The Very Worst Audition Helper

March 15, 2023

That would be…me.

Especially when Steve needs assistance.

You see, in recent months Stevo has really stepped up his film auditioning game, which is wonderful. Only problem is, most of the time, once he gets notice from his agent about a role, he then has to submit an audition video. These are needed within a day, with little time to rehearse. 

I’m a very quick study. If you gave me a script, even of several pages, I could probably nail it in one take. But alas! I am not the one in the running for these productions, Steve is. Steve very often needs an off-screen voice delivering the other character’s lines during a scene. While I know at this point he’d adore for someone else, anyone else, to be that unseen presence, I’m usually stuck with—I mean game to be--doing these with him. My office is just down the hall from his in our house; there’s literally nowhere to hide. And my price of zero dollars is right.

My husband struggles with memorization. To be fair, many of these scripts are abysmally written, and it is MUCH easier to learn well-crafted material. Also, a great many films and TV commercials that he’s up for involve doctors, medications and medical procedures. Sometimes Steve is the patient, suffering from psoriasis or cancer or high cholesterol. Other times he’s the kindly doc, informing the invisible patient that they have a dreadful disease. Whichever side he’s on, he has to wrestle with miles-long, tongue-twistery medical terms. 

Here's how a typical session goes:

ME: Are you ready?

STEVE: Yep. I’ve been working on lines all morning! Let’s start the camera rolling!

ME: Great, because we really need to wrap this up so I can finish writing my essay.

STEVE: See, there you go again. When you get so impatient you make me nervous!

ME: OK, I’m sorry. Take your time.

STEVE: “Ask your doctor about Efflumidium. Side effects include…”

ME: My copy of the script doesn’t say Efflumidium. Mine says Emmlufidium. Which is it?

STEVE: Damn. I’ve been saying it wrong. Let’s take it again. (pause) Do you have to roll your eyes like that?

ME: Forget my eyes! Just pronounce the darned medication already!!!!!

STEVE “Ask your doctor if Efflu—Emmlyfidium…” 

ME: Not “if”! Not “if”!! “Ask your doctor ABOUT!!!”

STEVE: OK, OK. Geez. Can we try it again?

ME: One more time.

STEVE: I’ll need at least three more times.

ME: (calling downstairs) Ya-Jhu! Do you have time to come up here and help Dad?

Ya-Jhu of course is the very soul of patience, and in no time flat the video is ready to go.

Watching the Oscars the other night, I wondered if the actors up there getting their golden statuettes had to deal with terribly un-helpful partners like myself, as they prepared.

Christopher Guest: “Oh, for God’s sake, Jamie Lee! Try to get it right this time! Catherine O’Hara doesn’t flub HER lines!”

Nope. Probably just us. Poor Steve.


    I am an author (of four books, numerous plays, poetry and freelance articles,) a director (of Spiritual Formation at a Lutheran church,) and a producer (of five kids).

    I write about my hectic, funny, perfectly imperfect life.

    Please visit my website: or email me at



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