Want to be a casting director? Alison Telford says: ‘be tenacious’

As ABC TV's former Casting Director, who has worked with HBO, Netflix and others, Alison Telford knows how to fit people to roles.

Hi Alison, can you tell us a bit about what a casting director does and how you got into this line of work?

Basically my job is to cast an actor who will expand the writer, producer and director’s vision for a role and who will make the character their own.

We are contracted by the producer or the studio and then we start reading scripts, breaking down the roles and making shortlists of actors for those roles. We contact acting agents and book in-room auditions or self-tapes and then watch those auditions and send them on to the director. 

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Paul Dalgarno is author of the novels A Country of Eternal Light (2023) and Poly (2020); the memoir And You May Find Yourself (2015); and the creative non-fiction book Prudish Nation (2023). He was formerly Deputy Editor of The Conversation and joined ScreenHub as Managing Editor in 2022. X: @pauldalgarno. Insta: @dalgarnowrites