Amerifilm Casting, Inc.

Interview of Meredith Jacobson Marciano, Amerifilm Casting INC


MJM = Meredith Jacobson Marciano, HM = HungryMetro Interviewer    

HM: Being from USC film school, why did you choose to come to New York over L.A. ?


I’m from the East anyway, so when I got tired of living in LA I wanted to try NY.  I always loved New York , but didn’t really imagine I’d end up living and working here!  I figured I would live wherever I found work.  I did that in Boston, my home town, for a while, but a producer I met there while working on an Aerosmith music video brought me to NY, where the was more work anyway.


HM:  Were you afraid to start your own casting agency?


 It never occurred to me that I was “starting a business”, it just seemed like everyone I met when I worked on my first film here was going from job to job, I figured I would be job hopping too.  But over the years it grew into more of a service business instead of just a “crew position”.


HM:  How did you come up with the name Amerifilm?


My nickname was Meri when I was a kid, and a friend had just made the name up one day when he was bored at work and made me some stationary with that name on it.  This was before I was a casting director, so he made it to signify any kind of film production work I would do.


HM:  How many people are on the Amerifilm staff now?


It always fluctuates between 1 and 6, depending on how many jobs we have.


HM:  How do you know when you have found that person that has “it”?


When casting principals, you often see many actors who are perfect for one role, and that’s one of the most difficult situations.  Many actors can bring their own “it” to the role.  But you get a gut feeling when an actor reads in an audition and they are so natural and present in the role.  It can be very exciting, especially if the director is at the audition and sees a gifted actor give life to the script.



HM:  What genre do you enjoy casting the most?


Comedy is always fun, you get to laugh all day during auditions. 


HM:  What Project are you the most proud of?


I have favorites for different reasons; it’s hard to pick one.  I’ve worked on so many projects since 1986.  I’m proud of the Background casting we’ve done on all of our series, and also on the films Kinsey and F ind Me Guilty, because so many of the BG were so prominent.  Many actors had interviews with the directors since they knew they would be so featured.  I’m also proud of all the principal casting I’ve done.   I’ve met many fine actors over the years and it’s always a pleasure to watch them work in an audition or call back situation, even if they weren’t necessarily the ones chosen for the roles!


HM:  What’s the next big project you’ll work on?


I do not know, most of the time we don’t know what are jobs are until a week or so before we have to start.  There are a few possibilities, but the NY film industry always changes.  It was very busy for the last couple of years, but it feels like it’s slowing down a bit, like jobs are going to other states now to shoot for tax breaks.  I ‘m also involved with a couple of documentary films in different capacities, so I would like a little time to focus on those for once!


HM:  What advice do you have for our user base of aspiring actors and other entertainment industry newcomers?


Keep up with classes, audition as much as possible to be comfortable in a room of strangers judging you, have a headshot that really looks like you, and just keep trying to get your foot in the door.  Without being too pushy.