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An Interview with Carl J Grasso, Casting Director of Hall of Shadows

by Mike Haberfelner

June 2019

Carl J. Grasso on (re)Search my Trash


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You're currently working as casting director on the radio show Hall of Shadows - so first of all, in a few words, what is the show about?


Hall of Shadows is an homage to old radio shows from the 1930's to early 1950's, where those creators were geniuses with really scary stories, and amazing sound effects to scare the pants off people. Our show is going back to that tradition of taking the listener into that world. Taking them down the hall of shadows where anything can happen, almost Twilight Zone-like.


How did you get involved with Hall of Shadows in the first place?


Hall of Shadows started as a quick conversation, and Mike Rocco and I did a dialogue test with something I wrote, and we realized that even though we live miles away could it be possible with my equipment that I can record. It worked perfectly. Then Kristina Rocco resurrected some of her horror stories and I supplied a voiceover, it took me five minutes. At that point I said, there is something to this and encouraged the Roccos to do more.


Do talk about Hall of Shadows' showrunners Kristina Rocco [Kristina Rocco interview - click here] and Michael J. Rocco [Michael J. Rocco interview - click here], and what's your collaboration like?


This is an amazing exciting process, to use a cliché, Hall of Shadows can go anywhere and do everything. I have worked with the Roccos previously in play I wrote and directed all the way back in 2002. When

Hall of Shadows was in its infancy, the Roccos put an ad on facebook looking for local voice actors to no avail. I jumped in and asked them if they wanted my help to cast the show, and I put an ad up on backstage and got 300 submissions.


To what extent can you identify with Hall of Shadows' approach to horror?


Kristina's stories seem visual to begin with, which is hard to translate to radio. Hall of Shadows is like reading a novel or a short story, there is a lot of exposition because the tricky thing with Hall of Shadows is, it's not visual, you have to explain everything.

Mike Rocco is the other part of the heart of the show, if Kristina is the design of the show he's the engine that drives the show with all the sound effects and voice effects that are used, it is so cool.


Do take us through your casting process, and how does one cast a radio show even?


I have a secret to casting Hall of Shadows, but I am going to tell it right now, the secret to getting cast in the Hall of Shadows (which are still taking submissions), IS TO FOLLOW DIRECTIONS AND COMMUNICATE WITH ME DIRECTLY. I give instructions in my ad and  ALL YOU HAVE TO DO IS FOLLOW THEM

You also have to take your time and give me your best, if you don't give me your best I'll thank you for your time anyway.


So what can you tell us about Hall of Shadows' cast then?


I have a core twenty in the cast with a core five in reserve right now. Some I have used over and over again for little pieces in an episode or one may be the star of one episode and in the next episode may have a smaller part. I myself have a part in two of the episodes and I have a scary like cameo in another one that I honestly I forgot I voiced until I asked Mike.

I am willing to give anybody a shot and if you impress me, which is really hard to do, I will let you know.


The $64 question of course, where can Hall of Shadows be heard?


Everywhere! Our website has the episodes as well - go to


Any future projects, with and without the show, you'd like to share?


The future project for us is to take a nap for a week, especially the Roccos, they worked so hard on this. But the first five episodes are up right now, we're taking a break for the 4th of July week and then we will be releasing a NEW episode every week. I have heard some rough cuts of the upcoming ones and they are explosive!

The season ender, it's going to be longer and crazier.


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Anything else you're dying to mention and I have merely forgotten to ask?


We may be doing more radio show productions with New Frame, I have a podcast for another company called Audiophiles, and I have been doing a lot of short films right now, I worked with Melissa Butler in her film Suicide Notes which I really enjoyed making.

Thank you again Mike.


Thanks for the interview!


© by Mike Haberfelner

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Thanks for watching !!!



Robots and rats,
demons and potholes,
cuddly toys and
shopping mall Santas,
love and death and everything in between,
Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

is all of that.


Tales to Chill
Your Bones to
a collection of short stories and mini-plays
ranging from the horrific to the darkly humourous,
from the post-apocalyptic
to the weirdly romantic,
tales that will give you a chill and maybe a chuckle, all thought up by
the twisted mind of
screenwriter and film reviewer
Michael Haberfelner.


Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

the new anthology by
Michael Haberfelner


Out now from




On the same day
a Burglar wants to kill you
and your Ex wants
to make up ...
... and for the life of it,
you can't decide


A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
Melanie Denholme
directed by
David V.G. Davies
written by
Michael Haberfelner
Ryan Hunter and
Rudy Barrow

out now on DVD