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A Peek Into the Cast of Tom Hanks’ ‘Greyhound’

A Peek Into the Cast of Tom Hanks’ ‘Greyhound’

A number of big-budget films have recently bypassed their theatrical debuts in favor of digital releases, and Deadline recently reported that Tom Hanks’ naval drama Greyhound will be one of the latest additions to that list. Apple TV+ landed the Sony feature that Hanks adapted from C.S. Forester’s novel The Good Shepherd with himself in mind for the lead role of a first-time captain named Ernest Krause. The story is set during the early days of World War II and centers on Krause as he’s given command of a Royal Navy destroyer, the HMS Greyhound, and tasked with leading 37 Allied ships across the North Atlantic. Enemy Nazi U-boats pursue the convoy, and Krause has to confront his own self-doubts in order to lead his men through such treacherous waters. A digital release date for the highly-anticipated feature is yet to be announced, but we’re helping you prepare for it with a peek at the cast below.

 

We’ll start with Hanks since he’s the star of the film, and it’s not his first time leading a crew on the big screen. In 2013, he portrayed the titular character in Captain Phillips, another maritime film based on true events. Hanks also displayed his proficiency with leader characters during Steven Spielberg’s 1998 WWII drama Saving Private Ryan. His memorable performance in the film as Captain Miller even earned him an Oscar nomination for Best Actor. Considering his experience with similar roles, we’re excited to see how the veteran actor’s abilities culminate in his take on Ernest Krause. Plus, the role comes with added familiarity for Hanks since it was adapted from its source material by and for him. Altogether, the performance is definitely one to anticipate.

 

Elizabeth Shue.

Elisabeth Shue may not have the same resume of maritime or WWII credits under her name, but she has proven her ability to portray complex characters. From her role as Dr. Emma Russell in The Saint to her performance as Sera in Leaving Las Vegas, Shue has demonstrated that she’s an onscreen force to be reckoned with. We’re looking forward to seeing how she tackles her role in Greyhound as Evie, wife to Hanks’ Ernest. The actor already stands out in a male-dominated

Stephen Graham. Photo by Greg Williams.

cast list that also includes names like Stephen Graham. With recent titles such as The Irishman and Rocketman under his name, Graham is no stranger to films based on true events, and his performance in Greyhound is one to watch for. Rob Morgan is another cast member who’ll be bringing some previous experience to his role in the upcoming period drama. You may know the actor from his role as Turk Barrett in a number of superhero series, but he also has feature period pieces like Just Mercy and Mudbound on his résumé. 

Rob Morgan.

 

You’ll have to wait until Apple TV+ releases the big-budget production

to see how the likes of Hanks, Shue, Graham, and Morgan perform in Greyhound. They’re just some of the names on a star-studded cast list that also includes Manuel Garcia-Rulfo, Karl Glusman and Lee Norris. While the effects of the pandemic may be changing how we view new releases, the ability to still see them is a reason for gratitude. And when Greyhound comes to your own home theater, you might find it to be a source of inspiration for times like these. While our current situation is far from a war-related crisis, a story about a person who pushed past fear to face head-on the obstacles in front of him may be just the film we need.

 

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Andy Allo Talks Her Journey From Singing With Prince to Her Breakout Role in Amazon’s ‘Upload’

Andy Allo Talks Her Journey From Singing With Prince to Her Breakout Role in Amazon’s ‘Upload’

In the new Amazon Prime Video comedy series Upload, humans can upload themselves into a virtual afterlife, which they can pre-choose and pre-pay for while still living. Viewers of the show watched as the uploaded Nathan (Robbie Amell), forges a bond with his afterlife resort’s customer service rep, the very much living Nora. As the season unfolds, they begin falling for each other while questions begin to arise regarding the true nature of Nathan’s untimely death.

Cameroon-born Andy Allo, in her first series lead, plays Nora. However, getting to this point in her career has been long in the making. The former host of G4’s Attack of the Show! is also a musician who has released several studio albums; she was a guitarist and singer for Prince’s backing band, The New Power Generation; and she appeared in Pitch Perfect 3. In an interview with Casting Networks, Allo describes her journey toward getting the role she considers her big break. 

