Podcast Episode #16 – Broadway Casting Director Bernie Telsey describes the magic of casting.

You might think a podcast featuring one of the most powerful casting directors in the biz is just for the actors out there.

And why sure, if you’re an actor, you’re going to hear about 147 takeaways on how to get a leg up on your competition by listening to this 30 minute sess with Bernie Telsey, Broadway’s casting wizard.

But since casting is one of the most important elements of creating and producing a show, this one is a must for all theater pros out there.

You see, plays and musicals were not meant to be read.  They were meant to be spoken.  Sung.  ACTED.  How those words, lyrics, and notes are interpreted can mean the difference between success or failure.  So it’s imperative that you understand the entire process, from the release of the casting breakdown to final callback.

And who better to explain that mystical process to us than Bernie Telsey, caster of almost everything?

Listen to this podcast and hear:

  • Why a Casting Director is just like a Designer.
  • What it was like seeing Idina Menzel audition for Rent before she was Idina Menzel.
  • How talent has changed in the last twenty years.
  • What Bernie looks for when actors walk in the room.
  • The difference between casting theater and tv/film.
  • And oodles more . . .

Oh, and if you didn’t know, Bernie is also the Artistic Director of MCC (responsible for this season’s Hand to God) so this podcast is like a 2 for 1!  (You’ll also hear what Bernie has in common with Todd Haimes.)

Listen, download, and enjoy.

Click here to listen.

Listen to it on iTunes here.  (And give me a rating, while you’re there!)

Download it here.

Click here for the transcript.


(Got a comment? I love ‘em, so comment below! Email Subscribers, click here then scroll down to say what’s on your mind!)

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–  Win two tickets to The Heidi Chronicles on Broadway! Click here.

– Join us for the Second Annual Davenport Songwriting Contest on 4/30! Click here for tickets.

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  • Dan Radakovich says:

    does one really WANT new musicals expedited? I feel that too many are rushed into production without the writers even listening to the music, which is often awful, little to no memorable melodic lines, agonizingly unscanning lyrics only partkly shroudable by near inaudile acting/singing through poor diction or the Brandoesque mumble.
    The chief problem is the dearth of people who can write hummable tunes that people would want to hum, strong melodic line, fits the story both in mood and lyrics,does not get too caught up in itself. An author, or adaptor, can say: Ok here’s the scene, two young guys need money, they look around and find a demand for chickens for both meat and eggs so they want t begin chicken farming. That needs capital and the only way they can get it is by asking a ladies investment club. for startup/’seed’ money. The gals are tough and do not like the risk until one of the guys admits it is a speculation. This interests the ladies since speculation means possibly a lot of money, and a song could be used much like the Music Man’s ‘Pickalittle talkalittle’ song only using ‘speculation’ with the same intent of showing herd/flock mentality, pecking order, bursts of enthusiasm etc. but still someone would have to write the song out-there are few Jerry Hermans, Stephen Scwartzes, Llotd Webers around.. As a result you get the jukebox ones.

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