Hollywood veteran casting director speaks at ESU


SC Contributing Writer

On Thursday, January 23, 2014, veteran Hollywood casting director, Cathy Reinking, CSA discussed “Cracking the Myths and Glimpsing the Realities of Working in Television, Film and Theatre” at 7 PM in the Smith-McFarland Theatre of ESU’s Fine and Performing Arts Center.

Reinking was introduced by theatre professor, Stephanie French, and then Dean of Arts and Sciences, Peter Hawkes.

Reinking addressed many facets of the television and film industry, including what makes a good actor, what makes a successful show, and the types of movies that thrive in the mainstream versus the movies that thrive at Sundance festivals and such.

Reinking said she has a passion for helping great actors achieve their dreams and strive towards their goals.

She said she is displeased with the almost shame people have when expressing their love of acting or their status of being an actor.

She was clear when saying “My mission is to help artists come out of the closet and be proud in America.”

There was much audience participation utilized, creating a comfortable, interactive atmosphere.

Reinking began the discussion with asking audience members their opinions of California, and what different things were considered as pros and cons.

Some of the responses on the negative aspects of California included superficiality, no jobs, and a fake mentality in people.

There were significantly less responses related to positive qualities of California, including jobs in entertainment and a warmer climate.

A point was made to erase the negative stigma some people may hold to California and its residents, which was made evident when she said “I think we should end stereotyping, now. That’s my other mission.”

A variety of clips from popular shows and movies were shown to represent the different genres of acting used in popular media, such as “The Big Bang Theory,” “Community,” and “Brooklyn Nine-Nine.”

Her key to making it on the mainstream in acting is knowing it’s “all about attracting people to you. You do that by not by bringing more attention to yourself, but by revealing yourself and being vulnerable.”

When films were discussed, less mainstream movies were analyzed, but rather more unheard of films like “Short Term 12,” “The Spectacular Now,” and “Ride Along.

Reinking believes movies have a certain power and quality to them that sometimes people don’t get out of their everyday lives.

After looking at some clips from the realistic drama movies, she said “We can have intimate experiences while watching movies. We don’t talk as seriously and intensely in real life as they do in movies.”

She believes “without good actors we would be bored out of our minds…and probably drink way too much.”

Reinking then showed a clip from the German movie “Man of Steel” and analyzed why it was such a popular movie, although it didn’t evoke any emotional reactions.

Before concluding the presentation, Reinking left prospective actors with several pieces of advice.

She urged the importance of getting good at everything.

Reinking stated “Be able to step away from natural home town personality aspects and dialects, but also return to it, because that’s what makes you unique.”

She highly recommended people “find their calibrations,” “tape themselves every day,” and to remember that “it’s difficult to make a living solely in theatre.”

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