After nearly 40 years, the Casting Society of America is opening its membership to commercial casting directors. Until now, membership was restricted to casting professionals involved in film, television, live theater, reality and short form series.
“Commercial casting directors apply their craft to an impactful form of storytelling, and we know that their insight and experience will add additional depth to Casting Society of America’s membership,” said Zora DeHorter and Caitlin Jones, the CSA’s vice presidents of communications and co-chairs of its newly formed commercial committee. “The artistic merit of our commercial colleagues helps further CSA’s mission to advocate and promote the profession of casting in all of its forms.”
CSA said that its new commercial committee has compiled a database of established commercial casting directors across the country and has begun a targeted outreach to them to invite them to join Society. Part of their outreach includes guiding prospective applicants through the application process. The committee will also plan commercial specific initiatives later this year.
Prerequisites for commercial casting professionals to join are the same as theatrical members; 75 weeks worked within two years as associate casting directors, and 100 weeks worked over five years for casting directors. Commercial work is eligible to count toward these weeks, allowing commercial casting directors to apply for CSA membership if they only do commercials, or an applicant can use commercial weeks along with their work in film, television, reality, and theater to qualify.
The CSA’s new commercial committee includes Alex Amsellem, Terry Berland, Danielle Demchick, Rikki Gimelstob, Katie Griffin, Sherrie Henderson, Caitlin Jones, Patti Kalles. Rebecca LaGore, Liz Lewis, Angela Mickey, Erica Palgon, Nina Pratt, Rachel Reiss, Michael Sanford and Alison Twardziak.
Founded in 1982, the CSA currently has nearly 1,000 members, and its stated purpose is to establish a recognized standard of professionalism in the casting field and provide its members with a support organization to further their goals and protect their common interests.