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The casting director creates “breakdowns” for each role in the show.59 Agents and managers receive the breakdowns and then submit to the casting director the headshots and résumés of the clients they believe would be appropriate for the roles being cast. 5 C03_MCGOWAN_20110315_FINAL (DO NOT DELETE) 3/16/2011 AM 148 Unlike not-for-profit productions, which tend to run for a limited engagement of six weeks, commercial productions such as Broadway and Off-Broadway are usually “open ended,” meaning that they will run until such time as they are no longer profitable to the producer and the theatre in which they are housed.
The casting director selects which actors will actually get auditions.
They were sure there would be some unexpected bumps in the road—there always were—but they were fairly confident in their strategy. ”44 On August 13, Billy Butler, the composer/producer of Gay Bride of Frankenstein and an Equity member himself, agreed to schedule another EPA for the following week at which he would be in attendance, pointedly noting on the Twitter account for the musical that “Gay Bride of Frankenstein Added EPAs on Monday . All cellphones, and computers and digital watches will be left in our bags.”47 The following day, Equity and Eisenberg had a face-to-face meeting, resulting in yet another series of tweets by Eisenberg.
The first unexpected bump came a few minutes later when The New York Times called to ask them how they felt about their casting director “Twittering” during auditions. These tweets finally put a bit of a lid on the immediate controversy.
She was starting to fear that she would end up paying for COBRA coverage as she had not hit the minimum number of Equity2-required work-weeks in order to qualify for the Equity plan,3 so every audition suddenly seemed crucially important. Do you appreciate tweets from inside the audition room? The acting community objected not only to the timing of the tweets, but to their unprofessional and demeaning tone; many felt Eisenberg violated industry practice and basic business ethics. More importantly, the auditioning actor does not actually receive the feedback.
”30 She later deleted two tweets picked up by bloggers, chatboard posters, and casting director Paul Russell31 from her account.
First, however, the role of the casting director must be discussed. THE ROLE OF THE CASTING DIRECTOR Many misunderstand the role of the casting director. Casting Directors are Studio or Production Company employees and their job is to find and hire talent—in a sense, human resource departments for actors. C03_MCGOWAN_20110315_FINAL (DO NOT DELETE) 3/16/2011 AM 400 FORDHAM INTELL.
A few blocks away, the producer of The New Musical was in the middle of a marketing meeting, plotting the marketing strategy for the upcoming production with the press agent and representatives from the ad agency and the marketing agency. ”12 “That is what we call an appropriate song choice! ”13 “If you are going to sing about getting on your knees, might as well do it and crawl towards us . ”17 “There is NO rule/guideline against Twitter/Facebook/My Space/Friendster. Indeed, Eisenberg’s lack of humility in the face of condemnation from Equity, performers, and even colleagues was fairly striking.
Every detail of the strategy was carefully laid out: when ads would be placed; what kind of internet presence the marketing agency would craft; what press angles the press agent would pursue; and what information about the production would be carefully avoided. Eisenberg just kept tweeting away, commenting a day or two later about her “quick interview to Backstage,”43 and an article about Twittergate on artsbeat.com, the arts blog of The New York Times, entitled, “Should You Twitter at an Audition? just for fun (only non-tweeters need apply).”45 DEC’s Twitter account replicated this tweet.46 Butler later told The New York Times, “I’ll be running the audition.