The Casting Director Asked You to What?! Over 20 Broadway Actors Share Their Craziest Audition Stories

News   The Casting Director Asked You to What?! Over 20 Broadway Actors Share Their Craziest Audition Stories
 
The editors of Playbill.com have combed through the past year of our popular Cue & A feature to select some of our favorite answers to the question, "What Is Your Craziest Audition Story?"

From being asked to throw themselves against walls, to flubbed lines, to rude casting directors, your favorite stars share their most memorable moments (and those they wish they could forget). Over 20 responses from Broadway actors follow. 

 

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Steven Pasquale
I sang (pretty damn well if memory serves) "Anthem" at an audition, and a very well-known casting director completely dismissed me by asking if I studied singing, and that if I didn't, I should. Then he insulted the way I looked, and that was that.

I have since been offered many things he's cast and have agreed to do none of them. Mostly because they sucked, but also? Because I haven’t forgotten how sh*tty a moment that was. It is EASY to do your job, any job, without being jerk. It's simply a choice. If the President can do it? So can you. Full-on Scorpio mode right now, PS.

Micah Stock
I walked for four hours the morning after Hurricane Sandy from my apartment in Red Hook to Midtown for a callback, was told, "Thank you" after only doing one of three sides and was so tired/crazy that I insisted on doing the other two.

They said, "No, thank you." I said, "Well, I'm gonna do them anyway." And I did. And the reader, bless him, actually read with me. I do NOT recommend doing this.

Beth Malone in <i>Fun Home</i>
Beth Malone in Fun Home Photo by Joan Marcus

Beth Malone
Somehow I ended up at a DANCER call for Lincoln Center's South Pacific. And instead of leaving I stayed and tried to learn it. Completely demoralizing... I left in the middle. Had to call my agents to explain. Aw. Ful.

Brad Oscar
Being asked to play the scene as if I were blind, for no reason whatsoever. And yet I still had to read from the script, as I hadn't been told to memorize it. Maddening.

Lisa Howard
In my audition for South Pacific, I couldn’t seem to understand what the director wanted me to do. He kept saying, "Make it bigger. Make it stronger. More force." I must have read the scene 7 times before I finally asked, "Do you want it butch?" And then I ran the scene like that, they laughed, and I got the part.

Corey Cott
My final callback for Wicked was a two part audition. I sang/read, and then they had me come back and dance an hour later. Naturally, I didn't bring any sort of dance shoe. So I went to a Payless 3 blocks down and bought a pair of black sneakers. I did the whole dance audition in the sneaks. When we were done I placed the shoes back into the box, just like they came, walked back to Payless and returned them. As I was walking out of Payless my manager called and told me I booked it.

Constantine Maroulis
My first audition was terrible because I simply was too nervous to even sing one word… I got ensemble, at least.

Ana Gasteyer
I had to sing "Happy Birthday, Mr. President" to my hand for Robert Wilson. I had a laughing fit and had to excuse myself.

Scarlett Strallen
My final audition for Mary Poppins on the Prince Edward stage. Cameron Mackintosh said from the back of the stalls, "Your hairstyle looks like a lampshade, dear!" It was hilarious and instantly relaxed me... I’m sure thats why I got the job!

Jay Armstrong Johnson and Alysha Umphress in <i>On the Town</i>
Jay Armstrong Johnson and Alysha Umphress in On the Town Photo by Joan Marcus

Alysha Umphress
Auditioned last minute for a William Finn revue and sang a Lou Rawls song (naturally). Got a callback (was shocked). Couldn't go because I had had a vacation planned to California already paid for so I passed on the callback. Was on said vacation wine tasting with my mom and got a call from my agent telling me I booked it. BOOM.

Tina Benko
For an indie horror film. The director: "The demon enters your soul, he starts to take over and then you speak in tongues and the rains come. Drenched and screaming, you struggle with him- who is yourself- but he wins and the life goes out of you, and then slide down the wall and die. Okay, whenever you're ready." (No, I didn't book it).

Laura Donnelly
When I was auditioning for the role of Violet in "Missing" I had to fight myself! I literally had to grasp my own neck and throw myself against a wall. Auditions are so often embarrassing but you just have to go with it with everything you’ve got!

James Snyder
I ripped my pants auditioning for American Idiot. I was in full punk rock gear and gave everything I had, I got back in the waiting room after and looked down… the crotch had ripped. Best part: I wasn't wearing underwear.

John R. Waters
I once went to the wrong audition and it was for a different show. I sang a rock song, and they were casting Nunsense. I didn't get to be a nun or anything.

Ciara Renée in <i>Pippin</i>
Ciara Renée in Pippin Photo by Joan Marcus

Ciara Renée
My auditions are almost always crazy! I love letting loose in an audition. I often throw my papers around, jump on the furniture in the room, or fall to the floor. I mean, obviously within reason of the show/style/character, but it's fun when its a bit of a whirlwind!

Andy Kelso
My first audition ever. It was for the musical in high school- The Secret Garden. I think I sang "Sunrise Sunset." Our school had done the Fiddler the year before so it was a bit of a faux pas to use the song in the first place. I forgot the lyrics terribly and the director started singing along with me just to get me through it. I ran spotlight for that production.

Gerónimo Rauch
It was a group audition and they made us pretend to be a nun, then the priest, the church, then the tower and finally the bell. I started laughing because I felt ridiculous.

Jessie Fisher
This one for Once! I left Chicago at 4 AM on a Monday to get to my 11 AM audition in New York. Auditioned, went back home to Chicago at 4:30 PM. Got offered the role the next day on Tuesday, they asked me to be here in New York for work the following day on Wednesday... they were kind enough to push that date to Friday. So I moved here in two days. It was crazy.

Matthew Hydzik in <i>Side Show</i>
Matthew Hydzik in Side Show Photo by Joan Marcus

Matthew Hydzik
I sang and played guitar for Ted Neely, but forgot chords and then broke into a flop sweat because I was so starstruck. Oh, and then another time I auditioned for Kristin Hanggi for Rock of Ages, and the song was three steps higher than I expected and my head nearly exploded.

Needless to say, I didn't get either job but they were both very sweet about it. I completely bomb probably one out of every 4 auditions. Builds character.

Jillian Mueller
I had an unusual experience for this show. I was out for lunch with my dad and got a call, out of the blue, from the producer asking if I could come in. The final callback was going on at that moment, so I ran to the studio. I was handed the sides right there, had like 10 minutes to look them over. It was the most last minute, no pressure audition I've ever experienced. Also, my initial audition for American Idiot I literally had a big bandaid under my bottom lip because I had stitches. Sexy.

Frankie J. Grande
In my final callback for Rock of Ages they ran out of time and I didn't get to sing, so my audition was just my reacting to my father’s solo. 

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