Advanced search

Audition during the school day

(15 Posts)
thatsthewayitgoes Mon 25-Sep-17 17:28:55

My daughter is a budding actress/singer. She's played lead roles in local theatre and has today been invited to audition for a role in the West End. She is 11 and has just started secondary school - they have drummed into parents and kids the importance of good attendance and how time off will not be authorised. I've already had to request 1 day off for my mother in laws funeral in the same week as the audition. Should I request the day off or just take it as a sick day? My daughter hates lying so altho excited is totally traumatised by the decision. I really can't see school authorising it. Thanks.

AlexanderHamilton Mon 25-Sep-17 17:31:57

It's fairly standard for these to be in the daytime. I've not known anyone have a particular problem getting time off though be prepared if there are recalls it is sometimes a long process.

cheesypastatonight Mon 25-Sep-17 17:34:30

Have you not had the school see a form from your agency stating that they may need time off school?

AlexanderHamilton Mon 25-Sep-17 17:39:16

Many West End auditions, especially Jo Hawes stuff isn't through an agency.

thatsthewayitgoes Mon 25-Sep-17 17:40:40

Not through an agency although we are in the process of signing up to one so I don't know if they will insist on this going through them, but that's another story. No form for school yet.

TheatreTaxi Mon 25-Sep-17 18:41:43

West End auditions are usually during the week in school hours (especially first rounds - weekend recalls are a little more common), but there is typically a reasonable notice period of a week or two.

Castings for TV/film/adverts are more likely to take place outside school hours (but depending on how far you have to travel to get there these can also eat into school time). Casting appointments are often sent out at very short notice (sometimes less than a day).

I wouldn't recommend lying to the school; if your DD were cast, you would need school's endorsement to apply for a child performance licence. It would be prudent to establish with them whether they are going to be supportive of professional performing commitments before you sign up to an agency though. An agency will expect you to attend castings and auditions that you are invited to unless there is a cast-iron reason not to; clients who repeatedly turn down appointments tend not to stay on an agency's books for long.

OlennasWimple Mon 25-Sep-17 18:45:02

Don't lie, just ask for permission to be off that day.

Any reason why you think that they will refuse? Would you just pay the fine - if they went down that route - and take her anyway?

Allthebestnamesareused Mon 25-Sep-17 20:01:07

The school is likely to be thrilled and expect them to use your daughter in their publicity if she gets the role.

With high profile stuff they usually authorise the absence. They do for kids competing st National level sports and one of my friends sons has a part in the new Tim Burton film and was allowed time off for auditions and costume fitting. Filming was during summet hols fortunately

Didiplanthis Mon 25-Sep-17 20:35:33

I think they may authorize it. Music and ballet exams tend to be authorized in dd school. Think it goes down as educated off site or something for it.

thatsthewayitgoes Mon 25-Sep-17 21:47:29

Thanks all. I will be brace and ask. Fingers crossed! X

2014newme Wed 27-Sep-17 10:28:24

Ask permission but if they don't give it then take it as unauthorised absence. You won be fined for one day. Don't lie you may need their support if she gets the role.

thatsthewayitgoes Wed 27-Sep-17 17:47:10

Thanks 2014 that's my plan I think. Just waiting for confirmation email x

Susiesue61 Wed 27-Sep-17 22:18:25

My DD is allowed time off for sport - the whole last week to f term this summer! It's only ever been questioned once. Surely this would be the same?

Zodlebud Wed 27-Sep-17 23:22:19

I work in the industry and you would be surprised how many schools do not allow time off for auditions but will happily let little Johnny leave early two afternoons a week to go and play football.

You absolutely need to get the school on board with this before you even start the process. Some schools are extremely supportive and may surprise you. My kids school is wonderful and yesterday managed to get a signed letter from the headteacher authorising absence for two days filming back to me in an hour. If they hadn't done so then my child couldn't have got their licence in time and would have lost out on the job.

A couple of things to bear in mind. At 11, your daughter doesn't have a huge window for getting a West End part. Casting directors want children to look like children. They are almost all, without fail, small for their age and maximum height requirements are strict. Also, as soon as girls start developing it sets them out the running. Parts for children aged over 13 are few and far between as they will get a young looking 16 year old to "play down" as they don't need a licence.

There is also a huge difference between going to castings that are advertised and you can apply to direct versus work found for you by an agent. If your agent gets you a casting then you are expected to drop everything and go (24 hours notice is the norm). How would school feel if you were auditioning a couple of times a week in London and potentially having to miss some of school?

My personal take is that a one off West End opportunity would be looked on very differently to a constant stream of auditions through an agent.

Please do speak to your school - they might surprise you!!!

elfonshelf Sat 30-Sep-17 15:37:51

Schools can put them down as educated off site and there are specific codes that they use for the purpose so it doesn't affect their attendance records.

Having done a number of WE auditions with DD, the first rounds can be very quick - they see the kids in groups of 10-15, they run through the song once together, then each child sings a couple of lines, a couple in each group will be handed a recall letter and everyone else goes home. You are literally in the room for 15 minutes total.

If you get through to later rounds or finals, then you can be there the whole day.

DD was up for one the other week, so I emailed the HT and said she had first round late afternoon so would be missing the last 30 minutes of school, but if she got a recall then she would be out for some or all of the following day and possibly also a part or whole day the following week. In the end she got down to finals so was out for 1.5 days.

I would really recommend not fibbing to the school - it's hard for children not to talk and the amount of time off they will need off if cast means that the CD and council will want a letter from the school saying they are happy for them to take part.

Speak to the school and get their approval upfront. If they're not happy then you may need to make a call regarding the school.

DD's school are very supportive - partly because they think it is a 'good thing' and partly because DD is aiming for vocational school so it's as important to her as English and Maths. However we have an agreement that she only goes up for big feature films, TV and West End stuff in term-time - adverts, local theatres or student films have to be in the holidays.

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, watch threads, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now »

Already registered? Log in with: