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  • When a breakdown doesn't specify race/ethnicity... 12/05/2017  2:49pm

    Do you assume that means the part is open to all races/ethnicities?

    I recorded the demographics for every single EPA posted on the AEA website on a random day (11/22), along with gender, age, contract length and pay rate- results are here if you're interested:

    Obviously this was only one day’s worth of EPA listings, but I found that out of 244 parts, 74 did not specify ethnicity (30%). And 118 specified all ethnicities (48%). The next largest grouping was caucasian (9.2%). Only 16 parts mentioned disability, as in- “we are seeking actors of all ability levels.”

    It was also interesting to see that were 150 roles for men, 92 roles for women, and 2 roles specified as being for transgender/ gender fluid individuals.

    SO my main question is, if I am an actor of color and/or a disabled actor, and the breakdown doesn’t specify anything about either, do I assume that it’s open to all and submit? Or does experience tell me that the breakdown-writer’s lack of attention to race/ethnicity/disability (not mentioning it all) indicates a white-centric way of thinking?


    Full disclosure I am a white female former actor in my early thirties and working on a research project for grad school- hence the stats :)


    the more open the notice is, the less traditional the casting team tends to go.

    007 12/05/2017  2:59pm

    its a tough day to be white in this industry

    back stage is for bottom feeders 12/05/2017  8:32pm

    ^It's a tough day to be a troll on AU

    bwaylvsong 12/05/2017  9:04pm

    from one of the AU cool kids. you must not be white

    you are annoying, you realize that right? 12/05/2017  9:35pm
    Icanseeyou 12/05/2017  10:46pm

    As a disabled actor, most of the calls I attend do not specify that they are looking for actors with disabilities. If I can imagine myself in the role, I go. And I have a great imagination.

    pctombs 12/05/2017  11:12pm

    Aww, I'm honored that you think I'm cool! Believe it or not, I'm white- like, the whitest person in the history of white people. I *am* Jewish, though! Let's see what you do with that little piece of info.

    @KC, is this for Methods of Qualitative Research? EDTC grad here. Anyway, as an actor who is white, cis-male, and typically abled, but a specific type because I'm really short, I am much more likely to go in for one of the breakdowns others have described as more "open" because it sounds like casting is more willing to take risks.

    bwaylvsong 12/05/2017  11:44pm

    @bwaylvsong yes it is! Great (very challenging) course. Thanks for your responses! And nice to "meet" an alumni of the program- I'm Ed Theatre/English.

    I find clumsily written breakdowns to be a really frustrating part of the business for actors, because we rely on them so heavily, and look quite closely for those signal words that make us think "this is me." But it's also great to see really open-ended breakdowns that allow actors to envision for themselves what roles they fit. As long as casting/creative really IS intending to consider everyone, and won't just waste the time of those submitting by calling in only one type of person in the end.

    KCinGradSchool 12/06/2017  12:57am

    Yes! As a POC but someone who doesn’t fit often in one racial/ethnic box I will go in or submit for anything that fits me as an actor when no race is listed or when they say “all ethnicities”. As someone who is ethnically ambiguous I generally end up in shows where race is not part of the storyline since when it is I don’t usually fit. So I rely on creatives being open minded and not defaulting to white. Fortunately for me now it seems like they are actively trying to do that.

    sngrgirl1 12/06/2017  10:37pm

    To further that..if I only submitted or went to auditions where the race/ethnicity matched mine exactly I would never audition. There is only one character in the musical theater cannon that I am aware of that is what I am and type wise I’m not right for that part.

    sngrgirl1 12/06/2017  10:48pm

    I’m bumping this because I’m interested in the stats and what other Actors of Color/disabilities have to say.

    We also need a break from the effing trolls...

    Rain On my Parade 12/09/2017  1:43pm