Spotlight were proud to support a brand new, all-day event on Wednesday 19th June – a ‘meet and greet’ exclusively for Deaf and Disabled performers in association with the CDG and their Diversity committee.
It all started when Casting Directors’ Guild (CDG) committee member and casting director Sonia Allam met with Spotlight to discuss a need to connect casting directors with Deaf and disabled performers; new talent that they may not have met before. So together, Spotlight and the CDG set about organising this event for the very first time.
The occasion was held across the whole first floor (seven rooms) at the Old Diorama Arts Centre (a fully accessible venue), and the format was an informal chat where each actor hosted pairs of casting directors moving from table to table. Throughout the day, we hosted a total of 50 casting directors and 27 performers. All performers officially met at least 12 casting directors, and all casting directors met at least 8 performers in their half-day slot.
All the hard work and organisation was absolutely worth it when we saw the casting directors meeting all these amazing performers that they hadn’t met before, asking about their credits and experience but also their individual needs in the casting room and on set/ onstage. Everybody had a smile on their face throughout the whole day, and we’ve had tremendously positive feedback, mostly asking when we shall do it again! Here’s some of the feedback we’ve received:
I’ve never spoken openly about my disability in relation to casting, insurance, opportunity and how it affects my on-screen working life before. It was an inviting and safe space to discuss these topics openly with industry professionals.
It would be difficult to find fault with anything from first contact to walking out of the door. I found it invaluable to chat informally and for longer without the pressure of an audition room. Pressure which I know sits on both sides.
Thank you for arranging this event; it was such a positive, encouraging and enjoyable experience and I am very grateful for the opportunity to have met other disabled performers and so many Casting Directors.
I emailed my details yesterday to some of the CD’s I had met. I was surprised and over the moon to get a reply from one (I know they are busy and I didn’t think they would have time) saying it was lovely to meet me and she would bear me in mind if a suitable role came up!
I would like to express my appreciation for the Spotlight Meet and Greet. I have been greatly inspired by the meetings and the casting directors. Thank you, it was extremely well organised and a very enjoyable day.
The casting directors are awesome and lovely. It was great chatting with them. Hope to see more like that in the future for more Deaf and Disabled actors.
Watch this space for more events like this!