Hi everybody! Today’s post is all about casting, jealousy and roles. Especially with Nutcracker and other audition results for the season having been returned to most of us at this point, it’s important to discuss dealing with social issues, drama and jealousy during this time. I hope this will help you through. Make sure to leave a comment down below with any stories or additional advice you may have. Have an exciting day!
Many of us wait for weeks or months for that email or call board posting featuring the casting for The Nutcracker. I am lucky, as the students in my school only have to wait 2 weeks for casting to come out. Then, when that email finally does arrive, it can be either wonderful or horrible. Many emotions spark up in a maximum of 5 seconds: all of the gained or missed opportunities and moments flash before your eyes and this makes you either happy or sad.
For most us, the first thing we do after we celebrate a desirable newfound role or have to accept the lack of a solo, is to grab our phone and frantically text friends: “CASTING IS OUT!!”
After that quick moment, when we feel calm and steady and accepting of what we have gotten and knowing that this is the one we deserve, when everything is happy and in place …our friends text back with phrases such as:
– “such and such got to solo!”
– “Aw, nice job but I’m so excited for this or that person!”
– “You don’t really deserve that, but you should be grateful that they are giving you a chance!”
– “ X IS Y OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG I’M SO EXCITED”
– “I’M *solo role* I’M SO EXCITED I’ve wanted this my entire life and totally deserve it”
After that, things start to go downhill very, very fast. You no longer feel comfortable with your place in the performance, and you start to feel doubtful, jealous and angry. This is because you have started to compare yourself with others and measure themselves up with you. This is inevitable as you start to share information. On the other hand, you may experience true emotions of gratitude. You feel better knowing your role and those of others and happy for the people that you will be dancing with. Don’t worry, we’ll cover both ends of this emotional spectrum today.
Being Jealous of Someone Else
This is by far the hardest situation. Almost everybody deals with it at one point or another. I certainly have.
The biggest advice I can give you is this: They didn’t choose themself. So many people get frustrated with casting and begin to blame the person that received the excellent role. This is horribly incorrect. It is not their fault at all. They had no influence on the choice made by the teacher, director or choreographer. I repeat: they didn’t choose themself, so they do not deserve to be blamed, made an enemy or accused of anything.
Even if you aren’t a big fan of the person, or you aren’t best friends, they still didn’t choose themself. It is absolutely wrong to accuse somebody of cheating the system, being involved with the casters, or doing other unruly things. They are innocent and so are you!
Another tip I have for you is to openly assert your gratefulness and offer congratulations. If you don’t talk to them, or avoid them, and refrain from congratulating them, it will not only make them feel bad, but it will make you feel bad, too. Even if you are not grateful for their achievement and you don’t believe that they earned the role they received, you have to congratulate them and tell them what a great job they will do.
I don’t know why this works, but doing this will calm you down and eliminate any jealousy or bad feelings there in that moment. As weird as it is, just congratulating them and acting like you are happy for them will make you feel those same feelings. Sometimes human nature is your friend!
Others Being Jealous of You
So, this is the completely opposite side of the equation. Now, I know this sounds completely obvious and you might get a little bit fed up with me for saying it, but: Be modest.
You have no idea how much I see completely absurd, ignorant and unaware people get all emotional, freak out and make other dancers around them feel bad. However, you can’t be overly modest either. In my experience, sometimes this can make other people feel bad, too. This is why:
When you are too modest, people get the idea that you are trying to make them feel better about themselves – that you are just “saying that because you were told to.” So, be original, don’t be overly modest. Find that super-fine balance between being rude and bursting out with your feelings, and being caring and aware of other people’s feelings.
Another tip is to find somebody to express your excitement to. Avoid at all costs talking about your new role with friends at ballet and reserve the subject solely for other friends, family, neighbors, counterparts and previous adopters of the role. These are the safe people to talk to about the role, the rehearsals, the performances, and more. Express your excitement to them, and get it out so you don’t have to get it out at ballet! Again, a small amount of modesty is the most important policy.
Thanks so much for reading! I’ll see you on Friday with another post.