A while back I was having a conversation over lunch with an actor who was complaining to me, yet again, that the reason why they weren’t cast in an upcoming musical was that this particular director only casts the same group of people in every show.
Maybe it was the fact that my sandwich tasted awful or maybe it was the tenth or so instance I’ve had this conversation with this person but I finally blurted out,
“Maybe you’re not getting cast because you’re not getting any better as a performer?!?!”
Yeah, that went over really well. Needless to say, the rest of lunch went swimmingly.
Look, I completely understand that no one likes to be told or have it implied or suggested that maybe “they’re the problem”. That goes for everything in life, not just theatre.
But here is some hard reality for some of you out there, maybe the reason why you’re getting passed over for roles is that you’re doing nothing to earn them.
Are you doing the work the improve between auditions? Are you taking voice lessons, dance lessons, improv workshops to improve on your weaknesses? Are you even trying to find out what those weaknesses are?
Something I do, like many others, is if I’m not cast in a particular show, I will always email the director to ask where can I improve. As hard as it might be to hear that truth, I have to because maybe I’m making the same mistake over and over again. I did that a while back. I asked the director where I went wrong and she told me it looked like I wasn’t listening, processing what was being said to my character on stage. For me, this was a career-changing note that has helped me ever since.
You can grow as an actor during the rehearsal process, but that means you have to get cast first. What you do in between auditions can help you or hurt you. Spend the time to correct, improve, adjust instead of blaming others. Do that and I promise, while you might not get cast by a particular director, another one will.