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the shift is real...

How are you creating space for this big shift we're in? I’ve been feeling like burning it all down. And then CanvasRebel reached out, and channeled it into sharing stories on getting fired, belonging - and not, annnnd making the pivot. Thanks CanvasRebel for the space to share stories from the heart! Enjoy an excerpt of the article...


Caroline, thanks for taking the time to share your stories with us today We’d love to hear about the best boss, mentor, or leader you’ve ever worked with.


Early on in my career I was an executive assistant at a studio... My boss at the time took me for a walk, tissues in hand, and proceeded to tell me that it was clear I had an eye for casting – that I was someone who should have the assistant rather than be the assistant. I was fired. This is the part of the story where usually paper work is signed, you file for unemployment and update the resume. Instead… A temp was brought in to cover my desk. I was given an office, stellar references and space for 30 days to focus on and secure a new job in independent casting... the impact it made was twofold. The way in which I was treated throughout the entire process was with respect and dignity. I was set up for success, treated as a peer with value and contribution, and the leadership in which my boss handled the issue reflected for me that there’s a place for everyone, and if it’s not the best fit (or if it’s a “no”), that there’s always another way to pursue your dreams using strengths that, at the time, I wasn’t sure I had, but my boss certainly knew. I treat my colleagues, associates and assistants the same – providing space for them to succeed, leaning into their gifts. Also, the temp on the desk, the subsequent assistant who was hired and my next casting projects, were all successes, with each one of us thriving for years to come.


Caroline, before we move on to more of these sorts of questions, can you take some time to bring our readers up to speed on you and what you do?


Based in Los Angeles, I have extensive experience as a casting director in film, television and theatre, having worked on award winning/nominated features, independent films, television series, pilots, green screen adventures, animated series and video games for studios including Paramount, Twentieth Century Fox, Disney, Sony, Warner Bros, and networks including Netflix, Nick Jr, ABC, CBS, NBC, The CW and Fox. I love collaborating with artists and contributing to the process of storytelling. The exciting challenge of discovering new amazing talent or focusing an artist’s strengths and energy where they would be the most powerful and resonate, is where my heart sings. The audition process for a creative can be daunting, so being able to provide a powerful platform for them to shine is always present when I cast.


I’ve enjoyed success over my 25 years in independent casting. I’d say about 10 years ago there was a shift in how I wished to give back and participate with artists in/around the industry...

There was an expansion of my private coaching with creatives to include colleges and universities, teaching the next generation of talent the business of navigating the industry. It’s the course and mentorship I wished I had when I graduated, to provide artists with the tools and support they need to successfully lean into how they wish to be seen and heard. Visibility and elevating underrepresented artists are crucial work that has driven my focus as a casting director, coach and teacher.


It’s fantastic to see the industry finally moving towards equity, inclusion, and highlighting underrepresented voices. Having sat with the great Dr. Darnisa Amante-Jackson online :) a handful of times. I’ve love what she says about Belonging as the bridge (in the DBEI conversation). Belonging is the thing where artists feel seen and heard and celebrated. It’s where we talk about the why of not feeling included, and help others feel heard. It’s the hard conversation I wish I had when I entered the industry and saw no one who looked like me.


My purpose is to help creatives all over the world with really big dreams stop battling themselves and lean into all that their great training has prepared them for – their craft, bookings and living a fierce full artistic life. How we occur in the world isn’t limited to our resume or our title. Rather, it’s who we are, how we share our story, give back, take action, embrace all that we are,… is the unique connection your audience craves, that truth we all respond to, and only you can bring that particular experience forward. I’ve witnessed artists level up, transform and step into their power when they take a breath in stillness, identify what they really want, and take the action to make it happen. I’m here to support that success; provide the tools, technique, and guidance to free the stories that hold you back; so you can live your fiercest life, in your power.


Have you ever had to pivot?

As an independent casting director I’m always pivoting. It’s a journey similar to an actor in that we can work steadily or there can be a break between gigs. While I’ve been coaching for a number of years nationally and globally, the pandemic and industry negotiations have impacted how we do our job, and there’s a rising focus in how to navigate this change. All of our contributions are vast, and can be fully realized... There is a school of thought that there’s no Plan B. I tend to believe that. But I also believe in leaning into your gifts, and how you wish to be seen in the world. And if that’s cultivating a side hustle or a hobby or leaning into what brings you joy, it’s that voice we need, and I’m here for it.


Are there any books, videos, essays or other resources that have significantly impacted your management and entrepreneurial thinking and philosophy?


Books…

The Art of War for Women by Chin-Ning Chu Atlas of the Heart by Brene Brown Never Split the Difference by Chris Voss Presence by Amy Cuddy Start With the Why by Simon Sinek We Were Dreamers by Simu Liu


Podcasts… Add to Cart – subversive take on consumerism Blissful Spinster – leaders in film Audrey Helps Actors – business chat for artists


Platforms on Instagram to follow... CAPE Gold House



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