Monthly Archives: September 2015


Many actors think that the only thing important is to “turn on” when the camera rolls or when the scene starts. However, there is nothing farther from the truth than this.

First step of selecting “yes’s” was made. The next step is to go through all the possible yes’s and hone them down to the first choice and two backups. To do this the creatives go through the size card photos that they use as reminders and they shuffle them around for organizational purposes. They consider each person and talk about their performance and their essence that will fulfill the character

One of the actors did a great job when the camera turned on, but totally lost all personality when the camera was off. When they got to this fellow’s size card the first thing the creatives talked about was the fact that he really did a good job when he was acting, but when the camera turned off, he had no personality; he turned off. They quickly decided they were not interested in someone who turns on and off, who doesn’t have “it” all the time. It means he is just “acting”. They wanted a personality when the camera is on and the camera is off. That actor was unanimously put in the “no” pile and lost the job.

So the trick is how do you be “on” all the time without being fake? How do you “take a room”? It’s not so much that you need to be “on”. It’s more like you can’t turn “off”. Being “on” is as simple as being open, present, emotionally connected to being in a room full of people and in relationship to the other human beings in the room and to what is going on. The relationship you want is open, friendly, pleased to be there and loving what you are doing…authentically.

I would venture to believe that actor whose resting face was disinterested, removed with the lack of any joy revealed in his face, probably did not feel that way at all. I truly believe he felt really happy to be in that room and had no clue that his resting face was unengaged and disconnected from other human beings.

I’m noticing how important the resting face is. Recently I was teaching a workshop and one of the participants in the workshop looked like he hated me and everything else that was going on. His facial expression was hard and unfriendly. He was that way sitting in his seat and as he took his mark. But when the camera went on he lit up and did a great job. The huge lesson for him was not what to do when the camera went on but his awareness of who he is, or appears to be, at all other times.

“Who you are” at all times matters, and who you are must show on your face.
We are looking for people who are “engaged”, pleased, friendly and open. If you’ve never thought about it…take a look at yourself when you’re not looking…take a look at your resting face.

Starting your career as a casting director

As with the most of the entertainment jobs, if you want to become a casting director, the path is not that easy. You have to start at low and aim high. You may have to struggle a lot before you get the desired position. However, there are no specific qualifications you need to get into the field; just having the right personal skills will work.

Let’s have a look at few important aspects


There is no formal education that can help you in the industry. However, those that attend theatre and film arts classes or have studied business management have an edge over others. As a casting director, you have to well verse with the negotiation skills and also understand the complexities of working with union employees.

You can take acting classes to understand the acting process and recognizing the talent for better auditioning procedure.


Being a part of entertainment industry means that you have to start at the bottom. Look for an internship with the casting agencies or work under a casting director. Initially, you may have to work even as a low-level helper.

Experience is a must as no one will hire until your resume highlights work experience. Everybody looks for a professional not the one they have train prior giving work.

Networking is important

Make connections that can help you with your career. Your networking can help you create a niche for yourself in the industry. Also, it helps you to quickly and easily find the right actors for the roles.

Your personality

For the job you will need to have:

  • Excellent communications skills. You have to work with both insiders and outsiders. Your abilities will define the way you will be loved by the actors as well the directors.
  • Negotiation skills
  • Organizational qualities to make sure the project go on smoothly.
  • You have to be a perfectionist to make sure everything falls right on the place.
  • Patience

If you are looking to get entry into the profession, search for casting director workshops. There are many institutes that offer professional courses for aspiring candidates. Search for them online. Make sure the institute you choose is reputable, experienced and have a niche in the area. Inquire about the curriculum and then take your decision.

Berland Casting offers casting director workshops, Los Angeles. If you are interested in joining any of our workshops, get in touch with us. We will be happy to help you.