When to Say No to Auditions

I was invited to an audition last month for a what I thought was a new theatre company. I figured I would give it a shot and at least see what they were up too.

When I got to the audition site, it ended up being a completely different company, one with a very negative reputation in the LA theatre community. I was shocked. What a bold-faced lie to tell the actors auditioning! Did they expect us not to notice when we got to the audition and it was someone else entirely?

The person leading the auditions went on to tell us that instead of just believing what we may have read about the company online, supposedly written by “bitter actors who can’t get any acting work,” we should just see for ourselves (of course, after we are cast in a show with him). The fact that he even felt the need to say that to us was very telling.

There are SOOOO many people out here whose business goals are to prey on the unknowing, hopeful, naive, I’ll-do-anything-for-my-career actors who come out to LA. There is a lot of money to be made off of actors in this town, partly because there are so many of us, and partly because we can be so desperate to get exposure, credits, meet people, etc.

I left the audition post-“why we aren’t so bad” speech and pre-“instead of a monologue or reading from sides, your audition is to walk around the stage in the dark and act like vampires.” I knew from lots of friends and from resources at The Actors Network that these people were super sketchy and so I took off. However, it was a tough decision in the moment when I was already there at the theatre and had spent money on gas and had given them a headshot and resume. Plus, I know I generally shouldn’t say no to opportunities since they are so hard to come by.

Where should the line be between saying yes or no to an acting opportunity?


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