Audition Stories

Harry Bellaver (Ernie Downs): Harry agreed to do a "one-shot" favor for director David Pressman, a personal friend. The single appearance turned into a four-year role.

Kale Browne (Michael Hudson): Though the part wasn’t written for him, he was later told a couple of people had him in mind for it for a long time. Ellen Novak, casting director, remembered him from an audition at As The World Turns in 1978. However, when the part of Michael came up, he was doing a film in Brazil and they couldn’t locate him. In an unrelated offer, his agent called when he returned to Los Angeles and said, “No audition, just go in and screen test with Diedre Hall from Days of Our Lives," which was for the role of John Black. He did and a week later, his agent called back and asked if he’d do a soap in New York. It turned out that the first time Novak had been able to locate him was when she discovered he had tested for the L.A. soap. He didn’t get the role on Days of Our Lives, but he did become Michael Hudson on Another World. Browne said to himself, “If this lasts 13 weeks and I get to pay off my VISA card, I’ll be happy.”

Chris Bruno (Dennis Wheeler): Chris tested for the role of Sam Fowler but didn't win the part. AW didn't want to lose him though, so they brought back the character of Dennis for him to play, even though there had been no plans to resurrect that role.

Jensen Buchanan (Vicky Hudson): In Jensen's own words: "I was very single-minded about getting this role. I was very, very focused on the audition, and I went with the sole, hungry purpose of getting this job. That seriousness may have translated in my audition, and perhaps that's why I got the role." Jensen had a hard time staying focused on the audition when she walked in and saw Ellen Wheeler, who was auditioning to return to the part. Jensen hadn't seen her on AW, but she did see her on AMC and respected her work very much.

Danielle Burns (Nancy McGowan): "Another World Today" asked, "How did you get into show business?" Danielle replied, "My sister was in commercials and my mother took me on one of her auditions when I was 6 weeks old. I slept through the whole audition and my sister's agent asked my mom if she could book me for AW." (Ed. Note: Aha! I knew it! The sleeping baby gets the part!)

Robin Christopher (Lorna Devon): AW's casting director was auditioning for the part in LA. Robin went to meet him in his hotel room and read her lines while he watched from across the bed.

John Considine (Reginald Love): John tells the AWHP: "The four-episode stint [playing C.C.'s brother on "Santa Barbara"] was used by NBC to put me in the running for the part of Reginald, but I was flown to NY to test for the part against 3 other actors, all of them English (British), which was the way the part was conceived. It actually got down to me and one of the Brits, and they originally tapped the Brit for the part because of the writer's original vision of Reginald being British... Fortunately for me (and unfortunately for him) they changed their decision after his first day's taping, and put in a distress call to me to come to NY and start work that night! We compromised to the next day's early flight and the rest is history."

Jacqueline Courtney (Alice Matthews Frame): Her auditions started at the beginning of casting in February 1964. After enduring months of auditions in front of everyone involved with the show, she was called for the final, on-camera auditions at Rockefeller Center, where Irna Phillips traveled from Chicago to attend.

Irene Dailey (Liz Matthews): Irene recalls, "I was working in Lafayette, Indiana, at Purdue University when I was called in to audition for the role of Liz. I didn't have much time to go over the script, but I remember after my reading the people just stood up and applauded. I knew the role was mine."

Linda Dano (Felicia Gallant): Linda was at a dinner given by Robin Strasser (who was the original Rachel), when a producer told her he had just the part for her. She was wary, having just finished playing weak female roles on OLTL and ATWT. She screen-tested with long-time friend Stephen Schnetzer, and when she had doubt about her ability to play this role, he told her, "You *are* this character."

Carmen Duncan (Iris Wheeler): With a flourishing career in Australia, Carmen sought to find similar success in America. After not finding work for almost a year, she made plans to return to Australia. She did a screen-test for the role of Iris, then moved back home the next day. Five days later she learned she had won the role and so she returned to the U.S.

David Forsyth (John Hudson): David didn't have to audition for the role. Executive Producer John Whitesell had gone to school with him and knew of his experiences in Vietnam, so he tapped him for the role.

Joanna Going (Lisa Grady): Joanna recalls, "I was the last two-year contract on the show; after that, they started signing actors for three years."

Ricky Paull Goldin (Dean Frame): Ricky tested for the role of Sam Fowler. He lost that part, but he so impressed head writer Donna Swajeski that she created the role of Dean for him. He was not hired for his singing talent. During a meeting, Swajeski asked him if by chance he sang or played the guitar. Ricky said he played the keyboard, and then he performed an a cappella U2 song, which resulted in Swajeski transforming Dean into an up-and-coming singing star.

