SXSW holds innovative casting call


by QUITA CULPEPPER / KVUE News and Photojournalist DEREK RASOR

Posted on March 13, 2013 at 6:17 PM

Updated Wednesday, Mar 13 at 6:21 PM

AUSTIN -- While thousands are enjoying the films, music and mayhem of South by Southwest, others are hoping to get their big break thanks to a innovative new casting call.

Good Records is a Dallas store that specializes in vinyl records. The store is not only a place to buy albums; it's the idea behind an upcoming TV series.

Good Records Director Christopher Telles is using the festival to find the right actors for the project. 

“Life is better with pops and scratches,” he said. “I'm envisioning kind of a "Portlandia" comedy aesthetic as far as that goes. Imagine "High Fidelity" meets "Cheers."”

With resumes and head shots in hand, actors and actresses from across the nation waited for their turn to dazzle Telles and Austin casting director Beth Sepko.

“People from New York, people from LA, we had someone from Tucson, people that come from all over obviously for SXSW,” Sepko said. “For me it's an opportunity to see people I don't see every day.”

This is the first time the festival has done this kind of live casting session. Everyone is expected to strut their stuff in front of an audience on a giant monitor.

It's enough to make even veteran actresses like Betsy Lindley a little nervous.

“You have like two minutes to show them what you've got," Lindley said. “An intimate audition is supposed to be where you can really flesh out the scene, but doing it in front of a crowd of people is kind of scary.  But you're also in front of filmmakers and people who are in this industry too.”

Organizers say the live casting sessions have been so successful, they'll do more for other movie and TV projects next year.

In the meantime, Lindley hopes her performance makes her stand out from the pack.

“All you can do is do your best when you get up there and hope for the best,” she said.

Stay up to date on KVUE's SXSW coverage on your mobile device with our free "KVUE News" mobile app. You can also see more SXSW stories and slideshows on here.

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