Paramount’s production teams for Season Five, Oklahoma!, A Christmas Story, Hairspray, and West Side Story, are all about lists these days in stacking the results after seeing literally hundreds of actors. Lists of those close to receiving an offer who we don’t need to see again, those we do need to see again and those who haven’t been seen yet. The good news is that we are roughly about halfway there, give or take, depending on the production. Writing here is an opportunity to state how much we appreciate everyone’s participation in these auditions. The talent has been off the charts. It’s getting everyone to fit with each other in creating the world of the show that is our biggest challenge. Creating ensembles. Making matches. Mixes. Getting the chemistry right. Balancing the energy and strengths of each one. Opinions on who is most right for this or that. Discussions. Conversations. All focused on the hope of doing the right thing…what is best for the production, our audience, and not the least, our actors. Actors put so much time into preparing their audition, paying accompanists, coaches and time into travel and gas money. While in this process of our decision making, actors get offers to play elsewhere. Situations like this can force the hand to say yay or nay. Actors have work to do. Very full lives to live. Suspended in limbo waiting on a solid offer is no picnic. They want to know their schedule, what they’ll be doing and where. Where their wages are coming from to live on. Do they take the risk to wait or go with the sure thing. To all the actors out there, believe me, I understand. I’ve been there many times.

Ultimately, we have to consider what is best for the actor. And actors have to consider what is best for themselves. Experience has taught me that this is the best and fairest path. If a choice is time sensitive, believing what is meant to be will happen is the only way to deal with it. I hate to lose an actor. But there are checks and balances as well as to who is a local hire and who is an out of town hire and who is union and who is a candidate or who has no union affiliation. I have to think about what is fair to her or him. And time after time, this mystical quirk of how everything lands after the dust settles… I have to say… it always appears to work out best for the actor who moved on and that the cast that is right here, right now, is the cast that is meant to be manifest. The casting of a show does not happen in one ordered succession of events, but is gathered from many different scenarios from many different directions, even from chaos, with seemingly one destiny: for all of us to be together working on this particular piece of art. God bless us, all of us, each and every one!

Love & thanks,