John Cabrera is best known as playing Hep Alien band member Brian Fuller: “In 2002 I was cast on a TV show called Gilmore Girls, in a role I thought would only last one episode. I returned for 31 more over the next five years”, according to his blog. Last week, he announced he’s joining the web series world by creating an indie-rock musical.
Obviously the concept of a web series musical isn’t a new one and many of them have found great success, from the fan-created Horrible Turn that went on to become nominated for a Streamy Award for original music to I Kissed a Vampire, which is now going on to become a feature film. Oh, and that little series Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog, which, you know, did okay.
What is original about this series is the way in which it is being cast…in a completely open, full-scale internet search. Cabrera posted a simple yet engaging video blog (posted above) calling out for help in scouring the entire country for talent to fill the five major roles of his series. With humor and graciousness he explained that actors needed to be above the age of 18 but look like they could fill roles of a younger age and that sadly, international submissions cannot be accepted. With submitters being asked to give confirmation that they can be in Los Angeles starting June 1st through July 15th, the search will be quick and the commitments ambitious.
“The main reason we chose to open the casting to all of the Internet was quite simply out of necessity,” further explained Cabrera in an e-mail correspondense with Tubefilter. “We knew going in that the roles we were casting would be pretty tough to fill. This is a musical… but more specifically an indie rock musical. We’re not just looking for actors who can sing (Hollywood has plenty), we’re looking for actors with unique voices worthy of an indie rock album… perhaps even actors with an indie rock sensibility, I won’t lie. *cue the collective groans of the method actors*”
Unlike the recent Glee auditions, which were held on MySpace and very public in the fact that you were required to post your videos for all to see, Cabrera’s approach is to not require submissions to be public, though they do prefer e-mailed links to video hosting sites such as Vimeo and YouTube. “Using Social Media for this process is exciting to us, but we’re taking everyone’s privacy very seriously,” Cabrera explains in the details section of the announcement video. “In no way is this going to be an audition show. This approach is very new to my team and my casting director… I’ve pushed hard for it, because I believe in it. But I need to prove to them that this process can have the same degree of professionalism and order that comes with traditional hollywood casting.”
“I’d be disingenuous not to admit another personal motivating factor for doing this is my own relationship to Social Media. I believe in it”, says Cabrera. “I recognize, for example, the web series’ potential to stand proudly alongside older forms of entertainment media like Film and TV. But many techniques in the space just haven’t been explored enough, and so they won’t become standards until they are. It’s natural, and I think beneficial to New Media, that artists, writers, studios, etc. from Film and TV are starting to play around in the space. They bring with them a valuable set of methods and tools. But I think sometimes they may rely too much on their older practices, because ‘new’ is always a little scary and risky. But we have to take those risks and overcome those fears if we want Internet Entertainment to grow it’s own legs.”
Below are the five roles Cabrera and his team are looking to fill. If you think you or someone you know fit the bill, consider doing a submission. But be sure to look over the list of requirements before emailing in. They are going to be tough yet fair about them: “I know it’s tempting to want to send something anyway thinking, ‘I know I can’t totally fulfill all of those requirements, but the ones I do, I do so well that maybe they’ll bend their rules for me.’ We won’t… and on top of that it will have slowed down our process. So please help us with this.”
ROLE 1 – Female, 16 years old (casting performers 18 years or older to play 16) very pretty, California girl born and bred. AUDITION REQUIREMENTS: Must sing indie rock, indie pop, or folk style.
ROLE 2 – Male, 18 years old (casting performers 18 years or older to play 18) good looking in an edgy, off beat way, he is the front man of the band. AUDITION REQUIREMENTS: accomplished Lead or Bass Guitar playing AND indie rock, indie pop, folk style singing.
ROLE 3 – Female, 17 years old (casting performers 18 years or older to play 17) the only girl in the band, a tomboy whose gruff manner and boyish dress accents an edgy off-beat beauty. AUDITION REQUIREMENTS: accomplished Lead or Bass Guitar playing AND indie rock, indie pop, or folk style singing.
ROLE 4 – Male, 17 years old (casting performers 18 years or older to play 17) a humorous and talented youth, a techno whiz who works on the band’s distinct sound. AUDITION REQUIREMENTS: accomplished Keyboard (or Laptop as live instrument) playing AND indie pop, indie rock, or folk style singing.
ROLE 5 – Male, 16 years old (casting performers 18 years or older to play 16) a self effacing youth who seldom speaks, and has a tendency to fade into the background. AUDITION REQUIREMENTS: accomplished Drumming AND indie pop, indie rock, or folk style singing.