There are very few things that we take more seriously than making sure that we are teaching our students to act ethically and professionally in their pursuit of the performing arts. We really expect that our students treat their fellow students, cast or ensemble members, and so forth with respect. More important, we expect that they set an example of how to act to everyone that they come into contact with.
We are proud to have a new theatre program up and running and we’ve met a lot of new, talented young people in the past year. When they come to audition for us we never know whether just what to expect – we’ve been surprised several times by people that we’ve literally had to beg to get to sing or even come in and go through the audition process becoming totally turned on by theatre and discovering a whole new talent they never knew they had.
At the same time we’ve unfortunately had to deal with some disappointing behaviors. These are the things that we work so hard to make sure that OUR students know that they are 100% “no-nos” with us…
Nothing is more unethical or unprofessional than the actor or actress who accepts a role in one show and then auditions for a conflicting show and accepts a role with more notoriety or stature within that cast and leaving the first show with a major gap in it’s cast. When this happens it leaves a lasting impression on the director and the cast members about the actor and when they get cast in another show people are left wondering if they can really count on that person or if they’re going to “jump ship” on them at some point. In the professional world, part shopping usually results in the actor’s name and reputation preceding them and eventually they realize that no matter how many times they audition they are getting passed over and left out.
The saddest part is when a talented young person is placed in the position by a “parental decision.” We hope that parents will always help their children understand that there are no small roles, only small actors. It is an opportunity to teach a child about the importance of making a commitment and sticking to it. It’s unfortunate when the parental decision fails to send a positive message to their child.
We take part shopping extremely seriously – so much so that our policy for cast members is that if they wish to shoot for a better role in another production we expect them to resign from our cast before auditioning.
We can’t say enough about how negatively this affects a show cast. It does nothing to make a show better, in fact it makes the positive, working relationships that are essential in a theatrical production very difficult to achieve. Frankly, if you’re someone that acts this way, enjoys gossiping, starting rumors, or putting others down; we just plain don’t want you in one of our shows! There’s enough drama for everyone already in every script. We don’t need to add any!
Hey! We know that people don’t always get along. It’s nothing new. What we expect is that people with differences find a way to put them aside and work together for the good of everyone and the success of the show. No, we really DON’T expect you to like everyone but we DO expect you to learn how to work with people that you may not care for. This is an important life lesson and learning this now will help you when you are out in that cold, cruel working world and have difficult people that you have to work with!
Now, if you’re someone that doesn’t get why we feel this way, you’ve missed something really important and we hope that your experience with us will help you learn the important social skills that will make you successful in life!