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  • Not getting anywhere in this business... 03/12/2018  7:00pm

    Hey guys!

    This audition season has sucked. Barely any callbacks, TONS of type outs, and the worst part, if I get in the room, I'm getting mostly positive feedback for the work I do. That's the worst part because that shows that it's literally NOT in my control no matter how much harder I train or anything...Yes, of course I have clunker auditions too but still.

    Example: Had an appointment today where they were laughing and saying stuff like "that was great work" and yada yada, and then BAM, no callback...don't want to give away the theatre, but I can assure people these are NOT shows only certain people can fit. I just never fit the "types" of people these regional theaters are looking for so they can make money...

    That's the thing, none of these theaters are EVER "looking" for someone like me. An East Asian (yes the "East" part is important...), young looking, male. Or if they are, they're looking for like one to "diversify" their cast...

    I even had an off-broadway audition appointment where the casting director took a full 20 seconds to compliment my choices and how well prepared I was, and still no callback.

    Does this happen to other people? What gives? Before anyone says bullshit like maybe you're "just not good enough", a) I always do what I can to improve and b) my training is clearly not the issue if casting people keep saying that my work is good, unless of course these people are seriously ALWAYS lying to me...But why would casting people take the time to say "that was good work" if maybe it wasn't? Ugh...

    If it's not my training or auditioning skills, what else can I do? If anything, how do the people who have felt similarly deal with it emotionally?

    I seriously WISH it was my audition skills not being up to par so I can at least work towards a goal. If it's just my "type" preventing me from getting regional gigs, what am I even doing pursuing musical theatre?


    We all have a type. And it works FOR us or against us. I’m very very very latina, currly hair and busty. I fit only certain roles. Don’t dissect it. Just keep auditioning. We can control our face and features and our ethnicity. Embrace it.

    Mimimarquez 03/12/2018  7:03pm

    Feeling the same way you are and I’m a white girl. Busty, but tiny waist, nice looking but not conventionally pretty. I get all sorts of praise, even when I take classes or do coaching with various Broadway MD’s....but no one has a place to cast me. It’s driving me nuts because exactly like you said, if I got negative feedback at least I’d have a goal to work on.
    So just know you’re not alone. We’re all in our own type hell, whether it’s due to “diversifying” or other conventional MT demands. Just have to keep slugging along...that’s all I’ve got right now. But you aren’t alone.

    ‡‡‡ 03/12/2018  7:37pm

    Happens to all of us.


    Rain On my Parade 03/12/2018  8:25pm

    @Rain On My Parade Well frankly, the whole being the most under-represented "type" in theater thing, constantly going to calls where I'm the only Asian American in the room, and not having anyone besides Jackie Chan for film and Telly Leung for Broadway to look up to in the entertainment industry is not a struggle that happens to everyone.That's obviously an exaggeration, but not by much...

    I was also the ONLY Asian musical theatre major in my school for 3 years and only the more progressive professors believed in me.

    Do a lot of my struggles align with a lot of other people's struggles in the industry like constant type outs? Yes. But most people I see at auditions can't relate to the reason, not fully...

    lolacting 03/12/2018  9:19pm

    I had an appointment today where they laughed at my comedic song and I was told I did a very good job. No callback. Last week I did an 8 bar cut at an open call, made everyone laugh and then watched the director (or CD) look at my resume for at least 3 seconds before deciding not to give me a callback. It sucks cause it seems like I'm hitting my mark. I'm just assuming it's stuff that's out of my control, but it does sucks.

    TJ5616 03/12/2018  9:33pm

    I totally feel you. This season has been disappointing for me. And I’ve felt super prepared and have had great response as well... and like you, very few callbacks. I had a friend tell me that booking lead or supporting roles at regional theatres as an equity member without bway credits is almost harder than booking a bway show. This is the first year she’s had more than like 4 callbacks... and this is the first year she’s had a bway credit on her resume.
    Hang in there!! I feel like so many people feel this exact way

    Laura20 03/12/2018  9:39pm

    It's been a year and a half since I graduated college and I JUST got a job for this summer. I was called in for good jobs by good casting directors, had really great auditions, had callbacks that went really well and things just never fell into place. I'm not kidding you- last week I finally found out the cause of a foot injury that has lasted for a year AND got my first job offer for my dream show.

    It's all about timing. If you can hang in there, do it. As my therapist says- the law of averages states that the coin can't come up tails 100% of the time. It will eventually come up heads. You just have to be patient. Hang in there :)

    AllAmerican325 03/12/2018  9:47pm

    I’m sorry but you are dismissing all fabulous and talented Asian American actors on Broadway and on tour. My friend Andrew is doing “miss you as hell” at the public and he’s Asian. Kelvin in spongbob, Jaygee in School of Rock, Ali in Phantom among many many more. Asian American talent has been super present for the past years and fighting the good fight. Just my 2 cents

    CalltheBitchOut 03/13/2018  12:06am

    I feel you. The pain is tough and it’s felt by many people. Personally considering giving up even though I’m being told I’m doing “everything right” by people in the business who count. Totally agree with this year not being a great season for MANY actors. It’s just a matter of “when” for many of us.

