Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Consider Yourself

There is a new TV show called The Glee Project.  It is a reality show (aren’t they all?) about singers hoping to get cast for a 7 episode feature on Glee.  What makes this particular show a bit unique is that it really is an extended audition.  It is conducted by the show’s original casting director, along with its vocal coach and choreographer.  There are no audience votes turning it into a popularity contest, and the directors are looking not just for the next big thing, but for someone who can be an interesting character on Glee.  (You can watch it on

The show’s director specifically said, “It’s so subjective,” pointing out that it may not be the best singer or actor or dancer who is automatically selected.  They watch the hopefuls as they interact with others.  They watch for attitude and ability to be part of a team.  Being directable – able to cheerfully take suggestions and try something different when asked – is valued.  They don’t necessarily go straight for the most talented, but are drawn to the ones who stand out because of their special combination of abilities or personality.  I will be curious to see the fate of the pretty girl who has already declared herself on camera as one of the best singers there (or did she say THE best?).  Yeah, keep on telling it to the camera…

Spoiler alert – the first two episodes are over, and two people have been cut.  In both cases, the one who was “not called back” was dismissed because of attitude.  One was difficult to work with, the other viewed as being too negative.  I always find it interesting to see the process that others go through, especially professional directors, and found it especially interesting that it is pretty much what I do.  That isn’t to say I’m up there with the pros, but it does show that almost wherever you go, people will look for the same kinds of things.  I guess after all my preaching about the importance of the whole package – talent and personality – I am reassured to see professionals weighing identical concerns. 

I finally announced the (essentially) complete casting for Xanadu, after auditioning, doing call backs, trying to determine which qualities I really needed in which characters and how different actors would look/sound/perform together.  I am so looking forward to working with a group that is talented, excited about the show and who genuinely like each other and should work well as a team.  They say that casting is about 90% of a director’s job.  Yeah, my job is done!

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