Is there a difference, what’s the difference, what does it all mean?
Casting and auditions are two terms that are often incorrectly used interchangeably. The truth is, there is a difference and for many first-time performers, the difference matters. While both casting and auditions are typical for dancers, singers, and actors in both film and tv for the sake of this blog, we’ll stick to dancers in our examples.
An audition is typically characterized as the demonstration by an individual of their suitability or talent as it relates to a specific role. When a dancer shows up for an audition, they will either perform a predetermined routine or learn choreography on the spot. They are then either cut or cast based on their performance.
Casting is the process of collecting dancers for a performance. Often called a “casting call” a director or choreographer may announce that they are looking for dancers ages 7-9 for a role in an upcoming musical. During the casting process the choreographer relies on their experience and expertise to group those dancers together based on how well they look together and relate to one another. While they may be asked to perform a skill or participate in a dance class with fellow dancers it is not a high-pressure audition environment.
Auditions happen before casting. This means that when dancers arrive to be cast, their dance ability has already been determined or assumed. In the cases where an audition is not required, choreographers have the ability to work with whatever talent is available based on the make-up of the show.
For first time performers, auditions can be intimidating and discouraging. Attending a casting gives dancers the opportunity to experience the make-up of an audition without the pressure or nervousness associated with “will I be selected?” At a casting, because all dancers will be selected it’s more about the process of determining which role or part will suit them best.
Casting for the first annual Nutcracker Remix is Saturday, September 11th at Northeastern Dance Academy. See you then!