Netflix has some of the best TV shows and movies in the film industry. Who would have thought a TV series about 1980s women’s professional wrestling would be a hit. Or a comedy about life in a women’s prison would be a cult-classic? That said, the secret behind the Netflix magic may come down to the streaming company’s casting director, Jennifer Euston.
In a recent interview with Variety, Euston shared tips with actors on how social media has affected the way she does her job as a casting director and what she looks for in an actor.
Euston points out that social media is a tool actor should be using to gain exposure, but not the only instrument for an actor to present himself or herself. She explains, “[Social media has] definitely given me more resources to explore, but in terms of new media and finding new talent, if I have to find something specific I’ll do a Google search, but I’ve never been one to find somebody on YouTube and hire them. There are people who do that, and people have gotten careers [that way], but I want to present trained people — actors who truly want to do this as a profession, not somebody who just wants to get famous. That should be the last thing you think of when you pursue this! I believe work begets work.”
Euston also gave advice for people interested in becoming a casting director today. She explains, “Watch the movie “Casting By” — it’s a documentary that was made a few years ago and gives a look at our history, how we came about out of the studio system as independent people. That will be the first step — see if that fits into what you want to do. If then you really want to get into casting, start watching classic films and television shows. And watch every movie that comes out now — and every TV show you can — and know those actors. Because part of working in a casting office is generating ideas. If you’ve never seen these things and these people, how can you generate ideas? Give yourself a lesson in film history or television history. I think interning is still the key, but now you have more resources to find out who you’d want to intern for — what kind of material does this person do that would attract you? Whatever show or movie you love, wait for the credits, see who the casting director is, and look them up. There is no specific path.”