Casting About
September 8, 2008 8:19 AM   Subscribe

I'm making a short film in Boston that requires two leads -- a man and a woman -- in their mid-20s who can dance ballroom. Where should I post a casting notice?

I've been trying to go through the ballroom dance teams at the colleges and have come up somewhat empty-handed -- of the ten or so emails I've sent out to the teams, I've received two emails. On the other hand, the listing I posted on Craigslist has attracted several composers and costume designers, but no actors. I'm a little nervous about attending ballroom dances without having an in, since approaching someone blind can have some unfortunate casting-couch connotations.

(By the way, if this helps any, I'm in Boston and making this as part of a Super-8 derby. It's completely volunteer-run, non-paid, but I do offer similar fringe benefits that every student-level film has.)

Is there a message board for New England ballroom dance that I should be posting to? What other resources should I be aware of? Is there any other advice I should heed?
posted by pxe2000 to Media & Arts (8 answers total)
There are tons of talented young actors in Boston willing to work for no pay. Post paper ads at Emerson College, in the theater department at Boston College, etc.
posted by metamush at 8:32 AM on September 8, 2008

Response by poster: Thanks for the advice, metamush -- I've definitely availed myself of talent from BU and Emerson in the past. The challenge with casting this particular film is that I'm looking for actors who can do a few ballroom-dance steps. Do you know of anyplace I could find someone with that background?
posted by pxe2000 at 8:35 AM on September 8, 2008

You may try New England Theater 411. It's geared towards stage shows, but it's a fairly well-trafficked site. You can make a post specifically for a casting call.
posted by backseatpilot at 8:41 AM on September 8, 2008

At least some of the ballroom dance teams take lessons at Fred Astaire Dance Studio. Maybe start there?
posted by mkb at 8:53 AM on September 8, 2008

Maybe try contacting BCAE and other adult-ed programs in the area (Cambridge and Brookline pop to mind immediately) and see if: 1) they have current ballroom dance programs going on and if so 2) ask if the instructors would mention you to their classes.
posted by briank at 8:54 AM on September 8, 2008

Just a thought: In your ads and emails, are you being really clear that you want ACTORS who happen to know a few ballroom steps? From your original post I thought you wanted dancers who wouldn't mind trying to act, but your follow-up makes it sound like the opposite. I'm guessing you'll get better responses if people can tell what you're looking for.
posted by vytae at 9:17 AM on September 8, 2008

Seconding New England Theater 411-everyone checks that site.
posted by katemcd at 9:58 AM on September 8, 2008

If people with no or little acting experience would be OK, get in touch with ballroom dance clubs. There are far more people involved in clubs than on teams, and they may have more free time than people training for ballroom dance competitions.

It would also help if you know which specific styles of ballroom dance you would like them to know. Ballroom dance covers a lot of different specific dance styles, some clubs focus on only one style. Tango, swing, and salsa are all fairly popular, and all different.

If you really just want them to know a few steps of anything, many actors also take dance lessons, if they donĀ“t know the exact steps you want them to know stick them in a private lesson for a couple hours. If you want someone who can do a lot of fancy stuff you will need to find someone with some experience.
posted by yohko at 10:33 AM on September 8, 2008

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