Author Topic: COMMUNICATION: Thanks for coming out and auditioning, but....  (Read 3102 times)

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sarahdk

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For some reason I have a hard time making the phone calls after auditions to the actors who didn't get cast. I don't know why it makes me so uncomfortable. I cringe every time a director hands me the "no" pile of resumes and headshots.

I like to try to do it during the day to get answering machines.. or sometimes after a couple drinks... but its a painful chore for me to do... and there's only so many times I can get laryngitis each year... (haha).

Any comments? Suggestions? Words of encouragement? Psychoanalysis?

 :-\

« Last Edit: Jun 08, 2009, 11:59 pm by PSMKay »

BalletPSM

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Re: Thanks for coming out and auditioning, but....
« Reply #1 on: Dec 06, 2006, 07:10 pm »
Find out if you even have to make phone calls to those who didn't get cast.  If the theatre company doesn't require it, then don't do it. 

Instead, inform everyone at auditions that you will be letting them know via phone call only IF they ARE cast.  If they don't hear from you, they didn't get cast.  Then compose a letter that the director or producer of the theatre company signs to send out (via snail mail) to the people who aren't cast saying "thank you for auditioning, unforunately we don't have a place for you in this production.  Please audition for our next show, X."  Or something to that effect.

Of course, if the company requires you to make "no" phone calls as well, then it's a different story.  yuck.
Stage managing is getting to do everything your mom told you not to do - read in the dark, sit too close to the TV, and play with the light switches!

Mac Calder

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Re: Thanks for coming out and auditioning, but....
« Reply #2 on: Dec 07, 2006, 02:47 am »
If you did not feel anything, then I would worry that you were not human.

I would certainly try to find out if you can inform the "No"s through another method.

Looking at it from the applicants perspective, I find that when I have applied for a position and receive a letter in the mail, I usually know it is a "Dear John" (ie "thanks but no thanks") and am more prepared for it. Phone calls are nasty though. They usually go something like this:

"Hello, is Mac there?"
"Speaking"
"Hi, it's HRDroid1 from Company 1, how are you today?"
"Fine thanks, you?"
"Can't complain. The reason I am calling is because you attended an interview with us on Day X of Month..."
"Yes?"
"We were really impressed with your application..."
"Thankyou"
"However, I am afraid that your application was unsuccessful at this point in time..."
"Oh..."
"We will of course keep you in mind in case any other position comes up in the near future, if that is okay?"
"Sure. Thankyou."
"Have a good day"
beep... beep... beep...

Basically, there are is a good minute of buildup where you think "Have I got it" whilst the HR Drone (or employer) builds up the courage to tell you "Thanks, but no thanks".

A letter is kinder.

If the company insist on phone calls, NEVER leave them on the answering machine. That is even crueler. Preferably don't leave a message asking them to call you back either.

Get STRAIGHT to the point. I know that the small talk makes you think you are cushioning the blow, but you aren't. "Hello, is XYZ there" ... "Hello XYZ, I am calling from XYZ in response to your interview last week, unfortunately, we cannot offer you a position with our company at this time." THEN do your damage control if you wish.

Write yourself a script - it may make the chore slightly more clinical, and by extension, less personal.

philimbesi

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Re: Thanks for coming out and auditioning, but....
« Reply #3 on: Dec 08, 2006, 07:49 am »
That's one thing that makes me glad that I'm in community theater.   We just post the cast lists on the company website and let the crying begin.

I'd have to say that I agree with Mac on the letter approach, the absense of contact between audition and "Dear Actor" letter... is ususally a good clue that you didn't make it.  However if you're required to go with the phone call, it would be better to go with the "Band Aid" approach... just get to the point and get it over with quickly. 

centaura

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Re: Thanks for coming out and auditioning, but....
« Reply #4 on: Dec 09, 2006, 11:12 am »
Ow!  That sounds like a very, very painful chore!  I can even psychoanalyse: its a simple fear of rejection.  They aren't people that you know, but deep down almost everyone has some type of fear of rejection, and calling someone to tell them negative news is about the most straight forward way to invite them to reject you that you could find.

I would petition the theatre to see if you could send snail-mail letters instead.  I totally agree with the folks who said that that would be much kinder.  Like Mac said, when you get a letter, you can pretty much assume before opening it that its a no, but hearing a person on the phone tends to mean that you're getting somewhere.

Of course, I have also had the opposite experience than Mac's phone call example, I got a letter once that was the offer - so I went through the opposite emotional reaction when I got it.  I though I didn't have the job, but then read the letter and realized that I did.

But that would be my advice - try to talk your theatre into sending the Dear John letters, it will be easier for both parties.

-Centaura

Mac Calder

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Re: Thanks for coming out and auditioning, but....
« Reply #5 on: Dec 09, 2006, 02:34 pm »
I have had letters that were offers too, but that at least, is a pleasent surprise - admittedly, I am usually tempted to throw it out before reading it - after all, Dear Johns are a fairly standard letter, so why bother reading a letter that basically just says "Thanks, but no thanks" - but fools hope always prevails, and occasionaly, it is right.

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