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“Let it Go, Enjoy the Ride” – My Interview with Casting Director Joy Dewing.

November 26, 2013

“Joy Dewing Casting provides efficient, creative talent solutions for theatrical, dance, musical, commercial, & industrial productions in an atmosphere of mutual respect & dignity” – Joy Dewing’s Twitter Bio.  I just love the “atmosphere of mutual respect and dignity” it speaks so much to who Joy is!

After interviewing actresses, and filmmakers about juggling being an artist and mother, I thought it would be fun to explore the same questions with a Casting Director and was thrilled when Joy agreed to be interviewed.  Check out her insights below and don’t forget to connect with her on Facebook and Twitter!

Joy Dewing - Photo by Geoffrey Goldberg

Joy Dewing – Photo by Geoffrey Goldberg

How do you juggle being a busy casting director and being a mom?

I guard my free time jealously. I don’t work weekends anymore unless it’s a real emergency (like when I had to work two weekends in a row to cast Soul Doctor because I only had two weeks to cast it!), and I don’t make any other plans over the weekend if I can help it — unless they involve my daughter. When I’m with her, I focus on her. I don’t check my phone (except to post pictures of her doing cute stuff on Facebook), I don’t work, I just enjoy her and make the time all about her.

-How do you navigate balancing work and family? Is balance possible?

If it IS possible, I haven’t figured it out yet. I just do my best. I try to compartmentalize as much as I can. When I’m at work I work as efficiently as possible so that I can get the job done and go home; and when I’m at home I try to cut myself off from work and focus on my family. Sometimes I try to work from home. I still have to rely on a sitter or on Daddy to watch my kid, but at least I get to see her whenever I take a break. I am also incredibly fortunate to have a highly competent, supportive, and self-sufficient staff who works their butts off. If it weren’t for Holly and Nikki and our interns, I would not be able to work and be a mom. I would certainly try, but probably be horrible at both jobs!! The same goes for my husband. He takes care of our daughter part-time and works part-time. He is the rock that holds our family together.

-Do you think there are any ways being a mom helps an actor?

Or a Dad? Absolutely. There’s a massive shift in perspective when you become a parent. For example, suddenly your tired old love songs become about your children. Try singing “Til There Was You” before and after being a parent. Completely different experience. In some cases, it softens a person, makes them more open and less anxious about the audition process. The first year of being a mom, for me, was like boot camp. Once you get through that experience, things just don’t scare you as much as they used to. Like walking into your final callback with 20 people sitting behind the table? Big deal. At least you’re not covered in spit-up, reeking of spilt milk, boobs leaking all over your shirt, hair askew, trying to change a diaper blowout at 4am through one bloodshot eye. 

Your favorite parenting advice?

Let it go. Enjoy the ride.

How does being a mom inform/feed your work as a casting director? And vice versa?

Well, I think I’ve always been somewhat maternal with my actors; but probably even more so now that I am an actual mother. When someone is auditioning and it’s just not going well, they are obviously struggling or maybe they are just not very good, I think about the fact that they are someone’s kid. Their mom or dad or whoever sees what’s special about them, even if I can’t see it at that moment. Someone loves them and is proud of them. As they say in Les Miserables, “Someone used to cradle them and kiss them when they cried.” Thinking about those things makes me feel more compassion and respect. 

As for vice versa… that’s a good question. People often assume that our daughter will be in show business, but I really hope she doesn’t feel compelled to go in that direction with her life. It’s just so damn hard. I am well aware of the kind of mental (and sometimes physical) torture I put actors through. I don’t want her going through that! But if it’s absolutely her calling, AND she is talented and hard-working and tenacious and all that, I will do everything I can to help her. Let’s just hope it doesn’t come to that!

Any other advice/tips for new moms?

Here’s the advice that I got from EVERYONE when I was a new mom. I rolled my eyes at it, but in hindsight I wish I had followed it: Sleep when the baby sleeps. Ask for help. Let Daddy figure out his own way to do things and let it be OK. If you feel depressed or weepy or angry a lot, get help, sooner than later. Do your best and just keep swimming.

Thank you so much Joy for generously sharing your thoughts with us!

Joy Dewing Casting was formed in May 2012 with a mission to seek out inspiring talent; to provide an atmosphere of mutual respect and dignity in which creative relationships may flourish; and to provide efficient, creative talent solutions for theatrical, dance, musical, commercial, and industrial productions.  Current/Recent projects include Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat (AEA Tour), Til Divorce Do Us Part (off-Broadway), Soul Doctor (Broadway), Ghost, Mamma Mia (2013-2014 Tour), West Side Story (National Tour), Forever Dusty (Off-Broadway), Rasta Thomas’ Rock the Ballet (Dance), Catch Me If You Can (National Tour), Orchid (Miami), The Voca People (Off- Broadway), In the Heights (2nd National Tour), Fiddler on the Roof (National Tours), Cats (National Tour), and The Lost Colony (2013 Tony Honoree for Excellence in Theatre.)

Connect with Joy on her website at www.JoyDewingCasting.com, on Facebook or Twitter

I’d love to hear your thoughts.  Post your comments below.

Talk soon,

The Mothering Actor Signature

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