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
The two most important days in your life are the day you are born
And the day you find out why?
When Betty White turned 96 on January 17th, 2018, I just had to thank her…internally!
She, along with so many other actors, are living proof that age is just a number and acting is a knowingness!
THE HEART OF THE VO BIZ.
The bulk of the voiceover business is not cartoons or video games, it’s commercial. If you want to make a living exclusively with “funny voices” you’re choosing to travel a very difficult road.
DO I NEED A DEMO?
Different people have different answers to this question. The one thing that everyone agrees on though, is that you shouldn’t put a demo together until you’re ready. And it must be great! Be prepared to spend some money. A good demo can cost between $1,100.00-$1,800.00. DO NOT PUT IT TOGETHER YOURSELF. Demos are taken at face value and quality matters. You wouldn’t use a selfie as your headshot, don’t do it with your demo.
A really good audition makes the casting director, the producer, and the director really happy. You gave a good audition, you got put on avail . . . and then you didn’t get booked. Why?
I can assure you it is nothing that you did wrong. So if it’s nothing you did wrong, what could it be?
The callback is the time the spot takes shape. Many variables come into play.
Here Are Five Reasons Why You Might Not Get Booked
1. The Spot Has A Certain Look
All variations and combinations of looks are considered. During the callback selection process, as the spot takes shape, your look might not quite fit in. I have seen a group of six people chosen and upon final consideration, the creative team noticed everyone was brunette. One person was randomly taken out of the group and replaced with a person with lighter hair. I remember feeling an “ouch” for the person taken out of the group.
No matter how confused or disillusioned you may feel, you have the capacity to move towards clarity and happiness at any given moment. But, it’s hard to help yourself when you’re sleepwalking through life. Here are just a few of the symptoms: feeling like life is unfair, blaming others for your difficulties, wishing you had someone else’s life instead of your own, constantly feeling deprived and envious, doing the same old thing and expecting different results.
Commercial actors should never believe they are less than 100% in charge of their own success.
Ok, I just started right out with a lie. I have no doubt you could rattle off a list of things that are out of the control of you, the commercial actor. I can! There are a few things, admittedly, that are out of your hands. It’s likely you find these things frustrating. I hear actors talking a lot about the topic. Too often it’s a focus, in my opinion. Too often it’s an excuse. Yep, I said it.
I recently met my good friend, Bonnie Gillespie, for a long, leisurely lunch and gab. Bonnie is a longtime friend of actors from both a casting and coaching perspective, with a pretty ace track record: just last fall, an actor she’s brought in for years, Kim Estes, took home an Emmy—no small accomplishment, and one any actor would love.
Whether it’s the real deal big screen or a selfie with your trendy bevy…we all want to look fabulous on camera. I swear, even my dog smiles! So what does it take to make the camera blush with our healthy, vibrant beauty? I’m so glad you asked! I’m sharing five of my fave easy tips to implement. After reading number one, take a quickie drink break to sip on while reading the rest! read more
Welcome to the start of 2018. It’s that time of year. You are refreshed and pumped up, renewed and ready to start the New Year on the right foot.
I’m always asked what makes someone successful in this business. Stating the obvious would be you need to know the basic strong foundation of acting, know the technique of the venue you are working in and be aware of how the business works. The good thing is there are lot’s of classes to take and articles to read to arm yourself to be the mighty worrier to learn what it takes to be competitive.
However, I am going to share with you the other things that makes an actor successful, that people just can’t seem to articulate.
One of the great mysteries (and frustrations) in the casting world is why some actors don’t show up to their audition appointments. Right now you, the actor, are either shouting at your computer in exasperation because you would never miss an audition, let alone be unprepared or late. Or, you are going though the list of what seems to be legitimate reasons an actor (ahem, you) sometimes miss auditions. And while I’ll fully admit those legitimate excuses exist, I’m sure it’s not nearly as often as I hear them. What’s the big deal? That’s well covered territory, but a quick recap: it’s a BIG deal. So, what gives?
Commercial actors should never stop assessing why they don’t show up. read more