Actor and Casting Director
Marcia DeBonis was raised in Marin County not too far from the home of the Grateful Dead. She said she was always interested in acting and the theatre. Marcia remembers having the lead in the Xmas Play while in kindergarten and writing a play in the 2nd grade. She continued being very involved in the theatre and acting during her years at Redwood High School.
Immediately following graduation from UCLA with a BA in Theatre Arts, Marcia did a play in LA and then moved to New York. She wanted to act, but found out how difficult it was to make a living as an actor. With several friends she helped to found the Barrow Group Theatre Company, which produced 2 or 3 plays a year. This turned out to be a terrific learning experience. Marcia was able to gain knowledge about running a theatre plus had the opportunity to act. Today the Barrow Group Theatre Company is an acting school.
In retrospect, Marcia thinks she should have gone for a MFA degree. She would like to have had more of an overall training experience in school. She said, “…when you get to New York no one cares if you went to UCLA.”
Besides having a recurring acting role in “Lipstick Jungle” last season, Marcia was the NY Pilot Season Casting Director for Fox Television from 1999 – 2007.
This required her to select actors that she thought would be appropriate for the roles that were described in the pilot write-ups. After she auditioned the talent, the studios then selected the actors before sending them to the network. Casting usually takes place between January and May for the Fall season. Shooting normally starts in July or August. Most actors sign 5yr-7yr contracts but can be fired at any time.
Marcia feels that the biggest challenge you face as an actor is getting a gig. Being on a live stage is the most enjoyable and rewarding experience in acting. She says, “Live theater is like taking a journey compared to making a movie or working in TV which are more piece meal.”
When it comes to being a casting director, Marcia says “the most difficult aspect of the job can be convincing a studio to open their minds to insure they cast the best person. It is much easier to pick a young, good-looking person with a little talent over a more talented actor whose looks are not as appealing.” However, Marcia says the selection process is very subjective.
The most enjoyable aspect of being a casting director is helping the actors.
Like most careers a positive attitude and “sticking to it” are the most valuable qualities. A casting director needs a good eye for talent and must be very detail oriented. Long hours and juggling a lot of balls in the air are required during casting season.
The ability to upload auditions to the Internet is one of the latest developments in casting. “It sure beats FedExing tapes to LA. Plus when it is sent it can be viewed by a number of persons (not in the same room) immediately.”
Marcia is very athletic. She rides her bike around Manhattan, enjoys swimming and plays softball in the Broadway Show League. She loves to go to plays and movies as well.
Untitled Woody Allen 2008
13 Going on 30
The Truman Show
Law & Order
Marcia’s Favorite Book and Movie
To Kill A Mockingbird