CAPTAIN’S LOG: The First Day of Auditions
Ahoy, mateys! Today is the first day of auditions for TREASURE ISLAND. I’ll be seeing prospective pirates for the next few days and putting together our cast. For a director, this part of the process is equal parts exciting and scary. It’s exciting because I love working with actors and this means the fun of rehearsals is very near. The show is about to truly come to life! It’s also scary because the pressure is on – I’ve got to put together the best cast that I can, and I know I have a lot of tough decisions ahead of me.
Brandon and I discussed this in the “Ask QCT” videos, but it bears repeating: casting is not a reflection of talent. The biggest role doesn’t necessarily go to the best actor. We unfortunately have to turn away talented people all of the time. Instead, casting is a reflection of finding the right people for the right roles. So this week, the casting committee and I will have some late nights ahead of us. We will discuss every single person who auditions and try to find that right fit for him/her. No decision is made lightly. The course of the rest of the production is going to be determined by these casting choices. It’s going to be a big week. I can’t wait to see what our actors bring to the table.
As an actor, I still get nervous when I audition. Once I was so nervous I walked out the wrong door; I had to sneak out through that theatre’s scene shop. Once, I forgot an entire verse of my song. Another time, a director asked me to do the scene again without the “funny character voice”…when I’d been using my regular speaking voice.* So believe me, I understand that there are hiccups in the process. I’m not expecting perfection; I just want to see what’s possible.
To the actors who will be auditioning this week, here’s the big thing I want you know: You should be proud of your audition regardless of the outcome. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had people tell me, “Oh, someday I’d like to do a play, but I just haven’t yet.” But guess what, coming to auditions means you stepped up; you made an appointment, you read a script, you showed up, you put yourself out there and tried something new. That is no small achievement! Be proud of yourself for taking the initiative. It’s true, you might not be offered a role if you audition – but you definitely won’t if you stay at home. I sincerely thank you for offering us your time and talent this week.
(*By the way, of those three nightmare audition stories, two resulted in callbacks and one resulted in me getting the role. Proof that you can’t predict what a director is thinking. And no, before you even ask, none of those stories happened at QCT.)