Christa Schamberger-Young CSA
Richard Lothian
Independent Casting Directors for Film & Television
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THE BOSS!
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CHRISTA SCHAMBERGER - YOUNG CSA
(B.A. L.T.C.L.)
I was born in Nairobi, Kenya. My father was an adventurous Swiss with a passion for Africa and my mother was born in South West Africa, (Namibia), so we used to travel extensively across East and Southern Africa.
Early schooling was in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania and Mombasa, Kenya. High school in Windhoek, Namibia, followed by a Bachelor of Arts degree in English and Drama from the University of Natal in Durban. Post Graduate qualifications include a Licentiate in Speech and Drama from Trinity College, and I studied briefly at the Laban School of Movement in London.
I taught Drama and Creative Movement at primary and high school level, lectured students at Technikons and Teacher Training Colleges as well as Post Graduate Students at the University of Durban-Westville before establishing two drama and dance studios in Durban and Pietermaritzburg.
I also freelanced with a variety of Theatre in Education (TIE) companies as actress, director and choreographer.
I moved to Johannesburg and entered the film industry in 1985, gaining experience in the production office and on set as an A.D. I ventured into casting in 1987 and established myself as a freelance Casting Director for Feature Film and Television Drama.
Feature Film highlights would certainly include working with gifted and experienced directors like Clint Eastwood on “Invictus”; Raoul Peck - who flew from New York to audition Pamela Nomvete for a lead role in “Sometimes in April”, Richard E Grant on “Wah-Wah”, and Belgian director Jean van der Velde whose films “Silent Army”, “Hoe Duur was de Zuiker” and “An Act of Defiance”, the story of Bram Fisher, all achieved “Golden Calf” awards in Holland.
Tom Hooper’s film “Red Dust” starred Hilary Swank, with Jamie Bartlett holding his own against the Oscar winner. It’s always great to work with Mira Nair – most recently on “The Queen of Katwe”, while Carol Ballard taught me so much about working with children in film on “Duma”. Casting for Tarsem Singh on his now iconic film “The Fall” was a roller coaster creative ride!
Special projects must include all four seasons of “Black Sails” which gave several South African actors an opportunity to take on 108 significant lead and support roles. I succeeded in getting young South African actress Masali Baduza cast in the lead role “Noughts & Crosses”, the controversial BBC series shot in Cape Town in 2018/19. There is no greater thrill than seeing South African talent stepping up to the challenge of international expectation.
My Emmy Nomination was for Generation Kill, a seven-part TV series based on the book which dealt with the American-led invasion of Iraq. This sprawling production was shot in Nambia, Mocambique and South Africa. I also received a SAFTA nomination for Best Ensemble Casting for Leon Schuster’s film Mama Jack.

Awards include a SAFTA for Best Ensemble Casting for “The Mating Game” and a Crystal Award as an Unsung Hero from Women in Film.

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RICHARD LOTHIAN
 Richard graduated from City Varsity Film School in 2006 after receiving the Most Promising Actor Awards in his 3rd year. After a year of stunt training he landed his first professional job playing a Russian acrobat in a theatre production. After a period in Industrial theatre, Richard broke into film and television, with roles in Black Sails, Northmen, Momentum and Dr Who among the highlights.
During his eleven year period as an actor in film, Richard’s generous nature made him a very popular Audition Reader with most of the Casting Directors in South Africa. He found that he was drawn to the way Christa and Digby work with actors in the audition studio and also found that their nurturing process opened a new and rewarding area of job satisfaction.
In 2017 Richard wrote Christa a letter of intent, saying that if she would take him under her wing and teach him all she knows, he would step away from acting and fully dedicate himself to becoming a Casting Director and continue Christa’s ethos in the way she works in the industry.
Richard says: “Three years later and about twenty Credits as Christa’s Casting Associate, I have not looked back for a moment. I believe in the wonderful potential we have in this country and wake up every day passionate to play my part in finding the right people for the right roles and working closely with international Directors and Producers.”
Whenever possible, Richard guest-lectures at some of the acting schools and occasionally works as a Fight Choreographer for theatre productions, such as West Side Story, King Kong and Tiger Bay.

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TECHNICAL ASSISTANT, Johannesburg
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BEN TJIBE
Hailing from Moloto, North-East of Pretoria, Ben Tjibe is a bit of a "Da Vinci Child"

He has built his own computer from second-hand parts and taught himself how to use it. He is a self-taught musician, writer, illustrator, designer and graphic artist. He has worked on a promotional comic book for the movie Max and Mona”, worked as a Storyboard Artist for the feature films How to Steal Two Million”,The Short Cut”, “The Whale Caller”, and the music video Akulaleki by Samthing Soweto. 

He was the screenwriter and storyboard artist on the movie “The Adventures of Supermama” for which he also created all the promotional material (trailer, poster design) The film was released in South African cinemas on June 14, 2019.

Ben has also appeared in numerous TV advertisements such as the SAB campaign to stop underage drinking, and various DStv ads: DStv Upgrade, DStv Bula. He starred in the art film When I Grow up I want to be Black Man directed by Jyoti Mistry, and has a cameo in the movie “The Adventures of Supermama” . Yes, he Is all over the place.

Ben works with Christa Schamberger as Casting Assistant / Technician/Master Tea Maker at the Johannesburg studio or wherever he is needed. He is currently learning computer animation and music composition for film. Ben was unwillingly forced to be on Instagram (by an actor), you can find him there. See some of his work on his YouTube channel.

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DIGBY YOUNG
Not many men get paid by their wives to look closely at the Talent! 
Ex DOP / Writer / Director Digby Young dropped out of Pretoria University and the Pretoria Onderwyskollege (Teacher Training College) in 1973 to hop on the shiny new SABC TV bus, part of the first group of crew trained under BBC & Thames TV instructors. In spite of nearly being fired as a “Kommunis”, he eventually became Principal Film Cameraman.
    The prospect of a desk job scared him away to Helsinki, Finland, where he freelanced as a DOP on commercials for two years while writing his first film script. A short trip back to South Africa in 1981 to shoot the film became permanent when the film collapsed and local TV Drama contracts piled up six months in advance.
    He then co-wrote several TV series for the separate and not at all equal “Black” TV channels while directing hundreds of TV commercials. Taking yourself seriously while selling frozen chicken is a mental-health hazard, so he seized the opportunity to become second unit cameraman on the BBC “Rhodes” series and other international productions.
    Six weeks of helping his Casting Director wife Christa Schamberger-Young set up her studio turned into a whole new career

Our Audition Readers
One of the ways in which we strive to provide a supportive audition environment is to use professional actors as "Readers". Being a good audition Reader requires sensitivity, generosity and above average acting skill.  We try to use Readers who are not eligible for any of the roles being auditioned - however, the pool of suitable volunteers is small.

In cases where an artist is also eligible for one of the roles - or is asked to audition by a Director prepared to re-think the role - the Reader's own audition is scheduled for another day, for which another Reader is used if at all possible. This policy ensures that the Reader has time to change their "head space" to concentrate on the role as an Actor and helps allay fears of favouritism.

Although a small gratuity is paid to Readers, most make themselves available because they discover that being a Reader - especially at Call Backs - is a fantastic opportunity to work with a variety of Directors with an international profile. Even first-round auditions provide a unique opportunity to observe and learn from a variety of actors they might not normally get to work with.

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