A potential valuable resource to CSU film students making its mark
By Nick Hawks
When the film “Cherry” was being made in Cleveland, it required a lot of background actors. The film, directed by the Russo brothers and starred Tom Holland, needed a variety of younger-looking individuals. That’s where Angela Boehm Casting comes in.
“The Russo brothers don’t want to sit down and watch 50 or 100 videos per role, they want to see four or five,” said Angela Boehm, creator of Angela Boehm Casting. “So my job is to go ‘This is the role I have,’ look at everyone’s pictures, then show them [Russo brothers] who their five best options are in Cleveland to play this role.”
Located in Olmsted Falls, Angela Boehm Casting essentially works as the middleman between film producers and talent. Meaning, they are hired by a production company, such as HBO, to find talent that can read for smaller sized parts. Agents will submit pictures and videos of their clients to them, which they will review and narrow down based on the description for what the character is supposed to look or sound like.
“We first narrow it down by photos,” Boehm said. “The agents will send us a lot of photos, let’s say the role is a police officer. They’ll send us all the people they think could play a police officer from the ages of 20-30, if that’s the age range. Then we’ll select the ones we want to read.”
From there, the talent will come into the studio and read for the part, which goes through a few different takes, before being sent to the production team, who ultimately makes the casting decision.
In addition to advising on a number of smaller speaking roles, the agency has a free database where less experienced talent can submit headshots, which is of significant interest to students at Cleveland State University. In the case of “Cherry,” many CSU students were cast as background actors and got their first experience on the set of a major film production. It takes no experience to register on their website, all that is needed is personal information, such as size of clothes, name, and age, and submit a current headshot. The headshot does not need to be professionally done, it could be taken with a phone.
“If you don’t have a beard anymore, don’t send us a picture with a beard, you know what I mean?” Boehm said.
In addition to the casting agency, Boehm recently launched 1st Team Actors Studio, a studio that has everything from acting and improv classes to classes on writing.
“There weren’t a lot of strong film schools here that weren’t colleges, and I wanted students to understand it better,” Boehm said. You can enroll in the classes, which go now through November, on Boehm’s website.