Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Booking: SCANDAL - Bullett Management - Leah David

Booked: SCANDAL Episode #214
Role: Jason
Represented By: Bullett Management - Leah David
Casting Director: Linda Lowy

Booking: SOUTHLAND - Rectangle Entertainment and Affinity Artists Agency - Gen Kiyooka

Booked: SOUTHLAND Episode #4, "Under the Big Top"
Role: Officer Mailer (recurring)
Represented By: Rectangle Entertainment and Affinity Artists Agency - Gen Kiyooka
Casting Director: John Levey
Additional Notes: Yvette recently worked with Spike Jonze on his new feature, THE UNTITLED SPIKE JONZE PROJECT. She has had roles on THE MENTALIST as a nurse, GREY'S ANATOMY as a doctor, THE EVENT as a White House aide, and PRIVATE PRACTICE as a hostage! Her work in film includes a challenging role in a short film called IN THIS CASE where she played a borderline schizophrenic. She's a very truthful actress with great emotional depth. She's also an accomplished dancer who recently appeared in a stage production of For Colored Girls Who Considered Suicide When The Rainbow Is Enuf at the Lyric Theater. Yvette has a BFA in Acting from NYU. Yvette is also the Artistic Director of the new Effusion Theatre Company,

Booking: AUTONATION - Oneworld Model & Talent

Role: Farm Worker
Represented By: Oneworld Model & Talent
Casting Director: Dowd/Roman Casting

Booking: VEGAS - Rectangle Entertainment and The Culbertson Group

Booked: VEGAS Episode #114 "TBD"
Role: Sandy Cooperman (guest star)
Represented By: Rectangle Entertainment and The Culbertson Group
Casting Director: Sharon Bialy / Sherry Thomas
Additional Notes: A versatile character actress who has many roles in film and episodics over the years. Sheila has recurred as a teacher on SECRET LIFE OF THE AMERICAN TEENAGER, a nurse on SONS OF ANARCHY and is a recurring Guest Star on MAD MEN as Jeannie Vogel (Pete Campbell's mother-in-law). She recently shot a guest star on ZACH STONE IS GONNA BE FAMOUS. She was just seen in a supporting role in the feature WELCOME TO PEOPLE opposite Michelle Pfeiffer and in PUPPY LOVE, a Hallmark Channel Original Movie. Coming up soon, see Sheila in a fun role as a Rodeo Announcer in the feature OUT WEST!

Booking: HOUSE OF LIES - Whitaker Entertainment

Booked: HOUSE OF LIES Episode #210 "All In"
Role: Eric (aka Hedge Fund Guy)
Represented By: Whitaker Entertainment
Casting Director: Felicia Fasano
Additional Notes: CONGRATULATIONS to TERRENCE STONE for booking this great role opposite the award winning actor, Don Cheadle on HOUSE OF LIES!!! That's three for three so far!!! This could also turn into a recurring role!!! Fingers crossed!!!...

Q&A with Casting Director David O'Connor!

We are pleased to present a Q&A with David O'Connor -- President/Director of Casting at O'Connor Casting Company. David has been casting for over 20 years. He’s been a part of thousands of projects and has worked with the best directors, producers and production companies in the business nationally and internationally. He has an established reputation as one of the leading Casting Directors in the U.S.

What was your background before becoming a casting director and how did it help or hinder you in your current career?

David: Ha… hinder it. Oddly enough most of my past work/education experiences played into becoming a Casting Director. I studied film and television production at SAIC (School of the Art Institute of Chicago), worked at a video store for a couple of years in my teens, was a dining host for a period of time on a cruise ship and a server at a fine dining restaurant, and a bunch of other odd things before settling into casting at 21 years of age. Each experience added a bit… customer service, knowledge of films, people watching. I was never an actor, other than playing The Wiz in the production of the same name, in grade school. This little white boy was destined not to be an actor after that brilliant performance. I always was a student of entertainment… since I was five and my sister would wake me up for late night movie watching.

We've often discuss how casting is a process and that you start going one way and end up with an actor that the writer/director never imagined being the one that was ultimately cast. Do you have an incident in which your input changed the direction of who was cast?

David: I think any Casting Director who doesn’t have many incidents of pitching people that are out of the box is not doing their job well. My first priority is always to give them what they want, but I’ve always pushed the envelope on challenging and championing actors for roles that weren’t in initially thoughts or specs. Creativity in our profession is very important. We have the most input at the beginning of course, because we are selecting who to present, but as the process goes our opinion sometimes isn’t as strong as others on the creative team start forming their opinions. Directors are always happy with pleasant surprises. Either way, 99% of the time, we are there to help, guide, and present the best available for the project. We know the talent and their abilities… and those who play well together.

