Casting Director

Casting Director

CastingDirector

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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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 about 7 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 about 7 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 about 7 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 about 7 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 about 7 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!

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 about 7 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".

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 about 7 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.