Sunday, May 10, 2009

Being sick and auditioning...


Since I've been sick for the past few days, I thought I would write my thoughts about being sick and auditioning.  Please note these are NOT my thoughts about being sick and performing - that I will save for another time.  

I supposed I can sum it up best with an actual experience that happened to me.  This was YEARS ago and I had gone in to audition for a new musical at The Public Theatre.  Don't recall what it was, but it was being cast by Jordon Thayler, a casting director I admire to this day.  At the first call, I was feeling great, ready to go and at 100%.  I gave a great audition and Jordon was impressed with my work.  He called me back the next week to audition for the director and writer.  I was sick as a dog.  Keep in mind, I was much younger and greener and wasn't sure what to do.  I decided to go in and do the audition, not making any excuses, but would attempt to do my best.  This was the WRONG choice.  Jordon came to me after the call back and basically said, "Don't ever do that to me again.  I was expecting what I saw at the audition and that wasn't it.  If you are sick and can't do it, then you should have just contacted us and tried to reschedule or choose to cancel it over making a bad impression."

It was a lesson I learned the hard way, but in truth, no matter how much actors think they can "act" around it, in an audition situation, you should be going in at as close to 100% as possible. If you already know you are sick, can't hit the notes, and sound like a frog...unless you are auditioning for a frog, you shouldn't do it.  And certainly, if you do make a choice to go in and audition sick, don't whine and complain to the table that you ARE sick.  Sometimes life sucks, but it is better to leave NO impression, than a bad one.

This is just my opinion of course, but it has been reinforced by many casting directors and producers in my career and I often told my students at NYU TISCH the above story and warned them about the perils of auditioning sick and ESPECIALLY going to call-backs sick.

Here's to healthy auditions and call-backs!


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