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Graciously saying, "No Thanks" ?

Printed From: Community Theater Green Room
Category: Producing Theater
Forum Name: Acting
Forum Discription: Q&A about auditions, character development and other aspects of the craft
URL: http://www.communitytheater.org/forum/forum_posts.asp?TID=1957
Printed Date: 7/18/24 at 1:35pm
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Topic: Graciously saying, "No Thanks" ?
Posted By: KL Murphy
Subject: Graciously saying, "No Thanks" ?
Date Posted: 8/03/06 at 10:25am

Do you (directors and actors chime in here) feel it is snobby or rude to turn down a part because it's not the one you want or not as big as you'd want?

I do theater and wrestle professionally.  I don't mind taking time off of wrestling to do shows, but when I get parts I don't want or ensemble I both feel weird about turning them down, but also feel weird about telling my wrestling promoter I can't make X, Y and Z shows because of theater.  Than the promoter asks if I got a big part and I must honestly explain my 3 mins of on stage time.

Thoughts?



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www.klmurphy.com



Replies:
Posted By: dougb
Date Posted: 8/03/06 at 11:11am
Our Audition form has a section to indicate whether you want a specific role or roles or if you are willing to accept any role.  If you say you are willing to take any role than I expect you to do it. 

On more than one occasion I have had actors who indicated they would take any role suddenly find a conflict that keeps them from taking the role.  If that happens more than once I will not consider them for a role again.

Casting a play is a difficult process to make sure all the pieces fit - it isn't always just putting the best actor into the biggest role and so on.  If a person withdraws after I have cast them it may mess up all the casting selections.  If I have already offered roles to others, I can't change that and I end up trying to put a square peg into a round hole.  This is not just acting ability but how the actors look together or relate to each other - a lot of considerations.


Posted By: KL Murphy
Date Posted: 8/03/06 at 11:13am
That makes sense, so your suggestion would be to just be honest upfront with my concerns?

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www.klmurphy.com


Posted By: dboris
Date Posted: 8/03/06 at 12:52pm

I perfectly understand when actors are only interested in large roles. I show is a big time commitment and for certain actors it may only be worth while for a large challenging role.

As dougb said, it is best to make this know up front at auditions. When my theater does auditions we also stress to people that they should be honest about what roles they will accept and which one they won't.



Posted By: KL Murphy
Date Posted: 8/03/06 at 1:11pm
Thank you for the reply.  I'll do that!

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www.klmurphy.com


Posted By: B-M-D
Date Posted: 8/03/06 at 1:28pm

I think being honest about what you'll accept is the biggest help to a director and casting committee.   For me the fact that an actor will only accept a specific role or roles makes my job easier.



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BD

"Dying is easy, comedy is hard."


Posted By: KL Murphy
Date Posted: 8/03/06 at 1:57pm

I guess what I should do is clear.  Have you been with casting committees that have said, "Oh here's a Primadonna/Diva that will only accept the lead..."

I just don't want to come across like that.  For me it's just about not being worth the time spent... and less about me being full of myself. 



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www.klmurphy.com


Posted By: jayzehr
Date Posted: 8/03/06 at 3:43pm
I don't see a problem in turning down a part you've been offered, for any reason. I don't think you neccesarily even need to give an explanation anymore than the director needs to explain casting decisions.  Just showing up to read at an audition is not an iron-clad committment to do the show. As an actor, I think I have a right to decline a part. And as a director, I would much rather have someone bow out than accept a part they're not going to be happy with, no matter what the reason.  Sure, it might mess up your well laid casting plans, but that's the way it goes. Just one of the hazards of directing. 


Posted By: Topper
Date Posted: 8/03/06 at 4:25pm

Just be certain to take the time to familiarize yourself with the play before you decide which roles you'll accept.

I remember one "prima-donna" who would only accept the lead roles -- no matter if he was right for them or not.  When casting a production of "Harvey" the audition form specifically asked for which role would he like to perform.

Of course, he wrote in "Harvey."

The director was tempted to cast him without ever informing him the title character of the play is an imaginary rabbit and never appears onstage.  Much amusement was garnered at the idea of making this fellow sit backstage wearing a rabbit suit for hours on end.

Unfortunately, cooler heads prevailed and the actor was too embarrassed to admit his mistake.  He was certain to read the play before his next audition.



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"None of us really grow up. All we ever do is learn how to behave in public." -- Keith Johnstone


Posted By: castMe
Date Posted: 8/03/06 at 5:31pm
I'm in the "no need to accept any old role" camp.  If there is a particular role or two I'm interested in, I speak with the director and let them know.  I usually phrase it "My schedule is such that commiting to be in the show for anything other than X or Y part is not possible."  I have also had actors inform me of their preferences at auditions.  I have never heard, in my community at least, people complain about people not wanting to commit to anything other than the role their interested in.  and believe me, there are many, many of us.  Many times, it's not even the lead, sometimes its a small juicy role which won't require attendence at all or even most rehearsals.

If you voice your feelings and the director has a serious problem with that...too bad for them. 

Hope you haven't wrestled too long with this problem.


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Investigate. Imagine. Choose.


Posted By: B-M-D
Date Posted: 8/03/06 at 10:59pm
Originally posted by KL Murphy

For me it's just about not being worth the time spent... and less about me being full of myself. 

