Industry Spotlight: Nicole Butler, Casting Professional/Producer


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

I'll give you the short version. My oldest daughter showed interest in becoming an actress at six years old. When I finally decided to help her pursue her goals, she got busy right away. We were running back and forth to New York for audition after audition. I became curious about what took place in the casting room and what casting was looking for in the next star.

I am extremely creative, and as years went by, seeing the process, I had an interest in becoming a casting director or wardrobe stylist for film or television. Learning the entertainment business while assisting my own children and many others with gaining opportunities in television, film, and local stages, I decided to start my own company.

My company, A&B Productions, has opened doors to numerous gifted youth and provided platforms where they could showcase their talents. I have also recognized that sometimes it can be challenging to develop children for the industry. This is why I share my experience with those who are interested.

What are the most favorite and least favorite parts of your job?

Most favorite part of my job is seeing the smiles on youth faces and hearing their responses when they receive jobs. The least favorite part of my job is having to turn someone away who is not ready. But if they show extreme interest and have something we can work with, it drives us to seek opportunities for them.

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

When calls come in and are so detailed. Sometimes I may not be able to locate the talent they are looking for.

How do you spend your free time?

In my free time, I like to stay current with the industry by reading trade journals and attending workshops to enhance my skills. Most weekends are spent designing and coming up with ideas to help creative children. Clearing my mind and keeping my body fit is important to me so that I can focus on my career and hobbies.

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

This is a hard one. I would have to do a little more research on that. I am hard to duplicate.

What’s your most exciting project right now?

My recent project is the " Taste it or Toss It" cooking show.

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

The most memorable are the projects I do for myself and to see the hunger from the people for the opportunity who are willing to make a sacrifice.

What are the typical mistakes they make?

Not showing confidence in themselves and staying out of their head (overthinking). Parents put their children in the industry before they are ready.

How can they improve their chances of getting cast?

Have confidence they are who the casting is looking for. Once they study that character, they should see themselves as the character.

What should parents/guardians of child talent know before they apply to your casting calls?

They must be committed and make sure that this is what the child wants to do.

What would you suggest to other people who are seeking talent? What are the typical mistakes people make when searching for talent?

I would suggest they go to the casting website, contact talent agencies or put out an open call. The typical mistakes are that they don't search outside the box. They should seek children and talent in schools or from the playground.

What are the differences in searching for child talent as opposed to adults? What's more challenging and why?

The difference is most children are natural and are themselves. The adults put too much thought into the script and try to act instead of being the character.

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

The difference is the aspiring talent works hard and prepares for the role. They do the homework on what the role is about. Those who can't do not prepare and have confidence in their craft or the role.

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