What was your audition process like for Upload?

Rachel Tenner was casting the project. One of the audition scenes was a long monologue, so I stayed up all night working on it. I was aware that the show’s creator, Greg Daniels, is a comedy genius, so I broke the script down focusing on the comedy beats and wanted to make sure I hit that strong. When I went in the next day, Rachel said, throw all the comedy out the door. This character is completely grounded and natural. Don’t play the comedy at all.

Did that throw you for a loop?

As an actor, you have to be able to pivot quickly, because that’s where you get to shine. If you come into the audition with a strong choice, and then get a redirect, if you’re able to pivot, it shows you’re able to take direction and that translates to being directable on set. Also, because I had done so much prep work going far in the comedy direction, it was nice just to let go of that pressure of hitting the comedic beats. It was more, like, live as the character and don’t force anything, which was nice.

Obviously, you were brought back for a follow-up audition.

I got a call back with Greg Daniels, which was one of the most fun auditions I’ve ever had because it was this energy of just playing. He kept printing out new scenes for me to do. I was there for about an hour, hour and a half. At one point, he asked Rachel to sit next to me and gave me the premise of one of the scenes. He said, don’t worry about words, this is what’s happening in this scene, and I want to see you in this space. So the casting director is sitting next to me, and we’re watching this (imaginary) beautiful thing together, and it’s this heartfelt emotional moment. I innately lean my head on Rachel’s shoulder, and I’m like, Wow, actors never get to do this. Here I am, my head on her shoulder, and we’re having this emotional moment. Anyways, that scene ended up being the opening scene of the show in episode one, on the train.

A what point did you think, “Okay, the prospects of me getting this are starting to look good for me?”

I was filming a movie in the midst of auditioning for Upload, which helped because I had commitments to be on set and prep for another character. So my brain was like, okay, this is exciting, but I have to work on Monday. Also, because of years of auditioning, I’ve come to a place where I get excited, but don’t get too crazy. I’ve learned after years of rejection that if a role is going to be mine, it will be mine. If it’s not, it’s okay, because that role was meant for someone else and it’s that person’s time. My job is to show up, do the work, have fun, and then let it go. But, I do have to admit that my hopes started getting up a little bit when I was called back for the chemistry read.

How was that read?

My chemistry read was with Greg Daniels, executive producer Howard Klein, and Robbie Amell, my co-lead. I was doing this long monologue, which is the last scene of the first episode. In it, I’m supposed to say my character’s name. I get to that part and completely blanked. I forgot my character’s name. I was like, “I’m done.” How could they ever cast somebody who forgot their character’s name mid-scene?  Obviously, I booked it, but so many of us actors get in our heads that flubbing lines, and not being perfect, means you’re doomed — when in actuality, if you put in the work and fully embody that character, a flubbed line doesn’t matter.

What was the timeline of the whole audition process?

From the first audition to booking the job was about a week or so. It was so fast, but while I was in it, it felt like an eternity. Especially the waiting period after the chemistry read. Then came the test offer, and I was like, “Oh my God, it’s happening!” I ended up not having to test and they offered me the role, so luckily, I didn’t have to audition again.

How long was it between the pilot to the series airing?

I auditioned at the end of 2017, and we shot the pilot in Los Angeles in January 2018. The series was filmed in Vancouver in the spring of 2019, and now here we are, in 2020, with the show finally out.

Upload was renewed for a second season. Do you know when you’ll be going back to work on it?

Yes, we got a second season, which is so incredible. I hear that the industry may start to ramp up in Vancouver this summer, but I don’t know what that means for our show, and what protocols will be in place. It’s such uncharted territory. I’ll do whatever it takes. I just want to work!

The film you were shooting in 2017 while auditioning for Upload, has that come out yet?

It’s coming out on June 16th. It’s called Two Minutes of Fame, and it stars Jay Pharoah, Keke Palmer and Katt Williams. I play an aspiring comedian and a bit of a temptress.  Maybe that’s why I leaned in so hard into the comedy during my Upload audition — because I was shooting a comedy film!

You’ve had an interesting career because you are also a musician and singer who put out albums and worked with Prince, while slowly building up a television and film career. What do you consider your break?

