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#151 Guest_Guest_*

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Posted 28 May 2008 - 01:39 PM

Lea Salonga had been acting professionally in musicals, on television, in films (including hosting her own musical television show) since she was 7 and recorded her first album at age 10. She was Stevie Wonders' opening act in the Philippines as a teen. She had a big career in Asia and a ton of experience before Miss Saigon ever arrived. In contrast to Jessie who has very little training and experience.

#152 Guest_angie_*

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Posted 28 May 2008 - 01:47 PM

QUOTE(Guest @ May 28 2008, 01:39 PM) View Post
Lea Salonga had been acting professionally in musicals, on television, in films (including hosting her own musical television show) since she was 7 and recorded her first album at age 10. She was Stevie Wonders' opening act in the Philippines as a teen. She had a big career in Asia and a ton of experience before Miss Saigon ever arrived. In contrast to Jessie who has very little training and experience.



I thought that they were all fairly equal in level of experience on the stage, but with slightly different educational backgrounds???  They are all untried on the big stage, but I am sure all would do well.  It's probably more important to consider how each would blend in with the cast who are known at this stage.

#153 ashcass

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Posted 28 May 2008 - 01:53 PM

All I was saying was that Cameron Mackintosh isn't adverse to hiring someone younger if he thinks they're right for the role. I was just meant that putting experience aside, age is irrelevant so long as said person can do the job. My bad for not making my point clearer, sorry.

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Posted 28 May 2008 - 02:11 PM

No worries. I know what you mean and I was kind of adhering your point by mentioning Lea's career, who at 17 was more like a veteran of 27 regarding performing due to all her childhood experience and training. I think people who have had a lot of childhood professional experience may be ready for a leading role at 18 however, I don't believe any of our final 3 fall into this category.

#155 Thatguyp

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Posted 28 May 2008 - 04:16 PM



Haz: “regardless of talent, there are choreographers who will fire you for being too fat, producers who won't hire you if you're not attractive enough, companies who will make you sign away your soul in their contract. it's not nice, but it's the way that it is. we don't have to like it, and we can certainly try and change it, but that is the way the industry is at the moment and if jessie - or anyone else - is not able to cope with that then they're quite simply in the wrong profession”

Thank you, Haz. It’s good to see that you share my impression of the industry!

Guest: “That guy - when was the last time (apart from Amy Nuttall in Phantom) you saw someone aged 18 play a leading role in the West End 8 shows a week? (Not an understudy and not Emma Williams in Chitty, that wasn't vocally demanding).”

I couldn’t name any, Guest,  (apart from Amy Nuttall and Emma Williams) even though Nancy isn’t terribly vocally demanding either! But this is precisely why I have been consistently saying that Jessie needs more training and experience. Nice to see that you agree.



Guest: “I agree that this forum is often bitchy, catty and publishes some very unprofessional comments and that many remarks made on the reality TV programmes are ridiculous and out of order”

Oh, again we seem to agree!!

Guest: “It's a tough business and I personally think it's unfair unleashing an 17/18 year old with literally no life experience into the claws of it all. “

Again, this is the point I have always made.  

It would appear, Guest, that you are endorsing most of what I have been saying.  It seems  that  if I am just a  member of the “ general public who merely go with gut feeling and what they believe "seems" right”,  i’m doing a bloody  good job of it.....



Guest: “Without wanting to sound condescening but honestly, if you are not a pro in some way involved in the industry (an actor, casting person, director, agent, etc). you frankly wouldn't have a clue as to whether a candidate is ready to handle a West End role or not.”



Sadly, guest, you do sound condescending.... and this is just another example of why the business has a bad name. I’ve never been an artist, but I can appreciate the work that goes into a work of art, and i can certainly have an opinion of the piece of art. I’ve never played soccer, but i follow it with interest, and I can certainly tell a good performance from a bad one.... I don’t consider myself to be any more or less qualified than most to state an opinion of talent, as much of it is just that....an opinion.



Oh, and incidentally, I AM just a member of the general public, with a qualification in child psychology, and who has had the pleasure of working in professional theatre, from ‘on the boards’ to ‘in the board room’,  for over 30 years.  



#156 allthatjazz

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Posted 28 May 2008 - 07:02 PM

QUOTE(rona910 @ May 28 2008, 01:39 PM) View Post
I mean an improvement in the perfomer. If any of the girls can't take the criticisim then there's no point in them turning up for another audition I'm afraid.


Yes I mean an improvement in the performer too!  Sorry but I just don't agree.

