Great, you’ve been cast in your dream show. You didn’t get the part you wanted, but so what? This is your chance to shine! And by following these tips, you’ll be sure to stand out from the crowd and be noticed:
- Directors often don’t know that they have wrongly-cast a show, so it is important to mention the poor casting choices early on in the process. Since directors are too busy to notice glaring errors such as these, they often cast their friends in the show to relay such information back to them. Be sure to talk about these poor casting decisions so that your fellow cast members can relay the information back to the director to fix the issue.
- Conflicts happen. And when they happen, especially if they aren’t on your conflict sheet, your stage manager will be unhappy. So, wait until last-minute to tell them. After all, there is no use making them any more unhappy than they already are!
- You must always be professional. In professional theatre, the actors don’t help with building the set; a professional won’t help in community theatre either.
- The costume designer will likely give you a costume or give you guidelines for procuring one. Take note: these are merely suggestions so that you’ll blend seamlessly into the background. But, you want to stand out, right? So, be sure to alter your costume with something that accentuates your unique personality. I find sequins tend to do the trick. Lots and lots of sequins.
- It is important to arrive in a timely manner to every rehearsal. If you are ever in doubt as to appropriate arrival time, you should apply the same rules as you would to a party: it’s okay to be “fashionably late”. Think about the first people to usually arrive at a party… do you really want to be like them?
- They always tell you that you must be comfortable with your scene partners, so make sure to socialize with them. Then, you can count time at the bar as “rehearsal time”, which is WAY more fun than memorization and character development.
- Is the actor unable to hit a note? Are they incapable of following the rhythm written on the page? Maybe you should try singing along with them! That will get your fellow actor back on track and will show the Music Director that you obviously were meant to sing the part.
- Keep it fresh and always try something new with your character. Use the rehearsal process to formulate your ideas, but save those choices for the performances. First, jealous actors might steal your ideas if they see them during rehearsals. And second, audiences might see the show multiple times, so you want to surprise them every time you come on stage.
- Having trouble getting off-book? Try guessing at what your character might say in that situation! If it works, then you’ve saved yourself the unnecessary time of trying to translate the writer’s words into your own vernacular. Shakespeare might not have written”ugh, gag me with a spoon”, but that’s only because he wasn’t smart enough to use that phrase. Plus, he’s dead, so what is he going to do about it?
- Has a fellow actor missed a cue, flubbed a line, or forgotten a prop? Tell them immediately, even if you are on stage. The audience will better appreciate the story if you stop and correct the mistake before continuing, and it will ensure that you stand out as the true professional (since you were obviously astute enough to catch the error).
These ten tricks are guaranteed to help you stand out in any production process! And, if you don’t get the lead in this or future productions, it’s probably because you aren’t singing loud enough and need to start screaming your music over the rest of the ensemble.