Talent directors find, interview and audition performers needed for television, movie, radio or stage productions. They scout prospective talent by consulting with agents, attending or viewing performances, and holding open auditions.
They keep track of available actors, cataloguing their résumés, credits and additional abilities like dancing or martial arts. They instruct performers on the requirements of each role, advise filmmakers on final casting decisions, and assist in negotiations.
Standard business hours
Most talent directors work full time in an office environment. Many operate as freelancers, and jobs are often temporary and short-term, depending on the type of project. Those with casting duties for a weekly show or multiple projects for a studio will have a more consistent schedule. You may put in more than 40 hours a week, depending on workload and deadlines.
Talent directors interact with a variety of executives, filmmakers, agents and performers every day. You may spend long hours standing or sitting through multiple auditions. Travel to location shoots, audition sites and agents' offices is possible.
Annual salary estimates are based on percentile wage data collected through the Occupational Employment Statistics (OES) survey of US workers.
DVM / VMD degree
Most talent directors have a bachelor's degree in radio and television, cinematography, theatre, directing or a related field. Knowledge of the field, the performers and experience in casting work, however, are the essential prerequisites for director jobs. Many talent directors start out as production or casting assistants, or transition from acting.
College students and graduates may also apply for a semester-long apprenticeship programme.
Most talent directors begin as a casting or production assistants. Gaining experience, knowledge of the business and available actor pool can lead to advancement to associate and assistant casting director roles. A good professional reputation and networking with industry leaders is the best route to landing a role as talent director.
Additional education and training opportunities can help you land a job more quickly in a competitive market. Becoming a member of the Casting Society of America (CSA) can also help connect you with others in the field. Talent directors can advance to larger and more prestigious projects and may transition to a career as director or producer.