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BWW Interview: 'Tweeting' Casting Director Daryl Eisenberg on Twitter, Equity, An Apology & More

It was brought to BroadwayWorld.com's attention yesterday via a rapid slew of emails to our "Twitter Watch" inbox, that one of the more than 200 Broadway-related Tweeters that we were picking up the feed of, was a casting director, who was 'tweeting' during auditions with her take on some of the performers (mentioning none by name) with live comments, both good and bad, after they'd auditioned. 

Comments, which again, did not mention any specific auditioners by name included "If we wanted to hear it a different way, don't worry, we'll ask." as well as "who is that person in your headshot? it is def not the person standing in front of me." and "That is what we call an appropriate song choice! Nice work!" and "My agent: haha i pick my nose during auditions, maybe i'll get a letter" amongst others.

We checked in with an Equity Spokesperson, who told us that "AEA is aware of the situation because of numerous complaints about the unprofessional behavior of the person in question and is addressing the situation accordingly."

Our first stories on the subject generated tens of thousands of reads about a topic that EVERYONE is talking about. Now, here's what Daryl herself had to say on the subject...

Did you have any idea when you started Tweeting this morning at the reaction?

I didn't anticipate the degree to which my little Twitter account would cause such a dialogue. The press around AEA's statement certainly got things going,

Is this the first time that you 'Tweeted' from during an audition?

Nope. BWW has covered a few of my similar Tweets in its TwitterWatch section.

Was it while actors were in or out of the room?

Out of the room, during downtime. I have a show to cast.

Who are some of the folks that you've heard from in support?

You can see the responses, both supportive and critical, on my Twitter feed. The great thing about Twitter is you can follow this discussion in real time! Here is the link: http://twitter.com/#search?q=decasting

Have you heard from any of the performers about who you Tweeted?

No. I keep everything anonymous. Ironically, those that seem to be the most vocal about this story are those that have never auditioned for me. Yet, I am sure that some of those who have auditioned for me recently have read this story.

There was criticism online that you were being 'negative' about some of the performers, do you feel this is just honesty, constructive criticism or what?

Look: I don't intend to hurt anyone's feelings when I Tweet. And I apologize to anyone who's been hurt by this. But, this is a tough business, and if there is something that is sabotaging an audition, chances are there are a bunch of actors who will also benefit from the feedback and avoid making the same mistakes.

How do you feel using Twitter and other social networking services aids in the casting process?

When else have actors had a clear line of communication to casting directors beyond assistants, interns, and the dreaded submission box? I started a Twitter account to provide insight to the life of a casting director and have an open dialogue with actors/agents/producers. All too often is our role misinterpreted. For example, I get letters from actors asking for my office to represent them. That's not what a casting director does. The New York Times still refers to casting directors as casting agents. We are not agents. I tweet about the day to day events in my office, which of course includes auditions. My Twitter account is meant to be informative.

Are there any downsides?

Every emerging technology that engages us brings its downsides. Cell phones can be an annoying thing too, as were pagers, the telephone, direct mail, singing telegrams...it's all about taking a net sum of their usefulness versus their downsides. I'd say the sum of the advice and feedback I give on Twitter is positive.

What is your reaction to Equity's statement?

I've yet to be contacted by Equity. I'd like to hear from them, as their opinion undoubtedly matters to me.

Is there anything else you'd like to add?

I'm listening. The rallies of support and the complaints are both things we're considering as Daryl Eisenberg Casting moves forward -- as are the interests of the up-and-coming shows I cast. Also, with the Broadway world in flux, and marketing coming from many new directions, including Twitter and Facebook, the role of anyone connected with a show has to be proactive in spreading the word. We've heard a lot of feedback, and that will certainly enter in to decisions of what, and when, to Tweet.

Will you Tweeting from future auditions?

I guess you'll have to follow me at www.twitter.com/decasting and find out!

 


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