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Art & Life with Kara Sullivan

Today we’d like to introduce you to Kara Sullivan.

Kara , please kick things off for us by telling us about yourself and your journey so far.
Being a Casting Director was not the career plan. My plan was to be a teacher, I had started babysitting in highschool, been a part time nanny during college and was a counselor at the overnight camp I went to as a kid, so I loved kids. The year I was going to graduate from UCLA, 2003, I decided I wanted to be with adults all day and I wanted to do something in entertainment. I knew it was going to be hard work and not the instant glitz and glamour you see on TV.

So my brother had me talk to his highschool friend who was working at Universal at the time about what I might want to do. She said there were alot of choices and I’d need to try a few things then decide. Her advice was to sign up for a temp agency and tell them I wanted to do entertainment.

I did and one of the companies they set me up with was a management company who repped mostly comedians. Soon after my boss decided she wanted to go back to casting and took a casting job. I loved casting and stayed with her for a while. When I felt I was ready which was not very long after that session I wanted to see if I still loved casting and wanted to be a CD. Lucky for me my friend needed help casting a spec commercial for his new production company, I took the job for free, loved it and decided this was something I wanted to pursue. So I gave the business a name Kara Sullivan Casting and let people know I was starting my own business. Word spread and like anything it took a while before I could just work for myself as while building the business I did work for the first woman I have been discussing for a year and then after worked with other CDs as an assistant so I could build my knowledge and learn how to run a successful casting business. Now Kara Sullivan Casting is thriving and I love what I do.

Can you give our readers some background on your art?
I am a Casting Director.

I help Producers and Directors doing films, commercials, web series and sometimes even plays find their actors.

The casting process involves posting what you need for each project on websites that are designed for actors to submit their materials. My job then becomes to go through the thousands of submissions for each role and get it down to my top 30 people to bring in to audition for me for the first round, which I put on tape for the Director and Producer. Then we do a final casting session in which the Director and Producer meet with their top choices for each role.

I love what I do. It brings joy to my heart and I couldn’t imagine doing anything else.

I always hope that what I help to create makes a difference in the world or for my fun projects will bring people joy. Overall, I strive to be part of projects that are interesting, I am proud to have my name on and I pride myself on finding talent that the audience loves no matter how the movie turns out.

Artists rarely, if ever pursue art for the money. Nonetheless, we all have bills and responsibilities and many aspiring artists are discouraged from pursuing art due to financial reasons. Any advice or thoughts you’d like to share with prospective artists?
If you love what you are doing my advice is to do whatever it takes to keep on your path.

I think you have to be strong when things get tough. Believe in yourself.

If you need to get a part time job or a job that will allow you to pursue your dream. Once you get to a place where you don’t need it you can always let it go. I had to build my business and my clients so this meant for the first couple of years while doing my own projects I had to work as a freelance casting assistant and I always had a steady part time job as a personal assistant. All the hard work paid off in the end.

What’s the best way for someone to check out your work and provide support?
Some projects can be found on the online site such as Netflix, Apple TV and one of my web series The Rich and The Ruthless is on UMC.tv.

Also, if you go to film festivals you can always see if anything I cast is part of the line up.

I have done so many projects it is hard to keep up with where everything is released.

Contact Info:

                                                                Image Credit:
None needed. Photos are friends, family and the picture that has the red head where I am at a long table is my Mom.

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