Bitching Post

It's ok to get it off your chest.

  • Leaving the Union 03/26/2015  6:40pm

    Hey guys! I know there's been some threads on this topic already, but I just wanted to put this out there and see if anyone, specifically actors, has left the union before and been able to successfully come back. I spoke with a woman in the membership office today who was lovely, but basically told me, should I leave the union, work, and try to come back once I booked an equity gig or a broadway gig, that the union had the right to not allow me the contract. That seems a bit unconstitutional and illegal doesn't it? Like the actors union forbidding an actor equity work? Has anyone out there in audition update land ever left the union to build their resume and come back before? Also, is there someone unbiased working in the Equity office that I can legitimately discuss leaving with and get some honest advice?


    Straight up:
    If you leave the union, you can do so by voluntarily sending in your resignation to the Equity office. There is no changing your mind later, and they will quickly send you an official termination later. Like overnight express.

    Should you decide to work non-eq from that point on, and you are found out by AEA, (and they have their ways, especially if you book any non-eq tour that launches) the union will most certainly not allow you to rejoin by signing a new equity show contract.

    If you leave the union, and you do not work non-eq, and then later on decide to come rejoin--then you must appear before a special committee of theirs, who decide your fate. If you were always a member in good standing with your dues and such, I would think that would help them consider it.

    But, truly, I think it's a bridge you don't want to ever burn. Unions want to keep their members...

    justanotherone 03/26/2015  9:19pm

    Also, to answer your question...

    Yes. I know of a person who has resigned from the union--then worked non-equity for 2 years, then finally received another Equity show offer. They rejoined through that contract, without any problems whatsoever.

    I've also heard rumors of Equity actors working non-eq on the down-low...

    Just sayin'...

    justanotherone 03/26/2015  9:25pm

    I'm confused by your responses justanotherone. In the first one you said withdrawing & then working non-equity will disqualify you from being able to re-join. But the second response says you know someone who did just that. Could you clarify? Thanks!

    BBrave 03/26/2015  10:16pm

    Sure. The trick is to not get caught...basically.

    If you resign from AEA to dive back into the non-equity pool for a while, and the union FINDS YOU OUT, you will be blacklisted. AEA will not allow you to rejoin, even if you successfully secure a new Equity show contract.

    The person I know just simply wasn't caught.

    justanotherone 03/26/2015  10:47pm

    Got it, thanks!

    BBrave 03/26/2015  10:49pm

    Now, like I said before, if you leave AEA and never act all...but, one day wake up and want your old life back--Equity has a committee that will hear you out, and will decide if your membership will be reinstated.

    I hope the difference in those paths are clear.

    justanotherone 03/26/2015  10:53pm

    ...Wondering if someone were to re-join under a different name, would AEA even notice?

    SecondHandRose 03/26/2015  11:03pm

    Last I heard, stage names go in playbills--government names go on AEA contracts.

    find a match. follow the tracks.

    justanotherone 03/26/2015  11:12pm

    this thread is sickening

    fuzzletwit 03/27/2015  12:20am

    Ew. This thread is gross!

    Illegal? Unconstitutional? Gimme a BREAK! If you leave the union that literally takes care of you (in SO MANY ways) they have every right to say "thanks but no thanks". I mean- that's what you said to them, right? I don't think you should be able to pick and choose when you need them.
    Don't be the needy girlfriend who comes crawling back when she "can't live without him".

    Also- why do you think you'll book a Broadway gig once you leave the union? ...

    Heygurlhey 03/27/2015  12:46am

    Exactly. Doing a non eq tour - btw most of which get destroyed in reviews - is not gonna make u more competitive for Broadway. This is wrong on so many levels. If you made a mistake joining the union too early in your career then work on yourself as an actor to get better and more competitive. Or quit the Union and commit to being a non Union scab for the rest of your career but why shoild you expect to be re admitted ever? Other unions would find this attitude beyond disgustinh

    fuzzletwit 03/27/2015  8:04am

    Exactly. Doing a non eq tour - btw most of which get destroyed in reviews - is not gonna make u more competitive for Broadway. This is wrong on so many levels. If you made a mistake joining the union too early in your career then work on yourself as an actor to get better and more competitive. Or quit the Union and commit to being a non Union scab for the rest of your career but why shoild you expect to be re admitted ever? Other unions would find this attitude beyond disgustinh

    fuzzletwit 03/27/2015  8:21am

    Well first off, "beyond disgusting" is a little harsh. I actually work extremely hard, I have been auditioning in the union for 7 years. I am a singer as well as a dancer and have a very successful cruiseship career, so I didn't post this for insults. I also have an agent who I love. I asked this question because I want to work in legit theater. And as far as "taking care of me" is concerned I can safely say the Union has done nothing for me but take my money and make it easier for me to be seen for union shows, which with the exception of bway callbacks, end up calling me back and consequently giving the role I'm called back for to a nonunion actor. So my QUESTION, not intention, question was put out there for honest responses from people who might feel the same obstacles as I do. So thanks guys for the honest responses, and those of you being condescending, chill. I'm just trying to figure out how to book work for myself. Thanks.

    italiano80 03/27/2015  9:19am
  • How do you find the time? 03/21/2015  10:42am

    I'm just curious how everyone manages there time these days. I have a full time, extremely flexible, survival job (insurance), am an actively auditioning equity actor- going to as many auditions as I see fit, but how do you find time to work out? Have a personal life? I get up early to sign up for early Eq appts at EPA's to get to work after that. So getting up early is hard enough. And when I am done working an 8 hour day or so, I'm exhausted. I'm just curious how people are managing their time to take care of themselves physically and have a stable personal life? Been a hard season and just curious how every one else does it.

