Casting Director

Casting Director


Seattle, WA

Male, 29

As a casting director, I'm responsible for outreaching, interviewing, producing, and delivering cast to a network in accordance to their direction for a specific show. Ask me anything!

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34 Questions


Last Answer on May 17, 2012

Best Rated

Is there any formal training required to become a casting director, or is it more of a learn-as-you-go type of thing?

Asked by company over 8 years ago

Being a casting director is more of a-learn-as-you-go gig. Like many jobs it is very helpful starting at the bottom and working your way up in order to be a rockstar casting director. Being able to see the “big picture” of what goes into casting is the difference between a good casting director and a great one.

What do you look for when auditioning candidates for reality TV? I've seen the audition tapes for people who ended up on reality shows, and it seems like the rule of thumb is "Be as outlandish / crazy / mentally-unstable as you can."

Asked by Kyle over 8 years ago

To tell you the truth, we look for candidates who are genuine. It is easy to see who is just being "wild and crazy" on the interview tape, but are not like that in their every day life. As a casting director we have met THOUSANDS of individuals and there is a certain "salt of the earth" quality that certain individuals possess. What makes you stand out, unique, or memorable? These are usually the people who make it own a show. Of course being good looking, funny, having a full set of teeth, unusual occupation, and engaging are all great things that don't hurt one's audition.

How does one land a gig as a casting director?

Asked by goldcup over 8 years ago

I went to undergrad majoring in speech communication with an emphasis in broadcasting. After college I headed out to Los Angeles and lived with a roommate who had interned at Fear Factor a couple of years prior. She introduced me to one of the producers who needed help on another project for “Dr. Phil”. As a production assistant I was able to prove myself and received a recommendation at Fear Factor as a casting assistant.

Are the televised auditions on American Idol staged? Some just seem too ridiculous to be real.

Asked by seronel over 8 years ago

Surprisingly these are not staged. Every individual auditioning has to sign an appearance release as part of the process. This gives the production team freedom to capture every moment of failure, and programs like American Idol permission to air on national television. Of course there are a number of individuals who just want to appear on television...and I am sure their performance is staged.

On TV shows that rely on hidden-camera-type footage, how and when is the consent of the participants obtained? Especially for shows like Cheaters or Scare Tactics that paint often unflattering or embarrassing portraits, doesn't the show still have to get the person's consent before airing it? Are they paid?

Asked by Kyle over 8 years ago

They are actors and they normally get paid a small stipend. Some idividuals have no shame when it comes to catching that cheddar!

I always wondered whether the hidden-camera shows used actors -- that's fascinating. Do you happen to know if the same ploy was used on HBO's "Taxi Cab Confessions?" While some of the passengers seemed like they could be actors, many others seemed pretty authentic.

Asked by Louie DePalma over 8 years ago

That show is a different ball of wax. I am sure not ALL shows use "actors", but they more than likely pay a stipend in order to get an appearance release signed from the individual.

Would you advise that for someone testing for game shows to just "be yourself", or should I be cranking up the energy through the roof? I've tested for a few games shows, no luck thus far, and I've tried both approaches. What do you guys want in contestants, exactly?

Asked by Marlo over 8 years ago

I think putting your best foot forward and bringing a little extra energy can't hurt. Casting auditions should be treated like a job interview, only maybe you are the "two drinks in" version of yourself. Within 1 minute of talking to a Casting Director is should seem really effortless to carry on a conversation. I definitely do not advocate drinking before an audition though, that is the quickest way to get "dinged' out of being on any program. There really is no clear cut formula to making it on a show. It is almost like putting together a puzzle when it comes to assembling a "cast". If there is already the hot model in the group with an amazing personality, chances are another model not as interesting would be passed on. We are looking for a dynamic/engaging/melting pot baby! Basically we look for the "Salt of the earth".

Why do you think "X-Factor" has bombed so badly?

Asked by Jake over 8 years ago

The show is too similar to American Idol, which in my opinion is already way overexposed. I have tried watching episodes of X Factor and it is too over the top and drawn out. I think the other night there was a three hour episode! Basically it is a carbon copy of AI with a bigger budget. The whole group aspect is lame as well. Because Simon is the natural "bad guy" it is easy for critics to want to see him fail.

Who was your biggest "miss" as a casting director? IOW, what actor did you pass over who went on to be the most successful?

Asked by ukraineisweak over 8 years ago

I was working on an “American Idol” type show where I was auditioning an individual that had me on the fence for whatever reason on whether or not I should pass him through. For whatever passed him through and he ended up winning the entire show!

How much input does the casting director have in making the final call on who will be cast for a role? Or are you just in charge of narrowing down the field of choices?

Asked by manic over 8 years ago

In unscripted I am just in charge of presenting the network with GREAT options. In the end, they make the decision.

Does the success of Jersey Shore now have casting directors actively looking of for more of the same types of reality stars? (e.g. moronic, self-indulgent, jackasses?)