And that's a valid reason.  I can't think why anyone would fault you for that. 

I was once offered one of the poker players in the Odd Couple and I had specifically asked to only be considered for either Oscar or Felix.  But the director was very diplomatic and prefaced his offer with I know that you indicated that you'd only accept....but would you consider.    And for a moment beacuse of the way it was presented I did consider it but because of travel to & from rehearsal it would not have been worth it for the role.   As it turns out one of the leads had to drop out and I was offered the role of Oscar. And the director was concerned that I'd turn it down because he hadn't offered it to me first - are you kidding me!?   For one of the biggest, funniest and most recognizable roles ever I jumped on that like David Ortiz on a fast ball! 



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BD

"Dying is easy, comedy is hard."


Posted By: slicksister
Date Posted: 8/03/06 at 11:38pm
I think everyone has already answered your question as I would.  I just admire your honesty in asking it!

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The Main Thing is to Keep the Main Thing the Main Thing


Posted By: KL Murphy
Date Posted: 8/04/06 at 9:16am

Originally posted by castMe

Hope you haven't wrestled too long with this problem.

Ba Bum Chee!



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www.klmurphy.com


Posted By: KL Murphy
Date Posted: 8/04/06 at 9:24am

Originally posted by B-M-D

I jumped on that like David Ortiz on a fast ball! 

Boston boy?



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www.klmurphy.com


Posted By: POB14
Date Posted: 8/04/06 at 3:36pm
Originally posted by Topper

I remember one "prima-donna" who would only accept the lead roles -- no matter if he was right for them or not.  When casting a production of "Harvey" the audition form specifically asked for which role would he like to perform.

Of course, he wrote in "Harvey."

LOL!

I may have mentioned it here before, but I once tried to use a fake bio in a show I was not particularly proud of.  The bio was something to the following effect:

Some of (fake name)'s favorite roles have included Godot in Waiting For Godot and all the male roles in Miss Julie.

I'll be sure to use Harvey next time.

Oh, yeah, forgot to say -- I agree with everybody else here .



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POB
Old Bugger, Curmudgeon, and Antisocial B**tard


Posted By: B-M-D
Date Posted: 8/04/06 at 6:03pm
Originally posted by KL Murphy

Originally posted by B-M-D

I jumped on that like David Ortiz on a fast ball! 

Boston boy?

Let's just say a member of "the nation" in close proximity.



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BD

"Dying is easy, comedy is hard."


Posted By: JoeMc
Date Posted: 8/04/06 at 10:14pm
Originally posted by B-M-D

[QUOTE=KL Murphy]

[QUOTE=B-M-D]I jumped on that like David Ortiz on a fast ball! 

  I assume he is an exponent of the ancient pohmy game of ?Rounders? ?


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[western] Gondawandaland
"Hear the light & see the sound!
TOI TOI CHOOKAS
{may you always play to a full house!}


Posted By: Kathy S
Date Posted: 8/05/06 at 1:13am
Back to the topic (although the side stuff is entertaining, boys) it really comes down to good manners, doesn't it?  If you want only the lead role, say so.  If you will not take a lesser role, don't say that you will and then dissappoint the director by refusing it when you get the call.  Because chances are you are not the first person s/he is calling and when s/he has the show cast and is counting on you to do what you said you'd do, it will be very disheartening to her to have to call people back and let them know that things have changed, and offer parts that she hadn't planned on offering to them...then they know they were not the first choice... this does not help the director build rapport with her cast.  The last person (actually one of my family members!) who told me she'd take a role and then changed her mind hasn't been in any of my shows since.


Posted By: JoeMc
Date Posted: 8/05/06 at 1:54am
  Your right Kathy & I?m sure as we all know or have experienced it when this situation occurs. The drama in attempting to either replace or rearrange the cast mix, can cause a lot of unwanted production problems. Unbeknown to the delicate yoyo who caused it all!



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[western] Gondawandaland
"Hear the light & see the sound!
TOI TOI CHOOKAS
{may you always play to a full house!}


Posted By: jphock
Date Posted: 8/07/06 at 6:25am
I have a couple of interesting stories regarding this topic.

First, though, I have to say that I feel like I'm beyond my 'back of the ensemble' days. I'm not a leading man in any sense of the word-but my 'career' in community theater has progressed nicely and I've had the opportunity to play several great supporting and character roles. Also, with my work schedule and the driving time required to get to any theater-I just generally don't feel it's worth the commitment for an ensemble role (though I might make an exception for the right show). May sound snobby-but that's the way it goes. A statictician friend of mine says that when the level of enjoyment does not exceed the work required-it's just not worth doing it. Anyway, that being said-

I recently auditioned for a show and put down that I would only take A, B or C. I marked that I was not interested in any other roles. I discussed my situation and why I would only take these roles (which is long and complicated and lends nothing to this story) with the producer and director before auditions and also made brief mention at the audition. When the producer called to offer me role X (which was not one of the 3 I said I would accept)-I thanked her for the offer and allowing me to audition, reminded her of my situation, politely declined, and asked her to keep me in mind for future shows. Really, I felt I was completely justified in doing so. When I ran into the director at an event a couple of days later, he pulled me aside and basically scolded me for being too much of a 'prima donna' (what do you call al male prima donna?) and was upset that I had told him no.    

