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Drama teachers/mums/anybody? I need opinions

(28 Posts)
AgadorSpartacus Sat 05-Jul-14 13:45:37

My sons drama and dance school hold the contract for our local panto to supply dancers. My DS is 12 and 5ft 7ins. We were told last year that he couldn't audition aa he was too tall for the juniors but too young for seniors. This year he was encouraged to audition. I emailed the principal of the school to ensure he was eligible. She said "I dont see why not". So we sent him to the prep classes and he auditioned.

I have been informed today that he hasn't got in because he is too tall for the juniors but not

advanced enough skill wise for the seniors and would I break it to him! He will be devastated. Apparently his audition was fantastic but he is too tall. Always was too tall. Her reason for allowing us to put him in for it was so he would gain experience.

We understand that he won't get everything he auditions for as does he but he was NEVER going to get this. We feel he was set up for a fall by her.

The irony is that tonight he is performing with them at a large venue and tomorrow both my dcs are performing with them.

Instinct tells me she has behaved unethically but I dont want it to look like we are spitting the dummy that he didn't get in. If he'd lost out due to a bad audition he'd take it on the chin. But to say it's his height and he never had a chance is awful surely?

AgadorSpartacus Sat 05-Jul-14 13:49:02

Sorry didn't finish.

I don't know what to do. He lives for it. Its his future as far as he's concerned. My DD adores it too.

I'm just furious that she has played with his feelings and can't for the life of me see why.

LIZS Sat 05-Jul-14 13:55:34

Although there are usually guidelines (which should be published) it may depend how many turn up on the day, what level and whether someone taller for the juniors or less mature for the seniors could work as part of the ensemble. Can he not audition for other local am dram shows and societies of the panto is not going to use him for a while. If he wants a future in the business it is just something that happens , some you win some you lose. I've seen very specific casting ads then those cast turn out be different, so you never know, occasionally it might work in your favour.

EvilTwins Sat 05-Jul-14 13:59:47

That's just how it goes and if he seriously wants a future in if, he'll have to learn to suck it up, harsh as that seems.

The most talented child I teach (and have ever taught actually, in 14 years as a drama teacher) is 14 years old and 6'1". He's lost out on parts because of his height.

AgadorSpartacus Sat 05-Jul-14 14:12:26

Right I understand.

So it may just have been that he towered over the juniors which sounds perfectly feasible.

I had a feeling I'd be told he had to suck it up but my point I think is would you eviltwins as a teacher have put a child in for an audition where he was taller than the height stipulation? The whole point of the height stipulation is that they don't want people who are outside it? So why send the child if they don't fit the height requirements? Do you see what I mean?

LIZS Sat 05-Jul-14 14:15:12

but would you really have been happier had they said don't bother even trying as he won't get in or felt excluded confused He got audition experience anyway.

Millais Sat 05-Jul-14 14:18:12

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

AgadorSpartacus Sat 05-Jul-14 14:35:22

Aaaggh. I know. I'm looking at this from an emotional point of veiw as I won't have the chance to break it to him until tomorrow morning. He wanted it so much he'lll be very upset.

With regards to him being excluded LIZS I don't know. Thats what they told him last year, that he was too tall, and he got over it. Its just the idea that she was told no juniors over 5ft 5 for instance and she let him audition anyway knowing full well that regardless of his ability he was never going to get in?

Ironically, he was in a local am dram of Wizard of Oz last year but this year they're doing Jesus Christ Superstar and he's tall enough but too young!

AgadorSpartacus Sat 05-Jul-14 14:39:11

I know. I'm pressing the point.

I initially sent him there aged 8 to help with his confidence. He is now never more confident than when he's on stage. I think we both need to develop a rhino hide to get through this grin

EvilTwins Sat 05-Jul-14 14:41:15

I have done exactly that - I put several boys in for an audition for a local professional production knowing very well that two of them looked far too old. However, it was good experience for them AND the director does a lot of stuff so it was good for her to see these two - she may well come back to them if they are right for a future show.

AgadorSpartacus Sat 05-Jul-14 14:58:19

Right. Yes I understand. Thanks.

Not knowing the ins and outs it's difficult to be objective actually thanks to this thread I know how to word it when I tell him.

Jeez. I wish he wanted to be a librarian.

taxi4ballet Sat 05-Jul-14 16:05:06

As far as I know Pantos usually have a set of 'stock' costumes and at the audition they have to find people who will fit them.

It sounds to me like the teacher thought he might be chosen for the advanced group based on his height and his potential, and also of course far fewer boys than girls attend these auditions, so you never know what might happen on the day.

Sorry it is bad news this time.

AgadorSpartacus Sat 05-Jul-14 17:05:51

You know taxi that might explain why she was rattling on about costumes to me as if I had a clue was she was talking about.

Picturesinthefirelight Sat 05-Jul-14 17:14:14

That's just the way it is at panto I'm afraid.

nonicknameseemsavailable Sat 05-Jul-14 21:20:41

our theatre has the costumes and I believe children can be pushed out because there are too many that need the smallest costumes or they are too tall or too small for the different ones available for that production. One of my kids is going to be in the tallest end of things when she is one of the youngest so I really hope she might get in the first year she is old enough or she will probably never get picked purely due to height.

