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Chemin Sylvia Bernard '80

 

Helping actors get work

Chemin Sylvia Bernard M.A '80
Casting Director

 

Chemin Sylvia Bernard takes pride in her Gallic heritage, specifically, her first name that means “road” in French. And it’s quite a road she’s traveled. Today, she’s a successful casting director who has assembled casts for television series, such as “Martin” and “Just Jordan,” and movies, such as “96 Minutes” and “Fat Albert.” It’s a long way from majoring in communication arts based purely on her experience working for Ma Bell in Chicago to a stint serving as president of the Casting Society of America.

Chemin found her calling the day she invited Patti Hayes — Hollywood’s first black female casting director — to speak at a Black History Festival she was organizing. “When I heard about what she did, I fell in love. I thought, ‘That’s what I want to do with my life. I want to help actors get work.’”

She soon became LMU’s resident casting director, placing talent in student films under the shingle “Sylvan Casting.” There was such a demand for her services that when she graduated in 1980, LMU asked her to stick around. Despite her flourishing Hollywood career, she consented, using the company as a training ground for aspiring casting directors. “Students got exposed to the casting process, and I was able to see how to run an office and train a staff. While they learned, I learned, too.”