My younger son (nearly 11) told me he wouldn’t be having a speaking part in the Christmas show this year because he had one last year. Only about 7 or 8 lines, but he did make quite the impact. Apparently there was a point in rehearsals this week where some lines that no-one wanted to say in performance were up for grabs. He offered but was told no because of having had a part last year. The lines will remain unspoken. This might not be true, it seems extraordinary to me that you would cut your nose off to spite your face, but there you go.
I quite see why schools want to be fair and give everyone a chance. Myself, I’d rather see a good show, but I suppose it’s not about that. You can’t help feel it’s setting up disappointment in the future though. The world is tough, we all know that, but generally if you work hard you will be rewarded in the workplace. If only that were the case in the entertainment industry.
‘No, Olivia/Helena/Keeley, you’ve HAD your turn already. It’s time Maggie had a go. True she hasn’t acted professionally for many years, largely due to living in Brighton and having children, but she’s ever so good and she deserves a chance, don’t you think…?’ said no casting director/producer EVER. This sounds bitter and sour grapes-y, I’m well aware, but I have actually moved on. I know I’m not a contender any more, but I do know several heart-breakingly good actors who will NEVER get a chance, no matter how hard they work.
The thing that irks me though is when the offspring of the well-known claim that their lineage is nothing to do whatsoever with their success. They think just because it’s in a different field – they’re a model say, whereas their parents are actors – it has no bearing on the fact that a door, however small, was opened to them once. Obviously if they don’t have talent, it won’t open very far and might slam back in their face, but it was open a chink. A definite chink. After that, it is indeed up to them to wedge that door to full capacity, which doesn’t always work. I was at drama school at the same time as the daughter of a very famous actress indeed. She has worked since, but has not achieved anything like her mother’s success, her talents being not in the same league.
In the meantime, my son accepts that school doesn’t operate like real life. His time will come, I think.