casting directors

  • NYFA Los Angeles Welcomes Casting Director Nancy Nayor as Guest Speaker


    This month, New York Film Academy Summer program acting for film and filmmaking students were invited to a Q & A with casting directing extraordinaire, Nancy Nayor after watching “Before I Fall,” which she has cast. Director of the Q & A Series Tova Laiter hosted the evening.

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    Nayor who served for 14 years of head of Universal Feature casting before striking on her own, is best known for her work with directors such as: Steven Spielberg Spike Lee, Ron Howard, Oliver Stone, John Hughes & Sam Raimi’s among many others.

    Her movies include the following: “Act of Valor,” “Ouija,” “Road Trip,” “The Whole Nine Yards,” “The Grudge,” “The Exorcism of Emily Rose,” “When a Stranger Calls,” “Kit Kittredge: An American Girl,” “Darkman,” “Casper,” and Wes Craven’s “Scream 4.”

    Nayor gave the students a strong list of do’s and don’t within the casting room. One that surprised many students was: do not shake hands, especially during germ season. Casting directors can meet with over 40 people in a day. They cannot afford to get sick.

    The biggest tip of the night was not to be too nervous and to not over-rehearse before going into an audition so the emotions can shine through. Prepare, yes, but Nayor shared that actors are not necessarily required to be off book, and should not be nervous about every flub. Directors are looking for multiple things, such as how well an actor works with a group or their ability to improvise. But most importantly, they want to know that an actor can be human on camera.

    Laiter asked Nayor about the difference between casting for comedy and drama. Nayor mentioned several differences: “I think it’s different in the sense that there’s a comic timing. People who have it are born with it. You can develop it, but in the end, you’re either born with it or you’re not. In dramatic casting people have to really go for it. Actors really have to commit.”  

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    Nayor also advised dramatic actors to stick to the script more so than comedic actors who may improvise. “When I worked on ‘21 and Over,’ people came into the audition room idolizing these two great writers from ‘The Hang Over.’ But the writers were so tired of their own words. They wanted the actors to improvise… ”

    One student asked, “How do you get discovered?” Nayor responded, “There’s no way you can be undiscovered, technically, because there’s this thing called YouTube. I’m a big believer in self-tapes, whether that’s actors and writers coming together or you writing for yourself. You don’t have to wait for permission to be creative. That project can be a calling card for you.”

    Laiter shared that some of the people who work with Spielberg, whether a composer or cinematographer, had said in NYFA Q&As that he had found them by watching movies on TV late at night, so you never know who is going to see it.

    The New York Film Academy would like to thank Nancy Nayor for taking the time to speak with our students. Naylor has done casting for 12 films scheduled for release in 2017 including “Delirium” and “Scorched Earth.”



    July 27, 2017 • Acting, Film School, Filmmaking, Guest Speakers • Views: 4951

  • NYFA Acting Students Network with Top Casting Directors

    meet and greet

    Ali Raizin looking at an actor’s headshot

    New York Film Academy’s Los Angeles campus hosted an evening specially designed for their acting alumni and graduating students to meet film and commercial casting directors in a personalized setting. At the meet & greet, students met one-on-one with top casting companies and casting directors to pitch their unique brand, hand out headshots, and get invaluable advice on how to successfully navigate the casting industry.

    In attendance were numerous casting companies including casting director Ronnie Yeskel (Pulp Fiction, Reservoir Dogs, Curb Your Enthusiasm); Fiorentino Casting (Wild Card with Jason Statham, The Big Wedding with Robert De Niro, Katherine Heigl, Amanda Seyfried, Topher Grace and Robin Williams, and High School with Adrian Brody); Ivy Isenberg, Owner of Isenberg Casting (Call of Duty video game series for Activision, Emmy-Winning Animated Series Robot Chicken and The Scorpion King and Chucky franchises for Universal); and casting director Josh Rappaport from Casting Brothers, with over 25 years’ experience casting commercials for Netflix, Adidas, E-Trade and Barbie, to name a few.

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    Front row David Guglielmo (Matthew Lessall Casting), Lynda Goodfriend, Ivy Isenberg (her hands are on Lynda’s shoulder), Ali Raizin, Josh Rappaport (Casting Brothers), Steven Tyleo O’Connor (Barbara Fiorentino Casting)   Back row; Ronnie Yeskel, Barbara Weintraub, Anne Moore, Vanessa Knight (Dream Big Casting), David Seiden (Dream Big Casting)

    The event was organized by Barbara Weintraub, NYFA’s Chair of Industry Outreach and Professional Development. Lynda Goodfriend, Chair of Acting for Film, and Anne Moore, Associate Chair, guided the students throughout the invaluable evening of networking.

    Commenting on the night, Barbara said, “You could see on their faces how excited the NYFA students were to be there. The casting directors were so gracious, spending time getting to know them over a couple hours. Really great connections were made.”

    casting directors nyfa


    September 7, 2015 • Acting • Views: 6549