We hear more often than expected that directors come to Cast98 with their cast list in hand, having already held auditions and made their difficult casting decisions. So now they are looking to build their rehearsal schedule, but don't want to force their cast members to create a profile.
Cast98 was built to make life easier for community theater directors and their show staff - usually volunteers - who spend dozens of hours every production cycle printing, distributing, collecting, compiling, and converting paper documents (audition forms, information sheets, conflict calendars, etc.) into a digital format so that the rehearsal schedule can be announced ASAP. If all goes well, the turnaround is a week. Most often, a temporary first week schedule is sent out to allow up to two weeks to turnaround the full rehearsal schedule. Cast98 was specifically designed automate all of this, and to make it a digital workflow from start to finish. We accomplish that by enabling performers to have an online profile that includes their emergency contact info, acting/dancing/singing/theatrical experience history, and digital conflict calendar so that when they sign up for an audition, all of that information is automatically sent over to the director of the play or musical, and automatically syncs with the rehearsal schedule allowing for an immediate transition from auditions to scheduling.
If a director has their paper documents, Google spreadsheets, Excel spreadsheets, and/or online survey results from a 3rd party website or survey tool, someone must enter that info into Cast98. If the director is willing, our recommended action is to invite your cast members to come create a Cast98 profile and submit a fresh form. Doing so will most quickly enable the director to capture each performers' information in a format that's compatible with Cast98's powerful director tools.
It pains us to even suggest it, but if a director is unwilling to invite performers to create their own profile and submit their own information (which again... it's very easy and will take less time than this alternative solution), the director and/or volunteer staff can create a profile on behalf of each of their performers, fill out the audition form for each person (specifically you probably want the conflict calendar), and then proceed to building the cast list and scheduling rehearsals.
The trouble with this solution is obvious.
First, it's not saving directors any time whatsoever, and that kills us. It will leave a taste in directors' mouths that Cast98 is a very difficult and time consuming tool, and they are likely to walk away, never to return. How unfortunate!
Secondly, performers don't get the benefit of having their own Cast98 profile, which they can use next show to submit their audition very easily. They can even save their cast bio, all their acting resume credentials, and have 24/7 access to their conflict calendar, but won't be able to use any of these great features if the director has created their account without their knowledge.
Speaking as someone who has filled out countless paper audition forms answering the same questions and the same conflict calendar every time I want to be in a show: What a huge bummer!
Thirdly, Cast98 has director tools beyond the rehearsal schedule, that you will not be able to use if you've not allowed your performers to manage their own profile.
- Contact info for all directors, stage managers, and fellow cast members is compiled into a contact sheet that any cast and crew can download
- Cast bios are likewise compiled for directors all in one place
- Cast members can see their personalized rehearsal schedule when they login, eliminating all excuses for missing a rehearsal they might otherwise overlook
- Cast members can export their rehearsals with the click of a button, saving them to Google Calendar, Outlook Calendar, Apple iCal, or whatever other online calendar they prefer
There are so many features that a director will miss if they try to DIY the rehearsal schedule instead of simply inviting cast members to create a Cast98 profile and submit their own info. It will take each cast member five minutes and will save the poor volunteers several hours of tedious labor. So please... allow Cast98 to help you!
Even if you've finished your auditions and have your cast list, take a minute to ask your performers to create a profile. They'll be so excited to be in the cast, they'll knock out this action item within a couple hours of your invitation and you'll pick up right where you left off.
Heck! We even provide an email template for you to send out that has concise step by step instructions. Look under your show editing menu for a link to the Email Templates.
Break a leg!