car-crash-audition.jpgIt’s a significant audition and you’ve been preparing for days. You’re on the ball and have done everything to make the most of this worthwhile opportunity. But the morning of the audition–whammo! You get in a fender bender, or your significant other suddenly breaks up with you, or you’re coming down with a cold, or an ample zit rears its ugly head. “Your turn!” announces the casting assistant inviting you into the audition room. Suddenly, you feel like a soldier going into battle with a pen knife.

According to The Guardian, the Hobbit actor, Martin Freeman experienced a similar situation when he auditioned for the Sherlock role of Dr. John Watson. In his case, the unfortunate incident was getting his wallet stolen on the way to the audition, as the detective drama’s co-creator, Mark Gatiss explained to Radio Times magazine. Freeman admits he “wasn’t in the best frame of mind” that morning. “I’ll admit maybe I was a bit stressed. But a week later, my agent rang and said, ‘Listen, this Sherlock thing, they’re sort of under the impression you weren’t that into it.'” He made sure to clarify that, yes, he most certainly was interested in the role, and now explains, “I just wasn’t on my best day.”

Fortunately, the Sherlock producers gave Freeman a second chance. He was able to audition for the part again, and the stars were in proper alignment on that day. And good for him! Turns out, the modern-day adaptation of Sherlock Holmes has become a huge hit on the BBC.

That was a good save! But really, there are many situations that can throw an actor’s audition off. What if, say, an actor is notified he or she has just won a free trip to the Bahamas, or is beaming joyously after saying yes to a marriage proposal…and now he or she needs to audition for a migraine commercial or play an angry, bitter character? That’s why they call it acting! But, in the end, it’s a reminder that we are all human, and life throws curve balls as it sees fit. So, expect the unexpected on any given day. And be prepared for just about anything. A working actor once told me he was assaulted on the bus before an audition; he booked the spot, and it ran for six months. He explained he didn’t want to make things worse by giving a poor audition. I guess it’s no wonder he’s been working steadily for over twenty years.

Have you ever been thrown off by an unexpected incident just before an important audition? If so, please share!

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