Name: Gayle Holsman Seay
Hometown: Ewing, NJ
Education: High School of Performing Arts in NJ then graduated and went on a tour…
Favorite Credits: I am assuming you mean casting not acting… 😉 Honestly I am not sure I could pick a favorite. I love getting to work on new stuff. Developing things that people I respect create. Getting to collaborate on things but I also do love casting old favorites so …. I guess it is a bit like asking me to pick my favorite child!
How did you get into casting, and why?
Back when I was performing, I was in an audition for A Chorus Line and they actually asked, “What do you do when you can’t dance anymore?” It hadn’t occurred to me truly at that point. By the time the casting director got to asking me I said, “I think I might want to do what you are doing.” I then called up my friend Scott Wojcik (now my business partner) who was working for a guy named Charles Rosen (now retired,) and said “ Can I work with you?” It became my survival job. I knew it was what I was meant to do when I was in a Broadway show and spent my one day off a week, and sometimes between shows, in that casting office. I loved it. The same way I loved performing. I transitioned out of performing about 7 years later for good. I am a lucky gal.
What’s your favorite part about being a casting director?
I do admit I love getting to tell an appreciative actor or agent that they or their client is getting a job offer! 🙂 I get that same excitement as when I used to get jobs! I also love the occasions when we have the opportunity to throw someone into the mix that is “outside the box” or that isn’t really known for doing the thing they are called in for. Being able to advocate for the actor.
Any shows you’re dying to cast? If so, why?
Hmm… I wish they’d make a musical of The Notebook. I’d love to cast that. 😉
What’s the best way for an actor to get noticed by you–open calls, agent appointments, meet and greets, self-submissions, etc.?
Yes. All of those ways. I am always on the lookout for great talent. We take everyone seriously from attending EPA’s to classes and seminars. We will look at hard copy submissions too.
If you could give one piece of advice to an actor auditioning for you, what would it be?
Be prepared. Do your homework. Be polite to EVERYONE you meet there: monitors, accompanists, readers etc. Just in general. Be nice. Take chances. Then – forget about it when it is no longer in your hands. Remember – not right doesn’t mean not good. I guess that is more than one piece… Sorry … OH! Take all of the stuff out of your front pockets. Drives me batty…
What’s the best way for an actor to follow up with you?
Any exciting projects (current or coming up) that you can talk about?
We are in the midst of a lot of stuff. One of the reasons I love our office is the eclectic stuff we work on. Right now we are doing a pilot, some regional theatre, a cruise line and have a print campaign coming up. Two tours rehearsing… All good! 🙂
Any shows you’re dying to see?
What movies are on your Netflix (or imaginary Netflix) cue?
I have more TV than movies on the cue (I see a ton of movies.) Faves on the TV cue? Friday Night Lights, The Wire, Breaking Bad, Friends, Orphan Black. I could go on and on…
What are your favorite activities outside of ‘the industry’?
Poker. Reading on the beach…
What’s the meaning of life?
If I only knew….
In addition to following Gayle on twitter, you can learn more at her casting office website: www.wscastingonline.com.