KD Conservatory Acting alum, Kina Bale-Reed, has become one of the most prominent Casting Directors in Dallas. Working on projects like Barney and Friends, Lonestar, Final Witness: The Kids Aren’t Alright as well as the feature films Upstream Color (Sundance Official Selection) and the upcoming Goodnight Charlene. Not to mention hundreds of commercials, print, web, and industrial projects with her company Cast-O-Matic. When it comes to making the most of your acting career, Kina’s advice is always appreciated.
At a large casting call, What can separate you from everyone else?
Total confidence and preparation.
Should you shake the Casting Directors hand after walking through the door?
Never! Not only do you want to touch as few things as possible on a busy casting day, but it also takes unnecessary time and attention away from your audition. Also, because you may be nervous you may have sweaty hands. Is that really the first impression you want to leave, sweaty hands? 😉 But if they extend a hand to you first by all means, shake it.
Say you live in Dallas and your audition is in Austin (or vice-versa), is it worth making the drive out?
Always! Even though it’s not always easy or convenient to make the drive, it’s always better to audition in person. Not only are clients often in attendance, it shows you are committed to the project and have the ability to be flexible. The Director/Casting Director being able to actually direct you, will give you a huge advantage. You should only send audition tapes if it is absolutely impossible for you to attend the casting session.
Is it possible to land a role in a network series or big-budget film in Dallas?
Absolutely! Although most of what local casting does is guest spots and smaller roles/bit parts, nothing in this business is impossible. The right casting director on the right project can take a chance on you with Producers and Directors who are open to seeing lesser known talent. It has been known to happen. You just need to make sure you that you are in the right place at the right time. That goes back to preparation, flexibility and building strong relationships within the industry.
And finally, should you always volunteer to be an extra?
In Dallas, working as an extra isn’t something that is going to “hurt” your career. But you don’t have to add every credit to your resume. I always say a paid day on a professional set is ALWAYS worth it. The networking alone is worth it, you never know who you may meet or who may take notice of you. That being said you must be DEPENDABLE. If you say you’re going to be there, be there. Don’t cancel last minute and NEVER no-show. We remember and we will never call you in again if you put us in a last minute scramble to replace you. “There are no small parts, only small actors.”