As a parent newly navigating the theatre scene in metro Atlanta I have run into some things I found myself unprepared for. One of the biggest things is how long we are waiting for things.
For years we were used to school plays on a smaller scale and some church productions. Marshall was always chosen as a lead, even if he did not audition for it. A year ago my son did his first non-school, non-church, but not a professional production. This was my introduction to what I call the waiting game.
Now to clarify some things:
Non-Professional Productions or amateur dramatics, are productions in which all of the actors are not being paid. Most times these productions have a production fee that ranges in the hundreds and does not include miscellaneous things such as snacks, meals, transportation nor beverages for your child.
Community Theatre typically performs pieces created for a certain community of people. For example, “Hollar If Ya hear me” playing at Southwest Arts Center on the southside of Atlanta makes sense vs trying to sell out those tickets in North Atlanta. A production of In the Heights being done in Community Theatre that is predominately Hispanic makes complete as that show brings out the beauty of the Latin culture and pays homage to a particular group of people. The shows most likely will pay their actors vs their actors paying them to be seen.
Reginal Theatre is professional or semi-professional in that many of its actors are being paid. These theatres have their own seasons. The term regional theatre most often refers to a professional theatre outside New York City. A regional theatre may be a non-profit, commercial, union, or non-union house. For example here in Atlanta, we have a lot of Reginal Theatres, the ones we have had the privilege of frequenting are The Aurora Theatre, Serenbe Playhouse, The Horizon and The Alliance Theatre.
Now that I’ve given some background following this story should help:
A new theatre company is opening and held open casting calls today. My son in all of his eagerness as a Broadway hopeful had this audition on our calendar at least a month in advance. We were all prepared for this day. Normally, I take Marshall to the majority of his auditions and rehearsals. I’m used to waiting things out after our first experience with a non-school production. You read about that experience under Stage Mom Chronicles V1.
This weekend my husband volunteered to take Marshall and give me a break. They left out pretty early. Auditions were to begin at 10 am. They arrived around 9:40 am thinking they would get ahead of the crowd and it was already crowded. Marshall and I texted throughout the day to be updated on how things were going:
9:50am – He’s in line to get a number.
9:55am- He begins to see people he knows. From actors in shows, we’ve been too, to actors with their own camps, all in line at this open call.
10:34am-He finally has a number #130
4:38pm- His number is called
6:30pm- Still in the audition room
Now if you do that math, he sat all day waiting for his opportunity just to be seen. This doesn’t even have anything to do with callbacks. Now, remember my husband say there all day waiting because our kid is underage he can’t drive himself yet. He was watching people and seeing their numbers increase. In my research, I’ve learned that at an open call audition not everyone is seen especially when Equity can go in before non-equity. While my son was able to be seen, a lot of people were not.
Welcome to the Waiting Game Friends.