Los Angeles, CA (Variety) — Those who cast unscripted series often have thousands of audition tapes to pore through. Since the medium requires a diversity of perspective and personality, but not always special skills, what often catches the eye and helps one rise to the top of the pile is being an “open book,” says Goloka Bolte, co-founder of the Casting Firm, who casts “RuPaul’s Drag Race.” This willingness to share one’s true self can help make stars — or at least social-media sensations. Therefore, honesty and authenticity were two key traits for which all of this year’s Emmy-nominees in the reality program casting looked.
Born This Way
Casting “Born This Way,” a series that follows adults within the Down syndrome community, required trust from that community before anything else, says casting director Sasha Alpert. Now with a few seasons under their belt, Alpert and fellow casting directors Megan Sleeper and Caitlyn Audet are “still looking for people that are dynamic, articulate and have a lot going on in their lives.” It is often a lengthy process to find the right participants, partially because they are casting families, which means making sure multiple people are emotionally articulate and willing to have their lives …
As the popularity of “RuPaul’s Drag Race” continues to soar every season, the challenge is poring over an ever-increasing number of submissions, in addition to proactively searching for new talent year-round, whether it’s going to drag shows or watching YouTube. Through it all, Ethan Petersen, co-founder of the Casting Firm and casting director of “Drag Race,” says he and Bolte are always on the lookout for queens that have a great story, but “authenticity is truly the key.” After all, the success of the show relies on the connection between the audience and the queens. “They have to be amazing storytellers because they’re narrating the show,” says Petersen. — Jazz Tangcay/@Variety