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Business // Entrepreneurs
Alana Folen

Casting, Mentoring Local Actors

Casting director Margaret Doversola. Photo from Margaret Doversola

As a casting director, Margaret Doversola of Margaret Doversola Casting has important roles to fill. As a highly skilled entrepreneur in the TV and film industry, Doversola says the concept of her business is to provide the producers of a project with actors they feel are capable and experienced enough to handle the role as well as present the physical characteristics appropriate for the role.

“Therefore, the casting director has to have a large pool of talent to fulfill those needs,” she says. “I am hired to show the producers what is available, and to keep casting as long as necessary to fill the bill and prevent producers from having to bring actors from the Mainland, and thus save the budget.”

Born in Manchester, England, and raised in Tasmania, Australia, Doversola got her feet wet while working as the producer’s assistant and Jack Lord’s secretary in the original Hawaii Five-0. While being in the same office with the casting team, she quickly learned the ropes and worked closely with the casting director to help with the workload. For Doversola, this was an invaluable experience.

“Since there is nowhere to learn how casting is handled except by being in a casting office, this was a great learning experience. Having had quite a lot of acting experience on stage, I was very interested in the casting process,” she recalls. “So, when Magnum, P.I. came along, I was one of the few people here who had any experience with the job. I first started hiring extras for Magnum and at the end of the second season I was made casting director, and remained there until the end of that series, which was eight successful years.”

Currently in between projects, Doversola works from home, but when working on a show, she relocates to its production offices. In addition to local producers, Doversola works with a broad range of clientele from Hollywood to New York and all points in between.

“I provide the producers with the ability to choose local actors wherever possible, as well as hire all the extras, stand-ins and photo doubles, and often provide technical advisers who have all types of abilities and experience needed to provide real-world expertise on many subjects within the script,” she explains.

Prior to making a name for herself as a renowned casting director here in the Islands, Doversola worked as a schoolteacher, as well as a payroll/personnel supervisor in Waikiki. She studied at University of Tasmania and BYU Hawaii, and earned a degree in education with an emphasis on speech and drama.

Throughout her career, Doversola has had the opportunity to change the lives of many aspiring actors.

“I have been lucky over the years to have worked steadily, and the reward is that I have developed many young actors and helped them get their union cards, which enables them to then go to the Mainland to pursue their dreams,” she adds.

Doversola says her main goal is to help develop talent here in Hawaii, so that local actors can gain enough experience to build a good resume and find work. In order to achieve this goal, Doversola also teaches acting and will lead an adult acting class April 14. For more information, call 396-0818.

“I really want to impart my knowledge and experience to both children and adults with a love of acting and the film business,”

Doversola says. “I also enjoy advising the actors on the necessities of the business and what they should be doing to prepare to start a career in a very tough business.”

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