One of the marks of a veteran is the wisdom they are able to impart to others. Casting director Winsome Sinclair has earned industry insight through major collaborations with some of Hollywood’s most acclaimed filmmakers, including Steven Spielberg, Spike Lee, Oliver Stone, John Singleton and more. She is also the founder of Winsome Sinclair & Associates, which provides services such as casting, production, and artist management and development. Presently, Sinclair is casting a documentary centered around an inconic entertainer, and a BET episodic drama pilot by Notorious screenwriter Reggie Rock Bythewood.
Rolling out spoke with Sinclair about how Lee inspired her to become a leader, getting results from her youth internship program and why she welcomes the influence of social media in her line of work.
Did you always identify as a leader or was there an experience that led to you discovering the leader within you?
My leadership button went off when I went away to Florida A&M University. I was able to see a campus full of leaders and everybody looked like me. Plus, my first job working with Spike Lee and seeing every department head looked like me was a powerful experience that told me I could do this.
You offer an internship program and there are many in New York City. But how does your program differ in terms of offering real opportunities for advancement?
I am part of the production company called Legacy Media Group. We all started out as interns and realized that it was a steppingstone to the rest of our careers. There was so much more guidance we wish we could have gotten out of our experiences so now we provide mentorship for young people while they are interns. This helps prepare young people to get the most out of the whole experience.
There are many individuals bypassing the casting process and becoming overnight sensations thanks to social media. How has social media affected your company’s strategy?
It has become a huge contributor to what we do, especially with reality casting. We are now developing a reality arm of the company. So it’s a very different world and it’s really exciting what social media has done for people. People are not individuals anymore, they are brands and social media helps you establish and strengthen your brand.