Hometown: Bronx, NY
Education: Went to high school and two years of community college then done!
How did you get into casting, and why?
I was working in retail for years. I was bored and done with it. I asked a friend of mine who worked in a Big Agency if she can think of something I can do in the industry. She said try casting. In the next 3 days I received a call from her and she said “I got you a job.” She told me Risa Bramon and Billy Hopkins were looking for a West Coast casting assistant. They were casting a film on the East Coast and needed someone to help them on the West Coast. I asked my friend they do know I’ve never done this before? She affirmed that they knew. My first job with them was a film called “At Close Range” with Sean Penn, Christopher Walken and Keifer Sutherland. I was in pure bliss. Lee Daniels was a manager back then and would call me and talk me through things and calm me down lol.
I loved every second of it. I finally found what I was meant to do. I later worked for some of the greats: Vicki Thomas, Lora Kennedy, Amanda Mackey, and Ronnie Yeskel. Those were my mentors. I was so lucky to have them and learn from them.
What’s your favorite part about being a casting director?
Actually everything. I love all aspects of my job from soup to nuts. I love seeing the characters come to life. I love how actors make their own choices. I love making those calls when they book and making someone’s dream come true. I’m proud of my job.
Any projects/shows you’re dying to cast? If so, why?
Any Woody Allen Films. I love Juliet Taylor’s taste in casting.
What’s one misconception you think actors have about casting directors?
That we’re unapproachable. I want to break that stigma. We need to all work together and make the actor as comfortable as possible when he/she walks into our room. We want them to shine. We do judge them but in a positive way. They have to understand we’re on their side and it’s a team effort. We are all working towards the same goal.I want to break the stigma that casting directors are unapproachable. -Danielle Eskinazi Click To Tweet
What’s the best way for an actor to get noticed by you?
Pretty simple: Come on time, dress as close to the part as possible and do the work. Done and done. Don’t walk in with a chip on your shoulder. We chose you because we like you.
What are the approximate percentage of projects you cast in each currently? (Ex. 50% Theater, 25% Film, 10% TV, 10% Commercial, 5% Voiceover)
95% commercials, and some short films that usually go to festivals.
What should actors know about auditioning for different mediums such as Theater, Film, TV, Voice Over, etc?
Be yourself, be prepared and show us what you’ve been taught. We’re all ears and eyes.
What makes commercial acting different than the other mediums?
Well you have less than a minute to show us how you would sell our product. It isn’t easy folks. The commercials now are very authentic and real. And you have little time to sell the product without selling the product.
What do you look for in an actor auditioning for you?
If you could give one piece of advice to an actor auditioning for you, what would it be?
What’s the best way for an actor to follow up with you?
Twitter. It’s the best forum for actors. Actors need to use it more for their benefit.
Any exciting projects (current or coming up) that you can talk about?
Well we do sign NDA’s (non-disclosure agreements) now so it’s top secret but I’m working on a huge campaign that I’m excited about. I just cast the KFC campaign which everyone seems to love, with Norm McDonald.
What movies/TV shows are on your Netflix (or imaginary Netflix) cue?
I love documentaries. All I have in my cue right now are documentaries. My favorite one was called “Wasteland” directed by Lucy Walker and I just had the pleasure of working with her on a commercial. I was thrilled.
What are your favorite activities outside of ‘The Industry’?
I have an 8-month-old son named Sebastien. He’s my main activity and I’m in awe of him. He rounded up my life and completed it.
What’s the meaning of life?
Hmm if I knew I’d write a book. But the easiest answer for that is: if you’re not happy in what your doing it’s time to move on. Basic happiness is the meaning of life.
Where can actors learn more about you or about what you currently have going on?