Jason La Padura began his career as an actor and stage manager having appeared on Broadway in “Summer Brave” and, at the age of 23, serving as the Broadway production stage manager for David Mamet’s “The Water Engine.” For theater visionary Joseph Papp, Jason stage managed dozens of New York Shakespeare Festival productions and was Michael Bennett’s assistant on “A Chorus Line.”
Jason moved into the casting field over three decades ago where he worked with notable casting directors Mary Colqhoun and Stanley Soble. Specializing in casting for the top regional theaters, Jason worked with Arena Stage in Washington DC, La Jolla Playhouse, the Goodman Theatre in Chicago and the Guthrie Theatre in Minneapolis. He cast the Tony Award-winning musical “Big River” as well as numerous Off Broadway productions.
His feature film work in casting includes the Academy Award nominated “Longtime Companion,” “Prelude to a Kiss” and the original “High School Musical” for which he received an Emmy Award nomination and an Artios Award. Among the many series and TV movies he’s cast include six seasons of “Crossing Jordan,” “American Dreams” (Emmy and Artios Award nominations), the “High School Musical” trilogy,” “Heroes,” and “The Good Old Boys.”
During his four years on the Casting Society of America Board, he served as the Chairperson for Diversity Casting.
Originally from New York, Jason was raised in New York City, Los Angeles and London. He and his husband Gary Murphy recently celebrated their 36th year together and live in Santa Monica, California.
Natalie Hart has had the pleasure of working in the field of casting for 25 years.
After a career in Rock and Roll, she went to work with her brother Jason La Padura and twenty-five years later they are still happily in business together.
Originally from NYC, Natalie has worked alongside many wonderful directors, such as Steven Sondheim,Des McAnuff and Michael Grief. Beehive the Musical is one passion project, in particular that holds a special place in Natalie’s heart. The musical ran for multiple years at the Village Gate . Another highlight was casting the feature film Longtime Companion.
Television and film are Natalie’s long time passions,. After an eclectic career in New York, she joined her brother again in Los Angeles, quickly becoming a protégé of Edgar Scherick, a pioneer of the TV industry. She learned how to think like a producer while being his full time casting director for mini series and MOWs. This earned Natalie the reputation of being a killer negotiator as well as a creative one. Beyond being Edgar’s casting director she also produced the mini series The Siege at Ruby Ridge and the Stepford Husbands alongside him.
In the next 15 years, along with Jason and Kendra she had the privilege to work with Tim Kring on the series Crossing Jordan, Heroes, Touch, and Heroes Reborn. Some of Natalie’s favorite casting has been for the Disney Channel with franchises like High School Musical, Camp Rock, and Teen Beach, along with the upcoming Descendants.
She has a teenage son to keep up with, so she is well versed in current pop culture, making her well rounded with an expansive point of reference. Natalie and Jason have always shared a certain sentiment about their small family business and it shows in their approach to the work. In addition to her big heart, she brings a wealth of knowledge, not only of actors, but also a cultural perspective, enthusiasm, and intelligence to every project she touches.
Kendra Patterson has worked consistently in television and film for over fifteen years. Raised in the South, Kendra spent her formative years between Birmingham, Alabama and Nashville, Tennessee. She began her casting career in Chicago, where she was taught the intricacies of hands-on casting for episodic series, pilots, commercials, feature films, and reality programming. Freelancing at a busy casting office while also working in a prominent acting studio gave Kendra a deeper appreciation for actors and a better understanding of their craft.
The combination of working with producers and directors in a fast-paced casting office and alongside motivated actors on a daily basis has shaped Kendra into the dynamic and perceptive casting director that she is today.
Since moving to Los Angeles in 2004, Kendra has had the esteemed pleasure of working on dozens of network television series. As an independent casting director, Kendra cast multiple feature length and short films, including Spin, Do No Harm, Bound for Greatness, Flock of Four, and The Learning Curve, for which she received an Artios Award in 2013 for Outstanding Achievement in Casting.
As an African-American woman, Kendra is fiercely committed to inclusivity in television and feature casting. She makes it a priority to widen producers’ vision to include actors of all colors, gender, sexual orientation, and ability regardless of how a role may originally be conceived. She continually strives to create a world where the television and films we view are reflective of the colorful world in which we live.