Weekly Volcano Blogs: Walkie Talkie Blog

February 28, 2011 at 11:54am

CARV'S SNARKY BLOG OF THE WEEK: To act or not to act?

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THAT WAS THE QUESTION >>>

The director called and asked me personally if I'd be interested in auditioning. I told him I'd already sworn off acting for a while. I needed to focus on other things, especially my upcoming nuptials. He persisted. It seems less than a dozen people auditioned for his show. This seems inexplicable to me. It's for a company with a guaranteed space. The playwright is internationally well regarded. The director's a nice guy with tons of experience. The handful of actors already hovering around the project are competent and friendly.

I felt bad for the guy; so despite my scheduling conflicts, I promised to read the script. He drove it all the way to my house. I read the script that afternoon and found it interesting, so much so that I opened my calendar to check the dates. There's just no way. The show closes the week before my wedding, and it opens the same weekend as two other shows. I've learned the hard way, twice in a row now, that my schedule as a critic and my schedule as an actor seldom get along.

I visited the theater that night, just long enough to return the director's script and decline with regrets. It's nice to know there are directors in town who value my onstage talents. I hate having to say no to anyone. But it made me think: Why do some shows have actors falling all over themselves to audition, whereas some can't get the time of day? Do bands have a similar problem when they seek new members?

It's a dilemma. If we show up for an audition and every actor in town is there, it diminishes any chance we have of being cast. On the other hand, if we arrive and crickets are chirping, we almost certainly will get cast--but often, in a role outside our comfort zone. And what if we don't get cast at all? Youch!

If you're a director and actors flocked to your last audition, then thank your lucky stars. Overeager actors are far from the worst problem you could have.

Filed under: Theater, Arts,
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