Monday 25 October 2010

What Am I Looking For When I'm Casting?

I don't really know, is the answer. I'm just floating around-- looking at everyone whose applied to me, and I'm searching on casting sites, and I'm listening to recommendations--- but I don't have any rules, I don't have any specifics. Just an idea in my head, which actually isn't overbearing-- it's just a guide.

I'm looking to get a feeling, to be swept away in the belief that the person I am looking at could be the one. Especially when I'm casting a lead role in a big project. I don't care where you trained or what your trained in, I don't even really care what your experience is. I'm just looking for a sign-- a sign that you might get what I'm doing, a sign that you are not just looking for a job. Casting isn't placing someone in a role, it's finding the magic password, it's trying to make something spectacular for dinner when all the ingredients look like the same thing. I'm just looking for something to jump out at me.

And I don't mean jump out at me. Like, if an actor writes and over-friendly email or tries too hard to sound amazing, then it's immediately over, I've got no interest. I'm just looking for a human being, someone who could potentially get it. Get what I'm doing. The clues are everywhere-- they're in my job specs, they're in the way I approach people and they're in the way actors present themselves online.

If an actor is tweeting every four minutes about 'projects' and they're writing perfectly crafted emails to me telling me they're perfect for the role, that isn't it, that doesn't excite me. What excites me is the hope that I am not going to stumble across the perfect actor, but that I am going to stumble across my character. That I am going to see the person I wrote, standing right there in front of me.

It's impossible.

But you keep searching until you find it.

Care to share?


  1. I think you nailed it nicely. Most casting directors (and directors) that I know have echoed the same thoughts - "she had the role the minute she walked into the room", "I don't know, he just nailed it. He was everything I was looking for."

    What's frustrating as actors is that we spend so long trying to be something we're not, and we usually spend a good few years in the industry before we learn that to really, truly book work - we just have to be ourselves, and be on the ball about our work.

    It's so simple it's the hardest concept (and usually the last one) we learn.

  2. interesting and I guess I know what you mean, good luck with all