Sunday, October 03, 2004

Mixing It Up: The Moonies and the Newbies

As we mentioned before, the cast of 'Can-Can' is a healthy mix of long-time 42nd St. Moon audience favorites and complete newcomers.

I asked Greg how some people end up being regulars, and how he takes it into account when casting a show like 'Can-Can.' His response should be illuminating to anyone who works in the theatre:

"Everyone wants a harmonious work experience. 42nd St. Moon rehearses for a short period of time, which makes it inherently stressful. With people you've worked with before, you know going in how you’re going to work together. With our regulars, you can use short-cuts. It makes you more comfortable, and in this situation, the bigger comfort level, the better.

We're just lucky that our regulars are also some of the best performers out there, like Bill Fahrner.

Now, on the other hand, new people bring in new energy…it’s exciting. So you try to bring in a mix.

And then some performers feel like regulars after a pretty short period of time. Alex, our Claudine, has only been performing with us for a year and a half, but already feels like a regular.

I can tell you that Greg's opinion on working with people you know will be easy to work with is pretty universal. I've done vocal directing, and every casting discussion you have includes this element. Even at the level of high school. I'm vocal directing a production of "Fiddler" right now at a local high school, and the director used the same criteria: will it be a harmonious work experience; will they be reliable.

Greg's point about needing new energy is relevant too. I know it sounds like a Catch 22 that people like to work with those they know, but there is always room for newcomers.

I think the biggest take-away (yes, corporate-speak in a theatre blog...horrors!) is not so much you have to be a regular to get cast, it's more that if you've already shown yourself to be a pain in the neck you probably won't get cast!

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