Erica Hart

Erica Hart: New York Casting Director and Producer

The series has been established by Omar Sangare, Chair and Professor of Theatre.
This event was made possible, in part, thanks to the Lecture Committee and the Oakley Center for Humanities & Social Sciences.

In the second meeting of “The Green Room” series, an initiative created by Williams Theatre Department Chair Omar Sangare, Erica Hart spoke with the attendees on her experiences and reflections from her career in the entertainment industry as a casting director. Ms. Hart graduated from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts, where she studied film and television. She has been casting for over 10 years on many high profile projects. She started off in network and studio casting moving her way up to Casting Coordinator in the New York Office of ABC Primetime Casting. In 2014, Erica appeared in The Hollywood Reporter as a featured rising artist. She has cast projects that have screened at the Tribeca Film Festival, SXSW, Outfest, Cinequest, and the Cannes Film Festival and are streaming on Netflix and Amazon. Currently, Erica is the Casting Associate for “Ray Donovan” (Showtime), “The Bold Type” (Freeform), “Defending Jacob” (Apple), and “Godfather of Harlem” (Epix). Outside of casting, she has received grants and awards from the Puffin Foundation, New York Television Festival, and The Digital Bolex, in addition to developing new series for BET and WeTV.

Ms. Hart discussed the progression of her career, starting from her time at NYU, and recounted various events in her professional career. She told the attendees that she always knew she wanted to be involved in the entertainment industry, but just did not know specifically what she wanted to be. At Tisch, everyone was vying for opportunities in directing and writing, and she found a niche as a casting director. She mentioned that she cast nearly 20 senior theses for student films (in retrospect, she recommended against doing this). She emphasized the importance of networking–especially during college–in the entertainment industry, noting how she initially got all of her jobs through connections made at NYU. She offered insight into the casting process, which is an integral part of entertainment production that operates in the background and often goes widely unnoticed and unappreciated. She ended the conversation with advice for any aspiring industry professionals. Among other things, her advice underscored the importance of demonstrating each person’s individuality and uniqueness: make each audition unique and

make bold choices. Ultimately, Ms. Hart’s discussion and career serve as reminders that hard work and perseverance are keys to success in any industry or profession in entertainment or otherwise.

-William Titus ’23 and True Pham ’23

Erica A. Hart, CSA (Casting Professional / Producer) graduated from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts, where she studied film and television. She has been casting for over 10 years on many high profile projects. She started off in network and studio casting moving her way up to Casting Coordinator in the New York Office of ABC Primetime Casting. In 2014, Erica appeared in The Hollywood Reporter as a featured rising artist. She has cast projects that have screened at the Tribeca Film Festival, SXSW, Outfest, Cinequest, and the Cannes Film Festival and are streaming on Netflix and Amazon. THE SURROGATE (a film she cast as well as associate produced) was in INDIEWIRE’s Best Movies Eligible for a 2021 Oscar and was a VARIETY CRITICS PICK. She has cast commercials for high-end brands such as Maybelline, Gillette, Hasbro, and Delta, to name a few. She has also collaborated with The National Black Theatre and has cast a handful of their productions. Currently, Erica is the Casting Associate for “Ray Donovan” (Showtime), “The Bold Type” (Freeform), “Defending Jacob” (Apple), and “Godfather of Harlem” (Epix). Outside of casting, she has received grants and awards from the Puffin Foundation, New York Television Festival and The Digital Bolex, in addition to developing new serieses for BET and WeTV.

The Green Room