My second audition story relating to this happened just this weekend. I went to audition for Alice's Adventures in Wonderland. I had never done a play before-only musicals-the rehearsal time frame was short-about 6 weeks-and it fit very nicely into my schedule before my next project began. I went in thinking that I would take whatever was offered because of those reasons. I was asked to read for a variety of roles during the course of the audition, all in all, I think it went pretty well. So when asked what part I was interested in...I said "Anything... well..anything except for maybe Alice" :) When I got the casting call later that night-the director said he loved my audition and asked me to play the Queen of Hearts (did he realize I wasn't a woman?). I told him I would take anything, right? So I took it! LOL I'm a sucker for a good comedic role anyway :)

My point in all of this, I guess, is this. When a director asks what parts you are interested in-be as honest with yourself and him/her as possible. You never know where that road may lead you.


Posted By: Mike Polo
Date Posted: 8/07/06 at 8:31am

Originally posted by jphock

 (what do you call al male prima donna?) 

 

prima donald



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Mike Polo
Community Theater Green Room
http://www.communitytheater.org
http://www.twitter.com/CTGreenRoom">


Posted By: KL Murphy
Date Posted: 8/07/06 at 8:46am

Thank you all very much for the input.  At auditions I put on my application/audition sheet that I was interested in Nicely Nicely, and after auditions I had a moment with the director so I mentioned that I have some other time demanding hobbies so any role offered I'd have to consider, "Is this worth leaving wrestling for a month."  He was very happy and thankful I told him that up front.

Later I got the call to be Nicely Nicely!



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www.klmurphy.com


Posted By: Mike Polo
Date Posted: 8/07/06 at 9:20am
Congratulations!

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Mike Polo
Community Theater Green Room
http://www.communitytheater.org
http://www.twitter.com/CTGreenRoom">


Posted By: castMe
Date Posted: 8/07/06 at 4:57pm
Mike  LOL

I'm stealing that one.


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Investigate. Imagine. Choose.


Posted By: opalviolet
Date Posted: 10/02/06 at 10:50am
I also struggle with turning down roles because I don't want to come across as being a prima donna who will only accept the lead, but just like a previous reply, sometimes, I'll only accept a smaller role because of time and travel considerations.  As an actor, I appreciate when asked what roles I'll accept.  In the last audition I did, I was cast in a part I didn't want.  Readings were to be done in callbacks, but the director decided to cast the show strictly on singing auditions.  I had planned to read for the role I wanted.  If I had been asked on the form or by the director what roles I'd accept, my turning down the role wouldn't have been necessary.  From now on, whether asked or not, I'll let the director know during the first audition what roles I'll consider.  As a director, I always ask upfront so I don't have to recast if someone turns down a role they don't want to begin with. 

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Don't become so consumed with yourself that you forget the importance of family and friends, and service to God and your community.
Opal Violet
Singer/Actor/Playwright/Director/Producer


Posted By: Guests
Date Posted: 10/02/06 at 2:50pm

I used to be of the camp that you take actors at their word when they will accept any role.  I now work a little differently:

I ask on the audition forms if they will accept only particular roles or roles of a certain size (principal, supporting, minor, or walk-on).  I also allow them until the beginning of the first rehearsal to change their minds. 

That early in the rehearsal period, no one has attached themselves to a character if I need to move the cast around a bit, and I usually have at least one person who can fill the spot, or the spot isn't really necessary but I wanted to give the cast member a chance to be on stage.

What really irks me is when someone rehearses for two weeks and then want to pull out because of the time commitment--especially since I give them the rehearsal schedule in advance, before auditions.



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Posted By: red diva
Date Posted: 10/02/06 at 2:55pm

Having a place on the audition form for "which roles will you accept" and "will you take another role" are a good route to go, but certainly not foolproof.  I have had people say they will take any role (thinking, perhaps, that it shows what gung-ho troupers they are) only to turn down anything but the lead.  For heaven's sake, be honest!!! If you don't want anything but the lead, tell the director!!! If he is worth his salt as a director, he won't think any less of you and will much prefer that to having you refuse a role after he has spent a lot of time and effort choosing combinations of actors that would work together as an ensemble, or to having you drop out after rehearsals have started. (After reading that last sentence, would you believe I used to teach English?)

However, looking at it from the actor's viewpoint, I once auditioned for a Sondheim musical, listing three roles I would take, and answered that I would not take any others.  The director ignored my choices, and told me that I would be playing another role.....I pointed out to her that I had not indicated that I would be willing to play that role. She looked surprised and upset, saying that she was sure that I had....which indicated to me that she hadn't even looked at that section of the audition sheet.  

I guess what I'm saying is that there is no foolproof method of insuring that someone will take the role offered, or that the director will offer you the role you said you would play.  



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"I've worked long and hard to earn the right to be called Diva!"


Posted By: red diva
Date Posted: 10/02/06 at 2:57pm

Mike:  wouldn't a male prima donna correctly be called a "primO Donald"?  Oh, wait....my ex-husband's name is Donald, and "primo" would not be a term I would apply to him.

Seriously, I think it's "primo don", isn't it?

red diva



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"I've worked long and hard to earn the right to be called Diva!"


Posted By: MartyW
Date Posted: 10/02/06 at 3:02pm

I agree with Diva... If they have indicated that that is all they will take, I take them at thier word... If I have talked to them and feel there might be a "Possiblility" that they would take something else and I think it fits them, i will say "I know you said no, but I would just like to run this by you.. If it is still no, I understand, no hard feelings.."