I consider all these opportunities mini-breaks in that they’ve been things that have affirmed my path, and validated what I had dreamt of doing. I was always doing acting and music at the same time, but music happened to take off first when I got to work with Prince.

The Game in 2011 was significant in that it was my first acting gig on TV. At that time, I was doing some hosting on G4’s Attack of the Show! when I auditioned for The Game. Getting it was an affirmation of like, “Okay, I can do this. Somebody trusts me to play a character.”

On the music side, getting to work with Prince was epic, but Upload feels like the true sense of a big break because it’s my first leading role. Having Greg and Amazon trust me to hold down the heart of this series, especially with not having a ton on my résumé, and certainly not being the lead of anything prior, feels really good, and I’m so grateful.

You got to combine your singing and acting in 2017’s Pitch Perfect 3. What was that like?

Pitch Perfect 3 was my first studio movie. I auditioned for Pitch Perfect 2, but didn’t get the role. However, I apparently, I did a great job in that audition, because two years later, my team got a call and said the director of Pitch Perfect 3 would love to chat with me. We had a phone call and talked about me playing a rocker chick. After they, they offered me the role and I didn’t have to audition, which was pretty cool.

When I got on set, [producers] Elizabeth Banks and Max Handelman were like, “We remembered you from your audition for Pitch Perfect 2, and we knew we’d find a way to work with you.”  That was such a boost, knowing that people believe in what I can do. It goes back to what I said earlier: If something is yours, it’s going to be yours. And also that casting directors, producers, and filmmakers all remember when you do good work. 

You went through a series of in-person auditions for Upload. You didn’t have to audition for Pitch Perfect 3. What’s been your experience with self-tape?

I used to never believe in self-tapes. I was doing self-tape after self-tape, spending money on coaching, making them look professional, and never getting anywhere. I was so over it. Then I got a self-tape request for the TV series Chicago Fire, and I booked it off the tape. Now I’m a firm believer in self-tapes! Ha!

What did you learn from working with one of the greatest and influential artists in musical history?

I wouldn’t be the artist and person I am today if I hadn’t worked with Prince. Going through the grief of losing him was devastating and such a reminder that our time on earth is precious. He always had such a sense of integrity with his work. He left it all out there on the stage, on the page, in the guitar. That’s something that’s stuck with me. Losing him made me realize, when your time is up, you have to know you left it all out on the dance floor. So I always show up with integrity for myself and for what I bring. I value what I do, and know when I do something, it’s to the best of my ability. Prince also completely embodied being a creative. He never waited for someone to give him permission to create. Neither do I.

 

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Livestream: Brand You With Talent Agent Pamela Wise

Livestream: Brand You With Talent Agent Pamela Wise

Join talent agent Pamela Wise as she shares how to mobilize your brand to expand networks, increase social media reach, and land more roles!

Pamela Wise is a talent agent in advertising and an intuitive brand coach. Her sweet spot is inspiring actors to find the intersection between their authentic self and character range. And then fuse that unique brand truth into their work, social media platforms, and industry connections.

Pamela WisePremiere Talent Management

 

 

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What It’s Like to Audition, Book, and Shoot a Commercial in the Current Environment

What It’s Like to Audition, Book, and Shoot a Commercial in the Current Environment

Commercial creative teams took only about three days after the stay-at-home order to adjust commercials to reflect the current situation by changing the voiceovers of existing spots. After about ten days, new spots started appearing on the air conceived and shot by the very creative, innovative commercial creative teams.

 

Submit a Good Self-tape Audition

Of course all auditions are self-taped. If there is dialogue, have a solid background with good lighting. A simple setup will do, using a halo light, a tripod, and a smartphone.

 

How to Be Sure Your Submission Is Considered

Labeling Instructions: Follow the instructions from the casting director very carefully. Instructions could be as specific as instructing you to use a dash/hyphen or an underscore. Consider yourself to now be a part of our organizational team. With the staggering amount of details, there will be no time for casting to correct and redo.

Framing: Follow the direction regarding the slate and the framing.

Many auditions now are inclusive of your home environment. Most actors are concerned with how neat the home should be. Keep it neat but looking livable. You will usually be given some scenario as to what the shot should resemble. These shots usually means there will be some moving around. This will mean you have to rehearse a couple of times to know what your phone camera on the tripod is capturing.

