The Casting Society of America has set a nationwide casting call for transgender talent for October 22, 2017.
“The reasoning that a non diverse ‘star’ gets to play a diverse role is because there weren’t enough talented, diverse options is an industry myth,” said Russell Boast, VP of Casting Society of America. “We’re going to do something about that.”
Boast spoke to Solzy at the Movies in June with regards to improving transgender representation in the media.
Recent data suggests that 1.4 million adults in the United States identity as transgender–yours truly, included–but if one were to look on television, they wouldn’t see transgender Americans adequately represented. There are only eleven transgender actors working in television and most of us routinely get passed over for transgender characters, let alone even get the opportunity to play non-transgender roles.
“Trans people have worked hard to hone their craft, but rarely get the chance to be seen since so few are represented,” said Ann Thomas, founder of Transgender Talent. “Thank you for giving us this opportunity, CSA.”
As a result of a CSA initiative, 30 CSA members will be opening their doors on October 22nd to both union and non-union transgender actors. The casting call includes on-binary, gender non-confirmation, and genderqueer actors. One is encouraged to attend if they are professionally trained or actively pursuing a career. Actors will have the opportunity to do a two-page prepared scene in front of two to four CSA casting directors. (I’m slammed with film festival coverage so I haven’t signed up for the casting call being how insanely busy I’ve been between the Jewish holidays and the film festival.)
“We are requesting actors to bring a scene of their choice that best represents them as an artist,” said Russell Boast, CSA Vice President and head of the Inclusion and Diversity Committee.
The casting call means that a marginalized community will have the chance to perform in a professional environment and casting directors could discover gems within a pool of talent that could very well win an Oscar or an Emmy some day.
By hosting the casting calls, the CSA is helping take the lead within the entertainment industry to cast transgender talent and empower casting directors to lead the conversation while also discovering new talent and promoting diversity.
Offices will be open on Sunday, October 22nd in Chicago, Los Angeles, New York, Portland, Toronto, Montreal, and London from 11:00am – 1:00pm and 2:00pm – 4:00pm location time. Barcelona will be conducting open calls on Monday October 23 at the provided times.