    Thanks for listening (reading.) Hard to complain/stress out to my mom or boyfriend all the time. I know they get sick of hearing and I know you all must understand.


    I think there's a lot to be said for being selective about your auditions. Allow yourself to sit a few out. In school, they tell you to go to every audition because you never know what could come of it. I see the value in that...but it really invites burnout. Personally, I went to a ton of auditions last week (I also have to do the getting up early, signing in, then rushing to work thing....then of course rushing back to midtown for said appointment, then heading to my second job!), and this week, I only went to one. Sure there was other stuff I could have gone to....but I didn't feel excited enough about the contracts or my chances of being what they were looking for, so I allowed myself some "me" time. And I think I performed better at that one audition than I would have if I'd forced myself to keep pushing so hard just for the sake of auditioning/getting seen/having an opportunity for a "just ok" contract.

    Have2FinishTheHat 03/21/2015  4:12pm

    ^I completely agree. Before you consider going to an audition, you need to think about two things:
    1- Do I actually have a chance of booking this gig or at least getting a callback? Or is this a CD/creative team I really need to get seen by?
    2- Would I accept an offer for this role?
    If the answer to either of those questions is "no," skip it!

    bwaylvsong 03/21/2015  5:30pm

    I also like to get up and sign up and go to the gym, then go back home and get ready and go audition. Wakes me up and stuff. It doesn't always workout, but it's what I like to do in theory.

    AudraLupone 03/21/2015  6:08pm

    I'm with you on the gym thing -- I always find I sing better when I'm warmed up physically. (And I usually sit in the massage chair too, that really relaxes me and puts me in a good frame of mind.)

    onstage 03/21/2015  8:51pm

    I actually have my own question about this, but a different one.
    Many have said they get up early to go sign in, go to work and come back for their spot and go back to work/second job. How the HECK does this even happen/how do you work that out/what job is that??
    Maybe it's just since im a more recent transplant here, all my other jobs I've had elsewhere would have shot me/fired me on the spot if I attempted to audition in the middle of work, heck even getting time off at all for an audition was like pulling teeth sometimes. I know this is NYC and the majority of employers here are used to it, they know what the majority of the city's population is. But even the restaurant job I had, I found it difficult to do, and my co workers confirmed it. You either work just dinners to make the moolah as well as audition a lot but the problem're working only dinner which as we know run late here so you're in bed by 3 am only to get up to audition 3 ish hours later. Or you work lunch shifts, ok normal hour day but can't really audition. I can do the late night thing once in a blue moon but that is not something I can do on any normal basis, and frankly nor should anyone, even if we're werent artists attempting to audition a lot, to not get to sleep til late and get up again soon without adequate sleep and do this almost daily is terrible for any humans health. Id burn out in three days if i did that regularly. That's half the reason why I quit said restaurant. And serving is supposed to be the actors most flexible job...
    Now I've been temping around and for the most part I like it, granted sitting at a computer all day isn't much better than running around ragged for your guests in a restaurant either, but it's even more flexible than serving (I've found) but ive heard people say they just step out of that days temp gig for a bit and head to the audition and come back...again maybe it's my past jobs talking, but how does anyone get away with know without getting written up, hated by your agency, or fired?? Do yall go on the break cause sometimes that can be hard depending on where you're located...I mean, certainly can't be talking whole days off for just one audition, at least not all the time. There's a few calls I've disxovered, yeah you'll need the whole day, but I digress. Any advice on this wood be greatly great...

    showbizdreamer 03/21/2015  11:25pm

    re: the most recent response - if you temp/work in an office you sign up for an early time and to in a little late (letting them know you're coming in half an hour late and will take half an hour less for lunch/stay late/whatever) OR you sign up for a time during your lunch hour and haul your butt over there OR you sign up for the last slot of the day and run over after work. Its not easy, but can be done (I did it back in my temping days).

    emuhe 03/22/2015  1:59am

    @emuhe, that's not possible if you're non-eq or EMC and thus can't sign up in advance.

    bwaylvsong 03/22/2015  7:58am

    ^^exactly... now I know it can kinda be done with certain open calls, but I would have to know when my lunch break is to start with and heaven knows I never have thus far. And I'd rather not come in late every single time I had an audition either, I would end up looking unreliable if I did that consistently, and heaven knows we all need to pay rent too :/ Not to mention, I've been noticing that when I'm called for a job (the last minute kind anyway) I've been asked when the earliest is that I can come in. If I say anything past 10 AM, they start to kinda squirm and say "no that's too late" Even saying 10 is pushing it, at least that the vibe I've gotten. Now with jobs you're called ahead of time for...well that can be easier or harder to make this work, depending on the time they ask you to come in. Oh the joys of juggling our fun right?

    showbizdreamer 03/22/2015  9:14am

    Easy answer:

    First make the time for the life things that matter most, and build auditioning around that.

