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Wednesday February 15th 2006 (9 years ago)
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Casting instruction instruction

Published: Wednesday February 15th 2006 (9 years ago)
Updated: Tuesday June 6th 2006, 4:19PMMore about: Casting | Shows |
by Martin Joergensen

No, it's not an error. It's supposed to say instruction instruction. I want someone to instruct casting instructors

I went to a casting instruction last night. Together with a bunch of friends we drove 30-40 minutes out of Copenhagen to a small indoors sports facility where a couple of local shops had colaborated with rod manufacturer Loop and the Norwegian brothers Trond and Knut Syrstad, who have designed some rods for Loop and now tour with a casting road show.

The small arena was well packed with people, and my guess is that there was about a couple of hundred attendants to this event. There was a casting pool and a small display of Loop apparel, rods and other stuff. All-in-all a recipe for a success as far as I could see.

But I dare say that success was the last word I'd put on this arrangement. I'll bet you that the arrangers think differently. 200 people on a Tuesday evening in the middle of nowhere!? That's a success, isn't it?

Well, no...

Not when the wireless microphone doesn't work.
Not when people's kids play noisily in the background.
Not when the instructor does not speak up and catch people's attention.
Not when the program is announced to last from 6:30 to 10 PM and actually is about 30-40 minutes.

No, my ftriends. That's more like a major disappointment!

Now, Knut or Trond -- or which of the brothers it was that instructed (the one who always wears the cap backwards) -- is certainly a very skilled caster. No doubt about that. And he did try to reach his audience, joking a bit about the language differences and showing all the errors we all make when casting. He also had some good points about the casting. But... he just didn't really reach the audience.








For some reason the people who do these casting shows are always chosen for their ability to cast.
Now that is like choosing the lead actor for a gangster movie from his ability to hit a target with a gun.
It doesn't matter whether the lead actor can shoot! We want someone who can act. The shooting can be taken care of, and the audience can't shoot anyway, so they won't be able to tell the difference.

Same way with casting instructors. Never mind whether they are master casters, certified in this or that federation or have a wall full of prizes and diplomas.
As long as they can instruct!
Teach!
Entertain!
Convey!

Since most of the audience can't cast worth beep anyhow, they will be impressed as long as the person demonstrating can stretch a leader let alone cast 60 feet.
This evening's audience's fooling around at the casting pool afterwards clearly showed that most of them were below average in casting abilities... that's why they were there.

So get someone to demonstrate, who can instruct. Get an entertainer.

I have seen a few in my time with people like Dutch Sepp Fuchs, American Lefty Kreh and Welsh Hywell Morgan as some prime examples of teaching abilities, showmanship and casting skills combined. These people perform a small act and really manage to grab the audience.

So let's get some instructors who can instruct. Never mind if they can cast 200 feet, hit a dinner plate at 100 and make all kinds of triple-snake-roll-spey-underhand-switch-casts with a twist. I want someone who can teach me and entertain me -- not only impress me.

So please instructors: get someone to teach you how to instruct. Take an actor's course. Put on a red nose. Don't just stand there and cast...

My post spawned a couple of good comments in our forum. See them here.