My Favorite Mistake — 241: Bouncing Back from Mistakes and the Importance of Diversity in Casting: Jazzy Collins, CSA

My guest for Episode #241 of the My Favorite Mistake podcast is Jazzy Collins, CSA, a Casting Director who holds the honor of being the first Black two-time Emmy® nominee in the Outstanding Reality Casting category. 

Episode page with video, transcript, and more

She has worked for hit reality shows including Lizzo’s Watch Out For The Big Grrls (Amazon), The Circle (Netflix), The Traitors (Peacock), The Bachelor and The Bachelorette (ABC), Family or Fiancé (OWN) and Love Island (CBS). 

She has been at the forefront of the movement calling for diversity and inclusion in the entertainment industry, published in Deadline, E! News, ET Canada, Women’s Health, and beyond.

Amid her success, she has been a tireless advocate for diversity and inclusion in the industry, a topic her work frequently brings to the fore. As time went on, however, Jazzy began questioning her career trajectory. Deciding to branch out, she transitioned into digital talent management, believing it akin to her casting work. Jazzy quickly recognized it wasn’t her calling. After a challenging stint in talent management, she decided it was time to return to her first love: casting.

In this episode, we discuss her career mistake, how she bounced back, and what she learned. We also discuss mistakes made by the producers of “The Bachelor” and “The Bachelorette” when it comes to DEI and representation. Read about her open letter that called out the popular franchise.

Questions and Topics:

  • When did you realize that talent management wasn’t your space??
  • Fewer gatekeepers – more diversity shining through in digital platforms?
  • How does one end up working in casting? 
  • The Bachelor — Jazzy’s open letter about Matt James as the first Black bachelor, after Rachel Lindsay as the first Black Bachelorette
  • How casting can go wrong — Lee and Rachel’s season
  • Problems caused by lack of diversity behind the scenes (or in a Board)
  • Tell us about the thought process for deciding to send the open letter… posted it to Instagram and FB — reporters picked it up
  • Did you ever worry or wonder if the letter was a mistake? Did you hesitate to send it? 
  • How did you gauge the reaction to it?
  • Before the letter, how did you first try speaking out internally? It sounds like you were punished for it…
  • What reaction did you get? Had other people come forward…
  • Ignoring the trolls??
  • Good move or cynical move to cast Matt James in the summer after the George Floyd murder?
  • What are you working on next that’s new and fresh?
  • How does somebody get cast on a reality show?