How many times have you thought, “I should have gotten that role!” after the casting has been announced and your name is not on the list? How do you handle that news? For many people, it can be crushing news. It can make you think that you are not good enough and deflate your confidence. Or conversely, it can send you into a situation where you start bad mouthing people or the organization producing the show. Well, let’s take a step back and talk this out, my friends.
First, let me say that this has happened to me in the past, and not getting a role you had your heart set on can really hurt emotionally. One thing I have found that you should do is to take a step back from the disappointment and focus on the good things in life. If you focus all your energies on theatre and it becomes the end-all in your life, you are traveling on a dangerous slope.
Think about the good experiences in theatre you have had. Think of the joy theatre brings you. And most importantly, remember, you are still in control. You can decide whether to let this bring you down or give you the incentive to focus more on the next audition that comes up - there will always be another audition.
A definite don’t is to say disparaging remarks about the group. It is not going to change things and, if anything, could wind up hurting you even more if you get labeled as ‘sour grapes’ as the theatre world is small and word does get around. That would also make other theatres think twice about casting you in future shows. And it could defeat your chances of getting cast…it’s just not worth it.
One thing I have done in the past is to speak to the director for advice on ways to improve my audition skills for next time and what, if anything, I could have done better. It could have been that you were in the running but with all things considered, the director made a choice which could have been based on visual in matching people up with each other or vocally or the style of acting that he/she was looking for in the character. Don’t immediately think you did something wrong that does nobody any good. Step back and breathe….it’s going to be OK.
Here’s a life experience example. Years ago, I worked with a theatre where I kept getting cast in the ensemble. Every time I auditioned for a leading role, I got ensemble. It felt like I was getting pigeon-holed as ensemble for life. So, I finally decided that I would audition for another theatre to test the water. Two auditions later, I got cast in a supporting role by another theatre. That began a journey of over 40 years, where I have had some great opportunities given to me. But I did not get every role, and it was not the end-all if I didn’t. I was grateful for every opportunity.
Another important thing that will help is to make sure you have a social life outside of the theatre. I love the theatre but found I was going from show to show to show. I finally realized after once when I wasn’t cast that I had nothing to fall back on. I was sitting at home with nothing to do and nowhere to go. Not so good, I tell you. I finally developed new friends and reached out to old friends and lo and behold, a social life. It was reinvigorating and made me realize that I had to stop and smell the roses along the way. No regrets and my life is no longer just theatre…it is a part of my life, happily!
Don’t give up on yourself. Keep auditioning. Try other groups. Turn the negative into a positive. Theatre can be a passion don’t let it become an obsession. You will be a happier person and all the better for it, I guarantee.