Christa Schamberger-Young
+27 11 440 3477
Independent Casting Director
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Cape Town & Johannesburg
(The Casting Connection cc)
South Africa

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2003 to 2005 2006 to 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 201220132014
December 2007
The End of an Era

            Images/PennyCharteris/PennyRetirementCrop35.JPGOne of South Africa’s  oldest actors’ agencies, Penny Charteris Associates, has closed after nearly thirty years. In an interview with the industry newspaper "The Callsheet" Penny said: 
            “I’ve had Rheumatoid Arthritis for nearly thirty years and I have been in pain for some time. Last year when I phoned Elize Labuschagne, the Chair of the PMA (Personal Manager’s Association) to let her know I might have to close the Agency, she suggested that we might merge our agencies. I then had an elbow replacement, which was not very successful. What with being in pain long-term and being away from the office so much, I just felt that perhaps the time had come...”

Christa felt that such a milestone could not go unacknowledged, so she arramged "a little get-together" at The Actor's Centre at the Johannesburg Civic Centre. Penny has been an ardent supporter of the Actors Centre since it's inception, and has funded a bursary for a disadvantaged student for several years.

Penny arrived on Sunday morning the 9th of December 2007 thinking that a few of her actors were "going to give the Old Girl a quiet little send-off, you know!"

Well, not quite...  right-click HERE to save a Printable PDF file to your computer) [466Kb]

Apart from being a highly respected agent, Penny has been a dear friend to us for many years - in fact she lays legitimate claim to being responsible for our marriage.... "but that's another ball of cake" - as Penny says!

Client Mark Graham (Theatre Director) with Penny and Actors' Centre Founder Dorothy Ann Gould and Stephen Feinstein, the new Artistic Director of The Actors' Centre

December 2007

After traversing the entire width of Southern Africa from Namibia on the West Coast to Maputo on the East Coast, Generation Kill (aka "Blown Deadline") finally set up camp within reach of the Studio. Much of the last two weeks of  the seven-month shoot took place around the oil refining town of Sasolburg, about an hour's drive away.

Christa with Extras Casting Dept

Christa with Extras Casting Director & co-ordinator Jackie Mayou and On-Set Extras co-ordinator Marcelleno Trout.
Christa with Susannah

Director Susannah White, who recently  emerged from the editing room  to go back to war and direct episode  seven.

The Girls with The Boys!
The girls with some of  The Guys - Natalie's grin hasn't faded yet!
Rudi Reyes (Sgt. "Fruity Rudi" Reyes), Christa, Sgt. Eric Kocker (Military Advisor), James "PJ" Ransone (Cpl. Ray Person), Natalie Grcic (Christa's Assistant)
Patrick Mynhardt
1932 - 2007
Veteran South African actor Patrick Mynhardt passed away in London today, 25th October 2007. He was performing a short season of his autobiographical "The Boy From Bethulie"  at the Jermyn Street Theatre.

Although heavily identified for decades by the South African public with the characters he brought to the stage from the writings of Herman Charles Bosman, Patrick's career spanned more than half a century on stage, television and film in the United Kingdom and South Africa. He continued to do cameos in South African and International films.

Patrick Mynhardt
Patrick during his last audition at our studio in August this year.

He prepared for the smallest part as though it was his biggest and brought a choice of props and wardrobe to every audition. This legendary South African actor will be sorely missed, even if only because of the gentlemanly respect he showed Christa.

          Once, Christa thanked Patrick for auditioning – and re-auditioning - for a Commercial at the insistence of the Client. Patrick’s flamboyant reply has engraved itself in the folk lore of our studio:

“Oh no, no, no my dear, don’t apologise! You know how I love coming here... 
After all, I am an Actor, and every audition is such a wonderful chance to ACT!”

We will miss his consummate professionalism and dedication.

Oom Patrick

Photo: Christiaan Kotze / Rapport

25 October 2007

September 2007
Director Paul Ruven and reader Daniel Janks with Christa.
Surprise director
Paul gave us a new angle on comedy during auditions for his film "Surprise". With his leading man, Dutch actor Frank Lammers, he gave several call-back actresses an energetic workout - giving a whole new meaning to the term "Street Casting".
Frank Lammers
Exploiting Frank's exceptional improvisational skills, we raced the girls up and down the street outside the studio, with the Studio cameraman in fruitless hot pursuit! Our neighbours are used to occasional odd happenings, but the new Security guard did not know how to deal with a wildly gesticulating Hollander falling down in the middle of the street, fending off vicious attacks from a sucession of petite, very pretty young ladies!

Mosa Kaiser
Although everybody had a great dealof fun, Frank's consummate professionalism was a joy to experience. I hope that  Mosa Kaiser  made the best of the opportunity to work with this fine comedic actor.
June 2007 Rampai Mohadi - Back from New Orleans & LA
Rampai on SetRampai Mohadi won the role of "Ota Benga"  in "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button" and has been working with heavyweights Brad Pitt and Cate Blanchet on this huge American production in New Orleans since December 2006. Rampai made the most of the experience off set too, becoming involved in Community work while in New Orleans.
    He's keen to share his experience with fellow actors, so we'll be working on helping this unassuming, generous ambassador for South African actors to do so at our Studio...

