By Kenneth Avery-Clark

We have all heard this expression before but it is so true, especially in show business.

We are constantly ‘harping on’ at students to always remember this, and just yesterday I received a phone call that confirms it! But not just that your reputation precedes you but even more important that people WILL and DO ask around about you.

A choreographer who I worked with 5 years ago rang me out of the blue.  It was lunchtime and he was on a break from auditioning for a new musical. That morning he saw a girl who (uh-oh) had my name on her CV as someone who had directed her.  He said she was ‘perfect’ for the role they were casting but they didn’t get a good idea of what she was like as a person. His questions:

  1. What’s she like as a person? (obviously)
  2. Was she a good company member?

Now, despite my above poor effort at suspense, in this case I am pleased to say that I was able to give a glowing review. I only directed this person once but I said she was an excellent company member and really threw herself into the role and was always willing to try new things – he especially liked that comment because he was working on a new musical that was ever-evolving. I also said she was extremely nice! He said ‘so, you would definitely work with her again and recommend her’ which I replied ’absolutely’.

He said something else that made me really think. He said that she had looked like she COULD have had a bit of ‘attitude’. I quashed that immediately saying it was probably nerves.

The lesson? No matter how ‘perfect’ you are for a role a simple phone call can take it one way or another. And, it’s so important how you come across at an audition.

REPUTATION IS PARAMOUNT!