So imagine you go for an interview – lets say CEO of a major corporation called The X Company. You spend days preparing, researching the company and it’s current board and current set up. You get to the interview; it goes well, the interviewers like you, like the ideas you bring. “We have some more people to see but will be in touch” they say. You head off, fingers crossed. You hear nothing,
A few weeks later you bump into a friend; who tells you they have a new job – CEO of The X Company – or you read a newspaper or see on Twitter – The X Company have hired a new CEO: and it is not you.
If anyone reading this post is from outside the creative industries, they might well be shocked at this; for those of us in the industry and for whom auditioning is a way of life, there are probably some wry smiles reading this – for us it is the norm. It is possible that things might be about to change. The actor and one of the founders of Act for Change project Danny Lee Wynter has started a campaign to ensure that actors are at least told if they have got the job.
I can tell you from my own experiences over the years the frustration of preparing for an auditions – in one case a call on Friday evening from my agent for a casting lunchtime on Monday. My weekend put on hold to go and find/read the play in Samuel French’s bookshop (in the days when you could) and evenings spent prepping the part I was up for. Come Monday the casting team seemed to like what I did and were impressed that I had gone and read the play. To this day, some 10 years since that happened, I have still not heard.
As a freelance working creative who is trying to do the job, chase the next job (and sometime do a day job too!) I understand how busy freelance castings directors are. A large number of casting directors are not attached to any company, they are freelance working creatives who are casting on one hand and chasing for the next casting job with the other hand – many have assistants, some do not. The in-house casting teams of major theatres have less excuse. But in a time when both the treatment of all in the creative industries is under scrutiny, it would be great if we could see this as the beginning of a change to simply knowing if the job is ours.
You can follow the campaign hashtag: