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|Jane Alderman Officially Retires—Just Before Hitting Broadway|
|Written by Carrie L. Kaufman|
|Friday, 14 August 2009 09:44|
Jane Alderman came to Chicago in 1980 to act. But she immediately saw that her talents were better served behind the camera.
“Whenever a film came to town it was a huge deal,” says Alderman, “and it was chaotic because they didn’t have casting directors here, and I thought, ‘I’ve got to sort this out’.”
Sort it, she did, becoming Chicago’s first casting director, and helping to make Chicago a destination film city in the 1980s and ’90s.
Alderman, who was the subject of PerformInk’s first Stage Persona feature in 2000, is now walking away from casting, and back onto the stage. Last summer, she was in Steppenwolf’s production of Tracy Letts’ Superior Donuts, and is heading to New York in a couple of weeks to reprise her role for Broadway.
She says the show isn’t her reason for leaving casting, but it made her look at her life.
“I started turning things down because I didn’t want to do them,” Alderman says. “I was just ready to wind down.”
Alderman’s casting career mirrors the rise and fall of Chicago as a premier film shoot destination. She has worked with such directors as Martin Scorsese and Oliver Stone. She has cast such iconic movies and TV shows as Backdraft, Rudy, Normal, “The Untouchabls,” Flags of Our Fathers, Love Jones and the forever hip Ferris Bueller’s Day Off. Two of her stage casting favorites are Evita and Angels in America.
But lately, Alderman has been doing smaller shoots, including casting for “ER” spots when they came to town. She’s focused more on teaching (at both Roosevelt and Act One Studios) and has started to get back to acting, with small film roles here and there, including one in 2006’s Jennifer Aniston film, The Breakup.
“I think my acting chops were honed during that time, because I had to read with actors every day. You watch enough people and you work with wonderful directors, you just pick up things.”
She’s certainly picking things up now, heading back to New York after 30 years for her Broadway debut. She’s excited, but a little scared.
“It’s kind of like collywobbles in the stomach, like starting a new casting job with a famous director and you haven’t met each other and haven’t figured out each others’ dance yet.” But, she adds, it will be great when she jumps into it.
“What an education I’ve had.”