Winsome Sinclair is one of the most sought after Casting Directors on the East Coast and has collaborated with some of the most influential filmmakers in Hollywood. Some of the titles she has cast include Amistad, Malcolm X, Waiting to Exhale, For Colored Girls, Abduction, Pariah and more.
As the founder of Winsome Sinclair Associates, the dynamic casting diva has over 20 years of experience in the game and proudly reveals that she still loves her job. In addition to casting, Sinclair wears other hats including producer, philanthropist and mentor. Here, she reveals how she broke into Hollywood behind the scenes and why the flame for her passion keeps her motivated to be a phenomenal woman.
Did you always dream about becoming a casting director? How did you get to where you are today?
Actually, I didn’t always want to do casting. I didn’t really know what it was before I worked on my first film set. What I did know at the age of 9 was that when I grew up I wanted to do something that made other peoples dreams come true, and I wanted to do something that I loved it so much I would do it for free. When I was 23 I worked on my first film set and casting fulfilled all I was looking for in a career. My journey is and was and amazing one. I have traveled the world and meet some pretty amazing people and had some amazing opportunities. I could never have planned or even dreamed this however I am humbled and I am grateful that even after all this time I still look forward to tomorrow and to what God has next in store for me.
What made you decide to become your own boss?
I decided to become my own boss because I had a teacher in elementary school tell our class that we shouldn’t just aspire to grow up and get a job we should aspire to be someone that creates jobs for others.. I took that and ran with it!
What are some of your biggest concerns as a Black woman in the casting world?
One of my biggest concerns is that even casting directors get type cast. The powers that be tend to think that because you are black then you only know black talent and you cant cast white films or films that star different ethnic groups. A major career victory for me was landing the job on Amistad. That is one of the few films that I went after. I really wanted to work with Spielberg. Another one was casting Belly, working on Precious and on Sparkle. I also loved doing Inside Man because Jodie Foster and Christopher Plummer are two of my favorite actors.
What has been the biggest challenge you faced in your career and how did you overcome?
The biggest challenge I faced in my career thus far was after 9/11, and I had to make a decision whether I would stay in this industry. I overcame it with lots of prayer and late night talks with my brother and adviser, Kirk. He helped me to see that this was more than a job or a career for me it was a love and in some ways my ministry. So, here I stayed and I have no regrets.
What advice do you have for young women who might now be interested in a career in casting?
The best advice I can give to young women interested in casting is, learn your craft. Know talent, see lots of films and also know that having good character and integrity will take you further than anything else, not only in this career but also in life. Also, get yourself some wonderful mentors, you will need them and you will treasure them.
What’s next for you?
Professionally, I plan to continue casting and producing more. My production company is Legacy Media Group. I also plan on launching the WSA International Film Festival in 2013 and taking my Blueprint Series, which is career coaching for beginning actors on tour in the U.S., as well as expanding the Breezes Lifestyle Brand and finally writing my book. Personally, two things are my priority and that’s marriage and babies. I also want to concentrate more on my philanthropic work.
Find out more about Winsome Sinclair here.