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AUGUST 29, 2022


AUDITION ADVICE IN A POST-COVID WORLD


A4D’s series on How To Audition in a Post COVID World has been filled with tips for virtual auditions in 2022. We received great advice from Jim Keith, partner and president, The Movement Talent Agency (MTA) and Brandon Sierra, Director of LA Talent / Agent, McDonald Selznick Associates (MSA). They share even more audition tips to help guide you:

A4D: How have auditions changed in a post-covid world?

Jim Keith/MTA: There are no more auditions with 100’s of dancers showing up and auditioning for that first round any more. Everyone’s taping first. There are a few in person first calls, but they are few and far between. In person castings are mostly at the call back stage. The majority of auditions accept tapes first and then they’ll bring you in for an in person if you get a call back.

Brandon Sierra/MSA: Auditions are still very different in that the majority of opportunities we’re seeing are still of the self tape variety with very few “in person” auditions or castings just yet. I don’t know that we’ll see this change drastically as it seems the casting world (casting directors / choreographers) has become accustomed to casting this way. This has been mostly of out necessity and in avoiding the challenges that an in person call presents working around covid rules.

A4D: How has the request for talent changed?

Jim Keith/MTA: We see less requests for talent being booked in bulk, especially dancers. It’s not as plentiful as it used to be. Definitely the size of the number of people requested has diminished. The number of requests are pretty much the same as before only less people are being hired.

Brandon Sierra/MSA: I think the biggest change here is that many jobs are requiring talent to be vaccinated and even boosted now (if eligible) which is something we have seen a lot of focus on for the past few months. I don’t know that the requests have changed outside of the dip in work that was created when covid was really running rampant. The needs of the jobs still remain the same as work returns.

A4D: What’s your best advice for adapting to this new world?

Jim Keith/MTA: My best advice is to Learn how to self tape and turn it in very quickly. On the Commercial side, the turnaround is very fast; typically on the same or next day. In New York City, you can get up to 3-6 days, but the sooner you turn it in, the better your chances that your submission will be looked at. Make sure you don’t sacrifice quality for the sake of turning it in quickly. If you wait until the last minute, you risk your submission won’t even be seen. I recommend using platforms like LinkTree that can be very useful for submissions because you can have links to your headshot, reels, and for buttons on your socials.

Brandon Sierra/MSA: You have to be on top of your materials more than any other time before. Photos and footage (posting consistently on your social media platforms) have always been important. But with a lack of in person opportunities, hiring authorities are really relying heavily on the fact that your materials are up to speed and fully represent you and your abilities as a talent.



Answers4Dancers is grateful to Jim Keith and Brandon Sierra for sharing their tips and insights for virtual audition submissions.

SELF TAPE PERFORMANCE TIPS >

SELF TAPE TIPS 4 BEGINNERS >

JONATHAN GROFF & LINDSAY MENDEZ JOIN DANIEL RADCLIFFE IN MERRILY WE ROLL ALONG OFF-BROADWAY
Tony nominee Jonathan Groff and Tony winner Lindsay Mendez will star in New York Theatre Workshop’s upcoming production of Merrily We Roll Along as Franklin and Mary. They are joining Daniel Radcliffe, who will play Charley. The musical revival, which features music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim and a book by George Furth, will be directed by Olivier winner Maria Friedman and choreographed by Tim Jackson. The production will begin performances on November 21 and open on December 12. It will have a limited engagement through January 8, 2023. Groff was most recently seen headlining the off-Broadway production of Little Shop of Horrors as Seymour. He is a two-time Tony nominee for his performances in Hamilton and Spring Awakening. His screen credits include Frozen, Glee, Looking, Mindhunter, and more. Mendez won a Tony Award for her featured performance in Carousel. Her other Broadway credits include Wicked, Significant Other, Godspell, Grease, and more. On screen, she is known as Sara Castillo on All Rise. Merrily We Roll Along charts the turbulent relationship between composer Franklin Shepard and his two lifelong friends—writer Mary and lyricist and playwright Charley. Friedman first directed the musical at London’s Menier Chocolate Factory, which subsequently transferred to the West End’s Harold Pinter Theatre and won the Olivier Award for Best Musical.


