“A STYLE ALL HER OWN”
The Beginning Story of Christal Blue Casting - casting director/producer.
The first thing you may realize about Christal Blue (Actress Linda Arocha) is her determination and integrity. This is a person you can trust to do exactly as she says. The more you listen to Christal, the more you come to respect her.
It has been a long hard struggle for Christal, mostly because she has traveled most of the journey all by herself. She started out as an actress, as many have done, and then became a member of AGVA, SAG, AFTRA, and AEA. She learned the ropes at a young age and has since paid her dues many times over.
During her acting days, she acquired the services of the prestigious Carlos Alvarado Agency as her agent. As she polished her craft, she appeared in many movies (Masada, Marilyn Monroe Story, Jane Mansfield Story, Concrete Jungle, just to name a few). When her potential as an actress grew, she was approached by executives from Fox Pictures to have her own role in a regular TV show and possibly, film. Having been approached by other big production companies, she also realized other new talents she had, and turned away from acting, and towards production. The reason why will be disclosed in her upcoming book.
That is when she started her own Casting and Production Company, developing as much of this new talent with her assistant Mr. T. Diggins “The Cowboy.” She bought a Ranch close to Burbank to work her vision. The monies earned in the film business from Acting gave her the opportunity to purchase her Ranch. “The Cowboy” moved on to ranching and shoeing, and Christal moved to Hollywood. She then married Al Mitchell and they lived in Hancock Park.
Christal believes in Life, God, and sharing life with others. “Everyone has Talent, if you wish to develop it.” She says with conviction “my eyes are like a camera,” “life is a movie constantly playing every minute.” She has camera eyes, and read the scene, the face, the speech, the words, the overacting (which is often a cover not yet finding or discovering the truth, or simply a misunderstanding of self). Sometimes it takes years to overcome the fear of facing the truth of your own. Young people have a great deal of time to make that discovery or not. She knows that good acting, which every actor is capable of, comes from practice; the practice of bearing ones soul in front of a lot of people.
When healthy, it is like she is telepathic, looking for the honesty point (When you have reached the goal of the soul, so to speak, by the content that you are at that moment working with), the truth of the statement in three dimensions with duality. Christal has said “We live in a three dimensional world (mind, body, and soul). Duality will have to deal with the physical and the spiritual,” and “many movies are very boring because they are only mental and physical and there is no duality (spiritual) or inspirational.” She understands the needs and wants of the actor as well as the needs and wants of the director.
Christal was the first secondary casting director to have full screen credit for her efforts of providing talent for the film “Strangers Kiss;” the film was a success. She also worked on some of the most famous classic movies, some with no credit at all. Since she had a reputation for finding anything, anytime, the word was out, and the calls came in. The last minute panic of some filmmakers for movies such as: “Men in Black,” “Platoon,” and “E.T.,” for example. She also did many Pilots like “Wild Wild West,” finding almost likeness to Will Smith and Selma Hayek to name a few. They use the pilots to get the final funding for the large production.
In the early beginning, she worked with three agencies that cater to the actor. “Models Way International” created casting, acting workshops, modeling, finishing school. Then she changed to “Van Mar Acting Academy,” and “Bobbie Chance.” Her own “Linda Arocha’s Hispanic American Agency” led into establishing relationships with bigger Talent Agencies and therefore sending talent to get an Agent; allowing a garden variety of international talent. She let the Agency go and then began “Christal Blue Casting” sometime in the late 70s. More explanations will be in the book (in progress now). In the late 70s or early 80s she wrote her first book “Off the Bus”; all 10,000 copies sold. She never really put the 2nd edition together, just the cover. She was a founder, so to speak, after that, other people were inspired to write a book, and many did. Now there are many books of the same nature. This book was designed for the actor who is new in Hollywood and has no idea where, how, when, or what to do in order to work on their career of film Acting.
