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The Future For The Contestants


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#11 Orchestrator

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Posted 02 April 2008 - 12:54 PM

QUOTE(Matthew Winn @ Apr 1 2008, 03:59 PM) View Post
On the other hand, what they're undergoing is a gruelling process far more stressful than the traditional route to employment where you have one chance and you live or die on a single, private opportunity to impress. They have to keep auditioning for nearly three months, knowing that a stumble at any point could knock them out of the running. If they lose they have to suffer the humiliation of being rejected in front of hundreds of thousands of strangers. It's a tougher procedure than most other people have to endure. Consequently there's no shame in putting yourself through it, and those who attempt it deserve respect for taking on such a challenge.

Interesting thread. Just wanted to pick up the idea that, outside reality TV, getting a part (or not) in a WE show is a one-shot experience. That is sometimes the case but frequently performers are recalled over and over before a final decision is made. Famously the original Maria in WSS on Broadway auditioned 10 times. I've been involved in a WE musical where the ultimately successful female lead has auditioned 7 times over a period of about 8 weeks and the "failures", two of whom ended up as covers, were seen as many times but with additional dance and singing auditions for their roles in the chorus.
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#12 JIJane

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Posted 02 April 2008 - 12:55 PM

Leanne Jones auditioned 12 times before being offered the lead in Hairspray.

#13 Matthew Winn

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Posted 02 April 2008 - 02:19 PM

QUOTE(Orchestrator @ Apr 2 2008, 01:54 PM) View Post
Interesting thread. Just wanted to pick up the idea that, outside reality TV, getting a part (or not) in a WE show is a one-shot experience. That is sometimes the case but frequently performers are recalled over and over before a final decision is made. Famously the original Maria in WSS on Broadway auditioned 10 times. I've been involved in a WE musical where the ultimately successful female lead has auditioned 7 times over a period of about 8 weeks and the "failures", two of whom ended up as covers, were seen as many times but with additional dance and singing auditions for their roles in the chorus.

Oh yes, I know that there are recalls. That happens with most jobs, when the employers decide they need a bit more to go on in order to choose between the most promising candidates. But in general you don't have to keep coming back time after time after time. If you do badly you're out and you aren't forced to do badly a second time because you weren't quite as bad as the loser. Conversely, if you get through a stage then you're a lot closer to getting the job. The reality TV experience is more like picking off the limping antelopes at the back of the herd.
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#14 Orchestrator

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Posted 02 April 2008 - 03:06 PM

QUOTE(Matthew Winn @ Apr 2 2008, 03:19 PM) View Post
Oh yes, I know that there are recalls. That happens with most jobs, when the employers decide they need a bit more to go on in order to choose between the most promising candidates. But in general you don't have to keep coming back time after time after time. If you do badly you're out and you aren't forced to do badly a second time because you weren't quite as bad as the loser. Conversely, if you get through a stage then you're a lot closer to getting the job. The reality TV experience is more like picking off the limping antelopes at the back of the herd.

Again, that's true, Matthew. But in most West End auditions (that aren't "cattle calls") the vast majority of auditionees are competent and appropriate for the role; they rarely "do badly". The person that gets the part in the end is generally the strongest across the board but two or three other contenders are kept "in the mix" so that each new auditioner (higher and higher up the pecking order) gets to see a range of performers with different strengths.
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#15 JIJane

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Posted 02 April 2008 - 04:02 PM

Well said orchestrator, my feelings exactly.

#16 Aranel

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Posted 06 April 2008 - 01:31 AM

I think in the long run it may well be the runners-up who fare better than the winners of these shows. Connie and Lee are now fixed in the public eye and their subsequent moves are being/will be monitored with a measure of success attached to them. I'm sure that the public will bore of them in time and they can continue their career path in a less watched way - but do they then become labelled 'hasbeens'?

The runners-up however can/have used the show as the next step in their career and hopefully a step up towards the future. Many of them are theatre school graduates and/or professional actors. They may or may not have done much before but the minor celebrity afforded to them by the reality show gives them that extra leg up into a decent role. They are soon forgotten about by the press/public at large but they now have a decent role on their CV and can continue along a relatively unwatched path to personal success.

Daniel is the prime example. He'd done ensemble in the West End and he'd done leads on tour but he wasn't getting the parts he really wanted at auditions. He was voted off Any Dream Will Do much earlier than most people expected but shortly after he got his dream West End lead role. The public may or may not remember him now. They may or may not make special trips to Avenue Q to see him. But when his contract is up he now has a lead West End role on his CV and he suddenly falls into a more attractive bracket when casting directors search for their next leading man.

I have mixed feelings about the whole reality show situation but I don't begrudge any professionals going for it and wish them all the best in whatever it ends up doing for their career.




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