What’s Brad Pitt Eating?

What’s Brad Pitt Eating?

The Washington Post and the New Zealand Herald both featured some of my fun discussion with reporter Emily Heil in her article “Brad Pitt is the ‘Laurence Olivier of eating’ on screen. Here’s why we like to watch.” Enjoy!

…Caroline Liem, a casting director and professor at Pace Performing Arts, says one reason might be that Pitt is just really, really good at on-screen eating. “He’s the Laurence Olivier of eating!” she says.

Even talented actors sometimes screw up what seems like a simple task, she says. They might take bites that are too big. Or tiny bites — a dead giveaway that they’re dealing with multiple takes. But Pitt? “He makes it look like an actual human being eating, and you don’t get that a lot,” Liem says. “He’s just one with food.”

Some of Pitt’s eating is central to a scene. Think of him in “Interview With the Vampire,” in which his brooding undead Louis is trying to kick the habit of human blood and instead chomps into rats. Or in “Meet Joe Black,” when his titular character — who is death itself inhabiting a human body — eats peanut butter for the first time.

Other times, eating has been a way to subtly express something about his character. As Rusty Ryan in the Ocean’s franchise, he’s forever snacking. Pitt has described in interviews why that was — Rusty’s a con man and always on the move, he said, so he figured he wouldn’t have time for a proper sit-down meal. And in 2011, he told NPR’s Terry Gross that his “Moneyball” character’s snacking was a way of showing his intensity and “need to accomplish something.”

Liem says actors can use food to develop their characters in ways that might not even be called for in a script. “As a casting director, I know that an actor knows the character inside and out — better than anyone else on set — and so if the actor says the character needs a sandwich, he needs a sandwich,” she says.

Read the full Washington Post article. New Zealand Herald article.

5 ways to kill your next audition

Q: What are some specific things that casting directors expect/want actors to know or do in an audition? — Backstage Community Forum

While the expectation may be as subjective in number as there are casting directors, here are some reminders to make your audition experience a great one.

1. Find the human being. Most everyone auditioning in the room or via self-tape will satisfy the lines, breakdown, and physical needs for the role. We’re rooting for you to share who this human being is and transport us away from planned or disconnected line delivery to a living, breathing soul—your unique take on the role will only come from your personal experiences and choices.

The writer has likely created roles based on actual human beings, so remember the character you’re reading had a life before this moment in the story, strongly wants something throughout the scene, and will continue to thrive and struggle in and around the moments. Do your homework. Make the words and the life provided by the writer your own. Be curious in your life and create from that experience. This, coupled with technique and training, will allow you to share authentic reads because it comes from you and no one else.

2. There are no mistakes. We do not care if lines or words are unintentionally dropped. We care how you recover from the bobbles. How professional is your recovery? Stay in character, take a breath, find your spot again, and continue.

3. You are in the room to solve a challenge. You received that appointment over many, many others, and you deserve to be there. Prepare. Share. Take full responsibility for your great work—and bobbles—with grace and humor.

4. Show up fully. Confirm appointments in a timely fashion and research the role, project, and team (CD, producers, director, writers, etc.). Enter the room with confidence and resist throwing anyone under the bus or making excuses—we’ve heard them all. Share the work you love.

5. Meet your work with pure joy. It is play, after all. You will be met in kind.

by CAROLINE LIEM – click m’name to view the original article on Backstage.com



I couldn’t be more proud of our work on RUST CREEK. As a casting director we read a lot of scripts. The ones that really stand out for me are actor-driven pieces, the story,  where the artists gets to involve her or himself so completely and authentically within the given circumstances. The world will soon see what we’ve been talking about when this thriller premieres in 2019.

Rust Creek subverts expectations with a surprisingly layered survival drama anchored inEnthralling kidnapping thriller Is Like a feminist “Breaking Bad” – Indiewirea rich setting and a gripping lead performance from Hermione Corfield. – Rotten Tomatoes

Enthralling kidnapping thriller is like a feminist “Breaking Bad” – Indiewire

Casting Directors: Caroline Liem, Jeremy Gordon
Producer: Stu Pollard
Director: Jen McGowan
Writer: Julie Lipson

Cast: Hermione Corfield, Jeremy Glazer, Micah Hauptman, John Marshall Jones, Sean O’Bryan, Jay Paulson, Daniel Hill.

New Year New VILLAGE

New Year New VILLAGE

Look for information soon on your next on-camera and business classes.

Business for Actors 
This short-term class includes image, branding/marketing, self-care, creating a cohesive business package with your materials + how to speak and correspond with those you wish to work with in our industry.

8-week On-camera study
I will be 1 of 3 teacher/casting directors co-teaching this very interactive class.

