Brand new podcast Don’t Call Us, We’ll Call You reveals the hilarious and embarrassing tales of actors’ audition experiences. We all need a bit of theatrical fun in our lives right now as host Christopher Bartlett-Walford delves into the most cringe-worthy audition mishaps.
Each episode Christopher is joined by a guest from the world of theatre, film, TV or comedy to learn about the ups and downs of their audition history and reveal all the things that happen behind the casting room door.
What is the podcast all about?
It’s an honest and hilarious look at when auditions and castings don’t go to plan (failures with unbelievable endings). Hundreds of castings happen(ed) every day, and when they are a disaster, they really stick with you – so we thought we’d share some.
Where did you get the inspiration behind it?
Probably all the times as a performer I messed up auditions myself (I have some horror stories!), but being a big fan of podcasts like Gossipmongers where the listeners become such an integral part of the show, it really spoke to me and lends itself to anonymous audition submissions. We wanted to normalise the stress that auditions and castings can bring, and remind people it’s OK for things to go awry, it’s human to make mistakes… and to make people laugh retelling those stories!
What is the format of the show?
Each week myself and a guest from the world of entertainment (West End, TV, Film, Comedy) read out listeners’ anonymously submitted tales, and share our own disasters too, often remembering some awful audition happening whilst we’re talking, that we’d buried deep down to never speak of again.We have some excellent guests from the West End, TV and Broadway coming up, it’s genuinely taken me by surprise just how awesome our guest list is!
Can you share some of your own funny audition stories?
I once just ended up insulting a high profile and very powerful TV producer when my nerves made me convince everyone in the room her coffee cup was full of gin and not coffee! I was mortified and so was she! I’ve worked with her since now, so we’re all cool.
What are some of the best audition stories you’ve heard?
There’s one in episode 3, where a guy auditioned for the part of Toto in the Wizard of Oz, spent many workshops with the director, chemistry tests with the actor playing Dorothy, only for the final cast list to be released weeks down the line, and them to cast an actual dog not a human! Beaten out by a different species! It’s absolutely unbelievable but totally believable at the same time.
Another absolute horror is when an actor hadn’t learnt the song Close Every Door from Joseph (lyrics by Sir Tim Rice) and thought he could blag it, walked into the audition room, only to be greeted by Sir Tim Rice himself! What a nightmare (and totally his own fault). He’s learnt his lesson now…
Why do you think it is such a universal topic that actors can relate to?
It’s because we have all been there. We all have those stories, actors or casting teams, where something goes absolutely atrociously and you will never live it down.
It’s never the ones that go ok, or well that you remember, it’s the ones where something (relatively unimportant) derails you completely and then all hell breaks loose in your own mind as you overthink a situation.
How can people get involved?
In two ways; firstly by emailing in their stories to firstname.lastname@example.org and secondly by subscribing and listening to the show. At a time where theatre and everything alongside it is full of sadness, and gloom, we want to bring a speck of joy and laughter to our world. Anyone missing theatre can remind themselves that so much goes on before the show; hopefully we can lift the lid in a really enjoyable way on some of that process.