Got an email yesterday from a casting company in Hollywood looking for a boy with Cerebral Palsy, 10-15 years old, for a lead role in a potential television show called "Speechless." The pilot would most likely be shot in late March/early April. This casting company has worked on, among many others, films like Elf, Mona Lisa Smile, Hot Tub Time Machine, and the current NBC sitcom, "Superstore." Here are all the details they sent us:
Hello! I am currently working on a new television pilot written by Scott Silveri, and produced by Jake Kasdan and Melvin Mar. This is loosely based on the creator's life, so he understands the subject matter well. We would like to cast a child 10-15 years old with Cerebral Palsy, but we are also open to another physical disability. Would love for you to spread the word. Do you work with any children you think might be interested in this? If you have a database of parents and kids to reach out to, that would be great!
Character description is below:
[JJ DIMEO] 10-15, JJ is the eldest of the three kids. Intelligent, caring, critical and sometimes challenging, JJ is a devoted son and brother. He leads with honesty and bluntness – sometimes to a fault. JJ has an “awakening” of sorts as our story begins. Born with cerebral palsy, without the ability to speak, JJ is given a chance for a “new voice” in the person of an aide provided by a new school. As for the majority of those with C.P., cognitive function is not affected by the condition. Communication, however, has always been a tremendous challenge. So when JJ’s speech suddenly blossoms with the aid of the translator, it’s a transition for the character and the family. Things weren’t “better” before, but they were simpler. Overall, he wants what any teenage boy wants: to be understood, and to make his little brother’s life as miserable as possible… SERIES REGULAR
The pilot will most likely shoot in late March or early April in Los Angeles. Should the pilot be picked up for series, whomever we cast will need to relocate to LA forthe season, if they are not already here. This may not be an option for all families.
The full script is here, and the audition material to work with is here. Any parents who are interested can submit a short video and snapshot of their child and briefly tell us about them. We would also like a video of the audition material that I have attached in this email. Parents can read the lines, and children can react as the character “JJ.” We don’t require fancy camera work or props (like the board that JJ types on), just reactions to the moments on the page. All of the reaction moments are circled, and that’s all we need to see the kids do (laughing, head shaking, smiling, etc.) We would like the parents to read all of the character lines to set up those moments for the kids, and even read out the words that JJ is typing on the board.
Please let me know if you have any questions at all!
Parents can submit to CastingUSP@gmail.com. Thanks so much!
Susie Farris Casting
5225 Wilshire Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90036