We had the good fortune of connecting with Jamie Castro and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Jamie, Let’s talk about principles and values – what matters to you most?
Trust. To have trust in someone is truly a beautiful thing. You have to feel very strong and stay true to what is in your heart in order to trust someone else. Sometimes it takes so much more than that to trust yourself. To fully trust yourself is to know how your mind & body work in connection with one another. And this year I have gotten to know myself so much better that I can trust in my curiosity to try something different & take new chances. Through my efforts I’ve become much better at trusting my own intuition & instincts. If you asked who showed up for me this year, I would say “I did” and that feels pretty good.
Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
I’ve been in Casting for over 15 years. I started out as an intern on the film “The Kingdom” before I got my first assistant job working on “The Bucket List”. My first credit on the big screen! And for such an amazing movie. At the same time, I was obsessed with “Grey’s Anatomy” which I watched religiously. My friend, Will Stewart, worked in the office that cast the show so I would constantly ask if they were looking for a new assistant. At the start of Season 4, I got my opportunity. I was hired as the Casting Assistant at Linda Lowy Casting where I stayed for the next 13 years. I learned the TV side of the business fast! It was all systems go all of the time. Shondaland was taking off and we were casting all of her shows. I quickly became a Casting Associate working on “Scandal” & “How To Get Away With Murder,” and after a few more years, became a full Casting Director. My time at Linda Lowy Casting was exciting, challenging, devastating, and fun, but most of all life changing. I grew up there. We were a well oiled machine and we got sh*t done! But all good things must come to an end. After 13 years together, Linda switched over to the corporate side of casting. I started off my quarantine just having finished casting the 3rd season of “Station 19” and no one was promising me a job to come back to. Well, when one door closes, another opens. It was time to step out on my own as a solo Casting Director. One problem, everything was shut down. So in April 2020, I started offering one-on-one coaching & consultations for actors on Zoom at a “pay what you can” rate. I missed working with actors and was curious to see how the online connection would be. We were learning this new way of doing things together. I also started a weekly class dedicated to the co-star audition called “Co-Star Power Hour”. As the weeks and months went on, I realized this was something I didn’t want to stop doing, even when I did get my next casting job which came a few months later. So I started my website as a way to stay in touch and collaborate with actors. That is what I feel an audition is – a collaboration between me and the actor. The actor brings their ideas & choices, I give my notes and together we put the cherry on top. Hopefully creating the perfect sundae, or audition rather. And all of this, led me here to this point in time sitting at my computer during a global pandemic, sending out scenes and Zoom links to actors for tomorrow, checking Deadline for any leads and thinking about what my next theme for “Midnight Monologues” should be. That is my latest experiment I started through my Collab. Every other Saturday night/Sunday morning at midnight, I host my Zoom Room with actors wanting to perform. For who? For whoever tunes in & wants to see some passionate actors do their thing. I didn’t think there would be a lot of interest but we have had two very successful evenings thus far. The amazing part of it is the group that comes together and everyone’s willingness to perform or just show up to support each another. It’s a community and it’s beautiful thing. I plan on keeping it going for who knows how long. So while I am searching for my next project to cast, I continue to work with actors but on a deeper level than before. The consultations have been such an eye opener for me. Actors are told so many different things, especially when they are just starting out and don’t know who to listen to. I hope they know they can trust me. I look out for them. I want to help, mentor and watch them grow. My favorite thing about what I do is the chance to give an actor their first job, their first big credit, the bump up to a guest star role or even a series regular. My husband Drew said to me once, “Babe, you make people’s dreams come true every day.” That has really stuck with me and inspires me every day.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
This question makes me sad because I wouldn’t let my BF come visit me right now and even if things were open, I’m not sure what has survived! Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
My shoutout is to the person who gives me unconditional love & support every day, my husband Drew Rausch.
Instagram: @jamiecastrorausch & @castrocasting
Facebook: Castro Casting
Drew Rausch and myself.