Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Music Director Interview - Question #4

This summer I began an interview process with three lovely Music Directors. All work in different areas of the country so I wondered if their answers would vary widely to the SIX – very long – questions I asked them about what their preferences are when in an audition situation.
Jeff Caldwell works on the east coast in the New York area, on Broadway and Off Broadway.
Darcy Danielson is the resident Music Director at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival.
Kim Dare works in Seattle at various Equity and Non-Equity companies

This is Question #4

When people are really great, but they don't get the part, what
have been some reasons you don't cast them?
 Casting - ah yes. Sizes, types, other people. Most often if you don't get cast it is due to circumstances beyond your control. 5th Ave had to change some folks around years ago in a production I was involved in due to the height of the leading lady they'd hired from New York. But, here's a real insider tip: your reputation in the business can make a difference. Two stories - I benefited from this in grad school because of a voice teacher I played for. In a casting session she just said "Oh, I love Jeff Caldwell" and I got the role over many more deserving singers. End of story.

And a very talented actress was not cast in a very lucrative tour of a recent R&H classic revival because of who she'd be sharing a dressing room with. The sentence "Oh they hate each other" was said, and the director took her out of the consideration pile to protect the actress already in the tour. End of story.
So it works both ways: How you treat people, who you've slept with, what relationships you've ruined (etc...) all play an unfair but realistic part of the casting process.


It nearly always has to do with either type or temperament.


Here are a few that I've seen VERY recently:
  • The actor was too short next to the actor who had been hired to play against them
  • The actor was terrific, but too mature in ways that could not be 'young-ed' down
  • When paired with others in the reading (callback) there wasn't the chemistry that we'd have liked to have seen
  • The actor was too young in ways that could not be 'aged'
  • The looks just wasn't right. And, thus far, the shows that I've worked on have operated in 'color blind' casting manner – it wasn't a race thing
  • It just didn't feel right. Super talented person, did great in the audition, just didn't feel like the right person for that role

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for this post Detta. My daughter auditioned last night for a role in The Sound of Music. She wasn't successful and has really been down on herself. While she performed well, I believe that it really came down to a height issue - she is very tall. I will show her this tonight and hopefully it will reinforce that sometimes you just are not the right person for the part (no matter how much you want it). - Cheryl