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Feeling pushed aside

Hey RO

So I've just started university and have wasted no time getting involved in the social life of university. I've been doing heaps of stuff with societies and made heaps of friends that I look forward to hanging out with in the future.
I recently got several parts in a major production for the drama society and I was looking forward to it greatly.

However, when we did the reading today I noticed how nothing my parts were. In a 3 hour long play, I estimate having around 10mins of talking stage time. Despite having several parts, they all seem to have very minimal action at all, both frequency and length. I know this kind of sounds a bit whingey but I can't help feeling expendable. I feel like I was the last round draft pick. Throughout high school, I always felt underacknowledged and on the outside of my group of friends and it's starting to come again.
I love drama and I love acting and I love to entertain people and show what I can do. I am confident in my abilites as a performer too. I'm in a skit in a variety show earlier this year which is pretty good and I'm looking forward to that one. I don't claim to be the best actor of all time, but I am confident that I can entertain people. But I can't really show anyone what I can do if I have less than 10mins talking time and only one of the parts has any actual personality and disappears about 1/3 into the show. It's only been the first reading and I already want to drop out of the show. I never expected to be a huge role, but it seems that everyone else in the show has a moment where they can display some character while I am just in the background.
I'm sorry if I sound kinda whingey and a bit spoiled. I just hate feeling underappriceated and not acknowledged.

Re: Feeling pushed aside

Congrats for jumping straight into the university social life @drhalloween. It can be such an overwhelming experience so well done for tackling it head on – and thriving, it seems!


Congrats also for getting in to the drama society's major production! I can imagine the exhilaration of being part of such a big production. I've always enjoyed looking at all of the people who pull a production together and the hard work that everyone puts in at rehearsals, fittings, and even working bees with the props crew. It's incredible how a team of people who never knew each other at the beginning can work together to pull off an amazing experience for the audience. And if all goes well, do it for a few nights! Smiley Very Happy


Is the production you are in the only one that the drama society does for the year? Was there an audition process to get in and is it possible you could get feedback on your performance (and the reason you have won these roles) from the director?

Re: Feeling pushed aside

Hey @drhalloween

I can see why you're feeling a bit let down and under appreciated due to what you feel to be very small roles. We often imagine very optimistic outcomes for ourselves so that even when what we're given in life isn't bad it seems like a big disappointment.

I want to urge you not to drop out of the show just yet. From what you've described of the roles I don't think they're not acknowledging or appreciating you at all, rather they want you enough to have given you several roles and speaking ones at that! You need to remember that casting is not easy, and that there will usually be a whole lot more people auditioning for these than there are roles available, particularly with speaking roles. And everyone wants the bigger ones.
As you're new to them they're also possibly testing you out a bit to begin with. Sort of like how in high school the year 7 won't get a main role, but by the time they're in year 11 or 12 they've proven themselves worthy of the main roles, as well as having given those in charge of the production time to see what they've capable of.

I know you feel like there isn't an opportunity for you to show what you're capable of with what they've given you, but I think as you go on you'll probably find that there is. To begin with, simply showing up to all rehearsals, being prepared etc. is already a major thing you can do to show capability.
Beyond that, explore your characters. There will be things you can bring to the table. Especially with speaking roles. Even if you don't feel like you're properly shining, you are still being noticed and still being that character.

Re: Feeling pushed aside

Hey Birdeye
I can see what your saying
The thing is that a majority of the cast are first years like me with no experience within this society whatsoever. Some of whom have the main roles. Again, I didn't expect a main role but at least one with some substance.
My characters are extremely limited for creative scope. I only have one coherent exchange with another character, The rest is either drowned out by others or is only there for filler.
My other problem is that they've scheduled rehersals extremely inconveniently. I won't be able to attend one at all and the other I'd be turning up half way through.

Re: Feeling pushed aside

Hiya @drhalloween,


wow-wee! It really sounds like you've made an awesome effort to get into the role of being at university and uni life, with all it has to offer, so go you! *throws confetti and blows trumpet* Smiley Tongue 


I get the feeling of feeling underacknowledged and underappreciated in the things you do, particulary when you put in so much time and effort to do them and do them well! People just don't know how to show these things sometimes and in a big production like the one your in, it's probably hard for the directors and such to do that, especially with so much to do and organise, etc. That said, I personally don't feel like your being whiny at all. It sucks to feel like you do, and when it reminds us of past times when we've felt like that. So, please don't be too hard on yourself about how you feel.


As far as your roles in the production go - make the most of them, in any sort of way you can. I've never been in a production, in fact I doubt I could act at all! However I am a creative writer and I write a lot of fiction and short stories so I can grasp the concept to an extent of character, shaping it/them and interwining into the stroy-line. Obviously in my work, I have characters that contribute to the content more than others, with some playing major roles and others minor roles. I never however underestimate the power and contributon a character in a minor role or has a small capacity has on the overall piece. Every character has something to give and a stroy to tell, a part to play and without them, the story just wouldn't work as well and in some cases, someone who may appear 'minor' has a significant and more major impact then many people might think. 


All that said, I suppose what I'm trying to say to you ultimately, is don't undervalue the roles you've been given. They may just a 'minor role', yes but they are still crucial to the structure of the production as a whole and you, playing those roles, well, you help to make it all work and sync together. 


I sense you are a creative indiviudal, so use that creativity and your talent, as well as your confidence to mould these roles, so that you not only play them to the best of your ability but in doing so, show the rest of the production team, you can do it well and you can also make something seemingly small, something a whole lot bigger! 



Re: Feeling pushed aside

Hey Kit

There were other productions on and that's another reason why I'm a bit peeved. There was another big show that I wanted to do that was on at the same time so I'd be pretty stretched for time. Now that I'm in this one, I feel like I should've gone to the other one more and may be able to contribute a bit more

There was an audition process but the director never gave much feedback at all. Just sort of handed out parts.

Re: Feeling pushed aside

@drhalloween Would you consider asking for some feedback? Possibly knowing the reason you were given these parts might help you to understand what the director was looking for – maybe you have a certain look or you brought a particular energy that is ideal for these characters.


And congratulations again – passing an audition process is also no mean feat! Smiley Happy

Re: Feeling pushed aside

I think @Kit's idea to ask the director of the production for some feedback would be really beneficial. It might give you more insight into the questions surrounding the roles you were given and help with future audition processes for other productions and roles Smiley Happy 


More than anything though, I think it's worth having a good think over why you're feeling underappreciated or overlooked. Obviously on the surface, you know it's because you were given roles that you don't feel match up with your skills and others were given roles who are also first year students, yet you weren't. However is it worthwhile, in your opinion, investigating why this makes you feel so underacknowledged and so on? You are worth a lot and you are deserving of a lot also, including fulfilling roles you really want to partake in but this from what I can tell, seems to have knocked your confidence quite a lot. Please, don't let it grasp hold of you too much, utilise the confidence you do have to approach the director and act out the role/s you have been given. 



Re: Feeling pushed aside

Congrats on passing the audition and landing a role @drhalloween. It might not be the one you had you heart set on, but it's still awesome you were chosen to be a part of the production!


I think what @Kit said about asking the director for some feedback would be really constructive. They might be able to let you know what stood out about your audition and also what else they were lookng for. if you're not comfortable speaking face to face with the director about it, then maybe shoot them an email. I think it would also show them that you want to continue to learn more and add different elements to your craft.