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Casting Director

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Young woman performing in front of three people
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Job Description:

A casting director is responsible for helping to gather a number of actor candidates for a given role in a film or television production. The casting director reads the script and meets with the producer, director and sometimes the writer, to get an idea of the "type" of person a given role calls for. Once this is determined, then the casting director sets to work. They will meet with any number of individuals and begin narrowing down the field. Once a handful of hopefuls have been identified, the casting director then presents them to the director, producer or writer of the project.

Casting directors meet with thousands of actors over the course of a given year. They must determine whether an actor fits the look of a character as well as whether or not that particular actor would be believable in the role they are casting.

Skills & Education:

To become a casting director, you must first have the following skills:

  • Eye for Talent: A good casting director can tell right off the bat whether or not a given actor "has the chops" for the role they are auditioning for.

  • Good Memory: You are seeing thousands upon thousands of actors -- a good casting director will have a way of remembering the ones that matter.

  • Patience: It often takes a lot of time to find the right person for a role, so you must exercise patience and not let yourself be pressured into making the wrong decision.

Career Advice:

The best way to prepare for this position is to start learning as much as you can about available actors and actresses. It's crucial to know their names and faces so that you become a library of casting information. Look for casting directors that might be looking to hire a casting associate or even a production assistant. Let them know that it is your goal to become a casting director as well. Where possible and if you're lucky, you'll get someone who is willing to teach you all you need to know.

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