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Thursday, July 25, 2013

Kikey Castillo Interviews Blanca Valdez, Casting Director of "East Los High"

KC:  Hi Blanca, thank you so much for being on my blog Livin’ la Vida LA!  Did you know that you and Carlos are my ginny pigs :)?   You two are my first interviews on my blog!   

BV:  Wow what an honor!  Thank you so much how can I refuse a talented actor as yourself especially with a blogger name like Livin’ la Vida LA!

KC:  Awe thanks, you're always so kind.   Ok, Blanca so I want to get all the juicy casting details about "East Los High."  But First, let’s start with how you got involved casting this project?  

BV:   I got involved in casting this amazing project because first of all Carlos Portugal our director and one of the writers of "East Los High" and I have worked together on many great projects in the past.  It started many years ago when I cast his Telemundo sitcom “Viva Vegas.”  We hit it off immediately and we have been friends ever since.  From the moment I read “East Los High” I loved it and wanted to be a part of it.

KC:   It's a lot about relationships in this industry as you can attest to.  So, this show has many characters on the series... what was your reaction when you realized you had to cast so many parts?  

BV:   I thought “fabulous”  bring it on, I love the challenge!  There isn’t anything more exciting than being able to offer actors work and especially great roles they can develop.

KC:   So all in all, how many actors got cast on the show?

BV:   I believe we cast over 75 actors.

KC:   That's amazing!  And almost all the teen leads were unknowns; did you feel it was a big risk casting them in leading roles?  

BV:   Absolutely not.  I felt very strongly about the actors ability to act...and after many months of casting and many callbacks...Carlos was able to select the cast.  The hard part was selecting one actor for each role because there were many amazing actors!  I’m a strong believer of giving new talent an opportunity to develop a role so that they’re able to show their range.

KC:   Blanca, you're a casting angel to us actors :)  Now, allow us to be a fly on the wall and walk us through the audition process from first audition to booking the role.

BV:   First of all there were many, many auditions, but the ones selected for callbacks had to read with some of the other actors to see if they had chemistry.  From there we built the cast, then we booked.

KC:   I’m sure you saw plenty of talented actors - who blew you away at the audition and why?  

BV:   Yes we did see a lot of talented actors and the ones that gave me chills and made me feel something were the ones that totally blew me away!!  There are too many to name...but I also know that even if they didn't get booked on this project they are the future “Michael Penas" or "Michelle Rodriguez.”

KC:   That brings me to my next question, is it true that sometimes the best actor for the part doesn’t always get the role?

BV:   Yes, very true.  A lot depends on chemistry with the rest of the actors and how everyone clicks into the puzzle of creating a cast.

KC:   Did you personally have a favorite character when reading the script that you were excited to cast?  

BV:   I found the writing to be amazing and especially in their portrayal of Latino actors in Los Angeles ...although there is a lot of drama and intrigue with an educational message within...everyone was so true to their characters.  Some you love, some you hate, some you feel so sorry for them.  That’s when you know they’re amazing actors bringing the pages to life!  So, I loved them all! 

KC:   As a veteran casting director of commercials, telenovelas and movies what made this project different than all your other projects to cast?

BV:   It was different because it dealt with serious issues that are going amongst teen Latinos and it’s the first TV series written by Latinos with an all Latino cast.

KC:   How was it working with Carlos Portugal, the co-creator, did he provide a lot of input on casting choices?

BV:   Carlos is someone who’s with me every step of the way and he and I discussed talent throughout the casting process.  He wanted the best talent for his cast and we accomplished exactly what he was looking for.

KC:   You have a busy casting office (as I have often witnessed) always buzzing with actors, producers and agencies for major brands; what’s the feedback been like on the show?

BV:   Amazing!  Awesome!  I love it!  When’s the next one!

KC:   Yay, for the show, great feedback!  In my blog's opening I mention that this show IS mainstream entertainment, do you feel your show is mainstream?

BV:   Absolutely!  that’s the best part about the’s a TV series for everyone to represents the American Latinos that are born and raised in this country.

KC:   What’s next for Blanca Valdez?

BV:   There are a few film projects in the works and a project that I’ll be producing and also I'm casting hosts for Mun2.   (Submission info below)  

KC:   Thank you so much Blanca, always such a pleasure talking to you and auditioning for you!!  Wonderful job casting "East Los High" I was Hooked (with a capital "H").  Anything else you’d like to leave us with?

BV:   Thank you so much great talking to you too!  Many thanks and also for supporting and
watching "East Los High"...the more support we get the more projects we can create!

Mun2 Host Casting Opportunity
Los Angeles, Miami and New York and prospective candidates will need to submit an application and highlight reel via by August 2 at noon PST

To apply go to:
Job #11027BR : On-Air Talent - Los Angeles, CA
Job #11028BR : On-Air Talent - New York, NY
Job #11029BR : On-Air Talent – Hialeah, FL

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