A Cast It Success Story: Part 1

Jonathan Daniel Brown was discovered through a Cast It Talent open call for Project X.

Online submissions to open calls are the way to go these days. It is quick, simple, no travel required, plus actors can perfect their auditions before submitting. For both actors and casting directors alike, it is very cost effective and time efficient to utilize the option of video submissions. Casting directors like video submissions because they can watch at their leisure and do not have to sit through hours of reading and directing vigorous audition sessions. They also get to see untapped new talent otherwise missed in the shuffle. It makes it a lot easier on regional actors in particular, because you do not have to live in LA or NY to be successful. Casting directors are able to communicate with and reach out to actors in a way they never have before.  Cast It Talent has spearheaded the way for changing the casting industry through online open calls. Cast It allows for the actor to become a part of the online database and make their information readily available to casting directors. It holds open calls for large studio films, independent films and television shows, constantly providing actors with the ideal opportunity to be seen by top industry professionals around the world. With a premium membership on Cast It’s website, you not only have access to huge open calls; you also have a platform on which to display your representation, your resume, reel, photos, etc. You are granted full use of the website to build up your profile and promote your career.

Success really does happen when using Cast It! A prime example of this is Jonathan Daniel Brown, aka ‘JB,’ the quiet and often picked on friend in this year’s hit film Project X who, with his two best friends, throw an out of control birthday party. The producers wanted new faces, so they contacted the best in the biz to send out a national open call. Cast It rose to the occasion and subsequently received thousands of submissions. Instead of sides, the producers wanted to hear interesting, crazy party stories. After weeding through submission after submission, the pros at Cast It input the videos for the producers to see. The top choices were asked to make a second video answering another question and reading some sides. Then it came down to one resounding choice: Jonathan Daniel Brown. Jonathan was an average guy in community college working various jobs who saw the open call. After talking with Jonathan, we got insight about the audition process. “I got the movie Project X through an open call

over the Internet, and they had the open call through Cast It.” He talks about his submission: “I thought it would be fun to send in a video where I told a pretty wacky story. It got the attention of some people, and I lucked out. After I sent in the video through Cast It, I got a call and they wanted me to come in.” Next thing he knew, he was auditioning in person with the casting director for the role of JB. Jonathan explains, “The audition process for Project X was brutal, it was 8 or 9 more auditions, but the casting director was awesome and it was a blast.” It was an eye-opening experience for him after having little acting experience before landing the part. He worked 25 straight night shoots to capture the party scenes for Project X, which was his “favorite part because it was basically a big party.”

Since landing his first big role in Project X, Jonathan has received more attention and recognition. He says of this experience, “It’s very flattering and it’s sweet and people are usually really cool about it. And it’s so wonderful because it makes my day. I can still live my life and walk around. It’s nothing overwhelming. It’s been very positive.” Since submitting his first video to Cast It, Jonathan has earned his first starring role in which his experience on Project X has helped transition into the life of a working actor. “We’re filming this movie called Cannabis and it’s going to be incredible.” He has been working 14-plus hour days in Vancouver and surrounding cities and is soon wrapping his first starring role, he says, “thanks to Cast It.”

Jonathan has some great advice for aspiring actors: “The easiest way to learn is to just drop into it and once you’re into it you have to work your butt off. The best thing to do is keep acting. Force yourself to act, even if you’re not in a class, download sides and practice them.” Some more insightful advice given by Cast It’s big success story: “Be unconventional, don’t sit around and wait to be discovered. Go out there and make your own stuff. Get people interested. There are so many actors, especially in LA, but also all over the world, and it is an extremely competitive and crazy field. You really have to get used to hearing ‘no’ and do what you can to not take it personally and shrug it off. That is really tough to do but you can train yourself to do it.”

Check out our follow up article, A Cast It Success Story: Part 2 which includes another in-depth interview with Jonathan Daniel Brown and more details about his experience in the acting world!

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lauren began her casting career as an intern for Sarah Finn Casting on films such as Captain America, Cowboys & Aliens, TRON: Legacy, and Faster. After her six month internship, she returned for her final semester of college, where she went on to become a casting director in Wilmington, NC on various independent films. She also spent over a year as a casting assistant with an independent casting director and acted in multiple films. She is currently working with Marcia Ross & Erin Toner Casting and also works as an actor and in production.

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