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An Open Letter to Casting Directors

January 14, 2014

In November I attended the 2013 Artios Awards – Congratulations to all the winners and nominees.  

Inspired by Woody Allen’s wonderful Open Letter to Hollywood, I have written An Open Letter to Casting Directors.

 P.S If you haven’t seen the fantastic doc Casting By – It’s a must-see!


Dear Casting Directors,

I have heard so many times in Workshops and Panels that you love actors.  I believed you – at least I thought I did.  Sitting at the Artios Awards I was struck by how many times actors were thanked and spoken about with love and affection.

Thank you! I didn’t realize how jaded I had become.  When we are paying to take a class with you, of course you’re going to say how thrilling it is to work with us.  Obviously, in a room full of actors you’re going to tell us how much you adore us.  Even basic logic insists you love actors; otherwise you wouldn’t do what you do.

However, I was truly moved when in a room full of your peers you spoke, over and over again, of your love for actors.  I suddenly realized there was still a part of me that wanted to pit you against me, casting director verses actor.  I didn’t realize that you had insidiously become the enemy.  Probably just from not casting me in roles I wanted or not giving me the callback I hoped for.  I apologize.

Thank you to for a truly inspiring evening!  There was so much love and appreciation expressed to assistants, peers, directors and producers. Thank you for reminding me of the true collaborative nature of Film, TV and Theater – it is what I love most about our art form.

Thank you for underlining that we are all working together.  I knew this, but I now understand it in a new way and it will relax and free me in future auditions.

Thank you for your commitment.  Thank you for your insistence and for pushing creative boundaries.

Thank you for creating such wonderful work – shows and films that stay with me and reverberate for weeks.

Wishing you all the best for 2014, I look forward to seeing and collaborating with you soon!

Sarah Louise Lilley

The Mothering Actor Signature

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