Transfer Method: Instructions will also be specific as to what transfer method to use for delivery.

To bring you firsthand information, I sat down and spoke to actor couple Danni and Jeff Gadigan, who just finished shooting a commercial.

 

The Callback

Danni and Jeff had to log in to a Zoom meeting, where someone from production connected with them and instructed them to a waiting room. There you are figuratively “on deck” for about ten minutes. They were instructed to use a phone or laptop for the callback. Having been given general information about the scene, Jeff decided to use a laptop because he had more latitude to change the range of the shot. Danni and Jeff, along with their one-year-old baby, were directed to do certain actions in a scene. Their dog happened to jump in, and all four got booked.

 

The Prep for the Shoot Day

Great organization on the production company’s end was key. First, Danni and Jeff were sent a guidebook point-by-point explaining what would take place. There was then a general Zoom call including everyone who was cast from different households. This call was a time for everyone to see each other, learn about the idea of the story, get more comfortable, and go over the guidebook.

Then the following day started meetings for about one hour each with the different departments, combing through details.

 

Wardrobe

Clothing was laid out and photos were taken to send to the Wardrobe Department.

 

Location

There was a Location Scout meeting call to look over locations. Lighting is considered and how the space fits into the story of the spot. In addition, a Production Designer called to guide them with the setup of the decor. These designers have a keen eye to make sure no labels identify products to avoid copyright branding issues.

 

Equipment Delivery

A courier delivered a box with all the camera equipment that was needed to shoot. In Danni and Jeff’s case, it was two iPhones. Some shoots have camera kits delivered. Next, there is a scheduled Zoom call with a tech person to go over everything in the box and how to set it up.

 

Rehearsal

There is a rehearsal with the director which includes performance, blocking, and selecting the frames of the shots. Jeff had to tape off where the tripod was to go and where they would be moving around. Everyone took screenshots for their own records.

 

The Shoot Day

Each family had their own time slot. Production called an hour early to again go over all the shots. The phones had apps downloaded by production that fit their tech needs.

The final shoot for Danni and Jeff took about two hours. A continual chain of communication was going on behind the scenes between production and clients seeing everything in real time. The client had typical feedback regarding what they wanted included in the shot and then changing the shot several times. Of course, in the current situation, the actor had to make all the changes. Danni and Jeff had their baby involved which meant they were juggling the baby, their action, and camera action simultaneously.

 

After the Shoot

After the shoot, someone in production walked each family through uploading and sending the video.

Shoot done! The next day the equipment was picked up.

I asked Danni and Jeff what they missed about a traditional shoot, and in good humor, Jeff answered, “craft service!” He said as an actor, being involved with the production and shooting process was actually a very good, valuable, insightful experience.

 

Terry Berland is an award-winning casting director for commercials, voiceover, film, television and theatre.  Her casting awards include Clio, The Houston International Film Festival, Art Director’s Club, Addy, and the International Film and TelevisionFestival. Her former Head Of Casting staff position for Madison Avenue giant BBDO/NY has contributed to her deep understanding and involvement in the advertising industry. She is known throughout the country for her talent development, and is the author of the how-to industry book,” Breaking Into Commercials.”
For more information about Terry Berland Commercial Acting workshops click here.
To sign up for the Berland Casting newsletter or to communicate any subject you would like covered, click here.
Reproduction or usage of this article on other websites must be credited to Terry Berland, Casting Director.
Instagram @berlandcasting

 

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New Role Added: Talent Search Launched for Netflix Film Starring Adam Sandler

New Role Added: Talent Search Launched for Netflix Film Starring Adam Sandler

Kim Coleman Casting (BlacKkKlansmanSpace Jam 2Night School, Little) has launched a talent search for a new role in the upcoming Netflix feature film Hustle, starring Adam Sandler.

Casting is seeking candidates that are between 17 and 30 years old, fluent in English and Spanish, and legit street basketball players from Spain (or of Spanish descent) with exciting and flashy tricks and ball-handling skills.

Casting has not set a deadline to submit, so please submit as soon as possible as to not miss your chance! For more information and to submit, click here.

