Name: Kelly Ann Martin
Occupation: Senior Producer, FORENSIC FILES®
How did you first become involved with Forensics Files®? Do you have a background in law or criminology?
In college, I was torn between pursuing a career in television or law. I even studied for and took the LSATs. Ultimately, I decided to go into television (didn’t want to drop all that cash on tuition or spend four more years in school), worked for years in local news, then as a producer in New York, and eventually, through the grapevine, learned Forensic Files® was looking for an associate producer. Being a huge fan of the show, I jumped at the opportunity, got the job, worked hard and eventually became the senior producer.
How do you choose the crimes that you feature on the show?
We monitor countless newspapers, magazines and books for intriguing cases with a forensic element. In addition, we have investigators and scientists from all over the world contact us with possible show ideas, based on cases they were actively involved in.
Earlier this year, there was the big NYC open casting call for Forensics Files [a reader even auditioned and told us how it went]. Tell us, exactly how crazy did it get?
The folks at Chelsea Studio, where the audition were held, told us that they hadn’t seen that kind of turn out since the open auditions for The Lion King! The line literally stretched all the way up 6th avenue. In terms of unusual characters, we did have a lady who tap-danced her way through the audition. That was a little strange. I thought maybe she was at the wrong audition?
Where else do you hold the casting calls? And what's notable about the NYC casting call?
We hold about 4 casting calls a year. Since we are headquartered in the Northeast we tend to hold the auditions in that region of the country—Philadelphia, New York City, etc.
New York is a great place to hold an open casting call. There’s always a huge turnout, but more importantly, the actors here seem to have a real passion for their craft. Their enthusiasm and dedication really invigorate you, especially after holding auditions for about 12 hours straight!
Given that there are a number of performers looking for a break in New York, do you find the talent pool perhaps too talented?
There’s talent everywhere…you’d be surprised. New York is great because the city naturally attracts aspiring actors. It’s really moving and inspiring to see the passion and drive some of the auditioners had—truly inspiring!
And will you be auditioning NYC animals?
Yes, I’m sure at some point that we will have auditioned every animal in the city. Even the rats.
Is Forensics Files featuring any NYC crimes in the new batch of episodes?
We did just profile the Zodiac (Seda) case last season. We are always on the prowl; you just never know where we’re headed
Are there NYC crime stories you'd like to cover?
Sure, there are actually lots of forensic related stories we would like to tell. With the city’s crime rate dropping, you all are offering us a lot less options to choose from though. I think just might have been a shameless plug for Mayor Bloomberg.
What are there similarities and differences between city and non-urban crimes?
Environment plays a critical role, not only in the crime itself, but also with crime scene.
Do you watch Law & Order? Who is your favorite cast? Do you watch CSI and laugh at how glamorous those crime lab sets are?
I am a self-professed Law & Order fan. Don’t really have a favorite cast, but I love Mariska Hargitay. I was thrilled when I learned that she is a huge fan of Forensic Files.
Yeah, I watch CSI too, and I laugh constantly at how they glamorize forensic science. I for one have never seen a crime investigator arrive at a crime scene wearing couture fashion with perfectly styled hair, nor is it standard practice for crime scene investigators to interact with the victim’s family. Reality is never as posh as a Hollywood creation.
Forensics Files airs at 9PM weekdays on Court TV.