My head is still spinning from our casting session last night.
Last night, in a mere 3 1/2 hours, we saw the best and the brightest young female talents in the city. 35 amazingly talented girls for 3 spots. That's right, just 3 spots. In all honestly, we could cast Helen three times over with the talent we saw last night, but, alas, for November, we can only use 3.
I'd like to give a very heartfelt thanks to all the girls who came out last night and put themselves on the line, shared their hearts, acting skills and their glorious voices with us, and invested time and energy in our show. We wish that we could use you all, but unfortunately, we can't. However, your talents did not go unnoticed, so keep the faith that there will be a production or reading or workshop of Helen with your name on it, down the line. And if its not Helen, we're sure that there will be something else, just as great in your future.
A super, super, heartfelt thanks also goes out to Jen Rudin for gathering all these fabulous young ladies, scheduling them, organizing the session, guiding us through the session, and bringing along Lauren Camadeco, the best casting assistant ever. Lauren, having the hardest job of all--check in--held down the fort with grace, diplomacy and absolute efficiency. We are so grateful to have the two of you on our team.
As for the three lucky girls? Well, offers are going out, so you'll just have to check back next week to meet the additions to our "cream of the crop" children's ensemble.
A final thought as this week comes to a close--what was so fascinating about last night, is that with each step in this process, I am learning new things about this musical--a musical that I thought I knew so well and so intimately. What I learned last night was that young girls are hungry for some material they can really sink their teeth into. They relish the opportunity to play multi-dimensional, funny, complex, interesting and "real" characters, just like professional adult actors do. And I am so, so proud and pleased, that this little New Yorker short story, adapted by two relatively unknown writers, is turning out to be just that--a contemporary alternative to Annie and Bye Bye Birdie. Finally, young girls have something that authentically reflects their life experience, their colorful personalities and their voices.
So, enjoy your weekend and check back on MONDAY for some exciting news. Even if you aren't 12, and you can't sing, dance or act, you just might have your very own opportunity to join the Helen family.