 

 

(Diva.. Hiding already?  "A Sondhiem show"  Go ahead an gripe.. I won't tell... lol)



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Marty W

"Till next we trod the boards.."


Posted By: Mike Polo
Date Posted: 10/02/06 at 3:11pm

Correct latin usage? Here? Come on, Red!

Truthfully, I never thought it out... it just came out of my mouth that way.



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Mike Polo
Community Theater Green Room
http://www.communitytheater.org
http://www.twitter.com/CTGreenRoom">


Posted By: red diva
Date Posted: 10/02/06 at 4:31pm
Sorry, Mike.  Four years of high school Latin and 30+ years of singing Italian operatic pieces and it just becomes a kneejerk reaction.  I'm actually one of the few people left on this planet that thinks Latin is a valuable language!

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"I've worked long and hard to earn the right to be called Diva!"


Posted By: red diva
Date Posted: 10/02/06 at 4:34pm
Marty.....well, we've only ever done two Sondheims, and I directed one of them (you know which one), so I guess I was referring to the other one.  In which I played Cinderella's stepmother.  And survived.Ouch

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"I've worked long and hard to earn the right to be called Diva!"


Posted By: Juror #3
Date Posted: 10/13/06 at 3:35pm
If I am asked on the audition sheet what roles I prefer, I list them.  If I am asked on the audition sheet if I would take another role and I say "No", I think I should be taken at my word.  I don't see doing that is being a Prima Donna or a Primo Donald or whatever.  I've been asked and I have answered.  When I direct, I expect the same from the people auditoning for my show.

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Juror #3


Posted By: WMassSoprano
Date Posted: 7/13/07 at 1:07am
Excuse me while I resurrect this thread!

First of all... does it make me a pathetic geek that when Diva said "A Sondheim show" and she put down that she would accept "one of three roles" I knew which show she was referring to.  I believe that it does make me pathetic, although a good kind of pathetic.

I wanted to say however, to the directors in the group, what do you think about a Director who flat out ignores an actor who is being upfront about the roles that they will accept.   I recently auditioned for a production of West Side Story.  Now I'm pushing the age range where I could still conceivably play Maria, but I have the voice for it, and I'm fairly short (which more often than not lends to making me seem younger on stage)  The theater however is quite a distance from my house.  Going into the audition there was no place on the audition form for 'roles you will accept' so I spoke with the producer and director and let them know that due to the distance I would have to travel the only role that I would guarantee taking would be Maria but that I would also consider Anita.  I was cast in a walk-on role and told that they had gone with high school students for all of the principals.

As a director, would you even bother casting an actress in my position in the walk-on, or would you just say "Thank you for your time, but we've decided to go with High School aged talent for this production"

I'm glad I stumbled onto this page.  I'm sure I'll be spending a fair amount of time here from now on! :)


Posted By: B-M-D
Date Posted: 7/13/07 at 8:58am
I would not cast an actor in any role where they had been very specific about what they would consider.   It only makes sense and saves time and embarrassment on both ends of the equation.

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BD

"Dying is easy, comedy is hard."


Posted By: pdavis69
Date Posted: 7/13/07 at 9:16am
I recently turned down a part in The Curious Savage at our local playhouse.  The director had made up his own audition sheets, coosing not to use the regular sheets used by our group.  In his new sheet he did not include a "will you take a part other than....." section but he did put down if you are interested in any part write "any".  I did not write "any" and only the parts I was interested in (I wanted to be one of the residents of the nuthouse).  When the show was cast, the director called and offered me another part and seemed quite taken aback when I declined.  I feel I did the right thing for myself and my ethics.  It turns out maybe it was a good thing to turn down the role.  The next two people cast in the role both quit the show and the director is playing the part himself.
 
By the way Keith, I saw the pictures of your Guys and Dolls show.  It looked like you had a lot of fun.  I played that role myself a few years back and like you did not go with the traditional big checkered suit.  Mine was a bright yellow zoot suit.  Congrats on the role.


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Patrick L. Davis
Fort Findlay Playhouse


Posted By: Debflo
Date Posted: 7/13/07 at 11:59am
I'll chime in here too. I recently directed Wizard of Oz with all high school aged kids. I had 15 girls all show up wanting to be Dorothy, but they all also marked "any" on their audition forms. So I cast them in smaller roles (after chosing my Dorothy) I made the casting phone calls and they all accepted. Then, 11 of the 15 didn't show up for the first rehearsal.
Now, I have no problem if a person declines a role, but don't accept the role and then not show up to rehearsal. It is just plain rude and unprofessional. I know these were High School Kids, but don't you think they should have known better?


Posted By: biggertigger
Date Posted: 7/13/07 at 1:10pm
I know that I have everyone casting what roles they are interested in.  Many to tell me that they will only take ______ .   If I can't cast them in the role they were hoping for but I feel I could use them in another role, I will contact them and have a talk with them.  It usually goes like.....
"I am sorry I couldn't cast you as Maria in West Side Story and I am aware this was the only role that you were interested in, however, I would like to talk to you about accepting the role of Anita.  I feel you would be better suited for this role because......"
Do I always get the person to accept this role, no, but I get to explain to them that their talent is important here and is not wasted if they don't get the role they wanted.
But as a director, I realize how important time is, both ways.  I wont waste your time, don't waste mine.  I schedule for what I really need which is usually full cast for the first hour or so and then work with principals.  I may even to full cast blocking and then have them go to musical rehearsal while I work with principals.  This way no one is just sitting around waiting to get up on stage for a few minutes. 


