“Julie Andrews once said an amateur rehearses until he gets it right, but a professional rehearses until he can’t get it wrong.”

On Monday, March 29, our group of second-year students at Associated Studios had the opportunity to sing for casting director, Jim Arnold, over zoom.

About Jim Arnold

Jim Arnold - casting director

Jim Arnold – casting director

Jim is a freelance Casting Director of musicals and plays in the West End, regional theatres, and International and UK tours. He established Jim Arnold Casting in 2018, having previously worked alongside many leading Casting Directors in TV, film, and theatre. He was the Original Casting Associate for Matilda, the Musical at the RSC in Stratford-upon-Avon, and Associate Casting Director for Pippa Ailion Casting from 2012-2018. He is a full member of the Casting Director’s Guild of Great Britain and Ireland.

The session

During the session, Jim asked our students about the stakes their characters needed to take. He stressed the importance of physicality and movement, and that by paying attention to the musical score, we could use light and shade to apply dynamics into the overall performance. By using this emotional palette, we can show the panel a true understanding of the story and character that we are trying to portray. He also spoke about the importance of taking notes. When a director gives you a note, it’s important that you show you can take that feedback and apply it in the audition. Jim gave our students some bespoke feedback that has proven to be very useful in their overall practice.

Q&A

During our Q&A session, Jim was asked the best tips to land that recall and Jim said:

  1. Be aware of your diction
  2. Tell the story of a song truthfully- don’t just stand there and sing
  3. Don’t sit back in the song, you must drive the song forward and keep up the pace and energy
  4. Use the time with the MD to make clear the tempo you want for the song

He also told the students that after the audition is finished to let go of the outcome.

It was an absolute pleasure to welcome Jim on Monday and our students had a great time performing for him.