We’ve all had embarrassing moments and choked up when the spotlight was on us. In “Frozen” star Josh Gad’s experience, the spotlight was quite literally on him and the chokeup that occurred led to “80 to 250” nights of restless insomnia.
In a piece for the Chicago Tribune, Gad recalls the worst moment in his career, which took place early on during his breakout role in Broadway’s “The Book of Mormon.” Though Gad didn’t share the name of the person, he revealed that a cast member from “Entourage” (not Jeremy Piven, he does clarify) was in the audience one night and was behaving extremely poorly, checking their phone and talking.
Gad says he was debating using improv to call the celebrity out but when he opened his mouth, nothing came out. As he put it, “The entire experience of the human language journey somehow eluded my brain. Mere sounds were difficult. I stood in silence on that stage in the Eugene O’Neill Theatre and I stared at the audience.”
When his scene partners tried to help by saying the lines to him, Gad says he was still unable to speak as “at the same time I apparently lost the ability to speak, I also apparently got hit with a case of tinnitus because my ears start ringing and I can’t hear what she’s saying and I can’t read lips.”
Though he eventually un-froze and delivered the line, the experience continues to stick with Gad. In fact, he says he was so wrapped up in how angry he was in the moment that he let his emotion overcome his responsibility to the production.
Of course, everything in life can be a lesson learned. Reflecting now, Gad says the moment taught him to put the audience above his own distractions because apart from the one rude audience member, there were 1,199 people who had paid for and committed to 2.5 hours of entertainment. “So more than anything, it was a reminder to always be in the moment,” he says. “Because the second you’re not, you will be called on your bluff by the universe.”
His biggest takeaway, however, is a more direct response to the situation: “Never invite cast members from ‘Entourage’ to see a Broadway show.”
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