Run casting calls to select the final candidates for Casting Directors.
What does a Casting Associate do?
Casting Directors can seem a lot like royalty, holding court above masses of hopeful Actors, Extras, and/or contestants, and deciding who moves forward and are captured on film. A Casting Associate, then, is like a courtier, tasked with finding applicants who are willing to submit to auditions.
Finding a large pool of applicants often means holding cattle-call auditions. Large masses of people come to visit you – the Casting Associate – clutching their resumes and headshots. You spend a small amount of time with each person, performing a sort of mini-audition to determine the person’s talent and likeability. When you find someone you like, you take the person’s paperwork and verify that you have the proper contact information.
At the end of the audition, you have a list of people to present to the Casting Director. You rely on the Casting Assistant to pull the names and photos of these people into a report, and to contact them for a formal audition. When the report is complete, you give it to the Casting Director.
During the audition, you help the applicants fill out paperwork, and you may ask for verification of their ages, union affiliation, and immigration status. Sometimes, you provide subtle coaching to your favorite applicants to help them succeed in the audition. The more talented people you can provide in an audition, the more likely it is that you’ll be hired for another project in the future.
Blatant favoritism isn’t allowed in the role of Casting Associate, but you can add makeup, tweak clothing, or give bracing cups of coffee to applicants to make them shine. Giving them Vaseline for their teeth can help them flash the toothy smiles that Casting Directors love.