A play I wrote is getting produced. Auditions are less than a month away! I will be at auditions, helping to make casting decisions.
When I wrote the play, I had certain people in mind to play the characters. Should I send a message to those people encouraging them to audition? What if they blow the audition? Would it look bad to then tell them, "Sorry I encouraged you to audition but you're not right for the part."?
I've made a nice living professionally as an actor for many years.
It is ALWAYS an honor to be asked - "requested" is the actual professional word - to audition. No promises are made, when requested to audition. We Actors like to show-off our wares, so to speak. That is what we really do for a living…Audition. And really good actors know this.
When you are in a waiting room with 30 other actors, though many are friends, you want to do KICK ASS in the audition to get the part. You may like the other actors or even hate some of them, but you respect them all!
So…as as many as you think are truly RIGHT for a part ask them to audition.. But, don't pull anyone's chain.
And if we do not get the part, it is not that we were not right for it, it is just someone thought another actor was better for it in the entire scheme of things. We understand this…EVEN IF WE KNOW YOU ARE WRONG AND FULL OF HORSESHIT!!!!
Now…no actor in his/her right mind will EVER actually believe THAT someone else was BETTER for the part. We always will think we could do it better! But, we will understand the final decision is not up to us…if THEY are professional...and if they are sane! And then...we go on to the next audition…hungrier than before. That is the LIFE,
No doubt, It IS very nice to just be just offered a part, without an auditon. It has happened to me. But it is also an honor to be asked to audition. The life of an actor is...auditioning. We are used to it.
I was sort of honored/spoiled…I was cast in the first professional show I ever auditioned for in NYC at the NY Shakespeare Festival for Joseph Papp. I was a "Walk-In." Cold-Off-The -Streets one month in NYC. No professional Schools like NYU/Julliard/Carnegie Mellon, etc., etc. The Audition Auditor told me "no one would see me." I was just a young guy from the Midwest who knew he wanted to be an actor. But…I was patient and steadfast. And...THEY DID SEE ME. I got a call back and was cast. It was a hoot.
But, afterwards, I settled in to the life of an actor with all the disappointments and rewards, and it has been a very good life. Health Insurance and Pensions with uplift and disappointments throughout. Just like in any other profession.
Just don't "pull anyone's chain" if you don't think an actor has a fart's chance in hell.
And…treat us well! We will aways remember you.
I've also cast actors, and ALL have told me after auditions, it was the best they have ever been treated in their entire careers. Well, I am one. I know.
Really professional Casting Agents are some of the most wonderful people I have ever met. They know the territory. I have learned a lot from them.
Respect in = Respect out! Just like any other business.
Good luck. Let us now how it goes.
P.S. "It is all Community Theatre."
Back in my Midwestern hometown, a respected professional director from the town working on the West Coast at a regional theatre, came through and saw me in a show in our Community Theatre. He told me I was really good. I replied, "Yeah, but is just Community Theatre."
He stopped me dead in my tracks, and told me to "not to denigrate 'the work'." That taught me a lot.
He then said, "It's ALL Community Theatre. It is just a matter of what Community you want to be a part of. Theatre is Theatre."
I've got a play going up in LA next month and contacted two actor friends out there to put them in touch with the director. I let the director know who they were. One was cast (as the lead), the other was not. No hard feelings, just thank-you's from both for the opportunity and knowing that they got a fair shake.