So you didn’t get the role – and you don’t know why.
It’s hard, with every role you don’t get. No matter how you felt walking out of the room – whether you think you bombed, or you think you absolutely nailed it – it’s always nerve-wracking, waiting for the response. And then when you hear it’s not you – it SUCKS. Maybe you even planned to turn it down, because after actually being in the room, you realized this wasn’t the right fit for you! But it would be nicer to be able to say no, than to never have the chance.
And I know – the lack of feedback is hard. If you could just know why it wasn’t the right fit, it’d be a little easier to move forward, right?
I’m sorry you didn’t get the role, I’m sorry it sucks, I’m sorry it doesn’t make sense.
Here’s the silver lining – if you did everything in your power to be ready for that audition, then it’s not your fault.
Hell – 9 times out of 10, even if you weren’t absolutely prepared, it’s not your fault. There are SO many factors that go into what gets someone a role. You didn’t do anything wrong. You may have hit every single beat as we heard it in our heads. You may have become my new favorite person. We may now even be planning to take over the world together. But that doesn’t mean you’re right for this role. It just means you’re an awesome person.
Maybe it was a bad day, maybe you were nervous and couldn’t work through the jitters. If you tanked the audition and you know it – just thank them for their time, and succinctly let them know you hope you get another chance to show them what you can really do. I say succinct, because I do not have time for a ten-minute disclaimer of you telling me you can do better – I’m gonna want to see you do better. Don’t waste my time, or it’s going to feel like false talk. In this situation? You know why you didn’t get the role.
But maybe it was a great day, and okay – maybe it wasn’t flawless, but you hit some pretty great beats, and you were totally in control, and in the zone, and there was a good connection! You walked out feeling good!
I know it’s frustrating, the generic “You did well, but it’s not going further right now.” But it’s true. You did do well. There’s nothing really wrong with the audition you gave. But think of it this way. Let’s say you get the opportunity to hire a hypothetical teacher for your hypothetical child. A private tutor, that will shape your child’s education and get them ready for the real world. Now – do you want someone who can do it? Who can teach your child, and can get them into college? This person will teach them all the right things, they’ll get excited for the right accomplishments, they’ll make sure your child has every box checked to get them squared away in life. Or, do you want someone who can not only do it, but is excited to do work with your child, and happens to be a great match with your child. In fact – when this particular teacher works with your child, you see your child light up in a way you’ve never seen them before. You suddenly start finding out all of these things about your child, because this teacher just opens up a whole new world for them, and teases out interests, and skills, and complexities you never knew your child was capable of.
To a writer – that child is his character. And the right actor doesn’t just get the scene right – they actually breathe life into the character and bring it off a page, giving it a world and a mind in which to grow. That’s what we’re looking for. And if you’re not the right fit – that’s okay. That keeps you available for the roles that do fit you. And forcing yourself into a role that doesn’t fit – that’s like forcing a bad relationship to work. It ends up being uncomfortable and obvious to all others that it doesn’t fit. And generally speaking – it ends up making everyone look bad. Let’s avoid that!
In all honesty – I could continue on this analogy, and also point out that we’re looking for a teacher who wants to work with the parent, to try to find the best things for the child, as opposed to deciding what’s best for the child and trying to kidnap him…you get my drift. I understand that you have a distinct idea for this character. But ultimately – the character belongs to its creators. And they need to be okay with your ideas, in order for them to work.