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And Now a Word from our Experts in Commercial Casting
Commercials are not only a viable medium for actors to break into when starting their careers, but for many actors, TV spots are the bread and butter of their existence. How difficult or easy is it to get a commercial agent? What are the hottest types CDs look for nowadays? How can actors increase their chances of getting called back? Casting directors and agents share their advice.
-- Danny Goldman, casting director
-- Samantha Daniels, talent agent
-- Terry Berland, casting director
-- Chaim Magnum, talent agent
-- Stuart Stone, casting director
Once and always an actor, Danny Goldman has been casting commercials for almost 30 years. He is a graduate of Columbia College, New York City. As an actor with credits numbering more than 70, he appeared in more than 16 films, including M.A.S.H. and Young Frankenstein, and he has been a series regular on The Good Life, Busting Loose, and Mike Hammer, and he was the voice of Brainy on The Smurfs.
He has also been a theatre director of more than 35 productions, from Los Angeles to Boston. He has cast thousands of commercials, voiceover short films, and television specials. Danny Goldman & Associates Casting counts among its many clients such production companies as Bedford Falls, Fox Broadcasting Col, Grey Advertising, MTV Networks, NBC, November Films, and PAX TV. Ad agencies include J. Walter Thompson, Saatchi & Saatchi, and Young & Rubicam.
Samantha began her career as an actor in her native New York City. In the midst of a successful theatre career, 17 years ago she ventured to Los Angeles for a pilot season and never moved back. Eventually she decided to forgo acting to work behind the scenes. After assisting at several talent agencies, most notably APA and Film Artists Associates, she became a SAG-franchised theatrical agent.
While working in the theatrical department at the Bobby Ball Agency, she was asked to fill in as the children's commercial agent and realized right away that the fast-paced environment of commercials was for her. She became franchised as a commercial agent and worked in that capacity for the next three years. Following the 2000 commercials strike, she worked with an internationally known music library company, Opus 1 Music, providing music for TV, film, and commercials. In 2002 she accepted Bicoastal Talent's invitation to head its new commercial adult division and worked to develop the talent there for six years.
For the past three months she has been "happily ensconced" as head of the commercial adult and kid department at Avalon Artists.
Terry Berland is an award-winning casting director for on-camera television, voice-over, radio commercials, animation and hosting. Terry's casting career expands over 25 years and has earned her casting awards that include Clio, The Houston International Film Festival, Art Director's Club, Addy, and the International Film and Television Festival. She is known for casting legions of commercials throughout the years that have given many actors work including Apple Computer, Taco Bell (voice of the Chihuahua), Mercedes, Nike, Gillette, Discover Card, Pepsi, BudTV, Comcast, HP, Nissan and Burger King to name a few.
Terry's background as head of casting for Madison Avenue giant BBDO/NY has lent to her deep understanding and involvement in the advertising industry. She is known throughout the country for her talent development and is the co-author of the how-to industry book, Breaking Into Commercials.
Chaim Magnum has been a leader in the commercial agency world for more than a decade. A founder of Dragon Talent, an agency that focused on hip and cutting-edge talent, his latest venture is LemonLime Agency — talent with a twist. LemonLime maintains a street edge while developing a more accessible and wide-reaching talent base. His clients have appeared regularly in commercials for products such as iPod, the Gap, Pepsi, Levi's, and Verizon, and in hundreds of other national and worldwide commercials.
Since the inception of Stuart Stone Casting, Stuart Stone has cast hundreds of domestic and worldwide TV commercials, as well as numerous other media projects. He has built a reputation on drive, creativity, passion, and innovation in supplying the commercial, TV, print, scripted, non-scripted, industrial, promo, and music video communities. He is also a published author and acting coach.
Jordana Capra (Moderator)
Jordana Capra first hit the boards in New York at age 6 and continued her musical theatre training in Minneapolis, ultimately completing her studies at the University of Minnesota. Since moving to Los Angeles, she has worked with Peter Gallagher in Watch It! and Jose Ferrer and Oliver Reed in Hired to Kill. Her first film work was in the cult classic Amazon Women on the Moon — yes, as an Amazon Woman. A few of her TV credits include ER; Strong Medicine; Saved by the Bell; Murder One; Beverly Hills 90210; House, M.D.; and the Bravo improv series Significant Others; she spent one and a half years on The Bold and the Beautiful.
Her day job has been working in commercial casting as a session director for more than 15 years and as a commercial acting teacher with casting director Craig Colvin. An exciting new turn in her career is taking her to Australia this fall to direct the first circus movie in decades. She is also the president of Circle of Hope, a nonprofit that assists men and women who are confronting breast cancer in Santa Clarita.
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