Christal was blessed to have had three great mentors in her life, one of whom lived in Judy Garland’s old Mansion up on Laurel Plaza, where she spent many years learning about the film industry and such. Another one of her mentors, Mr. Leonard Silver (executive producer), produced a movie (with Christal, the producer) in the early 80s called “Hispanic American.” Leonard owned his own record producing company, as well as “Hispanic American Record Co. (American and Latin music)”, and another B Vista Hispanic Productions. He passed in 2008 in Las Vegas, Nevada, where he had resided with his beloved sister Gloria, “he is loved.” Then she met Meri Elli, who worked with her on the metaphysical aspect of her life, bringing to her an awakening of her conscious mind called “THE WORK,’ springing her into the higher dimensions’ of spirituality, a work that the earth plane supposedly is not ready for at this time. This knowledge was known in her soul part, but had not surfaced in retrospect to her consciousness with language of it.
Being born and raised in Texas, Christal realized how wonderful this city of Los Angeles really was, and it was 85% Latin. Since she attended her first College in Monterrey, Old Mexico, she has a great interest in the Latin culture, and multi-culture. She married into a Latin Family with blood lines to the president of Mexico, (Carranza), in Dallas Highland Park, where her son was born at the Baylor Hospital, just two door down from the house Trini Lopez’ family made rice packets for the wedding. The Wedding was at the home of her parents with many blessings. Both Christal and her husband were busy working, she was modeling, and then had a job working for an award winning graphic artist (Walter Ender), who recognized her talent, and suggested that she should go to New York. They took a house in the same neighborhood where they had their baby boy, Sergio. Her husband “Arturo” was from Los Angeles, friends of many Rock Stars, and was his own Rock Star, King of the Leather Business Hollywood to Pitiquito. A little later, North Beach Leather USA, and Europe. Another beautiful story, besides the Birth of their son, came out of the marriage. Eventually they moved to Los Angeles and it was uphill for both of them all the way.
By using the concept of working with the producers directly, Christal can translate to the actor what is needed. She stays on the set with the actor(s) and assures that they get through the trenches and pressure. Before sending them out on a casting call, she spends time preparing them for the interviews; it is her idea that “every actor should at first do a little secondary work on the sets, to observe, listen, and learn before any principal work.” She emphasizes this point by showing beginners the ropes, advising them of potential pitfalls, explaining the warnings signs of a bad place, and the “deployment protocol” on sets.
She has come a long way since “just starting” in the picture business. She is constantly observing, training, practice, and then working; and teaching others to do the same. Her service to the industry went on for years up until 2005. The ranch office, two offices on Sunset Blvd, and the one on Melrose and Vine. Although those office are now closed, a satellite office still exists today in Woodland Hills CA.
Throughout Christal’s 45+ years in the entertainment industry, she has provided casting for Pilots, Trailers, Game Shows, Rock Videos, Commercials (and Infomercials), Feature Films, AFI Films, USC Films, Industrial films, Documentaries, Pageant Judging, and Talent Shows, all over the Los Angeles areas. She is currently working on several different projects that are in pre-production; all of this to help and guide the actor. She even volunteers at the American Legion Ladies Auxiliary in Hollywood. Recently, just in the last month (June 2017), she won the writing supplement for the Hollywood Post 43 ALA’s “Best Essay in California” at the State Convention for the American Legion. Her college informed her about the win by text; she was unable attend this year. It was the surprise of her present life. ”I finally won something!” She hasn’t had that feeling in few. It’s on to the nationals now for the ALA. Civically speaking, she also held an elected L.A. office of North Hollywood’s Project Area Committee, serving as a Director for around 5 years; after all, why not?
She had her first house in the Cowboy (originally speaking) town “right back where we started from.” The PAC was the organization non-profit that works with sprucing up the city of No Ho. Another interesting story is one day in Canoga Park, while singing in the parking lot, Fleetwood Mac and his band were there and asked her to come to Vegas, be on the road and sing. They invited her to join them and she opted out, saying “I have a son to raise,” and then instead, sometime in the 70s, she became the First woman Committee Chairman for the Cub Scouts, where with her son, a cub, was working hard to learn scouting in North Hollywood.
