We had the good fortune of connecting with Michael Druck and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Michael, can you walk us through the thought-process of starting your business?
In the regional casting market, such as Texas, once you have a certain level of credits, you get calls from clients and filmmakers to hire you directly. I would have been happy working as an assistant/associate with a casting company for a while longer, but in our market, many casting directors in Texas might not have enough work to employ a growing staff. Incidentally, some casting directors were threatened by my experience, fearing I might be competition down the line. Either way, when the work came around, I was flattered and happy to start my own business.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
I definitely think what sets me apart in Texas is my ability and willingness to cast all levels of projects; from Feature Films to amazing Indie Films, from Principal Actors to Background Extras, Commercials, and even real people casting. Since I am a boutique firm, I do not have much overhead; I am hands-on in every step of the casting process. A larger office will delegate more tasks to assistants and interns. I try to make sure the quality never suffers no matter what the budget and level of the project. Branching out to both coasts in Los Angeles, New York and recently in the Atlanta and Oklahoma markets in the wake of the virtual casting era has expanded my client base and my knowledge of the actors in each of those markets. Personally, I love this era. Although Covid has been horrible all around, the silver lining has been that we in casting can now consider more actors now more than ever. We are not limited to the number of slots and hours of the day we can see talent. We can now call in more actors via self tape and bring even more options to our clients and directors. The work these actors are doing with their self tapes is exciting and I hope that we continue to see a shift in how we perceive auditions moving forward. Challenges continue to be a part of my career, just like actors. We have our ups and downs. There are times where I’m working on ten projects at once, then months where no job comes through. It is easy to doubt yourself, but over the years I have grown confidence in my work and know that I will get calls again as long as I continue to set the bar higher and continue the quality work I offer. A big lesson I’ve learned is when to say “no”. You want to make sure to not overextend yourself. Self care, I think, has been a big topic throughout Covid, and that is no different in our industry. It’s important to maintain physical and mental health in order to prosper in this business and in life. Overall, I feel honored to be a cog in this machine of show business. It is such a gift to see such great work from actors and to champion them and work as a team to find the best options for each project.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
In Dallas, I am definitely still a tourist, since I do not get to have as much free time as I would like when I’m there. I’m a big fan of the Oak Cliff neighborhood. On a pretty day, I like to walk around the shops and eateries. Some places to note include Top Ten Records and Library. Not only do they have a great selection of records, but they also have a mural of one of my favorite artists, the legendary Selena, on the wall. They also sell Mexican cokes and other beverages to hydrate you along your journey. I’m a huge fan of movie theaters so to beat the heat I’d go to the Texas Theater. They have such a great aesthetic and original programming. For a quick bite and beverage I also like to hit up Dallas Farmers Market. I always like to support local businesses. Stay safe, of course, and wear a mask!
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
Risa Bramon Garcia of the BGB Studio in Los Angeles, and a legendary Director/Casting Director in her own right, I credit as my mentor. Many amazing casting directors have passed through her office. Although I did not start my career working for her, I did learn the ins and outs of the Los Angeles casting market. She also taught me the beauty in the work that the actors bring in the casting room. In a way, she reignited my passion for this business and I’m proud to say I continue to learn from her and her amazing studio.
Other: IMDB:https://www.imdb.com/name/nm2373742/?ref_=nv_sr_srsg_6 CLUB HOUSE: @michaeldruck