Ongoing classes
A weekly on-camera class continuing your development, practice and expanding your creativity.

A Conversation About Booking

A Conversation About Booking

We’re always striving to get to the next level in our work. It’s a natural part of our growth as artists. There’s a certain level of care and attention required for  development of craft. But sometimes you simply get stuck in a place, a plateau if you will, and find that the caring and candid words of someone who has walked in your shoes, puts it all in perspective.

My ongoing class recently had the luck of timing, his schedule not ours, to meet with Brent Sexton. Our class just spent the previous 4 weeks exploring the expectation and reading sides for co-star, guest star, recurring and series regular roles. Brent was very generous sharing what he encountered at every level of his thriving career and how he met and elevated the challenges along the way.


The Casting Room at BGB Studio, Los Angeles



Casting Society of America recently held a FANTASTIC Town Hall with MENASA artists. Here’s the LINK to the open conversation between casting directors and these terrific artists and audience members. Please let us know your thoughts as we continue the conversation. #InclusionAndDiversity Enjoy!!

Moderators: Russell Boast, President of CSA and Azita Ghanizada, Actress and founder of the MENA Arts Advocacy Coalition.

Panelist: Dina Shihabi, Pej Vahdat, Usman Ally, Michael Sanford, Julia Kim, Karina Walters, Venus Kanani, Mousa Kraish.

MENASA Town Hall, SAG-AFTRA Headquarters, Los Angeles


One Take Wonders

One Take Wonders

I marvel at how actors can prepare for auditions at the last minute. It takes a certain skill set to disseminate the breakdown, read the script, if offered, prepare the material, and deliver a personalized and thoughtful performance in the audition room or through a self-tape. I’ll offer observations on both.

There is an actor I tape from time to time. She has appeared as a series regular, recurred on several familiar shows, and has tested for countless projects. Whenever I work with her it’s very last minute, usually due the same day, and she has just had the day or evening prior to review the material. She usually tapes it in one shot, and books the role. She’s a one-take wonder. But what does she do?

1. Her confidence is palpable. She’s clear and focused on the performance at hand.

2. There is very clear sense what she wants from the other character, and it is undeniable she will get it. 

3. She draws the camera to her read, as if it is listening in on a juicy secret.

During recent casting, the actors I brought back to producers and those who ultimately booked their roles had certain qualities in common. CLICK HERE for specifics on how each of these actors booked the room in one take!  – Backstage, originally published 07.10.16

Inclusion & Diversity

Inclusion & Diversity

On January 7 the Casting Society of America’s Inclusion & Diversity Open Call took place in LA. It was eye-opening and simply moving for this Casting Director! Our Casting Team was one of a dozen onsite meeting and reading with performers with disabilities. Approximately 750 people participated and were seen by 50 casting directors and associates in 16 cities across the US. Here’s a video of the day. Scroll down for more information on giving actors with disabilities their due.

Inclusion & Diversity Open Call

As part of a series of events focusing on casting opportunities for actors who have been historically overlooked in the entertainment industry, Casting Society of America (CSA) Inclusion and Diversity Committee focused on performers with disabilities (PWDs). Performers were given an opportunity to share a two-page prepared scene of their choice in front of a panel of CSA casting directors. This was an educational opportunity and a chance for Casting Directors to meet with and learn from the PWD community.

Article written by committee and CSA member Marci Liroff – CSA Is Giving Actors With Disabilities Their Due via @BackStage http://bit.ly/2GuEPzZ

PPALA 2018 – The LA Intensive

PPALA 2018 – The LA Intensive

Pace University has done it again! I am THRILLED to be a part of Year 4 producing, co-directing and teaching this amazing grup! This year’s BFA Acting seniors traveled from NY –> LA immersing themselves in an intense intensive throughout January. Prior to that I co-directed them in their showcase videos. To view their work and learn more about them – click the link… http://bit.ly/2HAnAON

They worked with industry directors, producers, casting directors, seasoned talent and writers; honed their skills on-camera, produced their showcase videos and learned A LOT about self-care, online presence, who they are and what they have to offer as unique and fierce artists. This terrific group is ready to take on whatever comes their way. So blessed to be part of  their journey. THANK YOU!! #TeacherHat


For information on each student and their upcoming NY Showcase – http://bit.ly/2HAnAON


What a lovely surprise- a thank you video- http://bit.ly/2EVZcc7.

“You’re all pretty!”




Pace University

Pace University

….and so it begins… Final rehearsals for our Pace University digital showcase shoot. This is their first step to bridging their college experience with the film/television industry. They’ll be in LA this January- WATCH OUT!!