I received this email in my inbox today:
I came across your blog and wanted to reach out to you and tap into your knowledge of the casting industry. I have an interview to become a casting recruiter for an MTV show on Wednesday of this week and wanted to ask you how your experience was working as a casting recruiter. Was the work difficult? How was the pay? Better yet, any advice for how to nail the interview?
I’ve always been a fan of reality tv and view working in the casting industry as a dream job, so to speak. I’m currently working for a publishing company but would love to do casting on the side… just not sure where to start. I read in one of your blogs that being a casting associate for MTV was your foot in the door type of job.
Looking forward to hearing back from you… any advice you can give me would be greatly appreciated!
Being a casting recruiter or associate can be wonderfully fun or terribly awful depending on the show you are working on and the company you are working for.¬†¬† I’ve done casting for four different reality shows and each experience was very very different.¬† There are a few main things that I think you need to ask before taking a casting recruiter position.
First and most important what show are you working on?
Certain shows are very easy to cast for while others are extraordinarily hard.¬† Take for example a show like Is She Really Going Out With Him?¬† For me it was fairly easy to cast for because around where I lived there were tons of douchebag guys going out with hot girls.¬† However when I had to cast for a show about parents with troublesome children¬† it was extremely difficult because no parent really wants to admit that they can’t control their own kids let alone show that on national television.
What is the rate?
I know this is an obvious question to ask when taking any job but it especially important with casting because you need to find out if they pay you based on your quota or not.¬† This means that some companies will either pay you a set amount each day or week like a production assistant or that they will only pay you only if you reach your quota of potential¬† cast members.¬† If you think you can reach your quota then by all means take the job.¬† But, trust me from personal experience it sucks to work a full 12 hour day, not reach your quota, and find out that the company won’t pay you for your efforts.
Is there a daily/weekly quota and if so what is it?
This ties into the question above, however, it is still important to ask.¬† Before you start casting you need to know how many people you have to turn in on your contact list each day.¬† Some companies will be great and your quota will be 2-4 people, while others will have unrealistic quotas of 20 people.¬† Take this all into mind when accepting the position.
As for nailing a casting recruiter interview the best thing to do is to come off as an outgoing person.¬† The position involves you going out to the public and finding potential cast members for the show, therefore you can’t be shy or scared to talk to people.
Check out some of my older posts to read stories about my casting experiences.