Casting Spotlight: Bobby Silva, Casting Producer/NBC


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How did you become a casting professional? What's the back story here?

I started off in the industry as an actor and stuntman. After almost a decade of doing exciting stuff in front of the camera, I wanted to create my own content, so I jumped into producing. I literally fell into casting when a friend of mine offered me a job finding talent for a signing show in 2009 and found my talent for Storybuildng characters' backstories to make them memorable. Since then, I have honed that skill and can tell whether someone will be a memorable character on camera.

Which casting calls or roles were the biggest challenges for you and why?

Over the years, I have done so many different types of shows, but I feel that developing a project that no one has heard of before was one of the most challenging. I cast a show once called Stay or Go and had to find families that would give up everything they had, Job, Home, and Savings for the equivalent of a Monetary sum and start over. Talking to people about their personal assets down to the last penny is not something most folks are comfortable with. Then, of course, my Emmy Nomination for Love Is Blind was a fantastic challenge. Try to explain that we are creating a dating show where you can’t see the other person, only talk to them through a wall! That was a great success, and we pulled off the cast phenomenally.

How do you spend your free time?

I surf and am a father to 2 little humans, so that takes up a good portion of my awake hours. My wife is an incredible social worker, and I’m constantly doing what I can to make her life easier when she’s not trying to solve the Los Angeles homeless crisis, so that is also a big part of my free time as well 

If you had to choose an actor to play you in a biopic, who would you choose?

Oh, that’s a good one. I think that Lin Manuel Miranda would be perfect. Not that I live in a musical, but he has the same passion for creation that I do.

What’s your most exciting project right now?

I’ve just wrapped up the newest Survival Adventure Race being developed, and that was a blast.

What’s the most memorable audition that you’ve been a part of?

Interviewing FX artists and Cosplayers for a Make-up competition series. Those people are weeeeeeird.

What are the typical mistakes actors make in the casting process?

I feel like people that are too “on” in their performances or auditions generally turn me off to liking them immediately. Understand what you are interviewing for, and don’t overdo it.

How can they improve their chances of getting cast?

Be yourself, but play up anything interesting in your back story. If you are interviewing with me, you are right for the project; whether you make it on the show or not depends on how interesting you are.

What do you think any casting professional needs in order to succeed?

Ah….. there is a thing I learned a while ago called Production Etiquette. That basically means - “Do your job well, don’t slack off, know when to say something and when to keep your mouth shut.” People will want to work with you again if you are easy to work with. Remember that.

How do you notice the difference between aspiring talent who can “make it” and those who can't?

It depends on the project. If you know your stuff, you are right for the series. I’m not going to cast a baker on a baking show if they say they can bake. I’m going to need to meet you in person and see that the Swiss Meringue you made is actually edible.

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