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Unsolved Casting Mysteries

Often we nail an audition, the casting person gushes, and we never hear from them again. What happened between the audition and the decision not to cast us? Why does it seem like the auditions where we think we stink are the ones we book? Why are casting sessions always running behind? Moderated by Back Stage's Working Actor columnist Michael Kostroff.

Speakers include: 

* Brad Gilmore, casting director, Brad Gilmore Casting
* G. Charles Wright, casting director, Barylski/Wright Casting
* Francene Selkirk-Ackerman, casting director, Shooting From the Hip
* Sara Isaacson, casting director


Brad Gilmore, Casting Director, Brad Gilmore Casting
Brad Gilmore is a Los Angeles–based casting director. Recent films include "Bag of Hammers" with Rebecca Hall, Jason Ritter, and Gabriel Macht; and "Girlfriend" with Jackson Rathbone, Shannon Woodward, and Amanda Plummer.

He is currently casting "In the Lost Lands" with producer Teddy Zee ("Hitch," "The Pursuit of Happyness"). Prior films include "Finishing the Game" with James Franco, Roger Fan, and Sung Kang (2007 Sundance Film Festival); "Razor Sharp" with Cassidy Freeman and Skye McCole Bartusiak (winner, best action film, 2007 Comic-Con); and "The Gauntlet" with Warren Kole, Jamie Ray Newman, and Bai Ling (Beijing). Other credits include "Chrystal" with Billy Bob Thornton (2004 Sundance Film Festival) and "The Sisters" with Maria Bello (2005 Tribeca Film Festival).

Two television shows on which he worked won multiple Golden Globes: "American Family" and "The Closer." For theater, Brad cast "12th Premise" (Los Angeles and London's West End) and "Leipzig" (multiple Garland Award winner, 2007). Brad is a member of the Casting Society of America and is represented by Carlos Carreras at United Talent Agency. He graduated summa cum laude from Fordham University in English and economics.

G. Charles Wright, Casting Director, Barylski/Wright Casting
G. Charles Wright is celebrating his 10th year in casting. He uses the word "celebrating" because he loves his career. In his career G has cast 14 television pilots, four TV series, and three Web series.

G started his casting career as an intern on "3rd Rock From the Sun." He quickly moved up the ranks from assistant to associate casting director on "That '70s Show," and became that series' casting director for seasons 6 through 8. G is the casting director for the PBS and Jim Henson Co. animated series "Sid the Science Kid." He is the casting director, along with partner Deborah Barylski, of the new ABC comedy series "The Middle," starring Patricia Heaton, Neil Flynn, and Chris Kattan.

A graduate of USC with a degree in communications (emphasis on television and critical studies), G has been on both sides of the camera—as an actor and as a casting director. In addition to full-time casting and part-time performing, G has been teaching actors how to audition for eight years. His weekly class is sold out months in advance and boasts a list of popular working actors.

Francene Selkirk-Ackerman, Casting Director, Shooting From the Hip
Francene Selkirk-Ackerman has been a casting director in television and commercials, an actor, and a commercial producer. In the last 17 years she has cast commercials for such award-winning directors as Tom Kuntz at MJZ, Chris Smith and Renny Maslow at Smuggler, Peter Care at Bob Industries, Philippe Andre at Company, and James Haworth at Untitled Films. She works with advertising agencies such as Weiden & Kennedy, J. Walter Thompson, Ogilvy & Mather, Mendelsohn Zien, Goodby Silverstein & Partners, Saatchi & Saatchi, DDB, Young & Rubicam, TBWA, Chiat Day, Hill Holiday, and many more.

Over the last eight years, she has been working for half-hour television improvisational comedies for Comedy Central, Bravo, Fox, Oxygen, and NBC. She cast comedy sketches for "Talk Show With Spike Feresten" and "The Wanda Sykes Show" for Fox, as well as "The Naked Trucker & T-Bones Show" on Comedy Central. Other projects include Bravo's improvisational hit "Significant Others" and "Free Ride" for Fox. Francene has lent her talents to a variety of projects from dramatic music videos to hard-hitting PSAs to interactive Internet games. It's never a dull moment at Shooting From the Hip.

Sara Isaacson, Casting Director
Sara is currently the casting associate on "Fringe" with April Webster and Associates. Sara has worked as a talent agent, manager of casting at Lifetime television, co–casting director on "Close to Home" and on several other casting associate jobs such as "ER," "The Court," and "Presidio Med."

Michael Kostroff, Actor, Back Stage Columnist

Michael Kostroff writes the Working Actor advice column for Back Stage. He's best known for his five seasons on HBO's "The Wire" and for his many guest-star credits. His one-night "Audition Psych 101" workshop has become a highly recommended favorite among professional actors at all levels. Michael is the author of the popular book "Letters from Backstage," a funny, behind-the-scenes chronicle of his time on tour with the road companies of "The Producers" and "Les Misérables." He currently appears on the Disney Channel's hit show "Sonny With a Chance."

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