Sunday, February 28, 2010

Access to Auditions

In early December, Equity and PACT began what we all hope will be a productive process to ensure greater member access to the audition process, and engager opportunity to come face to face with a wider range of talent. The discussion focussed on two overlapping problems with the current approach.

Equity members in many communities feel like they are stuck on the periphery of the audition process, constantly applying for audition opportunities, but rarely being seen. We have heard that that the challenge is particularly felt among those new in the business, among established and also senior artists who wish to expand and renew their career contacts after some time in the business, and most especially among Equity various diverse communities.

Engagers are faced with the difficulty of meeting a steadily expanding pool of interested performers in a time when artistic budgets (and therefore hiring opportunities) are stagnant or shrinking, and an AD's time is increasingly fragmented among many responsibilities. Our PACT colleagues also shared concerns that Equity members may be unaware that "traditional" audition settings represent only a portion of the time spent connecting with and considering artist for roles.

We are looking at a joint approach that would bring together several theatres in a shared audition opportunity, with both PACT and Equity support and assistance. There was a second meeting quite recently to firm up plans for the first such auditions, and a formal announcement is in the works.

Great news!

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