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Photo courtesy of Nancy McBride.

10 Questions with Nancy McBride of Reel Kasting Productions

Casting Networks

If anyone’s a natural at recognizing talent, it’s Nancy McBride, owner of Reel Kasting Productions.

Nancy founded the largest parent network of child talent after her experiences as a parent of gifted child actors. Today, she’s a go-to casting director for everything from film and commercials to infomercials and industry videos.

Her clients have included the likes of MTV, CMT, Bass Pro Shops, NASA, ESPN, C Media/HBO Casting, Atlas Films/Dr. G: Medical Examiner and many more.

McBride has also served on many boards and panels, including her current role as President of Women in Film and Television, U.S. She recently took time out of her day to answer 10 questions to help us learn a little more about the person behind the blockbuster career.

1. How did you start working in the industry?

I started off in the industry as a mom who was trying to understand the industry. This was back in the days when parents were not allowed to talk to each other at castings, etc. I asked a lot of parents questions anyway! Soon more parents opened up and shared their experiences and helped me and my family along. I realized there was a lack of parental support in the industry so I had my husband design me a parent forum so that we could communicate, share and help each other. It soon became the largest parent network across the U.S. (this was before Facebook). Then, before I knew it, LA and New York were calling me and needing kids. I started helping productions out by sending child headshots and putting them on tape (this was also before electronic submissions). After years of helping families and productions, I took the title and opened up my company.

2. What inspired you to work as a casting director?

Honestly, I had a choice between an agent or a casting director. In the years of volunteering my time to help families, I realized just how much drama some acting families were and how cutthroat they were. This really was a turn-off for me. I decided it was better to be in a decision-making seat than dealing with drama. So I was inspired to be a casting director!

3. What would you say to those aspiring to work in your field?

It’s a long road, but persistence and organization is your key element to success! I started casting student films to learn the business. Those students are now some of my best clients!

4. What was a pivotal moment for you within your industry during the pandemic? How has your role and/or your day-to-day routine changed since?

Pre-pandemic: I told clients that we could do casting online via video submissions [and] then just meet for a callback to save hours of time. Nobody listened. Everyone wanted to [do] casting in-person for every job.

Post-pandemic: I work out of my house and we do 100 percent of our casting via Zoom and video auditions! Life is so easy now!

5. If you could cast yourself in any role from any time in the history of film, what would it be?

If I could cast myself in any role it would be Professor Minerva McGonagall. She has such personality and everyone loves her! She has the patience to teach you what you need to get you to the next level, but she also can be very strict when she needs to be!

6. What are your favorite activities or hobbies to do outside of work?

I am a photographer outside of work. I love taking photos of nature, babies and billiards!

7. What is one of your favorite acting performances to date?

I just watched Jury Duty and it was literally the most brilliant show! How can a dozen crew and dozen cast not only film a mock trial, but participate in the trial and one guy was the only one who didn’t have a clue? Three weeks they filmed and acted in this trial and the individual never had a clue. Just brilliant!

8. Who is an industry professional you admire and why?

I really admire producer Diane Kirman. She is based out of LA and started her career as a casting director and is now a Hollywood producer. I don’t think she realizes how much she has personally impacted me and my career. She has taken many calls from me to just chat and I really enjoy her conversation and her insight on her career!

9. Do you have a quote or mantra that you live by?

“Women belong in all places where decisions are being made. It shouldn’t be that women are the exception.” – Ruth Bader Ginsburg

10. What are you looking forward to in the industry in the coming year and beyond?

I am hoping that the upcoming year helps me get my documentary sold and maybe start a new project!