Priscilla John on how to talent spot

How do you know someone is good? Is it a gut feeling you build up with experience? 

I think it’s a combination of things. But mainly, it’s because they will be playing the role as if they are that person, they’re in the moment, and they haven’t come out of it once, even if they say no lines. We were casting actors who had nothing to say, but a lot to do. So, in the theatre, you can tell if they’re playing a very minor role, but they’re on stage a lot bringing in the tea or taking it away, or they’re the butler or whatever. If you notice them badly, then that’s not good. If you notice them because of a little uniqueness going on, or a truth that’s going on, then that’s what you’re looking for. And believe you me, we’re not looking to throw them into a lead role. We’re looking to bring them on, to give them… and don’t forget, a lot of those sorts of parts onstage, they have to listen a lot. So, are they listening? Or are they just taking instructions, and going off stage, and doing it, and coming back with whatever they’ve been instructed to do? It’s something that you either get, or you don’t. Or you notice or you don’t. And I think that the way we were trained at Granada, we were trained to look out for the people who you might not necessarily be going to see. I still do that to this day. 

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