I love and loathe the casting process. Searching for the right actor for your vision of a part can be overwhelming. For the Epsilon Summer Season at The Park Theatre, we made the decision to put a call out for actors through our personal contacts of producers, directors and casting director Nadine Rennie.
Crystal Springs has six female characters and Chicken Shop three with two male, so our aim had been to find three women who we could cross cast across the two productions. However this couldn’t be at the detriment of any of the parts, we didn’t want to find someone who was fantastic for one play and then shoe-horn them into the second. In the end only two have been cross cast for this very reason and it’s actually a joy to have a larger group of actors coming on board with Epsilon.
My top 5 tips for auditioning:
1. Don’t bring in hundreds of people. You will tire yourself and your team out, giving yourself far too many wonderful people to choose from and unfortunately also have some incredible wastes of time. Be selective from those who apply – take time to read CV’s, watch show reels, look at the work they have done before. Take recommendations.
2. If you have asked people to prepare scenes or speeches – see ALL of the work. You have asked someone to take time out of their day, travel at their own expense and come and meet with you and, on top of that, if you have asked them to prepare a good actor has probably spent a fair few hours getting themselves ready. Personally I think its common courtesy to see what work they have done. Equally it will also show you how they work by themselves and their own insights into the piece.
3. Work with them on the piece. Re-direct, question, and play. Even in a small amount of time you can establish a rapport with your actor, put them at ease, draw out great work and see if they respond to your ideas on the piece. If you have a particular way of working in rehearsal (for example I often use under-reading and intend to with both pieces) try it out with them in the room or at least check they know what it is. I’ve heard from directors and actors alike that once in the room they found a new technique or a way of working difficult to settle with, something that occasionally could have been avoided if it had been discussed at audition.
4. Try not to hold onto initial judgments. We all do it! Judge someone the moment they enter, think – ‘n’ah they’re not going to be right.’ Sometimes this instinct is uncannily correct BUT it can also be wrong and that person you haven’t bothered to spend time with or not given your full attention to could be the ‘wild card’ perfect person for your show.
5. Bring an actor you trust into the room with you especially someone already involved with the project. It’s one thing if someone can take direction but how do they respond to the actor playing opposite them?
The Team is…..
So it is with great excitement that we announce our cast for the Epsilon Summer Season (though with still one to find…)
For Crystal Springs by Kathy Rucker: Suzan Sylvester as Linda, Angela Bull as Rose, Rebecca Boey as Hayley, Tiana Khan as Jenna, Pearle Mackie as Mia and Lucy Roslyn as Claire.
For Chicken Shop by Anna Jordan; Angela Bull as Hilary, Mille Reeves as Katie, Jesse Rutherford as Hendrix and Lucy Roslyn as Luminita.
We are still casting the part of Leko for Chicken Shop late thirties, dark, controlling, large presence, intense, drunk or high a lot, unpredictable, explosive – Albanian