Interview with Casting Director Josy Rodriguez

Casting Director Josy Rodriguez


Dear readers,


The 2024 Artios Awards to celebrate casting directors are happening this week! And casting director Josy Rodriguez is among those being recognized for their work.

The short film I directed, S.P.I.C.—made with my co-conspirator and husband Johnny Sánchez—couldn’t have happened without our entire fantastic team, both in front of and behind the camera. This includes our casting director, Josy Rodriguez, who was nominated for the 2024 short film Artios Award for her work on S.P.I.C.!


Actor Gavin Guerrero seated on dark red sofa, glancing over his right shoulder, in short film S.P.I.C. by Heidi Miami Marshall and Johnny Sanchez, casting by Josy Rodriguez

Gavin Guerrero in S.P.I.C. (2023), Casting by Josy Rodriguez


(Want to see all the nominees? Here’s the list on Deadline: Casting Society’s Artios Awards Nominations: The List For TV, Theater, Shorts & More)

Having been a casting director I deeply understand the unseen challenges of assembling a wonderful cast. It’s no small feat! And, as a director, I am so grateful to have caring and hard-working casting directors support the vision – it means EVERYTHING to the director and creative team. Josy’s patience and attention to details guided us to our very incredibly charismatic young talents and very very precise adult casting.

Meet Josy below!

I am excited to share our interview with all of you so that you can get to know the warm, friendly, quick-as-lightning-in-the-casting-room Josy Rodriguez!



How Casting Director Josy Rodriguez Approaches Her Work


Q: How do you find actors for your projects? Where do you look?

Josy: I find actors in all different ways. I rely on relationships with agencies/managers, but I also attend plays (when I can), showcases, and social gatherings for people in our industry. My favorite story of “discovering” someone was when I attended a play for Harlem School of the Arts with an agent friend. I’m from Harlem, so I was happy to attend and support these neighborhood kids. One of them really stood out, and my agent friend signed him not too long afterwards. He’s been doing well in TV and modeling. I’m so proud of him. I’m also a huge fan of TV/Film. I watch so many shows, especially NY shows. My cell photo gallery is full of IMDb screenshots.


Q: How many actors do you typically audition in a day for a TV show?

Josy: It depends on how many roles I’m seeing throughout the day. I’m known as a fast auditioner, so I can see quite a few in one day. (brushes shoulder) LOL


Q: How can you tell if an actor can handle a co-star? Guest star? Recurring role? Series lead?

Josy: It’s all confidence and skill. It’s a very vulnerable position to be in. I never forget that in my room. Someone is putting themselves out there and taking a chance.

Specifically for a co-star, you are usually there to give some information to move the story along. I usually tell people not to make too much of it. You are supporting the scene, not carrying it.

Something I want to say here is if you are auditioning for a show that has already aired, please watch the show and observe the tone. I work on Blue Bloods. It’s a cop procedural but we are different from SVU, which is different from FBI, and so on. Do a little homework.


Posters for TV shows Harlem, Blue Bloods, Hightown, and Gotham, cast by Josy Rodriguez


Q: When auditions move super fast, what is good advice for how an actor should mentally handle it? (For example, TV casts super fast, auditions are super short and to the point, typically.)

Josy: I always tell everyone that you should come in confident. You should know right off the bat that you have a friend in the room. We want to see everyone do well. We want everyone to get the part. Casting is there to support you. It’s very short and quick. You’ll most likely get two takes, and if you mess up or have a bad day, it’s fine. Don’t beat yourself up. We’re all human. If you only get one take, don’t be offended or sad. It doesn’t mean you did badly. We have such limited time in the day, and we may have seen what we needed to see in that one take.


Q: What’s the difference between casting TV or indie projects? Do they move at different paces and have different needs?

Josy: Definitely, the pacing. You usually have much more time on an indie project. We’re casting 20+ people in 8 days for TV. I’ve spent my whole career in TV, so I’m used to the rapid fire pace of casting.


Q: How can an actor without representation get in front of a CD they’re wanting to meet/is casting a project they think they’d be a good fit for?

Josy: In the age of social media, reaching out is fine for me. Everyone has their preferences. Invite CDs, Associates and/or Assistants to your plays.


Actor Emily Alyn Lind in Haunting of Hill House directed by Mike Flanagan

Emily Alyn Lind in HAUNTING OF HILL HOUSE, dir. Mike Flanagan (2019)
Casting by Anne McCarthy, Kellie Roy, Lynne Carrow


Q: What are the dream projects you would love to cast?

Josy: OMG, I’ll keep this short because I could go on for days. I would LOVE to cast for Mike Flanagan. That is my #1 goal. I love his work so much and I’m not shy about saying it. I’m a horror and monster fan, so I would love to cast a Universal monster movie (Frankenstein, Wolf Man, etc.), Godzilla, King Kong, Mothra, Nightmare on Elm Street, Halloween…those are my ultimate goals.


Q: What makes a great creative team to work with? How do they interact with casting and auditioning actors?

Josy: Producers who trust us. That’s what makes my job enjoyable. I’m so passionate about actors and their performances. I’m always so excited to show our Producers what people can do. A good actor can elevate even the best material. I’ve been lucky to work with such amazing writers/EPs/showrunners like Rebecca Cutter, Tracy Oliver, Britt Matt, Kevin Wade, Siobhan Byrne O’Connor, Brian Burns, Ian Biederman, Dan Truly…just to name a few. I consider myself very lucky to help bring their projects to life.


Meagan Good and Tyler Lepley in Harlem (2021, Prime Video)

Meagan Good and Tyler Lepley in HARLEM (2021)


Q: When do you give adjustments in an audition?

Josy: I always let actors do their first take how they prepared it. I like to adjust certain lines in the next take. You can always find those lines that really make the scene. Whether it’s a face change, the delivery, or even adding a different flavor to it.


Q: What are your favorite adjustments to give to actors in an audition?

Josy: Make it your own. I love doing shows like Harlem and Gotham where you can be a little “bigger” and have fun with a heightened performance. There’s a fine line, but when you get there, it’s so fun to watch.


Q: What makes an award-winning performance?

Josy: I think losing yourself in the character really makes an award-winning performance—when you make us forget you are acting and I feel like I’m observing someone in “real life.” Some of my favorite actors right now are Damson Idris, Florence Pugh, and Zendaya. I never see them as their real selves in films/series. I do love drama, so those performances that can move you and make you cry are some of the very best.



Keep Going, Actors


Like Josy said, my dear actors, do your homework. And come in confident! Spontaneity is freed through preparation. Be ready for the opportunities when they fall to you!



Explore more blog posts for tips and inspiration. Be an investigator of your craft!


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