In this article, I (Daniel) am going to walk you (the show director or stage manager) through everything you need to know about hosting online audition signups with Cast98.
If you haven't already posted your show to Cast98, that's going to be your first step. Obviously. Once you've posted your show, go to the editing panel and begin filling in your audition information (and other details like performance dates, cast info, etc.). That's where we're going to pick up in this guide for auditions.
From within the editing panel for a show, you have a handful of options to set the stage for auditions.
Audition Time Slots
It will be difficult for you to include individual time slots for dozens of auditionees, so I recommend that you schedule audition arrivals in blocks. For example, if you plan for each audition to last 7 minutes, offer half hour time slots and set the max capacity for each time slot to 4. 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.
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. What kind of song should I prepare? Should I bring sheet music or will it be acappella? Will there be any choreography or script reading? Is it a group audition or individual? How long will it take? Answer all the performer's questions to help them feel at ease before they ever walk in the door.
You can begin building the cast list long before auditions. A list of available roles will be made available to auditionees so they can decide if there is a particular role they want to put on their audition form. Any role assignments on the cast list are kept private until you are ready to announce the cast list publicly.
Read more about the cast list under the After Auditions heading.
Performers cannot sign up for an audition time until you publish your auditions. So it's safe for you to plan ahead and save your audition times in Cast98 even if you want to wait and make a big official announcement when auditions will be opened. Build the suspense!
To sign up for an audition, performers only need to answer a couple of show-specific questions, choose a time slot, and submit. Their Cast98 profile and conflict calendar are automatically attached to their audition form, so there is never a need to pass out paper forms!
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.
Quickly review every auditionee's profile and conflicts as well as their audition form when they walk into the room.
Save notes and observations about each audition for easy reference later, when casting decisions get tough. More on this under the After Auditions heading.
For studios with a pro membership, the scorecard can be used to numerically rate auditionees in various skill areas.
Publish the Cast List
For each available role in the cast list, there is a dropdown menu that contains the names of all auditionees. Simply select a performer to assign them a role. When you're finished, toggle the Publish Cast List option and save. Performers will now be able to see their name highlighted on the cast list and their conflicts have been synced to the Rehearsal Schedule Builder.
Announce the Cast List
There is an email template available in the show editing panel for announcing your cast list. It pulls all the email addresses from your pool of auditionees into a text box for easy copy-and-paste. Do the same for the email body, edit as you wish, and send to thank everyone for attending auditions and instruct them to login on Cast98 for the posted cast list.
Welcome the Cast
There is an email template available in the show editing panel for welcoming cast members who made the cut. It pulls all the email addresses from your cast list into an easily copy-and-pasted text box. Do the same for the email body, edit as you wish, and send off to your cast to make them aware of their new responsibilities.
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.
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.
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