Casting Directors

What is a casting director?
Casting directors are hired by the producers and directors to audition talent for roles. Then their job is to show the best of the best to the producer and director for the final decision making. They also know how to negotiate and finalize the talent's contracts. The agent's job is to get the actor's photo and resume in front of the casting director while they are actively casting projects.

Casting is one of the most important but least understood jobs in the entertainment industry. Typically, casting directors offer a range of services, from drawing up lists of prospects to screening candidates on videotape to conducting nationwide searches and overseeing auditions. Demands vary from negotiating a bit player's fee to populating a director's vision with the right faces and voices. Casting is the only trade not recognized with an Academy Award; the Casting Society of America honors outstanding achievement with its annual Artios awards, the profession's equivalent of the Oscars.

The person who auditions and helps to select all of the speaking role actors in film, television shows or plays. The CD must possess a vast knowledge of the actor pool and be able to match a variety of actors with just the right role. Directors and producers rely on the Casting Director to assist them with assembling the perfect cast for their production. Casting Directors are also responsible for serving as the liason between the director, and the actors and their agents. CDs negotiate the deals with agents once the actors have been cast and are also responsible for the contracts and SAG of each actor.

Most casting directors operate in Los Angeles or New York, but there are still casting directors in other states as well.

A Busy Job
Casting directors probably have the most busiest job in Hollywood. It’s their job to find or “cast” all of the roles for any given movie or television project in a limited time. They are the ones that send out the “breakdowns” (see what an agent does to find out what a breakdown is) to the agents for specific roles they are looking for. So for example, in a movie script, if there is a little Asian girl who is eight years old, it will be up to the casting directors to let all of the talent agents know that they are looking for an eight year old Asian girl for that particular movie project, get it? Now as you know, there are many characters in a single movie or television show so you can now guess how busy it would be for the casting directors to find just the right actor…a good enough actor to fit the right roles. So to sum it up, the casting director spends most of the day looking at tons of theatrical pictures (like these) from various agents. Once they see someone with a good resume’ or experience and someone who may look like the character described in the script, they request an audition to the agent for that particular actor.

Casting directors are hired to cast talent for:

  • Movies
  • Shows
  • Original Features
  • Commercials
  • TV Programs
  • Print Work
  • Fashion Shows
  • Runway
  • And much, much more

The Audition Process
Next comes the actual audition. After the casting director feels you may be right for the role, you have to audition. Ha, ha, ha, you don’t get the part yet. You don’t expect the casting director to just give you a part after only looking at your picture do you? Now here’s where all of your training and knowledge of acting has to come through. The competition is fierce so you’ll have to be prepared for this part--the "audition process". One mental breakdown during the audition process can mean you not getting the role so you’ll have to pretend that you’re not as nervous as you feel inside. Pretend, see? You’re acting already---even before the audition!

It typically involves a series of auditions before a casting panel, composed of individuals such as the producer, director and/or choreographer. In the early stages of the process, candidate performers often may present prepared audition pieces such as monologues or songs. Later stages may involve groups of candidates attempting material from the work under consideration in various combinations; the casting panel considers both the talent of the individual actors and the chemistry of their combination.

Depending on the prestige of the role, casting calls may go out to the public at large (typical for community theatre), to professional and semi-professional local actors (for supporting roles in theatre and film) or to specifically selected actors (for leading roles, especially in films).

Did You Get The Part?
If you think you did great on the first audition, hang in there, you’re not done yet. If you did good the first time, you’ll have to most likely audition again but this time in front of the director and producers of the project. So, your first audition would have been with just you and the casting director. The second audition will be with the casting director, director, and producers. The casting director is basically taking you in to show the top people what they found for that particular role for the television or movie project. This process may vary at times and sometimes you may even have to audition a third time but this is basically how it goes. You shouldn’t be afraid of casting directors though. They actually want you to do good on the audition because it makes them look good. They’ll be praised because such a talented person like you so do good on the audition! Once you do get the part, they let your agent know and then your agent will call you with the good news!

The History of Casting
Casting was born in the early 60's when the studio system collapsed and power shifted to the stars and their agents. Previous to that actors were under contract with the studios and negotiation was nonexistent, since the studio owned the talent.

In the production of film and television, a similar process is followed.
However, especially for major productions, the process of selecting candidates for sometimes hundreds of parts and possibly thousands of extras may often require specialized staff; while the last word remains with the people in artistic and production charge, a Casting director (and/or Casting Assistant, Casting Associate) may be in charge of most of the daily work involved in this recruiting process during pre-production; in addition the "CD" may also remain as liaison between director, actors and their agents once the parts have been cast. Some of them build an impressive career, e.g. working on numerous ambitious Hollywood productions, such as Mary Jo Slater Rick Pagana and Rick Millikan. The significant organisation of professional screen - and theater casting in the US is the Casting Society of America (CSA), but membership is optional.

