President / Director of Casting
Although Claire has been casting professionally since 1996, her first casting gig was actually at the age of 10. While producing her second revival of The King and I in her garage, the neighborhood kids staged a revolt, and demanded a fair audition process after they discovered she was planning on giving herself the lead role for the second year in a row. She acquiesced and immediately held a casting session, after which she promptly cast herself again, stating that the whole thing was her idea, so she got to choose. Thankfully she matured a bit since then, and her casting skills have been honed, so that the Chicago actors will never be in danger of her stealing their roles. Currently Claire has the distinct privilege of casting Empire, Chicago Fire, Chicago PD and the upcoming series Sense8. An Artios winner for her work on Prison Break, she is also a national board member of CSA (Casting Society of America), board member of IPA and a member of the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences.
Best advice I can give you is to be prepared when you walk in the room (as though you could actually get the job), and MOST important, to remember that the energy in the room is with you. Everyone in the room is hoping you are fantastic, exciting and the answer to their casting problem. We are on your side!
Mafia Family Nickname:
Claire “The Godmomma” Simon
Right now it’s Lena Dunham. She writes, creates, acts, and it’s all in her own voice and she’s unapologetic. I think she is paving a new way for women.
When I’m not casting, I’m:
Riding my horse Hank in the forest with all my cowboy friends.
When I grow up, I want to be:
Idea I wish I thought up first:
The pilot for Empire.
If I could set up another branch of Simon Casting, it would be in:
Austin - right next to my horse ranch that I don’t have yet.
The Award-Winning Film/Series I Haven’t Written Yet:
It’s a one hour cable black comedy about a casting office that cast brilliant actors all day and solve true crime at night. They would all be gorgeous, funny, a size two, and because it’s on cable, they’d swear quite a bit.