    More complicated answer:

    We are given the impression that our job as "working actors" is to be either in rehearsal or at auditions. That is, if we don't currently have a paid gig in our chosen field, then we had better be busting our ass trying to get one. As a result, we are taught to build our life around the audition grind and not the other way around. But the reality is, that nose-to-the-grindstone lifestyle is simply not sustainable for anybody, no matter their field. And if it's not sustainable for lawyers and finance people making $250k a year, how could it possibly be sustainable for us actors making a tenth of that?

    Because the nature of our work is so high variance, it is in our long-term best interest to build our lives around the things that fulfill us and are also "bankable"/predictable. Things like going to the gym, or cultivating a relationship with your boyfriend/girlfriend/fiancée, or cleaning your apartment every Sunday because a messy home stresses you the hell out. Whatever those things may be for you personally, they are what I recommend you prioritize.

    Trust me, you can and will find a way to audition as much as you need to. But depending on your prioroties, that may not include waiting around at EPAs. You might need to figure out a way to get mileage from online submissions, or taking classes through a place like Backstage University (for example), or focusing your efforts on getting a manager to submit you for things so you can make actual money at an actual day job. There are a billion and a half ways to make a life for yourself as a performer; the onus is on you, then, to figure out what works for you, even if it looks completely different from how you were told it was supposed to look.

    thejollyraja 03/22/2015  10:08am

    ^^^ you're first paragraph of your more complicated answer...genius. Another thread in essence someone commented the same thing. We're taught in school to 'go to every audition, you have to always be auditioning now matter what, etc." (Ironic since all of our teachers in school obviously turned to...well, teaching. Not that there's anything wrong with this! I just find it ironic they turned away from that 'grindstone' life they speak of) we all know the variants of this as well. Well it didn't take me long to realize, this just isn't sustainable, logically or physically. Even if it didn't invite constant burnout, it's invites not being able to pay my bills... oofff.

    showbizdreamer 03/22/2015  10:49am

    True - my answer doesn't apply if you're not AEA yet - I just think that is how people "do that" (its how I did) - BUT prior to being AEA - I did temp - and back then I was the crazy person in line at 4am so I could get seen 1st at open calls and then went to work... I honestly didn't spend a lot of time at EPAs or Chorus calls before I got my card - I DID work at equity theatres, but targeted the ones that had open call days.... I also used to temp week-to-week - I did vacation coverage - so I might work three weeks to cover my bills and then take the last week of the month to hit the audition grind. ... and I think picking/choosing helps too - I wouldn't miss work for something where I probably wouldn't be seen - but if you read on here that an EPA is wide open, that might be the day to see if you can leave work early and go over... :)

    emuhe 03/22/2015  11:52am

    I left this business entirely after less than a year because I hated auditioning. It wasn't the auditioning itself I minded, it was the getting up at 5am to come to the city from NJ and have time to warm up and then go sign up on the list and have to wait around to be called and finally go in to sing 16 bars for people who are barely even looking at you because it's a required call and they're not even hiring. At the end of it I'd walk out exhausted from the whole thing but also feeling good like I "did my duty" for the day and went to an audition. Meanwhile, the whole GOING to the audition took infinitely more time than the audition itself. So I burned out and decided that's not how I wanted to spend my time.

    Now that I am starting to make my way back to the business I decided to be very specific about what my wants are and what I'm willing to do. And I think that's the important thing they don't teach you in school. I know they say the more you audition the better you'll get, and you'll be seen regularly by CDs and blah blah blah. But the truth is auditioning doesn't pay and it takes a toll on you. I'm very grateful to see others saying you have to be judicious about what you audition for. I totally agree, and I think you have to value yourself and your time and your wants and your needs to figure out how to make it work best for FOR YOU.

    jmf 03/22/2015  4:54pm

    One of the many reasons I now focus on film/TV auditions rather than theatre...

    bowe123 03/22/2015  5:36pm

    Thanks to everyone who took some time to respond to me. I really appreciate it.

    jarjarbinx 03/22/2015  9:58pm

    Okay I'm about to write a novel and hijack this thread, but I recommend finding a different job that works with your audition schedule. It's not easy, but they're out there. Without giving away too much of my anonymity, I have three very flexible jobs that pay a high amount per hour, so I can work less and still pay my bills.

