Devoe Casting, Los Angeles

“I love everything about my job,” says casting director Kacee Devoe. “I truly admire actors who transform right in front of your eyes to become someone else, and I’ve felt goose bumps from an actor’s performance in the audition room. Once you cast a true talent and you see them on the big screen, you think, ‘Wow, I really did a good job. I knew there was something special about them.’ ”

Devoe was born in Brooklyn, N.Y., but now lives and works in L.A. She has always loved film, she says, and as a  young girl she was curious about how actors were cast and whether certain performers were really the best choices for their roles. She began her career as a production assistant on independent films and managed to parlay an internship on the 2007 movie “Blackout” into an opportunity to learn from casting director Lamese Williams. Devoe was later a casting associate for Leah Daniels-Butler, the sister of producer-director Lee Daniels (“Precious”), and says she considers Daniels-Butler a mentor.

“I learned there’s no right way to do anything, just the way that works in the best interest of the picture,” Devoe says of her experience with the siblings. “I learned a lot from them both, and I respect them as professionals in this business. I feel blessed to have Leah in my corner.” Devoe still works closely with Daniels-Butler but says she always knew she wanted to start her own company after establishing herself in the industry. She founded Devoe Casting in early 2008, focusing on smaller indie projects and student films.

As for what she looks for in the audition room, Devoe says, “I have a respect for the work and the exploration of the craft, and it always shows when an actor is well-trained. There are those who have a natural talent, but training elevates talent to the next level.”

Her casting credits include the Mandalay Television series “R.P.M.” and the films “Boogie Town” and “The Spanish Harlem Project.” Devoe is currently casting the feature “Praying Out Loud,” written and directed by Gabriel Casseus (“Takers”), and “Sweet on You,” a romantic comedy about a “big beautiful woman” in a Harlem candy store, written and directed by Miles Maker.

This profile was published as part of the “New Casting Directors” spotlight in the Oct. 21-27, 2010 issue of Back Stage.