Just looking for some reassurance/advice

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Hilltop
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Just looking for some reassurance/advice

Post by Hilltop » Mon Oct 01, 2018 9:46 am

Hi, I’m just looking for some reassurance and advice from other parents in similar situations. I’m worried about my internal reactions when my DD doesn’t get a part – my automatic thinking is to question whether she’s good enough, should I be spending all this time, energy and money when she’s not going to get into full-time training. Of course, I don’t say any of this to her or anyone else, but I struggle to not worry about it when it happens and I’m fed up with thinking this. I feel bad for thinking this because I don’t feel like I’m being very supportive. She is doing a lot outside of school and clubs in school, more than I’d be happy with if it was a hobby (from a time and cost perspective), so I kind of want some reassurance that she is of a certain level.

I don’t know whether I am being too harsh on her and having too high an expectation. For example, I was kind of thinking she should be getting good roles in her secondary school musicals as she goes through the school. She is only in year 8 and most of the main roles do go to the older ones, but this year they are doing Les Mis and she got recalled for the part of young Cosette with two other girls in her year and they were paired with an older girl also auditioning for another role, however, she didn’t get the part and is one of the dancers in the show instead. I was encouraged that she got recalled but I disappointed she didn’t get the role and then started worrying about whether she is good enough again. Our cat unexpectedly died the week before and my DD has been greatly affected by this, so I don’t know if this affected the recall. Another example is her Saturday part time training school. She does a variety of classes with them, including for example tap, ballet, acro, acting, jazz, etc (9 in total so it’s a full day) and there is one class called Musical Production, where they learn a short number from a musical which is shown in the end of term show. In this class the teacher seems to have favourites and although my DD has had a few solos, the solos always go to the same three girls, who I can’t see are any better than my DD. I’m getting fed up of hearing the same children singing the solos in the shows all the time. My DD is quite shy and holds herself back whereas these other girls are very outgoing, so I think the teacher favours this type of personality. I also worry about this, but at her YMT audition (which she got into this year), they said she was like a professional, because she was shy and quiet but went into character for her monologue.

Sorry about the ramble, but other parents don’t seem to understand and even parents of kids at the performing arts classes don’t understand because most of the children are there as a hobby. I often feel like I come across as a pushy mum, but it only because I worry so much!

Anyway, I just wanted to see if anyone else felt like this on here! Many thanks in advance.

FredaBloggs
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Re: Just looking for some reassurance/advice

Post by FredaBloggs » Mon Oct 01, 2018 11:31 am

I think it's perfectly sensible to take stock of whether you're heading down the right path, especially with activities that involve a sacrifices in terms of time, money or the balance of family life.

However, there are so many reasons why a child might not be cast in a part, and a lot of those reasons have nothing to do with their talent. In professional auditions, it isn't always the most talented child in the room that gets cast; it's the child who is the best fit for the part, and "best fit" is often completely subjective and dependent on the mind's eye of the director.

Frustrating though it is, I wouldn't read too much into not being given parts at her Saturday training school if there is obvious favouritism at work (and it sounds like there is). Similarly, not being cast in school productions doesn't mean a great deal, as agendas unrelated to performance ability may be at work here too. DS has performed in a number of professional productions including WE musicals, but was never given a main part in any of his junior school's many drama productions (has just moved to secondary but I expect it will be similar there).

What stands out from your post for me is that your DD got into YMT. She auditioned in front of experienced industry professionals with no preconceptions about her, no ulterior motives beyond finding the best cast they could - and they chose her, and what's more gave her excellent feedback. That's the bit I'd focus on :).

Yorkshirepudding
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Re: Just looking for some reassurance/advice

Post by Yorkshirepudding » Mon Oct 01, 2018 1:06 pm

Hi

Yes I agree with Freda. Congratulations to your DD on YMT - that is a really high standard and so clearly she has something to offer.

I definitely wouldn't worry about the school shows thing. My DS was in two professional stage shows last year and was cast as 19th Roman from the Left behind a tree in the school show. Sometimes I think the school thing is that they get into a mindset of it not being 'fair' for kids who do performing arts outside school to get parts, because they already get to do it. Quite how it is 'unfair' to improve at something by practising it baffles me, but that is our experience, coupled with DS's experience of getting frustrated because he could see how things could be staged more effectively so everyone could be seen (because he has had experience working and being directed by professional stage directors) but as 19th Roman from the left his thoughts were not welcomed.

I'm constantly taking stock and wondering if DS is 'good enough' and whether its all a waste of time. He frequently doesn't get anywhere at auditions, but then occasionally he does, and I've given up trying to reason out why some work and some don't. I think as Freda says it is an incredibly personal choice by whoever is casting. DS is far less 'eyes and teeth' stage-schooly than many others at auditions, and so often loses out where they want 'perky'. But every now and again they want more naturalistic and he seems to do fine then.

Our barometer is if the audition process is still fun then carry on. If not , or if its all a bit frantic then back off for a bit and take a break, and enjoy training for a while. Whenever we have done this DS pops up a little while later and says 'I really NEEEEEED to be in a show...' so back on the audition merry go round we go again!

Good luck, and you're not alone!