At least in the early stages and for extras, casting may be decentralized geographically, often in conjunction with actual shooting planned in different states, e.g. in Hollywood or New York (studio) and one or more exotic locations (e.g. Hawai, the Far East) and/or budget locations, e.g. Canada, Ireland. Another reason may be tapping in to each home market in the case of an international co-production. However for the top parts, the choice of one or more celebrities, whose presence is of enormous commercial importance, may rather follow strictly personal channels, e.g. direct contact with the director.

The resulting list of actors filling the parts is called a cast list.
The industry is contentious, with frequent discontent arising from charges of nepotism, stereotyping and bigotry. The term Casting Couch emerged during the so-called "Golden Age" of Hollwood, when would-be-stars often granted sexual favours to directors and/or producers they wanted to cast them. Celebrated Hollywood and Broadway director Elia Kazan in his autobiography described the Golden Age casting process like this: "when it came to actresses, not Darryl [Zanuck], not Harry Cohn, not Louis Mayer, not Sam Goldwyn needed consultation. They went by a simple rule and a useful one: Do I want to have sex with her? I believe this rule of casting is not only inevitable but correct, and quite the best method for the kind of films they made". However wanting to may simply mean recognizing sex appeal, not necessarily acting upon it.

*Note: Usually casting directors will contact your agent they after they review your headshots and resume Most casting directors only accept submissions by mail. Consequently, we do not suggest calling or stopping into an office without an appointment, as it will probably only aggravate the casting director.

*Some casting directors on our list currently cast or used to cast talent for many past and current TV shows, movies, soaps, independent films, original features, short films, etc..

