An Interview with Casting Director Nicole Nowak
This week we are very excited to share with you an interview with Casting Director Nicole Nowak from Project Submission Partners. Nicole gives great advice for young actors, models, and their parents and shares her insights into the casting process.
KidsCasting: What was it that attracted you to the entertainment industry? Were you involved in acting yourself or did you realize that you have an eye for talent?
Nicole Nowak: I’ve always been intrigued by the behind-the-scenes of film and television. I modeled in college and quickly found myself on the other side of the camera.
KC: Actors are always searching for the ‘success formula’ for auditions. In your opinion, what makes a good audition?
NN: Confidence, personality, eye contact, and prior preparation.
KC: What is the most significant difference or challenge working with child actors and models in comparison with adults?
NN: The biggest difference is their attention span, how quickly they can be distracted, but mainly their understanding of the process.
KC: Do casting directors recommend kids get professional coaching before a big audition or do they prefer a less polished talent?
NN: It strictly depends on the role. However, training is always a must; even seasoned actors continue to train. My best advice is to audit acting classes when possible and get involved in community theater.
KC: On audition day, do you know what you’re looking for or do you let it find you?
NN: As a Casting Director, going into the audition, you must know exactly what you are looking for. However, many times a person auditioning for a certain role can be found suitable for a different role.
KC: What is your biggest pet peeve in the audition room?
NN: Lack of preparation, controlling parents, and those not following directions.
KC: KidsCasting.com offers subscribers to upload headshots as well as demo reels. What makes a good profile, in your opinion? How many pictures or videos is optimal to create a good impression about the talent?
NN: Professional photography — headshots as well as photos in full length — is always best. For teenage models, polaroid style is preferred. A 20-30 second video slate is always nice to have: state your name, age, city/state, mention agency if applicable, and speak about hobbies.
KC: How does KidsCasting.com help you in the casting process?
NN: I’ve discovered many talented individuals through your database.
KC: Can you tell us about a project where you were able to cast a KidsCasting.com actor?
NN: Multiple Runway Shows: Nashville and Atlanta.
KC: What feature do you like best about KidsCasting.com?
NN: 1. Customer Service/Concierge Service
2. Pacific Coast time zone
3. Ease of software use
4. The amazing banners that promote our castings.
KC: You must see many families come in for auditions with their children. Do you have advice for KidsCasting.com parents on how to make the auditioning a positive experience?
NN: Yes, make sure your child is well prepared, be on time, talk about the importance of personality and eye-to-eye contact. Be comfortable with the script and first and foremost stay out of the way and follow directions. Allow your child to be independent.