THE BLACK THEATRE COALITION/BROADWAY ACROSS AMERICA FELLOWSHIP IS NOW ACCEPTING APPLICATIONS
The second annual Black Theatre Coalition/Broadway Across America Fellowship, sponsored by John Gore Organization, is now accepting applicants. The program takes place over 14 weeks each spring semester and is geared toward Black-identifying undergraduate juniors, seniors, recent graduates, and early career professionals who are looking to learn the inner-workings of theater business. This intensive educational program begins with weeks of in-depth learning in one of the following Broadway Across America offices: New York City, Baltimore, Boston, Cincinnati, Fort Lauderdale, Houston, Louisville, Minneapolis, Salt Lake City, or Seattle. Fellows will learn about producing, presenting, ticketing, marketing strategy, operations, and more. The Fellows will then travel to New York City for a week of networking, on-the-job learning, and, as a bonus, seeing some Broadway shows. The BTC/BAA program works to address and combat the lack of racial representation in the Broadway industry by introducing young, Black-identifying professionals to the commercial theater business and equipping them with the tools necessary to be successful in the industry. It also provides a foundation of mentors and colleagues they can turn to for support as they pursue a career beyond the stage. Students pursuing degrees in fields like Arts Administration, Business Administration, Marketing, Public Relations/Communications, Theater Studies, Finance/Accounting, Human Resources, Pre-Law, Arts, Ticketing/Sales/Operations, and other fields of study that relate to commercial theater presenting are welcome in the program.

ZACHARY NOAH PISER & MORE COMPLETE KPOP CASTING
KPOP, The Broadway Musical will bow at Broadway’s Circle in the Square Theatre on October 13 with opening night on November 20. Featuring a book by Jason Kim, music, lyrics, music production, and arrangements by Helen Park, and music and lyrics by Max Vernon, KPOP is an immersive musical taking theatergoers on a backstage tour of a Korean pop music factory. Teddy Bergman directs and Jennifer Weber choreographs. In addition to Luna, Kevin Woo (U-KISS), Min Young Lee (Miss A), Bo Hyung Kim (SPICA and half of duo KEEMBO), the cast also includes Joshua Lee, Lina Rose Lee, and Zachary Noah Piser. Piser appeared on Broadway in Wicked and the title role of Dear Evan Hansen. KPOP played off-Broadway, starring Ashley Park and Jason Tam, who won 2018 Lortel Awards for their performances. The musical won the Lortel Award for Outstanding Musical.

THE LION KING, WICKED & MORE TAKE PART IN TDF’S 11TH SEASON OF AUTISM FRIENDLY PERFORMANCES
Theatre Development Fund, (TDF) is presenting their 11th season of Autism Friendly Performances (AFP) for individuals on the autism spectrum or with other cognitive disabilities. The season begins October 2 with The Lion King and continues with the first-ever Autism Friendly Performance of New York City Ballet’s production of George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker on November 27 at Lincoln Center’s David H. Koch Theater, Wicked on February 12, 2023, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child on April 30, 2023, and a final show to be determined. AFP tickets typically go on sale six to eight weeks before a performance and are sold through TDF’s website. Tickets to The Lion King are now on sale. To create an autism-friendly setting, shows are performed in a supportive environment for those with autism or other sensory sensitivities and their families. Slight adjustments are made to the productions, where possible, such as jarring sounds and strobe lights.

OFF-BROADWAY’S BETWEEN THE LINES SETS FINAL PERFORMANCE DATE

Between the Lines, the new off-Broadway musical based on the acclaimed novel by Jodi Picoult and her daughter Samantha van Leer, will play its final performance at Second Stage’s Tony Kiser Theatre on September 11. The production, directed by Jeff Calhoun, features a book by Timothy Allen McDonald and music and lyrics by Elyssa Samsel and Kate Anderson. It began previews on June 14 and opened on July 11. An original cast recording is in the works. Arielle Jacobs leads the company as Delilah along with Jake David Smith, Vicki Lewis, Will Burton, Jerusha Cavazos, and Julia Murney. Between the Lines centers on Delilah, an outsider in a new town and a new school, who seeks comfort in the pages of her favorite book. But as the lines between fantasy and reality blur, Delilah has to confront whether she has the power to rewrite her own story.

