Today we turn the spotlight on Casting Director Carly Granovsky of Knight Sky Casting. The powerhouse team of Molly Knight and Carly Granovsky represents over 10 years of experience casting TV and Film, Print and Commercial in both Canada and the USA.
1. WHAT WAS YOUR JOURNEY TO BECOMING A CASTING DIRECTOR?
During my final year of my Bachelor’s degree in Education at McGill University, I taught a drama lesson to a third grade class. This brought out a curiosity for storytelling in me, which led me to enroll in various acting workshops. As a casting assistant for The Montreal Casting Company, I had the exciting opportunity to cast an 8-part period series. I was tasked with finding hundreds of very specific male extras. This provided invaluable experience and solidified my love for the casting process.
My passion brought me to Toronto in 2015, where I honed my skills by dabbling in TV production and working at a prominent casting house. I then established Knight Sky Casting with Molly Knight.
2. WHAT DO YOU LOVE ABOUT CASTING?
I enjoy both the business and artistic side of being a casting director.
Casting gives me the ability to collaborate with a production team and bring their vision to life. It is so inspiring to witness each actor’s compelling take on a role. I appreciate when actors make bold and unique choices to play to their strengths and own the character.
3. WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO ASPIRING ACTORS?
Every actor, no matter where they are in their career, goes through periods of discouragement and frustration. It is the nature of the industry, with so few roles available and so many passionate actors. So little of whether an actor is cast or not is personal. I would advise aspiring actors to study the craft, create their own work and treat auditions as learning and growth opportunities rather than being attached to the outcome.
When I was learning the Meisner technique under Jacqueline McClintock, I was so intrigued that I bought the Sanford Meisner on Acting book the next day. Being passionate, wanting to endlessly learn, following your heart, are important steps for one to enjoy the entire journey of becoming an actor. One must invest time in studying the craft. Never give up.
4. WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO STAGE MOMS AND DADS?
Stage moms and dads should first ensure that acting is really what their child wants to do. Parents should do their research. This includes reading the script thoroughly (is it the right tone and style?) and ensuring their child is excited about the role and for the audition. The role has to be understood by the both the parent and the child prior to auditioning. Overall, parents should be able to grasp their child’s cues.
5. WHAT IS THE BIGGEST MISTAKE THAT PERFORMERS MAKE WHEN AUDITIONING?
Often times, actors will come into the audition room and apologize for a flubbed line, or something they perceive as wrong. Many times, we wouldn’t have even noticed anything off about the performance. This can bring negative attention to the performer or cause us to perceive them as not being ready. An actor should exude confidence and be open to taking direction during or after his or her performance. The attitude one comes in with can make all the difference in the room.
I enjoy seeing prepared, professional actors who are present and in the moment. While auditions are difficult and we are understanding of that, they do provide an opportunity to see the actor’s skills, flexibility, and suitability.
6. IN YOUR OPINION, HOW IMPORTANT IS IT FOR TALENT TO HAVE A DEMO-REEL?
Talent must have a demo reel. I depend a lot on demo reels when looking at new talent. It shows a well-rounded idea of what the actor is capable of doing. A demo reel should showcase the performer in roles they would play and should be no more than two minutes long. The first few seconds should focus on the highest quality material. Recent work should go at the beginning.
7. IF AN ACTOR HAS NEVER AUDITIONED FOR YOU, WHAT CAN THEY DO TO HAVE THE HONOUR OF THAT FIRST AUDITION WITH YOU? (E.G. A DEMO REEL? A SELF-TAPE? SPECIFIC TRAINING? SPECIFIC EXPERIENCE?)
A headshot is the first impression. A great headshot should capture the actor’s personality, energy, and character. Their look is ultimately what gets them into the door. I believe it is worth the time to invest in a photographer because it can give them a chance to be seen. As well, the resume should be well presented. It should include all their skills and any other relevant information. This helps me determine whether or not they are fit for the role.
8. IN OUR OPINION, HOW IMPORTANT IS IT FOR AN ACTOR TO BE ON THE ROSTER OF A TOP AGENCY?
I believe it’s more important for an actor to find the right agent for them. A person who understands their type, believes in them and who can therefore best represent them. We generally call in actors from all agencies. Sometimes, it can even be tough for a developing actor to get the necessary attention from a top agency, as they already represent a large clientele. You must give them a reason – be diligent, make yourself valuable, work on your presence (social media is great) and check in by letting them know what you’re doing.
9. WHAT WOULD YOU LIKE TO SEE THE CANADIAN ENTERTAINMENT INDUSTRY DO DIFFERENTLY IN ORDER TO GROW?
I think it would be interesting to see Casting Directors from across the country collaborating with each other. If we can all be involved and help bring the vision of projects to life with our casting choices, we can discover new talent and open each other’s eyes to different creative options.
10. WE ALL HAVE MENTORS (THE PEOPLE WHO GIVE US THE HOPE, INSPIRATION, AND THE DRIVE TO KEEP GOING) … WHO ARE YOUR MENTORS AND WHY?
My dad is my mentor. He has guided me through every aspect of my life. When he first came to Canada, he launched a business selling blinds and draperies. He was new to the country and just learning about the marketplace; it was his passion and determination that led him to succeed. Dedication and hard work gave him the strength to grow a successful company in Montreal. My father taught me how important it is to love what you do, to listen to your gut and not overthink things. Create, execute, hustle, and be self-aware.
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