Casting: The Worst Job in Theatre

I direct plays at the high school level. Why I haven’t “hired” someone to do my casting for me I’ll never know. In this type of setting, there’s nothing worse.

Pitting my own regular actor against my own regular actor. When we do large second semester productions, it’s like putting family member against family member when my tight-knit drama group, The RLT Players, audition against each other.

It’s excruciating.

I just came back from a call-back where I had to choose between two young, talented actors – one being my daughter. (I know, I know. I should have recused myself. But as director, I do want to have a say.) Oh well, I’ll take the blame no matter what happens. That’s the nature of a casting director.

I can’t imagine a person wanting a job where their main goal is crush people’s dreams. Granted, you get a lot of thank you’s along the way, but you turn down far more than are ever accepted.

You know what I do? I tend to think everyone needs to have a role, so I do my best to get as many people as possible involved. The musical we are doing this coming year, “A Tad of Trouble,” has 12 characters. Well, I’ve added four understudies, then I’m adding an angel chorus of 10 or so and then through some dancers in the mix and we are going to be hitting about 30 people or so – a record for one of my productions.

But no matter how many people I make happy, there are some who will never be satisfied.

That’s a good thing. An actor should never be content with a role until they get the role they want. Use that angst and dissatisfaction to fuel the future. Hurl those insults at the casting director (I can take it, even though I’m a nice person and don’t like it).

Now can I put all this behind me and produce a new show.

Let the fun begin, because there was nothing fun about casting.

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