"Industry Spotlight" is our monthly series where we interview professionals from across the entertainment industry about their current jobs and career trajectories. Our hope is that you will learn more about the positions you're already interested in, discover new roles you may not have considered, and utilize the wisdom of those who've paved the way before you to forge your own path for success.
This month, we sat down with Casting Director/Producer Francine Dauw, Owner of Aberrant Creative, a boutique casting and production company that specializes in casting for unscripted and branded content. Recent credits include DOGS (Netflix), DR. PIMPLE POPPER (TLC), and SUPERNANNY (Lifetime).
HOLLYWOOD RESUMES: In one sentence, how would you define your job?
FRANCINE: I find really amazing stories for different types of projects, and sometimes I produce and direct them too!
HR: What is your day-to-day like?
FRANCINE: A lot of emails and a lot of phone calls! Honestly, every day is different, which is why I like that that I get to do many different things in this industry. I run a casting company and also produce and direct documentaries.
HR: What do you like most about your job?
FRANCINE: Talking to people and uncovering their stories, learning as much as I can about them, and then figuring out the best way to tell those stories.
HR: How did you get your current job?
FRANCINE: I worked very very hard for many different companies and then realized I wanted to do things differently. I took a very big chance and went out on my own...but this is where I will say my partner in the company, Matt Shelley, comes in. He was a big believer that we could make this company successful and do things differently, and he championed us. If he hadn't done that, I really don't think I would be doing what I am doing now. I would probably still be working for other people, not as happy.
HR: What was your first job in Hollywood?
FRANCINE: I interned for a documentary production company for 2 years. Started out as intern there, and by the very end, I was the production manager on a documentary called "Nursery University" for the company.
HR: What are key attributes someone would need to succeed in your position?
FRANCINE: Extremely self-motivated, a good listener -- both to your subjects and your clients -- and must be willing to work all hours of the day and night to get the job done right! Must never settle. Must expect big things from your colleagues but also treat everyone with respect and dignity.
HR: If you don't like ____________, you won't like my job.
FRANCINE: If you don't like working very long days and on the weekends and having nearly every holiday ruined, don't run your own production or casting company.
HR: What’s something you do in your job that an outsider wouldn’t expect (and maybe you didn’t expect before you took the job!)?
FRANCINE: When you are a producer or run a company, yes, you are the "top dog," but being the top dog often means you are still doing small tasks. If a client or cast member could really use a coffee, and you are the only one around, guess what? You go get that coffee!
HR: What’s a mistake you made early on in your career?
FRANCINE: Not admitting mistakes and being defensive when I didn't know all the answers or did make a misstep! Now that I have 16 years of experience under my belt, I am often admitting when I don't know something or when I have made a mistake.
HR: If you could give one piece of advice to someone trying to break in/move up in the industry, what would it be?
FRANCINE: Work hard. I really mean that. Always ask your boss at the end of the night, "What else can I do to help you?" Just that simple question gave me more responsibilities and had my bosses put more trust in me, and therefore pushed me ahead of other team members, got me bigger job titles and more money...climbing that ladder!