Dream casting is a thing now. We all have to accept it. Whether it’s anything from the upcoming production of Frozen, to a reading of Mean Girls, or the hypothetical musical version of The House Bunny, Broadway Internet loves to debate who they think would be best for the job. I appreciate the enthusiasm, but on the other side of the elementary school cafeteria that is social media, actors are either being left out or pitted against each other for roles that don’t even exist.
It’s a double-edged sword. If you are dreamcast in a role, then you will be tagged in that article, and subsequently tagged in any tweets exalting, condemning, or switching out your fake casting. If you aren’t dreamcast, then you’re thrown into a shame spiral because some intern didn’t think you’d be a good Tevye even though you’re a twenty-six year old Irish girl. Sometimes, Broadway Internet will pit two people against each other, like their Twitter feed is a spinoff of Smash, and an unsuspecting actor who did not even ask for the attention has been thrown into a favorite/retweet debate where they ultimately find out that they are the Karen.
In the most recent #SOBLESSED Live! at 54 Below, we dreamcast the cast that was currently performing, because there is always somebody out there that wishes it were somebody they think is better. Again, I love Broadway Internet’s enthusiasm, but in an industry already so steeped in competition, click-bait stunts like this encourage bad social media behavior.
Show business is so often dramatized in such a way that makes women look like they are constantly at each other’s throats for a role. You never see the auditions where fifteen girls show up and they are all friends because they are always in for the same shows. Actors mostly just show up, do the audition, and then usually find a happy hour together. Granted, it doesn’t make for television as riveting, but Broadway just isn’t Karen and Ivy 24/7, and Broadway Internet shouldn’t be, either.
So here is my challenge: In honor of Women’s History Month this March, I challenge any website that gains web traffic by engaging in dreamcasting to donate to programs that help empower women. With every “who played the role better,” “who should play this fictional role,” and “who should replace this person who hasn’t even left their show yet” post, check out the list of resources at The Interval. Since we all work in theatre, I realize everyone is broke, so I don’t actually demand this to happen, but even just the thought can inspire change.
This rant does not come from being left out of any dreamcasting, but on the off chance you were wondering, I dreamcast this blog post as the lovechild of Aaron Tveit and Idina Menzel.