 

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Livestream: Discovering Tomorrow’s Stars Today With Casting Director Greg Apps

Livestream: Discovering Tomorrow’s Stars Today With Casting Director Greg Apps

Join casting director Greg Apps as he shares a peek into his approach to discovering new stand-out actors!

Greg Apps started as an actor where he starred on stage in the original production of “The Rocky Horror Show”, worked with the iconic Dennis Hopper, and was James Cameron’s casting director of choice for “Sanctum”. He was the inaugural president of the Casting Guild of Australia for four years, sat on the board of directors of the Australian Film Institute for seven years, and is currently on the board for Byron Bay Film Studios. Over the past eight years, Apps and partner Robyn Gibbes developed a resource and online program for actors called The Audition Technique, which is a unique approach for the self taping actor.

Greg Apps Casting | The Audition Technique

 

 

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Livestream: Audition Success With Casting Director Nancy Bishop, CSA

Livestream: Audition Success With Casting Director Nancy Bishop, CSA

Join casting director Nancy Bishop, CSA as she shares her tips, tricks, and preparation strategies for successful auditioning!

Nancy Bishop, CSA, who has offices in London and Prague, is an American who has been casting in Europe for more than twenty years. She established the Casting Society of America’s European branch and served on the CSA National Board. Casting credits include work on the “Mission Impossible”, “Bond”, “Narnia”, and “Bourne” franchises, and Bishop has worked with most major studios and networks including Paramount Pictures, Universal, Fox, BBC, ABC, HBO, Amazon, and Netflix. She also founded the acting program at the Prague Film School and penned two books on casting. Bishop is currently working to update her second book, “Auditioning for Film and TV” (Bloomsbury), for the post-MeToo era. She is also an active member of the ICDN (International Casting Directors Network) and the CDG (Casting Director Guild, UK). 

Official Site

 

 

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Get to Know the Casting Director: Jason Kennedy 

Get to Know the Casting Director: Jason Kennedy 

With this installment of Get to Know the Casting Director, we’re featuring another person who’s using this time to help others. Jason Kennedy casts with Susan Bluestein both NCIS and NCIS: Los Angeles, the former of which Deadline reports is the most-watched drama on broadcast TV. You might think the casting directors behind such a successful show would be ready for a breather, but they’ve instead used this time to give back with their recent Bluestein/Kennedy Casting Virtual Open Call. And even with such an overwhelming response to it and an incredible number of submissions to review, Kennedy took the time to speak with Casting Networks. Keep reading to get to know a casting director who found a way to connect with and help actors, even in the midst of COVID-19. 

 

When was the moment you knew that casting was for you?

Well, there are several moments in life that led me to casting. But I knew that I was in it for good in 2002 when I landed my first casting assistant job with the marvelous Julie Ashton on a Fox comedy pilot. And it was a hit-the-ground-running experience that I will never forget. It was a ton of work and a lot of late hours, but I was immediately invested and excited about the cast that we were assembling. I was lucky because it was truly a team effort, and I was proud to be a part of that team. It was quite an experience. 

 

What prompted the Bluestein/Kennedy Casting Virtual Open Call, and were you expecting such a volume of entries? 

We certainly did not expect such an enormous response. It’s going to take us some time to watch every single. one. I think that when everything ended, we were right at about 70,000 actors who were submitted either directly or by their reps. And it’s just incredible. We were happy that we were able to do something like this that could offer some positivity, some support, and a brief distraction from everything that’s going on. We had some time on our hands and wanted to find a way to give back to the community, so we decided that the best way to do that would be to host a virtual open call. We just wanted this to be a fun, free experience for actors in which they could practice their auditioning and self-taping skills while having the opportunity to be seen by our office. The open call started in the early days [of the pandemic] when everything was up in the air and people didn’t know where to turn, so we also wanted to use the platform to share information on financial and health resources for talent and reps who needed them. We just wanted to do what we could. 

 

With your previous experience as a talent agent, do you have any advice for actors on how to best work with their reps? 

