Bad Scene Partner? Actors Reveal their Audition Horror Stories

Project Casting

Have you ever had a bad scene partner? These actors reveal their horrible experiences working with an unprofessional, untrained or rude actor.

During an audition everything you do is scrutinized. Everything can be criticized, from what you wear in the audition room to your tone of voice.  So, when you have a scene partner it is important that both of you work together to land the roles to showcase your acting abilities. However, a bad scene partner has a good chance of costing you the gig.

Recently on Reddit /r/Acting, actors described their scene partner that ended up ruining their chances for a call back.

Check out these four audition horror stories below:

Acting Tip


#1. Dealing with a difficult person

I had a scene partner who constantly stepped all over my lines. When I asked them about it afterwards, they said “this is a competition, kill or be killed.” For reference, they were a thirty year old woman, I am a forty year old man, we weren’t even up for the same role.

It’s just astonishing to me that some people have such a ridiculously stupid mentality.

Give me a flat reader any day of the week. Auditioning with any other actors just seems to be fraught with trouble.

For reference, I got the gig, they didn’t. The producer in the room said he admired how well I dealt with the difficult person. He said (and we have probably all experienced this, god knows I have) that sometimes tempers get frayed on set and knowing how and when to keep a cool head is important.

It didn’t cost me the gig but by christ when I came out of that room I thought it had. – /u/Stevespim

#2. Unprofessional scene partner

I had an audition today for a big commercial. I came in prepared and found out that we were going to do the audition with a partner who was auditioning for the other role in the scene. Sweet, that’s fine.

Anyway we get into the room and my partner can’t make it through their slate without laughing. They aren’t off book and pretty much have immediately annoyed everybody. I do my best and get through a quick rehearsal. CD tells us to go for it for real. My partner immediately forgets her lines and we have to cut and start over.

We start over and she again misses pretty much all her lines, skips over entire swathes of dialogue, and throws me off pretty bad. The CD is too busy to get me a new partner and thanks us for our time and sends us on the way.

Ugh. I guess I’m mostly furious because I could have landed this one if I had a reasonably prepared partner/the CD would have had time to let me re-pair up. – /u/Jasonresno


#3. Working with random actors…

I was auditioning for a short comedic film about a husband and wife and liked the sides, was totally prepared and off-book. I kept the sides with me in the audition, of course, because that’s what you do. They were pairing us up, but I was a good 15 minutes earlier than the girl who was scheduled to read with me and they wouldn’t just bring me in and read me alone (what’s the point of pairing up totally random actors you’ve never seen at an initial audition? Save it for the callback). She finally shows up and we go in and she doesn’t have her sides out and my stomach immediately drops because I have honestly never seen this situation go well. She asks if it’s cool if she “makes the words her own” because she likes improv and they say it’s fine, and then we start this rambling repetitive mockery of the scene because she doesn’t know what’s going on and doesn’t give me any of the cues in the piece.

Note: there’s a big difference between “making it your own” and “making it up.” –/u/thisisnotarealperson

#4. Scene Partner didn’t know his lines…

Had an audition nightmare where my scene partner didn’t know his lines and seemed to try to combat his insecurity of being unprepared by treating the audition like a big joke. He’d break character, look at the CD, and the scene ended right before some kissing (which the CD had everyone stop before), so instead of just ending, he did one of those moves where he dips the girl and pretends to go in for a kiss. I was not the happiest camper.

Do you have an audition horror story? Share it with us in the comments below!

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