So, You Didn’t Get the Role You Really Wanted – Now What?
By Innovative Arts (IA)
The audition process is both exciting and challenging right up to the point where you find out which role the Casting Director offers you. But what if it’s not the role you hoped it would be? Here are a few tips on what to do (and what not to do) when you find out you did not get the role you wanted.
1. Don’t compare yourself with, or criticize, the other actor who got the role you wanted. Jealousy is toxic and will not change the circumstances or help you grow as an actor. (Check out our upcoming blog, Jealous? Do This One Thing)
2. Do give yourself permission to feel disappointed! Discuss what happened and how it makes you feel with your parents or journal about it. Processing your feelings will help you move on from the disappointment and grow from it. Just remember to keep the focus on you: How did you feel in the audition? What are your strengths? Where is there room for you to improve?
3. Don’t be discouraged: Remember, there are other factors besides your ability that influenced the casting director’s decision. Some of these things, like your age, height and vocal tone, aren’t in your control. If you want to better understand why you were given the role, view our upcoming blog Six Tips from the Casting Director or request to meet with the Casting Director so you can better understand their decision.
4. Don’t underestimate your role. “One of the things we say in the performance industry is, Don’t judge the character, because then you don’t bring all of yourself to it’,” says Innovative Arts Casting Director Sophie McLeod. “When we create a show, we mould each part with detail, so all are valuable to the production’s success. There are only 12-15 roles in any of our shows, so everyone really does have the opportunity to shine.” No matter what role you are given, remember that it is an important and challenging one that only you can bring to life!
5. Do get excited about your character and make them come to life in a way no one has seen before. Create a backstory and personality description for your character so they are more real to you or connect with the casting director to learn more about why they chose you for that part in the show and how you can make the most out of it.
If you still don’t feel motivated to play the role, then you always have the option of turning it down. Remember, this also means missing out on the opportunity to learn and develop—not to mention the friendships and fun that come with working with the cast and crew. However, if you don't feel like you can bring your best to the experience or you need more time to work through the disappointment, you can always decline the offer.
If you do decide to accept the role, commit to letting go of the disappointment and move forward with an enthusiastic attitude that will allow you to bring the best version of your character to the performance. The good news is that regardless of the role you play, there is a sense of achievement in it as well as the happiness that comes from getting to do what you love.
Most importantly, remember that performing is something you do, but it is not who you are. You are Innovative, so regardless of what role you play in a given season, you are amazing!