Heather Comer, who has cast background players for a decade, has no desire to move into casting principal or featured roles. “I’m really happy doing what I do,” says the president of Comer Casting. “I love the idea of getting the mood for a scene just right by casting the perfect background people. It’s so nice when it all comes together.
“What makes it so gratifying is that background is taken more seriously today than ever before. It’s become an integral part of productions, and directors recognize its importance,” she says. “It’s very specific. I’m not just casting ‘hipsters.’ I’ll be casting Brooklyn hipsters.”
Comer has done well, thanks to the demand for background players. Before launching her boutique business she worked at Central Casting and Grant Wilfley Casting — both of which specialized in background.
Comer was always drawn to the entertainment industry, even before she knew exactly how she’d like to be involved. After graduating from Santa Fe College in Gainesville, Fla., the Florida native moved to New York, where she spent six years in advertising. When Comer was laid off she made a life-changing decision. “I said to myself, ‘It’s now or never.’ ” She answered an ad and joined Grant Wilfley Casting, where she cast the background players who appeared in “Law & Order: SVU.” Some of her more recent credits include “The Smurfs,” “Step Up 3D,” and “The Good Wife.”