Joanne Moss is fast becoming the sweetheart of Manchester Casting. Her work on Television and more recently on JB Shorts has provided many actors with their first jobs in theatre and on screen. Her career started quite some distance away from the casting world she’s in now and this allows her a deeper, more wholesome insight into the world of actors. We caught up with her for an exclusive interview for the MAP APP….
Tell us what your job is?
Officially - Casting Associate for ITV and Freelance Casting Director.
What's the best way for people to get noticed by you?
Watching them perform via Theatre/TV/Showcase/Showreel.
What should an actor write in a letter/email to you?
I think it is important for actors to maintain a healthy contact but my biggest tip here is to not overdo it, always write only when you have something to say, whether that be an invite to a performance, to send a new showreel/headshot etc. Keep it brief too, a few lines only sticking to the subject. If it's an invite to a performance detail the overall dates/venue etc, if you are sending your Spotllight CV/Showreel never send via your pin number, send a direct link to make it easier to view. Always personalise it, never address it to Sir/Madam, that's just lazy.
What would be your top tip for when actors come into audition?
Be yourself! Dress appropriately for the character you are coming to read for, ie, if you are reading for a Solicitor - be smart and well groomed, if you are reading for a mechanic then come casual. It's just a gentle nod to the character and it's nice for us to see. But my biggest tip is...Don't be late and be nice! Sorry that's two but they're both so important.
What's the biggest mistake you've seen an actor make (without dropping you in it!)?
Oh gosh, there are a few! I would have to go with...I had an actor come for a casting once who was drunk, tried desperately to hide it at first but I ended up having to call him a taxi home. He didn't get the job.
How important are good showreels and headshots?
They're so important! I think a good showreel is one of the most important investment an actor can make. For a lot of my work, unless I have seen an actor perform elsewhere then it's only the showreel that will decide whether an actor will go on to the next stage to come in and read. Tip - put your favoured work first on a showreel. With regards to headshots, it's so important that it actually looks like the actor, I see so many people walk in the audition room and the Director (who quite often has never seen them perform nor viewed their showreel) has to double take with the image they have on their CV, which can be very slightly awkward.
...and anything else you want to chat about really!!!
Self tapes! It's very easy to get it very wrong. Quite often in casting there is a 1st round of auditions that are self tapes only, these decide whether an actor goes through to the 'meeting' stage so it is very important to get it right. When actors only get a few hours notice of a self tape request, good mobiles can be good enough to use but be sure to use a stand. Find a space that has good acoustics and good lighting with no distracting furniture. Don't have the person reading in on screen with you (yes, I have seen a 'grandma' read in before on screen!).