If you’re pursuing acting as a career, then you will meet casting directors at some point. But what are casting directors, and what do they do?
Casting directors are employed by directors and producers to sieve through the pool of acting talent and suggest a shortlist. Their job is to know acting talent inside and out and to facilitate the meeting between potential candidates and the director. When not actively casting for a role, they will be watching TV, be glued to a cinema seat, or in the theatre checking out old and new talent.
Equipped with a character breakdown, the casting director will typically work with a casting agent to shortlist candidates they think will meet the requirements of a role, as well as the director’s expectations.
The casting director will not have a final say over who wins the role, as this is down to the director and producer(s). It is in the casting director’s interest to be on the side of the actor, as a successful casting will consolidate their reputation and help build their standing in the industry.
However, looking for actors isn’t the end of the role for the casting director. Much of their work is liaising with agents, directors and actors to schedule castings. They will often sit in on the castings and may, beforehand, give you tips on what the director might be looking for.
You can approach casting directors directly with a CV, photo and covering letter but in many instances, they will prefer to work through casting websites or agents.
They will typically first view your headshot and/or showreel before deciding whether or not to bring you in for a casting. They will, however, constantly be on the lookout for promising new actors and some may attend a production you are in or even arrange for you to come in for a meeting.
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