Casting 101:

Feb 10, 2023 | Acting

Everything Actors Need to Know About The Casting Process

Casting, a pre-production process, involves selecting actors to play the titular roles, supporting roles, and even the background talents in a particular production. Casting directors employ casting calls (a job notice with role descriptions) to find and discover talents. All this makes understanding the casting process essential for actors and filmmakers. With Danny Greenberg Studio’s guide on casting, potential actors and filmmakers can understand the casting process comprehensively. 

Know The Players

When it comes to casting, casting directors are the ones who put the pieces together. They work closely with the production team to create character descriptions and requirements. After intense brainstorming, casting directors announce casting calls via breakdowns through different mediums.

A breakdown is a job notice for an audition with role descriptions to find and discover talent. Managers or agents who represent actors closely watch casting call announcements. They guide, support, and advise the performers to audition if they think the performers are suitable for the role. When they feel their talent is appropriate for a part, they “submit” them for an audition. At that point, it’s up to the casting team to decide if they want to see the actor for an audition. 

The creative team, which includes writers, composers, directors, choreographers, etc., takes care of the creative portion.

Last but not least, the producer is the one who oversees various aspects of production, right from financing to coordinating the creative team. The creative team is the ship’s captain, whereas the producer owns the ship. 

Timeline of the Production

The Writer creates a piece and approaches the producer. If the producer finds the piece worth producing, the producer will work with the writer to hire a casting and creative team. The casting team, comprised of casting directors, casting associates, will collaborate with the creative team to generate character breakdowns.

The casting team will send the character breakdowns to agents and managers and publish the casting call on websites such as actors access. The agents and managers will submit the profile of the actors they think will fit the roles. Out of many applicants, casting directors will decide who can attend an audition.

If accepted by casting directors, the actors will get an audition appointment with audition requirements from their agent or manager. Sometimes auditions are organized without appointments, called open calls, or taped ahead, known as pre-screens.

After the initial audition, the casting team chooses the actors they liked to come back and prepare specific scenes from the production. As callbacks progress, more and

more players from the creative team (director, writer, etc) come into the room. The final callback

is the last round where actors read with potential castmates to test chemistry. After this phase

producers and the creative team offer roles and the show begins.

How to Prepare for an Audition

The mantra for the audition day is simple— keep it about the work: you go in, give your best and leave.

If you are a singer, carry a book of songs highlighting your varying musical styles, showing your personality, and showcasing your vocal talent. 

If you are an actor, break down the sides (excerpts of scripts used for auditions) and make strong choices based on the character’s situation and relationship.

Analyze, practice, and get clarity on the actions of the character, the progress of the character, and their relationships. Find out the moment which plays a crucial role in your character’s development. Use this moment as a turning point in the scene where your character can’t go back to where they started. 

Everyone can study, come in, and use Stanislavski to break down a situation and find the obvious choices. But it takes planning, passion, and practice to bring yourself to the character. 

Look into what is unique about you and how you connect to the character you are playing. Understand the connection, embrace it, and bring that out—that’s what will help you get the role.

Understanding the process well makes it easier to do the rest. If you know the casting process (we hope you do now) and are passionate about acting, get in touch with The Danny Greenberg Studio today. Located in New York City, The Danny Greenberg Studio organizes acting auditions and preparation for projects involving renowned names and production companies. Contact us and book your audition preparation appointment.

Learn More About DGS:

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The Danny Greenberg Studio is a professional performing arts studio for children aged 5 to 18 in New York (Brooklyn and Manhattan!) and online, focusing on vocal and acting training.

 Our students star annually in numerous Broadway shows, national tours, and feature films. Our studio welcomes students of all levels between 6 and 18 to foster their love of performing. Once they’re ready, we also help connect students to top agents and casting directors.

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We provide private lessons in-person and online in singing, acting, audition coaching, industry professional workshops, showcases, musical theater classes, and admissions prep with curriculums tailored to each child’s needs so they can build their self-confidence. Each year, we coach students for DOE High School auditions, and they consistently get into Laguirdia, Frank Sinatra, and PPAS. We teach acting, singing, and dancing lessons in midtown Manhattan, Greenpoint, and Park Slope Brooklyn. Zoom lessons are also available. Contact us for more information on the admissions process.