BY KRISTOPHER KYER
Growing up in Michigan as a community theater actor, I learned to be fully committed whenever auditioning for a show. I made myself realize that the responsibility to me, the director, and other actors in a show, of being at every rehearsal, was imperative. I never auditioned for a show unless I was 100% clear of my schedule, and I have been like that ever since. In those days, community theater had a different precedence, and “conflicts” really weren’t accepted. Today when community theaters audition, they actually put on their audition forms…”please list all of your conflicts.” I had never seen this until the last few decades! Now it is the nature of the beast. I direct regional theater, and often am an Equity guest artist in community shows…and I COMPLETELY clear my schedule and make EVERY rehearsal required of me, even when directing, or I simply don’t do the show. If I can do this, you should. It makes it extremely difficult for everyone involved, especially the actors, if people are coming and going. I understand emergencies come up once in awhile, but to simply miss multiple rehearsals in a short rehearsal period is unforgivable. As a director, a few years ago working on a production I was directing…only TWO actors out of a cast of 45 showed up to a rehearsal. (One excuse I got was “My designer was hanging the towel racks in my bathroom, so I wanted to be there to eyeball them.”) This and so many others are totally unforgivable. Some actors don’t even come in until the LAST week of rehearsals, making it almost impossible for me as an actor, to remember lines, and blocking. I even missed EVERY wedding of my siblings due to shows I was in as I was committed to my obligation. So, IF you ever audition for a show, and accept a role, CLEAR your schedule completely or do everyone a favor. Don’t audition in the first place.