So after the initial casting call we left it a week and setup our auditions rooms. We used the TV studio for the Wednesday audition in high hope that they would flock in, all knowing too well that we wouldn’t get one through the door. We made room booked a camera for the auditions and sat in wait.
No one turned up.
So Friday’s audition came, this time in the radio studio, not ideal but it’s the best we had. We auditions 2 actors we had used before, one for the main male lead and the other for the female role. Both armed with a copy of the script they poured their heart into 15 minutes alone with our team. I think we knew what we had in store, we knew what we was to expect from them, it was more the fact of availability than of do they fit the role. They were the best candidates for the part simply because they turned up. The third person to step through the audition door was a lone student from the Birmingham School of Acting, he had applied for the role of the second male role and as such was the most experienced of the three that turned up. He had a good audition with what script was in his hands and 10 minutes to read over it, he was local, he had the part. And that was it, audition day two over and we had enough people for roles simply because they turned up, again it wasn’t ideal because it’s not how it should have been but because our casting call was so poor, it was what to expect; as the director said ‘we have people from Birmingham, isn’t that far enough?’.
Audition day three and I had high expectations of this, we were casting our second actress for the female role.I made sure that the room we used was set accordingly for the audition, it had to look professional or they wouldn’t take us seriously. She arrived promptly, handed a copy of the script and a bottle of water she performed one piece of her own and one of the script. She was right for the part and had the nod from the director and it was down to me to follow-up all the other stuff. The second audition of day three failed to turn up and after a disgruntled phone call with him we decided to forget that one (IM LOOKING AT YOU PAUL QUINN) and move on to the last audition of the day, friend of a previous audition he applied for the second male role and due to the fact her was more suited to the part, we gave him the nod.
I don’t want to bore with more details of the auditions but the result of bad casting lead to the low turn up to auditions. It was hard to get across the lack of effort in this area leads to bad auditions, yes we got ‘what we needed’ but the experience was lacking and felt we got what we asked for on the days. The fact also that we changed auditions to suit actors rather than them change for us says it all. We shouldn’t be changing dates for them but we had to because that’s all we had.
There is a positive correlation in effect here between effort and quality of production and I think it’s taken time for people to realise what’s at stake. I understand that levels of commitment are varying at this stage but it’s just looking at what you have done and putting that extra mile in which can make a better production. What has been the problem and challenge for me is trying to shift this correlation upwards and working with what can be potential in the group.
What else I have found is that in another related correlation was quality of actor-quality of production graph. Personally I felt we are better than student actors especially drama ones of our own university. We are and I know we are but step to high and the quality of actors portfolio outweighs of collective works as a whole. Now this wouldn’t be a problem if it wasn’t for the lack of spirit to match that of the actor but I don’t think we will really reach that in this production.
The bottom line with finding actors I feel and even for productions in general is that you reap what you sow, you get out what you put in and it really boils down to that. Examples of many student shorts suggest that and I know that our grade will be effected by such efforts as this.