Today my guest on the Hometown to Hollywood podcast is casting director Howard Meltzer.
Howard has cast for Broadway, Off-Broadway, CBS, Disney Channel, Fox, NBC, Netflix, Nickelodeon, Peacock, Sony Pictures Television Studios, 20th Century Fox, and Warner Brothers Television.
He has been nominated for 22 Artios Awards for excellence in casting, winning the honor three times. He has served as the Vice President of the Casting Society of America and is currently a Governor of the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences.
We cover a fantastic range in this conversation, from the differences in casting a pilot or movie vs. casting co-stars and guest stars; how far casting will look for the right actor for a role; how COVID has affected the casting process; whether and when it’s important for n actor to be in LA and how to decide when it might be time to come to LA; how an actor should approach a CD they don’t yet know; the role of parents in the casting process for younger actors, and much, much more.
Listen to the first 10 minutes here for free, or become a Friend of the Podcast for just $5 a month — and get access to the full interview, as well as access to the entire collection of over 100 other inspiring and educational episodes designed to help you succeed in the entertainment industry.
Some of my favorite quotes from our conversation:
- “Everyone should be thoughtful about what they’re putting on social media.”
- “If you’re auditioning for projects for kids networks, make sure your social media and what you’re posting doesn’t appear too mature.”
- “Disney & Nickelodeon are very, very focused on how the actors and actresses are going to connect with the viewer.”
- “I’ve worked on shows where I don’t get a script until Thursday for something that shoots on Monday.”
- “If someone’s going to fly in, there’s a whole schedule of COVID testing before they get on a plane, and then quarantining before we shoot.”
- “There’s no way any successful casting director could be lazy. We have to look all over.”
- “Understand and trust the words and the text.”
- “Find something honest & organic & grounded, even if it’s the wackiest, broadest comedy.”
- “I expect you to be prepared and open to direction.”
- “Watch not only the series regulars on a show, but also look at what the guest cast is like. There’s usually a formula.”
- “Please watch your tapes back. Please.”
- “I love getting actor postcards.”
- “Most casting directors who work with kids and young adults are friendly.”
- “It’s so incredibly rare that someone truly is an overnight success.”
Follow Howard Meltzer HERE:
Howard’s years of work as a casting director for stage, film, and TV are reflected in the depth of wisdom he shared in this episode. Imagine what some one-on-one attention from an industry expert could do to help you succeed in as an actor (or, help your kid succeed). Book a consultation with me and save yourself years of spinning your wheels. I look forward to speaking with you!