Um. Wow.

I had a rough day of prereads. Rough. More no-shows than I’ve ever seen in my casting career. A room that was way too hot for me by the end of the day. Communication glitches that were just annoying. It was a long day. But I love casting, I ADORE actors, and getting to see all of the possibilities is always a thrilling thing. So, I came home exhausted (and a little ready to retire from casting… which I think is a good sign of a hard day’s work) and went to bed by 8pm.


Awake by midnight, I checked my email and had a “Spam Summary” from an account I no longer use. One of the items looked to be from a former coworker from my days as a columnist for Back Stage West. So, I clicked to view more. And I am so fucking shocked I don’t even know what to say.

From this week’s Best of Los Angeles issue:

Welcome to Back Stage West‘s first attempt at a “best of” issue, featuring a compilation of our readers’ favorites and staff picks.

Um. Holy crap, right? Wait.

Best Film/TV Casting Director: Mali Finn. Runners-up were Deborah Aquila, Billy DaMota, Richard DeLancy, Bonnie Gillespie, and April Webster.


Wow wow wow wow wow.

I — with under FOUR YEARS of experience as a casting director — am named among CDs who have credits like, oh, I don’t know… The Matrix; Titanic; LA Confidential; The Shawshank Redemption; Sex, Lies, and Videotape; Alias; Lost; and Knight Rider for cryin’ out loud.

Seriously… 95 years of casting experience in that group. I am responsible for fewer than four of those years. I am humbled and amazed and floored and honored to be included in that group of CDs. And I guess, even on the toughest days, maybe I’m not so bad at this job.


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  1. Hannah July 21, 2006 at 4:41 am

    Bon–congrats!!! That is soooooooooooooooooo awesome. You so completely, thoroughly, utterly rock!

  2. Ali July 21, 2006 at 5:04 am

    that’s because you’re uber-rockstar. I’m so proud of you!!!!!

  3. Ed R July 21, 2006 at 6:47 am


  4. courtney July 21, 2006 at 9:20 am

    Congratulations! I’m glad you are getting the recognition you deserve! Yay!

  5. Jode July 21, 2006 at 9:22 am

    Congrats Bonn! It’s awesome! I’ve been a “lurker” on your list and blogs for awhile now, but I had to comment on this. I’m really happy for you! Thanks for all the great info and insight.

  6. Nikki July 21, 2006 at 9:27 am

    That is so amazing! What a wonderful thing to wake up to and a great excuse to celebrate like a rock star this weekend!
    Rock on, Bonnie.

  7. Nikki July 21, 2006 at 9:31 am

    on another note, i don’t understand no-shows. seriously. there are so many actors that would give an appendage (albeit a small one) to be able to just AUDITION, and these guys don’t even show. makes me so mad!

  8. Ed R July 21, 2006 at 9:53 am

    Did I say ‘Toldja’ yet?

  9. Hal July 21, 2006 at 10:36 am

    That’s tremendous, Bon.
    I’m not surprised at all!

  10. Laura July 21, 2006 at 1:11 pm

    But of course they would honor one of the most giving casting directors in LA. May this be the first of many “Best Of” lists you appear on!! I’m doing a Happy Dance for you.

  11. Amy July 21, 2006 at 2:05 pm


  12. thedarkeruma July 21, 2006 at 7:01 pm

    that is wonderful. i’m going to get my copy today.
    ms. uma

  13. Babes July 21, 2006 at 8:16 pm

    Woo Hoo!!! I knew I had good taste in friends. Congratulations!
    (And speaking of your upcoming “Titanic” (that is to say, a major hit-in-the-making as opposed to a shipwreck)…I cannot WAIT to see who your CD brilliance selects to fill my stage!!!)
    That is…if you haven’t just been priced out of my market…but if so, I’ll just charge exorbitant back-rent of my plate so we’ll be even.

  14. Shea July 22, 2006 at 1:19 am

    Yippee!!! I was so excited when I heard today. Congrats Ms. Bonnie. It truly is very well deserved.

