top of page

It's Time To Shine

Planting a garden is a lot like casting for a production

When planning and planting a garden, you need to do a little research to know what the characteristics of the plant are. What type of soil does it grow best in? What about sun or shade requirements? What is it's full potential? How tall and wide will it be at maturity? Is it an annual or a perennial and if so, what is the expected lifespan? Is it a vine or a shrub? Can it be pruned and clipped into a particular shape? If it's a vining variety, is there a trellis or fence nearby to offer support? Are you able to put two different types of plants in the same pot? Does one creep and will it take over the pot or the plant next to it, or does it play-well-with-others and clump right around where it was planted? Do plants near it or in the same pot have the same or very similar watering requirements? If in the same pot, will one plant be tall and the other stay short? If a plant trails, is it elevated enough to allow for a full show of it's efforts?

A view of a well manicured garden featuring a sundial and pink tulips.

Stage plays have a particular set of requirements for casting

When casting for a stage play, a director must consider much of the same types of information. What is an actor's potential? What is their background and experience? Are they tall or short? Quiet or loud? Do they appear to play-well-with others? Do they present with an attitude that is appropriate for the character? Are they demonstrative with their hands or facial expressions? Would they be comfortable using-the-stage to freely express themselves or are they more likely to be an ensemble actor? Do they embody physical or vocal aspects of a certain character over another? Do they give the impression that they are all-in, or do they seem to just be going through the motions? Would they be able to be the showpiece of the production and take the limelight to hold the attention throughout a performance? Or are they best in a supporting role?

Voice acting has it's own needs in casting

Casting for voice acting is much the same. If a project is an ensemble piece, there are many aspects that are the same as in casting a stage play. Certainly plays-well-with-others will be important, both literally and metaphorically, in the case of remote recording. Are they demonstrative, not only with their voice, but also in how they do, or don't, use their body? Including facial expressions. All of that makes a difference in a read. Do voices blend together as a cohesive whole or are there voices that add to the story if they go against the others?

Even a person's physical make-up can influence their vocal presentation. An actor's attitude in delivery may be even more important in voice work than on stage. It goes a long way in giving the listener an idea of how the character might be moving and what facial expressions they are presenting. As well as attitude toward fellow actors. Allowing others lines to be fully delivered without being stepped on, unless that is how their character would speak, is respectful to the other actors and is also important for the audience's understanding of what is being said. Many of the above aspects have to be taken into consideration when casting even a single actor for a project.

Casting for stage or voiceover is as important as the roles themselves in any creative endeavor. The right person can affect the entire feel of a show and can leave a lasting impression on the audience, either in-person, or through a virtual experience, such as on the radio or through an audiobook.

Go ahead... try to imagine actors other than Humphrey Bogart and Katherine Hepburn on the African Queen!

Debra Elaine is a California-based Voice Actor and Medical Narrator delivering professional voice over from her home studio via ipDTL & Source Connect. Learn more >>


bottom of page