    LittlebigCharacter 03/13/2018  12:15am

    Guys is not you. Is the biz. The infrastructure of the biz is not there. Broadway employs arousn 500 people all year long. Many of those don’t leave their shows. If you add all the theaters in the US and the shows they do is not equal to the amount of professional actors and new actors graduating form school.

    The jobs are simply not there. There’s not enough jobs for the amount of people auditiong here and local actors. Is a game of numbers.

    So yeah you are probably doing a fantastic work in the audition room but I’d they don’t have a job or they need to hire a local or a name you are not going to get it.

    Don’t take it personal. Kepp auditioning

    OneMoreBoy 03/13/2018  12:19am

    Hi! I'm also Asian-American (Okinawan/Chinese/Russian mix- 100% Hawaii girl + American as apple pie + dreadful at every Asian accent with zero desire to improve in that one aspect). The best way to handle this has been to diversify what I do- this year the goal is a first booked gig in film/tv/commercials- basically any on camera work. Any musical theatre bookings would be nice and certainly welcome, but it's not the end-game. Also, just started taking some drop in improv classes due to some great advice I got in the last few weeks. It's awesome because it's both a ton of fun and a valuable skill as well! :-D Also, took a tap improv class tonight because, well, I could! Think about all of the things that you want to do, and the more diversified your interests are, the less the open calls will get ya down. In any case, I hope things look up soon! Sometimes great things happen literally 1.5 days after you feel like you've hit rock bottom. Chin up! You got this!!

    ThePineapplePrincess 03/13/2018  12:38am

    Onemoreboy, don't forget that not only do most actors not leave their show, but the ones that do, go right over to another show when it opens. The same people get hired over and over again. I've seen the same African American dancer/singer, from Canada no less, who did not go to college, in 5 shows in the past 8 years. I forget her name, but she's been a bright, shining dancing queen in the ensemble. She isn't easy to forget if you see dance heavy Broadway shows.

    whattheheck 03/13/2018  8:28am

    @lol - I would just like to point out that your ‘type’ is not the same as your ethnicity....that said, you are correct in that Asians are very under represented in the entertainment industry on the whole. But that is a separate issue..

    All I’m saying is, we ALL feel down and out in this business for one reason or another. I empathize with that. However, I also get tired of hearing about it, in what seems like every day because of the fact that so many actors struggle. It’s not centered on one person for a single reason. So yes, WELCOME.

    Rain On my Parade 03/13/2018  9:08am

    Alright. Trust me I feel you on this. I'm a Korean American character actor. However,
    to essentially blame your lack of booking work on theatres' not hiring Asians is irresponsible.

    We all know that Asian representation is super low consistently on Broadway and in professional regional theatres, but as it was mentioned before, lets not confuse "race" with "type." Just because I'm Asian does not mean I automatically fit ALL the "Asian" shows. Physically, I don't fall into what is considered a typical "Asian male body type," so it cuts me out of a lot of Asian roles. Type wise, there wasn't a whole lot of opportunity for me this season. Don't fall into the trap of playing the "race card" when you're not getting cast. It's not a healthy way to think and will do more damage to you personally, than to your career.

    Though people do recommend classes and such, I'd go one step further. Take classes in things that would make you even more interesting to casting. For example, there are very VERY few Asian musical theatre performers that I know that play guitar. Take up guitar. That's just an example, but look around and see what other performers (and in this case specifically Asian performers) aren't typically doing, and add one or two of those skills.
    The more options you give a casting director/theatre, the more likely you'll get cast.

    Big things that I've seen theatres as of late seeking have been actors who play instruments (though this has been a fad since the Company revival), puppetry, sign language, circus training.

    This business sucks, and doesn't get any easier. Keep pushing. Be another trailblazer that other young Asian performers want to be.

    ByTheHammerofStritch 03/13/2018  10:22am

    I would even take this a step farther- there are tons of Asian American actors who play the guitar- learn something truly extraordinary like the banjo or the autoharp- they will never see it coming! And those are versatile instruments for sure! :)

    ThePineapplePrincess 03/13/2018  10:27am

    @Gagainsider, yes it’s improving, but listing examples of Asian stars doesn’t disprove my point of us being underrepresented, especially in the regional circuit...everything else makes sense so far

    lolacting 03/13/2018  11:17am

    We all experience this in various ways based on our race and look. Even white people. However, there are fewer Asians at auditions than many other ethnicities, so statistically you will see less Asians onstage. Doesn't mean they are necessarily being discriminated against behind the casting table. Best of luck to all in this challenging season!

    krd2c 03/13/2018  12:54pm

    I'm not really sure what you're wanting to hear here that you aren't hearing. Is it, yes, your ethnicity and other people's close mindedness to that are the main reasons you don't get callbacks or parts? Would hearing that make you feel better? What would it constructively do for you? Look, I think we all understand it can be a struggle for minorities in this industry. You can either go find another industry where you aren't being immediately judged based on how you look, or you can persevere. Instead of trying to get opinions from strangers, what are your teachers saying? How about your mentors? They're the ones that should know you really well and be able to have these conversations with you.

