setting up for the table read
So last time in the season two journal of the CON production saga, we talked about writing the series. The next step is seeing how actors turn words into performances.
Cast members Chae Talley (Aiden) and Jonathan Jennings (Brad) were interviewed by Backstage Magazine before our first season aired, and I’d recommend checking out that interview to get a sense of how we cast season one and what we were looking for last time.
Season Two: Assembling the New Cast
One of the trickiest aspects of casting is narrowing down the thousands of submissions into a specific character that you’ve written on the page — while still allowing for actors to come in and surprise you.
This season, we had the challenge of casting a villain, younger versions of our lead actors, and a variety of colorful guest cast. We received thousands of submissions, and called in a hundred talented actors to a day of auditions. We narrowed down our choices, and after callbacks made final decisions. We’ve got one role left before we’re done casting, but the majority of our cast has been selected.
The most important thing aside from performance was that the new actors fits in with the rest of our cast, most of whom come from a comedic background. Our show hits on light and dark notes, and we looked for actors who could bring us both.
We come into the casting process with images and ideas of the characters, but we allow for plenty of interpretation when it comes to what actors decide to bring to the table.
Table reads are critical to figuring out what lines and jokes land, and which don’t. Additionally, they help show areas where we need transitions or the tone doesn’t quite fit, and help us hear dialog that is clunky or needs to be changed. Jen Enfield-Kane (my writing and producing partner) and I come from a writing background, and we understand how important it is to give our words a test run before we head into the last round of rewrites prior to filming.
We had almost everyone in our key cast and crew attend, including new directors Michael Perez (who was on our crew last season!), Cal Moreno, Zach Visvikis, and Peter Tran.
Casting assistants Joanna Velez and Lilla Spanyi as well as editor Shilah Stanford and 1st Assistant Director Allison Kelly also were in attendance and put on their acting hats and helped read some additional roles.
It’s always great to get our cast together in one room when their schedule permits, and Joey Livingston (Jonah) and Portia Juliette (Evelyn) stole the stage with some *interesting* new scenes involving chess pieces. Chae Talley (Aiden) faced the many twists and turns of his character this season but mostly was concerned with whether or not the new cast was more in shape than him.
Our new cast was fantastic — and we can’t wait to introduce you to them! An official casting announcement will be posted on our Facebook soon, so be sure to like our page.
Pre-production is underway — we can’t wait to get started!
-Amy Suto, showrunner