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The two greatest days in a theater persons life, the day you start a new show and the day the damn thing closes.


Posted By: jaytee060
Date Posted: 7/14/07 at 6:05pm
   simple...Actor need to totally honest about what roles they will or will not take.  I will think nothing less of you if you  tell me its the lead or nothing. 
   What happens when you are called and turn down a role?  This can often upset the entire casting process.  It can be sort of a domino effect.  You turn down part A...that means that who I cast in part B now must be moved into part A etc, etc, etc.  Just be honest and any director worth a grain of salt will repect you.


Posted By: MartyW
Date Posted: 7/15/07 at 8:49am

Welcome Jim.... Wont be long and the whole gang will be here...



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Marty W

"Till next we trod the boards.."


Posted By: red diva
Date Posted: 7/15/07 at 2:55pm
Marty - how many do we have on the Board now?  I count 6 - no more Playhouse secrets anymore!

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"I've worked long and hard to earn the right to be called Diva!"


Posted By: MartyW
Date Posted: 7/15/07 at 6:20pm
Me, You, Steve, Patrick, Jim ????

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Marty W

"Till next we trod the boards.."


Posted By: red diva
Date Posted: 7/22/07 at 8:26pm
Matt?

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"I've worked long and hard to earn the right to be called Diva!"


Posted By: onesongglory
Date Posted: 7/27/07 at 6:55pm
Indeed I am, although i haven't been on for quite some time..

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~Matt~


Posted By: lynda gee
Date Posted: 12/22/07 at 11:28am
I am just new to this whole website (where have I been?!) and, as a director and actor, reading all the various topics and discussions is just so interesting.  Thank you!  But I must say that this topic of how to say "no thank you "graciously to a part that you do not want has been very helpful and even therapeutic to me these past few days. 
I've just weathered what felt like very unfair auditions Sleepy and was, in turn, offered a part I did not want.  I'm new to this particular community theater, and it is very difficult sometimes to know how some community theaters conduct their auditions, their callbacks, and even post their cast lists!  Please, directors, be clear, respectful, and give that little bit of extra  communication especially to the "newbies."   It goes a long way. 
Thanks again. 


Posted By: vickifrank
Date Posted: 12/22/07 at 3:59pm
I've mostly been involved in the tech aspect, but actors will ocassionally talk to me about things.  Obviously when people try out for parts they are nervous and that makes some a little chatty.  One thing I remember from several discussions is the feeling that several brought up. If an actor auditioning didn't check the "will accept any role" check box they felt that they were going to look egotistical or hard to work with for future roles--or be judged badly by other actors.  If they did check that check box they worried that it decreased their odds of getting the lead role--and most secrettly suspected that the people who got the good parts were pre-selected or checked that box with the director's knowledge and forgiveness.  Also since there were rivalries between players, some felt they could stand being cast in another role-- unless they were cast opposite that "one" person.  In one memorable discussion the woman cast usually in the lead because of her wonderful singing voice didn't want to be cast opposite the guy usually cast in the male lead because his stage kisses weren't stage kisses and she felt he became too attached to her (she was married, but had previously dated the actor).
 
I know an actor that travels to a larger city 60 miles away for better roles.  He won't take small roles because of commute times...he notes this on the audition form.
 
In short, lots of egos, agendas, fears, insecurities are packed into one auditioning actor when they decide to check or not check that box....so don't expect rational behavior.  A nice discussion before the auditions mentioning these common fears and what checking that box means and doesn't mean seems to help.  It also helps to clarify if the audition is the only basis of decision.


Posted By: Theatrestation
Date Posted: 12/22/07 at 4:58pm
As a director I understand people having scheduling issues, etc. that may make them unwilling to take certain parts. However in a community theatre setting once in a while being a team player and taking a smaller part (or simply one that needs filled for whatever reason) speaks volumes for an actor's "team spirit." 
One thing I do to keep "wasted" rehearsal time at a minimum is to rehearse in french scenes as much as possible. The actors seem to really appreciate only being called in when they will be active for most of the rehearsal.  By the time we are ready to run entire acts the evening usually goes rather smoothly and efficiently even on the first full run thru of the act or show.


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http://www.castbuilding.com
http://www.theatrestation.com


Posted By: vickifrank
Date Posted: 12/22/07 at 6:32pm
Yes, its a two way street...it works best if they consider the interests of the director, the community and the show...and if the director is careful of the time consumed.

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The theater scrim people


Posted By: stgdirector4
Date Posted: 12/29/07 at 4:49pm
I guess I'll chime in here as well.

If an actor adamantly states that he/she will only take a specific role, I'll respect their wishes. However, in my neck of the woods (New Jersey)there's so many community theatres to choose from, that it can be difficult getting a full cast at auditions--especially a large cast show. That's when the negotiations begin. Sometimes, i can persuade a certain actor to take a role even if he, at first, turns it down.


