5 Tips for Making the Decision of Who to Cast

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January 16, 2016 by morningcamequickly

Part 7

Deciding who to cast in a show will really affect the final product. You have gotten kids all excited about the show, given them the tools they need to succeed in an audition, and the auditions are over. Now, it’s decision time for you. Here are 5 tips to help you make the best decision and be able to sleep tonight.

  1. Don’t make the decision alone. Include and lean on and count on your personal team. This should include the drama director, choreographer, musical director, and anyone else who is immediately working with the acting part of the show. I don’t recommend having parents on this team as it can get awkward talking about their child or other students when you are on the fence about someone. Plus, rumor mills are alive and well no matter the age.
  2. Review auditions. If you recorded the auditions like I suggested in Part 6, this will help make the tough decisions. With so many students auditioning, it can be tough to remember what students did, especially when you have several that could be good for one part.
  3. Review audition forms. Look at the information students gave you on their audition forms. Do they have a lot of conflicts that will keep them from practice? Whether you know the students or not, this can help you decide how big of a part they are ready for.
  4. Be fair. You might really like a student, but will they be able to carry the part? On the other hand it might be the time to give a student who is almost there the opportunity to show you what they’ve got. Being fair is tough, but it can be done.
  5. Email the cast list home on a Saturday morning. I know in High School Musical they post the list and soon a song breaks out, but let’s face it, our schools aren’t like that. I don’t want to post the list and run out the door. Nor in this day and age is it necessary to post it on the door and have everyone see your reaction of glee or heartbreak. Email the cast list home to parents on Saturday morning and let the kids work through their emotions over the weekend so they are set for school Monday.

My audition schedule this year, was auditions Tuesday and Thursday, with callbacks on Friday. That was the schedule. What really happened was six kids showed up to audition on Tuesday, 36 students came to audition Thursday, and I had to do callbacks Thursday real quick because none of the kids I wanted to see again could come on Friday. I didn’t sleep well Thursday or Friday night as I talked with my team about who to put in what part. Saturday night I slept like a baby!

Follow these tips. I’m telling you they will help you make the right decision. In my show, everyone who had a big part last year, doesn’t have one this year. It’s okay. Each show is different and everyone doesn’t fit every part for a show every year. Let them explore other options and to enjoy being a part of the show from a different perspective. Students will be disappointed they didn’t get the role they wanted, but be patient and give them time. They will grow into their part and have fun. This is why I email home the cast list.

At all times, remember that students are students. They have feelings, social standing, and are trying to find their way. It’s hard. Do you remember the feeling of not getting the part you wanted? Do you remember the feeling of getting the part you wanted? It’s a roller coaster of emotions. As a teacher, you have the special job of taking these students through the musical season for an experience they will remember for a long time. Help them to have fun doing it.

Next time, I’ve got a neat program I developed to share with you to help build up talent in your program!

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One thought on “5 Tips for Making the Decision of Who to Cast

  1. […] Part 7: Making the Decision of Who to Cast […]

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