Communication is key in any relationship. I think it’s important to periodically touch base, within reason. Update your rep on anything new, such as changes in your life or work that they may not know about. And tell them about any trips you have planned. It’s so much harder for them to do their job if they’re kept in the dark. Also, actors shouldn’t expect their reps to do all the work; they should be in control of their own careers. That involves taking classes, updating their materials, creating their own work, evolving as a person and a performer, being accessible, and always being prepared. 

 

If someone made a series about your life, who would Susan Bluestein cast to play you?

In the highly unlikely event that something is made about my life, I think I would be cast by a new rising star who hadn’t been discovered yet. Otherwise, I wouldn’t object to Tom Holland.

 

What has been your proudest casting moment? 

There’s really no way to narrow it down to one moment. Every episode that I work on seems to have at least one role where I’m incredibly excited about an actor getting the job. And it’s often as simple as an actor who just knocked it out of the park. Sometimes we discover a new and amazing actor who books their first job, guest star, or series regular with us. And other times, it’s after reading someone for 10 years that they finally book that perfect role. There are just too many exciting, proud casting moments [to pick just one], and they are reasons I love my job so much. 

 

What are you watching at the moment?

We’ve been watching a lot lately and finally caught up on the CBS All Access series The Good Fight, which is cast by the magnificent Mark Saks. It’s one of the few shows I can watch without picking up my phone, except for when I have to look up an actor. That’s a part of me that I just can’t turn off. 

Kennedy’s dedication to helping actors is proven by the sheer volume of video submissions he’ll review, affording roughly 70,000 actors the opportunity to have their work seen by a prominent casting office. The Bluestein/Kennedy Casting Virtual Open Call reinforces the idea that casting directors are rooting for actors. Kennedy shared in his interview that he hoped actors knew that fact. “We can’t be successful if actors aren’t successful,” Kennedy stated. “We’re in this together.” Now, more than ever, this message of unity is one for actors and all industry members to take to heart. 

This interview has been edited and condensed. 

 

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The Evolution of Auditioning with Veteran Actor Reatha Grey

The Evolution of Auditioning with Veteran Actor Reatha Grey

As a Los Angeles native with decades of acting experience under her belt and an impressive list of credits like Betty White’s Off Their Rockers and Shameless, Reatha Grey has seen the industry go through many changes. She’s experienced firsthand the way the audition process has evolved over the years, leading up to its current state of exclusively self-taped auditions during the pandemic. And Grey has not only auditioned since social distancing practices began, but she’s also booked and filmed a project, all from her home. Grey spoke with Casting Networks to give her take on how the audition game has changed.

 

What was auditioning like when you first started working in the industry?

Photo by Leah Huebner

Well, as a little girl, I would dream about being a contract player. That was back when there was more of what they called a “studio system,” in which actors got paid weekly whether they worked or not. They were under contract to one of the major studios, and there wasn’t a lot of room for newcomers. Casting directors basically worked for the studios, so there were very few casting people. That system broke up before I actually started acting in the ’70s, though. When I began working in the business, casting directors were very mysterious people. You weren’t familiar with them at all unless you got to audition with them. And you usually wouldn’t get the sides in advance. There were no computers, so they couldn’t be sent digitally like they are now. If you were reading for a major part, they might’ve used a delivery service to get you the sides before the audition. 

But if you were reading for a day-player role, you’d walk in for the audition and get maybe three pages of sides. You wouldn’t know what the show was about, and you’d have maybe five minutes in the lobby, depending on how many people were there. So they were ice-cold reads. And even the process of getting you to the audition looked really different back then. Only agents had access to the breakdowns, and during the day, they would figure out whom they wanted to send over to casting. Then during the night, messenger services would deliver the selected actors’ headshots to all the different casting people around town. From there, the casting people would go through them and set up the audition. You’d get the call from your agent, and you’d often go in the next day for the appointment. 

 

How have you seen the audition process evolve over time?

