Casting Policy

Triple Promise Academy for the Performing Arts
Casting Information, Guarantees, and Zero Tolerance Policy

Casting Information

Casting is one of the most challenging parts of educational theatre, for teachers, students, and parents. At Triple Promise, we aim to make the audition process a fair and educational experience for all participants. Every single audition will be considered by the entire casting committee, and every student’s audition will be treated with dignity, respect, and confidentiality.

That said, disappointment with casting outcomes is an inevitable reality of the process. Many factors are taken into consideration when casting shows, including talent, skill level, vocal range (for musicals), confidence, volume/ability to project, physical coordination, and fit for a particular role. (Note: “fit” does not mean that we “type cast”; rather, “fit” refers to the best combination of actors possible for the cast of characters to available talent pool ratio.) This means that many talented, qualified, and deserving students may not be cast, or may be cast in a role other than their preferred one. Not being cast, or not earning the role they were hoping for, does not mean that your child is untalented, undeserving, or disliked. It simply means that another child was a better fit for that particular role, this time around. Students who are disappointed with casting decisions should be encouraged to focus on the positive aspects of the role they did earn, and/or the next audition, which will inevitably have a different outcome. It has been my experience that children who are disappointed by casting decisions typically bounce back relatively quickly. However, if you feel that your child will feel rejected by casting decisions, or will not be able to handle those feelings of rejection, you should not allow your child to audition for Triple Promise.

Our top priority in casting is setting our students up for success. (We would not cast a child in a role that was, for example, outside of their vocal range or that required dancing or acting skills that the child has not yet developed). That said, we fully recognize that children are in a constant state of development; a role that may be completely out of reach for a child now might be easily attainable for that same child three or six months down the road. We cast in a culture of encouragement, while simultaneously helping children to develop self-awareness and reasonable management of expectations.

Tuition fees must be paid upfront at the time of the audition, or a deposit made and a payment plan agreed upon. No refunds are allowed once casting decisions have been made. However, if for any reason we do not cast your child, you will have the option to either receive a full refund, or to roll your tuition payment over to another program, such as a 3xP class or a different 3xP show.

Triple Promise has a zero tolerance policy toward casting complaints and casting-related drop-outs.

Our Guarantee

“There are no small parts, only small actors!”

This is one of the oldest sayings in show business, and at Triple Promise, we believe in this old adage whole-heartedly. Every single role is an important one, and every child will receive the education, training, and encouragement to be the biggest and best actor they can be.

If your child is cast in a Triple Promise show, your child is guaranteed a high quality educational experience; your child will have a tremendous amount to learn, will experience prodigious rehearsal and stage time, and will learn from top-notch experts in their fields. Unlike some other programs out there, we will never cast children as trees, extras, walk-ons, or “background.” It is our firm and adamant belief that children are not scenery, and we will not waste your child’s time or your resources by casting them as inanimate objects. If we cast your child, you have our 100% guarantee that the role is an important one, and that your child’s time and commitment are being honored during rehearsals and performances.

Why We MUST Enforce a Zero-Tolerance Policy toward Casting Complaints & Casting-Related Drop-Outs

The reason why tuition must be paid upfront at the time of the audition and cannot be refunded after casting is because we are not in the business of “selling roles.” Every child’s tuition is the same, regardless of role size or number of lines. Casting is not a menu, and roles may not be ordered nor purchased. If people could wait to see what role their child earned before paying the tuition, we would essentially be creating a bidding war over title roles. This would be a major conflict of interest and would not foster a positive community experience. As such, tuition must be paid upfront (or a deposit made and a payment plan agreed upon) at the time of the audition. No refunds are allowed, unless for any reason we do not cast your child in the show. In the event that we do not cast your child in the show, you will have the option to either receive a full refund, or to roll your tuition payment over to another one of our programs, such as a class or another show.

The reason why we do not entertain complaints about the casting is because casting decisions are not directed at individuals, but rather, are made based on a collective group of actors and the right configuration of the characters available to talent pool ratio.

