Photo by Robert Bellospirito.
My guest on this podcast episode is Los Angeles film and TV casting director Lisa London.
Lisa has won an Artios Award from the Casting Society of America for Outstanding Achievement in Casting. She is the author of the book From Start to Stardom: The Casting Director’s Guide for Aspiring Actors.
Some of the many Film and TV projects Lisa London has cast over her 25-plus year career, alongside her casting partner Catherine Stroud, include Hannah Montana, Grandma’s Boy, The House Bunny, Suite Life of Zak and Cody, Sandy Wexler, The Poison Rose, Freaks, and upcoming films to be released in 2020, Switched, Eat Wheaties, and Through The Glass Darkly. She is a member of The Casting Society of America.
Lisa shares advice for actors on auditions, how to succeed in the industry, how to get on the radar of a casting director even if you don’t yet have an agent, and much more. She is a passionate advocate for actors, and the dedication comes through in this very generous interview.
Some of my favorite quotes from our conversation:
- “Part of what we look for as casting directors is not only your talent, but your personality.”
- “I don’t ever tell actors, or their parents, ‘you have to move here right away.’ Work in your local market and gain some credits there.”
- “When you come into a casting room, be a PERSON. I’m looking for the whole package.”
- “Do your homework. The more you know, the better you do.”
- “Part of the reason actors don’t get callbacks is they don’t take direction.”
- “You have to make a choice. But you can’t get so stuck in your choice that you can’t change.”
- “I think Improv is super important. It’s a great training ground for all actors.”
- “My job is the find the talent for film and TV shows, and to facilitate the producer/director’s vision.”
- “We see potential in actors. And we have to sometimes convince other people of that potential.”
- “For every no, there’s a yes.”
- “I put Jennifer Aniston in her first movie, Leprochaun… we cast Yara Shahidi in her first series.”
- “Do you know how many times we’ve met somebody and said, ‘They’re not exactly right for this, but we’re going to put them in a different part, or a different project’?”
- The fun of casting for me, is I get to meet you, see your personality, work with you, and direct you.”
- “Create! Make stuff! Do stuff! You have to stay proactive.”
- Don’t coach your kids.”
- “If this is your dream and your passion, you have to persist… no matter what happens, you can’t give up. That door is going to open for you.”
Follow Lisa London here:
Buy her book here:
The Backstage Article Lisa wrote and referenced:
There is so much you can do to prepare for a successful acting career right where you are today. One of the best things you can do to ensure success when you do land in Los Angeles is to educate yourself NOW. You’re off to a great start by listening to this podcast! If you want to move even faster, book an online consultation with me, and we can create a detailed action plan together. I look forward to talking with you!
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