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Happy Monday everybody!  Hope you had a lovely weekend!  Mine was great for the most part but I did have something pretty dramatic happen to me.  Naturally I couldn’t wait to share it with all of you!

I had an audition earlier this week for a theater company in the Kansas City area that shall remain nameless.  I was really pumped about it.  I haven’t been on stage for quite a while and I was excited to finally have the time and energy for a new production.  Since my current position of housewife/doggie mom/blogger leaves me with a bit more time these days, I was looking forward to dabbling in the KC theatre scene after we moved here.  When this audition caught my eye I secured a copy of the script, practiced my English dialect, and worked on the lead female character that matched my age range.

Cut to the audition where turnout is dismal and I’m feeling overqualified for lack of a better word.  We are asked to attend both nights and I got to read for the lead role multiple times.  I’m feeling good and reading well which is why I am confused when the director keeps asking me to read for a smaller, not as interesting role.

I end up listening to my instincts and tell him both nights as politely as possible, “No thank you.”  I’m not expecting everyone to understand my reasoning but I’m at a place in my artistic journey where I want to audition for roles that excite me and make sense for my life.  Plus, we have one car right now, and this theatre company is almost 40 minutes away, so it had to be something worth my time and gas money.  It’s not like it was a paid gig, which is common in community theatre, but worth noting nonetheless.

Anyway, at the end of the two days I knew I had a good shot at the role I wanted, yay!  The director had ended the second night by saying he had a couple more people to read but he would call us this weekend.

I can’t even believe this is my life.

This is a reenactment of our phone call.  Most of it is completely true although some liberties were taken.

Ring, ring, ring.  I answer.  Pleasantries are exchanged between myself and the director.

Director: “Are you sure you don’t want that other smaller, less meaty role?”

In my head: Welp, guess I’m not getting the lead female role.  That sucks.

Me: “Ohhh.  So does that mean you have someone else in mind for the role I’m interested in?”

Director:  “Well, yes.  You see I’m casting Large Gay Black Man as your husband and you two just don’t fit together.  You’d overpower him.”

In my head:  Overpower him?  He’s twice my size!  Overpower him with good acting maybe!

Me: “I see.  So it has nothing to do with my acting ability?”

Director:  “Oh no, you’re great, you took direction, blah blah blah.  You just wouldn’t make a great wife to Large Gay Black Man.  I have someone who can look like they’re married to him better than you can.”

In my head:  Is it a man?

Me: “Do you have an African-American woman to play the role?”

Director: “Y-y-yes, she can give me something you can’t… race.  They will be more compatible and other BS unrelated to actual acting skills.”

In my head:  Well, if that’s ALL you need.  Never mind talent then.

Director:  “It’s just that I’m limited on males and there are X amount of roles to fill.”

In my head:  So because there are a lack of quality male actors auditioning I have to be punished?

More pointless statements from him.  More moments of me shaking my head with silent rage while remaining polite.

Me: “OK, well thank you for the opportunity and good luck on your show.”

Storybook Guestbook 087

Audition Fail.

The Scottish and The Mother think I’ve dodged a bullet.  Amen to that.

Have you had one of those moments recently where you ask yourself if this is really happening right now!?!?  Do share.

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12 Responses to ““She Can Give Me Something You Can’t… Race.””

  1. Allie

    I … don’t even. Unless this play was set in a time period before the 1950s, there is absolutely no reason that makes any sense.

    Reply
  2. Profe Limón

    Wow. That director is a noob. My condolences two-six, but yes, you are definitely better off. It would be hard to buy into a show by a director like that. I’m also wondering what “large African-American dude” is thinking, you know, since the director doesn’t think he can be married to a Caucasian woman. Weak sauce.

    Reply
  3. Megan

    “So because there are a lack of quality male actors auditioning I have to be punished?”

    I would have said exactly that and called them out on it.

    Reply
  4. Geno

    He sounds like the kind of person who does not deal in logic! That makes no sense at all. He sounds like a racist.

    Reply
  5. Blair

    Soooooooo, I just followed you over from WeddingBee, and saw that you are living in the KC Metro. You were one of my favorites over there because I’m in love with all things Scottish right now (HUGE Outlander fan! Please tell me you’ve heard of it?!). Anyways, I live in the KC Metro (southland) and hold season tickets to Starlight, tonight is our last showing and love the theater life in KC, hope to see more of it. Good luck finding something!

    Reply
    • Stephanie

      Welcome, welcome! Yay for the KC area and all things Scottish! 🙂 Thank you so much, yea I definitely need to keep looking for more acting opportunities, and we want to see more shows. We’ll have to check out Starlight! Thanks for the info.

      Reply
  6. Andrea

    Stephanie, I’ve been thinking about this post since it went live and this director’s justifications on casting are absurd. I agree with others that you were lucky NOT to be cast. I work as an administrator for a rather large performing arts institution in DC and I’ve gotta tell you, there is a huge movement around the country for more diversity in casting. This director is clearly behind on the times and he might be for a while still if the producers he works for do not step in and course correct for him. Honestly, it sounds like community theatre bullsh*t. Get thee to an Equity house ASAP. Here’s a great op-ed to shove in his face if you ever run into him again (I really really hope not): http://sfshakes.wordpress.com/2013/08/16/holding-the-mirror-up-to-nature-casting-shakespeare-for-todays-audiences/

    Reply
    • Stephanie

      Thank you so much for this! That article is so spot-on and it’s great to hear how they do their casting. Beautiful. My situation appeared to be a community theatre/ignorance issue. Still frustrating but yes, looking to branch out to more quality companies and productions! Thank you again for your insight.

      Reply

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