Almost two weeks ago I auditioned for a show at Theatre in the Round. This is a non-paying community theater, yet highly respected (so much so that some audiences don’t think you’ve “made it” as an actor in the Twin Cities until you’ve performed there – I will refrain from elaborating on how narrow-minded I think this is considering our vibrant arts community – but that mentality exists and I wanted to note it). When I checked in for my audition, they handed me the paperwork I needed to complete along with a contact information card that they keep on file, presumably forever. On the back of this card was a very rude awakening: a list of the shows that I’ve auditioned for since the card was first filled out. In 1998. Even though I hate math, I did some anyway and realized that in the SEVEN YEARS I’ve been auditioning for Theatre in the Round, I have never been cast. Ouch.
Granted, I don’t think I’ve ever auditioned there in front of the same director. And I’ve been on the other side of the casting table plenty of times and know what the process is like, but still – seven years?! I get paid stage gigs now with some regularity. I get paid film gigs and voice gigs and any number of other uncategorized gigs – hell, I even get pre-cast! But I can’t land a role at Theatre in the Round? What am I doing wrong?
So, as I’m sure you’ve guessed by now – I didn’t get cast for this latest show. The director did, however, send me a very kind e-mail commending me for a strong cold-read and for making him laugh. He also shared that I was his second choice for a specific role. I didn’t really know how to respond to that... um, “hope your first choice drops out?” But then I remembered that if it sounds like a bad idea, it probably is one. I thanked him politely and gave myself a little, mental, pat on the back for pretending to be an adult.
So, I have a few options for my next goal (in terms of Theatre in the Round):
1) Continue this adult trend and keep auditioning like a good sport (boring but respectable/humiliating – it depends on when you ask me); 2) Keep auditioning until I get cast once, consider it a coup, and then never audition there again; 3) Do everything I can to make it BIG, and then continue to audition there and make not-getting-cast into a sport.
Option #1 it probably is – ‘cause I’m an adult. Sigh.