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Director's Guide to Auditions

Cast98 docs

In this article, I (Daniel) am going to walk you (the show director or stage manager) through everything you need to know about managing your auditions process with Cast98.

If you haven't already posted your show to Cast98, that's going to be your first step. You need to be the admin of a studio to post a show, so perhaps adding your studio to Cast98 is your real first step.

Once you've posted your show, make the editing panel your destination to begin filling in all the relevant information.

There's separate space for you to provide:

  • Performance Information (visible to public)
  • Audition Information (visible to public)
  • Cast Information (visible to cast and crew)
  • Rehearsal Information (visible to cast and crew)

But we're not here to discuss all that stuff, we want to focus on auditions.

Before Auditions

From within the editing panel for a show, you have a handful of options to set the stage for auditions. Let's go through them.

Audition Information

This is the main text area where you can talk all about what performers should expect when they arrive at auditions. Include here any and all details about arrival procedures (check-in?) and set proper expectations.

Consider answering these common questions in your audition information:

  • What kind of song should I prepare?
  • Should I bring sheet music, a karaoke track, or prepare to sing acappella?
  • Will there be any choreography or a cold read?
  • Is it a group audition or individual?
  • How long will my audition take?

Answer all the performer's questions to help them feel at ease before they ever walk in the door.

Audition Venue

It would be a mistake to assume everyone coming to auditions knows where your venue is located. Just select your venue from the dropdown. If your venue isn't in the dropdown, click the link to add it. Simple.

Audition Time Slots

If you have dozens of auditionees, the most effective way to schedule them is in blocks. For example, if you plan for each audition to last 5 minutes, offer half hour time slots and set the max capacity for each time slot to 6. This will minimize waiting for your performers and offsets the risk of running behind or accommodating a late arrival.

Note: Scheduling in blocks is the same method used by Disney for their theme parks' FastPass. It's legit.

How to set your audition time slots

Enter the date, the start time, and a short description of the time slot in the editing panel. Add another time slot by clicking the green plus sign, or remove an unwanted time slot by clicking the red trash can. Order doesn't matter; when actors see them on the show page, they'll be sorted chronologically.

List of Available Roles

You can begin building the cast list at any time. If you don't publish the cast list, available roles will be shown to auditionees so they can decide if there is a particular role they prefer when filling out the audition form. Any role assignments from the cast list are kept private until you publish the cast list.

Read more about the cast list after auditions.

How to define available roles

Click the Edit Cast List & Crew button on the editing panel. On the Cast List, type the character role(s) in the second column. Add another cast member by clicking the green plus sign, or remove an unwanted time slot by clicking the red trash can. Save your changes.

Publishing The Audition Form

Performers cannot sign up for an audition time until you publish the audition form. This makes it safe for you to plan ahead for a big announcement when auditions will be opened.

How to publish your audition form

Toggle the option Publish auditions? to Yes.

Signing Up For Auditions

To sign up for an audition, performers will click the big green button on your show page. It takes them to the online form.

The auditions form is broken up into 3 parts:

  1. First, auditionees are asked for their contact information, emergency information, and past experience acting, singing, dancing, etc. This information is saved to their profile so that it's readily available next audition.
  2. Second, auditionees fill in their conflict calendar. Again, their conflicts are stored in their profile to save time next audition.
  3. Lastly, auditionees choose a time slot, state any role preferences, and submit. There's space for them to enter any Additional Information, too, so if you (the director) leave instructions in the audition information to use that field, they can tell you what it is you'd like to know.

Auditionee Dashboard

As soon as they sign up, you will see their information on the dashboard for auditionees. Keep reading to learn more about the auditionee dashboard.

During Auditions

From within the editing panel for a show, show directors can monitor auditions as they are ongoing and keep a record of who is coming, who has already auditioned, and who is a no-show.

Auditionees Dashboard

Quickly review every auditionee that has signed up for an audition. See their audition time, their scorecard and any notes you've left, and click to view their complete audition form. profile and conflicts as well as their audition form when they walk into the room.

Audition Scorecard

Score auditionees in 5 key performance areas:

  1. Acting score
  2. Voice score
  3. Dance score
  4. Stage presence score
  5. Looks score

An overall score will be calculated for each auditionee that is an average of these performance scores. If your studio so chooses, you can let auditionees see their scorecard after the show closes. Learn more about audition insights.

Director Notes

Make note of your thoughts and observations during each audition for easy reference later, when casting decisions get tough.

Especially useful if you are watching a hundred or more auditions, you can what roles you're considering for each auditionee and whether you want to see them at callbacks. Auditionees will be color-coded on the dashboard if they are marked for callbacks or offered a role.

How to make director notes

Click on an auditionee to open their profile. On the right side, under the performance score sliders, type any roles you're considering for them and leave any notes that you want to remember later. Save your changes.

After Auditions

Publish the Cast List

For each available role in the cast list, you get a dropdown list of all your auditionees. Select a performer to assign them to a role. When you're finished, toggle the Publish Cast List option to Yes and save your changes. Performers will now be able to see the cast list, their name will be highlighted if they're on it, and their conflicts will automatically sync into the Rehearsal Schedule Builder.

Announce the Cast List

There is an email starter template available to you for announcing your cast list. It contains a thank you to all auditionees for coming out and instructions for viewing the cast list on Cast98.

Also provided is a copy-and-pastable list of all the auditionee email addresses. You're welcome.

Welcome the Cast

There is another email starter template available for congratulating and welcoming cast members. It contains instructions on how to login to edit their cast bio and view important cast information.

Also provided is a copy-and-pastable list of all the cast and crew email addresses. You're welcome [again].

Audition Insights

Studios have the option to unlock audition insights for performers to see. If they do, a link will appear on auditionees' Backstage Dashboard ten days after opening night (long after auditions have concluded). Performers can pay a small fee to see the notes you (the director) left during their audition, as well as any scorecard results.

This is a feature intended to help auditionees improve their skills over time, so they will only be prompted to purchase Audition Insights if adequate notes exist. Insights also give the studio a chance to recoup some costs associated with using Cast98, as revenue from Insights is shared.

Late Conflicts

It is up to you (the director) whether you want to accept late conflicts or not. If a performer comes to you stating that they need to add more conflicts, advise them to update their conflict calendar. After they do, you can merge their new conflicts into the audition form on the Auditionees tab (refer to Before Auditions). Pull up their audition form and click Save & Sync. Their adjusted conflict calendar is now re-synced with the Rehearsal Schedule Builder.

Conclusion

Hopefully this guide to auditions serves as a helpful resource as you make the transition to using Cast98 for online audition signups and beyond. If you have any feedback about this article, please reach out on Twitter or via the official support form.

- Daniel Fowler, Founder

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