    1- I work as a tour guide with a great company. You work when you are available, you do two hour tours, you get paid a lot per hour. It's a great gig. I highly recommend looking into it.
    2- I work as a brand ambassador. The minimum pay for my company is $25/hr. The events arent soul sucking like handing out flyers and you pick them up when you're available.
    3- I teach at a children's theater company. This is the exception because most would not let you leave for contracts. I just happen to have amazing bosses who are ex-performers and get it. I have also proven myself worthy of flexibility.

    I guess my point is that straight up temping isn't the most sustainable option, especially if you're non eq. It's only flexible to a point and is typically LONG hours. Doesn't leave you much time to take class or go to the gym or just be a person. It took me about a year in the city to figure out what jobs fit my lifestyle best (seriously, I had 12 W-2s to file from 2014...) but these jobs are out there!

    littleeagle 03/22/2015  10:53pm

    I've said it before, I'll say it again. Dogsitting. Seriously, it's the best thing ever. You can make a ton of money off it, and it's not a job that will interfere with auditioning too much. And who doesn't want to play with doggies all day?

    moonstone1520 03/22/2015  11:57pm

    ^^^i can't believe I forgot to ask. How'd you break into petsitting? I'm not picky, I'll do both dogs and cats, I love both, heck even a lizard ;) im not much for babysitting or nannying, I can only handle so mcih of children. I attempted to get ahold of a few petsitting companies in the city, back in November-ish soon after I moved here, only heard from I believe one. Talked a couple times, said they put me on a list for the area I live so I didn't have to travel out ofy way just yet. Never heard back after that. I ADORED animals and would love to break into this. Although this kind of income would concern me come tax time...Im giving an educated guess, it's 1099 at best, or purely self employment? I'd still rather not OWE anything, but as it is, I can't be picky right now :/

    showbizdreamer 03/26/2015  4:26pm

    @Showbizdreamer, I go through I set up my profile, went through the background check (it only costs about $5), and had my first client within three weeks. You set your own prices, and manage your calandar to show when you are and are not available. It's super easy. I think they do 1099s, but I'm not 100% sure. I can send you a link if yo want! :)

    moonstone1520 03/26/2015  5:41pm

    I'd love the link thanks ;)

    showbizdreamer 03/27/2015  9:05am
  • NAB- Midtown Art's Center dance call 03/26/2015  9:07pm

    That dance call was EVERYTHING.
    My back hurts SO MUCH though.


    I was only in the movers callback and I think I have whiplash. I can only imagine how the real dancers feel. They were so nice. It made for a great audition experience.

    Artemis1 03/27/2015  7:01am
  • NAB- Donation Based Audition Class with Arnold Mungioli 01/29/2015  2:21pm

    I was wondering if anyone has done this class before. I was thinking of trying it tonight. If so, what's it like? Do you get the opportunity to work? Is it helpful? Thank you so much for your insight!

    Brady's Mom

    It's wonderful! Not everyone who shows up gets to work because they take their time and many people do full songs, but you learn a helluva lot just by watching.
    I'll be there tonight :-)

    bwaylvsong 01/29/2015  2:58pm

    Do you mind posting the info? Never heard of this, but honestly, I'd love to just pay and sit in the back and listen to the critque.

    NYCActor 01/29/2015  3:13pm
    bwaylvsong 01/29/2015  3:19pm

    Oops- you can click on "Donation-based Musical Theater Audition Classes" on the page I linked to, or see below:

    Welcome to ACCESS: Musical Theater Forum!

    Come By. Bring Your Music.
    Let's get to work!

    MCC New York, 446 West 36th Street, 2nd fl (between 9th & 10th Ave)

    This is a donation-based forum. Suggested donation: $5
    There is no need to sign-up in advance or schedule an appointment. Just Show Up.
    EVERY THURSDAY NIGHT from 7pm - 9pm

    bwaylvsong 01/29/2015  4:10pm

    Did either of you make it last night?

    bwaylvsong 01/30/2015  7:46am

    I made it last night! It was great! I'm hoping I can make it next week. Was definitely a worthwhile two hours. Leaned a lot just by watching.

    Brady's Mom 01/30/2015  1:56pm

    Can you donate and just observe this class?

    bluemoon 01/30/2015  3:31pm

    Yes, absolutely!

    bwaylvsong 01/30/2015  3:43pm

    How does he select who gets to work on materials, if you don't mind me asking? :)

    Fatniss_Neverlean 01/30/2015  5:48pm

    It's just whoever gets up the fastest lol

    bwaylvsong 01/30/2015  8:26pm

    It's tonight! I believe Arnold will be there via Skype.

    bwaylvsong 02/05/2015  3:36pm

    What a great idea! Very encouraging to see those who "get it" helping out actors on a budget.

    krd2c 02/06/2015  9:29am

    Hope to see some new faces tonight!

    bwaylvsong 02/19/2015  5:52pm

    Been wanting to do this for some time now...but I work on Thursday nights. *sad face*

    Carnegie 02/19/2015  6:26pm

    I'll definitely be there within the coming weeks!

    frasierniles 02/19/2015  7:07pm

    He's GREAT!! He came for a masterclass my freshman year of college and he was awesome.

