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Audition tips with Carnival US’ casting and booking supervisor Ray Eyler

How did you become a casting supervisor for Carnival Cruise Line Entertainment? 
I just celebrated my 25th anniversary with Carnival Cruise Line. I started with Carnival as a singer/dancer in 1993. I moved into the office in 2001, where I started teaching vocals for our production shows. I started casting singers in 2003 and moved up to casting and booking supervisor three years ago. I now cast all singers and dancers for the 26 vessels in Carnival’s fleet.

What does your job as a casting supervisor involve? 
‘Wearing many hats’ –I schedule and oversee all the auditions for singers and dancers. I also work on outreach programmes to introduce schools, organisations and agents to the opportunities that we have available within our company for singers and dancers. I am also responsible for the overall hiring experience for our performers, helping to make the hiring process simple and stress-free.

How are the auditions structured? 
Carnival hires singers who dance and dancers who sing, true triple-threat performers. We put everyone through their paces at the auditions. Our singers who dance should be able to sing pop/rock-style vocals. We send tunes from our show library to the applicants prior to the auditions so that they are singing the tunes in the ranges we need to make smart casting decisions. Those that we keep from voice auditions will learn a dance routine to finish out the day. Our dancers who sing start with a dance call. We go directly into a jazz/contemporary routine and then in the second round we have them work with singing in harmony.

Do you have any advice for people auditioning? 
Do your homework. You should always know for what and for whom you are auditioning. Every company and theatre group will post descriptions of what they are looking for in the audition notice or their website. With a little bit of homework, you will come into the audition prepared with the right look and skills required for the job being offered. 

What time of the year are auditions held? 
Carnival Cruise Line auditions year-round. We hold auditions in London approximately three times a year at various venues and schools throughout the UK, generally in the spring, summer and fall [autumn] periods.

What is the best thing about working for Carnival Entertainment? 
Without a doubt, the people. I have worked for other cruise line companies in the past and the reason I stayed with Carnival is the relaxed atmosphere and the feeling that everyone is working as a team to get the best shows in front of our guests.

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