Casting Director Marnie Saitta has worked in casting daytime soaps since working as a casting assistant on The Young and the Restless in 1996. She has worked as the casting director of Days of Our Lives since 2007. She won her second Daytime Emmy Award for Outstanding Casting for a Drama Series in 2019. Shortly after her win (which she shared with Bob Lambert, associate casting director), she spoke with Soap Hub about her work in casting soaps.
When asked what is the most challenging aspect of casting the series, Saitta explains that it’s actually the smaller roles that prove to be the most difficult. She explains, “Casting the actors who are ‘under-fives’ – actors with five lines or less. The actors sometimes want to make so much of those parts, but they just need to deliver the information.”
Of course, one trademark of daytime soaps is that they are shot very quickly. That requires Saitta to find actors who can work efficiently. She says, “My auditioning process has changed because production has changed. If it’s one take on set, it has to be one take in my office. There are actors I see in prime time in film and they’re used to having multiple takes.”
As for advice that she gives to actors, Saitta suggests that they project how they will feel about their work decades from now. She says, “I tell actors to think about themselves when they’re 80 years old and rocking in a rocking chair and they only have themselves to be accountable to and that they should be able to put a smile on themselves and look back and feel joy. Don’t get outside yourself.”