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Thomas Horton '14

Graduating from the College of Charleston with a communication degree and film studies minor helped prepare Thomas Horton '14 for his recent gig with CBS Networks as a network casting assistant. Learn more about his position and the degree program that helped land him in California working for one of the biggest networks in television. 

TH

How would you describe your current responsibilities as network casting assistant?

In my current position, I support two of the casting department’s senior vice presidents. They oversee the casting process for network shows, meaning we’re constantly interacting with the show’s casting directors, producers and studios. I also maintain their schedules, so I’m constantly setting new meetings with actors, comedians, and other interesting talent.

What shows do you help cast?

One of the senior vice presidents I support oversees the majority of CBS sitcoms, including shows like Life in Pieces, Mom, The Big Bang Theory and its upcoming prequel series The Young Sheldon. With the other SVP I support, we put a lot of work into the CBS Diversity Sketch Comedy Showcase, an annual talent showcase that has launched a very impressive number of popular comedic talent.

What was your most influential class you took at the College of Charleston?

There are so many classes in the communication department and my film studies minor that I absolutely loved, but I have to say the most influential was my senior year bachelor’s essay that let me finally blend the things I’d been learning in both programs. My thesis examined gender bias in superhero movies—my communication professors supported my project through a very long and rewarding year of research. It was this kind of support for my personal interests and passions that I found throughout my time in the communication program, and it gave me the confidence to follow my interests in film and television out to Los Angeles after school.

Are there any specific College experiences that stand out as having prepared you for your current role?

My internship through the communication program was undoubtedly a huge help for my current position. One of my TAs recruited me to intern at the PR agency where she worked, The Reynolds Group. My time at Reynolds was a great crash course in working with others in an office setting, and the lessons I learned there continue to help me in my current work. I was also incredibly lucky to be nominated for the Advisory Council’s mentor-protege program, and I don’t know that I would have been able to make it out here without the incredible advice and guidance I received from my mentor, Bill Heyman.

What is your typical day at work? What do you like most about your job?

Right now we’re in the middle of auditions for our Showcase, so I spend a large amount of my days organizing auditions and callbacks. We’re also usually having at least three to five talent meetings a day, so I’m prepping the SVPs for these meetings and escorting our visitors in and out of our office. I love getting to meet all the different people who come into our office, and I really enjoy getting to find potential new talent through our Showcase audition process.

What advice would you offer students interested in pursuing a career similar to yours?

While most people would say show business is all about who you know, it’s also about working hard and showing incredible dedication. A good work ethic is always respected out here, so take any opportunity you can get to show that you mean business, regardless of what you get in return. That being said, that aspect of “who you know” is definitely a real thing, so get in touch with every connection you can find, even if it’s just me!

Anything else youd like to add?

Can anyone express mail me a large Get Gnarly from D’Allesandro’s? I’ve been dreaming of that pizza since I left Charleston…