Casting Director’s Audition Checklist
Before Auditions Begin:
- Photocopy audition forms.
- Photocopy releases forms.
- Get pens or pencils if needed.
- Take down audition signup on callboard. Make copies—one for each director to have in the room and one for the assistants to have outside to check people in when they arrive.
- Post a sign where the signup sheet used to be saying “Auditions Tonight in Room ___. If you would like to audition but have not signed up, please come by and we will see you as soon as we can.”
- Arrive at audition room at least 30 minutes before the start of auditions to set up room and outside the room. Inside the room you will need a larger table with chairs for all directors and stage managers, and a table outside for ASMs to check in the actors when they arrive.
- At the end of the night, restore the room.
After Auditions / Before Call Backs:
- Get sides information from directors for callbacks.
- Make copies of sides to put in Theatre Arts office for actors to look at.
- Make copies of the audition forms for all directors interested in a particular actor. (If they are on two lists, make two copies).
- Check in the office before 4:30 pm and pick up any sides left. Make a few more copies so you have some for the audition—not everyone will bring the sides with them.
- Make enough copies of the sides so that the director can have one copy of each in the room with him/her that will never need to be given to an actor.
- Have at least two copies of the full script, in case the director decides to read another scene during callbacks that you haven’t made copies of.
- Get a copy of your cast list from the director. At the first rehearsal, you will have all cast members fill out medical forms and photo release forms.
- Make a cast contact sheet using the information from the audition forms that you can pass out to the actors at the first rehearsal.
- Return blank forms, pencils, and any forms from actors not cast.
- Get spike tape, etc. to be ready to start rehearsals!
If you’ve followed the Casting Director’s Checklist, you’ll find yourself in the best position to make the right casting choices for your film. Two final golden rules to bear in mind:
- NEVER make a snap decision when casting. Take your time to consider each actor thoroughly, even if that takes days or weeks.
- A follow-up call confirming time and location 24 hours before the audition can help combat no-shows. But on a given project, expect only around 50% of all people who initially expressed interest to turn up. It’s a sad fact of life, but don’t be tempted to squeeze auditions together in an attempt to reduce downtime caused by people missing slots.
Casting Directors Terminology
Audition: A formally arranged session (usually by appointment through an agent) for an actor to display his or her talents when seeking a role in an upcoming production of a play, film or television project, usually to a casting director, director or producers.
Callback: A second audition where an actor is either presented to the producer and director or, in the case of commercials, is filmed on tape again for final consideration.
Casting: When a casting director puts out the news that he needs to fill a certain role that requires an approximate age range and appearance such as a certain ethnicity, height, build or look.
Cold Reading: Delivering a speech or acting a scene at an audition without having read it beforehand.
Concept Meeting: A gathering of the producer, director and casting director to reach an agreement about the look and quality of each character in a script.
Image: The casting type or quality you wish to convey and portray to the theatrical community.
Pre-reads: An advance reading by a casting director who is unfamiliar with an actor’s work prior to taking the actor to meet a producer or director.
Reader: Another actor who is paid, or volunteers, to help the casting office by playing all the other characters during an audition so the casting director can concentrate on the actor being screened.
Screen Test: A recorded audition to determine a person’s suitability as an actor for film or television.
Type Casting: Assigning a role to an actor on the basis of his or her surface appearance or personality.
Typed-out: The elimination of an actor during auditions because of such obvious features as height, weight or age
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