Friday, December 12, 2008

How A.C.T. Chooses Actors

All you actors out there who wonder how a place like A.C.T. casts its shows, should go check out the A.C.T. blog. The latest post chronicles the process they went through to cast the John Guare play, Rich and Famous. The interesting thing to me is that all of the actors were cast based on recommendations and personal reputations. None of them seemed to be cast from an audition. I always suspected this was usually the case at places like A.C.T. and Berkeley Rep.

To even be considered as an actor at A.C.T. main stage production you need to either be one of the members of their core company consisting of these people:

René Augesen
Anthony Fusco
Giles Havergal
Steven Anthony Jones
Domenique Lozano
Craig Slaight
Gregory Wallace
Jud Williford
Jack Willis

(good luck with this)

or you need to know the director and she needs to WANT you in a role (he or she has to get sign-off from both Carey Perloff and the playwright) or you need to have some great New York credits with a recommendation from someone Carey Perloff knows well and respects.

It's a tall order. So, why I ask does A.C.T. have general auditions for local actors who are members of Actors Equity? My guess is because the have to. I believe it's simply something they have to do to stay in compliance with the union contract.

Will I continue to audition at A.C.T. ? Of course I will! The actor's job is to audition and to keep trying no matter what the odds. You never know who may be auditing the audition from another company. That person may imagine you in a role at a smaller theatre like the Aurora. Maybe you blow them away there in a show Carey comes to see. Maybe you get A.C.T.'s attention. Maybe a director from an off-Broadway production of a new play is in town and asks you to read for a part. Maybe that play is a huge hit. Maybe you get on A.C.T.'s radar in New York with their casting affiliate there. Maybe they give you a chance. Maybe you get a part in an A.C.T. play in the year 20025!

Now you want something fun to do this Christmas? Go see A Christmas Carol at A.C.T. Everything I just wrote doesn't apply. It's full of local talent.

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