Amalgamation of Life, Director

Blind Auditions

Thanks to all of the participants on my Facebook poll–I think I have a better grasp on what my local actor community would like to see at an audition. And to be frank, it isn’t me! A whopping 75% of respondents said they would participate as an actor/singer in a blind audition–to me, that is amazing and shocking. I like the confidence my readers have in their abilities to earn a role in a production without being seen.

I’ve been thinking about how I would accomplish selecting talent for a production–and I have already decided that my first show this will not be the case. I want to get my feet wet (soaked, if I may) with a standard audition process before venturing into a nonstandard process. Now, for full disclosure, I am thinking about Forum in my minds eye but am in way considering a blind audition for my first show. Here are my thoughts on how to succeed as a director using a blind audition to cast a show.

I don’t have any ideas yet but I am formulating some ideas of how to accomplish the singing audition, at least at my little black box theatre. The stage area is curtained, separate from the lobby area where the piano and accompanist are normally stationed during auditions and other productions. That seems relatively easy, have the actors stationed in the lobby with myself and other production staff members in the theatre or vice versa–whichever is easier for my musical director (to be honest: she scares me so it’s really whatever she prefers).

Dancing is even easier. I can excuse myself from the room while my choreographer trains, observes, and provide feedback on potential candidates. I don’t need to know people can move–and I have faith in my choreographer in identifying who is enough of a talented individual to emote while following dance instructions. I do want to say that I think this is dependent on who my choreographer is and what their training background looks like. I mean in the sense, not every one who can choreograph is a dancer and not every one who dances can choreographer–so take this with a grain of salt and watch a person in action before enlisting them on your staff.

Actors. This is tricky, this is where I stumble and lose faith in the ability to hold a blind audition. Maybe it would be easier for a non-musical but I honestly don’t know if I could do this, either. Acting is about stage presence and verbal skills. This type of audition prevents a director from seeing half of these skills. So,…what do I do? And here is my struggle bus–I have no idea. More to come, not soon because I am holding off on thinking about this until after Forum.

That’s all that I have for blind auditions but I expect to add more in the future, ’til next time.

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