You can read testimonials from our classes

One of our clients featured in in “Back Stage”, on July 2010.

Donise L. Hardy on Mallory Eckert

About twice a year, I teach a class for teens in Austin, Texas, for those interested in commercials. About two years ago, one of the kids in the class was actually only 9, but based on a recommendation from her agent, Heather Collier, and her previous training, I’d made an exception.

And am I ever glad that I did. I met Mallory Eckert that day and just fell in love with this talented, well-mannered, feisty, adorable kid. She had quirky good looks and a talent way beyond her years. She followed direction beautifully, took copious notes, and exceeded any expectations that I had. A true professional at 9!

In August of last year, I was hired to cast the SAG feature “A Mind of Its Own.” The character Lilly was 10–12, an obnoxious little sister to our hero, and a little bit of a nightmare to her parents. She was fun, sassy, and very good with rhyming words she could use—with curse words she’d get into trouble saying. The entire time I read the script, all I could see was Mallory.

We auditioned young girls from Austin, Dallas, Houston, and other parts of Texas. We flew to L.A. for days of auditions where the competition was amazing. Mallory held her own, and the writer-director, Jason Kabolati, went with her, providing Mallory with her first starring role. During filming, they became extremely close friends, and Mal couldn’t be happier. She did an excellent job and was completely prepared on a daily basis.

The icing on the cake is that I was able to get her a single card, last position, main titles: “And introducing Mallory Eckert as Lilly.”

Donise L. Hardy, CSA, has been a casting director since 1991, when she started her company in San Francisco. She spent six years working in L.A. and moved to Austin, Texas, in 1999. She quickly established herself as a busy commercial CD and enjoys casting three to four features a year, plus many industrials.

July 3, 2010


Congratulations on the opening of your new business! I am so excited for you and for all of the talent out here that will reap the benefit of your knowledge and experience. I can not tell you how many conversations I have had where Moms and Dads ask me how Madison got started, and I tell them that until we met you, we were just spinning our wheels. And now she has a recurring role on “Friday Night Lights”! We are thrilled that you are not retired!

Madi and I plan to come to your opening day if she is not scheduled to film that day. See you soon!

Shanda B.