By Heidi Levitt | Posted Nov. 19, 2012, 3 p.m.
Wake up and smell the latte. Opportunity knocks all over the world, and the common passport is talent.
We live in an era where casting directors can cast internationally from their own laptops and mobile devices and conversely, actors from across the world can audition remotely. The search for the next big star is eternal, and as such, the networks, filmmakers, and tastemakers will always be open to great talent no matter where they live.
Recently I cast the film "Ginger and Rosa, " directed by Sally Potter. The film has screened at film festivals around the world and has also gotten some Oscar buzz. “Ginger and Rosa” stars Elle Fanning and Alice Englert as two girls in 1960s London. Elle is American of course, and Alice is from Australia. My colleague in London, Irene Lamb, did a massive open call in the UK, including one on Facebook. We searched and searched, but ultimately as Potter says, “Talent has no passport” and she needed to cast the very best actors she could find to fill these two roles. Elle auditioned with me here in Los Angeles, and Alice self-taped in Australia. There was magic in these two girls connection to the roles from the get-go, and after months of more searching, call backs, and deliberating, Sally went to bat for them with her UK funders and convinced them to allow her to cast these wonderful actors. Even though the production had to run through some visa hoops, and the girls needed accent coaching, they were the right young women to fill these roles and the proof is in their performances on screen.
Hollywood feeds on the next big thing, and production is a worldwide business. But the obstacle remains: How does the talent find out what is happening? And, how do the casting directors find that next star if they live abroad?
Here is my short-term band-aid solution until we develop an open international world wide web casting space where actors and casting directors can meet.
1. Actors need to track who is casting what projects. They can do this by looking online, with sites like Backstage, or using my smartphone app, Actor Genie. Actors must also follow casting directors who have twitter handles. Many do and searching here is a great way to start.
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