    Advice, though: KNOW WHO HE IS. Know specifics about what he does, what he has worked on, etc. He takes that very seriously. He believes you should know exactly who you are walking into a room with. So stay informed!!

    On working with him: Tell the story as YOU. It's not about a "character" for him, it's about you.

    (Obviously, he will teach you much more than that, but if you start here, you will get a little bit more out of it since most people will be like, "idk I think you did stuff with Disney?" and, "well, my character is blah." So if you stand out, he'll have different things to say to you about it :] )

    ScreltersAnonymous 02/19/2015  7:48pm

    Interesting. Took a class with a casting director from Telsey who made it a point to ask each of us singing where this song came in the show, what the character was doing, how that informed our choices. As opposed to making up some other circumstances. It just goes to show that there's no right answer and if you don't get a callback it doesn't mean you're bad or wrong, just means they didn't agree with your choice. Which sucks in it of itself.

    AudraLupone 02/19/2015  11:57pm

    Everyone's different!!

    And my workshop was a while ago now. So he may have totally changed his opinion!

    But, it just means that you have to do whatever you do well. Be true to you, and do what works, I guess!

    ScreltersAnonymous 02/20/2015  12:09am

    ^Nope, he still prefers you disregard the context of the show for initial audition material. But, he has never said anything that even implied that he expects you to know anything about him or what he has done. I'm learning new things about him every week ;-)

    bwaylvsong 02/20/2015  12:31am

    I believe that Arnold will be implementing a lottery system to determine who gets to go today. See y'all later!

    bwaylvsong 02/26/2015  3:38pm

    Class is cancelled tonight! Stay warm, everyone :-)

    bwaylvsong 03/05/2015  3:26pm

    It's tonight! I won't be there, so here's your chance to go without dealing with me ;-)

    bwaylvsong 03/12/2015  1:07pm

    Hoping to see some new faces tonight!

    bwaylvsong 03/19/2015  2:39pm

    I'm hoping to go next week!

    yolo 03/19/2015  4:20pm

    Arnold will be there via Skype tonight, and I won't be there annoying everybody, so it'll be a nice, low-key night for newcomers :-)

    bwaylvsong 03/26/2015  3:57pm

    Did the class a few weeks ago loved it and highly recommend both him and the accompanist (Sandy?). Loved her even more.

    She also gets involved in critiques and direction - and she has the chops to justify it. That night I wanted help with a song that I think is perfect for many auditions. I have no problem with singing the notes but I've seen so many interpretations of it, I knew I needed feedback and re-direction.

    I came up to the piano with my book and quietly asked, "You familiar with this one?"

    She slapped my shoulder and said, "Honey, I played this every f.....g night in the pit for that show's first two years. No one in the world knows this song better than I do."

    And she was right. After my first run at it she said (naming a specific passage) "You sang a natural a on that note. Shoulda been a flat. Let's get that right before we talk about anything else."

    And we did.

    Then, she and Arnold - him on Skype with a nice clear two-way video link - took me through my concept of the song and totally changed my approach.

    A day or so later I sang it that way a Backstage University meet and greet with a very well respected agent. He came out from behind the table and said "That was an incredibly good job. That song is perfect for you. You did it so well."

    Bottom line, that class was the best $5 I have ever spent since - well, let's not go there.

    nevertoolate 03/26/2015  7:25pm

    Yep, Sande is a legend and offers just as much feedback as Arnold- her advice is incredibly intuitive and helpful. In fact, Arnold always defers to her if they are not completely on the same page.
    Sorry I missed you that week, nevertoolate! Hope you return soon!

    bwaylvsong 03/26/2015  9:53pm

    probably nx Thursday - unless lightening strikes.

    nevertoolate 03/27/2015  6:08am
  • NAB- Trevor EPA 03/06/2015  10:06am

    They're looking for 18+ to play younger, right? Given the guys roles are tenors/baris, it would seem so. And is it worth it to go if you're not built like a 12-14 year old? (I'm female so I'd only be going for the 1 young female role, but at 5'5" I feel like a giant and old compared to the itty bittys at calls like this, regardless of how young I actually look) Sorry if these are stupid questions. My brain is fried after a long week.


    I think you'll get a lot of "go and get seen!" posts but it sounds like you're saying you don't fit the type they want, so why go?

    AudraLupone 03/06/2015  12:38pm

    I fit the character description and look young (maybe not quite 12, but I play teens all the time) but I've been dismissed solely on my height before so that would be my hesitation.

    stagelover3 03/06/2015  2:02pm

    The thing about playing a kid onstage is that you need to clearly be shorter than the adults in order to "read" as a kid to the audience. So 5'5" would likely be too tall for this role. (Having said that, I'm not in casting, and I certainly wouldn't tell anyone not to audition for anything! It's just an opinion!)

    actorsmom 03/06/2015  3:06pm

    Yeah, I look super young, but I'm too tall to play a high school age kid unless the Dad is like 6'5", so I don't go in for those things.

