Z Nation - Casting by Nike Imoru, CSA
What an incredible six months I have had casting lead, guest and co-star roles for Z Nation.
At the time of writing, four episodes have aired. Z Nation, an original series for Sy Fy, has held the number one position for 4 weeks. For four weeks in a row, we have grabbed the 18-49 demographic. Not bad for an episodic series made right here in Spokane, WA. Being the lead casting director was more than I could have imagined. It was wonderful, exhilarating, terrifying and humbling - sometimes all at once. Nothing could top that; surely nothing. could. top that.
And nothing did.
Until I started coaching actors on-set: series leads, guest- and co-stars. If the intensity and speed of casting extended my reach and stretched me out of every conceivable ‘box’ and comfort zone, then coaching actors on-set was probably the purest and most distilled form of coaching I have created and shared with actors. The results - both in the actors themselves and on the screen defied the imagination in some instances; not because I say so - but the actors ‘felt’ so and on lookers ‘experienced’ so.
Since we wrapped at the end of September, I have been wondering what to do with all that content and creative energy that continues to whizz around inside my being like trillions of atoms in a particle collider. Is it time to open that dream Conservatory, here, in Spokane? Is it yet time to create the Actor’s Centre of the Northwest? Or should I continue to roam the NorthWest coaching, casting, writing, directing; whilst quietly gazing upon regional Shakespeare companies that might consider me for their season?
There is much to be said for casting 90% of roles with regional actors for any network. While my casting buddy brought some stunning LA actors to Z Nation ; he got busy with Sharknado 2 (yes, the second one) and graciously left me to my own devices. Thank you Gerald Webb!
In a 6 month period I spent 88 days coaching actors on-set, over 300 hours in live casting sessions. I reviewed close to 3000 on-line profiles (1100 just for the series regular roles) I watched well over 2000 self-taped auditions and auditioned 800 hundred actors live, from Idaho to New York. Finally I cast the series with 90% NW actors! Needless to say I have much to share from this particular and unique vantage point and I very much look forward to doing so in workshops and talks across the NorthWest.
We walk around dazed still, the Z Nation family of artists and producers, stupefied and maybe even a tad zombified as our work now plays itself out on big and small screens from Amazon to Brazil!
As always, I look forward to serving your actor in the upcoming workshops and seminars
Nike Imoru, CSA The Ultimate Actor’s Coach