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The Foley Marra Studios Newsletter - May 2024

“What's in there?" "Only what you take with you” 

Yoda answering Luke


Life is always crazy and exciting here, but April was been exceptionally crazy and fun. So we were writing the April newsletter till it was May! Apologies for that. We are casting two projects (a podcast and a feature film), plus we went to Las Vegas for the Indie Vegas Film Festival (more on that later).


Well, in our opinion, every actor's career would benefit greatly by understanding what casting is and how casting directors work.  The more you understand this,

the more you might understand why your approach to your acting career may or may not be working for you.  

Directors might benefit from this as well, but for now, let's just stick to actors.

Casting is so much more than going through pictures and giving actors auditions.

First thing to know: Casting Directors sign on to a job because they understand and believe in a director.  Most often Casting Director and Directors have the same artistic tastes and sensibilities. The whole system works because a Casting

Director is the Director’s eyes and ears in the talent pool.  Imagine someone shopping for clothes for you, that didn’t share your taste in clothing.  Yeah. .it’s like that. So as an actor, look for the industry creatives, who share the same likes as you do. Mass mailings and shotgun submissions have their place but, as an actor, don't rely on that. Dont' just find the busiest casting directors and contact them. Find the casting directors who cast the movies and televsion you like...a lot! It's much better than throwing spaghetti at the wall and seeing what sticks. This takes work that so many people just aren't willing to do.

Second thing to know: Megan and I will get literally thousands of submissions from agents, managers, and actors.  We go through every single one. It can be a thrilling day or a mind-numbing experience.  If we are familiar with your work,

your chances are better that we’ll bring you in for an audition and see your take on this part.  Even if you are not absolutely right for it, we may want to see what you will do with it.  If we are not familar with your work, your chances decrease. So if you are just waiting to be discovered, your chances of being discovered are less. If you become an artist with something to say and your are finding a way to get your work out there, Casting Directors will notice and your chances improve. Arnold Schwarzenegger talks frequently about how marketing is everything.

Third thing that you have to know: The self-tape.

A lot of casting directors only ask for one take. Sometimes there is simply not enough time to watch two takes of a hundred people.

In many cases there is time and we will ask an actor for two different takes.  This is not to trip the actor up, just to let the actor play, and show a director an actor's range and possibilites.

This is where it falls apart.   A lot of actors do it the same way twice.  They have not considered a second way this role may be done. This is your job, to imagine how you can help this role tell a story. Some people just try to be natural, Some try just to remember their lines and that is good enough for them. Other people just can’t act.  (So many people forget that not just anyone can act; it’s a craft. It's a craft that must be studied and practiced).  

Self-taping is prevalent .  Self-taping is more convenient for actors and casting directors. However, this convenence has a major drawback. We realize that the takes that actors send us, are their chosen takes; in other words, what an actor regard as their best takes.  But what we don't get to do is talk to you or direct you and that is often what we are hired for because we know how to get the performance out of you that the director needs. Auditioning in your own space , is a lot more forgiving, we get it:  people get nervous in the room and, you may not be on your best game after a long drive or a long wait in a crowded waiting room. But remember, most casting directors are on the side of the actor and want you to book it so we do what they can to help,

The fourth and last thing we want you to know today is: A good Casting Director is on your side. Casting Directors do not set traps for actors. We want you to succeed.  We want you to get the job.  We're just outside the ropes wanting you to win. At the very least, if we don’t know you yet, we want to see how you work with a role.

 Once again, It’s our job to know what kind of talented people are out there, and this produces an opportunity for you.  Let us in casting know that you are in fact out there to begin with.  Let us see that you are an artist who will be able to bring something creating and interesting and of value to the project. Let us see that you are responsible and will show up (actually that is a rare quality). You would be shocked at the number of actors who just don't show up to an audition. Most of all, let us see that you have put some creative thought into this audition and not just memorized some words.

This is why casting directors are always impresed by actors who constantly train. Think of it this way. You wouldn't expect an runner to win the race if he starts physically traning today for a race that is being held tomorrow. But actor' who only see a coach when they get an audition, often think they can compete against other actors who are constantly working or in training or both. That is a tall order.


We just got back from Las  Vegas and the Indie Vegas Film Festival!   Megan and I are thrilled to be able to say that we won the award for Best Directors for KILLING

 HOPE, CUP AND A HALF and WINO!    We also just received word that WINO  is a Quarter Finalist spot for Best Short and Best Producers, at the Belgrade International Film Festival!    We are all pretty excited about that.   We tell you this not to brag (well okay, a little to brag) but to inspire you to get your voice heard, make your movie, or your album or whatever it is that is burning inside you to get out. If you don't know how to start. contact us. We can help.


The most inspiring and freeing thing that I have learned is that I’m much more motivated when I take 100% responsibility for where I am.   So,'s my fault, whatever it is.

It’s easy to blame someone or something else for your career: the industry or the government or your circle of friends or family.  But doing that leaves you powerless  to do anyting about your career.  We have found doing that just makes us feel like a victim in circumstances beyond our control.  However, unpleasant as it may feel at first, I find that when we say "This is all me".  Then I suddenly feel empowered to do, and I can l do ANYTHING.  I can change. I can adapt. I can drop bad habits, like well... a bad habit.  I can learn something new, correct mistakes and bad habits.  In short…I can be taught.  And that is encouraging, if not downright exciting. Dream. Do. Repeat.


And since your job is to create enthusiasm, really celebrate and enjoy every single accomplishment and ‘win’ you have.  We think gratitude is a very powerful engine in any career.  Not celebrating, and allowing yourself to enjoy, that

“leads to the dark side”.  Another Star Wars reference that applies is in episode 5 when Luke askes Yoda what is in the cave.  Yoda says,   “only what you take with you.”  (I love this quote) So remember, young padawans, only take enthusiasm.


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