Judy started her career in the fall of 1973 and worked her way up from a Casting Assistant position with Fenton-Feinberg Casting to a partner in the company over 17 years.
She then segued to a free-lance Casting Director from 1991-2004, continuing to cast films while balancing some time with her two sons. She joined Disney Channel as the Head of Casting/Talent Relations from 2004-2021. Her credit highlights include everything from ‘The Goonies’ and ‘Back to the Future' to ‘Sister Act’, and, maybe, some of your favorite Disney Channel Original Movies!
Q: What does Women's History Month mean to you?
A: For me, Women’s History Month not only provides an opportunity to reflect, celebrate and remind ourselves of the incredible contributions amazing women have made throughout our history - but also to gain wisdom, confidence, and motivation from their inspirational stories.
Q: How do you think attending an all-woman's college benefited you in your career?
A: It became apparent to me early on in my time at Stephens that this was a valuable and unique period in my life - to be in this community of women, 24/7. The camaraderie in the classroom, at meals, and in the dorms built trust and lifelong friendships for me. As a young woman from a small Missouri town, my Stephens experience gave me the confidence, in a very tangible way, to aim high.
Q: Who is a woman in history that you are motivated by and why?
A: ‘R.B.G.’! Ruth Bader Ginsburg was a force - smart, fearless, funny, and committed to championing those who were marginalized, first and foremost, women. In 1972, she was instrumental in founding the ACLU’s Women’s Rights Project, which was only the beginning. She stands out to me as an example of someone passionate about her work and utilizing her many talents for the greater good.
Q: Do you feel like women in your specific career path are appreciated?
A: Yes, I do believe women in the CASTING field are appreciated and respected for their expertise and have the opportunity to excel and move up based on the success of their projects and the overall body of work. And while there were some very successful women in Casting even when I started back in 1973, Marion Dougherty for one, those numbers have grown exponentially, both in the free-lance Casting world, as well as in Executive Casting positions at studios and networks.
Q: What is your advice to young women at Stephens who are chasing their dreams?
A: Your career path is a journey, and there will be good days and tough days. So, when one door closes, choose to believe it’s because another door, maybe a better one, is about to open. And don’t be afraid to ‘mix it up’ and maybe take a risk if your gut is telling you it feels right. And if someone really gets you, adopt them as your mentor! Throughout it all, make sure you have people in your life who love and support you and get how special you are. I know from my own experience that, despite the occasional tough days which are inevitable, it’s friends and family who provide the perspective one needs to stay positive, thrive and enjoy the ride!