    I mean, if you look like a kid, then why not give it a shot, but I'm sure they want you to be like Annie height.

    AudraLupone 03/06/2015  3:14pm

    Wait...can we bring this back for a second... what was the final verdict? I looked at the posts and break downs for this and nothing really gives a clear answer. Do we think 18+ young look? or actually 12-14?

    megastufforeos 03/25/2015  11:00pm

    I second this! Are they looking for real kids, or for adults to play kids?

    BroadwayCallMe! 03/26/2015  9:01pm

    Bump!! I'm 5'2" and ALWAYS get told I could play a kid on stage, but I don't want to show up and be surrounded by kids!

    hmarie08 03/27/2015  2:11am
  • How do I respectfully decline an offer? 03/26/2015  6:41pm

    This is a total newb question as I am a newb and have never experienced this. I have two offers and I've already made up my mind about which one will be more beneficial financially and also to my resume. How do I decline the other respectfully? How do folks normally word it?


    Something like....

    Dear [Theatre Company],

    Thank you so much for the offer to do [SHOW]. Unfortunately I was recently offered another contract which I have decided to take that would conflict with yours. I wish you all the best with your season and hope to be able to work with you in the future.

    [Your Name],

    thejollyraja 03/26/2015  6:47pm

    Dear Cohoes,

    Sincerely, NOOOOOOOOOOO

    p.s- What's your housing like?

    Fatniss_Neverlean 03/26/2015  6:52pm

    Too often we actors are made aware of how even the slightest hint of comparison can sting. I am thinking of the infamous "We have decided to go in a different direction . . ."

    So, I prefer language that avoids comparisons and choices, yet delivers a simple uninflected message.

    "Thank you for your offer (invitation to audition, etc). I am not available for your project but I sincerely wish you the best.

    Please keep me in mind for other projects. I would love to hear from you."

    nevertoolate 03/26/2015  6:59pm

    I think it's better to say you were offered a contract instead of just that you are "unavailable" because the first one shows that you were available when you auditioned but just got offered something else--to me saying you are unavailable makes it seem like you could have just been auditioning to get in front of a CD or something knowing full well that you wouldn't take the offer. I think theater companies would understand the fact that some jobs pay more/ are more appealing for various other reasons

    gryffindor 03/26/2015  7:07pm

    This is a great topic! I always wondered how much you should explain or keep it 'strictly business.'

    CantaloupeOak 03/26/2015  7:15pm

    gryffindor - This is a great topic and I hope you know I am just trying to share advice I think works well.

    I do not think that simply saying "not available" implies I, as an actor, have been "audition tasting." The timing of multiple auditions, callbacks, more callbacks, delayed offers, etc leaves plenty of opportunity for one to audition for more than one opportunity the same day but then encounter a conflict from an audition from the previous week or even a personal matter.

    Casting knows this can happen. Whenever I am asked to list conflict dates I do that but with the mental reservation " . . . at least as far as I know right now."

    I cannot give a more honest and realistic answer than that.

    The audition we just did probably (and statistically almost certainly) will not callback. So, we take the offer from the week-old audition.

    But I don't think I do either myself or that most recent CD anything helpful by giving any more of a response than the uninflected one I suggested.

    nevertoolate 03/26/2015  7:50pm

    nevertoolate--I totally get what you're saying as well. I just think it looks good for the actor who got another contract to be able to say that the reason you are unavailable is because you booked multiple things at a time! And I don't think it hurts their feelings because it's natural that you would take a part you were offered.

    And I definitely don't think saying you're unavailable implies that you were going to auditions for shows you wouldn't take--I just don't think the extra info could do any harm. But who knows!

    gryffindor 03/26/2015  8:45pm

    Thanks everyone!!! I was able (I believe) to respectfully decline and they even wished me good luck!

    Love2Live 03/27/2015  1:38am
  • Seeking Feedback on Online Signup 02/16/2015  12:09pm

    Hi Everyone,

    We are seeking feedback on our new online open call signup system. Although we appreciate the love, it would be especially helpful to hear about any issues you've had with the system, anything you found confusing, any features you wish could be implemented, etc.

    We are aware of a couple issues already:

    One, people can keep signing up for empty slots after all the available time slots are filled, essentially creating a "limbo" alternate list. The way we dealt with this on Mamma Mia was to add all of those people to an alternate list, which meant that anyone showing up as a walk-in the day of the audition had to wait until all of the PRE-alternates got seen. It wasn't a big deal ultimately because there was such a high rate of no-shows from the PRE-Alt list and everyone got seen, but that is a glitch we are working on.

    Two, users can comment but apparently cannot see the other comments. Only we can see the comments but if we respond, nobody sees them but us. We have received several comments asking for appointments after the poll has closed and we have no way of responding to them. I think there's a way we can block comments, but I want to hear what you guys think.

