Height, Range, Special Skills and Follow Count.
Height, Range, Special Skills & Follow Count.
Stunt Casting In The West End
Last week, it was announced that American Idol turned TV Actress Katherine McPhee would be coming over to play the lead in the West End Transfer of Broadway’s ‘Waitress’. Although the announcement was met with a fairly positive response, a lot of people were wondering why the casting team were unable to fill the role with new British talent.
Most people I’ve spoken to are on the fence, with the general consensus being that if stunt casting was absolutely necessary, Katherine McPhee was at least a talented and deserving recipient of a role that hundreds were clambering for. It does however spark the question of influence and social reach in casting, and whether it might be time for us to just accept that this is how the industry is evolving.
Although hardly a household name, Katherine McPhee sports a twitter following of well over 250K, her numerous albums have all charted successfully and she’s internationally recognisable after her TV debut in American Idol and subsequent roles in NBC’s SMASH and Scorpion.
I guess the main question is which of these factors sealed the deal for McPhee, and what is it that performers should aspire to emulate in order to successfully land a lead role?
Is it time that we start submitting our instagram profiles instead of our CV’s?
After all, Influence and Acclaim were clearly the priority when it came to 9 to 5’s casting after it was announced that Amber Davies, Louise Redknapp and Brian Conley would lead the company alongside Musical Theatre veteran Natalie McQueen. The same could be said about ‘Rip It Up’ a show that’s led by Strictly Come Dancing Alumni. Yep, I used Strictly Come Dancing and Alumni in the same sentence. You know Strictly? That respectable training programme that sits alongside Arts Ed, Bird and Urdang?
I guess what I’m trying to say is that for whatever reason, Producers like the security of a big following, and maybe that’s fair enough. They’ll be paying some of these stars an excess of £10,000 a week, so it’s not strange for them to use that star-power to sell some tickets. Painful to admit, but our peers that turned down UK tours and abruptly left West End contracts to appear on Reality TV mightn’t of made the worst decision. I’m hoping that i’ll never see the day where our follow count is on show on our Spotlight CV’s, but it might not be a bad idea to make sure that we’re on top of our profiles and using them smartly.
*posts picture of headshot with the caption #ActorsLife