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Inside Job

Calleri Casting Looks to Actors for Answers

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Calleri Casting Looks to Actors for Answers
Photo Source: Timothy Murray

James Calleri, Paul Davis, and Erica Jensen are the Artios Award–winning casting team of New York–based Calleri Casting, which cast Broadway’s “Venus in Fur,” TV’s “Army Wives,” and the Sundance hit “Another Earth.”

What do you wish more actors knew about auditioning?
Paul Davis: If an actor gets into an audition room, if they have a callback, they should celebrate that and then let go. There are so many variables outside an actor’s control, so they shouldn’t take it personally when a part doesn’t come their way.

James Calleri: Also, we are looking to them for answers. There is nothing sexier than an actor who comes in and says, ‘I’ve got this. Let me show you how it’s done. Look no further,’ by what they do in the room with the work.

What is the first thing you look at on an actor’s résumé?
Erica Jensen: I tend to look at training first. But I wish actors would condense their résumés to the most important work they’ve done. Don’t be afraid of white space!

Davis: White space. No kidding. Many actors jam too much onto their résumé. Less is more.

What makes a good casting director?
Davis: Passion. I love when casting directors share the enthusiasm and victory of a booking in the same way that an actor does. We know how hard it is and really celebrate when an actor wins.

Calleri: I think it’s all about good taste and liking actors. You just have to love them.

Jensen: And it’s better if you don’t have kids, so you can go to the theater a lot.

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