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Meet Cara Chute Rosenbaum, CSA

Today we’d like to introduce you to Cara Chute Rosenbaum.

Cara, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
I started out as a dancer and actor, and never really had any idea what a Casting Director even was, or what the job really entailed. It’s not something taught or talked about, which now having been on this side of it for so long I find absolutely insane. After I graduated from George Washington University, I was accepted to Boston University’s graduate program in Los Angeles. It was a one semester internship based program, and I thought it would be a good opportunity to get a feel for Los Angeles before moving back home to NY to begin my acting career. My first internship was in the casting office for Criminal Minds, and I was immediately and totally in love. I loved the people, I loved the process, I loved being in auditions, I loved being involved with the production. Once the semester was over, I decided to stay in LA a little bit longer. I made money at night selling merchandise at the Pantages at “Wicked,” and went on a handful of auditions, but nothing serious.

A few months after I finished the program, the Casting Directors I had interned with, April Webster and Scott David, had a new TV series and needed to hire an assistant. Erica S. Bream was their Associate Casting Director at the time I had been at my internship, and she suggested they reach out to see if I would come back and work for them full time. I immediately accepted and have been working in casting ever since. It is truly amazing, because I fell into it at the right place and time, and without that internship I never would have known this career. For the first few years, people asked me constantly if I missed acting. The answer was no. And that’s how I know I never would have made it as an actor. You have to not be able to love or want to do anything else but act to make it in this town, and I was so much happier being behind the scenes and still getting to work with these marvelous and talented actors in auditions.

Outside of work, I co-run an all-womxn dance party called DDPPLA. Every Sunday for one hour, a group of womxn come together to dance their faces off in the dark. Our motto is no boys, no lights, no judgment. It’s the absolute best hour of my week, and the thing that keeps me sane.

Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
I mean, is anything a smooth road? I think people often see Casting Directors portrayed as people who are just rejecting people constantly, but we also face our share of rejection. Shows get canceled, movies get put on hold, we lose out on jobs to other people as well. We fight to make a name for ourselves and be noticed. There were times when I was between projects where I was sure I would never get hired again and would wonder if I should go back to school, do something more reliable with my life, or make better money somewhere. Our community is small, and one of the biggest challenges is people breaking in. Everyone wants to hire someone with experience, but no one wants to train or give you an opportunity to get you that experience. Often because they don’t have time.

In general Casting Directors are constantly fighting for recognition. Think about how often you see a casting announcement in the trades. Do you ever see the name of the Casting Director with that announcement? Shouldn’t that be a part of the story? Honestly, the biggest struggle I have dealt with is recently becoming a mother. My daughter Lucy was born in May of 2018. Trying to figure out how to balance an industry that demands 150% of yourself 24/7 while pumping, doing daycare pickups, running on no sleep, and caring for a tiny human has been intense to say the least. I am at a great place with my career. I have worked with wonderful people and feel this great momentum, and it all sort of came crashing down the moment I chose to start a family. How do you make the two work? No idea. I’m trying to find the balance every day while simultaneously realizing I will never find the balance.

We’d love to hear more about your work and what you are currently focused on. What else should we know?
I hate talking about myself. It’s something I have never been good at, which has also always been a problem for me in job interviews. I usually end up talking about other people or things I like, more than about the things that make me. I am a Casting Director. I take pages with words on them and I match them to human beings to translate those words into complicated characters. Casting Directors give a body, a voice, a presence to work. We paint a picture with actors.

I don’t know if there is something necessarily that sets me apart from others in this business, but I work hard. I never like to have people waiting on me or for me. I want every actor who walks into the audition room to feel comfortable and supported. I want the best work out of people. I want and expect the best out of people because I feel like I give them my best. I was also just recently listed as one of the top 9 Casting Directors to follow on Backstage, so maybe I am doing something right!

If you had to go back in time and start over, would you have done anything differently?
Trust myself more. I know what’s best for me, and not anyone else.

Contact Info:

  • Website: www.ddppla.com
  • Instagram: @ccrcasting
  • Twitter: @ccrcasting

Image Credit:
LKR Photo

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