Kidscreen » Archive » Nick’s Former Casting Director Moves To New York
After almost 15 years at Nickelodeon, former director of talent and casting Danielle Pretsfelder Demchick started his own casting company and wants to discover talent for the rest of the kids and family content industry.
Demchick’s New York-based shingle, DPD Casting, opened on Monday and it already has its first major client. Nickelodeon recently decided to outsource its casting operations and has already offered Demchick a TV movie, a series and an independent adult film (which she is happy to take on, but notes that her real passion is for children and entertainment family).
Demchick has been researching, developing and working with talent since 2008, when she joined Nickelodeon as a talent and casting department assistant. Within this team, she worked on Victorious (which gave Ariana Grande her acting debut) and met a young Justin Bieber. More recently, she has cast animated series bubble guppies and discovered lead actor Josh Dela Cruz for the new Blue’s clues.
“The children’s industry needs a unicorn,” she says. “Unlike other industries, where the focus is on bringing as big a name as possible to projects, kids and family are all about discovering and developing new talent,” says Demchick. “And while I have strong relationships with agents, I’ve also found talent on Facebook groups because I know companies are looking for the next star.”
Inclusive casting, which has become a major priority for most children’s broadcasters and major companies operating in the market, will be a major focus for DPD Casting. Demchick is also committed to building a diverse team that can connect with a wider variety of drama/actor communities to generate authentic casts for its clients. As the industry evolves to embrace authentic representation from both sides of the camera, Demchick believes casting should also come from people with lived experiences.
In 2020, she launched Nickelodeon’s Trans Youth Acting Challenge, which issued a casting call for trans children to participate in a masterclass led by trans actor Michael Cohen (Henry Danger) and compete for a special guest opportunity on Cohen’s series. This is an initiative she would like to replicate in the future.
“I’m excited to build relationships and establish new clients, and to leverage my experience in developing and finding talent for new projects,” she says.