Arriving in Los Angeles immediately after graduating high school at 17 years old, Kasia has had exposure to many facets of the entertainment industry. Initially moving to pursue a career in acting (starring in The WB’s Downer’s Grove just months after her arrival), she took the opportunities available in Los Angeles and began writing and performing standup comedy. She soon realised that she enjoyed not just the performing aspect of the industry, but also creating her own content. She began working behind the scenes in production, freelance producing and finding her niche in casting.
After a few years of slowly developing her Instagram, via sharing her own personal adventures showcasing her personality and colourful, quirky, pinup-inspired style, as well as her photography of other digital influencers, styled by her, brands began contacting her for collaborations and she realised that it was time to get back in front of the camera as well.
Hows it going Kasia, hows your day so far?
Hey there! Well, it’s 11pm and I just woke up from a nap and have to be on set at 8am, am doing this interview, then finishing preparing my lines and going to sleep, I think that says it all.
What is a typical day in life of you like?
Phew, well, I’m lucky that the way my life is set up, I don’t do exactly the same thing every day. I think that would drive me crazy. I like the excitement of looking forward to different patterns and new challenges all the time! I tend to be a creature of habit otherwise, like I always order the same thing at my favourite restaurants, so it’s probably good for me.
Usually, I wake up in the morning, snuggle my cat a little, and flip my computer open for a few minutes to a few hours depending how my day is planned out. I try to go to auditions, do self tapes, and other things for myself in the morning when I feel really fresh, then I have the rest of the work day to work on my business, casting. Then at night I try to go back into “me” mode and do some writing, go to an event, or even watch something inspiring or as research. However, any of this can change, especially when I have to be on set or cast all day!
Now you have many strings to your bow, from being an Actress, Comedy & Casting Director, how do you juggle it all?
Luckily, everything I do is related, so everything keeps me busy but still strategic. I’ve worked jobs as talent and met really cool actors who I then bring on to a project I’m casting. My experience acting gives me a different edge as a casting director. I know how awkward things can feel when you’re auditioning and I don’t want you to feel awkward when you’re auditioning for me. I want you to feel confident and bring the best you to the table.
I mean, I want to impress my clients.You looking good makes me look good. I’ve been known to let out a few “WOOOOOO’s” and have some fun with people when I’m behind the camera. I’ve definitely had people tell me that auditioning for me was the most fun audition they’ve had before and that makes me feel pretty warm and fuzzy.
Is this something you always knew you wanted to do?
I knew I wanted to move to L.A and be an actor when I was a little kid and watched Mrs. Doubtfire for the first time. There was no question there. I wanted to be Robin Williams. When I was 18, I got into standup comedy, so I was writing my own material and I realised how neat it was to have more involvement than just being handed a script, so I got into the production world from there and kind of fell into casting and fell in love with it.
In high school, I interned at an acting studio to help pay for my acting classes, and I always knew which students the casting directors who came up to the studio in S.F. from L.A. would take an interest in. I always had that eye. While I was working in music video production, I finally got the opportunity to try some casting and a project I worked on was written about in Billboard and a lot of the article was actually about the casting, so people started calling me to do that for them.
I started my own company, Harlowe Casting, and am eternally grateful for the people who saw my passion and my vision and took chances on me to cast bigger and bigger projects when I wasn’t the most qualified person on paper yet. At this point, I’ve worked on everything, even feature films.
Casting is so incredibly fulfilling to me. I absolutely love meeting awesome people with amazing talent and connecting them with new projects that are exciting for them. There’s nothing like that magical moment when someone auditions and the director and I just look at each other and know it’s right. It’s such a good feeling and it brings me so much joy to help make other people feel nice.
How do you balance your personal life?
The workload ebbs and flows! Sometimes I have a week of working 18 hour days and sometimes I have a bit more time. It’s also nice that I have friends to collaborate with and create content with and friends who do a lot of work on their computers too, so sometimes it’s nice to just sit in silence and work next to someone. I love what I do and that I get to do work that I enjoy, so the longer, harder, or more stressful days are worth it.
What has been the hardest challenge you have been faced with in the entertainment industry?
The hardest thing about working in this business is that you have to stay really, really self-motivated. The phone isn’t going to just keep ringing. You have to stay on your A game, because there are a million other people who want to do what you are doing. You have to keep creating and keep meeting new people all the time. You can’t let things in your personal life get in the way. You have to stay really, really focused, even when you have disappointments of thinking you are booking something but it doesn’t work out, having a not-so-great audition for something you really wanted, etc. There can be a lot of disappointment so you just have to stay tough and ride it out for the wonderful, magical moments.
A seminal point in your career?
People are attracted to people who are genuine. For a long time, I thought that I needed to try to be more “normal” for auditions and casting jobs and dress myself down to blend in with how other people dress. One day I realized that people like me for just being me. I’ve never done better, personally and professionally.
Best project you have worked on?
Oh man, so many and I’m very grateful for all of the opportunities I have. Most recently I shot a comedy commercial that was all close up facial expressions in slow motion no lines. It was hilarious to see the footage played back. Some things I thought would work looked absolutely terrible and it was just a blast to let loose, try things, see what worked, and laugh a lot at the stuff that didn’t. I met some really great people on that job and the art/styling was awesome. I love the roles that I naturally fall into. It’s all just so fun.
Best piece of advice you have been given?
The best advice I have been given is that it takes ten years to become an overnight success. Sure, once in a while someone gets lucky. But ten years? It’s so true. It takes time to build and for people to know you and who you are and what you do. This business is built on referrals, whether you’re in front of or behind the camera.
We love the confidence you ooze, so what does BEYOUROWN mean to you?
Oooh, thank you! To me, BEYOUROWN means not caring about what other people think about you and doing what makes you feel happy. I like myself. I like the way I dress. I like who I am. I like being the quirky girl who will tell you about embarrassing things that have happened to me–my stories are abundant. I don’t care if I go out to a birthday dinner and we take a group picture and everyone is wearing black and I’m a rainbow. This is who I am and this is how I am. I was severely bullied in school and was almost held back in high school, even with my straight A’s, because my attendance was so poor due to how painful it was to put myself in that situation every day. I hid in bathroom stalls during lunch or left campus and sat somewhere alone because I often didn’t have anyone to hang out with and it felt really humiliating to be seen alone. Now, being ME is the reason I have the success that I do and I’m glad I am who I am!
Where can you see yourself heading for you future?
Every day is a new adventure. It’s been a fun couple of years and my growth has been exponential. The sky is the limit, really! I’m already doing exactly what I want to be doing. It’s fun to take on new challenges and work on bigger and bigger projects.
Finally, what can we expect to you from you in 2018?
1. Be on a T.V. show that I love
2. Cast a feature film that screens at Sundance
Image by Eric Johnson
Twitter: @MeAndMyHotFries | Instagram: @Kasia