157 Callback Anger and Rage


Earlier this year I  wrote THIS post about monitoring auditions and how pre-audition behavior can cost an actor the gig. I recently monitored an audition and callbacks for a NYC based theater company and they were seeing equity and non-equity actors. After looking at everyone’s resume, there was experience ranging from just starting out to Broadway credits.

The audition went well, and most people seemed like they would be great to work with. But then callbacks started.

A union actor in his 40’s was the first to arrive at the callback, and he was 5th on the list. We had an open appointment at the beginning of the list, so I told the actor he could go first if he wanted to. He said, “No. I need like 15-20 minutes to get myself prepared.” So I replied, “That works. I will just keep you at your current time slot and I will call you when we are ready for you.”

Then as it always happens, appointments were running over and we started to get behind. As a courtesy I told everyone waiting, that they could expect some delays in the schedule.

The actor who was 4th on the list came in right before his time slot, so I called his name and ushered him towards the room.  The actor who was on the list after this man (the one who had asked for the extra 15-20 minutes) stood up and started yelling at me and the man I was escorting into the room.

“What are you doing?” he yelled. “I was here before that guy and I should be seen before him. This is ridiculous. This is fucking ridiculous.” Then he took his sides and the binder he had in his hand and threw them at the wall and screamed “arrrrgggggghhhhhhhh!” His papers went flying everywhere. The actor going into the room, who was also in his 40’s, looked at me and rolled his eyes and mouthed “Diva”.

I calmly approached the enraged actor and said, “I asked you if you wanted to go first, and you said no, so I put you back in the time slot you were originally given. That actor was here after you, but is before you on the list, so please settle down.”

“Oh.” he said.

I went back to my perch and texted the AD not to hire this guy as he had just exploded in a fit of rage in the hallway.

Then actor then came up to me and apologized profusely. “I am so sorry, I am not sure what came over me. I hope this won’t be held against me when they cast the show. I really need to get myself together.”

“No problem.” I said.

Needless to say, he did not get cast.


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