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Auditions with Significant Others

September 27, 2013

Despite being in theatre and a director specifically for years, and despite dating the same actor for close to two years now, I recently came across an interesting experience that’s not only never happened before but I never ever dreamed of before: I watched enter the room that auditions were being held for a play I’m directing.

As a start, for some reason my mind was completely blown away by this! I have no idea why I never thought about this happening sooner. I guess that since we typically do different types of theatre that we rarely ever work with each other, despite as meeting from working on a show. He’s more into classical works (especially Shakespeare), and my focus has mainly been new works. So until now, there’s never been a reason for me to think about this little “what if.”

A moment or so after he came in I realized  that I had very quickly find a balance between being professional and treating him as such, along with not treating him like a complete stranger either. Thankfully, once that thought popped into my head I was able to figure out how to do it: simply talk to him about the show in the same way as everyone else, but if any moment something friendly came up just let it happen naturally. After he gave me his headshot and resume (which was also interesting, seeing as I’ve helped him with resume advice before), I threw in a little quirk here in there while looking it over. “Oh you worked on that show 2 years ago? What a coincidence!” Things like that, which also helped make it a more relaxing atmosphere (as auditions should be).

The best part about this experience was the monologue he chose. Since he had the advantage of knowing the director better than anyone else, he found a comedic monologue that he knew would crack me up. Which of course went well. While the hardest part about it for me was making sure I cast the play fairly. I didn’t want to cast him just because we are a couple, but I didn’t want to NOT cast him for the same reason. So it took me a bit longer to sit down and rationally look at all the males that auditioned for that type that I was considering, and really think about how he performed his monologue and if it’s right for the role.

While there’s no way to know for sure, I think the choice I went with was the right choice. I think I really ended up being as fair as I could’ve humanly possibly have been, and after it was all over I remembered something that would’ve been helpful so much sooner: I’ve auditioned a ton of friends before and always did what’s best for the production in the past (which sometimes was to cast them and sometimes it wasn’t). So why did I freak out so much about it this time? The key thing here is to always do what’s best for the show no matter what. That’s something I’m going to carry with me in the future and especially if this were to happen again. 🙂

sarah sig

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