Here is a list of popular casting directors:
Judy Belshe
3733 E. Colorado St.
Long Beach, CA 90814
Terry Berland
Terry Berland Casting
2050 S. Bundy Dr.
Los Angeles, CA 90025
Loree Booth
6521 Homewood Ave.
Los Angles, CA 90028
Cathi Carlton
Westside Casting Studios
2050 S. Bundy Dr.
Los Angeles, CA 90025
ASG Casting
10200 Riverside Dr., Ste 205
Toluca Lake, CA 91602
Kelly Casting
Chelsea Studios
11530 Ventura Blvd.
Studio City, CA 91604
Casting Casting
1200 Riverside Dr., #205
Toluca Lake, CA 91602
Rosanna Casting
On Your Mark
451 N. La Cienega Blvd., # 7
Los Angeles, CA 90048
Compassionate Casting
5th Street Studios
1216 5th St.
Santa Monica, CA 90401
Annelise Collins
Annelise Collins Casting
3435 Ocean Park Blvd., #112
Santa Monica, CA 90405
Craig Colvin
Chelsea Studios
11530 Ventura Blvd.
Studio City, CA 91604
Dan Cowan
Lien Cowan Casting
7461 Beverly Boulevard, Suite 203
Los Angeles, CA 90036
Elaine Craig
6464 Sunset Blvd., #1150
Los Angeles, CA 90028
A Face In The Crowd Casting
5020 S. Bundy Dr.
Los Angeles, CA 90025
Karen Divisek
Divisek Casting
25876 The Old Road, #15
Stevenson Ranch, CA 91381
Michael Donavan
Michael Donavan Casting
8170 Beverly Blvd. Suite 300
Studio City, CA 90048
Mick Dowd
The Casting Studios
200 S. La Brea Ave.
Los Angeles, CA 90036
Judy Elkins
11530 Ventura Blvd.
Studio City, CA 91604
Britt Enggren
Rodeo Casting
7013 Willoughby Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90038
Steven Erdek
Westside Casting Studios
2050 S. Bundy Dr.
Los Angeles, CA 90025
Danielle Eskinazi
HKM Productions
1641 N. Ivar St.
Los Angeles, CA 90028
RC Everbeck
RandomM/On Your Mark
451 N. La Cienega Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90048
RC Everbeck
RandomM
830 Childs Way, #740
Los Angeles, CA 90089
Megan Foley
Chelsea Studios
11530 Ventura Blvd.
Studio City, CA 91604
Dennis Gallegos
Tepper/Gallegos Casting
639 N. Larchmont Blvd., #207
Los Angeles, CA 90004
Jeff Gerrard
Big House Studios
4420 Lankershim Blvd
North Hollywood, CA 91602
Charisse Glenn
5th Street Studios
5th St. Studios, 1216 5th St.
Santa Monica, CA 90401
Vicki Goggin
Chelsea Studios
11530 Ventura Blvd.
Studio City, CA 91604
Danny Goldman
Danny Goldman & Associates
1006 N. Cole Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90038
Louis Goldstein
P.O. Box 691037
West Hollywood, CA 90069
Jeff Hardwick
Jeff Hardwick Casting
12439 Magnolia Blvd., #296
Valley Village, CA 91607
Susan Havins
11530 Ventura Blvd
Studio City, CA 91604
Beth Holmes
Loudmouth Studios
13261 Moorpark St.
Sherman Oaks, CA 91423
Cathy Kalmenson
5730 Wish Ave.
Encino, CA 91316
Alan Kaminsky
Danny Goldman & Associates
1006 N. Cole Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90038
Kathy Knowles
5th St. Studios, 1216 Fifth St.
Santa Monica, CA 90401
Deborah Kurtz
1345 Abbot Kinney Blvd.
Venice, CA 90291
Ross Lacy
The Casting Studios
200 S. La Brea Ave.
Los Angeles, CA 90036
Judy Landau
Landau Casting Commercials
5th St. Studios
1216 5th St.
Santa Monica, CA 90401
Scott Lazarus
1865 N. Fuller Ave.
West Hollywood, CA 90069
Michael Lien
Lein/Cowan Casting-Comercials
7461 Beverly Blvd., #203
Los Angeles, CA 90036
Beverly Long
Moorpark Studios
11425 Moorpark St.
Studio City, CA 91602
Suzie Magrey
On Your Mark
451 N. La Cienega Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90048
Melissa Martin
Chelsea Studios
1530 Ventura Blvd.
Studio City, CA 91604
Laray Mayfield
Sunset Studios
7707 Sunset Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90046
John Mulkeen
1728 Alvira St.
Los Angeles, CA 90035
Kris Nicolau
The Casting Café
9000 Santa Monica Blvd.
W. Hollywood, CA 90069
Jenny O'Haver
O’Haver + Company
8129 Willow Glen
Los Angeles, CA 90046
Jenny O'Haver
451 N LA Cienega Blvd. Ste 12
Los Angeles, CA 90048-1928
Jessica Overwise
17250 Sunset Blvd., #304
Pacific Palisades, CA 90272
Kari Peyton
JFG
1145 N. McCadden Place
Los Angeles, CA 90038
Casting Plaster
1161 N. Las Palmas Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90038
Lynne Quirion
Chelsea Studios
11530 Ventura Blvd.
Studio City, CA 91604
Joan Renfrow
Onyx Productions
5550 Wilshire Blvd., #301
Los Angeles, CA 90036
Tom Reudy
Dowd/Reudy Casting
200 S. La Brea Ave.
Los Angeles, CA 90036
Phyllis Ricci
On Your Mark
451 N. La Cienega Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90048
Mark Saks
Columbia Tristar
9336 W. Washington Blvd
Bld C, Room 207
Culver City, CA 90232
Michael Sanford
14320 Ventura Blvd., #603
Sherman Oaks, CA 91423
Gabrielle Schary
Session West Studios
2601 Ocean Park Blvd., #120
Santa Monica, CA 90405
Lila Selik
1551 S. Robertson Blvd., Suite 202
Los Angeles, CA 90035
Francene Selkirk
Zydeco Studios
11317 Ventura Blvd.
Studio City, CA 91604
Ava Shevitt
Village Studio
519 Broadway
Santa Monica, CA 90401
Jane Sobo
Castaway Studios
8899 Beverly Blvd., 1st Floor
Los Angeles, CA 90048
Amy Sobo
Castaway Studios
8899 Beverly Blvd., 1st Floor
Los Angeles, CA 90048
Stuart Stone
Castaway Studios
8899 Beverly Blvd., 1st Floor
Los Angeles, CA 90048
Maryclaire Sweeters
Westside Casting Studios
2050 S. Bundy Dr.
Los Angeles, CA 90025
Yumi Takada
Yumi Takada Casting
1830 the Strand, Suite 3
Hermosa Beach, CA 90254
Susan Tyler
Chelsea Studios
11530 Ventura Blvd., St 1
Studio City, CA 91604
Blanca Valdez
Valdez Casting
1001 N. Poinsettia Pl.
West Hollywood, CA 90046
Paul Ventura
Chelsea Studios
11530 Ventura Blvd.
Studio City, CA 91604
Ann Wilkinson
Tepper/Gallegos Casting
639 N. Larchmont., Suite 207
Los Angeles, CA 90004
Leland Williams
TLC/Booth Casting
6521 Homewood Ave.
Los Angeles, CA 90028
Peter Wise
18034 Ventura Blvd., Suite 403
Encino, CA 91316
Catrine McGregor, CSA
All Around Casting
310 North Crescent Dr. # 204
Beverly Hills, CA 90210 USA