Seussical has been cast, and the calls have been made. If you didn’t get in this time, please take a moment to read my previous blog, and make sure you keep auditioning!!
As I finished casting Seussical, I found myself reflecting on another topic I have struggled with in the past. What happens when you get into a show, but you don’t get the part you wanted? And more importantly, what are some reasons WHY that happens.
I’ve definitely been there. In high school, I was lucky enough to have our Director choose my favorite show of all time. In that show there was a part that I was DYING to play. It was my dream role. Well, the cast list went up, and I didn’t get that part. Even though I had gotten another role, I was quite upset. I was crushed. I was in disbelief. I didn’t understand why this had happened when I knew I was so perfect for the role.
But now that I am a Director, I know why. And, in fact, there is a very good reason. Casting a show is like fitting together a giant puzzle. All the pieces, with all their different facets, have to line up to make one beautiful work of art which we present to our audiences.
As actors, I think we are often limited by our own perceptions of ourselves. We think we know what roles are right for us, and we get really attached to them. We tend to call these our “dream roles.” And when a show comes around that has that “dream role,” we, of course, audition. We think the director would be crazy not to cast us in that role because we are just so perfect for it. But, when we get ourselves thinking like that, we are limiting ourselves to other possibilities. Maybe this Director thinks that we would be perfect in a different role, based on their vision and their perception of us actors and on their vision and perception of the show as a whole.
You might argue that they are judging you unfairly, that they are the limited ones. But, I challenge you to think about this differently. What if the Director sees something in you that you don’t? Couldn’t it be fun to see what different people think you are capable of?! Maybe you never thought you could play a love interest, and that’s what they see you as being. And isn’t that fascinating and exciting? Let yourself be stretched in ways you didn’t think of.
But then there are times when the Director thinks you actually would be perfect to play your dream role; however, there may be two other people that can play it equally as well. And, what if those two others would not be as good in a different role as you would. Remember that puzzle metaphor? Sometimes our puzzle piece just doesn’t fit right for our dream roles in this particular puzzle. In another show, it could fit beautifully where you want it, but in this one, maybe it fits better somewhere else.
I’m sure you’ve heard the expression, “there are no small parts, only small actors.” It really is true. Playwrights don’t write characters into plays or musicals if they don’t need them there to tell their story. Every character is important. Every character works together to tell the story the playwright set out to tell. Where would Dorothy be without the Wizard? A small part, but critical to the entire story!
So instead of being sad or resentful that you didn’t get the role you so badly wanted or thought you would get, embrace the role you did get! Throw yourself into it, have fun, and discover something new about yourself! After all, you get to do a show! You get to help tell a story. You get to perform in live theatre. Without you, the story we tell, or the puzzle the audience sees, just wouldn’t be the same.