Posted By: Theatregal79
Date Posted: 1/20/08 at 11:26pm
Funny that you are wondering this, because I personally am about to be in the same boat.  I really want to audition for a show in Feb, but I'm not sure if I will be a fit (Age wise) for the role (the only part that I can conceivably play due to age issues) that I want.  That being said I was hoping that if I didn't get into that show I could audition for another show at another theatre.

Unfortunately, the audition for the other show are tomorrow (they want you to be off book by the time the rehearsals begin so they audition early).  Now I haven't been able to find the play at the library, nor did the director get back to me to see if I could get a script from them, so consequently I don't even know if I will even fancy the play.

This all being said, I would be willing to give up first desired show if I get a main role in this show, but I would be feeling like I'm missing out on potentially getting a role that I want if I am given a smaller role (not to mention the fact that this theatre is about 40-50 miles away).  I too am afraid of coming across as Diva-esque, and for me its not about having a smaller role, but giving up an opportunity to have a lead role in the first show.  Any suggestions?  Or would the advice be the same.


Posted By: Linda S
Date Posted: 1/21/08 at 8:33am

I had an actress audition for me for Steel Magnolias. She listed 'no conflicts' on her audition form. She told me she would be available to rehearse right away. When I called to offer her the part of Shelby, the part she wanted, she asked if she could wait a week before excepting. That was a surprise, and not a good one. She explained she was going to audition for for another show the next day and they wouldn't be making their decision for a week. She would do my show, if she didn't cast in the other show. I gave her an hour to think about it, and when she told me that she still wanted to wait a week. I cast someone else. It turned out to be the perfect decision.  I don't know if I have advice beyond don't tell the director that their show will be your second choice, if your first choice doesn't pan out.

Linda


Posted By: B-M-D
Date Posted: 1/21/08 at 8:59am
Originally posted by Linda S

I had an actress audition for me for Steel Magnolias. She listed 'no conflicts' on her audition form. She told me she would be available to rehearse right away. When I called to offer her the part of Shelby, the part she wanted, she asked if she could wait a week before excepting. That was a surprise, and not a good one. She explained she was going to audition for for another show the next day and they wouldn't be making their decision for a week. She would do my show, if she didn't cast in the other show. I gave her an hour to think about it, and when she told me that she still wanted to wait a week. I cast someone else. It turned out to be the perfect decision.  I don't know if I have advice beyond don't tell the director that their show will be your second choice, if your first choice doesn't pan out.

Linda
 
 
Good for you Linda!!!!   I would not have even given her the one hour to decide after hearing that.   The offer would have been immediately withdrawn and the next sound she would have heard would be a click and dial tone.  But hey that's me.LOL


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BD

"Dying is easy, comedy is hard."


Posted By: Theatregal79
Date Posted: 1/21/08 at 5:50pm
Linda I would have totally done the same! I've decided that I'm just going to put done what part I'm interested in, and if I get it fine and if I don't I'll just try out for the other show.  I think that seems to be the diplomatic way, and one that both the director and I will be ok with.  Thank you all for the great advice!


Posted By: SherrieAnne
Date Posted: 1/21/08 at 10:34pm

It seems I'm about to have the same sort of issue - I auditioned last night for SWEENEY TODD, and wasn't even allowed to read.  I suspect I may be offered ensemble, if only because they need my range (and sewing skills) - and I did put down on my FYI that I would accept it - but as has been pointed out to me by at least a dozen people today, I have a BIG voice that doesn't play nicely with others, and doesn't blend well in chorus.  Granted, I feel of COURSE that I ought to have been cast as Mrs Lovett, but I also feel I may be doing them a disservice by accepting a part in a chorus where I KNOW I can't blend.  They're supposed to be calling tomorrow...I'm not sure what I'll do. ...sigh...



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There's a little bit of diva in all of us. Some just have a larger helping than others.


Posted By: JoeMc
Date Posted: 1/22/08 at 2:57am

Chookas SherieAnne! Being Ameatre there is always a chanceyou can still pick up Mrs Lovetts part, as things can change rapidly during rehearsals. Brushup on your pohmy accent {[Cockney] 'Fawty fowsan fefers on a frushes froat'} & utalise speak/sing for the pie song.Wink 



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[western] Gondawandaland
"Hear the light & see the sound!
TOI TOI CHOOKAS
{may you always play to a full house!}


Posted By: TonyDi
Date Posted: 1/22/08 at 10:37am
Originally posted by SherrieAnne

It seems I'm about to have the same sort of issue - I auditioned last night for SWEENEY TODD, and wasn't even allowed to read.  I suspect I may be offered ensemble, if only because they need my range (and sewing skills) - and I did put down on my FYI that I would accept it - but as has been pointed out to me by at least a dozen people today, I have a BIG voice that doesn't play nicely with others, and doesn't blend well in chorus.  Granted, I feel of COURSE that I ought to have been cast as Mrs Lovett, but I also feel I may be doing them a disservice by accepting a part in a chorus where I KNOW I can't blend.  They're supposed to be calling tomorrow...I'm not sure what I'll do. ...sigh...

