Meet Natalie Harvie from Citizen Jane Casting
Updated: Apr 1
Citizen Jane Casting is a specialised casting agency, casting actors, extras, dancers, models and others in a variety of jobs throughout the talent and entertainment industry. Based in Redfern, New South Wales, Citizen Jane Casting provides services across Australia and internationally.
With a focus on casting the perfect fit for the job, Citizen Jane has been operating for 10 years and has cast talent for the likes of Uber, Bonds, McDonald’s, Deakin University, Telstra and Google, as well as a range of banks and car brands.
Natalie Harvie is the director and owner of Citizen Jane Casting and was kind enough to chat with one of Aspire Magazine’s writers, Elle.
Thanks so much for chatting with me today, Natalie!
To start, could you give me a brief description of your role as a casting director?
As a casting director for TVCs, we quote talent fees based on media usage when the job is at the treatment stage. We usually quote with a director or production company.
Typically, between three and four directors will bid on each job and each may quote with a different casting director. Once the job is awarded, if our director wins the bid, we then brief out the roles to agents and/or on our socials, depending on role requirements. For example, if there is a special skill involved such as skateboarding, we will usually also street cast.
We then cast and/or request self-tests which are shared with the director. The director will shortlist five to six talents per role to come for a recall, which we then action. From there, the top two or three talents per roll are presented to the agency and client for final selection.
Once we have confirmed the talent, we supply a deal memo and then we are done! It usually all happens VERY fast!
We curate the selection of talent who come to a casting and will be seen by the director. Sometimes it is very hard to narrow down to a reasonable amount of people to see per role so that is often the challenge – would love to be able to give everyone a go!
That sounds pretty interesting, are your days generally super busy?
Crazy! I am usually up by 5 am at the latest as I like to do an hour of work without emails flying in before the day really starts. Depending on the week, we will be in the studio for at least a couple of days – sometimes we have two studios running.
I have great staff who all work super hard, all day every day. I am pretty much attached to my computer quoting new jobs, briefing jobs to agents, Zoom castings, scheduling studio castings, requesting self-tests, etc. I then also often work a few hours at night when we are super busy!
5 am? Wow. So how does your role as a casting director compare to that of a talent agent or management business?
The main commonality would be that we always have an eye out for fresh talent and love discovering someone new. [However] we don’t make a commission off talent fees.
Are you often mixed up by talent and clients with talent agents?
It does happen a bit, but we just politely explain the difference and from there they can decide whether they want to pay for our services.
You work with both adults and children in the entertainment industry. How does working with kids compare to working with adults?
There is not a huge difference apart from the hour’s kids are allowed to work and the fee structures. Other than that, we treat casting adults and kids about the same. At the moment, with COVID, we prefer to self-test kids more as it is less pressure on our waiting areas with numbers.
Thanks so much for your time Natalie.