Friday, May 8, 2009

Casting Director Kim Miscia - "Compassion in the arts is just like compassion in one's everyday life"

Kim Miscia, who's a friend and a highly respected casting director here in New York City, shared her thoughts on compassion and how it relates to her work:
"Compassion in my field of the arts, casting, has shown its face to me in many instances over the years... the face of the megastar TV and film actress/producer, who went out of her way to make a nervous young actress comfortable before she began her audition.

...or the face of a famous theater director who laughed heartily at every person's audition for a comedy--whether they were funny or not.

...or the face of an award winning writer, who, when an actor fumbled with his lines, reassured the young man that the words weren't important--he was getting the intention just right.

...or the face of the legendary actor teacher who, as an actress drowned in her audition monologue, took her aside and whispered in her ear, transforming her performance.

To me, compassion in the arts is just like compassion in one's everyday life--it's about putting yourself in another person's shoes and feeling empathy for them in that moment--letting them know that they're okay, and that they're not alone. Put more simply, compassion is about making the effort to let others know in tough times--not just in the sunny times--that you are no different from them."
What I really want to highlight in Kim's sharing is the presence of compassion in some of the most successful people in the business: a big TV star, a director, a writer. I'm going to reach a bit here, because I know who the people are she's referring to! These artists, their success, and the compassion in their hearts is not coincidental. The compassion she's talking about is evident in their work. When this particular actress takes on a role, she's so clearly and deeply connected to the character, and its impact on her audience, that people can't help but identify themselves with her. That's not something you turn on and turn off; it's her way of being. If an artist wants the ability to connect with an audience, to create a real emotional resonance in his or her work, compassion is utterly necessary.

Thanks, Kim! *

1 comment:

  1. Hi, Jon! I am so thrilled to have found your blog. I got to it because I am a NY based actor and business coach, and I have a Google Alert set up for a number of industry folks, including Kim. Compassion and collaboration are so rarely discussed in our industry, and I think that what you are doing here is remarkable. Can't wait to read more.

    Hope to meet you in person sometime soon...

    Erin Cronican