Angel Between the Lines

A fan audio drama that tells what happens between the seasons of Angel

Notes from the Executive Team: How BtL Does Casting

Posted by athenamuze On October - 17 - 2009

cowboyguyWritten on March 22, 2009

So here I am, frantically getting ready for the “work” part of auditions. The submission time is all cake and anxiety for me, waiting to see how many people apply, waiting to see if the right kinds of people apply, waiting to see if people are excited about the latest production.

Thankfully, I have Larissa and Heidi to help with the organizing and emailing or I would never get it all done (and hopefully they will share their parts in this).

My first step is to make sure all the files are in order. I’m sure there’s a couple stray files we don’t yet have (and should) so with the help of the girls we’ll get those tracked and requested. I’ve been able to keep on top of responding to the questions so far (there haven’t been many), and I’ve set up (with some help, thanks Rose!) the pages for the callbacks. They are not traditional callbacks really, just some roles we have that need a specific sound, so we have to ask for additional readings for them. They aren’t even necessarily large roles, just important ones with a unique sound (that’s actually true of all our roles for auditions). The callbacks are also usually roles we want to keep secret for some reason.

Once I know we have all the files for a part, I’ll download them and listen to them each. At this point I’m not concerned with who they are, I just want to listen to see what they can do. I pick out people for the callbacks and start to narrow the auditions down to a few people for the part (I check them against the original actor saying the same things, but I’m looking more for the spirit of the words than if they sound EXACTLY like the actor). If there is a clear match (this is rare) then I will figure out who it is and list it on my spreadsheet. If not, then I will list a few favorites and move on.

Once I have all the roles narrowed down to a few people, I will listen again and see if there are any standouts. Often at this point there is someone I favor and then I will indicate that.

Then comes what I like to call the giant logic puzzle. If one person is a favorite for a role then I will check to see if they auditioned for any other roles. If so, I’ll pick the one they are best for (this may be because one role is more essential than another is or because they sound PERFECT for one role and are just the best pick for another role, it varies) and then I cross that person off for all the other roles they tried. That narrows things down further and when I get stumped, I turn to Tabz and get her opinion.

There are also the points where I have it narrowed down to 5 people and am stuck (Tabz too!). At that point, I usually submit the pick to the exec team for a vote. I make sure the team has no idea who the files are of and just let them go with their gut. From there we usually have a clear choice.

There are a few other things we take into consideration, and we do this once I’ve narrowed things down. If someone is not interested in anything but a main role and they are not the best choice for that role, I’ll stop considering them. If someone has been a great and positive support and worker, then we’ll remember that. It’s true that someone could be amazing and not get cast because they turned out to be more work in the long run for us. Anyone we don’t know already gets the benefit of the doubt.

Ok so that’s the start of the process, it takes days, and this year it looks like it’ll be a while just listening through the audio (and I listen to every second). However, I’m very excited to get going! I hope this gives some insight as to how we go about casting (and was not too dull!).

Thankfully, each year the technology gets better and makes things easier for us to keep track of and organize it all, and if it weren’t for Larissa, Heidi, and Rose, I would have already pulled out all of my hair.

-Kim (Casting/Executive Producer)

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