Tag Archives: casting

Racially Blind Casting… or, not?

26 Jul

As a Japanese- Hungarian-Irish woman who type casts as Mexican, I am so very torn on the issue of ethnically-specific casting versus blind casting.

I think, in terms of the bigger picture, if a theater company wants to expand and diversify their membership, then perhaps ethnic characters are a good way to do that. If the play calls for ethnically specific roles, which our group cannot satisfy, then it is a perfect opportunity to reach out to a theater community who might not be as aware of our company.

But that means I can’t play the Mexican. And that is almost all I play.

Read full post here at the Diversity at NOTE blog

Guest Post on Diversity at Note: Color Confusion

23 Feb

Another blog about a blog I blog…  This one was started by a fellow actor/producer/rock star NOTEr and it’s all about diversity in the LA theater world. It’s still young, but growing. I think it deals with important issues not only in the theater community, but in the acting community at large. I talk about some of these things in my first post on this brand spanking new blog.

Here’s a sample:

I am a half Japanese, quarter Irish, quarter Hungarian Jewish female actor born and raised in Los Angeles, CA.

But to most people I look Mexican. (And to confuse things even further, my born and bred Japanese mother currently resides in Mexico… but that’s a whole other story.) After that, the ethnicities I usually get are Filipino and Native American. I can speak speak Spanish and Japanese conversationally, but I’m American and my native language is English. So, in the world of casting, where does that leave me?…”

You can read the full post on Diversity at Note.

The Other Side Part 3: Callbacks

22 Feb

If you want to become a better auditioner… hold your own auditions! I swear I am still learning so much from being on the other side. Just when I think I’ve seen it all, someone throws me for a loop.

For instance,

Show up! If you’re given an audition appointment- you honer it. And that doesn’t mean 25min after your scheduled callback time. Sorry, buddy, got other things to do! And, no, I wont reschedule.

Make a choice! Now I really know what acting coaches, casting directors and the like mean when they say how important it is for actors to just make a choice, any choice, when they audition. After seeing auditioner after auditioner just come in and give this lukewarm read that was more or less the general mood of the piece, the actor that came in and did the work of coming up with a choice would undoubtedly stand out. Even if that choice was weird, or didn’t follow the logic of the rest of the sides, it didn’t matter. We were just excited to see someone commit to something! To watching something actually happen on stage.

No excuses! When we give you a re-direction please don’t get defensive. Usually it’s a good thing, anyway, because it means we actually want to see more of your work. But if we say “try it like this…” and you say “well, how am I supposed to do that if I don’t know the rest of the play!” then we think “have you never auditioned before?!” Usually sides are just that, sides, not a whole script! You don’t have to tell me that you haven’t seen the other pages– I know, I’m the one who sent them to ya! I don’t care if what you do doesn’t make sense in the rest of the play. All I care about is that you show me something, anything. Like I said before, make a choice.

Hold your script! These are callbacks, so yes, it’s best if you’ve memorized your lines. But if you don’t know the lines 110% then, please, spare us. We wont hold it against you that you’ve got your script in hand. A solid performance with a script is better than a rocky performance without the script.

Bring energy! Don’t suck it out of the room. There were some people who, maybe they were good, I have no idea, because they came in with such low energy I struggled to pay attention to what was going on. Then there were people who, may not have been the greatest actor in the world, but had such great energy when they walked into the room, when they were playing the part, when they were receiving the re-direction that they instantly went to the top of my list.




Related Reading: The Other Side &The Other Side Part 2

Audition Flop

11 Feb

Don’t you hate that feeling when you walk out of the casting room and you know, you just know you blew it? It sucks. But, I’ve noticed something… I feel like that only happens when I kinda know the person I am auditioning for.

Yesterday I had an audition for a SAG Ultra-Low Budget Feature and it was the director herself who called me in, thinking I fit one of the female lead roles. I was flattered and excited, but really nervous– and I’m not generally the type that gets nervous for auditions. I’d say I’m pretty good at the whole- walk in, give it your all, walk out and forget about it-thing. But this time it was different. You’d think actually knowing the person would help, right? Like, actually calm the nerves. Nope, not at all.

But there must be a way to turn this around… Use the fact that I know them to help improve my auditioning skills, not hamper them. I dunno, sometimes I feel like auditioning is like the SATs. SATs don’t show someone how smart you are– they show someone how well you take the SATs. Auditions don’t show someone how well you act,  just how well you audition.