I think perhaps she just hasn't explained it well to you. I don't think from what you are saying he did audition for the juniors, she was hoping for him to possibly get one of the senior roles but he just hasn't got the experience yet.

Glenshee Sat 05-Jul-14 22:40:46

We were in exactly in this kind of situation when my DS was auditioned (unsuccessfully) for a role that he was too tall and too old for.

I will second other posters in saying that for professional productions that's just the way it is. If you accept it yourself, it'll help you to communicate the decision to your DS in a positive way, and he'll be fine. Forget all this stuff about negative emotional impact - I can absolutely see what you mean but you don't want it to become a self-fulfilling prophecy!

Tell him that he's been brilliant, done his best, and the only reason he didn't get in, is the height requirement (and not that he's done something wrong or wasn't good enough). Also say you are pleased that he's done the auditioning because this experience will help him land the role that is right for him in the future. Practice makes perfect!

We used to celebrate every audition with some special time together (straight after audition - so before you know the outcome). Perhaps it's something to consider for the future? It's quite an effort and the child deserves more than a pat on the back for the effort!

Don't worry too much and make sure it's a busy day tomorrow! thanks

AgadorSpartacus Sat 05-Jul-14 23:55:35

Thankyou so much. It really helps. We were told the audition was amazing (her words) so I'll lead with that smile

saintlyjimjams Sun 06-Jul-14 14:23:49

It's just part of it isn't it? I wasn't going to put ds2 in for an audition because he was over an age guideline but his drama teacher persuaded me to. He got the part - and the boy sharing with him was the same age - and they both ended up playing the part until they were 2 years over the supposed audition age.

I recently put him in for something where he was at the top of the height range - it doesn't look as though he'll be auditioned but the kids I know who have been cast elsewhere are about 5" smaller than him and 3 years younger - so not surprising really.

If he wants to stay in performing he'll have to get used to it. Both ds2 and the boy sharing the role knew they might get dropped for their final run because they were both growing (as you do).

Ds2 is a lot younger than your son & when're he auditions for anything knows he might be out straight away due to height/hair colour/size/accent/having to look like another cast member.....

saintlyjimjams Sun 06-Jul-14 14:26:42

Oh and ds2 did a 7 hour audition once, made it to the final round then was dropped on height (needed to match another child & be the correct height for the range of the final group). He was a bit upset then as he'd just begun to think he might get it but was fine the next day & generally goes into auditions assuming he'll never hear anything again.

saintlyjimjams Sun 06-Jul-14 14:27:54

Oh sorry ds2 is the same age, I misread.

But blimey he's tall!! Ds2 is 4 foot 7 (short arse I know)

AgadorSpartacus Sun 06-Jul-14 17:00:28

Thanks Jimjams. Even though he's been at it for 5 years the whole auditions abd what not are quite knew and when uou don't know how the system works it's so hard not to be emotional.

However, we've broken it to him this morning and put to him a lot of the points made on this thread actually. He's pretty crushed but is beimg extremely pragmatic which is one thing I love about him

One thing I'm not sure about is that she wants him to come to the final prep class tomorrow when everyone else finds out. I can't figure out why she wants him to do that when he already knows. Anyway I'll leave that to him.

saintlyjimjams Sun 06-Jul-14 19:08:29

If he stays in it, it just has to become second nature really. There are many reasons why you might get/not get a part, all you can do is feel you did your best.

Last summer ds2 went for quite a bit audition - it was a long wait to hear (he actually got the part about 2 hours after I said to him 'well I think you can forget about that one') but at the time he sent a message to his 'mentor' (a lovely graduate straight out of drama school who had chaperoned him in a show & we've stayed in touch - she's a fab down to earth but encouraging person for him to know) saying how he found waiting really hard, and she sent a message back telling him it's not called the waiting game for nothing (I didn't know it was tbh!) and that it was just something he'd have to get used to along with rejection and everything else that goes with working in the performing world. I'd recommend a slightly older but still young mentor if he can find one - ds2 hangs on to her every word (and listens to her above me - and tbh she knows a lot more than me).

Of course it helps to audition for something where you completely fit the brief (which is maybe what you're upset about from your OP), but sometimes it's worth giving it a go even if you're slightly off the brief (if it isn't going to irritate the casting director) - ds2 had two jobs last year where I sent his details in thinking he'd probably not get seen because he didn't fit the brief exactly but he landed them.

I think you can play up how well he did. It sounds as if he did well - and it is worth them learning how to recognise that - that they can have done well even if that isn't reflected in a part. DS2 didn't get something this year, but was delighted because he was on a reserve list. He knew it was very competitive, he knew he was young for it, he went along for audition practice, and he expected to get an outright no so he was absolutely delighted with a reserve. It's tough, but it's easier if they can recognise that it's not always just about talent or ability (a lot of it isn't tbh).

saintlyjimjams Sun 06-Jul-14 19:50:00

What else goes on at the final prep class?

AgadorSpartacus Sun 06-Jul-14 22:35:19

Absolutely no idea.

It's when everybody finds out who got in and who didn't. I'm not sure why she told me beforehand and asked me to tell him. OObviously I'm glad she did. I may email her and ask if its absolutely necessary To go. It seems pointless.

saintlyjimjams Sun 06-Jul-14 23:20:37

That's a tough way to do it! I'm surprised she doesn't tell people individually. Yes I'd find out what else is going on.

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