Have you ever finished seeing a movie and you just couldn’t wait to see the names of the beautiful people who made it such a masterpiece? Maybe because you loved it so much or because the level of mastery just wows you. Many people get that vibe from seeing certain movies cast by an experienced NYC casting director, for instance.
So, you wait patiently for the credits to roll up (or you just skip to it, I do it.), it is not strange that you may have seen some names that have post initials such as CSA, PGA, SAG, DGA, etc. What do these mean?
Undoubtedly, if you are a curious cat like me, you went ahead and searched for it on the internet and here you are. Today, we’ll be discussing exactly what the popular CSA abbreviation means.
What is CSA?
Our very own top-shelf NYC casting director, Ken Lazer CSA, is a member of the casting society of America. The CSA attached to his name is proof of this. Now, we will dive into the meaning and importance of CSA.
CSA simply stands for Casting Society of America. According to Wikipedia, The Casting Society of America (CSA), was established in Los Angeles, in 1982. And it is a society of professionals casting directors, they boast of about 700 members in their ranks. These professionals cast actors for the film and TV production industry in many countries around the world such as Australia, Canada, India, France, Germany, Ireland, Spain, Italy, the United Kingdom, and the United States. The “CSA” initials are what members use as identification.
As there is PGA for producers, SAG for screen actors, and directors in the DGA; initials such as these in film or TV credits indicate membership in an exclusive professional organization. Membership in the CSA is by nomination, and nominees are known to be the best in the business. Established members then proceed to vote on accepting the nomination or not. The following requirements must be met to join the CSA:
– Sponsorship letters from at least two current members of the CSA.
– Two years of screen or stage credit as Primary Casting Director.
This loosely translates to mean that casting directors who aren’t members of the CSA cannot use the initials after their names. Being a casting director does not automatically grant or confer the power to the use of the initials by just anybody. It is earned through hard work and years of painstaking practice. If you’ll like to know why there’s an elite association of the best casting directors to grace the film industry, keep reading.
The Casting Process
The casting process (the official playground of the casting director), is a vitally important part of the pre-production process. It involves organizing auditions to select suitable actors for all key and background roles for a film or TV project. It is crucial to the success of a film or theatre production. Casting directors must develop all the necessary skills and competence for identifying talents that will embody a script and its characters to the fullest.
A sizeable comprehension and understanding of actors and their fit for particular roles is a pre-requisite; a Casting Director must-have.
Oftentimes, casting an actor for a character is more than just the actor’s on-the-surface acting abilities. It may require that an actor has the components required to pull off certain idiosyncrasies that a character has. Or even better, it is a trait that they naturally exhibit. More often than not, this helps the actor settle more easily into playing the character. This little fact is a lot more essential than most people think.
Some shows and movies have characters that are played by actors that you cannot just imagine another person playing. This is mostly because they are so much into the character and carry it so well that it has become like a second skin or personality. I can immediately think of a couple of movies like that. And it’s not like there are no other good actors, but there’s something about that actor that your gut feeling tells you is just perfect for the character. This is the specialty of Casting Directors.
Where Casting Directors come in
When done right, the casting process helps eliminate the problems that a wishy-washy interpretation of the script would present. In essence, they save the producers and the film from an incompetent cache of actors.
If a movie or just a single role is miscast, it could be the doom of that project. This is why the job of casting directors and the casting process are super important. It should not be trifled with. Any unsavory intrusion may result in such losses that can potentially ruin a production company.
The casting director also has a particularly powerful role they play because not only are they making artistic decisions about an individual film but are also shaping the careers of actors all over the world. Picture some of your favorite actors, they all have been through one or more Casting Directors. They are where they are because a Casting Director somewhere recognized their talent and gave them the much-needed opportunity to showcase what they’ve got. If you’re looking for a casting director with an eye and ear for talent, you should check out NYC Casting Director, Ken Lazer, CSA. Boasting 28 years of experience in the industry, he is a favorite of producers.
This is exactly the reason that casting directors get that nice sweet spot early on in the credits. Although it seems like a profession that may seem easily overlooked by the general populace, it’s important to clarify that true professionals know that the job of any good casting director is a tasking one. That’s why our NYC casting director, Ken Lazer, CSA, owns a corner of his own in the Casting Society of America (CSA).
The CSA initial is a dignified honor for casting directors who know their onions and have earned their badges. A CSA-certification is a strong indicator of quality and this is why discussions must be held before admitting a new member. So if you didn’t know, now you know what the CSA attached to casting directors’ names stands for.