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 Message
    From: J. Michael Straczynski <71016.1644@compuserve.com>
 Subject: The Casting Process
      To: CIS  
    Date: 7/31/1997 6:56:00 PM  

Message 1 in thread 

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Rebecca Eschliman <76072.2345@compuserve.com> asks:
> Since the you are undoubtedly being besieged by "you should cast
> <insert name of choice> for your new character," could you shed
> light on the casting process, whether it be for a regular or a
> guest shot? You've said that you (as execprod) wait for someone to
> come in and knock you socks off (or something to that effect),
> but is there a sort of cabal of casting directors (now there's a
> term of venery for you <g>) who get together from time to time
> and trade promising people ("Whoziwhatsis wasn't right for the
> show we're casting, but he/she might be dynamite for your
> show...")? Do casting directors actively seek out actors they've
> seen do guest shots on other shows, or do they wait for the more
> savvy actors' agents to do their thing?

Our casting director, Fern Champion (and I can't tell you the
amount of humor we have with that name), like all casting directors,
makes the rounds of theaters and movies and TV shows to see who's hot.
So she has her own list. On top of that, once a role comes out in a
script, it goes out to actor's agents in what's called a "breakdown," a
two- or three-paragraph description of the character: age, sex,
attitude, the part itself, guest or recur or regular...all that. The
various agents then send the info on to their clients who seem to fit
the bill. Then if the actor is interested, the agents sends "sides,"
meaning pages from the script in which the character appears.

If the actor likes the sides, and the character, the agent then
contacts the casting director and tries to get their client into the
audition. There's some prescreening...if we see the resume ahead of
time, and actor X doesn't have the training or experience, we move
on...but in the end, we get anywhere from 5-9 people in for an
audition. If we like one of those, we cast that person. If we're
caught on two, we do a callback with those two and decide. (We = the
CD, me, John, Doug and the director.)

jms
    From: J. Michael Straczynski <71016.1644@compuserve.com>
 Subject: The Casting Process
      To: CIS  
    Date: 8/2/1997 6:51:00 PM  

Message 2 in thread 

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{original post had no questions}

Actually, our casting director at the time (not the same as
Fern) apparently didn't feel Wayne had enough credits for our show, and
it took John Copeland (who'd seen his work) finally pulling rank to get
him in the door to where I could see him. Once in...that was that.

jms
    From: J. Michael Straczynski <71016.1644@compuserve.com>
 Subject: The Casting Process
      To: CIS  
    Date: 8/2/1997 6:51:00 PM  

Message 3 in thread 

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Carl Cantarella <105030.3700@compuserve.com> asks:
> So <g> ...any ideas so far concerning who may stand to replace
> Claudia?

No, we're totally open to whoever walks in the door for the
part.

jms
    From: J. Michael Straczynski <71016.1644@compuserve.com>
 Subject: The Casting Process
      To: CIS  
    Date: 8/7/1997 6:50:00 AM  

Message 4 in thread 

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Ed Brandt <100274.2672@compuserve.com> asks:
> mission, sheep farm and/ or afterlife)?

It's a different character, not a recast...Ivanova's away on
another assignment.

jms (who still remembers the new Darrin)
    From: J. Michael Straczynski <71016.1644@compuserve.com>
 Subject: The Casting Process
      To: CIS  
    Date: 8/8/1997 4:02:00 PM  

Message 5 in thread 

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Carl Cantarella <105030.3700@compuserve.com> asks:
> Joe, Will we be hearing about her from time to time throughout
> the season?

No, there are no plans for Ivanova to appear in S5.

jms
    From: J. Michael Straczynski <71016.1644@compuserve.com>
 Subject: The Casting Process
      To: CIS  
    Date: 8/8/1997 4:12:00 PM  

Message 6 in thread 

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Carl Cantarella <105030.3700@compuserve.com> asks:
> Joe, Will we be hearing about her from time to time throughout
> the season?

She'll be mentioned here and there.

jms

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