Casting Couch

Casting couch. This is a term I have heard for 30 years. It is also a term that I have always thought was a thing people said when they didn’t really know what casting was. It’s not the 1950’s and I thought it was silly carry over from a different time. Most times I ignored the comment.

The majority of my work is commercials but I have done a bunch of films over the years.

Commercial casting works differently than film. They are fast with no time to wine and dine anyone. There are no promises to actors and the goal is to do the best casting sessions possible based on my expertise, relationship with the directors, production company producers, and advertising agencies. Regardless of who hires me, it needs to be done fast and efficiently. At the end of the process the agency’s client (product) have the final say, with recommendations from people they trust. From my perspective, it has always been business.

A talented casting director is talented regardless of what we are casting for. We see so many actors that have gone on to be stars and they are easy to spot early on. I auditioned Selma Blair many times and always thought that she was talented and would do very well. It breaks my heart to hear what she had to endure. She is very talented and that should have been enough.

I am a woman with my own business and maybe that made me naïve to things that went on. I just want to say that I am so sorry for any actors that were violated and felt no way out. I feel in all professions you should become successful based on your ability.

Hollywood and the film business had a reputation back in the 50’s and 60’s but I thought people had matured in their behavior and honestly would never have imagined that things went on to this degree. I am heartbroken for the actors that felt they needed to keep quiet. I am also sad for the actors that were scared and were not put in a position to trust their own talent.

It certainly has become a “who you know” business but that is to get in the door. I hope that the casting process can now work correctly and that actors get booked based on talent and nothing else. I just want to say I am sorry to anyone that was ever abused or assaulted.

One last note to all actors and agents: we cast up until 12/22 and even if your agent is silly enough to be closing, stick around. Super bowl commercials are cast up until 12/22. Casting companies will be opened and we will work until the end of that week. Thank you!


Beth Melsky

Casting Couch

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