Keep yourself surrounding by honest Individuals!! This keeps you going and you will be more successful if they are looking for everyone’s success and not just their own!!
As a part of our series about Inspirational Women In Hollywood, I had the distinct pleasure of interviewing Nancy McBride.
Nancy McBride has a natural gift for recognizing talent. It was no surprise years ago when from her own experience as a parent of gifted child actors she founded the largest parent network of child talent. She soon became an authority, serving as an advocate for parents with kids in the industry. That lead her to the role she loves today, as a Casting Directing to both children and adults.
Nancy is now the go-to National Casting Director for everything from Film, Commercials, Infomercials, and Industry videos. Her clients have included the likes of Campus Crusades, MTV, CMT, Bass Pro Shop, Super Nanny, NASA, ESPN, C Media/HBO Casting, Atlas Films/Dr. G Medical Examiner, Jordan Direct, and many more.
Nancy has served on numerous panels, and held workshops in the film industry. Nancy is highly respected among her peers for her ability to meet their needs above and beyond expectation. Nancy also brings to any production a solid knowledge of actors; unions, and the legal requirements for production. Nancy also serves as the President of Women in Film and Television for the State of Florida and President of Women in Film and Television United States.
Thank you so much for doing this with us! Our readers would love to get to know you a bit better. Can you tell us the story of how you grew up?
Iwas raised in a small town in Texas. I was a tomboy and loved playing in the woods with the boys. We played army. Our parents bought us army outfits and we would spend hours building forts and defending them!
Can you share a story with us about what brought you to this specific career path?
When my daughter was born, everyone told me how cute she was and she needed to model. This was pre-internet days, so trying to find out how to make that happen was very difficult. There were to many organizations trying to get parents for thousands of dollars offering them the dream. When my daughter was 11 years old she sang for the talent show and blew the audience away.. I couldn’t believe the voice that came out of here. So I knew I had to find her a path to sing and perform. The internet was really taking off and more access to information. I learned where auditions were held and started taking my children ( i had four by now). Back in this time parents weren’t allowed to talk to each other at auditions, so I started infiltrating and asking questions on how to do this and how to do that.. I knew if I had these questions other parents had the same questions.. My husband was a software engineer and I asked him to build me something to share information with other parents, and he put me together on a forum. Before long it became the largest Parent network of Child talent and then NY started calling me and LA needing children.. Since I had children in the Industry, I waited a while before I took the title, I just helped our families get work and concentrated on my children’s passion.
Can you tell us the most interesting story that happened to you since you began your career?
This Industry is very clickish, doesn’t matter how hard you try and succeed some groups are hard to tap into. Recently a Producer I really wanted acceptance from called me just to chat and tell me what a great job I was doing. She will never know just how much that meant to me and how much I treasure that call.. So sometimes when you doubt the work you are doing or doubt yourself, it is amazing how the Universe gives you the signs you need to keep going!
Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?
When i was starting off, I was helping a Casting Director on Paramounts October Road Television Pilot shooting in Macon Ga. She asked me to bring headshots of boys to cast for the main road. So i collected 50 plus headshots and we sat down and went through them. Immediately she threw out all the boys that showed buzz cuts. Then out of the rest, she picked one boy and I called and booked him.. When he arrived he had a buzz cut. I was so irritated because he didn’t look like his headshot and a ton of other boys got discarded from the pick list. I learned that as talent, you MUST Look like your headshot or get updated pictures so that we know exactly what we are booking.
None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?
I met a gentleman named Art Smith Jr. who took me under his wing. We became great friends and He told me which professional organizations to join and which ones to avoid. The one he asked me to join was Women in Film and Television Florida. I remember him telling me one day, you will run this organization one day I know it. He believed in me when I was new and very green. I joined the organization and was soon asked to be on the Board. Within about 5 years i was voted in as President. If it wasn’t for Art pushing me to be the best I could be and guiding me, i wouldn’t be in the position I am today! I have been President for almost 5 years and within that time. I also have to give Credit to another good friend of mine,Carol Bidault de l’Isle. When i was running WIFT- FL she was VP of the WIFT-International and asked me as a president what was it I needed to help me. I said I need peer to peer learning from other Presidents. I need to know how they run their organizations and how to better WIFT-FL.. She pushed me to do a Presidential meet up, which became successful. I realized that President’s from all over the US had the same needed. Four years later WIFT US was formally born, where I am the President as well.. Art and Carol have had more impact on me than I believe they will ever know!!