    Keep in mind that we are using a very basic software that is actually not designed for this type of use, so it IS somewhat limited in terms of features. I am in communication with the developer and hopefully they will be receptive to our needs.

    Thanks very much in advance!

    Joy, Holly, Nikki, and Intern Jen


    Loving comments aside, I would have liked to have seen an instant confirmation. I signed up for a time slot, and then that was it. I was a bit confused if the information was definitely sent through... It wasn't until I got the confirmation email from casting that I was sure I was in. So even just a message saying - we'll get back to you.

    I wasn't sent to a different screen after entering my info in so I was curious!

    NYtheatre 02/16/2015  1:00pm

    Thanks, that's a great suggestion. So far it's not a feature that's available on Doodle, so it would be very time-consuming for us to individually email each person right away. But yeah, I understand that would be helpful.

    JDC 02/16/2015  4:03pm

    Another issue we're having: People sign up for a time slot and then don't show up. Like, a LOT of people do this. It's really unfair but I don't know how to prevent this, other than making a list of frequent no-shows and barring them from signing up. Again, time-consuming. If anyone has a suggestion, we are open!

    JDC 02/16/2015  4:05pm

    I may be wrong, but I don't recall the ability to cancel your appointment. It would be helpful to be able to cancel, and maybe have a wait list of people who would be notified via email if they could take someone's slot.

    theatergirl 02/16/2015  4:18pm

    Trying to find this online sign up system but can't seem to find it. Is there a website to check out?? Thanks so much:)

    insomniac 02/16/2015  4:34pm

    I second theatergirl's comment! I, too, tried finding a place to cancel. This would be helpful to all I think. The system, otherwise, is wonderful, in my opinion. Thank you for working to make everyone's auditioning lives easier!

    baritnr 02/16/2015  7:03pm

    Hi Joy & Casting team,

    I think this service is excellent and gives so many people a great shot at auditioning without having to show up at 6am to sign up.

    I was however unable to attend my call due to a graduation conflict and when I went to cancel there was no option I could see.

    So that could be a very useful feature. Otherwise I think you are paving the way for something great and I hope other casting offices follow.



    Iwanttobreakfree 02/16/2015  7:42pm

    I love the online sign up!

    One suggestion I have, would be to post about the call and say 24-48 hours before that the sign up will go live at a specific time. I check backstage daily and follow you on Facebook and was unable to get a female appointment time, though you were rockstars and I was seen as an alternate. Michael Cassara has been posting a time that the sign up will be live and I find that helpful. Thanks for making this less stressful for us all!

    bookit5678 02/16/2015  9:13pm

    Hi Joy and Team,

    I agree with the above poster - not sure if the facebook announcements weren't reaching my feed but I was unaware that sign ups were going live. It's a great idea and nice that alternates are getting seen but more warning would be awesome so everyone has a chance - especially for us ladies.

    The other idea for soecific shows would be to allow us to electronically self submit for appointments once appts are full- not all of us are able to afford actors access or have agents :) I know we can always send videos which is amazing but if there end up being open times maybe we can get seen at appointments outside of the open call day as well :)

    Elphie318 02/17/2015  10:10am

    I heard it was a great system! But I actually had no idea the online sign up was happening until after it was too late. I follow you on Facebook, but nothing ever showed up in my feed. I didn't even hear about it until a friend said something to me in person at an audition, and by then all of the slots were full/the sign up was closed. Maybe a suggestion for next time is to just found a way to broadcast the news of an online sign up on a broader spectrum? Maybe that's using more sources to get the word out, or just posting about it further in advance? :)

    busybee 02/17/2015  9:42pm

    not able to afford Actors Access? IMO, that is a necessary expensive of the business. It's $2 per submission, or $68 a year.....

    dopplegang 02/18/2015  12:40am

    How do you feel about mimicking an ECC? If you had a virtual sign up list, everyone's assigned a number and then shows up at 9/9:30 and slots are given out in order to those present.

    With the current system a better confirmation system needs to be in place, I got a confirmation last week on doodle but it got lost in cyberspace somewhere. Perhaps a proprietary system would be best, but not sure how cost effective that would be.

    diggerydoo 02/19/2015  2:31am

    I also agree that a pre-signup announcement with a date/time of when it would go live would be helpful. Is there a way to use cookies to prevent people from signing up multiple people as well?

    diggerydoo 02/19/2015  2:34am

    Is it possible to post the "pre-sign up" info (date, time that sign-up goes live) on the postings for a given audition? I think it would help if sign up info. was all in one, industry specific place that actors check regularly.

    toloveanotherperson 02/19/2015  2:54am

    @diggerydoo noooo the best part is that we already had times!! That way you just have to show up for your time slot, and you have an appointment, and you feel like a real person whose time matters!

    gryffindor 02/19/2015  7:22am

    I had an issue with the online system: I didn't get a callback. Is there anything you can do to improve that feature in the future? Thank you!

    Fatniss_Neverlean 02/19/2015  7:29am

    I really like the idea, but I signed up and never got on the list. I also like the idea of running it like an ECC.

