Posted: March 21 2012
Q: You have had quite a successful career as a performing artist yourself. Now you work with one of the top casting directors in the country. How did you make that transition and why? Tell us the story.
A: I had sort of a Cinderella story as an actor out of college by landing a contract role on a soap opera two days after graduation. The whole experience was fast and furious but I was immediately struck by the wisdom and guidance of the show's Casting Director, Liz Woodman. She had the idea to give me an audition; she gave me advice and instructions, gave me confidence and believed in me. The seed was planted. How wonderful it is to feel a part of supporting and aiding someone's talent.
Years later, I assisted Liz from time to time but also began working with another well known casting office, Johnson-Liff Casting. It was there that I met Tara Rubin. Tara was one of the associates in that office. In between acting and directing jobs, I would assist their office as an audition reader. They offered me a full time position there but asked that I give up acting and directing, for fear that there could be a conflict of interest. While I completely understood that request, I was not at the place in my life to end my acting and directing career.
Years later, Tara began her own company and it was taking off at lightening speed. A mutual friend called me and said, Eric I know you have played with the idea of casting before, but if you truly want to do this, now is the time. I remember it so clearly, I was in NC at the time driving to a rehearsal at NCT. I booked a flight to New York to meet with Tara, who I hadn't seen at that point in several years. We chatted for about two hours when she said, "I would like for you to join me as a Casting Associate." Because of my previous experience in all other areas of the business, I was able to begin as a full Casting Director.
It doesn’t usually happen that way. We laugh about it now... I was able to make "star lists" for a Broadway show during my first week, but I couldn't operate the fax machine. I have now been with Tara Rubin for 9 years. It has been an incredible gift.