Can you imagine your days filled with friends coming to visit? It’s my life, within each and every day without exception, a constant parade, reverberant with an effervescence stimulated by the soldiers participating in the very same parade. If I were to hang a sign it would read,” All Actors Allowed”. I am not a politically correct man. After all I am a casting director. I must be able to differentiate between color, and sound, and most importantly, skills and those person’s skills as an actor. If an actor isn’t suited for a role, he or she must realize one single fact, and one fact only; it is what it is.
In my own professional area of casting, sight doesn’t play a part. I cast voices, so what I am duty bound to care about is quite singular. Sound. People come to us at Kalmenson & Kalmenson in order to find the right voice, or voices for their products. We follow their specifications as closely as possible. Rarely, if ever does a situation present itself, requiring our recusal.
The make up of those parading before me daily follows the strict dictates of the folks who are paying the bills. If you’re interested, here is a sample of a typical casting call as we follow the directions of the advertising agencies will:
- The product is a soft drink.
- Demographics are pointed towards young guys of high school age.
- The storyboard shows a “pick up” basketball game in a schoolyard, resembling an inner city, which could be in any number of urban cities in our country.
- We are told to match the storyboard in order to cast the voices depicted by the on camera players.
So here’s what transpires. Our casting directors contact the producers of the spot, or series of spots, in order to get final directions regarding the make up of the call we will be putting out to the agents around town. We are told in no uncertain terms, the guys we bring in must be African American, and should sound like they’re in the inner city. Those are our instructions, and those are the instructions we follow. Political correctness never enters our minds. The friends who will be in tomorrow’s parade to the Kalmenson studios will all be black. On record, and without equivocation, they enter the building joyfully, and leave in the same manner. I know very well I’m not a politically correct man; I’ve never had to be.
What I care about is that my parade runs on time, and that we are able to bring in the best and most professional talent the sponsors money can buy.