If your child is not cast in the role he or she desired, it does not mean that your child is untalented, undeserving, or disliked. It simply means that someone else was a better fit for that particular role, this time around. Imagine if your child were running in a race; imagine that they trained very very hard, but still did not come in first place. This does not mean that your child is not a fast runner or a talented athlete. It does not mean that they are not well-trained. It does not mean that they are not a hard-worker. And it certainly does not mean that their coach does not like them. It simply means that someone else beat them to the finish line, this time, and maybe at the next race, the outcome will be different. It is not a reason to quit; it’s a reason to keep training and be that much more ready for the next race. Accepting the role that your child did earn and coming to rehearsal every day and learning as much as they possibly can from this experience is part of your child’s training. Children do not become better performers by dropping out of shows. They become better by seizing every opportunity. This is what we teach, what we encourage, and what we expect from Triple Promise students and their families.

Oftentimes, casting disappointments are temporary. It is easy to get disappointed when looking at a cast list, because it is all very abstract at that point. Children who are looking at a list of roles are not thinking about all of the other kinesthetic elements of putting a production together. They aren’t thinking about two months of music rehearsals and voice lessons and choreography. They are not thinking about singing and dancing in the front row with the lights shining on their beautiful faces. This is why line-counting is a terrible idea; it’s abstract and provides a completely inaccurate picture of what the experience of being in a show is really about. Many times in the past, I have heard from parents who were upset because they felt that their child did not have enough lines, and then I heard from those same parents again a month later, saying their child felt overwhelmed because there was just so much to learn.

No parent likes to see their child hurt or sad, but as a teacher of 21 years, I can assure you that allowing children to feel disappointment is an important part of their growth and development. I have had former students go on to careers on Broadway, television, and in major motion pictures. I have had students go on to Yale, Harvard, Brown, and more. I have had former students enter career paths as doctors, lawyers, chefs, psychologists, musicians, and just about every other amazing thing you can think of! And I assure you, the most successful and amazing kids I’ve ever taught who grew up to be the most successful and amazing adults are the ones whose parents allowed their kids to navigate their own challenges. Don’t be a snow plow parent! A snow plow parent is the parent who races into everything ahead of their child, pushing every single obstacle out of their child’s way so that they never ever have to face any type of hardship. Allowing children to struggle is crucial to their development. They will not always get what they want in life, whether that be a role in a play, a starting spot on a team, a seat at their top choice college, or a job or a promotion in their future career path. Believe it or not, allowing your child to deal with casting disappointments is a good experience for them. Trust me – when your child takes that bow and hears that ovation on opening night, all of their casting disappointments will seem like a far distant memory. They will look back on the day they felt sad because they didn’t get the lead, or the day they got frustrated because the choreography seemed too hard, or the day when they thought they would never be able to memorize all this stuff, and they will know in their hearts that they got through these challenges on their own, and that will make their triumphs all the sweeter. That is part of the magic of theatre, and it is a truly affirming and life-changing experience. This is just one of the many reasons why I love my job so much.

If you have read this entire document and you are still thinking about complaining to us about the casting, please take a moment to imagine yourself on the other end of this phone call:

“Hello, Mrs. Jones! This is Jill calling from Triple Promise. I know that your child earned the lead role in our upcoming musical, and we are very proud of them. Unfortunately, however, Mrs. Smith called, and she is very upset because she wanted her child to have that role. Therefore, we are going to take your child’s role away and give it to Mrs. Smith’s child. Thank you for understanding!”

We realize that this sounds ridiculous, but this is, quite literally, what you are asking us to do when you complain about the casting.

Ultimately, you either trust us, or you don’t. If you do, then you know that we cast the show fairly and in a manner that sets all students up for success, both collectively and as individuals. And if you don’t, then you definitely should find another school run by professionals whom you do trust to educate your child.

By signing your child up for auditions, you agree to the casting policy outlined here. Any and all complaints regarding casting decisions will be immediately redirected to this document.

Sincerely,
Triple promise Academy For Performing Arts
Jill Hudson
Founding Artistic Director