Hard to find good casting help these days?

Is it just me or does everyone you speak to these day call themselves a "casting director" after working on a handful of jobs or maybe after reaching 10k Facebook friends? Has anyone had any success in hiring NON-casting professionals for a casting assignment? Meaning- hiring retired teachers to work on an educational casting assignment; hire a PI to find crime experts or hire a paranormal expert to find hauntings?


  • I've hired professionals within a certain industry to help me navigate their internal structures and in return I was given great leads that eventually became valid candidates. Trust your gut when hiring and if people commit to your overall casting goal/purpose of casting then you will have no problems.

  • edited January 2017

    I worked on a documentary about education last year. I found many people in that field who referred me to others, and were happy to send me leads out of the goodness of their heart rather than working for money. That said, I'm great at knowing a guy who knows a guy in many fields, so if you ever need a casting associate who can find the un-findable, hit me up!

  • I'm a casting professional. I've seen people come & get it! It can be overwhelming and totally different from their last casting gig. Sometimes I feel the director or producer's expectations are unrealistic when it comes to time, budget and talent pool. Talent professionals send out casting notices,create sides,coordinate self taping/in house auditions,seek approval from directors, manage schedules of the talent being considered, deal with last min changes, coordinate with wardrobe supervisor, MUA/hair team, tell them locations & time, send the script, gently tell talent something insensitive in a delicate manner, etc, etc, usually all of this needs to be done short notice..if anything is wrong we are blamed. I think casting is a two man job even if someone is crazy enough like myself to love it.

  • Hi Darling.

    I have been hired 3x by food shows to help with their casting, 2x for reality TV contestants and 4x for TV to hire unknown extras for speaking roles.

    I was 1st hired as a PA years ago and just grew over time. Hanging with Casting agents, becoming friends and them getting to know me and see that not only was I a people watcher but I had a natural talent for spotting the sexy, unique or gifts. My full-time job with unlimited vacation. I work in tech, but have been applying last 4 months, so that I can transition into my FT career in entertainment.

    So I think it depends on what the director/producer are seeking and how authentic they want the actor to be to the craft they are shooting about.
    I am very well rounded and smart, so it has come easy to me in the San Francisco area and sometimes Miami. .

    I love casting & I love behind the scenes of Movie production as a whole, becuase the end product is fascinating to me.

    Ms. Joe Bacon

  • Any advice for me please. I been trying for years to find a place where I could get jobs as an extra or behind the scenes crew. Unfortunately I don't have all my school credits right now. Any help would be very much appreciated.

  • @Brenda Palacios Staff Me Up is a great starting point. Its free or low cost and it works. Be careful of others that want you to pay hundreds before getting you any work.

  • I will thank you so much. I'll keep trying :(

  • Go to http://www.castingsociety.com and post your project. You need a real CD, not a wannabe. CSA has both reality and scripted CDs and most everyone will work non-union, just not for free.

  • It all depends on your project and your needs. There are plenty of "Directors" out there who know nothing about what they're doing. Same goes for "Cinematographers" and every other role imaginable in media. Communicate clearly and make sure whoever you're hiring understands your goals, timeframe, and budget. Everything else will fall into place.

    As for the CSA, they're fantastic. They just won't have half the great casting capacity out there since they only accept casting professionals with scripted experience (aka non-commercial). And we all know how prevalent commercials are in our world.

  • I am not advocating that you use CSA, especially in this case since, while I am a CSA member, I'm not a reality / non-scripted CD. The claim that CSA doesn't have non-scripted CDs as members is just plain false.

    The reason to go with CSA when searching for a CD are as follows:

    1) CSA members are professionals.

    2) CSA members answer to CSA arbitration in the event of any disagreement with a client so you are guaranteed the utmost professionalism

    3) CSA members have a much wider reach in general when casting.

  • I agree with Paul's three reasons above. And that's great to hear about non-scripted CDs! I was only sharing what I heard from CSA folks.

    Vinnie, research is research and whomever is best suited to bring you the talent your project needs (whether it's a teacher, student, PI, gov't agent, etc.) is absolutely acceptable and can offer great leads. The best way to figure it out is just to try.

  • @Brenda Palacios try TheMercuryReport.com - a newsletter for actors, crew and vendors and even Casting Directors, of curated Production news of projects currently in development or pre-production - actors can find out who is casting a project, crew can submit to production companies/projects to get gigs and vendors can find out who to pitch their service too. The weekly newsletter is emailed so no logging in; they also offer an Email Blaster add on so you can import list of weekly project email addresses into your own address book and broadcast your resume out at one time to all on the list. Payment chooses are monthly, six months and yearly.

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