Actor, Amalgamation of Life, Costume Designer

Bias Decision-making

This was not a planned piece and it’s going to be a bit rough because I’ve only had a few hours to decide what to write.

As you may be aware, I’ve had several things cooking in the books recently.  Costuming. Makeuping. Planning to Director 2018-2019. Graduate school. Next career step (which is going better than it had been in a very long time). Why would I throw anything else at myself? Well, because it’s me.

What do you mean, Mercedes?
I attended an audition with several of my friends on Sunday. A show I am already costuming. 1940s.

How do you find the time to prepare, Mercedes? 
Trust me. I don’t. I didn’t. I failed the audition. I was not adequately prepared and it showed. I was busy reading the script when I should have been acting. Kind of how an audition should go, right?

Isn’t this better in the long run?
Well, yeah, but that doesn’t make it any easier. It really kind of makes it harder. I’m not bitter. I’ll audition for the director again, I’ll stick with the theatre. I am overall relieved and satisfied. Costuming is my favorite of all theatre activities.


Aside: except when it’s show nights and buttons are flying.

I am fortunate that I still have a ‘role’ within the show and I get to have the opportunity to work with some amazing cast members and production staff. Some of my friends were (are) not so fortunate. They weren’t cast. Especially when, even with an unbiased opinion, I thought they would/could have been cast. Strong singers. Good dancers. Personality. Lively.

Maybe I am bias but it breaks my heart when I see such talent squandered.

Now that is not to say that my friends who were cast did not deserve the parts, they did. I am extremely pleased overall with the casting. I do know that I may have cast it differently but then I have to ask myself, is that because of my bias towards my friends and what I know them to be capable of, what I saw at one set of auditions? That’s something I need to be aware of now so I can ensure, and assure myself, that the best production is going to be done. The strongest singers. The best actors. The greatest support staff. Every one has to work together as a single unit for X amount of weeks/months and perform torturous labor willingly and for persona nongratis.

This is a question all directors have to ask themselves – did I make the best decision? And honestly, as I’ve heard many times during many tech weeks from many directors, it’s sometimes not seen/determined until that final week leading up to opening night. You have to see everything come together, even if it’s last minute, but until you see it all you can’t decide or know if it was right. If you’re fortunate and have good instincts, good input, and valid suspicions, as a director, you should be okay.

I hope I am okay with it, that I’m capable of casting for the right reasons and not a bias. These are the moments when I have a great affection for the directors that I know and are friends with because this is not an easy task. It’s especially not easy when you have close friends who are seen as not the best fit for a show no matter how clear you can see them in the spotlight.

Maybe it’s not them for now, but it could them next time. I can’t wait to see them on stage the next time. I hope they don’t get too discouraged for too long because the talent inside them is far too great. Good luck to them and to the directors who face difficult decisions.

Read through is scheduled for this evening and I am eager to get this in the book. More news to come on Scrooge casting and next steps in make up. ‘Til next time.

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