Counting backwards, I have directed 10 out of the last 12 shows in which I have been involved. I held auditions today for the 11th... and I hated it.
Charles Busch's Die Mommie Die! should have been an easy show to cast. Indeed, we (The James Tolin Memorial Fund) chose the show in part because we knew we had an actor in our regular talent pool who could play the lead role. I had already cast 5 of the 6 parts in the show and as recently as February, I only needed one actor to complete the cast, Then (as is often the case with a JTMF show), all hell broke loose. My lead dropped out because of work conflicts and the young lady I had cast as Edith informed me that commuting from NYC would be an obstacle. So, as we are often forced to do, we held auditions for the three open roles.
Our first two auditioners filled the most difficult roles to cast quite easily - a surprising development which left my producer and I in good spirits. The only role left was one that would be the easiest to cast: a young woman in early 20's. But the women came to read for me highly were unlikely candidates. Finally, just as we were about to call every actress we knew who would be right for the part, our last appointment of the day showed up - she was perfect. She was the right age, she had the right look and her audition was the best we'd seen all day. I immediately offered her the part, and she accepted. My producer and I were thrilled. The show was cast! Hurrah!
Then I came home to find an email from the actress I originally wanted to play the part, telling me that her circumstances had changed and she would be available after all. AUGH! (as a certain Charles Shulz character is wont to say. Still- the decision has been rendered; the role has been cast and the actress I wanted is SOL... Now I'm left with the unenviable task of telling her that she missed the boat... yuck!
Still, I can't complain. I've found a talented new actress who will be very good in the part and I have what will undoubtedly be an amazing cast for what is sure to be another amazing JTMF show. I just hate the thought of telling my first choice that she is no longer part of the show. So I have to ask my readers, how would you deliver bad news like this?