In their quest to find and create work, Julie Asriyan, Laura E. Bray, and Jenna Ciralli, three New York City actors and friends, “became all too familiar with reading character breakdowns posted on casting call notices.” After comparing the “particularly ridiculous, hysterical and appalling” female descriptions they came across, which were “all undeniably flawed and limited,” they decided to shine a giant spotlight on their industry’s “discriminatory, stereotypical, sexist, ageist, racist” practice with a creative endeavor they call… Casting Call The Project.
The project’s first initiative is this video, which captures the reactions of actual women actors seeing and reading absurd casting call notices for the first time.
“She should be wearing an apron with maybe a floral pattern on it to underline femininity.”
“She loves being a woman, so she probably wears a push-up bra.”
“Lead actress needed in film about feminism, she’s moderately attractive.”
“Nerdy type of girl, nevertheless she has a boyfriend who loves her.”
“Prefer an actor who is not thin. This is a great role for a feminist.”
“We are hoping that this fun and cathartic project will contribute to the conversation about the deeply flawed ideas of female characters and work for women in the arts in general,” the founders write on their website. “We hope that it will keep all of us (of every gender) talking, thinking, asking and most importantly CREATING OUR OWN WORK that will, in turn, bring about the roles we all want to see for female actors.”
While the video has us cracking up, its disturbing punch line – the pervasiveness of gender stereotypes and sexism in the entertainment world – is actually making us want to upchuck.