    And if you don't have mentors you can turn to, or teachers you see regularly, you aren't doing everything you can to better yourself. This is a collaborative art for a reason. You can't expect to accomplish everything on your own.

    vaboy27 03/13/2018  4:14pm

    @ByTheHammerofStritch ... APPLAUSE for that really interesting and truly fresh, helpful info. I'm totally NOT Asian. Nor a man. But your insight is clean and clear and valuable for tons of us. Let's face it, no matter our race/ethnicity, we picked a hard industry whose very job it is to judge us by the cover. Too fat/skinny, too old/young, not beautiful enough, not enough credits, too dark, not dark enough, too plain to remember, too distinctive to blend in...It's always something! Bringing "value added" (to use a marketing/sales term) is just smart practice and may just help overcome some of those "too" problems...!

    MyNewFakeName 03/13/2018  4:27pm

    @lolacting, so generally, I’m seeing constructive criticism/advice on here that could be helpful. As an Asian actor, feeling the same way and I want to thank most of the posters above because this has helped me and can help the OP approach it in a new way and make them feel like they aren’t alone, which is always helpful...

    To the few posters that are just posting to make the OP feel bad about feeling’re the reason this business feels lonely when it doesn’t have to be. Sometimes, simply having people relate to even parts of your struggle is all people need to move forward.

    This is the BITCHING post...OP you’re NOT alone. Keep moving. We got this.

    karatemaster111 03/13/2018  7:56pm

    Haha thanks @karatemaster111. Don’t worry, I tune out mean people lol. Yeah I was having a bad day but feel fine now. Thanks for all of the CONSTRUCTIVE posts haha.

    lolacting 03/13/2018  8:08pm

    They can be honestly praising your talent and value as an entertainer at the audition while admitting to themselves that unfortunately you don't happen to fit any of the roles available for one reason or another.

    Look at it like that and you'll last a lot longer in hte business; long enough, even, to book your next job. It does happen...

    Ron Gielgud 03/14/2018  12:38pm

    Lolacting, what auditions have you been to lately? I feel like I know exactly who you are, like I’ve seen you around, and it could just be that you look young.

    anatole 03/14/2018  4:41pm

    @lloyd You might know me as the guy that towers over everyone haha and there's a lot of young looking Asian guys. We generally look younger than our age (not all the time obviously). I mean the more I'm thinking about it, of course the obvious hits me that it could be other reasons (duh) like my age look. It could also be my slightly heavier weight, or maybe I'm too tall and it doesn't match my young look, idk...There's a thousand reasons and I was honestly just having a bad day, like we all do.

    That's why the bitching post exists. There's just not a lot of people that can relate, but I appreciate the majority of posts that offered suggestions to help me move forward or at least made me feel not alone in all of this. To the mean people, well, they exist too haha. We will just have to see. This business be cray cray

    lolacting 03/14/2018  7:20pm

    Also a young looking Asian actor. I can't relate to the too tall thing and I have the privilege of not worrying about my weight, but I feel you on everything else. Nice to know I'm not alone.

    newtothisbiz 03/14/2018  7:25pm

    i *totally* feel you. sure, aspects of this issue are to some extent a thing for all actors because it's a rough business overall, but the unique east asian frustration with having a small percentage of job opportunities out there and whatnot is very very real. it's definitely improving, and us being out there forming relationships with CDs and showing that we have the goods is part of that progress. here on bitching post, we're looking for advice, discourse, but sometimes just to commiserate (aka Bitch), and that's a productive and necessary process too when done with the aim of processing and moving forward, as it seems you are. i find that it greatly helps to let off steam with other performers in the same boat. it's validating and in many cases, once i've acknowledged, "yep, i got typed out for race on that one," and vented my frustration, it helps me put that part aside and go back to focusing on what i can control, improving my technique, self care, and the like. i feel one has to go and do some bitching on the side from time to time, to let it out, so that when you get in the room, you can be your best and most optimistic self. it's getting better, and we're a part of that. congrats on all your positive feedback. i bet there are many people rooting for you and looking for opportunities to cast you. onward!!!!! <3

    nemichan 03/17/2018  3:40am