Magazine | November 11, 2013, Issue


Casting-Call Bulletin Board for the Washington, D.C., Area

Note to all background atmosphere: Please DO NOT contact vendors directly. ALL CASTING is to go through listed casting agents.


Older male/female: Need 12–20 older (55–80+) fit and active seniors for political video on Obamacare. Players must be in full possession of mental faculties, have all or most of their limbs, and be able to move around in a semi-rhythmic fashion. Looking for seniors who look appropriate holding various pieces of sports equipment, e.g., tennis racquet etc. If you have a similar prop, please bring it to the call. NOTE: There is one line of dialogue to be distributed: “Thanks, President Obama!” to be given to 58+ females of indeterminate ethnicity. SHOOTS TUESDAY.

Teens/tweens, mixed race, mixed genders: Need 25–30 young people (teens/tweens ONLY, please bring photo ID with DOB for verification) to appear behind President Obama at White House photo-op. Must be in excellent health, though braces on teeth etc. and glasses are A PLUS. No dialogue. Must be ambulatory and able to hug the president with convincing gratitude. SHOOTS WEDNESDAY.

Spanish/Hispanic/Mexican men and women (18–60) for RNC spot. No dialogue. Must be able to convincingly “vote” on film for Republican candidate. SHOOTS WHEN CAST.

Middle-aged couple (40–55), pref. white or Asian, for MOS (no sound) photomontage for RNC. Must be fit and attractive but have the look of sadness around the eyes, as if dreams for a better life have been smashed. No dialogue, couple must look at new health-care premiums with a stricken and devastated expression. Male looks at female with a “What are we going to do? We’re going to lose our business”–type look, female puts hand on his shoulder with a “Why did we believe the president when he said that we could keep our existing plan, and that premiums would go down?”–type expression. SHOOTS THURSDAY. 

Middle-aged WHITE males (50–65) with stern and unfeeling expressions to appear in a political advertisement for Organizing for America. All need to be able to laugh evilly in a convincing fashion as disabled children are turned away from a hospital-type set. Please come to call wearing dark or grey suit. No dialogue, but willing to work with established improvisational comedians for possible lines, etc. SMOKERS A PLUS. SHOOTS FRIDAY.

#page#Spanish/Hispanic/Mexican men and women (18–60) for DNC spot. No dialogue. Must be able to convincingly look at a photo of President Obama with an admiring and grateful expression. SHOOTS WHEN CAST.

Young adults (25–30) of ALL RACES. Need 20–40 “types,” with tattoos and other “cool” and “young” attributes for generic ballot ad for RNC. MUST BRING SMARTPHONE. Need to be healthy and fit, dressed in “tech-industry start-up”–style clothes — think J. Crew, think Zara — and MUST ALL carry messenger-style bags. No dialogue. Players simply look down at their smartphones, then look up with a “Where’s my job? I thought I was voting for ‘hope and change’ but I haven’t seen any results. Maybe I’m making a mistake voting reflexively for the Democrats. Maybe I should take another look at the Republican party. Sure, I’m basically pro-choice and I have lots of gay friends — none of that is really a big deal to me — but I also believe in entrepreneurial capitalism and the power of a fairly regulated free market. Maybe it’s time to think again”–type expression. SHOOTS OVER THE WEEKEND.

Family clusters (kids: 3–17; parents: 30–45) of all ethnicities for a DNC spot. MUST BRING two changes of clothes, one ratty and bedraggled, the other clean and neat, for before/after Obama photomontage. Will need to be able to move and dance in time as the families form a circle around the president. Children under 12 will be required to throw rose petals. No dialogue.

Spanish/Hispanic/Mexican men and women (18–60) for issue spot for DNC. Must be able to convincingly say goodbye to each other as one or the other is deported in a dangerously unsafe bus. Need to be able to weep loudly on cue. Must bring several changes of clothing. PLEASE BRING INFANT CHILDREN IF YOU HAVE THEM. No dialogue, but wailing in misery is encouraged.

Middle-aged WHITES and ASIANS ONLY for RNC senatorial spot. No dialogue. Simply walking together, arms locked, through a crowd of food-stamp/entitlement recipients. Must be able to convincingly seem like a potential political coalition. SHOOTS MONDAY.

