Actors give stand-up comics a run for their money in Worst Audition Ever, now back for more laughs at Silver Lake’s Cavern Club, downstairs from Casita Del Campo Restaurant.


Worst Audition Ever delivers exactly as promised. A half dozen or so performers recount, in sometimes horrific but mostly hilarious detail, the very worst auditions each of them has kept locked away inside his or her memory chest—until now.

This reviewer finally got to find out what all the laughter is about at the first of two April performances, this one hosted by comedian Andrew Santino, who confessed to being “a massive pussy willow where auditions are concerned” before turning the show over to the evening’s headliners–who brought along not only their stories, but photos and videos to accompany their strolls down memory lane.

For some, the worst audition is always the most recent, or at least such is the case for Mary Gallagher. Still, they don’t get much worse than when Mary auditioned for a bit part as Girl Who Waves in the long-forgotten Julia Roberts-Nick Nolte flick I Love Trouble. Despite having practiced waving for hours (with the video to prove it), Mary didn’t get the part, which she figured probably went to someone who’d practiced more.  And that wasn’t even her absolute worst audition.  That one came later … on roller skates.

Beth Malone’s worst audition was for a role in a Dairy Queen commercial calling for a pair of androgynous actors to play Cookie and Ice Cream, a twosome so attracted to each other that they simply can’t resist the urge to lock lips. That Beth’s audition partner was a 70-year-old Korean man with kimchee breath who spoke not a word of English did not help matters at all, particularly when he finally figured out what he was being asked do and went at it like gangbusters.

Following a string of auditions for Characters Without Names, Steve Rozik finally got to try out for the role of Wayne Szalinski in Honey, I Shrunk the Kids: The TV Show. Unfortunately this meant auditioning for director John Landis and praying that Landis would not recall the extra work Steve had done years before in The Blues Brothers, a short-lived gig which ended when he accidentally drove a stunt car into a gully and got joined there by the eighteen other drivers who were in hot pursuit.  (No, Steve didn’t get the part.)

Host Andrew’s worst audition came about when he made the mistake of following to the letter advice given him in a casting seminar: “Commit To The Role.” Since the role in question entailed wearing a kilt, Andrew showed up in the next best thing—a skirt. Guess how many other auditioners weren’t wearing kilts or skirts? That’s right. Andrew was the only one—and he didn’t get the part.

When then 18-year-old Lesli Margherita auditioned for a role opposite Michael Crawford in Broadway’s Dance Of The Vampires, she nailed her eighteen bars of “Don’t Rain On My Parade.” She was then asked to learn and perform on the spot one of the show’s more impossible melodies, prompting her to quip to the audition pianist something along the lines of “Who wrote this crap?” Turns out the pianist did, and guess who didn’t get the job.  (I’ll leave the epilog to your imagination, but it’s a doozy!)

Todd Buonopane’s special talent for playing characters with “special needs” scored him a featured role in TV’s Law & Order: Criminal Intent, but it was his audition for the movie Balls To The Wall that didn’t go nearly so well, though Todd did end up helping a quartet of little people (for whom Todd has a particular thing) with their dance skills. Todd didn’t get the part, nor it seems did he score a date with any of the four.

Nicole Shabtai wasn’t auditioning for a part per se when her mother set up a meeting for her with Sharon Stone. (Turns out Mrs. Shabtai and Sharon are both AIDS activists.) Welcoming Nicole poolside in her red bikini, Sharon listened intently as the would-be actress-writer described the screenplay her mother had told Sharon she’d written. (In fact, she’d only completed half of it … in college.) When Nicole blurted out that she’d written the role with Sharon in mind, her “audition” with a star didn’t turn out any better than those of her Worst Audition Ever costars.  (Think Faye Dunaway in Mommie Dearest.)

The above is, of course, only an example of the laugh-filled hour-and-a-half in store for audiences at future Worst Audition Evers. Audience members are encouraged to bring down a margarita or other cocktail from Casita De Campo upstairs, and to leave any prudishness at home, as these audition monologs are rated R for language. (In other words, they say “fuck” a lot.)

Worst Audition Ever is produced by Christine Lakin, Corri English, Daniel A. Miles, and Alec Ledd.

You may not have the Best Time Ever at Worst Audition Ever, but one thing is sure.  An evening of laughs beats a failed audition any day.

Cavern Club, Casita Del Campo, 1920 Hyperion Avenue, Los Angeles.

–Steven Stanley
April 3, 2012

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