My awesome reader friends, many of you are well aware by now that the men and women who are featured in my interviews are fantastic individuals who have lots of wonderful advice and insight to share. Casting Director Geralyn Flood is one of these individuals. I have had the pleasure of knowing Geralyn for several years now, and it is an honor to introduce her to all of you here on “Behind the Sign”!
Geralyn Flood has had quite an interesting journey into her work in entertainment, and she’s worked in numerous areas of the business! I asked her if she would tell me a little bit about her background and what led her to working in the entertainment industry as a casting director as well as a producer. Geralyn replied:
“I was raised in NY and actually worked in art galleries and in higher education before I moved into casting. I’ve been surrounded by actors my whole life- one of my older sisters is an actor and I would help her learn lines for plays; I would go to rehearsals with her and sometimes even classes. My first husband is an actor and I would help HIM get ready for plays and auditions and now my best friend/brother-in-law is an actor. I’ve always loved the alchemy of acting-bringing a role to life. I met Cathy Reinking, a casting director/writer/producer and she introduced me to Jeff Greenberg, and I was lucky enough to get my first job with him and work on the last two seasons of ‘Frasier,’ among other projects. I became a producer when I started working with writer/director David Jackson Willis on two films. At first I was just the casting director, but then I would share my thoughts about the script - ideas to make it better - and we both realized that was heading more into the producing side of things. And so David suggested I be made a producer, and I happily agreed.”
Casting and Auditions
As is evident from her explanation, Geralyn has loved working with actors throughout her life. In fact, Geralyn brought me in for an audition and hired me for my very first speaking role on a television show back in 2012 when she was casting “Big Time Rush,” and she was always very kind to me! Geralyn recalled my audition: “Ah yes, I remember it well. You were very sweet and so excited to be in the room.”
And I certainly was excited! It was apparent during my audition with Geralyn that she truly enjoys her work in casting! I asked her about what she has enjoyed most about her job in casting, and if there is a project that she considers to be a favorite that she’s worked on. Geralyn replied:
“Gosh, where do I begin? I love everything about casting - truly. Reading a script for the first time, thinking who would be right, giving people their first jobs (like you!), and getting the chance to show actors in a different light - l just love everything about it. I know I’m a lucky gal.”
(We actors are also very lucky to work with someone who is as passionate about her work as Geralyn!)
I went on to ask Geralyn about what is the most important thing that she looks for from an actor who comes in for an audition. She explained:
“I look for preparation first and foremost. If you’re prepared (as in off-book) you can pivot much faster when I give you direction in the room. But a very close second would be collaboration - someone who comes in ready to play, not so engrained with their choices that they can’t hear the ideas I have for the role.”
On this subject of what actors can do to impress a casting director, Geralyn offered the following advice:
“Doing good work should always be an actor’s prime objective. Good work begets more good work and that hopefully gets you in front of the right people who move your career along. Also in this day and age, making your own work is entirely feasible. I have many friends who have done web series on shoe-string budgets that have gotten them attention. Find outlets to bring your creativity to light.”
Being the best actor that you can be has much to do with knowing who you are as an individual. I have written time and time again that your individuality is the key factor that sets you apart from every other actor.
I asked Geralyn if she could offer advice regarding the importance for actors to embrace their individuality and be who they are. Geralyn replied:
“It is 100,000,000,000% the most important thing. I can’t stress that enough. I always say that the very thing that makes you unique is what I want to see. Don’t worry about what I want to see. Show me what you bring to the role. The life you’ve lived, the experiences you’ve had make your take on the role unique and interesting. Show me that!”
Success in Entertainment: “This is a Marathon”
Creating success in the entertainment industry is difficult. We actors work in one of the most demanding industries in the world, and it is important to remember to take one step at a time.
I asked Geralyn Flood what she believes is the most important piece of advice that she could offer to anyone considering a career in the entertainment industry. Geralyn said:
“It’s a cliché, but it’s the truth: ‘This is a marathon not a sprint.’ Yes, some people become overnight successes, and good for them, but most actors are working on their craft, taking classes, getting co-stars then guest stars, getting leads in plays and building a solid resume, so that when their ‘big break’ comes, they are totally ready to show what they can do. I hate to use another cliché, but here I go: ‘Success happens when preparation meets opportunity.’”
Geralyn is continuing her work as a casting director on numerous projects today! She explained:
“I’m currently working on an MTV series, ‘Sweet/Vicious,’ and in the fall I’ll start back on season two of the MTV series, ‘The Shannara Chronicles.’ I’m also working on a few independent features. Lucky me!”
Lucky us, Geralyn! Thank you for your wonderful advice and insight!
Jesse Daley is an actor and a writer who lives and works in Hollywood, California.