 
I had to laugh at this one as I had a very similar issue to deal with.  I too was a BIG voice.  Actually the University of Kentucky Summer Theater was doing SWEENEY TODD and they needed singers - specifically top tenor and one with volume.  A friend of mine was already in the show and I didn't even know it was going on - much less did I know that UK cast local folks besides students from UK to do their Summer productions.  SO she called and since it was Summer and I was not doing anything, I thought it might be fun (LOVE the show).  SO I go in and the music director (who had seen me before but had to "audition" me even though I was called in as a BIG GUN) put me through my paces in his studio.  Well I was cast.  Enjoyed the whole process, the music (did I say I LOVE the show? LOL  )  and went all the way through.  Well when we had our first ORCHESTRA rehearsal, we were singing along - some high notes...whatever....and the orchestra director kept looking at me.  Well first of all he was a notorious jerk (and to preface his remarks didn't bother me) he only slightly politely said he knew I could sing but could I sing a little less loudly?!!  HAHA!! I HAD to laugh because there were some HUGE voices in the show along with a 30 piece orchestra (at least) and I was still loud.  NOW it wasn't a case I couldn't blend - I learned to do THAT LONG before.  I just thought it was funny because they WANTED a big voice, they GOT a big voice and then they had to ask me to tone it down even in the loudest of the loud passages in the music.  So go figure.  Tough to be a big voice.  It's a lonely place to be.  Cry  They got what they needed/wanted and then shot me down because I COULD do it.  Well they didn't shoot me down really, because I still had loads of fun and enjoyed being even in the chorus in the show.  I swore I was going to have the guy who played Sweeney arrested on the night the show opened so I could do the role (he was a friend of mine too and I'd worked with him before).  But it never happened.  I still had fun.  Such a creepy, dark and wonderfully rich, difficult and challenging score/show to do.  So I know what you're going through.  In this case I WAS cast and DID say thanks.
 
The ONLY time I ever turned down a part (and I wish now I hadn't) was when a company I'd worked for was doing JC Superstar and they auditioned for that show and another on the same night, in the same location.  JCS was a show I really wanted to do - but they couldn't tell me what role they would offer me if I took it (as it turned out I would have had the role I wanted - PILATE) BUT I opted for the other show which was a paying gig.  I took the paying gig and it was one of the worst directed, cheesiest shows I ever did and wish now I hadn't.  But that's the ONLY thing I ever turned down in my 46 years of doing shows.  Some others I SHOULD have turned down - but oh well.  And as director, I have had to make some tough calls too about people who wanted to "wait" to decide.  If you are offered a role you WANT and tell a director you'd like to wait to see if you're going to get cast in THAT show to decide, it would take NO hesitation to inform them if they don't want to accept or reject the role when offered there will be no waiting nor second opportunities.  THEN I write THAT down in my book (head) and remember it the next time I ever see them audition for anything I direct AND I let other directors know with whom they MIGHT be dealing when having that same person audition for other things.  THIS town I work in is too small to be doing that too many times or you're out of most shows ever.  How arrogant or ignorant - one of the two.
 
TonyDi
 


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"Almost famous"


Posted By: biggertigger
Date Posted: 1/22/08 at 8:19pm
I know this has to do with acting and accepting a role or not, however, I thought this would somewhat apply. 
I recently had some time off and thought I would offer my help with a local production.  I went to the audition and told the director that I wanted to work back stage someplace.  She called me a few days later and asked if I would do the lights and sound for the show, which I graciously excepted.  I meet with her during the first rehearsal to discuss what she wanted and to create so neat effects for this production. 
I went home and began designing the light design and sound design.  I also purchased a few special items for the show out of my own pocket to help augment with what the theater group had.
I received a call the other night saying that she couldn't use me for the show and that the star's husband was going to do the lights and sound.  I am a little flabbergasted at this.  I do plan to speaking with her on this, but don't want to come off as too hurt.


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The two greatest days in a theater persons life, the day you start a new show and the day the damn thing closes.


Posted By: Theatregal79
Date Posted: 1/22/08 at 9:38pm
Ok BiggerTigger, first of all that is unacceptable in my book, to first hire you and tell you to create something and then to switch at the last minute (unfortunately, sometimes that comes with the lack of proffesionalism that some community theatre does).  I think you are correct in wanting to talk with her.  I would approach it as possibly saying something to the following:  I understand that you want to use the star's husband, but honestly I'm a little frustrated at the fact that you and I talked and met to discuss design options, I began designing, and I even went out and bought materials for the design, only to be told after the process had begun that I am no longer needed.  What's done is done, but for the future it would be a better practice to stick with the person you originally talked with so that they don't go out of their way and waste their time doing something that ends up being futile.

Then I would either return the items if you can or ask her to reimburse you.  To me if you approach it like that, it makes her know that what she did was unprofessional and will not be a good idea if she continues to operate in that fashion.  Hope that helps!


Posted By: SherrieAnne
Date Posted: 1/23/08 at 5:04am
Well, turned out to be a moot question, anyway - apparently they didn't need my sewing skills enough to consider a plus-size lady.  They didn't even have the courtesy to inform me - no call, no message, no e-mail, nada, so you just have to ASSUME you're not cast.  Talk about a diss...

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There's a little bit of diva in all of us. Some just have a larger helping than others.


Posted By: MartyW
Date Posted: 1/23/08 at 10:12am
Hey SherrieAnne... just curious.. What area did you audition for Sweeny?  A freind of mine just emailed me and told me she had also auditioned.. Coincidence?

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Marty W

"Till next we trod the boards.."


