On this lovely Sunday morning in Berkeley, with the smell of fresh granola and patchouli wafting on the early winter breeze, I would like to take a moment to raise my piping hot chai and salute the casting directors, directors, choreographers, and musical directors who take time out of their busy schedules to grace EPAS, ECCs, open calls, and other off the beaten path talent scouting opportunities with their presence; those who are actively seeking new and exciting talent. I mean that sincerely. Not as the backhanded compliment it sounds like. Sometimes I struggle with sincerity.
All too often actors find themselves in the audition room with an intern or an assistant to an assistant. Gatekeepers. The audition process involves passing through a series of antechambers before you reach the sanctum sanctorum. The theatrical holy of holies. The creative team. I can understand that the people at the top of the food chain are busy but then I think to myself…so are the people at the bottom. Everyone is busy. It’s New York City. Even the homeless are busy. It’s about priorities.
If I could have one Thanksgiving wish it would be for the BIG FISH (rest in peace) to make it a priority to find the best of the little fish. To foster new talent. To be aware of the talent right in front of them. Wouldn’t everyone benefit from this? Is anyone out there guiding talent for the greater good? Is graduation from a BFA program where mentorship ends? Is everyone simply too busy?
You know that thing where everyone knows that a role is being cast (especially for replacements) and the process draws on and on while rumors circulate of how they just can’t find the right person? In almost every single one of these cases I believe that I could have cast the role in an afternoon simply by messaging someone on Facebook. Do you know why I feel that way? Because I’m in the room. Because I see every single, special actor. And most of all because there is no shortage of talent in New York City. There’s simply a shortage of vision.
On that note I’m stepping off my soapbox and resuming my Sunday morning activities. Perhaps I’ll play some show tunes on the Spotify and take the dog for a walk. But before I head out the door I want to say a very real and very sincere thank you to all of the people who are investing their time, energy, and resources in new talent.
I’m looking at you Tara Rubin. Thank you for this. Sometimes a newcomer can be every bit as exciting as a star.