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The other side of the casting table

Auditions. A time to play, to have fun, to explore –at least, that’s how I feel about it when I got to auditions these days. But what of the other side of that table? That area has been a mystery to me…until this past weekend.

Prepping the “sides” for actors to read…

If you recall in my previous entry, I’ve fast tracked my short film script, JUST LIKE THAT, into a project I’m directing in early June. And with that, I wanted to see the potential talent it might attract, based off of the synopsis and character descriptions. I found out this past weekend! I, along with my creative partner, Richard, and my Assistant Director, Amy hosted a two day audition for the three prominent characters in the short.

I was fortunate enough to reserve a space at the San Jose Repertory Theatre to hold auditions (special thank to those that made it happen!) and I feel it lent a bit more, dare I say, legitimacy to the whole process. I did have to stop and let it soak in –back in 2008, I attended an audition I found off of Craigslist. It was in a residential house, and who was hosting it? It was Richard! Flash forward to today and we’re partners in Square Marden, and great pals. Whoddathunk, right?

As far as the participants of the auditions go, it was fantastic to see so many faces with a wide range of talents. As an actor, it was certainly a learning experience. Talent aside, coming in looking to have fun can play a significant factor in who you are perceived.

The first day of casting was a full on work day, we were there from 9am and didn’t boogie out until closer to 8p. During that time, we had a couple of lull moments with drop outs and latecomers. By 3p, we broke for lunch –and boy was that a swell feeling.

I don’t think the casting would’ve gone so well without the amazing volunteers we had running the sign-in, prepping the talents, and running them in. From the bottom of my heart, thank you Monica and Gino! Having them as part of the process really took a load off of Richard, Amy and me. We were able to concentrate on providing the talent the time, and environment to really give their best. At least, that was my hope (and ultimately, general observation).

In between breaks Amy (my Assistant Director) and Joel (Production Sound/Post Production Editor) jammed out and really kept the mood light and fun.

Sunday was day two and was shorter day, but made longer by all the unconfirmed actors who sent in their submission but never actually returned the audition ticket. Lesson learned.

We wrapped by 6p and Rich and I took the crew out for a well deserved meal.

Two days later, we’re ready to really nail down the cast. There’s a lot of things to consider, some of which don’t necessarily relate to talent. We took notes on things like how they’ve interpreted the script, how well they took some of the directions we offered them, are they someone we’d like to work with; That’s to name a few. All-in-all, we saw some remarkable talents and I’m excited to continue this journey.

What would you like to see documented in the next entry regarding JUST LIKE THAT? Feel free to leave a comment below, or send me a tweet at Follow @tasialabastro. Also, don’t forget to LIKE us at if you’d like to keep up to date on the progress of this, and other pieces we’re developing! Awwyeah!

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