Kahleen Crawford CDG
Bafta winning ‘I, Daniel Blake’, Academy Nominated ‘Living’, ‘Sunshine on Leith’, ‘The Lost Daughter,’ ‘Vigil’, ‘His Dark Materials’, ‘I Hate Suzie’.
Kahleen Crawford CDG is an award winning Casting Director based in London and Glasgow. Kahleen was nominated for two CDG awards in 2020, winning for Casting in a Feature Film for her work on ‘Wild Rose’. She received two further nominations in 2021 for Best Casting in a Television Drama Series for her work on ‘I Hate Suzie’ and, alongside Dan Jackson, on ‘His Dark Materials’. She has also been nominated for two BIFA awards for Best Casting, and an Artios award in 2022 for the casting of ‘The Lost Daughter’.
We had Kahleen in the studio alongside some of her wonderful team; Carla, Shenae, Sacha, and Ross.
Truly a joy to work them. Kahleen is one of the nicest Casting Directors in the business, consistently casting amazing and varied projects, which have received mutiple awards and nominations.
TUESDAY 17TH OCTOBER 2023, LONDON
Yellowbelly: Do you mind when auditionees send a few versions of a self-tape? Re different accents/ different intentions?
Kahleen: “It’s not an expectation! When we think it’s needed, we’ll put in the tape request that we’re actively looking for a couple of different takes, and if that’s the case, we’ll often give notes of direction. If nothing is requested or specified, but you feel in your gut you want to offer up a couple of takes, please feel free.
When it comes to smaller roles, sharing a couple of versions with a director can really help us. Even just in the fact we can demonstrate some range from you. The director may still see the scene playing differently, but knowing someone has the ability to play around with the intentions and bring the scene to life in different ways can swing it.
Regarding hearing different accents, again, we’ll be specific about what we need. Usually if we do want to hear e.g. your own, and an American accent of your choosing, we’d only ask for one take in each accent. Asking you to do scenes in multiple ways, in multiple voices, is a lot!”
Yellowbelly: What type of headshots stand out to you?
Kahleen: “A clear, well lit, well composed picture, in colour. We’re not after perfection or airbrushed skin, and photos don’t have to be fancy or expensive – the team and I lean into photos that capture something of you and your energy – it’s often in the gaze.”
Yellowbelly: How often do you look at actors social media following during a casting process?
Kahleen: “Me personally, not very often at all. Sometimes seeing a current hair cut, or if your photo needs updated we can refer to recent images to get a sense of your playing age/feel at this point of your life. That can be helpful. I’m not looking at how many people follow you.”
Yellowbelly: If you had one piece of advice for recent graduates facing the industry, what would it be?
Kahleen: “Work hard. Work to pay your bills and have a happy life. Take jobs because you’ll learn and meet people. Maybe you’ll be famous, maybe you’ll never stop working and end up with offers day in and day out, but I worry when I meet people for whom that’s the aim. (Let’s pretend that was one thing, per your question….!).”
Yellowbelly: What are your 3 big ‘yes’ when you view someone’s spotlight that makes you want to invite them to audition?
Kahleen: “Up to date information that’s accurate and honest (particularly on accents you can do. No need to list 19 accent to look more impressive, it actually looks to casting folks like it’s not true…).
A photo that has captured something of your essence. If you have choices, we will gladly look over 3/4 photos there. More gets a bit busy, unless there are strong reasons you need to include lots.
A video or reel. It can be a nicely done self-tape/screen suitable monologue (make sure you’re allowed to use the scene/writing.). They’re often better than a purpose shot reel, or cobbling together things you know deep down aren’t well enough executed.”