What Is a Talent Director?

Talent directors review casting calls to find performers for entertainment venues, such as stage productions and movies. To find out more about the responsibilities, education and job outlook, read on. Schools offering Art degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Talent Director Overview

Talent directors, also known as casting directors or artistic directors, help find the performers needed for television shows, stage productions, movies, and radio. As a talent director, you'll work directly with show producers, actors, and agents during the process of scheduling, interviewing, auditioning, and casting performers. Much of your success will rest on your connections to other entertainment workers, so interpersonal skills are vital to the job.

Talent directors must keep up to date on the current talent by regularly attending or viewing performances. As a talent director, you would keep records of performers' union memberships, resumes, past performances, and special abilities, such as singing or dancing. You'll also keep files on actor availability so you can recruit them for auditions. After casting is completed, you might negotiate contracts with the actors, their agents, and producers. You may be able to hire assistants to locate new talent and help you maintain performer records.

Important Facts about This Occupational Field

Similar Occupations Producers and directors, agents and business managers of artists, performers and athletes
Required Education Bachelor's degree (for producers and directors)
Similar Occupations Public relations managers, talent agents
Key Skills Leadership, communication, management, creativity (for producers and directors)

Education and Professional Organizations

As a talent director, you must constantly educate yourself on which shows are currently casting and which available actors are appropriate for those shows. Experience in the industry and a bachelor's degree are common prerequisites for many talent directors, although some talent directors only need prior entertainment work experience. You can enroll in film or theater programs and major in radio and television, directing, theatrical production, or cinematography.

If you become a talent director, you may join the Casting Society of America (www.castingsociety.com) to network with directors, agents, and producers. You'll need two years of casting experience to apply for membership.

Job Outlook and Average Earnings

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS, www.bls.gov), most film, television, and theater jobs are concentrated in Los Angeles and New York City. Directing and producing jobs were expected to increase three percent from 2012-2022, but workers face great competition in the entertainment industry. According to PayScale.com, most talent directors earned base salaries between $62,274 and $150,610 per year as of September 2015.

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