A friend of mine moved from LA to NY, and we met up at a chorus call. As we were waiting for our names to be called, she moaned, "Why do people sign up and not show up?"
I love her, but it was one of the more naive things she's said.
Today I signed up for a chorus call I do not plan on attending. I was at Equity signing up for a chorus call I DO plan to attend, and I added my name to the list for a call the following day. That day I have a date with my toddler, her potty and Terri Crane, author of How To Potty Train in One Day. This technique, which my friends swear by, requires a whole day, and the only day I have totally free-- probably in all of 2016-- is on this particular day.
But that could change. I thought I had last Wednesday free too, and I ended up getting called in for a commercial audition. If that happens again, I'm now in a position to squeeze in a musical theatre audition in the morning. I frequently find that my schedule changes at the eleventh hour. I have learned from experience that if I think I am good for the show, and there's a slight chance that I can make it the ECC, and if I can easily sign up ahead of time, I should go ahead and do it. It's not so hard to carve out one or two hours in a day for an audition. It's another matter entirely to carve out three to four, which is usually what ends up happening if you don't sign up ahead of time, and you end up tacked on to the tail end of a call.
However, even if I have every intention of showing up, there are still many reasons why I wouldn't. Maybe I get sick or injured. Maybe I get a callback that conflicts. Maybe I get an appointment for the same show later in the week. Maybe I get an appointment for another show, and it interferes. Maybe I'm called in for emergency coverage at work. Maybe the babysitter falls through. Maybe I oversleep. Maybe I go to the wrong location. Maybe I wrote down the wrong date.
Every single one of those things has happened to me. Now, no one should make a habit of signing up for an audition they don't intend to go on. I rarely do it, as it takes a lot of effort to haul my carcass to Equity to sign up or to attend. But my point is that a lot can happen between the day you sign up and the day the audition takes place.
The good news is the system is changing! Check out Equity President Kate Shindle's statement on the first page of the sexy, updated Equity News. There are plans to change to online sign-ups in New York. (Props to Kate for coming up with #solutions.) I don't have the details yet, but I do hope you can delete your name off the ECC list just in case you do get sick/injured/oversleep/book a show/have to take the cat to the vet. It would save the poor monitors a lot of precious time and sanity on the day of the call.
In the meantime, don't judge your fellow members too harshly! You will be the one who doesn't show one day. Remember, we all have lives, and Life has a habit of getting in the way.