Rampai Mohadi reviews a take with Director David Fincher

May 2007
"Generation Kill" SA Cast Leave For Boot Camp!
GK Send-off
Daniel Janks (Cpl. Eric Wassik) Theo Landey (Sgt. Damon Fawcett) Sidney Hall (Cpl. Teren "T" Holsey) and Kyle Siebert (Cpl. John Burris) get a send-off from Christa at Johannesburg's O.R. Tambo International Airport on their way to two weeks of boot camp in the Namibian desert under a real live Marine!

Justin Shaw
 Also on their way from Johannesburg were:Denton Douglas
Justin Shaw (Sgt. Michael “Budweiser” Brunmeier) and

 Denton Douglas (Cpl. Trevor Darnold)
Langley Kirkwood
Langley Kirkwood (Sgt. Steven Lovell)
 Daniel FoxWeb                                            Bjorn Steinbach
Daniel Fox (Pfc. John Christeson) and .Bjorn Steinbach (Cpl. Michael Stinetorf)left  from Cape Town 
May 2007
Ros Hubbard Christa Web.JPG
Nice to put a Face to a Voice...

Christa has dealt with Hubbard casting in London for several years, so it was a pleasure to provide Ros Hubbard with studio facilities while she was in Johannesburg on a "Look-See" for an upcoming project...
    Also reassuring to meet another casting Director who believes in creating a positive and supportive atmosphere to allow Actors to deliver their best.
April-May 2007
GK Casting Group
Pretty Intimidating!

Imagine being  a well brought up young Actor... You and a buddy practice your  scenes on the lawn outside the studio because if you practiced at home, your mother would smack your head for using such rough language....
...then you're called into the studio to yell that same dialogue at these nice Ladies!
    Christa with Company Pictures Producer Andrea Calderwood (Top Right), Emmy Award winning Alexa Fogel, New York-based Casting Director, (Bottom Left), and Generation Kill Director Susannah White (Eps. 1 to 3) after Director's Call Backs.

April 2007
Natalie Joins the Team...
After obtaining her Honours degree in Dramatic Arts from the University of the Witwatersrand, Natalie Grcic did product placement on two major South African TV series before realising she’d “sold out” -  the work was more corporate than artistic.  She moved on and soon found herself in the casting office looking for work - not as an actress but as the assistant. 
She is very happy to be a “part of the team” and agrees with Christa: “All actors are nuts!”
(Natalie says she's a Cashew!)

Already hard at work breaking down scripts for new projects, Natalie has quickly adapted to the frenetic pace of a Casting Studio when deadlines for a current project look like overlapping with the revival of several apparently dormant movies!
March 2007
Shake ADR session

Shake Hands With The Devil - ADR session

We recently handled the South African ADR session of Roger Spottiswoode's  film about the bravery of General Dalliere and the UNAMIR troops virtually abandoned in Rwanda to face the 1994 genocide.
The Director cast several South African actors during a two-day session in our studio last year, then took them to Kigali to shoot on many of the actual locations in difficult conditions.
We linked up Videolab across town with a studio across the world in Montreal, Canada, to make the session possible.

Dialogue coach Fiona Ramsay & veteran actor Owen Sejake during the ADR session.
March 2007
 Rampai Mohadi - Still Travelling!
Another international success story!
Rampai Mohadi won the role of "Ota Benga"  in "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button" and has been working with heavyweights Brad Pitt and Cate Blanchet on this huge American production in New Orleans since December 2006. Based on an F. Scott Fitzgerald story,Rampai Workshop Eric Roth's Screenplay is direced by David Fincher. Briefly back in Johannesburg before going to Los Angeles for his final calls, Rampai has clearly made the most of his extraordinary experience. 
Workshopping in my studio with this gifted young South African performer prior to his departure for New Orleans was a tremendously creative and exciting experience, but Rampai will undoubtedly bring his unique personality to the creation of his complex, almost mythical character. He has commented positively on the warmth and care with which he was welcomed in the United States.
Recent graduate Frances Marek reads in for Rampai Mohadi during one of the workshop sessions at our studio.

March 2007
Moshidi Motshegwa - Home Again!
Moshidi MotshegwaMoshidi Motshegwa adds to her growing body of international work by playing a leading romantic role in this Dutch TV series shooting in Holland and on a South African wine farm. Auditions were originally held in Afrikaans and there was no doubt that Moshidi captured the Director's imagination at her first read.
A demanding role was later compounded by the Director's insistence that Moshidi perform her role in Dutch. Working in a foreign language through a cold Dutch winter on a distinctly European set gave Moshidi a unique perspective on the challenges faced by actors working in a foreign country.
 "When support structures that you usually take for granted are not available, you have to dig deep to find other anchors for your confidence and professionalism," she says.
The Dutch production tells a gritty and complex story of life on a wine farm established by a Dutch family.

Studio - new cycloramaFebruary 2007
Studio Improvements
We've given the studio a more modern, cleaner look by installing a neat grey Cyclorama. The drywall construction has the added advantage of making the studio even quieter. Over the next few months we'll be improving ventilation too - Global Warming is not just a theory!
    Our Web site is undergoing changes too, so for a week or two into April the style will be inconsistent.

MTAG Pilot shootFebruary 2007
More Than Just A Game
Working on a tight budget, documentary director Junaid Ahmed needed a quiet location in which to interview Robben Island veteran Tony Suze for the pilot of Video Vision Entertainment's More Than Just A Game, a  docu-drama which tells the fascinating story of the part played by Soccer in unifying the prisoners on Robben Island against their Apartheid-era jailers. This was not the first time our Casting Studio has been used for a Shoot, and probably won't be the last...

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