Thoughts on Casting

Thoughts On Casting from McCrossan and Strunin
(With thanks to Mrs.  Jessica McGettrick from F.A. Day School for the inspiration!)

 All of these thoughts come from experience. We both have been in a ton of audition rooms, whether we be directing the show, or auditioning as actors. Auditions can seem unfair.  Auditions can seem fun. Auditions can seem gratifying. Auditions can seem terrifying.  WE KNOW.

Armed with the following information, you can now proceed to ANY theatrical audition with the tools you will need to give it your all, accept what the outcome is, and realize that not getting the role you want, or not being cast in a show is NO reflection of you as a human being.

 Auditions at QMS are some of our most exciting times of the year, and some of the most anxiety filled (yes, even for us)!

 How can it be both "the best of times, and the worst of times"?

 We love putting on shows. We love coming up with dances, practicing songs, working with kids to reach their full potential onstage, and then sit back and watch all of the amazing things a cast and crew are capable of doing.

 We know that when you think about whatever show you will be auditioning for, you imagine yourself in it - perhaps playing a particular role. You research. You listen to the songs or read excerpts from the script.  You rehearse with friends.

 You audition. You give it your all. You have an excellent attitude and are excited to be a part of the audition process.

 When the picture you envisioned doesn't come into focus the way you had imagined it, it can be disappointing. Your gut instinct may be to get mad. Mr. McCrossan and Mrs. Strunin made you feel bad, and someone else got the part that you wanted, so now you are going to exact your revenge, right? Wrong.

 Nothing is guaranteed in theatre, except that there are no guarantees. This is why we will ALWAYS tell you when we will or will not be casting all students who audition. We base casting on your audition and call back. No one is pre-cast, and ALL parts are open to students in ALL grades. A 6th grader can easily have a better audition and be cast over an 8th grader. It’s happened before and we’re sure it will happen again! We make audition  and casting expectations for each show we produce. You may not be cast, and that’s OK! This is why we are 100% clear and up-front from day one about how many students we will be casting: you know what you are getting into, and you know what possible outcomes could be.

 What you need to understand (and what we always need to remember whenever we are the ones auditioning!) is that not getting cast or not getting cast in the role you'd imagined is not a statement about how "good" you are as a performer, or as a person in general.

 “But why can’t everyone be cast in the show? Everyone should be able to have the opportunity to participate in theater!” We agree with you 100% that everyone should be able to participate in theatre, and we are lucky that at QMS, the majority of 7th graders take theatre class during the school day for 90 days. We are also lucky that we live in an area where there are TONS of performance opportunities outside of school, a few of which we’ve highlighted in another section of the website. Check them out!

 Also, we have had close to 200 students audition for the fall musical every year over the past few years. We cannot cast that many students out of concerns of safety, and (being totally selfish) for the sanity of your two theatre teachers!

 If you aren't cast in the role you'd hoped to get or if you aren’t cast in the show at all, it's okay to be disappointed.

BUT...It's not okay to take it personally, compare yourself to other people, either positively or negatively, or complain to the world. It's not good for you, or the show. And directors, cast members and crew members remember when students have negative impacts on show processes.

 IT IS OKAY TO ASK FOR AUDITION FEEDBACK!

Feedback  can be a helpful way to learn and grow as an actor.

The feedback we give, however, is about moving forward, not looking back at why the casting decision in the past was made. We will NEVER talk about another student’s audition with you, even if you feel yours was better and you have a list of reasons why. That is unacceptable and unprofessional.

 If you are cast in a show, you as an actor need to remember that it is that your responsibility to work on bringing your character to life, whoever it is. With everyone contributing a living, breathing, thinking, FEELING character to the story, the show will transport our audience for a few hours to a different place and time. That's our goal and our job from our first rehearsal until closing night.

 Bottom line: sometimes you get what you want, and sometimes you don’t get what you want (in theatre and in life!).Your success and value as a human being DOES NOT lie in whether or not you get what you want, but rather in how you react, respond, treat others, and move forward within your outcome.

 We feel very strongly about all of the above, as they are the lessons we have learned through our experiences, and we hope that it's been helpful reading this...