They are very hard. This is an ad hoc post and I hope it doesn’t get, too emotional but everything is still fresh so we shall see.
I show up to an audition. Not as a director. Not as a production staff member at all. As a potential actor. For a show that I have loved since high school. Our Town. I even had requested special arrangements with the co-directors when I thought I had to balance between one of the three shows I’m in and other life obligations. They were very accommodating and generous with their time. Things worked out anyway and I was able to attend auditions on a standard night. Not to be specially handled.
Why didn’t it go well?
I have a conflict on tech week.
I’d miss three out of four of the tech week rehearsals for the half marathon in February. I was so heart broken and crestfallen. I’ve known about this show since about March (it was up in the air while another show had the slot but rights fell through and BOOM – dream come true). I was preparing on the sidelines. Reading the script, watching the recordings, and reading news articles on old and new runs of the shows. I loved it. It’s just one of those shows that speaks to my soul and what can I say? I was eager.
Why didn’t I check the schedule before today, before providing my conflicts on the audition sheet/application. Why did I waste their time and my time? Why did I get my hopes up? Somedays you’re just going to feel like an utter failure, even if I had auditioned I probably would’ve done terribly with this hanging over my head. Who knows, I know – could’ve been the best audition of my life and then I would’ve had to disappoint them again.
When this situation arises, because it will – not every one can be perfect and check that all schedules align all of the time, be honest and do it immediately. Don’t let yourself get hurt and don’t hurt the production. Let me tell you why. I was once a part of a production where, due to the sensitivity and nature of the show, we had a hard time pulling for #nudity talent. He found out something, because he never paid attention to anything except himself, on tech week and used this to his advantage in making not only the production staff angry and uncomfortable, but another actor, and ruined an interpretation of the show.
I can’t say that all of the performances were impacted by this bull, but I can say that it definitely impacted relationships both on and off stage. It’s hard earning back trust that is lost and when you withhold information (or ignore it) that impacts other people negatively on stage – you run the risk of ruining everything that everyone has worked for. And this might be overly dramatic but it’s not a risk I’m willing to take and I hope I never encounter something like this again as a Director or Stage Manager.
Think of others, ’til next time.