From Small Talk to Big: The Art of GENUINE Conversation

Feb 24, 2016

Web Master



By: Jill Strickman (Founder) & Gina Boyer (Casting Director)

A recent article in the New York Times Modern Love section, “The End of Small Talk” recently made the rounds in our office and it struck a chord.  In the article, writer Tim Boomer asks, “Why can’t we replace small talk with big talk and ask each other profound questions right from the start?”  He is referring to the types of first encounters that occur on dates and in everyday social situations, but at GENUINE, we’ve found the same is often true when it comes to real people casting.
In fact, “big talk”, those meaningful conversations about life, often lead to the deeper connections we strive for at GENUINE.  Our casting directors are frequently tasked with establishing a sense of familiarity and trust with interview subjects in a matter of moments.  Intimacy is rarely easy and having a camera pointed your way while a stranger asks you questions can be intimidating for anyone – not to mention the talent we recruit on a day-to-day basis.
Whether our People Finders are combing the streets of New Orleans for the perfect candidates or conducting sensitive interviews via our Skype set-up in Manhattan, it’s necessary that we get to the heart of the matter in a very short period of time. Boomer argues that you can elevate any question from small talk to big talk.  Using the skills in our arsenal: active listening, a natural sense of curiosity and a bit of warmth, GENUINE’s casting directors are able to seamlessly establish a level of trust that sets the foundation for every project. Once that trust has been established, GENUINE storytelling can begin.
Distractions abound as the channels of communication to choose from seemingly multiplies across a variety of screens.  Often, the best way to break through the digital onslaught and find the intended audience is to have a real person share their firsthand experience with a product or brand. Will there ever be more credible advocates than the real people our team encounters while street-casting, conducting market research interviews, holding in-person auditions or connecting with via Skype?  Probably not.  After all, who would be better at telling the story than the very people being marketed to?
Strong brands require not only great products, but they also require powerful stories to fully engage an audience. Authentic, meaningful experiences tend to lead to impactful storytelling and only big talk can accomplish that.  GENUINE’s conversations with real people lead to emotional connections and those create a longer-lasting impact in the hearts and screens of consumers. No small talk required.

From Small Talk to Big: The Art of GENUINE Conversation

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