Anne Heche (Vicky Hudson): In 1985, Anne screen-tested for a role on "As the World Turns" that was created especially for her, but then she turned it down. AW's casting director saw her audition tape and asked her to audition for the role of Vicky/Marley. She didn't get called for the original audition. She came right for the screen-test. She showed up in Levis and saw that all the other girls had come in high heels and makeup. Her reading was cut short, and they told her, "You can act, but the thing is, we really need a fantasy girl, and you're nobody's fantasy."

Anna Holbrook (Sharlene Frame): "Another World Today" asked, "Do you remember your initial audition for the role of Sharlene Frame? What did they tell you they were looking for in the character? What do you think you brought to the audition that landed you the role?" Anna replied, "I actually happened into a copy of that audition a few years ago, so it brought back the memory of it rather vividly. Mainly, I remember being terrified. Seeing a few of the other women who were also testing for Sharlene in the hair and make-up room, certain that they were more right for the role than I, certain that they were real actresses, certain that they could never be as nervous as me. Then, David (Forsyth; John), of course - I'd never met him and we had to kiss. Bingo, just like that. He was lovely. Anyone who meets David knows that almost immediately. Considerate and a pro at putting a person at ease. Well, we did the scene, I headed back to the theater, I was doing an Off Broadway show. I found my dear friend and castmate Marilyn, and cried my eyes out, sure that I had failed miserably."

Allison Hossack (Olivia Matthews): The show had a hard time casting the role of Olivia. They had been holding auditions for six months in several cities in the States before they extended their search to Canada. After testing about 20 girls in Toronto, they called Allison, who won the part.

Anne Howard (Nicole Love): Anne recalls, "I was flown to NYC to screen test for the role of Nicole Love. On the flight there, I saw another actress reading a script and memorizing her lines. I asked her if she was testing for AW and she said, 'Yes.' I told her I wasn't given the script ahead of time and she asked if I'd like to borrow hers and copy it down, so I did. Thank goodness, because when I got to the hotel late that night, I found out that I was the first actress scheduled to test early the next morning. It helped that I already had the lines memorized and could get a good night's sleep. The actress was Elizabeth Storm and I will always be grateful to her. There were a few lines in the script that required Nicole to speak in French so she helped me with that, too. We went out for margaritas that night after our screen tests to celebrate whoever booked the job. She was so gracious when she found out I'd gotten the role. One fun thing about the test is that Steve Schnetzer (Cass Winthrop) was there to do the scene with each actress testing. There was a kiss in the scene and he's a really good kisser! I was really looking forward to more! One of the perks of being an actress is getting to kiss your leading man. And Steve was sexy, handsome, and great fun to work with."

Jennifer Lien (Hannah Moore): Jennifer Lien auditioned for the role of Vicky/Marley. The show liked her, so they decided to cast her as Hannah, a teen who would get in the way of Jake and Paulina.

Mitch Longley (Byron Pierce): Byron was originally cast as David Campbell, Olivia's physical therapist.

Grayson McCouch (Morgan Winthrop): Grayson heard about the role from other sources. When he asked his agent to arrange an audition, he was told that the show was looking for someone older. Nevertheless, Grayson persisted and eventually won the role.

Julie Osburn (Kathleen McKinnon): In 1984, Julie went to Los Angeles with the hope of winning a role on night-time television. After many unsuccessful auditions, she learned that her training and stage credits were not enough. "Everyone asked, 'What television have you done?' So I returned to New York and asked my agent to get me on a soap."

Beverly Owen (Paula McCrea): Beverly was hired to play Lenore Moore, but she was replaced by Susan Sullivan before taping her first show. Susan was free to accept the role when A World Apart was cancelled. Beverly Owen then played Dr. Paula McCrea instead.

Petronia Paley (Quinn Harding): Petronia auditioned for a role on OLTL. She didn't get it, but AW's executive producer saw her audition tape and hired her for the part of Quinn without an audition. Said Paley to We Love Soaps, "I had actually contracted with THE DOCTORS and I was there for about a year, but that didn't work out. I had originally auditioned for one character on ANOTHER WORLD and they decided to to cast that character as a white actor, and I didn't get it. But Paul Rauch (I always thought of him as my grandfather) created another character, Quinn. And they just called me up, and offered me the part! I didn't have to audition, because I had auditioned for the other part, which had not worked out, and that part actually went nowhere. The character was canceled. But the Quinn character, for some reason, locked onto their imagination, and they started writing for that character."

Trevor Richard (Kevin Thatcher): According to Trevor's manager Gary Scalvo, casting director Randy Lein hired Trevor because, "he was the only boy at auditions who responded immediately to what he was asked to do; he was serious, handled pressure well and didn't waste time."