Christal won a few awards, a Special Presidents Award, and a Board of Directors Award in 1999 from the WIF AZ; she had a satellite office in Arizona. Then she received a Woman of the Year from the NAPW/1999 for her dedication to her profession 2012/2013 and others for her volunteer work and civic participation.
Christal belongs to the TAAS (category: Casting Directors) and has been a member since the 1980s. She was a reader for a couple of years, reading the essays of the students who applied. The TAAS gives a scholarship with one of the large production companies for the best essay. We volunteer our services to read and vote on the best essay, to win the internship with pay. It was a good fit for Christal, as she was known as a “birthing talent” person in Hollywood, offering an open door to the young people who were just starting out. She was also a member of the famous “Screen Smart Set,” they raised money (via a store in Beverly Hills) for the Motion Picture Hospital. They have now retired. Most of the members were the wives, actresses and women of the Golden Era Celebrities, such as the wife of John Wayne, Cary Grant, Frank Sinatra, Tony Curtis, Janet Leigh, Sammy Davis Jr., and Sean Connery, just to name a few; stars of the great times in America.
Christal likes this piece about the life of film people written by Brene Brown and often quotes from that piece. “You either walk inside your story and own it, or you stand outside your story and hustle for your worthiness.” Also, an old Hollywood saying,” You’re only as good as your current credit.” These quotes ring especially true to her.
Now, in her Golden years, so to speak, having a tremendously blessed life, she is still very much alive and grateful.
AEA (Actors Equity for the American Actor and Stage Managers):
The U.S. labor union that represents more than 50,000 Actors and Stage Managers. They seek to foster the art of live theatre as an essential component of society and advances the careers of its members by negotiating wages, working conditions and providing a wide range of benefits, including health and pension plans.
AFI (American Film Institute):
An American film organization that educates filmmakers and honors the heritage of the motion picture arts in the United States by preserving the heritage of the motion picture, to honor the artists, their work, and educating the next generation of storytellers.
AFTRA (American Federation of Television and Radio Artists):
Merged with the Screen Actors Guild (SAG) in 2012. See “SAG.”
AGVA (American Guild of Variety Artists):
Merged with the Screen Actors Guild (SAG) in 2012. See “SAG.”
A type of sponsored film (such as an educational film) which prioritizes pragmatism over artistic value. While the primary purpose of an educational film is to inform an audience, the purpose of an industrial video can vary depending on the client.
NAPW (National Association of Professional Women):
An organization that offers women the opportunity to network with over 850000 members at more than 200 local chapters.
SAG (Screen Actors Guild):
A performers' union that represented a wide variety of talent, including actors in radio and television, radio and television announcers and newspersons, singers and recording artists (both royalty artists and background singers), promo and voice-over announcers and other performers in commercials, stunt persons and specialty acts. They are committed to organizing all work done under their jurisdiction; negotiating the best wages, working conditions, and health and pension benefits; preserving and expanding members’ work opportunities; vigorously enforcing our contracts; and protecting members against unauthorized use of their work. Merged with AFTRA and AVGA in 2012 and is now called SAG-AFTRA.
TAAS (Television Academy of Arts and Sciences):
Based in Los Angeles, the TAAS honors prime-time programming. It is comprised of 30 "peer groups" whose work is aired nationally and whose members are eligible to vote for the Emmy Awards. Peer groups are based on areas of expertise. They cover all fields of television work, from network executives to hair stylists; from performers to cinematographers. The Academy also encompasses a Los Angeles branch whose members work in Southern California.
USC (University of Southern California (Cinematic Arts Department):
Throughout the 20th century and now in the 21st, this School of Cinematic Arts has nurtured and inspired the writers, directors, scholars, entrepreneurs, producers, animators, interactive designers and others who have developed an unparalleled mastery in cinema, television and new media.