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BWW Interview: Daryl Eisenberg of EISENBERG/BEANS CASTING



BWW Interview: Daryl Eisenberg of EISENBERG/BEANS CASTING had the pleasure of interviewing NJ native, Daryl Eisenberg about her company, Eisenberg/Beans Casting. It was a great opportunity to learn about her career and what goes on behind the scenes when a show is being cast.

From 2004-2017, Daryl was the owner of Daryl Eisenberg Casting. As a casting associate and assistant, she has worked in the offices of some of the greats in NY casting. Daryl has taught at schools and institutions around the country. She holds a BFA from Tisch School of The Arts/New York University and Playwrights Horizons Theater School. Daryl is a member of Casting Society of America. She is also a proud member of the Watchung, New Jersey Borough Council in her hometown.

Eisenberg/Beans Casting is a fast-paced casting office for theatre, film, television, and new media. Daryl and Ally Beans create a comfortable space for actors to take risks and re-imagine their potential as artists in a progressing industry. Eisenberg/Beans Casting connects talent to clients with thoughtfulness and vision while maintaining an efficient and enjoyable process for the artists on both sides of the table.

The company casts talent for theatre, film, television, and new media. Highlights include...Broadway: Gettin' The Band Back Together. Off-Broadway: Baghdaddy,, Bedlam's Pygmalion, The Book of Merman, Cherry Lane's Mentor Project, The Anthem, Around...80 Days, Altar Boyz, and more. Regional/Other: Heartbreak Hotel (Broadway in Chicago), Folger Theatre, Bedlam's Saint Joan/Hamlet on tour, Dallas Theater Center, Cape Cod Theatre Project, Norwegian Cruise Line, Ivoryton Playhouse, Tenors of Rock, New York Theatre Barn, Davenport Reading Series, countless NYMF/Fringe. Film: The MisEducation of Bindu, Brother's Keeper, Summertime Dropouts, A Case of Blue, Cheerleader. TV: Timberwood, Mulligan. New Media: City of Ghosts, Limetown (Apple Podcasts).

We appreciate Daryl's responses to our questions and her insights about casting.

When did you first realize your interest in the performing arts?

I grew up singing the Great American Songbook around the piano while my dad played. My older sibling had their artwork on display at our local Arts Center and my father started playing on the piano in the corner. So, of course, I started singing along. And a man knelt down in front of me and asked "Little Girl, would you like to be in a show?" I sang in his cabaret that summer, begged my parents to audition for a local production of an adaptation of "A Little Princess" (stage debut as Lottie!), and that was that. The actress playing Miss Munchin was the voice teacher at performing arts school, so I deep-dove into dancing, singing, and performing in 2nd grade. I grew up in the New Jersey community and regional theater scene, went to NYU for directing, and cast my first project the summer after my freshman year.

Who have been some of the people who have inspired your career?

My very first casting internship was at Binder Casting and I got immersed in the casting world with guidance from some of the casting greats. Jay Binder. Jack Bowdan. Mark Brandon. Amelia Rasche. Megan Larche. Laura Stanczyk. It was a magical summer of discovering my career path. I am always striving to create a fulfilling artistic environment with my creative teams and a fulfilling professional environment with my office. The duality of the arts and the business is part of what I love about casting.

What advice do you have for people interested in becoming a part of the entertainment industry?

Work begets work begets work begets work. Become a student of the industry. Read everything you can get your hands on - trade papers, online news sources, scripts, etc.

Tell us a little bit about your partnership with Ally Beans and why the two of you have worked together so successfully.

Ally Beans is one of the most impressive women I have ever met. She has, from day one, stood out as a creative, intelligent, ambitious force in our industry. A business partnership feels, at times, like a marriage. The personal interaction and respect is as important as the professional. We are a great compliment to each other and we value each others' input. And she puts together the BEST idea lists ever. Her ideas are consistently incredible. We each take turns running point on a project and the other acts as a support. It is always remarkable our ability to ebb and flow in those roles. On one project, leading, and on another, playing back-up. We have also mastered communication, even when we aren't in the same room or even the same state. Slack (a messaging tool) has been a game-changer for us and our ability to organize thoughts, conversations, and brainstorming. There's no one I would rather sit in a tiny office with all day long, or gush about a Netflix series with, or ride Space Mountain with than Ally Beans.

What are some of the challenges of casting in multiple performing arts disciplines?

I find that casting in multiple disciplines/mediums is much more of a gift than a challenge. Actors are actors are actors. And we are able to pull actors who may be notable in one world and have them jump in to another. One of my favorite films I ever cast was a small three-hander that was shot in Kentucky. We cast the entire thing between Christmas and New Years and had Tony Nominees in all 3 roles! Huge Broadway stars and we were fortunate enough to get them in a low-budget short. That's the beauty of casting across disciplines.

Tell us about some of your recent successes.

Every production where we can empower creatives to truthfully and respectfully tell their story is a success to us. In quarantine, we've been fortunate to work on many really incredible productions. Some of our recent favorites were the fictional podcast series CITY OF GHOSTS and the summer season at the Cape Cod Theatre Project.

How has the Covid-19 outbreak influenced your business practices?

This "great intermission" has given us the opportunity to really assess our place in this community and in society at large. We are committed to being an anti-racist casting office and elevating BIPOC in our field and in our storytelling. We are committed to denouncing the long-standing casting tradition of internships, as it is part of systemic racism and perpetuating the income inequality disadvantage. Our devotion to representation and inclusion in casting is stronger than ever.

What are some of your plans for the future?

Ally and I will continue to advocate for underrepresented voices in both our creative teams and our performers. We will make sure the right person is telling the right story. We will continue the mandate of equity and representation in casting, on stage, and in film.

For more information on Eisenberg/Beans Casting, please visit: Follow the company on social media: IG: @EBCastingCo and Twitter: @EBCastingCo.

Photo Credit: Mike Hari / fadeout foto

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