Asked by bobo7 over 8 years ago

Sadly yes. Viewers love train wrecks. It makes them feel better about themselves. Stereotypes are always a hit as well.

Do you cast for TV, film, or both?

Asked by PTRlo over 8 years ago

I cast primarily for unscripted television. I have done a couple of jobs casting for commercials. I don’t like that as much, not as fun as really getting to know an individual. In unscripted casting it is the casting directors job to find the most interesting nuggets on that individual, make his or her personality shine. Over the years I have definitely met some unique individuals.

What's the typical salary range for casting directors?

Asked by hartpee1 over 8 years ago

Casting directors who work consistently can earn anywhere from high $60k to low $100k’s.

What was the biggest meltdown you witnessed during one of your casting sessions?

Asked by The Kaptain over 8 years ago

Not really a melt down, but in casting capturing the ever elusive "Man-cry" during interviews is GOLD. Especially if it is a big rough and tough type.

Are most casting directors freelancers?

Asked by brank4 over 8 years ago

Many casting directors are freelance for hire. The appeal to this is you can jump from project to project, negotiating your rate each time. The drawback is your work isn’t consistent. I have gone months without having a project to work on. Hello unemployment! There are production companies do hire casting directors “in house”. The money isn’t usually as good as working freelance and companies often will put you in charge of multiple shows at a time. On the other hand there is a consistent paycheck.

What are the most common mistakes that reality TV casting candidates make that get them dinged right away?

Asked by Marlo over 8 years ago

Saying things like "Everyone always tell me I am the life of the party", or "My friends tell me I am so funny", and the best is "If I make it on TV I know SO many people in my hometown I will get to watch the show!" Yeah, I am sure you do. Your 84 friends watching you on won't exactly make a big impact on ratings. SHOW ME DON'T TELL ME why you should be on TV.

Ever have an auditioner offer you some extra "incentive" to make the cut?

Asked by ben over 8 years ago

Haha, surprisingly no. I do know a number of friends in the field who have had a relationships with people auditioning for a show they were working on.

Job sounds amazing - any notable downsides to casting directing?

Asked by groooot over 8 years ago

Relying on individuals to submit casting videos for consideration on certain types of shows. Many times a casting director is at the mercy of individuals submitting videos. All we can do it wait and hope the video turns out ok.

Casting couch? Myth or reality?

Asked by Xander over 8 years ago

In "reality" television it is a myth. If a casting director was accused of making a pass at a potential contestant, their career would be short lived.

How can I get my 2-year old started in the world of acting? Think Nick, Disney, commercials, and so on.

Asked by Momager almost 8 years ago


I have a daughter interested in acting. Is there a recognized, secure way to locate and make submissions to a casting director?

Asked by eugene65 over 7 years ago


Wrote a short movie and want to film it in my area. I will direct, produce, camera work as well as everything else. What do I look for when auditioning young people with no acting expierience?

Asked by Richard over 4 years ago


My agent and I have this ongoing debate. They say because casting receives thousands of submissions for a role, they should submit everyone on her roster that "fits the specs". I suggested it's better to submit a top 10. Who is right and why?

Asked by Actor almost 3 years ago


Got a callback from casting and they cancelled saying, "they want to hold a beat". What does "hold a beat mean" from casting. I know what it means when they referring to sides.

Asked by Kyuno B. about 2 years ago


Is it ok to perform a monologue playing a child for an audition that asks for a kid-friendly monolouge?

Asked by Emily over 1 year ago


How much do reality show stars get paid?

Asked by The Shamen over 7 years ago


Could someone trans play a role that is not specifically casting trans people? Like could someone trans audition alongside cis people? Thanks.

Asked by Fipp over 2 years ago


Hi I am going to be going to a interview with a casting Person that's for broadway tv shows movies etc! I really want to be papered on what he will ask me could you tell me some things he might ask and he also knows I'm a dancer ! Please help me out!

Asked by Alicia about 7 years ago


Will you ever come to Canada to try ad find new people ? Mabey New Brunswick !

Asked by Alicia about 7 years ago


I've submitted myself for a job through a casting website and my agent has done the same on her side. Should I email the casting director with more details about my skills (the job requires particular skills) for an extra push or it's too much? Help!

Asked by Kleo about 6 years ago


I was wondering what the time commitment is for a job like this? Can you have a successful career as a casting director and still have a healthy family? I know often in reality specifically this is an elusive combination.

Asked by John over 7 years ago


Do reality show have scripts?

Asked by Sambo11 over 7 years ago


Hi, what would you suggest as the best avenue for an older than 30 person to become a casting assistant?

Asked by Kissyfit4U about 6 years ago


If I am just a crazy fan wishing to star in an episode of a show, is there any way to reach out to the director and ask? Also, if there is a proper way, what exactly should I say?

Asked by wannabe almost 4 years ago