    Icanseeyou 02/19/2015  1:11pm

    The only issue I had was with needing to cancel/reschedule my appointment. Michael Cassara uses a system where you are able to 'cancel' your appointment if you can no longer attend the audition. Once that slot becomes 'available' again online, another actor can select it for themselves. It seems like a better system of allowing audition slots to free up once the registration goes live and all of the initial slots are taken. I think Michael keeps registration open until right before the audition starts so we can cancel our appointment or pick up a new time slot depending on the circumstances. I hope that makes sense!
    Once again, thank you for this amazing system. I have literally waited less than five minutes at both of your recent open calls due to your new protocol!

    lampshade 02/19/2015  2:13pm

    Hey All,

    Update on our online signup system: We are trying out a new system that actually sends instant confirmations and allows you to change or cancel your time slot with a click, rather than having to go through the terrible inconvenience of sending an email to cancel your appointment. We have had an inordinately high no-show rate at our last few calls and we are hoping that by making cancellations easier, we will mitigate that particular problem. We are also toying with the idea of announcing the signup time in advance so that you can be ready to click your mouse at the exact moment the list goes live, and you won't miss it. And we will still have the walk-in alternate list -- so far, we have managed to see EVERYONE on the alternate list for EVERY project for which we've used an online signup! So that's good.

    It's a work in progress, but once we get the system down and get it working the way we want it to, we think it'll be a win-win all around. Hopefully, with the new system, we will eliminate the problem of having a 40% no-show rate. If that many people sign up and don't bother to show up, then it defeats the purpose, and we might as well go back to the old way. Let's not do that. Let's make this work. If you sign up, show up.

    Keep an eye out for the next open calls coming up soon, and let us know how you like the new system!


    JDC 03/26/2015  11:53pm
  • NAB - Singing Night 03/26/2015  7:31pm

    Hi y'all. I recently was invited to singing night with a talent agency (yay!) however I have no idea what a singing night is (whaa?) Any insight as to what I should be preparing both mentally and material wise? Any and all input would be great appreciated!


    I was invited to the same singing night :) You were probably seen at a showcase by one of the agents and they are bringing you in to sing for the entire team so that all the agents know what you sound like. It's just a second audition, a callback if you will. Break a leg!

    nyc_etoile 03/26/2015  11:38pm
  • James/Jay Rockberg? Brooklyn Playhouse? 03/26/2015  11:46am

    Anyone know this person or the collective? They've been contacting me recently and asked me to join their filmmaking collective. Their website now says they are a "creative branding company" and I can't shake a bad feeling about them for some reason. They just emailed me to invite me to their launch party, and I want to see if anyone has had bad (or good!) experiences.


    So glad someone else is having a similar experience!

    I too have been in contact with someone associated with them ... After some digging, I did find their website and theyre a very new company. It wasn't actually clear to me what they did... And I havent responded because I feel uneasy about the whole thing. Maybe theyre just new and looking for people to spread the word about their company? I'm not sure.

    Anyone else? Other thoughts?

    sweetcsh 03/26/2015  11:55am


    veryintonoodles 03/26/2015  12:55pm

    This happened to me too after I submitted to a web series. They told me they had forwarded my information to brooklyn playhouse and they hoped that was alright.... Anyone know anything about them?

    la2nycexpress 03/26/2015  1:55pm

    Ditto on the web series! I googled all of their names and nothing came up ... Which is a red flag for me, personally. And I had to dig hard to find the Brooklyn Playhouse website, which I believe is

    sweetcsh 03/26/2015  2:02pm

    they (he?) contacted me in January saying they were looking for new talent and should I be interested they'd like to tell me more.

    I responded saying, sure, feel free to give me more info.

    They responded saying they'd be interviewing soon and would let me know when would be best to come in. They attached a pdf with their mission statement and some other info and wrote in the email "Feel free to give it a read and let me know at your earliest convenience"

    It was unclear to me what I was supposed to "let him know" and I wasn't sure if I was supposed to be waiting for him to tell me when to come in and interview, or if I was supposed to respond.

    Anyway I wasn't all that interested to begin with and never responded and haven't heard anything since.

    I too am curious as to whether anyone pursued this...

    basicNAB 03/26/2015  2:14pm

    Hmm, it seems like they've reached out to a lot of people. Has anyone heard of this launch party they're throwing?

    And yes, that seems to be the right website (it's in James' email signature), but the information on it has changed from "film collective" to "creative branding," which I found sketchy.

    Any other thoughts?

    veryintonoodles 03/26/2015  10:57pm
  • NAB: For Every Actor Who Has Survived Audition Season 03/26/2015  12:29pm

    Congrats to every Actor who has made it through audition season. This one is for you!

    As Dreams Are Made

    And it's not over yet ladies and gents...not quite...we can do this...

    showbizdreamer 03/26/2015  3:18pm

    I know :-/ BUT I can see the light at the end of the tunnel...almost there guys!

    As Dreams Are Made 03/26/2015  10:32pm