Top Louisiana Casting Director Ryan Glorioso Talks About Casting Actors In The #2 Film Market In The U.S.
Can you please tell us where you’re from and what inspired your interest in film?
I’m from New Orleans, Louisiana and I currently live in Shreveport. Initially, I wanted to be an actor and so I studied theater. Then I moved to Los Angeles for a number of years, then came back to Louisiana and kind of fell into casting.
What was your first professional job in casting?
I was an extra’s casting assistant on the feature film, Glory Road, which starred John Voight, Josh Lucas, and Derek Luke.
How is extra’s casting different from principal casting?
For extra’s casting you are helping to create the big picture. There are a lot of elements that go into that aspect of casting because you have to pick the right faces and costumes to go with each scene. Principal casting, on the other hand, is more talent based so with that side of it I’m looking for a combination of the right look and good acting.
What were some of the challenges you faced early on while trying to establish yourself outside of Hollywood?
I guess the first thing that most people don’t know is that Louisiana is the number 2 market for film in the country. We have a pretty strong infrastructure here and the talent base is growing. We also pull talent from other parts of our region, which includes Louisiana, Atlanta, Texas, Oklahoma, Mississippi, Alabama and Arkansas. It’s challenging in that sense, because it’s not like Los Angeles where an actor can just drive from Hollywood to Santa Monica for an audition. A lot of the actors that get called in to audition here (Louisiana) are driving four to five hours each way because many of them live in other states. Most actors, regionally, will have an agent in each city or state.
Do you prefer to see actors in person or on tape?
I love to see people live. I like the traditional casting process. I understand that sometimes people can’t be here because of the distance; however, I am only a fan of taped auditions when they are done correctly. If I’ve never met you before and I’m giving you the opportunity to come in, you should take the invitation. It’s always better to get in front of the Casting Director so they can see what you physically look like. Taped auditions don’t give a good sense of who you are, if it’s the first time I’m seeing you.
What are the differences between casting in the Southeast versus LA or NYC?
I’m considered a Regional Casting Director. The talent pool between Los Angeles and the southeast is different. But the main difference is probably the fact that when the LA Casting Director begins a project, they are going to look for big name talent. Their process is putting together various lists of top actors who fit certain roles and then presenting those lists to the directors and producers so that they can put out offers for the major roles in the film. Whereas, when the producers and directors come to the regional markets, odds are they aren’t going to know the actors. They may know a lot of them by face because they work a lot, but they don’t usually know the names. I pre-read a lot of people to show videos to the directors so they can select who they want to see at a callback. I also think there is a lot more pre-reading involved in the regional market than there is in LA or NY.
What are some of the top mistakes actors make when auditioning for you?
From what I’ve seen, I’d say,1. Not coming in prepared. You should have your pictures and resumes ready, because that will never change. But I think the one thing an actor has control over is memorizing the script. They have control over knowing the part or not knowing it. If you don’t know it, then the next guy is going to know it and they are going to get the callback and you’re not.2. Apologizing and being insecure is not a great quality. Just come in and do it and that’s all you can do.
For those who are interested in career as a casting professional, what are some of the steps they need to take in order to get started in the right direction?
Try to become an intern or an assistant in a casting office. Some casting companies may not have the budget to hire you on as an assistant so your best bet is to volunteer a couple days a week and work for lunch. I know not many adults can do that, so this may be a better option for a student. My company is sort of a one stop shop for location (regional) casting because we can provide everything from extra’s casting to principal casting all in one place.
What would you say is the most rewarding aspect of your job?
The most rewarding aspect is that I really like actors because I’ve been in their shoes before. I have a lot of respect for what actors do. It’s really great to have live performances in front of you all day long. I like that it’s always different and things change up all the time. I always get to do different things. There’s always something new that’s happening so it keeps me fresh.
What are some of the projects that you’re currently casting or have in the pipeline?
Most recently I casted for PLAYING THE FIELD, starring Gerard Butler. I’m getting ready to start casting a film called, FREELANCERS. Also, earlier this year I casted a Miley Cyrus film called, SO UNDERCOVER.
If you could change anything about the business, what would it be and why?
The long hours. In the film industry you work a minimum of 12 hours a day, especially when you’re in production. That’s not a great thing when you want to do lots of stuff on your personal time. [laughs]