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Meet Jessica Lyons, the New Casting Director at O’Connor Casting

Last updated: June 2, 2022

Meet Chicago’s newest casting director. O’Connor Casting has long been established as one of the top commercial casting forces in Chicago, if not in the country, and they have added to their talented team. Jessica Lyons, CSA, has been promoted to Casting Director. Owner and Director of Casting David O’Connor and Jessica both stopped by SCREEN for a quick chat to break the news and introduce you to Chicago’s newest casting director…

“Jess started with us since 2016 and settled quickly into this career after leaving behind a long performance background, worldwide producing and tour management experience,” David O’Connor shared with SCREEN. “She’s our people person and can hold a conversation with just about anyone… which is great as every project is unique and different. She’s shining in all ways casting.”

Let’s take a look at a charming spot Jessica cast for dating app Hinge right here…


Meet Jessica Lyons

As for Jessica’s approach to casting, it’s all about the puzzle of it all. “Every job is a giant game of Tetris and we have to figure out how to execute it with the client’s best interest in mind,” Jessica shared with SCREEN. “You have to be a strong business person as well as a creative, it’s quite the challenge! This job will never be stagnant, that’s for sure.”

“I also just really love working with actors. I’ve been in their shoes which helps me create a comfortable working environment for them. I love making discoveries together. And in what other business can you make someone thousands of dollars in a matter of days?! Seeing the success of our Chicago talent and having a small hand in it is extremely rewarding.”

This spot for Wallbox aired during the Super Bowl earlier this year, let’s take a look…

O’Connor agrees that Jessica’s greatest strength is her outstanding ability to work with talent. “Whether it is new or seasoned actors, real people, models, or children,” David declared to SCREEN. “She’s able to interact on a level of mutual respect and she exudes positivity, on all levels. She’s brought her own unique hip perspective to the team and keeps us constantly fresh on our Chicago actor community and the current social climate. As a Casting Director we have to know how, where and who are the best and she also has an incredible knowledge bank of talent on the tip of her tongue at all times.” 

Adding Two More to the Team

David and the O’Connor Casting team are also delighted to introduce their two new Casting Assistants, Peter Leppo and Cameron Downing. “Peter assisted a Casting Director in Seattle before and came to us for an internship and fell in love with Chicago as well as the business,” David shared with SCREEN. “We were thrilled when he accepted our offer to join the team. He has great attention to detail, much pride in his work, and he brings a calm positive Seattle vibe to the office. “

Cameron also built his career via the O’Connor Casting internship program as well and was full of detailed questions about the business throughout. “We are constantly looking for bright, articulate people to keep our casting chaos in check,” O’Connor declared to SCREEN. “While getting to know him, we found he ‘speaks actor’ and has a great eye for talent. Not to mention his love of discovering untapped talent out in the theatre and improvisation world. Another wonderful addition to the team.”

Jessica Lyons joins O’Connor and Virginia Anello as the Casting Directors for the team. Casting Assistants Peter Leppo and Cameron Downing will continue to work alongside Casting Coordinator Jessica Kirstein.

For more of the latest from O’Connor Casting, click right here to visit them at their online home.

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