Casting Director John Strawbridge - What do you do with sixteen years

Write it down.

Interview By Brian Dragonuk

Experience can be a tricky thing. Without enough, you can find
yourself lost. But with too much – you can also find yourself lost.

For John Strawbridge, more than a decade and a half of casting for
feature films and network television had left him feeling without
direction. "When you're working on studio productions, and especially
on series TV," notes Strawbridge, "there's a real possibility that you
can become frustrated in terms of artistic challenge. You can find
yourself doing the same kinds of things over and over again. The same
roles… different scripts."

He knew he had to find a new way to challenge himself. "I think that
if you're in this business, it's because you don't like being in the
same place day after day. You welcome change. You've got to feel like
you're always moving forward."

But once you've had your work nominated for an Emmy, (as was the case
on HOMICIDE: Life On The Street, which won an Emmy for it's casting)
and had some box office success (as with Wedding Crashers) – it can be
difficult to find a newer and higher peak. So Strawbridge decided that
instead of looking upward, it was time to look outward.

So he decided to share that experience with the community. "The best
way to expand upon what I'd done," he figures, "was to multiply it.
Instead of one person having this experience, ten people could. Or
twenty. Or however many wanted it." For the last eight years,
Strawbridge, along with veteran actor Gary Wheeler, has been
co-instructor of "The Working Actor" series of classes. Working out of
the Chesapeake Arts Center near Baltimore, the two have been
conducting classes in audition practice and performance skills, as
well as their signature "real world" approaching to navigating the
business of acting.

"The classes have been great," Strawbridge says. "But it's always been
in my mind to supplement them with a book. Something that actors could
have with them at all times, and which could, maybe, reach people
outside this market, or who haven't been able to take the classes."

After several years and several drafts, this Spring saw the release of
"The Audition Book: What Casting Directors Are Really Looking For" – a
book which Strawbridge hopes will reach many.

And Strawbridge feels that there's still a need for a different
approach. "There's a lot of advice and resources available [out there]
for actors. But what I saw time and time again in auditions, was that
actors didn't seem to know what was important to us, on the casting
side. They were working awfully hard, but often on the wrong things.
Not the things that were, for us, the deciding points on who to call

Strawbridge hopes that his book will  not only give actors the insight
they need to have more success in their auditions, but also give them
the benefit of what he's learned himself, without having to spend so
many years gaining experience.

"I wrote this book for Actors, but after sixteen years in casting, I
really wrote this for myself and for all other Casting Directors – so
that actors coming in to audition for us would know exactly what we
were looking for."

And now that he's finally been able to put his casting experience to
good use, what's next for Strawbridge? "At the risk of sounding like a
cliché, I've got a script I'm trying to get produced," he offers with
a laugh. "I'm hoping it won't take another sixteen years.

John Strawbridge's book is entitled "The Audition Book: What Casting
Directors Are Really Looking for", and is available on For
more info, visit

The Audition Book - What Casting Directors are Really Looking For

 Campanile Media
 PO Box 50338
Baltimore, MD 21211

CAMPANILE MEDIA and author John Strawbridge are pleased to announce
the publication of:


What Casting Directors are Really Looking For

This practical, real-world guide to Audition practice and technique is
based on the author's more than sixteen years experience in casting
Feature Film, Network
Television and Theatre, as well as on the popular classes and
workshops he has conducted.

Intended to give the Actor an edge by offering you the Casting
Director's-eye-view, the book helps the actor answer the question
"What Are They Looking For?"

It provides tools to focus time and effort on the things that matter
most to the people
who do the hiring. Included are an overview of the Casting Directors'
job & needs, Headshot & Résumé guidelines, Auditions tips, and help in
overcoming anxiety.

THE AUDITION BOOK is now available directly from the publisher

, or on