After 12 years in publishing, 36-year-old Paul Schnee became an intern at Hopkins Smith & Barden Casting, proving a fresh start is never too late.
When one of the associates relocated, Schnee
was offered a casting assistant position.
He and Kerry Barden soon fell into a pattern of working as a team, which led to the two forming Barden/Schnee Casting four years ago, after Hopkins Smith & Barden dissolved.
Since then, Schnee
has cast such major films as "The Help," "Mirror Mirror," and "Win Win.
"It was just one of these serendipitous events where everything fell into place, from the finances to the casting," Schnee
is drawn to an actor who has a "clear and readable take on the material and character," he
The same has held true for Schnee, who turned a post-college mailroom job at mega-agency ICM into a position as assistant to agency head Sam Cohn and then into a three-year gig as a production assistant for Mike Nichols.
Leaving behind the glitz and glamour for a career in publishing, Schnee spent 12 years as an editor at Random House, Simon & Schuster, and the magazine Brill's Content.
When Brill's Content
applied for that casting internship, and the rest is history.
is now toying with moving into writing and producing.
Looking to combine his
publishing experience working with writers and his
more recent work in casting, "I'd make the kind of movies I'd want to see," he
Paul Schnee on Audition Etiquette
In general, it's nice to see people come in who can read the room.
If I'm not in a chatty mood -- or certainly if you come in for the director and he
isn't chatty -- then go with that.