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The Benefits of Political Casting

Happy April Fools’ Day! You are reading an article written for our April Fools’ edition of the newspaper, The Deceiver. This is a work of satire.

As actors and actresses learning to navigate the world of auditions and casting calls, it is important to know what a director will be looking for. So let’s put ourselves in a director’s shoes, shall we? If I were a director, I might believe a successful cast should be accountable, easy to work with, focused, and talented. That seems like a really complicated casting process though, and way too much hard work. Directors can’t really pay attention to all of those qualities for every person that auditions.

It would be much easier if I could just cast the actors and actresses I’ve already worked with to save myself a lot of trouble judging the character of strangers. Yes, I like that idea. I could create my “cast” from people I already know have the talent I’m looking for. I could even cast some of my friends, because I’m pretty sure they have talent.

If I cast my friends, I won’t have to give notes to any of them as I am positive they will do everything the way I want them to for every scene. If I already know who I want to cast, what’s to stop me from simply assigning roles before auditions? Yes, I can save myself a lot of trouble by simply creating the cast list right now. Of course, I will still hold open auditions as a formality; maybe I’ll even hold callbacks just to have a bit of fun watching the false hope of those called back, just to make it all a bit more exciting.

I know this plan won’t work out perfectly. We’ve all experienced directors like these; the ones that cast their own daughter as the lead, or have the same two or three people playing the main characters year after year. A lot of casting decisions are simply made based on appearance, and not ability or accountability, as we know.

This will be a bit different though, not to mention much subtler. Let’s not forget, many directors are also actors themselves. What if I, as a director, decided I would rather have a role in the performance? I can simply reach out to a vague director friend nobody has ever heard of, ask them to direct the show, and persuade them to cast me.

Now I can play the lead role I desired, perform with a cast I already know personally, and work with a good friend as my director. This is not so absurd, as I have seen it work before. The director at this particular community college desired to play the character of Lady Bracknell; a character who’s snobby, holier-than-thou personality was very similar to that of the actress playing her. And play the character she did, almost as well as the other actresses that had also auditioned for the role.

What a performance this will be. How will I pay for this show, you ask? Well, I will simply reach out to the parents of the ensemble, cast for this exact purpose of having useful relatives. This, my fellow actors and actresses, is the secret to getting the role you want every single time.