s nervous, but on the surface he looks calm and ready”
– Eminem (Lose Yourself)
Over the coming months I will be interviewing artists, musicians, directors, writers, cinematographers, actors, set and costume designers, sound mixers and many more. I will be going behind the scenes to discover who and what is really behind the camera and what motivates these creatives to stay at the fray.
Some of the following questions will be asked and developed over time:
How does a performer prepare?
What makes an actor be venerable to an audience of complete strangers?
Are creatives simply addicted to the rush of the applause?read more
“Perspective gives us the ability to reflect on our lives and to gain a very necessary distance from the daily bubble we live in” – Miranda O’Hare
A few months back, I came quite close to booking a job that I had become very attached to. When I found out that in fact I had not booked the job, instead of my usual ‘ugh that sucks, forget about it three minutes later’ routine, this one stung. I tried to brush it off and continue on but a couple of hours later when I found myself crying into a plate of fries sending dramatic texts in caps to my friends like ‘I CAN’T KEEP DOING THIS,’ I realised I might be a little upset about this one. read more
“I believe very strongly in the quality of an ensemble spirit”
-Damien Ryan, Managing Artistic Director, Sport for Jove.
For many actors home is where the theatre is. Whilst the big bright shimmering lights of Hollywood lure many of us into the world of motion pictures, there is something comforting about the authenticity and artistic freedom of the stage that permits actors of all different merit to tread the boards throughout their careers.
Sport for Jove (SPJ) is one of Australia’s leading independent theatre companies. As a producer I have always admired their hard work and cultural contribution to the independent art scene and, as an actor I have always been in awe of their immense talent and vision.
Managing Artistic Director of SPJ is the multi award winning director Damien Ryan, with a career that spans over 20 years in the industry as an actor and a director; Damien has been the driving force in cementing SPJ.
In the midst of another successful outdoor summer season, Damien shares with us a detailed and insightful look into Sydney’s most compelling independent theatre company. read more
Since I first moved to Sydney to pursue a career in acting, my friends have mostly comprised of actors and people that work in the industry. These relationships have afforded me a few things, namely many people around me to help me with auditions, a network of people that understand the rollercoaster of pursuing a creative career and lastly an insight into the many different ways to achieve success as an actor. The latter is something I have recently been reflecting on a lot, especially as I have found that each and every one of them has achieved their own success in the industry in such vastly different ways.
I’ll admit that when I was first began acting; I assumed success was achieved in one way. First, you get signed to an agency. Then you go to a bunch of auditions, finally you book a job, do the job, you go to another audition, repeat the previous steps.read more
Casting Networks – An Update for Agents and Managers
We have been working as quickly as we can to make the 20th Century Fox TV and Feature transition as efficient as possible for everyone involved. The onboarding process has been a big undertaking, and we really appreciate your patience through this time. Below are some Frequently Asked Questions, for a more detailed help page, please click here
1. My actors already have a profile with their Commercial agent, do they now need an additional profile?
2. How do I view my entire roster?
3. Where do I find my company code
4. How do I ensure my talent can add their 2 free photos without being charged?
5. How do I upload resumes?
6. My company is based outside of LA — will I still have access to submit to LA projects?
7. How do I upload my roster?
8. Do I have to enter my clients personal details (email address etc.)?
9. The theatrical casting notices are buried in non-union, background and commercial casting notices, is there anything I can do?
10. There are only a list of preselected headers (Film, Television, Theater) but there is no way to add your own header for something like Awards.
11. Will there be training available?
“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