I have had the privilege of previously meeting and interviewing casting director Danielle Eskinazi - a genuine and kind individual. And it is an absolute pleasure to feature Danielle a second time for a follow-up here on “Behind the Sign”!
My first interview with Danielle Eskinazi for About.com took place over 1 ½ years ago. Danielle provided lots of important information for actors and members of the entertainment business, including discussing her background and how she originally became involved with casting. Since our last interview, Danielle has been very busy, and I asked her if she would update you, my awesome readers, on some of the things that she’s been up to and what she’s been enjoying most about her work!
Danielle’s response: “I’ve been up to the continuation of my career that I love and am so passionate about. I’ve been casting tons of commercials and sneaking in a few short films which are always fun for me. No real changes have happened in the process. What I enjoy? Every single part of it. When you find the perfect job for yourself it’s a joy going to work every day. I love the whole process from soup to nuts. My favorite part is giving a hard-working actor a job.”
It is evident how much Danielle truly enjoys her work, and she shares this love of her career with everyone around her, including through the use of social media! Social media/ new media has become an important part of the entertainment industry, and Danielle shares her thoughts on the usefulness of this powerful tool. Danielle said about social media:
“Not only has it impacted my role as a casting director, but I can also help actors on a daily [basis by sharing a] positive message on Twitter to keep their spirits up and to never give up and to motivate themselves. I remind them to be patient and not worry about the end results, but to enjoy the process as well. When I have positive actors walk into my session, it’s a whole different [environment]. I don’t want them to feel defeated before they walk into my room. Social media should be an important part of their business life.”
Danielle goes on to share more advice for actors about how important and helpful is it for actors to be involved with social media in terms of networking and creating their own projects, such as a YouTube Channel or a web series. She said:
“Social media makes them speak out loud about what they’re going through at that moment. My timeline is very, very special and everyone on my timeline is so supportive of each other and I remind them to not compare themselves to other actors. Everyone has [unique] DNA, and why we want to hire you is because we want you [specifically] to represent our product. If you don’t book it and someone else books the job, it wasn’t your path yet. Yours will come. Continue the work and continue the passion that drove you where you are right now. Social media is a kind of branding. You can create your own content - what you’re especially good at - and that’s something we didn’t have 10-15 years ago.”
Be You and Impress!
As Danielle points out, “everyone has unique DNA,” and it is incredibly important to be you. (Your individuality is the key factor that sets you apart from every other actor! Read more here!)
Danielle elaborates on the importance of being you: “Being authentic and grounded is what we look for. Honesty in your audition is what sells the product. No showing off, no overacting. Be yourself without over-compensating. [And] if it’s a character piece, be that character in your own way. Meryl Streep once said, ‘Acting is not about being someone different. It’s finding the similarity in what is apparently different, then finding myself in there.’ I love that quote.” (I absolutely love this quote too, and I include it in many of my articles!)
In addition to being yourself, in order to impress a casting director it is vital that when we audition, we actors need to be prepared. Danielle explains:
“The way to impress a casting director is easy - it’s a no brainer. Come in on time, be prepared and do the work. It’s a 15 minute audition at the most. There’s no excuse to come in late and ask if there are any sides. When you come in prepared and happy to be there, we will remember you. We want you to book the job. We’re on your side.”
Finally, I asked Danielle what she believes to be the most important piece of information for an actor to remember. She replied:
“Never give up and be patient. If this is deeply what you want to do, then work hard for it. Don’t wait for the phone to ring; go out and get it. Don’t derail when you get those 'NOs.' those 'NOs' eventually will turn to 'YESs.' And that’s your time of glory.”
Thank you again, Danielle, for another wonderful interview. You are an inspiration to so many!
Jesse Daley is an actor and a writer who lives and works in Hollywood, California.