Felicia Joseph is the director of casting at NBCUniversal Cable Entertainment. She is at the helm of covering scripted casting for the cable portfolio that includes USA, Syfy, Bravo, E! and Universal Cable Productions. She works with shows like “Shooter,” “The Sinner,” “Queen of the South,” “The Purge” and “Unsolved.”
Before joining NBCUniversal Cable Entertainment in 2015, Joseph held the position of manager of casting at Paramount Pictures where she covered the casting of major feature film projects such as Selma, The Gambler, Men, Women and Children, and Mission Impossible 5.
Joseph began her career in casting at ABC Entertainment Group, which included covering the production and casting on several key initiatives that included ABC’s annual talent showcase, pioneering digital talent contests and more. Joseph also sits on NBCUniversal’s internal diversity council, which strives to launch diversity and inclusion initiatives.
Joseph dedicates her spare time to traveling and spending quality time with her new husband and baby girl. Rolling out interviewed Joseph to discuss the importance of mentorship, her success habits, and her greatest inspiration.
As a woman of color, what do you consider your superpower to be?
My superpower is being a great connector of people and ideas — I [can] intuitively foresee meaningful relationships or connections within my network and make the necessary introductions. This has been extremely beneficial for me in the entertainment business, casting to be specific, as our business is strongly guided by relationships. I [can] utilize my nurturing nature as well as my diverse background to allow me to become a better connector, collaborator and leader.
What thoughtful piece of advice would you give to your younger self?
Be fearless, make bold choices and know your worth! As women, at times, we doubt our own greatness and desires — I’d tell my younger self to always strive to be the best version of yourself and to never be afraid of living your wildest dreams. I’ve learned that what we envision for our lives even at a young age can be achieved and sometimes we are in our own way of achieving that success. I believe it’s important to continue to challenge ourselves personally and professionally in every area to reach our goals and live out our purpose.
Why is it important for the seasoned and experienced Black woman to reach back and help younger women of color?
“Each one, teach one” is a motto I live by! Successful Black women have opened doors and influenced my overall trajectory in the most amazing ways. Now that I’m in a position to open doors and influence a young person’s path I feel it’s extremely important to pay it forward. Not only because someone did it for me but also because it’s extremely rewarding to be able to guide and mentor a young mind along their journey. The entertainment industry is strongly influenced by relationships and nepotism comes into play, which can create obstacles for many young people of color, so a little advice or a small gesture from me could make the difference of a lifetime for them.
What are your thoughts on taking risks and making mistakes?
There’s a Wayne Gretzky quote that I’ve always loved regarding taking risks — “You only miss 100 percent of the shots you don’t take!” I believe you’ll never achieve success if you don’t take risks. Taking that leap of faith is the only way you’ll ever know if you’ll thrive or fail but we typically have to let go of what is comfortable to make room and ultimately reach our highest potential.
Learn from your mistakes they make you better and wiser. I am thankful for every bad decision I’ve made or bad situation I’ve been in because life is about experience and in that you need to have varied experiences to better know yourself and where you’re going.
What are three success habits you implement into your daily routine to maintain your success, sanity, and peace of mind?
1. Positive thoughts lead to positive outcomes. Our lives become a product of the choices we’ve made and the thoughts we’ve had — so, positive thinking is extremely valuable to me. It’s natural to feel everything and to have bad days but to stay balanced it’s essential that I pick myself up, let it go, and move on. There’s ultimate power in that.
2. Don’t take anything personally, even if it’s personal. I’ve learned I cannot control another person nor do I own them, therefore, in every area of my life I do my best to separate the things which I control and the things I do not. I believe this allows me to look at life more objectively.
3. Count your blessings and you’ll never be unhappy. We go through life and rarely stop to look at all we’ve overcome and achieved. Being ambitious can sometimes prevent you from seeing your own successes and blessings — it’s key to stop and recognize all that you have and all that you have achieved even if it’s the simplest goal.
Who is your biggest inspiration? Why?
My 10-week-old daughter! She’s ignited a fire in me that’s unexplainable! Becoming a mother and now watching my daughter develop day-by-day, hour-by-hour over the past 2.5 months has impacted me mentally, emotionally and spiritually. Motherhood is the most challenging and most beautiful experience and so far, it’s really inspired me to become more appreciative of the little things, the things that truly grant us a life of richness and fullness.
If you could have any person in the world become your mentor, who would it be and why?
This could be the most cliché answer but I’ve always said I wish Oprah was my auntie! Oprah is phenomenal in every way possible — she’s a brilliant businesswoman who continues to be a chameleon and recreate herself and her business to stay relevant and prosperous. On a personal note, I love that she promotes self-awareness, healing and women’s empowerment because based on her circumstances early in life she could have ended up with an opposite outcome however, she fought through to get to where she is today and I think that’s awesome. Absorbing all her greatness and learning from her would be very cool!