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Billy Damota

Agents

Billy Damota is a member of the Casting Society of America and a twice-nominee for Best Casting for an Independent Film.

Questions

  1. Is having the audition material memorized an unspoken rule? Does it always mean you’ll be better?
  2. In Los Angeles specifically, what percentage of actors fail to show up at all on a rainy day?
  3. What is the most important difference, to an actor, between casting a legit indie film, or a large studio film?
  4. When reading with an actor, do you try to work with that person, or sort of read the same way with everyone?
  5. Give me a few examples of how an actor will cost themselves the job, while in the room, just before or after their audition?
  6. What percentage, on each project you cast, will you see an unknown unrepresented actor, and why?
  7. You encourage actors to be pro-active, so tell me what type of actions to you, are professionally ok?
  8. Saving the environment is great, but do you think the digital casting age is better than the old paper days?
  9. Should an actor read anymore into being re-directed in their audition by you or if they are?
  10. You’re an internet guy from way back, so how much to you seek out talent… all on your own via online demo reels?

About the Guru

Billy DaMota began his casting career in 1985, working as an assistant on such films as Predator, The Running Man, The Three Amigos and Project X. In 1988 he was hired as the casting associate on the gang epic,Colors, directed by Dennis Hopper. Billy became an independent casting director with the film Miracle Mile, starring Anthony Edwards and Mare Winningham. He went on to cast Steven Seagal’s first film, Above the Law, directed by Andrew Davis, the legendary cult classic Chopper Chicks in Zombie Town, casting the then unknown Billy Bob Thornton in his first co-starring role, and Sacred Cargo with Martin Sheen and the late Chris Penn. Billy has worked with acclaimed director Alex Proyas on dozens of national commercials and as a casting consultant on The Crow as well as the Will Smith hit I, Robot. Over the years, Billy has cast actors like James Franco, Luke Perry, Cameron Diaz, Brad Pitt, James Franco as well as Hollywood legends Faye Dunaway, Mickey Rooney and Tony Curtis. In the world of Music Videos, Billy has worked with artists such as Tori Amos, Trace Adkins, The Basement Jaxx, Brooks and Dunne, Faith Hill, George Strait, Dave Navarro, Ministry, Toby Keith, Brad Paisley and The Ramones. Billy joined the The Casting Society of America in 1992 and has been nominated twice for Best Casting for an Independent Film. He founded DoNotPay.org to help educate and inform actors about Hollywood scams. His book, “An Actor Grovels” is due out in bookstores soon.