- Is it really about characteristics? Is their nose right? (This was an arbitrary physical characteristic I pulled out of my head) Is this character mentioned to be a blonde? And does it make sense to buy a wig or cast someone with naturally blonde hair?
- What about their capability to handle and receive notes? It can be about how someone acts and reacts versus how they look, and how the character has been portrayed in previous productions.
- Unavoidable, in almost every production, is chemistry between actors; especially in a show driven by a couple (or, their antics if it’s a comedy).
- Does the actor move naturally, is there a lot of thought behind their moves? Does this show lack of forethought? or too much forethought? Is it nerves? Is it method?
- Give the actor something to use; an objective, challenge the objective, enjoy and indulge in it. Take notes on how they receive feedback and either take your suggestions and run with them or let them fizzle out.
Know what’s important to you; talent, time, and treasure. How do they use themselves to fulfill the role? Do you see the work and effort an actor has put in in making this role as their own? Bonus: if they convince you this is an amazing route for both that character and your show; they could enlighten you in a new direction that takes your show over the edge (within reason and rights standards).
Are they comfortable with you, with others, with themself and your staff? Remember: it’s not about *only* about you and your show. It’s about this broader production that brings a group of strangers together for a common goal: an amazing and fun performance, night after night.
Know what you want, but remain flexible to see new things and how it can be melded together in the future. Always be ready to pivot back to your original plan in case something goes awry, one can never be too careful or cautious, experimental only works so far and with so many other changes. You never know what might work for the better, remain open as best as you can.
‘Til next time.