Did you know that being in medicine is a good prerequisite for becoming a casting director? Well, you do now, because not only was that what “As We See It” casting director Cami Patton was initially studying, but her first boss was also once in the medical field. “Oddly, I was pre-med, but my sister was an actress and I followed her around on interviews and I always knew everybody that was there and she was like, ‘Oh, you should think about casting,’ and my first boss was a registered nurse, Eileen Knight,” Patton tells Gold Derby during our Meet the Experts: Casting Directors group panel (watch the exclusive group roundtable video above). “It was very interesting. We both really loved the study of medicine, but didn’t really wanna practice. And it just ended up being a natural fit.”
Casting was not a profession that any of our other panelists — Skye Topic (“The Challenge”), Margery Simkin (“Star Wars: Strange New Worlds”), Aisha Bywaters (“We Are Lady Parts”) and “Yellowjackets” duo Libby Goldstein and Junie Lowry-Johnson — sought out to do either, but something they “tripped into,” as Simkin described, via connections or jobs and quickly discovered they were good at it. Or in Goldstein’s case, she was encouraged to go for a career change, having worked as a lawyer — something she initially did not tell anyone about, not even Lowry-Johnson. Click each name above to see that person’s individual video chat.
“I was a TV baby. I watched a lot of TV, so I wasn’t lawyering and was hanging out, and my husband who can’t stand TV was like, ‘You watch so much TV, you watch so much. Why don’t you just go get a job in TV?’ And I said, ‘OK, I’m going to,’” she shares. “And I did.”
Lowry-Johnson first heard about Goldstein legal days five years into their partnership. “I did not know for five years that she had been a lawyer. And some agent said, ‘Oh, is that Libby Goldstein who used to be a lawyer?’ I said, ‘No, no, no, she wasn’t a lawyer. She taught for a bit, but she wasn’t a lawyer,’” she recalls.
“And then Junie said to me, ‘Are you a lawyer?’ And I said, ‘No! Who said that?’ So, yes, that’s all true,” Goldstein continues.
“Libby didn’t think anyone would hire her if they knew she was a lawyer,” Lowry-Johnson adds.
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