They don’t give out Oscars for casting, but if they decide to start, I have a feeling one of the first recipients will be Jennifer Peralta-Ajemian. For every question our film Lust Life raised, JPA had an answer ready. An 18-year-old who can pass for 12, and looks exactly like our lead actress? No problem. A gender-fluid man with a godlike physique and great dance moves? Coming right up. In addition to her skills in specialty casting, Jen went the extra mile to make sure our nudity requirements were clearly laid out and understandable to the actors, setting an important standard of openness and courtesy that they could feel in the room. She was attentive and flexible in session, incorporating notes from both directors without a hiccup. We even created ‘story time’ together – allowing us to get past the audition mask and see the true actor underneath. But the very best thing about working with Jen is her patient, upbeat attitude. She’s always ready with a smile, and when she has to stand up for an idea, she does so in a polite and respectful manner. Again, if you care about the tone and attitude of your casting department, put Jen on top of it and you’ll never have to worry. I would (and very soon might) work with Jen again. You should too.
Jennifer is an exceptionally good casting director. Her great taste and good judgement brought us the cast we needed for our feature film, Rapid Eye Movement. The whole casting process was efficient, highly organized and a lot of fun too. Jen gave as much attention to casting the smallest roles as she did to casting the leads, the mark of a truly great casting director. A class act in every respect... can’t wait to work with her again!
There’s no way to overstate it: Jen is a dream to work with. She has an innate sense for material, digging deep into the script to truly understand what the project needs. On SISTERS, we talked through the nitty-gritty of each character’s respective psychologies and relationships with one another, and somehow she could always weave that into reality. Not only were our conversations productive on a casting level, but they also impacted how I directed the film. On top of that, she navigates through all the details to ensure the process of finding talent goes as smoothly as possible for all parties involved.
Working with Jen is a privilege and a joy. She brings wisdom, determination, intuition, passion, and tremendous talent to her job. Jen is an easy, clear communicator with a deep understanding of both the director and the actor’s process. Having her as an ally on any film is a huge asset. I hired Jen for a fine art video project with unusual demands of talent- my lead needed to mouth the recorded dialogue of another actor, while emoting straight to camera for very long takes. Jen understood the rhythm and themes of the piece right away and suggested wonderful performers for the role. She helped me craft the right deal to draw the kind of talent I needed and walked me through every step of the casting process. Thanks to her I enjoyed casting enormously and ended up with the performer of my dreams. Do yourself and your project a big favor and hire Jen! Your film will benefit hugely from her expertise and her generous spirit.
Jennifer is extremely professional and works quickly. She is able to connect the best actors with roles and has great casting ideas. The feature I just directed definitely benefited from her input - more than I can say. We had some very difficult roles to cast and Jennifer came through. Highly recommend her.