Schedule conflicts for acting is, unfortunately, a common thing that happens to actors. They expect one acceptance among ten auditions, but they will get two acceptances. From getting hardly any work, suddenly an actor has multiple offers. It is conflicting because you want both, but can you have both?
There are a couple of ways to handle this: either check if both can be worked into the schedule or simply decline the second offer to stay with the first. One thing not to do is break the first engagement after the ink has been signed.
Every offer and conflict should be looked at a subjective point-of-view and not by emotional ties; the agent can help out on that. Actors are simply auditioning for a bunch of things that could turn into bookings and have date changes, even after shooting has begun. Communication is about potential conflicts that absolutely should happen when a callback is expected.
If the rehearsal is for a reading or and you could be replaced with little notice or if the other gig is only for one day or an hour, you could possibly arrive a little late for the rehearsal. Just talk to the director; directors are and should be flexible.
If that isn’t possible, go with the first commitment. Once you sign the contract, you can’t get out of it. Just go with the first one.
The second one may be better, but the contract is the contract and you can get sued for breaking it. That may not be preferable, but just taking the first role is the only thing you can do.
Sure, the dates on the first project could change and you will hate yourself for declining the second one because it would fit your schedule, but it’s just going to happen. But by revealing your schedule, others could consider you for another role.
Turn down a role when you feel you are not connected to it or of it conflicts with your personal morals. It is always okay to turn down a role. The only ones that would get the studio to make all the adjustments necessary to bring in one actor are the A-listers, not an up-and-comer.
Don’t get stiff regarding scheduling for either role.
Newcomers just want continuous work.
Actors have scheduling conflicts all the time. Two great roles that sometimes an actor can take, but other times cannot and have to choose the first one they said yes to.
The casting director will understand, so say thanks for the offer, but you have another commitment.
It tells the industry what you are doing and that you are respectable in honoring your first commitment. Honor that and don’t burn bridges.
There will be other great roles down the road to take and it could be with the same people who offered you that second role.