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On NOT getting the part

November 23, 2011

We can pretend this doesn’t happen. When non-theater people ask, then of course we love our jobs. We love being performers. We love every opportunity and experience that being an actor brings.

But this isn’t true. How frustrating is it when you have a great callback or multiple callbacks for a dream role, and then don’t get the part? Recently I had this happen to me, but even worse, I was cast in the ensemble. I ended up declining the show, but for a DIFFERENT reason then not getting the part I wanted. But that is a another story for another blog!

Last week I went to see the show, and was glad to see that the girl playing the part I wanted portrayed it so differently than I would have ever portrayed the character. Did I like her interpretation? Not really. But it really gave me peace of mind to see what the director must have liked in her performance, and was really looking for in the audition room. (Not to mention she looked so much like the actresses playing her mother and sister!)

I realized how infrequently I go see shows I’m not cast in. Yes, sometimes its painful; sometimes its frustrating. But I never regret seeing the show. It’s either a moment of “Wow, I need to train more so I can get to her performance level!” or its a moment of “I might have been better, but clearly I wasn’t the right choice.”

I firmly believe that every show we are a part of is a stepping stone in our career path. And when we don’t get the part we think we deserve it’s because that isn’t the step our career needed. Maybe the show you do instead, the one with a smaller role, will be the show that introduces you to the director for your next project after that! Or where you meet a fellow cast member that will become a best bud and be a good source of encouragement and motivation.

Here’s your turn to give input!

And then please comment and let me know why! For me, it’s usually a combination of bitterness mixed with being too poor to buy tickets. But I think I might be changing my tune a bit! The more I learn about how directors work and who I am as a performer the more success I will have at what I do, right?

7 Comments leave one →
  1. November 23, 2011 9:05 am

    What a great thing to bring up. While I don’t always go see the show, I often stalk the cast on Playbill and it almost always brings me relief to see that the direction they went was so different (more established actor, totally different type, etc.). Occasionally, though, the girl looks and seems much like me, and that can be kind of a bummer. Maybe if I actually went to see the show, things would be illuminated further 🙂

  2. November 23, 2011 10:12 am

    Yes, I often stalk the show too… either on playbill or by seeing it. It is tough, but we can learn a lot by seeing who got the part.

  3. Erin G permalink
    November 23, 2011 4:02 pm

    If I felt the audition went well, I try to go on opening night so I have a chance to smile and look pretty in front of the director again.

    • California Triple-Threat permalink
      November 23, 2011 4:04 pm

      That’s a really good point! 🙂 any time we spend with potential future directors is like an audition.

    • November 23, 2011 7:32 pm

      Erin, that’s a pretty brilliant plan. Good on you. For realz.

  4. December 6, 2011 3:25 pm

    i desperately wanted to be cast in The Little Dog Laughed when they did it at The Gallery Players. My audition went so well and I know they liked me. I didn’t end up getting the role, but “stalked” (on the internet only!) the girl who did. I ended up seeing her at another Equity audition that I had weasled myself into and thought, “ok, this girl is on to something…” So I facebooked her and took her out to dinner. Turns out we have a lot in common as far as what we want out of our theatre careers/ our passion for them. We also discovered that neither one of us got cast in that play we had both auditioned for last. We made plans to see the show together, and now we’re becoming pretty good friends and supporting each other in all our acting endeavors. I’m seeing a show of hers this week and we plan to meet up soon. Sometimes not getting cast can lead to great connections and friendships!


  1. Flashback Friday: On NOT Getting The Part | The Green Room

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