An Interview with Casting Director Alison Franck, Franck Casting by Tony Nation
Alison Franck (CSA) is a casting skilled with over 20 years of Broadway, Off-Broadway, Touring, Regional Theatre, TV, Movie, Industrial and Voice Over Casting expertise. I just lately had the pleasure of interviewing her.
When was the second you knew that casting was the job for you?
I feel I knew once I was in highschool – I used to file no matter I used to be watching in an effort to see who was who within the credit (this was earlier than the Web) & I might save all playbills and memorize actors bios. Then I might go to the library and spend hours studying about who performed what on Broadway.
I wished to know actors and what they did… I used to be such a busy physique about all of it. I spotted sooner or later there was a job for me…. Nicely, once I determined I didn’t need to be an actress any longer.
What are a few of your favourite musicals and performs?
I really like Sondheim! So Sweeney Todd, Into the Woods, Sunday within the Park with George. (notice: I’ve by no means forged a single Sondheim musical) I liked a play referred to as “Our Nation’s Good”…I really like the standard massive hits: A Refrain Line, Hire & Hamilton. I additionally love 1776, She Loves Me & Ragtime. I may go on and on.
I really want to see extra new musicals. Not too long ago I actually liked Come from Away ( and I do know that’s not so latest)
What are you able to inform us in regards to the technique of casting for a few of your tasks?
As a result of I largely forged non-union excursions. The primary factor to notice is – I’m on the lookout for individuals who need the job & can be found for the job. I publish breakdowns on Breakdown Companies/Actors Entry at all times – then Backstage & Playbill On-line more often than not & additionally on social media (Fb & Instagram) it’s superb to me what number of completely different locations I have to publish.
I typically am shocked at how random all of it is as of late. I’m not simply going to start out calling individuals I do know… I have to open up all jobs to all actors.
When you may forged any musical or play proper now, what wouldn’t it be?
One thing by Stephen Sondheim. Actually something.
Or a model new musical. I additionally would like to work on tasks like Come from Away, that makes use of a small chore of actors to play many roles… it requires actors who can do something… I additionally liked that the actors all seemed like actual individuals. So it’s all about expertise… that’s my favourite.
What excites you about an actor whenever you see their work?
Sturdy performing selections. Actors who don’t play it protected, however based mostly on their supplies (songs, sides, monologues) actually make recent and attention-grabbing selections as a result of they’ve invested within the supplies… that features understanding the time interval, the age of the position & their work standing/regionalisms/physique language.
Folks through the years have misinterpreted my tackle how individuals costume or what footwear they put on as part of how I forged. Really no. I simply can typically inform based mostly on what an actor is carrying that they’ve thought in regards to the character. I additionally by no means make the precise casting choices. So on the level an actor exhibits as much as audition- it’s out of my fingers and it’s all as much as creatives.
My pleasure is often over how that call influenced their performing selections and the way the room responds to them. Generally dressing “in a different way” (that means not carrying pink when auditioning for Elle Woods) is strictly what would possibly make the actor stand out. It’s not at all times a matter of what’s anticipated, however quite, what works for that actor….
It’s a part of a thought course of that could be a sequence of selections. What somebody is carrying is superficial, but it’s a part of their story they’re sharing with the creatives.
What’s your greatest recommendation for actors right this moment?
Issues are altering so much- particularly with self taping. It’s nonetheless a brand new hybrid & I’m nonetheless making an attempt to navigate it. I really feel like some actors love self taping however are by no means accessible for in particular person callbacks- and assume we will forged from a Zoom callback & my creatives actually need and have to see individuals within the room.
And a few actors gained’t self tape… and honestly- I’ve been open to skipping the self taping and simply bringing individuals in from expertise reels… however that is how I work. It’s not at all times as much as me. I simply am making an attempt to get the perfect individuals within the room. I could need to recommend.. self tape to the perfect of your potential, however the aim is an in-person callback. (For theatre)
Alison Franck (CSA) is a casting skilled with over 20 years of Broadway, Off-Broadway, Touring, Regional Theatre, TV, Movie, Industrial and Voice Over Casting expertise. For a decade, she was the Casting Director for the distinguished regional theatre Paper Mill Playhouse in New Jersey, the place she forged over 50 productions with a few of the theatre group’s best expertise.
Notable credit at Paper Mill embrace the Broadway switch of I’m Not Rappaport starring Judd Hirsch and Ben Vereen, Something Goes starring Chita Rivera, The Baker’s Spouse starring Alice Ripley, The Chosen starring Theodore Bikel and John Lloyd Younger, Child starring La Chanze, Norm Lewis, Carolee Carmello, Michael Rupert and Chad Kimball, The Full Monty with Elaine Stritch, The Significance of Being Earnest with Lynn Redgrave, and was the unique Casting Director behind the Broadway switch of Godspell, which included Telly Leung and Uzo Aduba. Off-Broadway Tasks embrace It’s Simply Intercourse and the unique alternative casting for The Donkey Present (directed by Diane Paulus).
Tony Nation is a accomplice on the Actors Connection, and an expert actor who has labored in all areas of Present enterprise. You possibly can at the moment see him on HBO’s THE REHEARSAL within the pilot episode, in season 3 of THE MARVELOUS MRS. MAISEL and in an upcoming animated characteristic movie in 2023.