You know that role, the one you fell in love with? I’m talking about the one you auditioned for and felt like you blew it? Well, don’t give up on that “role crush” just yet. Take a look at the stories below for some much-needed reassurance that rough auditions can have a happy ending.
Actor known for “Scandal,” “S.W.A.T.” and “Mom”
“Earlier on in my career, my confidence was low. One of my acting coaches made me feel like I was a bad actor, and I thought it was wrong to use anything but her technique. So, I had a string of bad auditions where I was walking out of the room with my head hanging low. One of these included “Scandal.” Casting gave me a note after the first take, and I thought that meant I wasn’t going to book. So, I just let go and used their feedback to tweak my performance. I walked out, thinking that was the end of it, but my agent called the same day to tell me I’d gotten the role!
I booked two episodes on “Scandal” and went into them with more confidence, mixing technique I’d studied with what’s comfortable for me as an actor. I blended it into a nice smoothie of how I approach my work. They ended up writing me into two more episodes and gave me more to play with. I got to deliver a monologue to Kerry Washington, and it was great because she was the first star with whom I’d worked. It was like playing basketball with Kobe! When I got a little nervous about the seven cameras on me, she even encouraged me by saying, ‘Honey, just have fun. You’ve got this!’”
Casting director known for “The Unknown,” “Fatal Conflict” and “Deadly Rivals”
“I’m a coach as well, and after casting an actress named Brea Grant in a horror film, I helped coach towards goals she’d set for herself, which included booking the show “Heroes”. She was having a hard time because she didn’t have her SAG-AFTRA card and didn’t have the right rep. But she stayed in the game, and after a year and a half, she finally got the “Heroes” audition. I remember that afterwards, she was upset because she felt like she’d bombed the audition. But she ended up booking a recurring role. So, that’s a great story.
I also have a cautionary tale about auditioning. When I was working on “The Making of Back to the Future,” Steven Spielberg was supervising, and one day, we were coming back from a meeting together. We got on the elevator, and the last guy to get on was clearly an actor. Spielberg tapped him on the shoulder and asked if he had a picture and resume. The guy said he didn’t but had one in his car. He missed his opportunity, and Spielberg later told me that if he’d had it on him, we would’ve read him for a role. So, a big thing to remember in regards to auditioning is to always be prepared!”
Actor known for “Justified,” “Criminal Minds” and “CSI”
“I went in for a callback for the last season of “Justified.” In the car afterwards, I was asking myself what was wrong with me. What was I doing with my life? You know, when you’re at that spot where you’re just going to eat all your feelings that day. Then, literally the next day, I booked it. So, you just never know.
Another memorable one is a theater audition where they wanted to throw in some choreography. I’m definitely an actor, not a dancer. I was there in the audition room wondering, once again, what I was doing. But I ended up booking it because the comedy of the role outweighed the dancing. You never know exactly what they’re looking for on the other side. I have some experience in casting, and it takes some of the pressure off as an actor to know what goes on there. That is, at the end of the day, casting wants you to do well. It makes everyone’s job easier!”
If you can take away anything from these experiences, it is that you never know what’s going to happen. Even if you walk out of an audition feeling like it wasn’t the one, take heart. You may still end up with that dream role. Just be sure you’re always prepared—so you’re ready for it!