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Photo courtesy of Mandysa Brock.

Success Story: How Mandysa Brock’s Casting Networks Discovery Led to Booking Gigs With Volvo, Disney and Snapchat

Mandysa Brock has wanted to act for as long as she can remember. From wrangling her cousins to assist in her childhood performances to acting in shorts and commercials, she’s manifested her destiny.

Brock has relied on Casting Networks for years as her primary casting platform, securing numerous acting opportunities along the way, including collaborations with with major brands such as Snapchat and Disney. Brock kindly offered her time to share her success stories, experiences and valuable audition advice.

How did you decide to become an actor?

I’ve always been the performer of my family. I was the kind of person that was rounding up my cousins to choreograph a dance or perform a skit, and then show our parents at the end when we’re done. The love of creating and of performing followed me into adulthood, too.

How did you first discover Casting Networks?

I discovered Casting Networks because it was the first site that people told me about when I moved to Los Angeles. They said, “Get on Casting Networks and start submitting yourself. You’ll start getting auditions and then you’ll book that way. A lot of agents also use Casting Networks.” This last part is especially true — I’ve had two agents and they both emphasized using Casting Networks.

What were some of your favorite jobs that you’ve ended up booking off of Casting Networks?

That’s really hard to answer because every job I booked was impactful in some way. The first job I booked on Casting Networks was what made me continue with the service. It was a Snapchat campaign.

It was a two-day shoot, [and] I met amazing people that I’m still friends with today. They ended up using one of the pictures on the Bitmoji app store, so I’m the face of Bitmoji because of that gig. Then I was able to get representation from booking that by myself.

Bitmoji store screenshot. Photo courtesy of Mandysa Brock.

The most impactful one was when I was able to bring my mom on. It was for Royal Bank of Canada. I had to speak in English, Parisian french, and Canadian French. They needed a French translator and my mother [who helps me with speaking French and is my dialect coach] was available, so she was able to help out and be on-set. That was really awesome and I got to dance too, which was the first time I did TikTok dancing. Yes, count me in!

Tell me about your experiences with the Volvo commercial and working with Disney. What were the processes like for each?

The experience of being on Volvo was also amazing. I self taped [for the first time] and had never had a callback over Zoom either, so that was interesting to stay in the realm of the computer. When we were brought on-set, they brought us to a beach and told us that we’re just going to be relaxing. We just have to have fun and have a lot of smiles. It’s a commercial, you’re trying to sell a Volvo.

I think the best part about that was that I got to drive the Volvo with a bunch of cameras and gear around me. That was really scary because they told me five minutes before I had to do that. I’m like, “how do you know I can drive, first of all?” That was really fun.

For Disney, that was a group audition. I love group auditions because you get to use your real friends sometimes. Most of the time I use my real friends or some actor friends I met in class. You just vibe with each other during the self tape. Then when we went on-set for Disney, [and] basically it’s the same thing. You’re just friends enjoying time together and they’re just going to shoot pictures around you. It’s pretty fun. It’s really … I don’t want to say simple, because it’s complicated to get there, but it’s really fulfilling to work with your friends and be able to follow your dreams as well.

What would you say helps someone succeed on Casting Networks?

I would definitely say fill out the notes section with a lot of details every time you submit for every job and make it specific to each job, of course. I also uploaded clips for pretty much every skill that I could film, even if I’m a novice, because there’s different levels on Casting Networks sometimes. For a lot of commercials, they don’t need someone to be a pro at something, they just want you to smile and be good at it to some extent.

Have clips on your Casting Networks, fill out the notes section every time you submit and update your profile regularly—and self-submit even if you have representation, because they can miss some things.

Mandysa Brock smiling Photo courtesy of Mandysa Brock.

What’s the best way to approach an audition, and do you have any audition tips and advice you can share?

When it comes to, for example, a commercial audition, I like to research the company that I’m auditioning for, seeing the past work that they’ve released on YouTube. You can look up Volvo’s previous commercials and you can kind of see the vibes that they are going for. Same thing with film auditions.

I basically do research on the project before I look at what I need to do. I’m kind of a perfectionist, and this might not work for most people, but I like making sure that everything’s pretty much on par and perfect. Especially for commercials—they’re really picky sometimes. With film auditions, I try not to do more than two or three takes because then I get in my head.

I would say as an audition technique, be yourself. I know that’s so cliche, but it is really true. The auditions that I’ve landed where I was literally like, “I didn’t care about my nuances, the little lip twitch that I had, that [thing] I wanted to redo because it’s so embarrassing.” They don’t notice that, they actually like that. It’s a quirk and it’s interesting, because it stands out over the hundreds of auditions they see.

This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.

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Chris Butera is a voice actor specializing in commercial, eLearning and corporate narration reads. When he’s not helping clients achieve their goals, he's playing guitar and bass.

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