Sunday, 12 January 2014

Leeds auditions

I'm returning from Leeds rather late in the evening, charging through Lincolnshire with the rain smearing the windows outside.

It's been an entirely exhausting day of auditions at the Leeds Ballet School. I think we saw as many as 60 young people, split into three groups, each of whom did a two hour acting class, which I ran with our director, Sara Kestelman, and the director of one of the other NYMT shows, Nikolai Foster.

It was heartening to see how many of the kids expressed an interest in being in Brass. It really does seem to be capturing people's imaginations. I suppose this was always going to be the case in Yorkshire, however...

We did all manner of impro games and then Sara and I handed out sides from Brass to see how the actors handled text. I'd say the standard was very high overall, although only a few of those who came today truly shone. Nevertheless, when we totted up the figures at the end of the day, I'd recalled more people for Brass than I had in Bristol. I'm recalling far fewer than the other two productions, however. I've always held a strong belief that a recall has to mean something, namely that the actor actually has a decent shot of getting the role. Perhaps it's because I live with an actor, or because I worked in film casting, but almost out of pride, I feel it's important not to go with the splatter-gun approach. That's what they do on the X Factor, and it's why so many people turn up to boot camp and are immediately sent home without having another chance to perform. The danger, of course, is that you end up with no one for certain roles... So maybe I should take a leaf out of the other productions' books and up the numbers a little!

Frankly, I'm so tired I've forgotten my own name, so writing anything logical right now doesn't seem to be quite possible!

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