Student Blog: Climbing Uphill – Ways to Keep Performing When Not Cast

Not cast in your schools main stage show? Not a worry! Here's what to do.

By: Oct. 30, 2023
Student Blog: Climbing Uphill – Ways to Keep Performing When Not Cast
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Going to school or college for theatre is something meant to prepare performers for the realities of a career in the arts. Unfortunately, one of those realities is not getting cast in every show you audition for. Even in an educational theatre setting, you likely won’t be cast in every show or project you submit for– and that’s totally fine! We’ve all been there. However, just because you may not be cast in this semester's big play or musical doesn’t mean you’re out of performing for the season! Here are some ways you can keep your performance shoes on regardless of your casting status.

The first thing I would always try is just to see what else is out there. Sometimes while fixating on the main shows your school is producing, you may not even realize the amount of other opportunities to perform that are probably right under your nose! Lots of schools have dance or vocal/a cappella groups you could look into joining to keep honing in your skills. Along with these, you could seek out the same with clubs, as some schools may have a Drama Society or play reading/writing clubs! Make a note to check to see if your school has any clubs or groups of this nature you may be interested in joining, and give it a shot if you like! You may pick up some new skills– as well as a new friend or two! 

If teams and clubs aren’t your thing, not to worry! The great thing about being in school with a bunch of artists is constantly being surrounded by new work and creation– so check in with your peers about any potential opportunities for personal projects! Someone you know could be working on a new play, dance piece, or class project and looking for people to workshop or perform in it, and this is the perfect way to help someone out while also getting to practice your craft. Reaching out to people and keeping an eye out for independent projects and workshops is a great way to stay connected and get experience. 

Lastly, if you’re having trouble finding opportunities on campus– make your own! Get a group of friends together and choreograph a dance, do a readthrough of your favorite play, or record yourselves doing a song together! I’m an avid believer that when you have nothing to do, you can ALWAYS make something to do, and whether on your own or in a group of people, you can make the choice to get to work on a big project, or just have a fun evening of extra practice! I often find that I get the most personal work and progress done in seasons where I’m not cast in shows, as it allows me to really have time to fine-tune my skills as well as other works, like plays I’m writing! Really make sure to cherish this time of freedom, because you really do get the time to work on whatever you want creatively. 

Not being in a show doesn’t mean you have to be not performing. There are tons of opportunities in your department, in your social group, and probably in your personal roster to dive into if you give yourself the freedom to explore them! These types of opportunities can be extremely beneficial, as you’ll grow in the amount of various experiences you’ll have been a part of, which will make you more well-rounded as an artist, as well as give you a taste of work outside the box. If you’re feeling stunted this creative season by a lack of cast lists, do not fret! Cherish the opportunity to be available for these new experiences and free up time to play with and explore what else might be out there in your community! You really never know what you might find :)


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