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Oscar winner, Tony nominee Ariana DeBose will play an ambitious chef who opens her first restaurant and contends with the powerful spirit of the estate’s previous owner in Amazon Prime Video and Blumhouse Television’s psychological thriller House of Spoils. Bridget Savage Cole and Danielle Krudy will direct. Production begins this fall… Scott Barnes, a founding member of Broadway Cares/Equity Fights Aids, passed away at age 68 after a battle with pulmonary fibrosis...

THE BOOK OF MORMON NATIONAL TOUR SETS ITS CAST & LAUNCH DATE
The Tony-winning musical The Book of Mormon’s new national tour is scheduled to launch in September, visiting over 50 cities across America. The tour will officially open on September 29 in Hershey, Pennsylvania. The cast features Sam McLellan as Elder Price, Sam Nackman as Elder Cunningham, Berlande as Nabulungi, Sean Casey Flanagan as Elder McKinley, Lamont J. Whitaker as Mafala Hatimbi, Trevor Dorner as Missionary Training Center Voice/Price’s Dad/Joseph Smith/Mission President, and Dewight Braxton Jr as General. Casey Nicholaw and Parker co-directed the production, which features choreography by Nicholaw. The tour is directed and choreographed by Jennifer Werner based on the original Broadway direction and choreography. The Book of Mormon won nine Tony Awards in 2011, including Best Musical and continues to play the Eugene O’Neill Theatre.

NATHAN LEE GRAHAM, HANNAH WHITLEY & MORE JOIN HADESTOWN NATIONAL TOUR
The national touring production of the Tony-winning musical Hadestown has extended its run through the spring of 2024, and new principal actors will begin performannces on October 4 in Houston, Texas. Broadway alum Nathan Lee Graham will take the stage as Hermes with Hannah Whitley as Eurydice, Broadway vet Maria-Christina Oliveras as Persephone, and Matthew Patrick Quinn as Hades. Chibueze Ihuoma, who took over the role of Orpheus in June, will continue leading the production. Graham is known for being in the original Broadway casts of The Wild Party and Priscilla Queen of the Desert. This marks the national tour debut for Whitley. Oliveras was seen in Broadway’s Amelie, Machinal, and Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson. Quinn’s national touring credits including Finding Neverland, The Complete Works of William Shakespeare Abridged, and Scooby Doo LIVE! Hadestown is written by Anaïs Mitchell and directed by Rachel Chavkin. It won eight 2019 Tony Awards, including Best Musical.

TITANIQUE EXTENDS ITS VOYAGE THROUGH NOVEMBER 6
Titanique, the Titanic parody musical featuring the songs of Céline Dion, will extend its run at the Asylum NYC through November 6. The cast is led by co-authors Marla Mindelle as Céline Dion and Constantine Rousouli as Jack—director Tye Blue is also a co-author of the show. The production also features Frankie Grande as Victor Garber, Kathy Deitch as Molly Brown, Ryan Duncan as Ruth, Alex Ellis as Rose, John Riddle as Cal through August 23, and Jaye Alexander as the Iceberg. Courtney Bassett, Donnie Hammond, and Dimitri Moise round out the ensemble through August 23. Beginning on August 24, Ken Wulf Clark will take over the role of Cal, and on August 30, Blu Allen will join the ensemble.

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The Tony-winning revival of Take Me Out is coming back to Broadway. This production of Richard Greenberg’s 2002 play, directed by Scott Ellis, will bow at the Schoenfeld Theatre on October 27. Tony nominee Jesse Williams and Tony winner Jesse Tyler Ferguson will return with the show for a 14-week engagement. Take Me Out follows Lemming, star center fielder for the Empires, who reveals he is gay and faces a barrage of long-held unspoken prejudices…

             
       
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