Oh boy. Here it comes. The disappointment. The beating up of oneself. The never ending question of "what if". What if you'd chosen a different song? What if you'd worn a different outfit? What if, what if, WHAT IF?
Well there's no use in living in the past. What's done is done. So now what? You really wanted this part! How will you ever get over this type of blow? I have a few tips that I hope will help with that:
1-For starters, don't ever ask the director why you didn't get a role! This is a big no no! As bad as you want to know just don't do it. Even if you don't agree with the director's casting choices, there is usually a method to their madness. If you absolutely have to know, think about asking a different way. For instance, ask "What can I do differently" or "What should I improve on". This way you will get some constructive criticism to help you with your next audition.
2-Revisit your audition book. Are you singing songs that you've been singing for years? Are you still using monologues that you used 3 years ago? It's probably time for some new material then. You should have your songs that show you off. The ones that you know will guarantee you a call back because you are so awesome at them. However, after a while, even those songs get old to directors. There's plenty of musical theatre songs out there to choose from. Make it a point to learn new songs every year. Read more plays so you can find new monologue material. Sometimes actors forget that monologues need to be fresh too. Especially musical theatre actors. They get caught up on choosing the right music so much that they forget about the monologues! As a director, I want to know that you can act as well as sing. It's just as important.
3-Once you've gone through 1 and 2, you need to think about training. I say it all the time. As an artist you are always training. Always. Training to be a better performer, director, choreographer, etc. Every show you do prepares you for the next one. You are only as good as your last show. When you aren't performing you should be taking workshops and classes so that you can continue to have great auditions. Train hard, train always!
4-Last but not least, calm down! It's not the end of the world. There could be several reasons why you weren't cast. You may not have been what thy were looking for. You might have wanted to play Elphaba but they saw you more as a Galinda. You have to know your type too but that's a blog for another time! Take it easy on yourself. Have about a 7 minute pity party and then move on. Actors are told no more than any other profession. It won't be the first time or the last time that you will be told no. Get yourself some ice cream, put on some Hamilton, put your hair in a bun and have a jam session by yourself. Then get up the next day and regroup and get ready for the next audition.
I hope this helped in some way. Don't you give up! I'll see you at the theatre!
So you made it to the callbacks! Congratulations! This is a pretty big deal. This is what you've trained hard for. This is what you wanted from the moment you heard there was an audition for that particular show! You got a callback! This means you've got it in the bag right? Absolutely...not. No way. This means you have to work harder than ever to get this role. Here's a couple of tips from a director's point of view on what NOT to do at callbacks:
1-Don't be a slacker.
This is major. Sometimes actors feel like since they got the callback that the hardest part is over. I believe that callbacks are when you really have to turn it on for the director. If they ask you to come prepared with something from the show or tell you to be prepared to dance at callbacks, chances are you are going to do one of those things or ALL of those things. Don't come with a bunch of excuses as to why you weren't prepared. That looks very unprofessional. What we want to see is that you've done what we've asked you to do. This also shows us a sneak peek into your work ethic and how well you take direction. More times than not, someone in the production company can help you with finding the right soundtracks to listen to as well as some video inspiration. Research the show, listen to the whole thing and become familiar with the story before callbacks. Be ready!
2-Don't get comfortable.
This happens quite a bit. Actors feel like they know they will get cast because they've worked with that particular company or director before. Well, that's not always true. I personally experienced this early in my career. I went to auditions for the national tour of Mame. I wanted to be Vera so bad! And wouldn't you know it, the same company that I just finished touring with was the company holding these auditions! I auditioned and got called back for Vera. This is it! One of my dream roles was about to be checked off the list! I got through the singing and acting and then the dance came. Well I didn't try as hard because again, I thought I had it in the bag. Plus Vera didn't dance in the show so why should I try so hard? I got through the dance part and then 2 weeks later...I heard nothing. That's not good. In our business, you don't get a courtesy call or email telling you you weren't selected for a show (like we do here at DAP) oh no. You just don't get a call. Which means you just didn't get it. And cue the tears and anguish and call to mom. I could only be upset at myself though. I thought I had it so I slacked in one area. I bet you I didn't do that ever again. That also taught me that you never know what a director is going to do with a show once they decide to direct it. For all I know, they could've had their Vera dance in that show which is why they wanted to see the Veras at callbacks dance. That audition pushed me to have better auditions and take more dance classes. You never know who could come through that door at an audition. We get surprised all the time. Stay on top of your game and always remain hungry for it.
3-Don't try to control the callback.
Hmm. This one happens sometimes too. More so with amateur actors who just may not know better. If you've been called back for a role and then asked to read for that role a couple of times, there is a good chance that the director is looking at you for that role. Now, having said that, that is not always the case. I can only speak for myself. After auditions, I generally have an idea on who I want to read what. Sometimes though, actors surprise me and I might ask them to read something else. Just go with it! But whatever you do, don't ask the director if you can read for another role OR ask why you aren't reading for a certain role. That's a big NO NO! We have our reasons for asking you to read certain roles and not others. Trust me. There is a method to our madness. We have to take everything into consideration at callbacks. How you did at auditions, dance, singing, reading from the script and so on. Personally, I have probably already figured it out after the first 15 minutes of callbacks but again, I do get surprised sometimes. Yes you may have wanted to be Audrey really badly but the director didn't ask you to read for that role. That doesn't mean you aren't being considered for that role but it also doesn't mean you ARE being considered for that role. There is A LOT that goes into this casting thing people! If you really want to impress them, have an awesome audition that shows your range and maybe then you will be considered for more than one role. You never know.
Whew! Sounds like a lot doesn't it? Hopefully this helps you a little bit. I know it may sound a little tough at times but I'd rather you know and understand so you can be prepared. Next time we will talk about what to do after you DON'T get the role. Yikes! What do you do? We are going to help you out with that one. Until next time. Imagine, create and PERFORM! See you at the theatre!
Meme is a director, actor, acting instructor, producer, mentor and theatre diva extraordinaire. Ok. That last part is a little much but you get the idea.