First I would check how level and North the scope actually is - do not use magnetic North as that can be several degrees off and so therefore will the first slew. Thinking that the scope has slewed the required amount but as the start position was a bit off you have ended up looking at where the first alignment star was not present.
Assuming the 8" then with a 2000mm focal length you get 50x, and that gives 0.8 degree field. The catch then is that you need to be aligned to North by a maximum error of 0.4 degrees - not 0.8, things get halved.
So if more then 0.4 degrees off of North your first alignment star will not (OK may not) be in the field of view. That all means you have top be very accurate. One of the catches with an SCT.
An accuratelt set up finder will help, but accurate means checked at each outing to be confident of accuracy.
Easy way to envisage it is a star at 90 degrees to North. You set up scope to L&N, and then scope will slew 90 degrees to the first star. If your North is 1 degree off the final slew position is 1 degree "wrong", and in the field you have there is no alignment star in view. You have a field of view of +/-0.4 degrees and the star is off to one side by 1 degree = not in view.
Selecting your own is a good option as the best idea I have come across is to select red/orange stars at least for the first one. The color makes them stand out easier.
But I think the real problem will be the initial Level and North simply as you have a narrow FoV.
I do think that with an SCT (Meade and others) that Level and North although easy is maybe not a great idea. A start position of centering Polaris would make more sense. That is defined and can be read from data and it removes the "How level and how North?" is the scope question.