How Does a Casting Call Work?



  • The process of the casting call can vary from project to project and depending on the company, the talent needed or casting director running call. Regardless of whether or not if it is an open call or a scheduled call, it begins with registration or the sign in. At the sign in table, the talent submits their headshot and credit lists to the assistant running the registration. At this point they are checked in and assigned an audition slot.

The Audition

  • Once the talent is scheduled his slot, he waits in a waiting room until it is time for him to audition. Here is where the audition pieces vary depending on what the production may need. In the case of a musical production, an actor prepares a song and monologue to demonstrate his talent. In the case of a dance audition, dancers are put through grueling routines to weed out those not suitable for the production. During this time, producers, directors and casting directors watch potential talent perform, make notes and through attrition build their preliminary cast list. In the case of a film of television production, an actor is taped auditioning from "sides" which are essentially a scene or scenes pages taken from the script. One of the benefits of working with a casting director is that even though you may not be right for their current project, they have put a name with a face and have an idea of your abilities.

The Call Back

  • Once the preliminary cast list is complied, the talent pool is narrowed down even further by a call back audition. This is an opportunity for those casing the project to further see the talents of those wanting a part in the production. Here combination of talent may be put together to see if the chemistry between them is compatible, especially in the case of a film where actors are put together to "act out " a scene from a film or play. During this phase, it is not uncommon for one actor to work with several hopefuls on one scene to ensure the correct fit. Once the call back is completed, the waiting game begins. Some projects cast immediately based on need and timeframe, others take time to make their decisions. Once the decision is made, those who were cast in their roles are contacted either through their management or agent and a deal is negotiated for the tenure of the project.

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