RoseTowers4
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Re: Just looking for some reassurance/advice

Post by RoseTowers4 » Mon Oct 01, 2018 3:59 pm

Yorkshirepudding wrote:
My DS was in two professional stage shows last year and was cast as 19th Roman from the Left behind a tree in the school show.
:lol: :lol: :lol:

At his junior school I was told that my ds "as a professional" - (their words not mine!) should decide if and when he rehearsed with the other children! They then took the part away when he hadn't learnt the words and gave it to his understudy. #-o

Toffee
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Re: Just looking for some reassurance/advice

Post by Toffee » Tue Oct 02, 2018 9:25 am

I have just come back to this forum after some years away. I can totally relate to this sentiment. My DD was cast in professional shows age 7 - 10 in the West end and pantos etc , but since then has not been successful. She has an agent and goes to loads of auditions and often gets to the final few girls but hasn't been chosen. She has done a lot of amateur stuff and been in school plays but never the lead. She is in a well known youtube performing school but again never gets the main solos juts the odd line. I just don't know if she is good enough. She is now in year 13 doing well at college and wants to go to drama school and it is so difficult to be positive as the chances are slim.

jennifer1972
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Re: Just looking for some reassurance/advice

Post by jennifer1972 » Tue Oct 02, 2018 11:30 am

I think that if it is her passion, then you just have to go with it, the same way that you would if it were a sport or any other 'serious' hobby. YMT is well thought of, when applying for full time MT courses, you can list that as a professional credit, which you obviously can't with school productions. You can never know if they are good enough, even if they get into full time training but I honestly can't see my daughter doing anything else. She is in her 2nd year of a BA in MT, comes home after a full day and takes herself up to her room to start singing and practising. She finds out about every musical, every musical theatre actor and goes to see as many shows as she can (money permitting). It is that much of a passion. Some girls on her course have never been to see a musical, not even a local production, which makes me question where their passion lies. If your DD would not change what she does for anything else in the world, would sacrifice everything to get up on a stage, no matter how small the part, then you just have to support her and hang on for the ride! :lol:

Ditzi
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Re: Just looking for some reassurance/advice

Post by Ditzi » Tue Oct 02, 2018 1:29 pm

I totally agree with what’s been said, as I share all feelings. My dd is in year 9 and got very close to being cast in WE shows several times, she got in 1 professional production and had quite a few leading roles locally over the years, and others which she thought she would get but didn’t. She is just about to choose her GCSE options and is dead set on doing MT, she’s so keen to audition for EDA in year 11 that she put her timer on :lol: She came home from school yesterday and told me that in learning for life class they were asked to research career paths as the careers day is soon approaching. When her teacher saw her reading about acting, his reaction was: “Mmm, it’s really hard to get into drama school and even if you do it’s so hard to make a living, not many people make it”. I must admit I found that a little off putting coming from a teacher - yes she knows that, but shouldn’t teachers be encouraging children to explore whatever their interests are and help those with a talent nurture it? It’s hard enough to see people’s reaction when you tell them what she wants to do, plus there’s a little competition between her academic brother who’s in year 10 and herself (she doesn’t want to be seen as the ‘dumb’ one). I’v always encouraged both of them to be themselves and do what makes them happy, I am a strong believer that everything else will fall into place. What I’m trying to say is that I hope that certain teachers won’t steal her sparkle or that she will lose interest for all the wrong reasons.
P.s. Sorry, I think i deviated from the subject. I guess I needed a rant. Even though I can associate with all the views expressed.

Yorkshirepudding
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Re: Just looking for some reassurance/advice

Post by Yorkshirepudding » Tue Oct 02, 2018 2:21 pm

We went for a look round at a vocational performing arts school as one of the possible options for DS3 at Y7, and I was really struck by the lovely kids who showed us round who said 'I am applying to XYZ colleges for Musical Theatre and also to ABC universities for Biomedical Sciences (or whatever), because it's a fickle business and you never know...'

So I guess whoever you are and wherever you are (unless you are exceptionally fortunate and well connected) you probably never stop wondering whether you're good enough. And it is perfectly sensible for a school to want young people to be realistic about the difficulties in achieving their dreams, provided (and this is the important bit) they also support them in going all out to attain them. Too often it seems school are good at the former, and forget the latter. ](*,) The best ones are also imaginative about helping find sensible back stop plans that still make that young person tick - My DS1 is in Y13 and was convinced school would try to dissuade him from applying to music conservatoires and make him put in a UCAS form, but once he sat down with someone who knew him really well they did exactly the opposite and said he absolutely had to go for what was his passion, and came up with all sorts of interesting ideas of studying overseas and in foreign languages that we hadn't considered, and said if it didn't work out this time round they would be there for him 100% the following year to have another go.

So maybe this teacher doesn't get it, but hopefully someone else who really knows your DD will.


Keep the faith everyone. :-k

Hilltop
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Re: Just looking for some reassurance/advice

Post by Hilltop » Tue Oct 02, 2018 5:53 pm

Thanks to you all for taking time to reply - I really appreciate it and has made me feel a lot better about feeling this way. I remember when I took my DD to see Wicked last summer as part of Kids Week and we were able to stay behind afterwards and listen to a Q&A session with some of the performers. Alice Fearn (who is currently playing Elphaba) told us that she had many 'no's before landing the part of Elphaba and recalled a time when she was at her parent's home where she calmly dealt with another rejection over the phone and shrugged it off, and her dad said to her that he didn't know how she dealt with it as he wouldn't have been able to. I definitely can relate to this - I would not have the mental strength to take all the rejections and would constantly worry, but my DD does seem to take it mostly in her stride. I also remember reading that you shouldn't use the auditions as a way to validate yourself and again I would struggle with this. Thanks goodness that there is a forum like this where I can share my concerns, because I want to be able to set my DD a good example, so that if she does decide to go down this route, she has the mental strength to do so.

Thanks again and I am so glad for this forum :D

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