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Headshots for a potential body blow: Meet the dude who's casting ME's anti-equality spot

by Jeremy Hooper

We'll have to wait and see what the first ad from Maine's anti-marriage equality forces looks like, as they aren't even casting the thing until tomorrow. But when we do get to see the finished product, we will have this man to thank for its coming together:

That's James Stiles, a Maine-based videographer, actor, and casting director who has been tasked with finding the right actors to portray "real Mainers." When it comes to finding the "working waitress" and "teacher type" that will appear on Pine Tree State screens for the sole cause of rolling back equality, James is the man for the job.

Now, we're not sure if Mr. Stiles is a like-minded ally, or if this is merely a casting paycheck for him. On his Facebook page, he does put God as his first interest, which could indicate an evangelical identity. But he also has Barack Obama listed as a "favorite," has appeared in some somewhat bawdy acting roles, and links to the extremely pro-gay "Daily Show" on his Twitter feed. So it could be that he views this as just a job, not a political endeavor.

But regardless of where Mr. Stiles personally stands, he is facilitating what is, unabashedly, a discriminatory production. Out of principle, we would never be able to accept such a job.

**Many more vids of Stiles, his actors, and various projects

**UPDATE: Thanks to Craigslist, we've learned a few more details about the ad that James is casting. We already knew they were looking for teacher and waitress types. Now we see that they specifically want ones who the teacher to be "well spoken,Caucasian, 'Maine middle-class' accent, earnest, compassionate, trustworth [sic]" and the waitress to be all those things but also "convincing." And nowhere in the Craigslist posting does it ever say what the ad is for, so there's no telling how many people will show up without a clue as to what the commercial is all about.

Also, the Craigslist ad reveals that shooting will happen on September 8, 9, and 10.

**UPDATE, 9/2: We just found out today's casting was cancelled. No other facts yet -- we're working on it.

**UPDATE, 9/8: And now you can meeting the CA-based firm that's working on the ad: Meet the firm that's plotting best camera angles to take away your rights [G-A-Y]

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Your thoughts

This is stupid hilarious. The equality advocates were able to find real families to participate in their commercials.

As I canvassed a neighborhood to try and discuss the repeal of Prop. 8, I noticed that those who voted AGAINST it, were very willing to discuss gay equality.

But those who voted FOR Prop. 8, shut the door in our faces (or stayed behind them) and were UNWILLING to have a discussion. Not too proud of what they did, evidently.

The ballot booth is anonymous. Those who might not commit to saying where their vote will go, will vote against marriage equality and avoid dealing with the very people whose lives their vote affects by concealment.

Those types that publicly say 'they have gay friends' yet don't consider them worthy of marriage protection, but wouldn't say that TO their 'gay friends' faces.

There is a difference between voting for something in such a way that the consequences take a while to be evident. Especially if it's over something fiscal that no citizen can escape and must share the responsibility of.
This is so different.
The hurt, the betrayal and trying to hide it are VERY acute.

No wonder actors NOT portraying their real backgrounds or names....or motives are who they are looking for.
Far be it for the opposition to do it from a NON FICTIONAL, non actor standpoint!

Posted by: Regan DuCasse | Sep 1, 2009 4:00:50 PM

This ought to be pretty humorous. I don't know if I would hire that guy to videotape a dog-bathing, let alone a commercial.

Posted by: Dick Mills | Sep 1, 2009 4:43:49 PM

Well I think he's just casting it, Dick. Not sure.

Posted by: G-A-Y | Sep 1, 2009 4:46:52 PM

Interesting that the craiglist ad, unlike the kennebec ad, doesn't mention anything about this role being for a "traditional marriage TV spot."

I imagine a few equality-minded actors being very upset if they show up for an audition only to find out the script is for Gathering Storm part deux.

Posted by: Adrian | Sep 1, 2009 6:00:29 PM

Is my gaydar on the fritz, or does this man actually look quite nelly to the rest of you? Naw, I must be dreaming. No self-respecting nelly would take NOM's filthy lucre. Would they?

Posted by: Coxygru | Sep 1, 2009 6:05:00 PM

If the sound recording on this clip is typical of Stiles' work, then I can't think of a better producer for the anti-equality message.

Posted by: John | Sep 1, 2009 7:06:48 PM

[email protected] is his email address. Send him a message to let him know this isn't right!

Posted by: Rootbeer | Sep 1, 2009 7:46:34 PM

Coxygru, I got a little of that same vibe, but I think that most gay videographers know that the pronunciation is not video-ographers. And, a gay videographer would be much more confident in his ability that he wouldn't (unless forced) throw out everything he knows about producing the perfect wedding video, in favor of some air-brained kooky nonsense that an amateur impresario would come up with. I mean, really, the latter sounds to me like the perfect plan to ensure that you don't get paid, or worse, get sued.

Posted by: Dick Mills | Sep 1, 2009 10:22:33 PM


This is excellent sleuthing work. I actually think that the video of Stiles playing a sex addict, in which he graphically discusses public masturbation and masturbation in the presence of his friend's wife, will dismay and outrage a lot of the Yes on 1 supporters. They are very particular about supporting godly businesses and I doubt they would appreciate the fact that their donated dollars went into the pocket of this guy. We should definitely spread the word about this video.

God, I hope the audition tapes leak as with Gathering Storm.

Posted by: Steven | Sep 1, 2009 10:57:40 PM

Do you think he paid royalties for that harp music or did he just steal the recording?

Posted by: TomTallis | Sep 2, 2009 3:54:44 AM

I would love to get cast in this ad and then, on the day of shooting, show up and completely fuck up every take, thereby wasting their time and money. Fucking bigoted assholes.

Posted by: peterparker | Sep 2, 2009 6:18:34 PM

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