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Interview with Carol Goldwasser

In the Moment: Interview with Children’s Network Casting Director Carol Goldwasser

Have you ever wanted to know the ins and outs of casting Children’s TV, such as Disney or Nickelodeon shows? Well, you’ve come to the right place, because today we have the Award Winning casting director, Carol Goldwasser, here for Part I of an interview with me, Diane Christiansen, exclusively for Master Talent Teachers.


Carol’s tips for kids, teens and even adult actors are so invaluable if you really want audition advice. She has taught me a thing or two in these interviews that even I didn’t know. You can never stop learning, right?

Diane: Welcome, Carol, it’s so great to have you here, thank you for joining us.
Carol: Thank you for having me.

D: We should get started, because there is a lot that our viewers and readers want to know about casting Disney shows and you are our gal. What made you decide to cast kids and teens TV?
C: Well, it was more like the Universe decided for me. I was working more in Network Television, in comedy, with a partner, and we were looking to expand our business and we sent our casting resume to one of the Children’s Networks. We got hired on one project and then we had some fairy dust on us from that because it was a highly successful project and the work just kept coming and we never looked back. We both work solo now and the work has pursued me. It wasn’t necessarily a choice that I really pursued in a major way, but once I got into it, it felt comfortable, it feels good and I enjoy it, obviously, because I’ve kept doing it.

D: What has been your favorite project to work on?
C: Probably a Disney XD show called “I’m with the Band”. Even though it was a children’s show, it had a lot of adult series regulars. The writing was more sophisticated, but it still played to kids. It had a lot of physical comedy. It was like the 3 Stooges in a rock band. So, it was a really just a group of people who really gelled and who came to the set each day and had a lot of fun. So, I could cast adults as well as kids and teens and it was just a great experience. Interestingly, it was probably the least successful show I’ve worked on, but it was such a joy to show up to work every day. My impression was that the Network hoped that it would be a real flagship show to luring a lot of boys to that Network. They see that as the Network that attracts boys. The Disney channel being the one that’s more girl oriented and Disney XD more for boys. But, for some reason, the numbers didn’t support it continuing. I guess, even though it was joy for the adults to work on, maybe the fact that there were so many adult regulars meant that the kids couldn’t connect as much to what they were seeing on screen. That’s their formula, that the protagonists on the show are actually the same age as their audience.

D: What makes an actor stand out in the audition room?
C: When someone comes in, and this happens with kids and teens a lot, they are looking to me to give them the keys to the Kingdom. They’re looking to me to tell them this is where the joke is or this is how the character is. When someone comes in and they show ME how the character should be played and they not only find every joke on the page, but they elevate the material and they add stuff of their own that really makes the character sing. Then you’re like, “Well, my job is done”. That’s when it’s a joy and that’s what makes people stick out. When they commit to the character, they make choices – sometimes the choices are surprising, but comedy is surprise! I always think comedy is much more difficult to cast than drama because you actually have to find people who can deliver comedic material. In drama, if you look a little bit like what the Producers are seeking, you have a naturalistic acting style and you understand the rhythm of that particular writers words, then you move the exposition along. That’s pretty much what you have to do. In comedy, you have to do all that AND land a joke and in multi-camera sit com, which is the bulk of what I work on, for kids Networks, there’s a rhythm to the language and it’s not honestly naturalistic at all. It’s very theatrical. It’s much harder to come in and nail a comedy audition, I think because it requires a very specific kind of work. You have to understand what the rhythm is, understand where the jokes are and you have to have a little extra something that makes us want to watch you, that makes us want to hang with you and makes us want to turn on the TV set.

D: Like a naturally funny person.
C: Exactly. You’re right and you know you hear people say comedy can’t be taught. The elements of comedy can be taught. But if you read a page and you don’t understand “funny”, and you don’t know where the jokes are, you probably won’t be cast as a funny actor. Unfortunately. I read comedy scripts for a living, so when I read a comedy script, it’s like a road map to me. It’s like joke, joke, joke and I understand where they are. But someone who is unfamiliar with comedy material doesn’t necessarily do that. But if you have a comedy kind of mind and you have a bent for comedy, then hopefully the particular comedy gimmicks can be layered on top of a natural affinity for comedy.

To be Continued…

This has been Part I of a two-part interview with Carol Goldwasser. We wanted to thank you for joining us and invite you to stay connected at MTT for Part II. Have you subscribed yet?

Carol has had 5 nominations for Artio Awards, which are given out by the Casting Society of America (CSA). She’s won two times. Once for outstanding achievement in Children’s Casting Series programming for Hannah Montana and once for Best Children’s TV Programming, also for Hannah Montana.

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walking into the Audition Room

Walking Into The Audition Room

The audition begins for the viewers when the actor walks into the audition room. That first impression of the actor can determine whether the viewers want to take 3 minutes to read the actor – or not. They want to see a confident actor who is focused, prepared, and ready for the audition. They want Read the Rest…

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Reading For Studio Executives: Auditioning For a Series Regular Role on Television

When the Producers decide that they want to take you over to read for the Studio Executives, you first have to make a “test” deal before you are allowed to read for them. This happens because the Studio wants to know how much you will cost before they “buy” you. The Casting Director calls your Read the Rest…

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3 Guideposts to Breaking Down a Script

By: Diane Christiansen Here are a few simple strategies to get a quick jump start on not only memorizing, but also understanding your script. Listen for the voice of your character. Read your lines aloud several times, over and over again while reading the other character lines silently. This way the only lines you hear Read the Rest…

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Confidence

In the acting business, actors must have confidence in their talents and themselves in order to deal with the challenges and always be able to bring their best game to their meetings, auditions and work. Confidence is an essential “personal tool” for everyone but especially for actors and performers. For many actors, confidence is innate. Read the Rest…

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Acting: The process is the Product

A rare interview with Award-Winning Director/Teacher Kimberly Jentzen by Emmy Award-Winning CD/Teacher Holly Powell

Watch this interview — Emmy Award-Winning Casting Director, Holly Powell talks to Los Angeles Acting Coach, Kimberly Jentzen, author of “Acting with Impact” about the acting process: “Know that your performance is created and lives in the moment and can’t be fixed in place or held in time. The key is to not judge yourself Read the Rest…

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The Inside Scoop: A Conversation with Casting Director Caroline Liem Part 1

Written by: Holly Powell I sat down and had a great conversation with Casting Director Caroline Liem who has worked in many different areas and mediums of casting. She has worked on Television Pilots and Series, Feature Films, Voice Over for animation and was Head of Casting for Jimmy Kimmel Live!.

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Educate Yourself Before Your Audition

By: Holly Powell   Thinking back over the thousands of actors who stood in front of me before they began their audition, the one’s I remember most are the one’s who walked in and said “Hi Holly!” I know that seems obvious and simplistic, but it always surprised me when an actor would walk into Read the Rest…

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4 Actor Resources-Imagination

Four Resources Available to Actors – Part 3: IMAGINATION

I’d like to preface this installation with a quote by Albert Einstein before I elaborate on the lesson. “Imagination is more important than knowledge. Knowledge is limited. Imagination encircles the world.”

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Casting Director Jason La Padura

Casting Director Jason La Padura: Audition Advice & Tips – Part 3

Jason La Padura has been a Casting Director for 30 years and his long list of Television, Film & Theatre credits include casting all three films of High School Musical, Heros, and Touch to name a few. He also had the privilege and fun of being a judge for The Miss America Pageant. Jason started Read the Rest…

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