Desiree Mandelbaum is a supervising casting director at NBC Peacock Productions; here is a link to her Linkedin page:
Q: How did you become a casting director?
A: I answered a craigslist add 10 years ago. MTV was looking for casting recruiters in the LA area, as someone who grew up in LA they hired me on the spot.. I loved it, stuck with it, and worked every day so I hit double my quota..
Q: What kind of educational background do you have?
A: High School. I am a beauty school dropout..
Q: What is the weirdest thing you have ever seen anyone do during an audition?
A: A 21 year old male one shit his pants in the middle of his slate. (a slate is when someone introduces them self)
Q: What are some common mistakes people make when auditioning?
A: Not talking.. I hate when i watch raw footage, and I hear my voice more then theirs.
Q: What makes for a compelling reality show participant?
A: Someone who is not afraid to be 100% themselves on and off camera. I love when potential cast members have high energy
Q: Is reality TV a good idea for an aspiring actor?
A: Every situation is different.. Look at Jennifer Hudson.
Q: How has reality television changed over the course of the last five years?
A: I think reality tv has gotten smarter, and little less intrusive. Docu-reality is more accepted..
Q: If you could change one thing about Hollywood what would it be?
A: I am a fan of the awkward underdog.. I would love to see more movies with no name actors.
Q: Have Lena Dunham and Amy Schumer changed things for average looking women from a casting director’s perspective?
A: I cant answer for other CD’s, but I have always loved a funny girl, Both of those two are beautiful to me..
Q: The two of us end up taking a road trip as an unexpected result of this interview! Who plays us in the movie?
A: I would be Ira Glass and you would be Sara Koenig.
Please note; Eliza’s interviews are done by email. All answers are unedited and come right from the lovely fingertips of her subjects:)