Open call: all Hispanic/Mexican/ Latin atmosphere in D.C. area, for DNC generic ballot spot. Please arrive in street/business attire. No dialogue, but those who can show paystubs from RNC generic-Hispanic spot appearance will be paid double. Some singing possible.

In This Issue


Politics & Policy


In his recent address at the U.N., President Obama referred to Ali Khamenei, the head ayatollah in Iran. Each time, he referred to him as “the Supreme Leader.” He did ...
Politics & Policy

Games with Orson

Almost halfway through Ender’s Game, the 1985 science-fiction novel by Orson Scott Card, a pair of siblings try to manipulate global opinion by posting polemics “on the nets” — Card’s ...


Books, Arts & Manners

Politics & Policy

A Lesser God

Despite the impressive bulk of this new book about the author of The Catcher in the Rye and several of the past century’s most enduring short stories, there is an ...
Politics & Policy

Making Republics

Pierre Manent is today the leading political philosopher in France. As a young scholar and teacher, while working in Paris as an assistant to Raymond Aron, he read with attention ...
Politics & Policy

Film: Miles Above

I am in the minority among film critics in coming away a little disappointed from the movies of Alfonso Cuarón. Before his new one, Gravity, the Mexican-born director made only ...


Politics & Policy


NR on the Prairie Yesterday, my wife, a fan since childhood of the Little House on the Prairie series, visited the home of its author, Laura Ingalls Wilder, in rural Mansfield ...
Politics & Policy

The Week

‐ “You misheard us. We said we were going to cover tens of people.” ‐ The budget shutdown marked a turning point in intra-Republican politics. Heretofore the leaders in both rancor ...
Politics & Policy

System Failure

The rolling fiasco that is the launch of the health-insurance “exchanges” — the government-run online marketplaces at the heart of the Affordable Care Act — is something the Obama administration ...

Born Under a Bad Site

To fix the problems of the Obamacare website, the administration has promised a “tech surge.” We’re supposed to think of the surge strategy employed by President Bush to push back ...
The Long View


Casting-Call Bulletin Board for the Washington, D.C., Area Note to all background atmosphere: Please DO NOT contact vendors directly. ALL CASTING is to go through listed casting agents. CALLS FOR OCTOBER-NOVEMBER:  Older ...
Politics & Policy


PRAYER Tenderness does not arise from the beauty and motion of the dark clouds, of the rain, or its passing, or the air, purged in a breeze, slight but apparent, drifting from the direction of the ...
Happy Warrior

Sex at Sunset

To Western eyes, contemporary Japan has a kind of earnest childlike wackiness, all karaoke machines and manga cartoons and nuttily sadistic game shows. But, to us demography bores, it’s a ...

Most Popular


It’s Time for Colin Kaepernick to Move On

Colin Kaepernick. Remember him? Below-average quarterback. Above-average poseur. Not “activist,” not really. Activists actually say stuff. Kaepernick almost never says anything. He’s like the Queen or most popes — you have to read the deep-background musings of supposed members of his inner circle to get ... Read More

What The 1619 Project Leaves Out

“The goal of The 1619 Project, a major initiative from The New York Times that this issue of the magazine inaugurates, is to reframe American history by considering what it would mean to regard 1619 as our nation’s birth year,” The New York Times Magazine editors declare. “Doing so requires us to place ... Read More

Trump and the Black Vote

"Donald Trump is a racist, white supremacist, white nationalist. So are his supporters." Some version of that refrain is heard almost hourly somewhere in mainstream media. Democratic politicians seem to proclaim it more often than that. Listening only to the Left, you'd conclude that more than half a ... Read More
PC Culture

Courage Is the Cure for Political Correctness

This might come as some surprise to observers of our campus culture wars, but there was a time, not long ago, when the situation in American higher education was much worse. There a wave of vicious campus activism aimed at silencing heterodox speakers, and it was typically empowered by a comprehensive regime of ... Read More

The Age of Miscalculation

On August 7, 1998, more than 200 people were killed in terrorist attacks on U.S. embassies in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, and Nairobi, Kenya. Americans learned three names most of them never had heard before: Ayman al-Zawahiri, Osama bin Laden, and al-Qaeda. On August 20, 1998, President Bill Clinton ordered a ... Read More