#157 Guest_Guest_*

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Posted 29 May 2008 - 11:29 AM

That guy - unfortunately you have taken my comment the wrong way. My point was that it's absolutely fine to have an opinion on art, everyone can have an opinion. This is not what I meant. The point is though a general member of the public should not be involved in the actual casting process of a West End lead (or any professional part for that matter). By all means, state opinions etc but getting someone who has nothing to do with the industry to vote for who should play the lead is a ludicrous way of casting. I am an actor and don't think I am qualified to always judge who should play a part - that's why we have casting directors. That's what they are hired for. Someone who is finely tuned to the needs of a big project that is a West End show and sees the bigger picture, knowing what/who would work best for the whole show. It's not about an opinion, it's about much more than that. Not simply "I will vote for Jessie because she is from the same town as me" or "Jodie deserves to win because she has the best cockney accent." I realise that you "that guy" may well be more able to judge Nancys, Marias, Josephs, etc. more neutrally (especially as a qualified psychologist) - but 90% of the general public - are not and will always vote subjectively.

I don't think you would find it very impressive if the general public voted for who should get a top psychologist's job based on sessions they see conducted on live TV every Saturday. Because we wouldn't have a clue what makes a good psychologist and also, it's an unnatural environment to judge you in. Just like I'd do anything and the rest of those shows are a totally unnatural (and the wrong) environment to judge a theatre actor in. Auditions are supposed to be in a format that allows people to give their best and show of those skills to a qualified and panel important for the show. It's impossible to do that if you are a) auditioning on TV for a stage role (contradiction in terms of types of performance needed) cool.gif auditioning for a live general public audience and c) are given material that has nothing to do with the show or character you are being considered for. And having a public vote for it all makes the situation even worse.



#158 Guest_Emma_*

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Posted 29 May 2008 - 02:13 PM

QUOTE(Guest @ May 29 2008, 11:29 AM) View Post
The point is though a general member of the public should not be involved in the actual casting process of a West End lead (or any professional part for that matter). By all means, state opinions etc but getting someone who has nothing to do with the industry to vote for who should play the lead is a ludicrous way of casting. I am an actor and don't think I am qualified to always judge who should play a part - that's why we have casting directors. That's what they are hired for. Someone who is finely tuned to the needs of a big project that is a West End show and sees the bigger picture, knowing what/who would work best for the whole show.


True to some extent, but...

1) Casting directors usually don't get to cast lead roles anyway.  They are often cast because a producer wants to work with a 'star' or a 'star' approaches with a vehicle for themselves that they are prepared to do.  And a casting director's job is really to identify who is available (particularly young, untried talent that the director, producer etc may not be aware of) and set up auditions for them, not to actually decide who gets to play a role.  

2) For 'I'd do anything' there WAS a casting director (one of the leading and most respected ones in the industry) who was involved almost single handedly in the choice of the final 100 or so, then presumably also in the choice of the final 12, just as they might be in any show.  So if you don't like the 12 you had to pick from, it is indeed the casting director you partly have to blame.

3) This reply seems to assume slightly that there is always a 'best' person for a role.  The reality IMHO is that there are often many people who would be the 'best' for different things.

4) I know this isn't really your point, but it is one that I think is important - there seems a strange assumption by some posters on this board that training gives someone more of a right to a role than if they hadn't trained.  Personally, my favourites on this show happened to be people who had trained (although I preferred untrained people on the 'Maria' programme) but I don't think they had any more right to the role than anyone else.  To me, it's like saying that only people who have been to Oxbridge should have a right to the top jobs. Anyway, I just think that people need to remember that theatre is a business like any other - but at the end of the day, it's the business that will fail if it gets things wrong, just as the show will close if casting isn't right.  That's why, as much as we might not like it, it makes such brilliant sense to let the public choose exactly who they will pay to come and see.

(However, if this was a subsidised RSC or National show, I would feel much more angry about it...)

#159 Elle

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Posted 29 May 2008 - 03:47 PM

QUOTE(ashcass @ May 28 2008, 02:53 PM) View Post
All I was saying was that Cameron Mackintosh isn't adverse to hiring someone younger if he thinks they're right for the role.

I think you are right ~ although sometimes I think he is wrong. The announcement last year that the latest Valjean is the youngest ever does NOTHING for me but evidently it impresses some...


#160 Guest_Guest_*

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Posted 29 May 2008 - 11:40 PM

Interesting points Emma and I agree with a lot of them. I realise your theatre is a business argument...but to what extent do we go down to a common denominator for the public's view and sacrifice artistic value for it? That's the ever underlying question I think that commercial theatre has to ask itself...

I agree that having trained at drama school doesn't automatically give you more right to a role. It's whoever who can do the job best. However, training establishments exist for a reason and there would be little point ito them if producers ended up hiring the majority of casts "off the street" so to speak. Not everyone that goes to drama school will be an employable or a "good" actor but in terms of the well-renowned schools - there will be certain traits that will assist the trained actor to survive in the industry and be employable as a company member. I think in terms of the board, people want succesfully cast actors to have "earned it" in some way, and for many that includes having learnt your craft at drama school - which is now being promoted by Equity, Spotlight, etc as the best way forward to have an attempt at a succesful career in the performing arts (ever since rep has basically dissappeared).




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