In today's video blog, we see Jenn Withers, Artistic Director of Baltimore Improv Group share insights on casting for individual growth with our Managing Director, Terry Withers.
Watch the video on YouTube. Or read the below transcript of their conversation.
Terry: Would you say that's the number one governing principle – what's good for the person?
Jenn: Yeah, what else would there be?
Terry: When someone brings up to me casting, there's something I've noticed a lot of times is that they aren't often focused on whether or not the decision was made reference to a lot of times.
They're focused on: "I've been here a long time" "I've taken these classes." I've done this right. They won't often say to me something like "I'm curious if this decision was made because of how I'm doing
Jenn: Very little of my decisions are affected by status at the theatre, by length of time you've been at the theatre, by a number of classes you've taken. Those things are considered but it's where are you right now in the very present moment. So like what is the status for your improv right now. What has it been the last six months. The last year. Are you on a good trajectory or not?
Someone who wants to be cast based on I've been here a certain number of years and so I think this team is the right fit that's not how I'm thinking of it. I'm thinking you've been to this number of years and you're still having trouble with this thing. I want to put you here because that's how you'll become stronger.
I will say though that there's a lot of people to coordinate so like individual needs are the first thing I'm thinking of. Then it's like team needs and then it's like theatre wide. It becomes a bit utilitarian where it's like it can't be the perfect fit for everyone every single time. It's the best fit for the most.
Terry: Do you think it's possible someone could be put on a team harold team. That's considered an upgrade right: To go from no team to the Harold team; Harold to weekend team. That could actually be worse for them.
Jenn: Yeah a weekend team would be worse for me right now. I want to work on the Harold, on a second beats, working on game. I have a long way that I would like to go.I see myself as an example of that.
I think there have been performers in the past that have made that shift too soon. Weekend team maybe you don't have the same focus that a Harold team does.
A Harold team doesn't have the same focus that a class does. Different levels suit your needs at a time.
Terry: There you have it some insight on casting.
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