  15. Louisa July 22, 2006 at 6:07 am

    Congratulations. It’s always nice to be appreciated for your work and from what I have seen you certainly deserve it.

  16. Debra July 22, 2006 at 4:40 pm

    Sounds like a pretty damn good day! Congrats, sis!

  17. Susan July 24, 2006 at 12:00 am

    Couldn’t happen to a nicer person!

  18. Roger Mola July 24, 2006 at 12:49 pm

    Sorry for being “off topic”, but the Google gods have sent me here in my search for information on one of your past projects, “Teenage Dirtbag”.
    You must have a great eye for talent…you cast my son (one of the locals, he was an unnamed “classmate”. Kudos!
    I am trying to learn about the status of this project. It was believed that it would be screened some time this year, and we were anxious to see it, either on screen or through the DVD player. Do you know anything about this project, or have contact information that you can share for someone who might know?
    Thanks for casting Jared, and thanks in advance for helping me find the film.

  19. Bon July 25, 2006 at 2:40 pm

    Hannah: THANK YOU! I really appreciate the support. You’re so wonderful.
    Ali: You know you’re a goddess and I learned from the best (you) how to take praise with a smile (and hide the insecurities from time to time). Thank you!
    Ed: That means owning MySpace is next, right, my psychic friend?
    Courtney: Thank you! Not sure how “deserved” it is, as I can think of so many more AMAZING CDs in this town, but being “visible” has its perks, I guess. 😉 Heee!
    Jode: Wow! Thanks for coming out of “lurkdom” to say congrats! I really appreciate the support. So glad to know that you’ve been enjoying the info I blab on about so often. 😉 Hope you’ll comment again sometime! (PS–I had to look up KBO. Hee!)
    Nikki–THANK YOU! I didn’t do much celebrating this weekend, although Keith and I did have a little wine and some kisses (that’s always fun). Hee! Re: the no-shows… yeah. It’s always something that pisses me off, especially b/c I think of the hundreds (or thousands) of other actors who submitted and would’ve loved to be called in, while I’m sitting there during a block of actor no-shows. Grrrrrrrr. Ah well, it’s a part of the deal. From what I hear from other CDs, my no-show ratio is actually lower than most (or it was ’til last week). LOL
    Hal: Thank you… and thank you for the shout-out on your blog too. You’re so awesome.
    Laura: Thank you! A happy dance is always appreciated! You are so good to me. XXOO
    Amy: Woo! Time to celebrate, eh? 😉
    Ms. Uma: You are so freakin’ cool. Thanks for your support!!!
    Babes: You definitely hitched your wagon to a STAR, baby (and just in the nick of time, eh?). Heeeeee! Oh, and bad news about the heart-plate. I’m keeping it.
    KIDDING!!!! It’s fine. You’ll have it back when I next see you, which I hope will be before too long. We definitely need to get talking about your play. KiKi’s too!!
    Shea: THANK YOU! Your enthusiasm is much appreciated! You’re one of my favorite “discoveries” in the world of my speaking engagements. I am so happy to know you!
    Louisa!! Yay! Glad to see you commenting. How’s it going?!? THANK YOU for the post! I hope I’ll have some more fun casting news to share with you about your favorite stars someday soooooon!
    Sis: Thank you. Definitely one of my favorite days around. 😉 Despite the fact that the casting sessions were EXHAUSTING. But, we’re not focusing on that stuff! NOPE! Just the good news!
    Susan: THANK YOU! I can’t wait to work on one of your projects someday!
    Roger: Hi! No worries about being “off topic.” Thanks for writing. I actually haven’t heard what’s up with “Teenage Dirtbag.” When I last spoke with one of the cast members a couple of months ago, I was told that they were still in post-production based on what he had heard. The last time I connected with the filmmakers was longer ago than that… so, I don’t know what’s up or what the timeline might be for seeing a finished product.
    I’ll be sure to post here and at my casting website: if I get any updates at all. Glad your son had a great experience with the project! You let me know if you hear any updates before I do, okay? Thanks!
    Again, thanks everyone for the love and support!!! The journey is more fun with a team standing with you! XXOO


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