Every day is opening night.

Bernie Telsey

Bernie Telsey is the very definition of 'A Man About Town'. Among his many hats, he serves as co-Artistic Director to one of Off-Broadway's most respected and dynamic theater companies, MCC Theater, known for championing daring new works by singular theatrical voices, including the current critical smash Punk Rock now playing at the Lucille Lortel through December 14th. Of course, Bernie is also one of the top casting directors in the entertainment industry, with his Telsey + Co. continuing to flourish on stage (Kinky Boots, All the Way), in film (Into the Woods, A Most Violent Year), and on television (“Peter Pan Live!,” “Masters of Sex”). As if those didn't keep him busy enough, he also serves as the Vice President of the NY branch of the Casting Society of America, and most recently was elected to the Board of Governors of the newly formed Casting Branch of the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts & Sciences. In between tech rehearsals, casting calls, and Oscar screenings, we're thrilled to say we were able to land this tireless multihyphenate On the Couch!

What do you consider to be your best asset?
My ability to surround myself with people that inspire and challenge me in the best ways every day.

What was your proudest moment?
Personally, a cruise I took this summer to Alaska with my sons, Danny and Felix. My proudest moment was at the end when I realized we all survived the trip without killing each other. Professionally, opening night of RENT, the first show I cast on Broadway.

What is your favorite drink?

What is your favorite food?
The cacio é pepe at I Sodi.

What is your favorite condiment?

What is your current obsession?
Listening to The Bridges of Madison County recording.

If you could give up one of your vices, what would it be?

What is the one professional accomplishment you long for most?
Seeing Casting Directors recognized with our own category at the Tony Awards.

What is the one thing you waste too much money on?

What is the one activity you waste too much time doing?
Trying to get music onto my phone.

What do you consider to be the single greatest threat to your health?

What is the single best trait you inherited or learned from your parents?
My dad always taught me to be a team player and appreciate those you surround yourself with.

What is the single worst trait you inherited or learned from your parents?
Taking things too personally.

What in the world most thrills you?
Knowing an actor is right for a role and watching a creative team fall in love with them too.

What current trend in popular culture most irritates you?
Instant fame.

What was the single most embarrassing moment you've ever experienced on the job?
A few years ago I was in the middle of a typically hectic day when I remembered I had agreed to a meeting with an up and coming actress. I had just walked out of a session to find her sitting at my desk. In the hustle and bustle of the day, I completely forgot who it was I was even meeting with. As she started telling me about her career and goals I found an opportunity to laugh and turn around to my assistant to mouth “WHO IS THIS???” I've since gotten better about the way my days are scheduled. (She was pretty famous.)

What is your favorite place in the world?
The Prada outlet. (No, no, no…the North Fork on Long Island.)

What is the most important trait you seek in a romantic partner?
A sense of humor. Joy. And the same taste in TV.

Do you prefer the company of dogs or cats?
Dogs. I have two at home.

What would have to happen to make today the best day of your life?
If Meryl Streep decided she wanted to go into casting and work at my office.

What is your personal motto?
The same as Telsey + Company's: “Ownership. Teamwork. Artistry. Heart.”