Saturday, March 28, 2009


In a small conference room, a series of young actresses sit in an uncomfortable hard-backed chair. With some back story and direction -- you're tied to a tree. Gagged. We need to see what you can bring to it – each actress must express the terror of that situation.

Director Joe O'Brien and Location and Extras Casting Director Tanya Sullivan are watching eyes. The film opens focused on the eyes of the character being cast today, and they want to make sure they choose an actress whose eyes can tell the story. “We have to care about her instantly,” O'Brian says.

They have seen many actresses for the role and the pair are looking for honesty and believability. If they can't see it in the audition room, believability won't magically appear on the set.

They're also looking for a commitment; an actress who connects with the material. Of one actress' audition, Sullivan said, “When she walked in she was so pretty. The first thing I noticed when she started to read was that she wasn't afraid not to look pretty. She never dropped her fear.”

A Lakeland resident, Sullivan is returning to the field after a sabbatical. For ten years she worked with a partner traveling around the country casting films. She auditioned Reese Witherspoon for her first film, The Man in the Moon.

After each audition, O'Brian scribbled notes and set the actress' photo on the table. He won't make his decision today. There are more actresses to be seen, and he may bring in some back for a second audition.

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