Theatre casting director tips from Alison Solomon

This CCP Surgery session was held in Birmingham with top theatre casting director Alison Solomon.

Alison is a freelance Casting Director who previously worked for Birmingham Repertory Theatre as their sole-in-house casting personnel. As Casting Director for The REP, Alison recently cast The Honey Man by Tyrone Huggins and directed by Emma Bernard, Unknown Male, Winner of the Peter Brook / Mark Marvin Rent Subsidy Award 2014 by Stephanie Ridings and Directed Nick Walker, The Pyramid Text by Geoff Thompson and Director Michael Vale (uncredited), Norman Beaton Fellowship 2015 winning with midland actor Katie Redford (BBC Mailbox and Birmingham Repertory Theatre), and was Associate on Of Mice and Men directed by Roxana Silbert.

As a freelancer Alison recently cast feature film Ray by Turner Prize nominated artist, Richard Billingham and produced by Jacqui Davies, and voiced extract Ray & Liz, which was winner of the Panavision / Air France Prize at FIDLab 2014.

Alison gave CCP members feedback on their showreels and headshots, career advice and answered any questions.

Alison’s Tips

  • Identify your casting.
  • Do your research before an audition.
  • Know your industry - research and develop yourself as much as possible.
  • Get business cards and network.
  • Approach things professionally.
  • With networking - be a little cheeky, but don’t cross the line.
  • When approaching someone you don’t know - get it and get out.
  • Attend as many events as possible.
  • Have confidence and believe you are doing the right thing.

Feedback from attendees

‘Fantastic! Alison was very warm, welcoming and constructive. She pointed out things I hadn’t considered and made me see things from a casting perspective.’ Laura Neary

‘Invaluable. Very informative and I felt I got a lot out of the session. Brilliant to have a 1 to 1 session with a casting director with such incredible knowledge and experience.’ Samantha Yetunde

‘Useful, informative, relaxed and friendly!’ Sylvia Robson

‘Really useful. A great opportunity. I feel I have lots I can take away and work on.’ Aaron Twitchen

‘Very informative and helpful. Alison answered all my questions and was very warm and friendly so I felt relaxed and confident.’ James De Val

'Today has been very inspirational and informative, exactly what I needed to help me progress further within the industry.’Thanks for the opportunity - these sessions are what aspiring actors need’ Jade Lewis