Posted By: lovelylady
Date Posted: 1/23/08 at 10:36am

I have been performing for most of my life and there are times that I have said that I will only accept certain roles, but when I didn't get that part, I have chosen to stay in the production. On those occasions, I have discovered that that was one of the best theatrical experiences I have ever had. I performed in "Blood Brothers" as Ms.Jones and in the ensemble when I was in college. I had previously said that I would only accept Mrs.Lyons and I knew it was down to me and my friend for the part. While we were in the green room waiting during callbacks, a feeling came over me. I knew that this show was going to be an unbeliveable experience onstage and off. When I received the call from the stage manager, asking me if I would be Ms.Jones, I said yes immediately. I was so happy I did. The cast was so cohesive,so close and the director was brilliant. What made it even more poignant, that professor learned he had leukemia not long after we closed and passed away a year later. The thing is, I didn't even like the show of "Blood Brothers" but now it ranks as one of my favorite times in theater.

Has anyone else experienced something like this? Where you feel the experience is going to be bigger than yourself or what you expect? Instead of saying "no sorry. I didn't get my way." saying" I'll take the experience" instead.

I teach 200 children and I didn't get the part I wanted once in a show and I looked at my director, whom I teach with, and I told her "How can I tell the children that there are no small parts, everyone is important,front row to back row, and that the company is just as important as the lead and then refuse to accept smaller roles myself?"

just some thoughts from a newbie.

Thanks!



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"it's a crowd favorite-Everybody loves a good jazz square" - Ryan Evans


Posted By: biggertigger
Date Posted: 1/23/08 at 11:23am
Originally posted by SherrieAnne

Well, turned out to be a moot question, anyway - apparently they didn't need my sewing skills enough to consider a plus-size lady.  They didn't even have the courtesy to inform me - no call, no message, no e-mail, nada, so you just have to ASSUME you're not cast.  Talk about a diss...
Sorry to hear that SherrieAnne.  You want a diss, I just remembered this one time I had auditioned for a show.  The director didn't "care for me".  I told the audtion committee that I was only interest in the chorus.  And I got a call that the first rehearsal was in 4 months.  I showed up for the first rehearsal/information session.  After the rehearsal, the director asked me to stay behind and he informed me that I wasn't cast in the show, even though I did receive a call from the producer.  Ouch
Well, I did have the final laugh when I went to the show and saw how embarressing the show turned out.  The cast was not ready, the pit band had never played together and were completely off.  The set was partially complete.  I felt so sorry for the cast who had worked hard, but the director "dropped the ball" and failed to bring the show together.


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The two greatest days in a theater persons life, the day you start a new show and the day the damn thing closes.


Posted By: B-M-D
Date Posted: 1/23/08 at 12:45pm
Originally posted by lovelylady

I have been performing for most of my life and there are times that I have said that I will only accept certain roles, but when I didn't get that part, I have chosen to stay in the production. On those occasions, I have discovered that that was one of the best theatrical experiences I have ever had. I performed in "Blood Brothers" as Ms.Jones and in the ensemble when I was in college. I had previously said that I would only accept Mrs.Lyons and I knew it was down to me and my friend for the part. While we were in the green room waiting during callbacks, a feeling came over me. I knew that this show was going to be an unbeliveable experience onstage and off. When I received the call from the stage manager, asking me if I would be Ms.Jones, I said yes immediately. I was so happy I did. The cast was so cohesive,so close and the director was brilliant. What made it even more poignant, that professor learned he had leukemia not long after we closed and passed away a year later. The thing is, I didn't even like the show of "Blood Brothers" but now it ranks as one of my favorite times in theater.

Has anyone else experienced something like this? Where you feel the experience is going to be bigger than yourself or what you expect? Instead of saying "no sorry. I didn't get my way." saying" I'll take the experience" instead.

I teach 200 children and I didn't get the part I wanted once in a show and I looked at my director, whom I teach with, and I told her "How can I tell the children that there are no small parts, everyone is important,front row to back row, and that the company is just as important as the lead and then refuse to accept smaller roles myself?"

just some thoughts from a newbie.

Thanks!

 
I don't see any conflict in this.   You may be right that there are no small parts, etc.....   One makes choices.   My choices generally are to only accept parts that I want to do.  I'm at an age and time of my life where I don't have alot to prove to anyone.   I'm not young and hungry where I need to take anything just for the experience. 
 
And I think you can refuse to accept smaller roles because you are an adult.   This may be difficult for children to grasp or accept but that's why they're children and the rules are different for them.
 
It's nice to have people that will accept any role and that's a choice people make.  But don't disparage yourself for making an adult choice of being discriminating about what roles you will accept.
 
 


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BD

"Dying is easy, comedy is hard."


Posted By: SherrieAnne
Date Posted: 1/23/08 at 8:48pm
Originally posted by MartyW

Hey SherrieAnne... just curious.. What area did you audition for Sweeny?  A freind of mine just emailed me and told me she had also auditioned.. Coincidence?
 
 
The Hudson Valley of New York State.  This is the second local production in the past couple of months - I guess they figure that the movie is good publicity... Ermm


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There's a little bit of diva in all of us. Some just have a larger helping than others.


Posted By: MartyW
Date Posted: 1/24/08 at 7:15am
Yeah, it probably is... Her show is in Chicago area...

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Marty W

"Till next we trod the boards.."



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