I took a break from the business from 1994 to 2006, so it felt like a dramatic shift in how it’d changed between when I left and when I came back. For example, it had been a big no-no for actors to try and get ahold of the breakdowns. But if they somehow got leaked, you’d try and do some espionage to get the casting director’s address. I remember going out with friends at night and literally throwing headshots over fences, just trying to get seen. But when I came back in 2007, actors had the option to pay for breakdowns so that they could submit themselves, which was a game-changer. Headshots were no longer in black and white, and you could put them online with your reel and resume for everyone to see. The biggest change, though, was that you could pay for a class taught by a casting director. Casting directors were no longer these mysterious people you’d only ever meet if you were called in to read for them. You could learn more about them because they were teaching classes all over LA, and a lot were on social media. It was a whole new world. And then it got to where we are today with self-tape auditions. Forty years ago, no one would have expected we’d one day be shooting our own auditions. But now I have a little self-tape studio set up in the corner of my house, and I even recently purchased a green screen.

 

Can you describe your experience with auditioning right now in the midst of COVID-19?

OFF THEIR ROCKERS — Pictured: (l-r) Betty White, Reatha Grey — Photo by: Jordin Althaus/NBC

I thought there was going to be absolutely nothing going on, but then I got asked to send in a self-tape audition for a commercial. So I did, and they asked me to send in another one as a callback. I sent a second one in, and then they booked me for a shoot that was taking place the next day. I was very curious to hear how it was going to work, and they ended up doing it all via Zoom. The directors, producers and other actors were all in their own homes, connecting over the platform, and we shot it that way. I could see what the other three actors were doing on my computer screen, and then the producers and directors could cut in and give us feedback between takes. We shot the commercial in a day — it was amazing. But it was a lot of work to film it in my home because I had to be the set decorator, the costumer, the lighting person, the prop person, etc.

 

What do you think auditions will look like post-pandemic?

I think there are going to be many more self-tape auditions out there. A lot of casting directors are doing free webinars right now, and from what I can gather, they’re enjoying seeing people via self tapes. Like most things, there are pros and cons to self-tape auditions. A lot of people out there have talent, but they may not have the resources for a quality self-tape studio at home. So that is the unfortunate side of it. But self-tape auditions also allow casting to see a lot more actors than they would be able to with in-person sessions. Plus, they cut down on all the traveling through LA traffic to get to in-office auditions. It sometimes takes me an hour and a half to get to an audition that lasts five minutes. And then I have to drive another hour and a half back home. So in that sense, it’s definitely something to look forward to in the future if casting offices continue using mostly self tapes for auditions. 

 

From the old studio system to self-tape auditions, Grey has seen the evolution of auditioning over the years. And she shared her philosophy on keeping up with all the changes. “You either have to get with the program, or you get left out. I kept up with the technology along the way, and now I even tutor some Millennials on how to do things,” Grey quips. And her adaptability is evidenced by the recent commercial that she auditioned for, booked, and even filmed in her home. So for those wondering if there’s any work to be had in the midst of a pandemic, Grey’s story reminds us that the industry is ever-evolving, a quality that COVID-19 has reinforced rather than extinguished. 

 


This interview has been edited and condensed. 

 

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Livestream: Casting in the U.K. With Casting Director Kahleen Crawford

Livestream: Casting in the U.K. With Casting Director Kahleen Crawford

Join casting director Kahleen Crawford as she offers advice and answers your questions about how to find your way onto the ensembles of her growing stable of projects!

Kahleen Crawford started working in casting in 2000, and in 2006 set up Kahleen Crawford Casting, which has offices in Glasgow and London. She has been casting Ken Loach’s films since 2003, including his most recent feature, Palme D’Or, BIFA, and BAFTA-nominated “Sorry We Missed You”, and “I, Daniel Blake”, which won the Cannes Palme D’Or 2016 and BAFTA for Outstanding British Film in 2017. Crawford’s other recent feature film credits include BIFA and BAFTA-nominated “Wild Rose” (director Tom Harper), BIFA, and BAFTA-nominated “Only You” (director by Harry Wootliff), and “Outlaw King” (director David Mackenzie). Recent television includes “His Dark Materials” (BBC/HBO), “The North Water” (BBC), “I Hate Suzie” (Sky Atlantic), and she is currently casting World Productions’ six-part thriller “Vigil” (BBC) and Harry Wootliff’s second feature “True Things About Me.” In 2019, Crawford was nominated for two British Independent Film Awards for Casting and won the Casting Directors Guild UK award for Best Casting in a Film for “Wild Rose”.

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