I’m Disappointed, Too: A Letter to a Young Actor

Dear actor,

It’s very clear what you expected to happen at auditions. It’s very clear you’re unhappy with the results. In a sense, I’m not happy about them either.

You had reason to feel good about these auditions. You’ve gotten a few shows with us under your belt. You have some experience with all the proper skills. You know how we work and have a working relationship with us. By all means, you should have nailed this audition.

Here’s the thing, though: Whether you did or not wasn’t really the issue in the end. What really ruined your chances was your attitude.

It was clear that you came into this audition with the mindset that this show had already been cast. You expected nothing less than the lead, and didn’t think for a moment you might have to really fight for the role. You prepared for your audition as a formality, and it was clear in your presentation. You did not show us your best performance. We have seen your best performance before, and we are honor-bound to hold you to it– you deserve nothing less than to be held to the highest standard, because you can meet the highest standard. If this audition were based on what we have seen you do before, you’d be home free at the top of the cast list. Instead, you gave us a half-hearted effort and a lot of attitude, leaving all your talent and hard work a ghost in the back of our minds. That is disappointing to all of us.

To be clear: I’m not disappointed in this outcome. I’m disappointed in your actions. You have gotten the role you earned. This is the role you deserve. By not giving your best effort, you earned less than you wanted. That was strictly your own doing– you have no one else to blame. I am as disappointed that you chose to give us less than your best as you are disappointed in the outcome.

However, please note: This is not a punishment.

We are not personally spiting you. To say I cast the show out of spite is an insult to every other actor who did their best in auditions. Everyone earned their roles in those auditions. There is not a bad role in this show. We, as a production team, see and respect the actors who recognize this. The ones who show up and give their all will always be favored over those who rest on their laurels. After all, they will always give their best effort, and that is a powerful thing.

Not being the lead is not a punishment. If you treat it as such, though, you’ve given us good reason to continue not casting you as leads. It means you think you deserve the lead, and I am always eager to break that line of thought.

To let you get comfortable and think you “deserve” leads would be to do you a great disservice. Casting is a complex process based on many variables, and the only way to improve your chances effectively in an audition is to work. As a growing actor, one of the best lessons you can learn is that you earn your dream roles only when you strive for them. There is truly no limit to what you can achieve if you are willing to put in the effort to reach your goals. I know you have it in you to play amazing roles– if only you give them amazing effort.

Please remember, this does not mean I have any ill-will towards you. I hope there is no love lost between us. It is because I know you can do better that I have not insulted you by accepting less than your best. Please use this as a learning opportunity.

You deserve to be rewarded for your best work, and nothing less.

I hope to see your best again in future auditions.

Best,

Your Director

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s