We are 1 day away from our technical rehearsals. We start out official tech week on Sunday morning, the 27th. It feels like time has moved more quickly than usual these past few weeks.
Our incredibly bad-ass photo shoot will be released in the next week but in the meantime we want to welcome you into one of our rehearsals.
These are just a few shots from a rehearsal a a couple of weeks ago.
Don't forget to get your tickets for this re-imagined Henry V! Can Henry prove his worthiness? Can warfare look kindly on anyone?
Links for tickets at each stop on the tour:
Windsor - https://henryvwindsor.brownpapertickets.com/
Kingston - https://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/3429586
Toronto - https://henryvtoronto.brownpapertickets.com/
Hamilton - https://henryvhamilton.brownpapertickets.com/
Ottawa - https://henryvottawa.brownpapertickets.com/
St Thomas - https://henryvstthomas.brownpapertickets.com/
Trying to get work in the current climate is really hard, and it can feel like you’re facing it alone. Today, we want to do something to try and help. We get asked a lot how our audition process works, why we sometimes have auditions and sometimes don't and how we end up with the casts we do.
We’ve been meaning to give some insight into our casting process for awhile now. I was a working actor before turning fully to directing and producing and I wanted to break this down for people looking to work with us. Maybe it’ll be useful to other people, and demystify the process a bit. Or maybe the way we do things is unique to this company. Either way, we wanted to get it out there... especially having just cast Henry V and having had to let people down with our casting release. (Side note - I normally email everyone individually to tell them if they didn't get it. We had so many submissions this time that I just couldn't manage that this time. I'm sorry about that everyone.)
What follows is all personal opinion. This doesn’t represent what every casting director thinks or every company works; I am just sharing some thoughts. Some of this doesn’t even necessarily reflect what everyone on our team thinks. In fact, I'm sure it doesn't. If our executive director or guest directors were writing this - I'm sure it would look drastically different.
I hope it’s useful, but only read on if you’re willing to take it with a pinch of salt…
HOW DO WE GET FROM THIS ---------------->
Part One: GETTING AN AUDITION
We get a LOT of applications when we put out a casting call. Seriously, the number we had for one particularly open call this year would make your eyes water. I imagine most other theatre companies get higher numbers, depending on the individual project, but we operate with such a small team that it can be overwhelming at times. So, one of the biggest hurdles is actually getting called in for an audition. Sometimes we can see everyone but for Henry V there were actually people who never made it into the room (or screen).
Some things that give you an advantage:
Some things that will give you a disadvantage:
As above, a lot of this stuff is personal to us. Ignore what you don’t agree with!
There have been exceptions to absolutely all of those points.
And an honest, personal cover letter will often help a lot. Even actors who we know there isn’t a place for, it’s harder to discount them when they’ve done that. It’s especially helpful if you’ve not worked recently, or to explain how certain things on your CV might be relevant.
Part Two: TIMING, AGENTS, AND COVER LETTERS
It’s strangely exhausting, seeing all these applications, and knowing behind every one is a real person, eager and talented, who’s put time and energy into applying… but knowing too that we can’t choose everyone. We work hard to give everyone the best chance – but we’re human, and it’s sometimes hard.
So here’s a few more things you can do to help yourself…
Applying early does help. It shouldn’t, but I think it’s unavoidable.
In our case, we get many applications and, being human, the more we go through, the harder it is to be discerning.
But early on, we’re still fresh, and excited that someone has applied, so we’re inevitably more open. And, unavoidably, being on the first page of applicants, we’ll probably see your name in passing more often.
But it’s never too late. In March, we cast an actor who emailed after midnight on the night before our final day of auditions. She was just lucky. (Or, more to the point, we were lucky – she’s fabulous).
And that is a classic example of the fact that all these guidelines are not rules, and that luck plays a massive part.
There’s no rule about what makes a good cover letter or email. Please, just be you. Don’t spend ages crafting it, there’s no point. Just be you. Do some research if it’s a company you care passionately about. Even just figuring out the names of who you’re writing to does impress us. But don’t pretend to be passionate about the company if you’re not – that’s normally transparent. It’s totally cool to say “I haven't heard of your work before but this job sounds cool”. Remember the people at the other end are just people. And mostly – did I mention? – just be yourself.
I had someone write in the additional information section “No one reads this so I’m not going to bother”. She didn’t get an audition.
All it has to do, really, is show some respect for the company you’re applying for – by showing that you’ve taken the time to do more than just click ‘Apply now’. A sentence can be enough.
Emailing us separately from your application definitely helps. I hesitate to say this, because we get a lot of emails. And perhaps it’s better you do it without my telling you to. But, in the name of transparency, if you’ve taken the time to contact us, we can’t help but look at you twice.
What can hurt, however, is a pushy email asking when we’re going to reply to your first email. And chasing via social media, at least for us, isn’t going to make any difference.
When we’re not casting, we try and reply to every email we get in. During casting times this unfortunately isn’t possible, due to the sheer volume of them and how busy we usually are.
One last thing – keep an eye on your spam/junkmail folder! It sucks if you've missed your audition invite because it went to spam but it's so avoidable. Just keep an eye on it if you've applied to anything that isn't someone who you've had communication with before.
A really quick word about agents.
Firstly, you don’t need one to work with us. Being a small organization, we’re used to dealing directly with actors, and because we tend to cast people (in our heads) for the long term, that personal relationship is important. And we know how hard it can be to get one. I very much prefer to deal with actors and artists directly.
In this respect, I think we’re different from a lot of other organizations though, so take that with a pinch of salt.
If your agents submits you for a casting, supporting it with a quick email goes down well, so we know you’re interested personally. And if you ask your agent to submit you, make sure they tell us that you did so. Otherwise, please submit yourself and reach out on your own.
That’s it! We always try and take a few gambles when calling actors in, and even in our casting...some have paid off and some haven't. The number one thing I’ve discovered running this company is the sheer number of talented artists there are out there.
So remember, if you don’t get called in or didn't get cast, try again next time. It's not personal, it's just based on what we need in the room. Talent is the first option but a lot comes down to the personalities in a room balancing and working well together.
Please, try again.
Thanks for reading and I hope this answered some of the questions you might have had!
Come to the shows, talk to us!
Thank you to the wonderful audiences we had yesterday! We had sold out houses for the early and the late show - and both audiences were lovely. Everyone was so generous and tolerant of our never ended performances.
Don't worry - if... when... we do this again it will be shorter. We just had a great time putting it together.
Thank you, thank you, thank you all.
And so they live on forever in Edge history - below you'll find our awkward promotional dating profiles.