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In the performing arts industry, a casting (or casting call) is a pre-production process for selecting a certain type of actor, singer or dancer for a particular role or part in a script involving a dramatic production meant for an audience.
The casting process involves a series of auditions before a casting panel, composed of individuals such as the producer, director and/or choreographer. In the early stages of the process, performers often may present prepared audition pieces such as monologues or songs. These audition pieces are usually video taped, attached with resumes, and head shots and then shared with producers, directors and studio representatives. Later stages may involve groups of actors attempting material from the work under consideration in various combinations; the casting director considers both the talent of the individual actors and the chemistry of their combination.
Depending on the prestige of the role, casting calls may go out to the public at large (typical for community theater), to professional and semi-professional local actors (for supporting roles in theater and film) or to specifically selected actors (for leading roles, especially in films). In the production of film and television, a similar process is followed.
Character breakdowns, part of the script breakdown, are often provided to auditioners, and provide a brief summary of a character (age, gender, race or ethnicity, personality, situations they may be involved in).
An actor may go through several casting calls before receiving a part.
Independent Casting Studios are often used for casting calls so that the castings can take place in various locations. Dewar Studios in Great Titchfield Street in central London is a good example of the independent casting studios that provide facilities to casting directors.
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