Dear Understanding JR Troupe,
*Your cast list will come out at 5pm tomorrow (Tuesday)*. If this is your first year dealing waiting for a cast list to come out you really need to go over the attached document with your child before 5pm. If you are not familiar with theater, it is important that you have a basic understanding of the normal “issues” when casting, as well as the additional “issues” created by HST’s “share the wealth” policy. PLEASE print up the attached document and have it ready. *No matter how many years your student has been with HST, if they are disappointed with their part, you are going to need the info in this document.*
*I am going to cut and paste the last part of this document because we it has some new explanations and includes* the most important message for parents: your reactions/comments have a huge impact on your student. Dealing with your own expectations and potential disappointment before the cast list comes out will make it much easier for your child. They do not need to feel that they “let you down” on top of being disappointed. * Being upset with your child may seem like you are commiserating with your child, but it means your child is processing your emotions as well as theirs. * We suggest stepping back and saying, “I am so sorry you are disappointed. I definitely understand why you feel that way, but it doesn’t mean you are any less important. I’m going to love you and be proud of you no matter what role you have.” Here is the new info in our casting document:
It is important to realize that with a limited number of students in the troupe (vs. the 100+ students that might audition for a show in a regular school) , HST does not always have the perfect fit for every role. Final casting is a massive puzzle. *Directors often end up casting the show two or three ways before settling on the one that brings them peace*. *In every case there are compromises and at least one student the director will say, “I wish I had something more for this student.”* Also, the director is aware of future yrs:
· Sometimes a director casts a non-graduating student in a role because it will be a good moment in the sun for them & they aren’t sure they’ll have a ‘moment’ for them in later. This means that a student who had a bigger part before their graduating year, may not get a big part their last year.
· Sometimes a director wishes they could cast a student in a part but they realize that would limit them from casting them in a big part later on, so they “save” them for a future show. *Please assure your student that their value in HST has nothing to do with the size of their part. *There is a saying in theater, “There are no small parts, only small actors.” This statement is true because *it is the ensemble’s reactions and interactions that bring a scene to life. **They** are responsible for transporting the audience to another place and time.* Good ensemble work is the best evidence of being a seasoned actor and HST takes great pride in our ensemble work being top notch. Please *show your child that you value ensemble work by talking to them about the creativity/skills you see in ensemble players*. Remember, the parent’s reaction/attitude toward casting has the greatest impact on a student’s outlook
*Please know that there is a lot of prayer support for your students and for you, as you travel the journey of excitement, nerves, anticipation, and (potentially) disappointments. * *We suggest you give you child some time to just be disappointed and then go back and reaffirm their value by reviewing the casting challenges document.* After that, please encourage them to choose to make the most of a performance year in which they are not particularly excited about their part. Sometimes, those “easy” years are the ones where they have the most fun because they have time to relax and socialize. We’ve also found that sometimes those are the years where we see huge character growth in a student, which ultimately has a greater impact on their future lives than any part in a show, ever could. I often wonder how many suicides could have been prevented if the person had learned how to process disappointment and realize that their real value does not come from what they accomplish, but from who they are as a person.