Jenny O'Haver is the owner of O'Haver + Company, a group of three casting directors--herself, Debbie Savitt-Salners, and Mimi Callard--specializing in commercials.
With a goal of doing more groundbreaking casting and session delivery via the Internet, O'Haver
+ Company says it is on the leading edge of commercial casting.The three find, more and more, that they are also casting "real people" in commercials, a trend they find very satisfying.
First Casting Job: For O'Haver
, that was in 1989, assisting Barbara Clamanon on the feature Defending Your Life.
"I was temping," said O'Haver
first job with O'Haver
was Equal Justice, the 13-part Thomas Carter series in 1990.It was not until autumn 2001 that Savitt-Salners reunited with O'Haver
Currently Casting: "A huge spot for Pontiac, several spots for Coca-Cola
with [director] Leslie Dektor, and a Dodge spot with [directing company] Traktor," listed O'Haver
, noting that all three of these ads are in Spanish."We're also just wrapping spots for Gallo wine, a brand of European curly snacks, and spots for the California Children and Family Commission and the American Cancer Society
," for which O'Haver
noted, "they will try to find real women who are going through chemotherapy."
chimed in: "These women are so giving, so open, so beautiful.The actors auditioning to play image consultants to these real women were so moved during the casting session.So were we."The New Spanish-Language Division: "I speak Spanish, and I had been doing some Spanish-language stuff off and on.I really wanted to flex those muscles," O'Haver
began."I had a good handle on the Spanish-language market.I knew the actors." O'Haver
brought in Callard
late last year.
We want to make this experience as fulfilling as possible for everyone who works with us," O'Haver
"I look for actors to be professional," O'Haver
insisted."That means being on time, being in character, knowing your lines, and having a good attitude."
Advice for Actors: "Treat your career like a business," O'Haver
advised."You, the actor, are the product.Your abilities need to be honed and kept fresh.Your headshots are your promotional material and should be kept up-to-date."O'Haver
further advised actors to have their most updated contact information on their resumes."Make yourself easy to reach with a cell phone that is charged, a pager, a message center you check often."
+ Company recommends commercial classes."It's important to know the basics for commercials.
+ Company generally does not attend theatre or workshops unless it is casting something theatrical, and it does not accept unsolicited demo reels.
Alternative Submission Methods: O'Haver
+ Company considers itself technically advanced.Noted O'Haver
, "I'd like to see more agents submitting online.Being able to prep from a computer gives us more freedom to work from anywhere, and it's much less garbage to add to the environment.We do accept online submissions.I'd like to get into the habit of incorporating online submissions into our normal routine even more than we already do."Still, O'Haver
admitted, "Going through stacks of pictures is a hard habit to break."
added, "Booking talent is my favorite part of the job.Isn't it everybody's?It's also fun to see our work on the air."BSW O'Haver
+ Company451 N. La Cienega Blvd.Los Angeles, CA 90048www.ohaver.net