A million years ago, I went to some audition for a girl group, and I said I played piano. I went into the audition, and I sang and they were like, "You play piano!" I was like, "Yes, I do." They were like, "Can you play?" There was a keyboard marked up. I was like, "Ok…" I can play piano, and I do play piano, but I typically play for myself or I play to learn music. I never in my life had auditioned to play. Every song I know just went out of my head. I sat there at the piano, like, "Ok…" It turned into a comedy show. I don't know what I did, but it turned into a comedy sketch. I think I got the job because it was so funny. Samantha Massell (Fiddler on the Roof)
When Once was coming out, I was like, "Send me the piano music, and in three months I'll be ready." Then my audition was [moved to only a week away], and I was like, "Not fair!" And I once did a Red Lobster commercial that didn't air. They said, "You eat shrimp, right?" I said, "Yeah!" I'd never eaten shrimp in my life. Then I was there eating shrimp all day. It was disgusting! And it didn't air, so I made no money. Matthew Broderick (Sylvia)
I got a TV commercial. They said, "Do you play basketball?" I said, "Sure!" Back then I never got commercials. I auditioned for all of them. This one I suddenly found myself getting very close. They were down to just a couple of guys. "Come to Long Island City, and it's on a basketball court — and you really can play basketball, right?" The third or fourth time the guy said it to me, I said, "I'm not really a very good basketball player." And they sent me home. When it came down to it, I knew I was going to hold them up, so I was noble and told them, "You should get somebody else."
I wouldn't say it's a lie, but I did at one point put kickball on my resume as a special skill. I played four times, but I definitely was going to put kickball on, just in case.
Annaleigh Ashford (Sylvia)
When I first moved to New York, I was going to Marymount Manhattan College, and I had just turned 17. I needed a job. I called my friend who now is one of the bigwigs of Bumble and Bumble. He was working for the Peninsula Spa/Hotel. I needed a job there, and he realized I did not have quite enough experience on my resume in high-class establishments that were five-star hotels. We elaborated on a few of my job positions in my time in Denver because all I'd done was theatre, and I got the job. I had waited tables at the Boulder Center Theatre when I was also doing a show there. It was a dinner theatre where you waited tables after you acted. We re-interpreted that into a customer service position at a high-class restaurant. We didn't full-out lie. We just reinterpreted some of my experiences. Ben Rappaport (Fiddler on the Roof)
At my Carnegie Mellon audition, when I was auditioning for college, I sang "Stars" from Les Misérables. At the time, I was 17 and I hadn't seen Les Misérables. I was given the song by a voice teacher and learned it, and I had no idea what it was about. So I was doing it in front of two professors. I remember singing it — I was in the moment, and I was feeling my way through it. They said, "Do you know what this song is about?" Kind of in a panic moment, I was like, "He's out looking at the stars! Isn't it beautiful? He loves the stars." They said, "You've never seen Les Miz, have you?" Finally I said, "You know what? I haven't." I did [get in], actually! I think they appreciated the humility. Sam Rockwell (Fool For Love)
A private detective. Rachel Dratch (Ripcord)
I don't think I have. I get pissed when I see on someone's resume that they say there were on "Second City Mainstage" and I'm like, "No, you weren't!" I never lie on resumes, but I'm tempted to lie on "Special Skills"… You lie about accents that you do well, but when you're actually pressed to do them, you suck at them. Maybe I've stretched the truth that I can do an accent.