Casting AKA Crushing Dreams

The past two weeks we’ve had casting for Betty’s.

Our first location where we held auditions was my home away from home, Under the Gun Theater. 

Here’s how casting went.

As previously mentioned, we reached out to theaters, acting schools, etc to find actors. Based on headshots and resumes, Hayley whittled down the 70 some inquires to about 35. Using Sign Up Genius, we had the actors a select time slot when they were free. We had an audition slot every ten minutes for three hours over two days.

Hayley then emailed the actors sides to have ready for the audition and a brief synopsis of the character. Typically, she sent them sides and bios for two characters she thought they’d be a fit for. However, depending on how they performed, during the actual audition we could call an audible and have them do a blind read of a totally different character they could be a fit for that we didn’t expect.

On the actual day of auditions, we set up a table for Hayley, the AD, and myself to take notes on each actors performance. We also set up a cheap flip camera on a tripod to film each audition. When the talent came in we just had them talk for a few minutes about themselves, what they had previously done, and their thoughts on the script. This serves a couple different purposes.

  1. We learn more about the actor personally (you don’t want to work with total weirdos or creeps.
  2. Talking to the actor – hopefully – makes them less nervous so they give a better performance.
  3. It lets you get a feel for how the actor sees the script/character.

Auditioning is really stressful for an actor and actually pretty terrible. So keep that in mind.

After the brief introduction, we had the actor do their scene with a scene partner (an actor friend of ours). We might have them do the scene again after Hayley gave them a note (to see how they take notes) or have them improvise a scene as their character. The ten minutes flies by, so we had to keep things moving.

We then told them great job and that they would know if they got the part in two weeks. We also made clear we’d also let them know if they DIDN’T get selected. A lot of times productions don’t let actors know they didn’t get something. Personally, I think that’s rude and shitty. It’s not hard to BCC the list of actors that didn’t make it and let them know.

After the two days of auditions, Hayley reviewed the camera footage we had and sent out a preliminary casting list to me and asked if I had any feedback. I gave my two cents and she’ll soon offer roles to actors.

We’re still working on finding a bakery….