As a director, community theater and shows with volunteers has got to be the most frustrating! I guarantee you that every show I direct, by the end of it I have a list of people who, although talented, I would NEVER cast again. I don’t want that person to be you, my reader. In this blog, I plan to put together some tips to help you avoid burning your bridges and destroying your dreams of being a performing star.
*SHOW UP!! When you fill out your paperwork at the auditions make sure you list ALL of your obligations and read the rehearsal schedule very carefully. I have directed shows where they did not list ANY dates they could not attend and they missed half the rehearsals (needless to say, they were given the boot!) If we know of your obligations ahead of time, we can arrange the rehearsal schedule, but not if you just don’t show up! All school performance dates need to be on that list as well. If you forsee that you will be very busy at the time of the show, DONT AUDITION.
*DO ONE SHOW AT A TIME!!! I had a cast member who was trying to be in 3 shows at a time. She was let go within the first 2 weeks of rehearsals because she found out that she was going to miss 5 practices right off the bat. Sometimes, if you can work out the scheduling, you are still too busy to learn all the lines, songs and dances well and there is also the issue of getting SICK! I advise against it. Pick one show and enjoy it!
*MAKE A COMITTMENT AND STICK WITH IT. Don’t quit a show, word will get around that you are a quitter and you will not get cast again. Or, best case scenario, even if you are highly skilled you will NOT get a lead part until you have proven yourself faithful and easy to work with.
*BUY A CALENDAR! Make sure you check it and make sure you do not double-book yourself.
*DO NOT GET SICK!!! I realize that sometimes we can’t help what our bodies do, but if you are a sickly person, take care of this issue before you start auditioning. Maybe you aren’t eating healthy, not getting enough rest, dabble in drugs or unhealthy habits like smoking, or are too busy (have to much stress in your life). Get with your doctor or someone who doesn’t get sick very often and see what they do. Wash your hands a lot, drink LOTS of clean water throughout the day, be careful what you eat. THEN audition for a show and BE THERE. I also want to tell you what “sick” really is. An excused sick absence is having a fever (contagious), or throwing up. You need to at least come to practice and sit in the back watching the blocking instead of staying home. Feeling a little under the weather is NOT enough to constitute an absence from rehearsal.
*Be attentive when you ARE there. There is nothing more discouraging to a director than an actor who just stands there, disinterested, not paying attention while on stage. Believe it or not, directors have had actors on the stage in the middle of a scene TEXTING, CHEWING GUM, CROSSING THEIR ARMS, YAWNING, etc.! Do some of these things and expect to NOT be cast again. Even while you are not on stage during a rehearsal, you should be studying your lines. Leave your phone in the car of turned OFF and concentrate on the show while you are at rehearsals. In conclusion, please see this from the director’s point of view. We CANNOT have a show without EVERYBODY present! Sure, we can read the absent people’s lines, but it messes up the blocking of the others and developing character relationship and chemistry with the others in the scene if YOU are not there. Acting is not just knowing YOUR part, it is a group project and everyone must work together in order to make a real, believable, clean, entertaining, polished SHOW!
Enjoy your singing journey!