Atlanta: Hollywood's New Frontier, Part 1: Casting Directors
Now that I'm splitting my time between New York and Atlanta, it's time to start building relationships with the people that have the power to bring me into the room so I can book the job. You guessed it, the almighty casting director.
At first I was worried about breaking into the market down here and making connections. The thought of “starting over” down here while maintaining my friendships, relationships, and connections back in New York was a bit overwhelming. After taking a deep breath and reciting my mantras Deepak-style, I quickly remembered the core basics of building relationships and instead of feeling overwhelmed, I felt inspired and excited for my big new adventure in “The New Hollywood.”
Of course, I wanted to share with you all my core basics of building relationships with casting directors and my list of the top casting directors to connect with in ATL.
Connecting with casting directors:
- Be authentic: Show the casting directors who you truly are rather than try to fit into some manufactured mold or type. Once they know the real you, they can see which roles and projects that you would be right for and bring you in to audition.
- Have a quality product: By product, I mean YOU! Make sure that you are taking acting classes and honing your craft so when you get called into audition for them you are prepared. Remember: it's not about booking that job, it's about creating a relationship with the casting director so they can bring you in for multiple roles.
- Present yourself in a professional way: Even though you want to connect on a human-to-human level remember it's still a business. Have professionally done head shots, an accurate, up-to-date resume, and a reel or links to your work to share with casting.
- Reach out consistently but don't stalk: Be sure to mail-in them your head shot, resume, and reel and keep them updated on your recent bookings and news through postcards. Email when applicable and appropriate but be professional and courteous.
BONUS: SAG-AFTRA CAP sessions have just kicked-off in Atlanta. If you are in the union you can sign-up for free sessions with casting directors that includes a Q&A and you get to do a scene and perform for the casting directors. I'm lucky enough to have gotten in with Alpha Tyler, (casting director for BET) and Shay Bentley Griffin (who has cast over 100 films and TV shows).
Check out these TOP casting directors that cast Atlanta and the Southeast's top projects:
- Alpha Tyler: http://www.imdb.com/name/nm1858087/
- Cheryl Louden-Kubin: http://www.atlantacastingdirector.com
- Chris Bowe: http://www.imdb.com/name/nm2510863/
- Craig and Mark Fincannon: http://www.fincannoncasting.com
- Jackie Burch: http://www.jackieburch.com
- Jaime Harlan: http://www.imdb.com/name/nm1647072/
- Jason Loftus: http://www.heerycasting.com
- Jason Wood: http://www.imdb.com/name/nm1211068/
- Joanna Davis: http://www.imdb.com/name/nm2094665/
- Kris Redding: http://www.imdb.com/name/nm1637539/
- Louis Caric: http://www.imdb.com/name/nm2645884/
- Marty Cherrix: http://cherrixcasting.com
- Rhavynn Drummer: http://www.rhavynndrummer.com
- Ryan Glorioso: http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0003630/
- Shay Bentley-Griffin: http://www.chezgroup.com
- Tara Feldstein Bennett: http://www.feldsteinpariscasting.com
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