LONDON THEATRE CASTING DIRECTORS TO HAVE ON YOUR RADAR
So much of our time as actors is taken up with emailing agents and praying the phone will ring, but times are changing! Actors are taking the work into their own hands and are reaching out to casting directors directly. When we interviewed top West End Casting Director, Pippa Ailion, Pippa gave us some great advice about what actors can be doing to increase their chances of getting a call for the West End.
To make your job of sourcing casting directors a little easier, we have listed some of the top London Theatre's casting directors below and give a little advice on how best to reach out.
ETIQUETTE FOR CONTACTING CASTING DIRECTORS:
Casting directors are busy people and they get contacted by hundreds of hopeful actors on a regular basis, so to make sure you don't go to the black list, it's important to set some 'contacting etiquette' to make sure you're giving yourself the best chance.
- Make it personal - Don't just email 'Sir/Madam' and send a blanket email to all casting directors. Research who you're contacting, what they are casting for and (if you can) get a name of the person casting the production.
- Research - Find out a little about the casting director - have you seen anything they've cast before? Why would you like to work with them?
- Don't attach massive files - Try to keep file sizes small when sending headshots and always link to your showreel as opposed to sending a large video file attached to the email.
- Check the spelling - It sounds obvious, but always check that you are spelling the person's name/theatre/title correctly. A small detail that can make a massive difference if done incorrectly.
LONDON THEATRE CASTING DIRECTORS
Looking at theatres that often promote new writing is a great way to find cutting edge plays that are often incredibly relevant to today. Take a look at their ‘what's on’ section and past productions, then research those plays to see what interests you - from there you can search online for monologues from that play or get the script.
Amy Ball - The Royal Court
Amy Ball has been the head of casting for the Royal Court since 2007 and has cast some of the West End's greatest shows including:
A Very Very Very Dark Matter, Uncle Vanya, Jerusalem, and Consent.
Hannah Miller - The Royal Shakespeare Company
Hannah Miller has been the Head of Casting at the RSC since 2008 and has cast some incredible productions. As well as casting, Hannah gives incredible advice to actors wanting to enter the industry (you can read a great article here on The Actors Advocate).
Alastair Croomer - The National
Previously Casting Director at the Donmar Warehouse, Alastair has cast a diverse range of productions at the Donmar including The Weir, Coriolanus, My Night with Reg, Privacy, City of Angels, The Vote, Les Liaisons Dangereuses, Faith Healer, St Joan, Limehouse and Belleville.
Nadine Rennie - SOHO Theatre
Nadine is Casting Director at Soho Theatre. Over the last eight years in this post Nadine has been the casting director on original productions including Olivier nominated Ivan and the Dogs by Hattie Naylor, Lampedusa by Anders Lustgarten, God’s Property by Arinze Kene, Pastoral by Thomas Eccelshare, Roaring Trade by Steve Thompson, Baghdad Wedding by Hassan Abdulrazzak, Piranha Heights & Leaves of Glass by Philip Ridley, Joe Guy by Roy Williams, Orphans by Dennis Kelly, Pressure Drop by Mick Gordon & Billy Bragg, The Long Road by Shelagh Stevenson and The One by Vicky Jones.
Anna Cooper - Donmar Warehouse
Anna is a freelance casting director. She started work at the Almeida Theatre in 2003 & works independently – largely in theatre. For the last 6 years, she has worked as an Associate to Toby Whale, across TV, film & theatre projects.
As Casting Director, recent theatre includes: A Number (Nuffield/Young Vic), Tonight at 8.30, The Hudsucker Proxy (Nuffield) and Multitudes (Tricycle). As Associate to Toby Whale, TV includes: Capital, Doc Martin, Arthur & George, Atlantis. Film includes: The Lady in the Van and Belle.
Jessica Ronane - The Young Vic
Jessica's career in casting began with Billy Elliot the Musical and a nationwide search to find potential Billy Elliots. Subsequently Jessica has cast many projects in Theatre, Film, TV, Commercials and Games - often specialising in searches for young and undiscovered talent. Recent credits for The Old Vic include Future Conditional, The Hairy Ape, The Lorax, The Master Builder, The Caretaker, King Lear, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead, Woyzeck and The Girl From The North Country
HOW TO PREPARE FOR YOUR AUDITION:
Now that you have all of the information you need on who to contact in the industry - the next thing to do is to properly prepare. This includes researching the play, noting down your audition details, warming up, developing your character and planning your rehearsal schedule for WHEN (not if) you book the job.
Luckily our Actor Life journals do just that 😉
- Audition prep pages + warm ups
- Stanislavski character-building sheets
- Script analysis pages
- Rehearsal schedules
- Weekly check-in's and goal setting
- Contacts and networking
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