Ask an Insider

Sort by:
  • Advice

    How Does the Musical Director Shape an Actor's Performance?

    When the musical director is in rehearsal, as a guide we try to establish parameters that are dictated by the composer and the lyricist.

  • Advice

    What Prompts You to Cast Against Type?

    I was asked several years ago by Pillsbury House Theatre in Minneapolis to consider directing a production of "A Streetcar Named Desire" with a black actor playing the lead.

  • Advice

    What Do You Listen for in an Audio Reel?

    When we listen to a demo, we usually want to hear some degree of versatility spread among a range of characters, accents, and even languages spoken.

  • Advice

    Marci Liroff on the Life of a Casting Director

    In a new Q&A series on her Facebook page called "Inside the World of Casting," Hollywood casting director Marci Liroff is currently answering questions from a college student.

  • Advice

    How Can Actors Help Their Managers do Their Job?

    I wish every client asked this question. Representing actors is a team effort, and actors who simply sit by the phone waiting for it to ring are not going to succeed.

  • Advice

    Keeping a Long-Running Show Fresh

    If a regular rehearsal doesn't work, then I have the actors do an improv but don't allow them to use any of the show's lines. As a result, they remember the show's purpose.

  • Advice

    What Acting Teacher Inspired You?

    Sande Shurin—who wasn't my first teacher but was the first teacher who made me deal with me—stopped me in my tracks. I learned how to become present in a way I had never experienced.

  • Advice

    Auditioning the Parents?

    When I bring a child in for an audition, it's all about the work that they do in the room with me. Are they actively listening while they're doing the scene? Do they take direction well?

  • Advice

    Casting Roles with Nudity or Sex?

    Quite a few actors won't come in if there's nudity for a part. A lot of the time, producers and director will say, "Oh, they'll want the part enough that they'll do the nudity." No, they won't.

  • Advice

    Worst Advice?

    Eight years, several leading roles in films, incredible stage runs, and creating my own film festival later, I can say that walking out of that jerk's office was the best thing I could have done.