24 June 2024 The Irish Film & Television Network
New Casting Agency Set Up in North West by Karen Gorman
07 Mar 2014 : Deirdre Molumby
Karen Gorman set up her Speech and Drama Academy ten years ago and now has venues in Letterkenny and Starnolar, Co. Donegal. Running the business with her husband Garry Gorman B.TECH ED., GRAD. DIP Arts, Karen’s Academy runs a programme of acting performances from September to December. The students, from age three right up to adults, also have acting performance exams with the Irish Board of Speech and Drama.

Developing from her Academy, Karen Gorman B.A., H.DIP.LS, AIB SD was inspired to set up a casting agency when she learned of her students’ struggles to apply their skills to an acting career: “I have found that people who come to my class are quite frustrated at the lack of opportunity to present themselves up here in the North West. So one thing led to another and I’ve spent the last five months really getting to know the proper ins-and-outs of the business within the country, and it’s just grown from there.

“I felt that people [here] needed somebody to represent them, to bring them out around the country and to the UK as well – to represent them and bring opportunities their way… we’re trying to bring what’s available in larger cities and make the whole process more convenient.”

Karen’s background has given her ample grounding to base her Speech and Drama Academy, as well as her new casting agency, on. She has directed and produced a number of productions for An Grianan Theatre in Letterkenny. She is also a national adjudicator and examiner with the Irish Board of Speech and Drama and thus has travelled around the country and seen the talent available: “There’s such a huge array of untapped talent, and I’ve noticed that new faces are very welcome in this business.”

One of the agency’s most recent activities was a sign-up day with Katy Moylan from casting agency Fishpond. The event took place on Sunday 23rd February in Letterkenny: “we had our current and new clients attend a sign-up session with information on auditions, castings and how to do best at them. That was only on Sunday and from that Tuesday we had a multitude of opportunity coming in.” Most recently, Karen had students going for auditions for a new feature film set in Dublin.

In March, Lisa Cannon from TV3 will be coming to deliver an Acting for Camera course to Karen’s students. The course will cover areas such as autocues, presenting to camera, audition techniques and the softer skills required for camera.

Karen enthusiastically considered the current state of her agency, having only been set up from Christmas: “we already have a huge number of clients in our books – we have a TV presenter, a writer from RTE and people who have starred in RTE programs, actors and actresses from TNaG, and involvement with TV3 from Lisa Cannon.”

On her hopes for the future, Karen stated: “We just want to keep growing and growing, and my hope and dream really is to bring as many opportunities as possible to people involved in this area, from tiny tots right up to adults. Our clients are from throughout Ireland and abroad and we look forward to constantly expanding and developing links. ”

For more information on the Karen Gorman Casting Agency, including a weblink and email address, see their profile.

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