(Clicking on a name bolded in blue will take readers to that actor's entry in the Playbill Vault.)
Xanadu. See above under what I'm NOT good at! Enough said. [Any kind of skating or skateboarding.]
I was once offered a leading part in a play, arrived on the first day having worked for weeks privately on it and found out that I didn't have THAT particular role, I had a much smaller role. Luckily I loved the woman who was playing "my role." I never told anyone in the cast. I did tell my agents.
I once auditioned in Mandarin. I don't speak Mandarin. It's a long story but the upshot is I spent four weeks memorizing the scene syllabically, and they offered me the part! But I couldn't do it for scheduling reasons.
I had a callback for Enjolras for the last revival of Les Miserables where I am pretty sure I sang in some alien language. It definitely wasn't English, and I definitely didn't get the job. I tried to play it off... but I couldn't stop it. The gibberish just kept coming out of my mouth.
Chasing Kathleen Turner around a room with my pants around my ankles... that was crazy.
When I arrived in Ireland to audition for a place at the Gaiety School of Acting, I was informed that I had missed my audition by ten days and that the course was full! This after packing-up and selling-off my banker’s life in South Africa.
I became a touch angry, insisting that the stuff-up was their administration’s fault. I wrote a very corporate letter to the school’s director. After consideration, they told me that I could audition but that the course was still full and that the best they could offer was the chance to be put on a waiting list. And that they would see me in an hour’s time.
I had to warm up and rehearse in blustery, rainy, fall weather in St. Stephen’s Green, under a tree, with ducks and drunks shouting support. It must have made me gritty and real, and the right kind of uncaring, because I succeeded to impress them enough to get myself onto the standby list. A week later I was rolling around in studio one.
I asked to do the Thenardier material at my Enjolras audition. It was weird, dark, and I had an imaginary dead body puppet sing in the sewers with me. Why did they hire me?
I auditioned for a director once and after we had spoken for a while we started to read the scene. He pulled out this camera that had the kind of lens on it that I saw people in Alaska using to take pictures of moose.
He put it right in my face and started taking snapshots... he asked if I minded. Of course I said no. Should have said YES!
Having to bounce around on a spacehopper for a commercial- whilst being incredibly hungover. I promptly threw up in a bin outside afterwards. That was a particularly low point in the career. Or having to run round a room with a water pistol pretending to be chased by a crazed gunman on a paintballing course… or being asked to do something unmentionable in a bathtub. The list goes on!
I sang that cheesy Peter Allen ballad "Don't Cry Out Loud" as a crazy woman trying desperately not to cry for a Broadway audition. I thought it was hysterical but the director (who shall remain nameless) did not and I most definitely did not get that job.
When I auditioned for Mimi in Rent, I decided to really act it out because I had seen the show a million times so I knew it pretty well. I sang and danced "Out Tonight" all over the room at Telsey.
I was on the floor, on their desk, crawling, purring and completely out of breath at the end from kicking my face as if kicking down the stairs in true Mimi fashion. I thought I was FIERCE! My agent called me and told me that my audition was crazy but they liked me anyway and I got hired.
In the Roundabout Space, the bathroom is INSIDE the audition room. I auditioned for a reading in that room while I was having some dietary issues.
Getting to sing Queen songs FOR Queen, and working with Brian May on the material. It was unreal!
Probably auditioning over three months with your auditions being broadcast to the nation every week. Auditions are terrifying anyway!
When I was auditioning to do motion capture work at a video game company, they asked me to pretend I was "a creature with like, no spine, and club this body to death. And sniff at it. Stuff like that." I did end up doing some creature work in my tenure there, but I was mostly just kidnapped and shot.
After my audition for Legally Blonde, I thought I was horrible and I cried. And, I ended getting Margot from that one audition.
I had just moved to L.A. and auditions were going well, but there was a consistent trend. Everytime I went in to play a thug, robber or general bad guy, I would be asked to read a good guy role instead. That was problematic because most of the guys reading the lawyers, cops and good guys were so much older then myself.
I realized it was because I would enter the casting office as my warm, nice, happy self; and then I would transform into the character. They didn't want that. I had a theory that they just wanted to believe I was that person and not acting.
I had this great audition for a guest star on "CSI: NY" coming up and I wanted to test my theory, so when I got to the casting office I was already in character. Pants saggin'! Voice deep and raspy! Mean look in my eyes! Barely acknowledged anyone! After I read I slowly walked out of the room, gave the director a threatening glance, and slammed the door.
I booked it! The first day on set the director called me over and said, "Bryan you fooled me! You are no thug! You went to Yale!" I laughed and said, "I'm an Ivy League thug."
I was in my final round of auditions for Wicked while I was doing 1776 in Connecticut. I rented a car for a week so I could drive back and forth from CT to NY for my callbacks in the day and shows at night.
I'm a very shy person, and most of my audition stories are terrifying or sad. I think I may actually have had an out of body experience auditioning for Frank Wildhorn's Civil War. All I remember is my view of his shoes... from the perspective of one who is hovering up around the ceiling. That counts as crazy, right?
I won't get into the audition process for " Legally Blonde: The Search For Elle Woods" cause I could write an entire book about it.
How about my audition story for Cats? One random day my friend Noah Haydon called me up and said, "You need to get here ASAP! Cats is auditioning the women in 2 hours." I ran over there with my hair in pig tails (cause it looked more like cat ears) dressed all in black and made it to the female open call. I made it through all the dance cuts and to the singing auditions.
I sang "Dance 10, Looks 3" and strutted around so confident. They asked me to sing something else in my book that showed my soprano… I chose to sing "A Sleepin' Bee" by Harold Arlen. Then they asked for another song… I sang "Losing My Mind!" A 17-year-old child in pigtails singing "Losing My Mind"!
I was one of the final girls to sing and when I left the audition I took the elevator with one of the creatives (can't remember who) and he looks at me and tells me that he missed his flight just so he could stay and hear me sing all those songs!
Auditioning with three other people who were up for the other roles in the piece and essentially having to make out with total strangers. It was awesome.
When I auditioned for my first arts high school we were required to do a monologue. Instead my mom and I thought it'd be a good idea for me to play 2 characters and do a scene (you know, to show my range). I played both Mama and Beneatha from A Raisin in the Sun, and I did the scene where Beneatha tells Mama she doesn't believe in God, and Mama slaps her. And yes, I slapped myself... and they let me in.
I was singing an audition and forgot that my cell phone was in my pocket. It rang as I was about to sing the toughest and highest part of the song. I sang that song well that day because I was singing and trying to turn my phone off at the same time. The casting person laughed and said that was a first. I got cast in the show.
I went in for a tap dance call for a show that was extremely difficult. I became a bit overwhelmed, so after we went through it the last time and began to break into groups, I pivot stepped right out the door and never came back!
I was in a very important callback once and the casting director had his/her lunch delivered during my audition while I sang. I finished and the delivery person applauded. Really. I got the job, so I guess all's well the ends well?
I auditioned for a horror movie once where they tied me to a chair and told me to try to escape. I didn't get the part.
After my final callback for Sister Act (in which there were like… at least 30 people AND WHOOPI staring at me), I went into the stairwell of Telsey's office and sobbed like a baby from relief. Then went to NYMF rehearsal with mascara all over my face and no one told me.
All of them are crazy. Auditioning is terrifying and exhilarating all at the same time. Nothing TOO drastic has happened to me yet but I'm sure it can still happen!
A certain Russian director never looked up and never stopped speaking full-voice in Russian to his assistant throughout my entire audition.