Creating Audio Drama Casting Calls

Document Formatting

My favorite casting calls are written up in google docs. PDFS come as a close second, but these can be difficult for those who use screen readers to access. Please don’t only post your casting call as an series of images. Not only are these are impossible for screen readers to read, your text isn’t copy/pasteable and folks who need to change text size, color, or font to read it won’t be able to. Images are great to post on social media and catch people’s attention with, but consider including a link to a google doc as well. If you’re using google docs, make sure the link you share is view-only, not restricted or editable. Check the permissions in an incognito window before you share the link.

Page One of the Someone Dies In This Elevator casting call.

Show Information

Before you list characters or audition lines, you should put information about your show, who you’re looking for, and how auditions should be submitted.

The breakdown of show information I used for Someone Dies In This Elevator.
The breakdown of show information I used for Sidequesting Season One.

Audition Instructions

After putting information about your show, follow up with the information voice actors should know for their audition. These are some questions you should consider answering in your general information section:

Here are two examples of audition instructions:

Audition instructions for Someone Dies In This Elevator.
Audition instructions for Sidequesting.

A Note On Voice Pitch

It is incredibly helpful for transgender, non-binary, and gender nonconforming voice actors if you include a note indicating who they should audition for. This can be as simple are as complicated as you want to make it.

Character Information

We’ve finally made it to the character section! The reason why you’re making this casting call!

Here are five examples of audition lines from Someone Dies In This Elevator:

The audition lines for Mae.
The audition lines for Winston.
The audition lines for Ralie.
The audition lines for Tommy.
The audition lines for Gedeon.
Audition lines for Sidequesting Season Two.

A Note On Casting Marginalized Groups

Please don’t cast white actors as characters of color. This is whitewashing and erasure. If you’re confused about this point, start with this article.

Collecting Auditions

So you’ve got your casting call written up. What’s the best way to collect the auditions? Some shows ask voice actors to send them an email with their audition, often specifying a specific subject line to be used in the email. My personal preference is to collect auditions via a form. I use Google Forms, but I’ve also seen Airtable used. You can specify exactly what information you want from actors, and the form will collect and organize all responses for you. Instead of combing through emails and downloading every audition, I had all responses automatically put in a spreadsheet and all audition files in a google drive folder. It made sorting through the 500 auditions we got far easier than it would’ve been otherwise.

Here is the information I asked for on the submission form for Someone Dies In This Elevator:

Audition form questions, part one.
Audition form questions, part two.

Miscellaneous Points

If you are casting a truly wild number of characters in one call, consider having a list of characters at the beginning of the casting call. If you use google docs, you can set this list as a Table of Contents, which means it can update automatically and link to you the section of the casting call with that character’s lines.

The list of roles for Someone Dies In This Elevator.
The rejection email we sent for Someone Dies In This Elevator. Fun fact — I received nearly this same rejection email from a different show a month after sending these out and I can tell you firsthand, it didn’t feel too bad to get. But then again, getting rejected with your own email is pretty funny.

That’s all I’ve got for you!

I wish you the best of luck creating your casting call and finding voice actors for your show! If you have specific questions, you’re welcome to contact me on twitter @starplanes. If you’d like further assistance with creating your casting call, I’m available for consulting.

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