As a casting director based in Chicago, what are some of the frustrations and/or benefits of casting here and in the Midwest?

David: Great question. So many frustrations and so many benefits. Like every market things very. Besides the complaints of the winter weather it is an amazing place to live. The people are friendly and actually talk to one another about things other than the entertainment business. Personally I chose to stay here because of that. To enjoy my family, keep my Midwestern values and work ethic, and raise my children here. So many actors I know that have migrated (and literally that is thousands) to LA would have loved to stay in Chicago, but alas their careers needed to move on for obvious reasons.

David: The frustrations are not having all those thousands of actors at my fingertips. And choices are key to casting. I’m only as good as the people I present. As a Chicagoan I never want to say we don’t have that here… but it happens. We are not as deep in qualified acting teachers and schools, but the ones we have are pretty damn amazing. Improvisation blossomed here and continues to produce some of the best in the country. And our theatre scene is internationally known and an actor’s paradise.

How has the technology used by casting to receive submissions changed how you do your job?

David: In every way. It has MANY pluses and a few minuses. The stress level, due to faster turnarounds (mostly commercials) is for the worst, but the ease and quickness of getting choices far out ways the negatives. I started with a fax machine and stacks of headshots… now hard drives, computers, internet, email and submission and posting programs make casting almost all digital. The online programs are just amazing and have made so many things easier and the world a MUCH smaller place.

In general how many actors do you schedule for a commercial vs a film, TV or a theatre project and how does the process differ for the four mediums?

David: Well I rarely do theatre so I’ll comment on commercial, film/tv. Commercially we do many national searches. So presenting the best Chicago has to offer is our goal. It could be 5 or it could be hundreds. Typically on a commercial it falls between 20-40 per role. For film/tv probably 3-10 choices. Unless it is a search for a difficult role or lead… then that can go much much higher.

What advice do you have for actors when they are auditioning?

David: Relax and be sharp. The more you understand the script and character and have choices the better you will be. Be prepared for anything as changes can happen quickly. Have strong choices and know they may get thrown out the window. Be prepared to improvise and bring more to the character with thought out choices per the product and scene. And listen. You’d be amazed how many people don’t follow direction or take direction well because they are not taking in the words that they are being given. We are all on your side.

What do actors do in the audition room that tends to hurt them from being considered for a role? What helps them?

David: They push too hard. They fall apart from nerves. They are their own worst enemy sometimes. They give up. They come in unprepared. Their mind is in another place entirely. They have given up on hygiene, wardrobe and personal appearance. They are rude and don’t listen or take direction when given. What will help? Don’t do the above. Remember we want the best from you and want you to succeed. We are all in this together.

Booking: SEE ROCK CITY AND OTHER DESTINATIONS - Across the Board Talent (ATB Talent)

Katharine McDonough
Booked: See Rock City and Other Destinations
Role: Kate
Represented By: Across the Board Talent (ATB Talent)
Casting Director: Joanna Syiek

Booking: RENT - Across the Board Talent (ATB Talent)

Booked: RENT
Role: Maureen Johnson
Represented By: Across the Board Talent (ATB Talent)
Casting Director: Carmen Aiello
Additional Notes: L.A. Benefit for HIV/AIDS research. Produced by Beyond the Stage Productions. In collaboration with Manchester Labs and Feel the Lights Choreography.

Booking: RENT - Across the Board Talent (ATB Talent)

Booked: RENT
Role: Tom Collins
Represented By: Across the Board Talent (ATB Talent)
Casting Director: Carmen Aiello
Additional Notes: L.A. Benefit for HIV/AIDS research. Produced by Beyond the Stage Productions. In collaboration with Manchester Labs and Feel the Lights Choreography.

Booking: TACO BELL - LIVE MAS - Face2Face Entertainment Talent Management

Role: Security Guard
Represented By: Face2Face Entertainment Talent Management
Casting Director: broad-cast

Booking: WALK OF SHAME - Jacque Pedersen-Schrimscher, Rascals Talent Agency

Booked: WALK OF SHAME (Lakeshore Entertainment)
Role: Meghan's Mom
Represented By: Jacque Pedersen-Schrimscher, Rascals Talent Agency
Casting Director: Aquila Wood Casting

Booking: USUAL SUSPECTS - Meridian Talent Management

Booked: USUAL SUSPECTS Episode #505 "Burning Fury"
Represented By: Meridian Talent Management
Casting Director: Kelli Lerner