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What is the Silliest Thing You Have Ever Had to Do in the Name of Your Craft ?
—Shara Ashley Zeiger, New York
"As an exercise, each actor had to create a movement and a sound, one after the other in a rhythmic pattern. Since I hadn't played this game before, I was the first one. Not knowing that the end product would be a big working machine in motion, I was the one stuck doing a hillbilly dance, making a hee-haw donkey sound, until everyone had their turn! Has this made me a better actor? Yes. Now I believe in simplicity. In acting, simple gestures and sounds will always suffice. But it was all in good fun."
—Annalisa de Lena, San Francisco
"I was shooting a movie, Backfire, by Ben Demaree. Starring as the hit woman, Nicole, I run down the stairs toting a gun while dragging my co-star. We sprint down the stairs with Alex, the cameraman, on our heels. Suddenly Alex yells, 'Put the gun down!' I turn to see two LAPD officers standing behind their car doors, guns drawn, yelling! I gingerly laid the gun in a flower planter and put my hands up. We didn't get shot, thankfully! The lesson: Be careful if you're toting around a fake gun in public, and the LAPD does have a sense of humor!"
—Michelle Tomlinson, Los Angeles
"I was cast as the lead in a theatrical interpretation of The Night of the Iguana. The director had rewritten much of Tennessee Williams' great script in an effort to get to the bare essence of the play. A staggering 11 weeks of character work were allotted for the production. Rehearsals mainly consisted of bizarre games where the actors would chase each other around a lecture hall, fanning ourselves and screaming strange chants. I was not receptive to these ridiculous methods and was fired after three weeks. Lesson learned: Never rewrite Williams! Now, that's silly!"
—Thomas McGinty, Los Angeles
"Back in 2003, I got an audition for Blind Date. During the audition, ever the smart-ass, I jumped into a character that wasn't really me. I decided to improv as a redneck. It worked. So during filming, after my date and I left a bar, I was slightly intoxicated. During the cab ride, I decided to have a huge chew, but I needed something to spit in. So I asked [if she had anything]. She was appalled! The host, Roger Lodge, had some good stuff to say about me on the show, painting me the heel. Hey, my silly character study worked!"
—Michael Kirkland, Los Angeles
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