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CASTING Directors Are
THE film world of Australia is a man
"who is sought after by
hundreds of women.
They thrill when he answers their persistent phone calls,
tremble with emotion when he
deigns to see them, and drift into rosy dreams when he speaks a few kind words of encouragement to them. His name is George Cross, and his secret-the fact that he is casting director for Cinesound
THIS jovial-faced man with
the twinkling blue eyes and silvery hair is responsible for the engaging of the cast of Aus-
tralian stars for the new Cine sound production "It Isn't Done."
And in this cast is a lovely, eighteen year-old girl called Shirley Ann Richards, who is playing a leading role. Chosen from a long list of beautiful girls, she was given this wonderful opportunity on the recommendation of this authority on feminine beauty and dramatic talent.
For twenty years one of Australia's most popular leading men, and with nearly thirty-five years of theatrical experience to his credit, George Cross admits he needs every minute of this experience in his studio position.
"JN nearly every woman's heart is
planted the firm conviction that she cculd achieve screen fame if she only had the opportunity," he says. "Even if they don't believe THEY possess it, they see this talent in their children. First on the list of the persistent invaders of my casting office are mothers with small babies who fondly imagine their darlings are abnormally intelligent and 'cute.'
" 'You should just see her antics at home,' they croon, proudly tossing their offspring in the hope that the alarmed young person will perform some quaint little trick that will capture my heart immediately.
"After the babies come the golden bobbing-curled little Shirley Temples, with their pink silk frocks, hair ribbons, and doting mammas. These are followed by eager flappers, and the list continues to the faded woman of uncertain years who is quite sure she could be a second Edna May Oliver. The extraordinary part is that only a very small percentage of these women have had any experience
)NLY the other day a girl asked to see
me. She was quite unattractive, spoke badly, had none of the poise and good deportment that are essential before a camera, and had never acted in her life. I tried to tell her as gently and as kindly as I could that she was not suit- able. She looked at me in astonishment. 'But I know I can act.' she cried. T feel it here.' 'Here' happened to be where she fondly imagined her heart to be. Her faith in herself was so intense it was strangely pathetic.
"Of course I have discovered good, natural talent in quite inexperienced people, but my advice is the same to them all. 'Go and get acting experience. Join up with an amateur group-with a country touring company if you can but act.' And, for the girl who is really interested in a screen career, study voice culture. I have had to tum down many beautiful and promising girls because voices have been of poor quality and badly produced. Then there is the question of deportment. A girl must be able to walk correctly and have grace of movement. This gives ease and
naturalness, and does away with that : jerking restlessness that makes a player appear raw and awkward in front of the
SHIRLEY ANN RICHARDS, chosen by George Cross for a leading roi* in Cinesound's "lt Isn't Done." A big career is being predicted for this
camera. Ii a girl really wishes to have a screen career, she must do all these things before she can qualify for a job.
"We recently gave a test to a girl who was decidedly talented and who was the possessor of a beautiful singing voice. The great drawback to her photographic value was a badly-shaped nose. Last week she entered a hospital and had a plastic operation to improve its shape. I believe it has been most successful. I am hoping to place her very soon, as I admire her grit and determination and ability.
"I also admire the way Shirley Ann Richards has worked for six months in our talent school t» fit herself for a part. And in Tt Isn't Done' the public will see the splendid result of the hard training that has enabled this lovely girl confi- dently to portray a leading role in a cast that includes such famous stars as Cecil Kellaway, Frank Harvey, John Longden, Harvey Adams, Campbell Copetín, Nellie Ferguson, Leslie Victor, Rita Ponsford, Hilda Dorrington, Bobbie Hunt, Ronald Whelan, Sylvia Kellaway, Harold Meade and Douglas Channel."