Auditions are hard – for all of us. We don’t like to say “no” – but we simply can’t cast everyone.
We truly appreciate the courage it takes put yourself on the line by auditioning. The outcome can be exhilarating or very disappointing. What feels like rejection when you don’t get the role you want, or even a part at all -- is still a learning experience - no matter your age.
Still, it’s best for everyone if you understand the process.
What we won’t do:
Reconsider a casting decision. Once a casting decision has been made, it is final. The casting team will not offer explanations for, entertain complaints about, or discuss in any way the decisions that have been made, with anyone. We’ve agonized and considered. It took many, many hours.
Discuss casting decisions with parents or others. Never. The casting team will not discuss their decision or anyone’s audition with others outside of the audition team. No exceptions.
What we will do:
Provide written feedback. If someone wishes to receive written feedback after the cast list is posted, about their audition, they are welcome to email: firstname.lastname@example.org. One of the directors on the casting team will respond with a personal email as soon as they are able after casting is completed. (This may take several weeks, so please be patient). This will be a single response with constructive feedback regarding the audition, and specific advice on what to work on for improvement.
Describe what does go into casting a show. Casting is a challenging and complicated process, involving multiple variables. Many key elements that go into a casting decision are simply out of one person’s control – least of all the actor’s control.
What goes into the casting consideration:
1. Acting ability: A person’s theatrical “instincts”; believability as a character; versatility; willingness to try new things; and learned and developed skills; a broad intellectual and emotional pallet from which to draw.
2. Speaking ability: Vocal quality, flexibility, range, volume. Enunciation, clarity of speech, variation of inflection.
3. Musicality: Ease with music and singing; intuition about expressiveness. This can mean pitch, style, and tempo, and suitable vocal range for the part as written.
4. Your Availability: We seek actors who will be at nearly every rehearsal – because others need you in order for them to rehearse.
5. Dance/Movement: Dance skills, grace, flair, accuracy; a sense of control with the body and ability to use it in the service of a character.
6. Preparedness: How well presented the audition is — memorized, rehearsed, clearly thought out, and appropriateness to the role/show for which a person is auditioning.
7. Type: How “right” someone is for a given role — not simply how someone looks, but more their energy, posture, gestures, and temperament. Others we cast may impact or revise the others we can place in the show. General suitability for the character.
8. Chemistry: How the actor works or “connects” on stage with another actor or actors. It’s critical when casting lead or ensemble performers.
9. Focus: Willingness to invest in whatever it is he/she is doing on stage. Following direction when it is counter-intuitive – especially at an audition. Be in the moment.
10. Professionalism: promptness, preparedness, discipline, respect for directors and fellow actors; appropriate balance between confidence and humility; and an ability to collaborate for the good of the group.
11. Courage: Evident openness to taking risks, especially while auditioning, enabling an actor to venture into unknown territory and being willing to appear foolish.
12. Director Preference: A director may simply have a certain voice, look, height, shape, sound, or skill level in mind for a role. It’s not that you are wrong, someone else is what they had in mind.
13. Package: Other actors may be better suited to a role. They may have better acting skills. You may be the better singer. Yet they dance a little better – so they are ultimately cast.
14. A Good Audition: Some days are better than others. It is so with auditions. Know that if you prepare and audition well, you just might get the part that you want. Bring your “A” game to every audition!
* Liberally amended and edited from Casting Policy of Youth Musical Theatre Company of Berkeley, CA.