You have been blessed with great success in a career path that can be challenging. Do you have any words of advice for others who may want to embark on this career path, but seem daunted by the prospect of failure?
Our industry is full of roadblocks and difficult to maneuver.. NO matter how hard it gets, keep pushing!! You will make it! No matter if its as a hobbyist or true fledge professional! Take your Destiny in your own hands and Never take NO as the final word!! Also join Women in Film and Television type organizations, we are a great support system and sisterhood that helps men and women get to the next level!
What drives you to get up everyday and work in TV and Film? What change do you want to see in the industry going forward?
I have had an amazing 18 years in Film and my desire is to help and educate others in the Industry who are trying to make it! I love my volunteer work for Women in Film and Television. It is so rewarding! Helping and teaching others is really where my passion lies! I love seeing others becoming successful and with that success, It brings me joy and personal fulfillment!
With COVID, our Industry is truly changing a lot.. Prior to COVID virtual casting was battled and wasn’t “AS” accepted and in person auditions were the preference. But since COVID, it is the way we will be casting to make it safer. Also I see that we will struggle to have huge crowds and our crew will be smaller as well.
You have such impressive work. What are some of the most interesting or exciting projects you are working on now? Where do you see yourself heading from here?
I am in post production of a documentary and in development on producing Lifetime style movies and a major feature film. I am pushing my skills sets to Producing and excited about the prospect of it!
We are very interested in looking at diversity in the entertainment industry. Can you share three reasons with our readers about why you think it’s important to have diversity represented in film and television? How can that potentially affect our culture and our youth growing up today?
Diversity is very important especially in today’s culture! I believe that we have to consider who our audience is and to make sure we meet the needs of our audience.. Our audience is our buyers and viewers. So why are we not having diversity in our films and television? Doesn’t make sense!! We should also be hiring diversity within our crew as well. It has been a man’s world for ages but women are just as skilled as men in all levels of crew! I just interviewed Jonny Caplan from Tech Talk Media and he said, I hire women because let’s be honest, they are so organized and make my crew run more smoothly! We need more productions and studios on board with this philosophy!! I also believe that if we show diversity then our children of all ethnicity will believe they can be whatever they want to be!! Isn’t that what we want as parents, to have our children believe they can succeed!!
What are your “5 things I wish someone told me when I first started” and why. Please share a story or example for each.
1) There are people in our Industry who are out for themselves
– I have ran into many people who see my success as their way to try to be friends with me to bump their success up. These type of people are not there for you but to better themselves and don’t care who they hurt along the way.
2) Never share your contacts!
– As you grow and make contacts and connections, those are the connections you earned. Treasure them and do not share them willingly.. There are people who will try to use you for those connections once again to move themself up the ladder.
3) Protect your scripts!
– Always copyright and WGA your work. This helps protect your work in case someone tries steal your work.. Never send your script to anyone to read without the copyright on it!
4) Get Everything in Writing and contracted!
– Never work on a project without having it in writing, whether you are working on deferred or points etc. Always protect yourself.. And use an attorney to read all contracts you sign!
5) Keep yourself surrounding by honest Individuals!! This keeps you going and you will be more successful if they are looking for everyone’s success and not just their own!!
Can you share with our readers any self care routines, practices or treatments that you do to help your body, mind or heart to thrive? Please share a story for each one if you can.
I love to garden- I wake up in the morning and put my music in my ears and work in my garden.. This starts my day off right and keeps me mentally healthy!!
Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?
You must not lose faith in Humanity
Humanity is the Ocean,
If a few drops of the Ocean is dirty,
The Ocean does not become Dirty.
– Mahatma Ghandi
I feel that overall we are all good people with a few bad seeds.. Don’t let those bad seeds bring you down and believe that as a whole we will prevail and succeed!!
You are a person of huge influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be?
Women in Film Organizations are all over the US and Internationally, We are mostly ran by Volunteer Boards who dedicate their time and passion to better their communities! We are working together at WIFT US to build a national network to help our Industry as a whole and build great benefits for our members! Our national crew List is live, where do you find your Crew? WIFTUS.org!!
Is there a person in the world whom you would love to have lunch with, and why? Maybe we can tag them and see what happens!
I have always wanted to work with Oprah and the OWN Network. I find she is so inspirational to women!!
My second person is Vin Diseal, I grew up on the Fast and Furious franchise and would love to work with him, he has also been and inspiration to me and my career!
Are you on social media? How can our readers follow you online?
This was so informative, thank you so much! We wish you continued success!