How to Deal: Not Getting the Part You Wanted

How to Deal: Not Getting the Part You Wanted

You’ve booked a big audition for your dream show, and you have your heart set on playing the beautiful ingénue/hunky leading man/evil villain/comedic sidekick/whatever.  You’ve picked the perfect monologue and practiced it forwards, backwards, and sideways.  You’ve done your homework, read the entire script, memorized the vocal score, watched the film version and even found a random YouTube video of an interview with the member of the original Broadway cast who played that role in 1974.  You go into the audition, and you absolutely blow the audition panel away with your talent.

Later that week, you get that phone call you’ve been waiting for.  You’re offered the part!

…of the paperboy.  Or the townsperson.  Or the toilet cleaner.

Either way, it’s not the role you had your heart set on.

Now, there are a myriad of reasons why you weren’t cast in the role you wanted.  And in case you weren’t convinced, here are 1o more reasons.  But remember, first and foremost: YOU WERE CAST.  You were one of the lucky ones.  You’re IN the show!

It can be hard at first to deal with not being cast in your dream role.  The way I see it though, you can deal with it in one of three ways:

1.  You refuse the part you’ve been cast in and quit the show.

PRO: You won’t have to see that other person playing “your” part.
CON: You don’t get to be in the show.
CON: You look like a big old quitter.
CON: You might miss the opportunity to be cast in another show, since you won’t be working with that particular director/choreographer/costume designer/production assistant/etc.

2.  You accept the role you’ve been cast in, but are bitter about it.

PRO: You still get to be in your dream show.
CON: You have to see that person playing “your” part.
CON: You make everyone else’s life miserable by talking about how you would have been a much better choice for the role.
CON: You sing along with that person’s songs and weird the rest of the cast out.
CON: You earn a bad reputation by being “that guy with the bad attitude” and then nobody wants to work with you again.

3.  You accept the role you’ve been cast in, and make the best of it.

PRO: You still get to be in your dream show.
PRO: You discover why that person was cast in that role, and make mental notes about how you can improve your performance skills.
PRO: You take this as a learning opportunity and remember why you love to do theatre.
PRO: You make new friends and contacts through the rehearsal process.
PRO: You now know what to work on when the revival of the show occurs.

The choice seems pretty clear to me.

“Don’t waste your time on jealousy.
Sometimes you’re ahead, sometimes you’re behind.
The race is long and, in the end, it’s only with yourself.”
~ Mary Schmich (Chicago Tribune)

How did/do you deal with not getting the part you wanted?
Share the your thoughts with me on Facebook, Twitter, or in the comments below!

Photo Credit: ByteColumn

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4 thoughts on “How to Deal: Not Getting the Part You Wanted

  1. Pingback: How to Deal: Not Getting the Part You Wanted | LYTE at the Palace

  2. Additions to 3. You take the part and make the best of it.

    PRO: You put it extra effort to learn your own part and the part that you originally wanted, so if something happens to the other actor (they have leave due to other work conflicts or personality conflicts with the director, etc.) you are ready to step in. Sometimes people become stars from being discovered as awesome understudies.

  3. The thing is, we were currently trying out for Hamlet, and I wanted to be Hamlet. I had been in a play that the teacher had actually watched before, so was the girl who got my part. It was supposed to be MINE. I showed a lot of dedication and commitment by memorizing the part when she didnt even have one line memorized. Earlier today, she had said, (lets say my name is izzy) “Izzy will most likely get the part” Then we had auditions. (Lets say the other girls name is sally) i try out first, she goes second. The teacher says she got Hamlet. She had shown no dedication at all. She also has a very girly voice and would not be able to lower her voice enough. I am a female and could pull it off way better than her. I dont mean to sound selfish but its true. I honestly think it was because she is the principals daughter and my teacher didnt want the principal being ticked off at her. I sent her an email asking for a redo. Any suggestions on anything else i could do?

    • Hi there, I’m sorry that you didn’t get the part you wanted. There could be a number of reasons that you aren’t aware of that affected casting, but it’s really hard to say. Be prepared that your teacher will not change the casting – imagine how you would feel if all of a sudden your part was taken away by someone else who emailed the teacher?

      My main advice would be to do the absolute best in whatever part you ended up getting. Focus on your work and really shining in your role!

      If you really wanted to go above and beyond, you could help Sally out with her part. I know it’s hard seeing someone else in the part you had your heart set on, but helping her out would make the overall show even better.

      Good luck!

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