Playing the Waiting Game...

Jennifer Butler

  • OnStage Massachusetts Columnist

I recently told someone that I was playing the waiting game, waiting to find out if I had been cast in a play. They replied with, "oh what fun". And in my head, I was thinking that this isn't "fun" at all. More like anxious, nervous, totally dreading the results if it's a no, and yet also imagining what if I did receive the call. 

Back at the audition they said “We are here to watch you and we want you to succeed.” Something to the effect of “We’re not judging you, we are just looking for the best for the show” was also said. Yet here I am, two days after callbacks, sitting and waiting for the phone to ring. Waiting for the casting committee to decide my fate. To find out if I’ll get a chance to make a stage debut in the world of Community Theater.

And just as a watched pot doesn’t boil, a watched phone doesn’t ring. Which seems to make the waiting game feel a little longer. Going back and forth in my head about my audition and my anxiety level rising with each passing hour, I feel like I lost all logic during these three days and I know that checking my phone will not help the casting committee make their decision any faster yet I keep my phone in my pocket and check it every chance I get. I also logically know that the decision that is being made is not a life or death decision. Not getting cast in the show will not mean the end for me in life or in Community Theater. There is always another show to be worked on or another opportunity to audition for something, shows are happening all of the time.  Yet, I act as though it is a matter of life and death and that the answer that I am waiting to hear will affect my life dramatically. You see, earlier in the year I was the one making casting decisions and now at the end of the year it’s the flip side.  I am waiting to hear my fate.

Now that I have experienced the audition process from both sides of the table, you would think it would make the waiting game easier. I know that the director not only wants the best person for the role but also wants an entire group that will work well together. He or she wants to make the show as successful as possible and in the end wants the cast that will best tell the story. And not that anything is ever guaranteed but I was hoping that because the director thought of me for the part and suggested that I come out and audition, that the results might work on in my favor. 

However, after all of the waiting (which was only three days but felt like so much longer) I received the dreaded email. The one that told me that I didn’t make the cut that I wasn’t going to be in the show. And although it wasn’t the answer that I wanted to hear, in the end I am glad that I auditioned. I learned so much from the process and I enjoyed all the preparation that went into my audition. I am glad to be able to take what I have learned and apply it to whatever it is that I decide to do next. Now all that’s left to do is to find fun ways to use my British accent in everyday life, oh and one other thing-finish watching the rest of Downton Abbey, I really want to know how it ends.