First of all, how are you and your family doing in these COVID-19 times?
Lacey Kaelani: Family is happy and healthy! In regard to our business – it’s been an excellent time to build a tech product. We’ve kept our heads down and focused on creating an extraordinary network that we feel confident will impact the FOW within the creative community.
Jenna Kammo: One bright spot about COVID-19 is that I was able to spend a lot more quality time with my nephews and niece. I had a few meetings where my nephew made an appearance wearing his diaper – but who doesn’t love that, right?
Tell us about you, your career, how you founded Casting Depot.
Jenna Kammo: I started my career working as a PA at a daytime talk show – it was booking boot camp! After three seasons, I began freelancing. I worked on different types of shows for a range of networks, from MTV to CNBC. The more I learned about casting, the better storyteller I became. In meeting Lacey, we saw an opportunity to brand ourselves and the work that we do. took on the challenge of developing our own content and now… creating our platform, Casting Depot!
How does Casting Depot innovate?
Lacey Kaelani: Casting Depot is a professional network that allows creators and talent to engage and source gigs. Our end-to-end workflow hiring tools increase project efficiency, thus saving money in casting budgets every year.
How the coronavirus pandemic affects your business, and how are you coping?
Jenna Kammo: The one thing to remember about Producers is that we’re pros at problem-solving! When a problem occurs on set, we look for an efficient and creative solution – often times we’ve already planned for something to go wrong and have plans B and C in our back pocket. Of course, the industry came to a brief halt because of the coronavirus, but productions are happening again! Why? Because of talented producers who have found ways to make their productions happen! Lacey and I maintained the same attitude when building our platform during COVID-19. We certainly didn’t plan on building a business during a pandemic, but we challenged ourselves to adapt and be creative.
Did you have to make difficult choices, and what are the lessons learned?
Lacey Kaelani: As startup founders, we’re always making difficult choices related to our product. It’s important that we’re finalizing decisions that move towards improving our product and doing its core purpose – enabling talent and creators to book gigs seamlessly. It’s tough deciding what to product updates to deploy as we inch closer to launch, but I’m confident that we’re moving in the right direction.
How do you deal with stress and anxiety, how do you project yourself and Casting Depot in the future?
Jenna Kammo: I love a good to-do list! I suggest writing out your to-do list because it feels great to cross things off. I use a checkmark for tasks that are “halfway” done. I also separate my list into two categories: Doing & Dealing. Items that are more pressing fall under the “Doing” category, and items that aren’t as time-sensitive fall under the “Dealing” category.
Who are your competitors? And how do you plan to stay in the game?
Lacey Kaelani: We have a few competitors in the talent-booking space; however, we’re the first to be a completely social model – only taking revenue from the final booking process. On our site – as you would LinkedIn – you can engage socially, join interest-based groups, and share status updates. It’s a move towards enabling the gig economy to book in ways they’re most comfortable – e.g., through social functionalities, mobility, and smart-search.
Your final thoughts
Lacey Kaelani: Join our beta!