How To Talk To Your Kids About – Audition Let-Downs – Youth Theatre Northwest

How To Talk To Your Kids About...

Audition Let-Downs

At Youth Theatre Northwest we do our best to make the audition process smooth and welcoming, but it is often intense and nerve wracking, even for seasoned professionals.

Hope For The Best, Prepare For The Worst

Encourage your actor to try their best and have fun at the audition and any callbacks. Help your actor focus on having a great audition, rather than on getting in to the play.  

Every director want every actor to do well and have fun during the audition process. The best problem is too many good choices.

It is also a good idea to help them prepare for the possibility that they might not get into a show (we turn away approximately 10% of the actors who audition depending on the overall number and the needs to the shows) or not be cast in a role they really wanted. It may be wise to have an alternate activity lined up so that they can see it as a win-win situation in the event of casting disappointment. 

Modeling a positive attitude around this subject will affect your actor's outlook on the whole process. 

Things To Keep In Mind About Auditions

Talent Isn't Most Important 

If it comes down to an actor who is talented, but has a bad attitude, and an actor who has a few rough edges, but a good attitude, we will always take the actor with the better attitude. Our directors get an indication of an actor’s personality in how they listen and follow directions, how they interact with the staff outside of the room, and how they interact with others in callbacks.

Professional courtesy is very important, especially in the small world of theater.  

Directors, Musical Directors, and Staff Confer

Please know that there is a lot of thought that goes into casting shows at YTN. After callbacks, we have a casting meeting with all the directors present and we discuss every actor who auditioned. We share what we know about returning students and share our impressions of new students. This is a very important decision for the theater and for the actors, and we do not take it lightly.

Respect the casting decision. 

Casting decisions are based on each director's individual vision for their production. Sometimes this vision might be shared during callbacks, but usually it is not. Keeping an open mind and letting go of preconceived notions of known works helps set everyone up for success. Please also know that our directors are experts and have years of experience working in theatre and with children. If an actor does not get cast or does not get the role they wished, some of the reasons why might include: 

  • They are not quite right for the show or the role (the director is casting a full ensemble of actors – not just one particular role – they are working to assemble a much larger, cohesive vision for the show, or the actor’s skills were not quite up to the level that the show/role requires). 
  • They are truly not ready (meaning, they were unable to follow directions or behave properly)  
  • There is a severe scheduling conflict. 

It makes the process extremely difficult when we are challenged on casting decisions. As a student of theatre, your actor needs to learn the perspective of the director in this process and your help in understanding this is immeasurable.  

Don't give up!

We always take note of actors who come back. There are many who did not get in the first time, but kept trying and were cast again and again, often in leading roles. It is an important life lesson to know that sometimes things don’t work out exactly as you want, but to keep working towards a goal.
As our mission states, "Youth Theatre Northwest nurtures the intellectual, artistic, and personal development of children and youth through drama education, performing opportunities, and live theatre experiences." We are first and foremost invested in the education of the students who come to us.
We appreciate your support in our mission and through this important process.