Listen Up all you budding actors- we chatted exclusively to Casting Director Kirsty de Vallance.
We chatted with Kirsty de Vallance, Casting Director at Screentime, to get some industry tips and tricks for our awesome talent here on theright.fit.
What does the casting industry look like today?
In regards to TV – it has become more of an “ in house” industry- most major production companies have an in house casting director, who then in turn selects the team of casting producers to work on a project. The advent of social media- Facebook/ Twitter/ Instagram- has really changed the way of casting- you can reach so many more people with a post.
Do you have any real-world examples of how you’ve found people on social media and what qualities you look for when casting social media talent?
Yes-I found Jasmin from The Great Australian Bakeoff from a Facebook page- where she had posted some amazing creations for the RSPCA which she was an avid supporter of. She had made cupcakes for their annual Cupcake Day and I tracked her down. She was based in Mackay QLD and had not even thought about applying for the show.
What are some of the qualities you look for in a potential cast member?
For me it is always authenticity and stamina. There is always an X factor about someone- and if I think about someone a lot after I have met them, it gives me a sense that they may be the right person for a role.
Can you please elaborate on the X-factor, is it a personality thing? Is it a sparkle in their eye?
An X Factor is something you can’t really put your finger on. You are simply drawn to them- be it that they look a certain way, or act a certain way. If someone is all bravado in an audition, or I Think they may be faking it, or telling me what I want to hear, I will call them on it- and that gives me a better idea on the person they are- sometimes it goes in their favour, sometimes it doesn’t.
Tell us some horror stories of castings gone wrong and what you learned from the experience?
I remember loving a particular character for a well-known large reality show, and he missed out in the first year. He was then cast in the 2nd season, and it was a disaster- he wasn’t at all who we thought he was and was really terrible. There have also been occasions of casting someone who was fantastic, only for them to pull out days before filming was to commence. There have been some last minute scrambles for new talent.
What can you recommend to someone in the casting process, should they take a chance on their gut instinct, or should they look at the person’s resume/acting portfolio?
I think they need to do both. Sometimes a reel can put me off a person, but then I meet them and I like them. Also, with some people, in the flesh they may not be what you think is right- but when they are on camera, they are amazing!
What advice can you give to small businesses who have to cast themselves?
It is really tough! But using platforms such as therightfit is a great tool- as you can work to your budget and utilise good talent.
What qualities in a profile do you look for when casting on platforms like theright.fit? What can you recommend to people to help them get their profiles a cut above the rest?
I like to see both headshots and natural shots.I hate meeting people whoI have shortlisted from their headshots only to meet them in and they look nothing like their picture. It is a waste of my time and their time. Make sure your contact details are up to date and that you check your messages. A lot of casting directors and agents have to cast projects in very limited time and we have quick turnarounds- so ensure you respond as soon as you can to a a job- even if it is to let us know you are unavailable. If you don’t, I would not consider you for another project.
Thanks Kirsty! and good luck lovely TRF community in all your upcoming castings! xx