The casting support package from Hijinx
Through 20 years’ experience working with neurodivergent actors we have identified certain areas in which they require some additional support in order to help them reach their full potential. These fall into four basic headings:
- Hijinx Actor Assistants: we have a team of assistants who know all of our actors well – many are involved in the actors’ ongoing performance training. They also understand each actor’s individual needs, so are able to offer tailored support. All of our Actor Assistants work in the creative industries too, so they understand the pressures, demands and expectations of life on set.
- Preparation for auditions and subsequent work: Traditional auditions often exclude neurodivergent actors because of a heavy reliance upon text, quick turnaround of audition scripts, and the time-pressured process of the auditions themselves. Our tips for running accessible auditions for neurodivergent actors include:
- Where possible run workshop-based auditions to assess actors through improvised or devised scenes or exercises, rather than text-heavy scripts. Hijinx can facilitate workshop auditions at our Academies in Cardiff, Carmarthen, Aberystwyth and Prestatyn;
- For script-based auditions, provide scripts as far in advance of auditions as possible, to allow for our actors – supported by one of our Actor Assistants – to prepare thoroughly;
- Accept self-taped auditions to allow actors a low-stress environment to show you their best work;
- Respect the needs of neurodivergent actors to be accompanied to auditions by an Assistant.
- Travel to auditions: Although many of our actors travel independently within their local area, most need an Assistant to accompany them to auditions. Hijinx can handle the logistics and bookings for this where needed.
- Support on set: Our actors will always require an Assistant to accompany them on set. Whether that is to accompany them around the building, wait with them between takes or go over lines and directions when necessary. They are there to ensure that our actors integrate smoothly into life on set.
The financial support…
We recognise that this different approach to casting requires a culture change within the industry. We are willing and able to support this change. From Jan 2019 to Jan 2021, through funding from Morrisons Foundation, we are able to subsidise the costs of supporting and preparing our actors, to enable you to make the move towards casting more inclusively.