I love it when clients call seeking boxers, banjo players or bowlers; when the phone rings with a request for Templar Knights, ancient Mayans or accordion players with bad comb-overs; and when I’m asked to find ‘real people’ of diverse backgrounds for commercials and print ads. But what really energizes me is working with people to bring out their best during an audition.
I feel so fortunate working in an industry I love and being part of the creative process. I take pride in my services and truly enjoy all aspects of casting.
In 1984 I joined the Moore Creative Agency as a talent agent. It was a boom time for models and actors in the Twin Cities, and I learned about the industry from being in the center of the activity.
That year we received daily requests for punk rockers for a little movie being shot in the Twin Cities. The movie was called Purple Rain. I would scout on my lunch breaks and then scour the town at night for punkers - and I loved it! That’s when I realized there was an opportunity to establish myself as a casting director.
A few years later my husband and I set out on a year-long backpacking trip throughout Southeast Asia. Daniel worked as a travel writer for newspapers and magazines, and I was the photographer. I was intrigued by the fascinating people we encountered throughout our travels and mesmerized by their exotic faces. Every face told a story, which I attempted to capture through my lens. My dream was to turn my passion for people - specifically interesting, unique, and memorable people - into my career.
In 1989 I opened Akerlind Steele Casting. We were hired to cast many of the large films that came to town, including the three Mighty Ducks movies and Jingle All The Way, as well as local and national commercials.
Over time, I have refined my focus. In addition to typical castings I like to work on challenging projects, such as ‘real people’ castings and castings that call for unique and diverse people.