This weekend was spent casting my society’s production of Grease! As musical director it is my role, alongside my lovely production team, to watch all our members audition and decide how we want to cast each role. To say it was a difficult decision would be an understatement!
We were lucky enough to get the university’s dance studio to hold auditions in which was amazing as we had plenty of space and meant the 16+ hours we spent in the same room was made more bearable. We were also lucky enough to have our panto stage manager Jordan sit in on auditions as an extra set of eyes alongside that of myself, our director and choreographer. Apart from the difficulty of picking a cast from such a talented group of people, we had a blast!
The way we set out the audition process in Loco involves each member booking a 15 minute audition slot in which they are expected to read an acting audition piece for the character they would like and also sing a song that I had selected from the show. The Friday before the acting and singing auditions, we also hold dance auditions where everyone is taught a section of a dance. The dance auditions were so fun and it was lovely to see all our members getting so involved and pumped for the show.
Our decision was made so difficult due to the number of excellent auditions given. I can honestly say everyone made me so proud and thinking about it now I am still chuffed with how hard everyone worked.
Due to my production role, the most prominent element I look at during individual auditions is obviously the singing, specifically an ability to harmonise, range and pitch as the auditions are acapella. I also really look for a strong attempt at an American accent, stage presence, the capturing of the character and how well each person would work within the groupings and couples in the show.
The issue we faced in casting came down to the fact that we had so many strong contenders for each role but in the end we had to go with our gut and what we thought was best for the show. The worst part of the role is knowing that no matter what you do there will be people that are disappointed. However, in Loco we consider ourself a family and we support each other. We all want to put on the best show possible and that is why we chose the cast we did. I’m so excited to get started on my last venture as MD!
Let’s do Grease!