Ep 3: Casting for Television with Cara Chute Rosenbaum
Are you interested in working in casting for film and television? Or are you an actor wanting to know how to make a good impression on a casting director? Is you answered yes to either one, then this episode is for you. Cara Chute Rosenbaum is casting director in Los Angeles. Some of her recent work includes The Mindy Project, The League, and Jumanji: Next Level. In this episode of What’s Your Secret, we de-mystify the process of becoming a casting director and Cara’s biggest piece of advice for actors.
- How to get a job in casting: volunteer to be a reader, take the course in casting at CSA
- What actually goes into casting (It’s not just about being talented!) Actors: what do YOU bring to the role?
- How long does it take to cast a TV show?
- Everyone feels imposter syndrome (even casting directors!)
- Personal growth and continuing to learn and evolve
- Balancing motherhood with a career in the film industry
- Inclusion in casting
How to Get a Job in Casting
According to Cara, there is no right way. Much like acting (and let’s be real, most jobs!), casting directors often are looking to hire people with experience. Because casting is so fast paced, it can be challenging to train someone that doesn’t already have prior knowledge of how casting works. These days, many casting directors are no longer taking interns. However, you can volunteer to be a reader in a casting office, or take the Casting Society of America’s course in casting. Like many jobs in the entertainment industry, there is no set path and it’s right place right time.
There are a few different titles in casting: there is an assistant, casting associate, and casting director. These positions aren’t black and white: often casting associates and casting directors move back and forth between titles depending on the project. Some casting associates are just getting started, while others have been doing it for 7 years. It depends a lot on the way the office is organized.
Casting a comedy tv show generally happens over a five day period. While the show is shooting one episode, casting is occurring for the upcoming episode that will shoot the next week. Dramas are a little longer; casting lasts maybe 7 or 8 days. Scripts change very frequently, which keeps the job interesting. Casting feature films is a longer process.
Mentorship is a big part of casting, and the job is built on relationships.
Advice to Actors from a Casting Director
Everybody is talented; so much more goes into it than picking the most talented person. The casting director always wants you to come in and be successful; they want you to book the job! At the end of the day, it comes down to the essence of a person and intangible factors rather than talent. It’s what you as a person bring to the role and the craft.
Remember, the casting director isn’t the only one making the decision. The casting director has to balance a lot of other visions, and it isn’t as simple as impressing the casting director.
Cara’s best advice to actors: Be a kind human! If you’re a kind human, casting directors are going to want to work with you. If you’re not, no one is going to want to work with you! This is a collaborative business, and anything can be an opportunity.
Casting directors want you to do great, and they are in the business because they love actors. There’s no need to be afraid of the casting director!
Experiencing Imposter Syndrome
One of the things that stuck with me from this interview is: no one is immune to imposter syndrome. Even the casting director that actors are trying so hard to impress! Why is someone going to hire me? Why is someone going to take a chance on me? Am I doing the right thing? Everyone experiences this at some point or another in their career in Hollywood.
Tune in to this episode to hear the rest of our amazing conversation!
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