Clayton Prince (Reuben Lawrence): "Another World Today" asked, "When you auditioned for the role of Reuben Lawrence, who did the producers tell you he was?" Clayton replied, "It’s funny, I did a lot of primetime and film stuff, and I didn’t think I’d be doing daytime. When they first approached me, I was originally only supposed to be on for 6 months. I was the bad brother of B.J. Jefferson (Veronica ‘Ronnie’ Lawrence). But after I auditioned with Michael Laibson (AW Executive Producer at the time), I remember Michael saying: ‘You’re a star. There’s no way we’re only offering you six months, it’s a three year contract or nothing.’ I was like: ‘whoa, give me a day or two to think it over before I start shooting.' I was doing a movie-of-the-week at the time, but I really liked the character of Reuben because there was so much room for growth."

Barbara Rodell (Lee Randolph): EP Mary Harris selected Rodell to take over the role from Gaye Huston. Said Rodell to ATV, "I was a regular viewer of the program for several years before I had any idea I'd ever play it."

Carol Roux (Missy Palmer) On leaving school she was given three offers: a role in the touring company of "Oh Dad, Poor Dad" by Kopit, a contract to study with and act in the Lincoln Center Repertory Company, and in "Another World." She accepted the last to play orphan, Missy Palmer.

Philece Sampler (Donna Love): She tested for the part, then flew to New York to screen-test with Kale Browne. A friend of hers who had been watching AW for 12 years filled her in on Donna's past, and even picked out a "Donna outfit" from her clothes-closet for her test. The network took a long time to decide upon Philece, but they finally called her when she was in the middle of watching "Santa Barbara."

Stephen Schnetzer (Cass Winthrop): Just one day after he finished "One Life to Live," he tested for and won the role.

Ann Sheridan (Katherine Corning): Ann's interest in soap opera was nothing new. Ten or twelve years ago, when she still lived in Hollywood, she asked her agent about soap opera possibilities. When asked if she wanted to work on "Another World," she replied, "Good lord yes, if I'm not overexposed - if I don't have to be on every day, just once or twice a week." Ann was given a 13 week contract and an option for 13 more weeks.

Sally Spencer (M.J. McKinnon): While appearing in the Los Angeles production of "Cats," Sally called in sick to go to New York to do her screen test, which was illegal. But within three days, she won the role, quit Cats, and moved to New York.

Robin Strasser (Rachel Cory): Robin recalls, "Agnes Nixon watched all the young actresses they brought in. She said [about me], 'That one reminds me of a young Anna Magnani, I want her." "I had come back from one of these four auditions [including "Dark Shadows" and "As the World Turns"] for a daytime serial. I told some of the other actresses in my dressing room, I auditioned for a daytime soap but I'm telling my agent no more soap auditions. I'm never going to get one, I'm not the type they want. The stage manager said, "There's a telephone call for you, Robin." It was my stage agent and it was Another World saying I was cast as Rachel, I was being offered a five year contract."

Anna Stuart (Donna Love): Anna recalls, "I had the audition for Paul Rauch [....] "I rushed off to the audition and I had to kiss Stephen Schnetzer. I was auditioning for Felicia. I went into the ladies room to gargle with Lavoris to make sure I was fresh. And they called me, “Anna Stuart, where are you, we are waiting for you!” I didn’t expect it, and I spilled the Lavoris all over my all white pant suit. So here I am trying to cover the Lavoris stains with the white fur throw. I walked up into the room and Paul Rauch never looked up, he never even looked at me. He had a tendency to be sort of intimidating that way. He had issues in that area. I didn’t get that part, and that was that. I didn’t want to do another soap anyway.

About three weeks later Paul Rauch called my agent and said, “We have a character in mind but it’s recurring, would she be interested?” I said, “Absolutely, if it’s recurring then I don’t have to make a commitment.” So I started doing Donna Love as a recurring character, and the rest is history. By the time they asked me if they can put me under contract, it was eight or nine months into the run. The character had taken with the audience, so they had to pay me more money than they would have if they had put me under contract right away.

Victoria Thompson (Janice Frame): Victoria auditioned for the role of Rachel. She didn't win that part, but Executive Producer Paul Rauch created the role of Janice Frame just for her.

Russell Todd (Jamie Frame): Russell recalls, "My agent submitted me for the role. I was living in LA and got called into NBC offices here and read. I then got a call to be flown to NY to read with Anne Heche in a screen test. We had good chemistry and I got the role."

Douglass Watson (Mac Cory): While performing in the musical "Over There," his agent asked him if he wanted to do a soap. He agreed, thinking it would mean just coming on as a minor character for a few scenes for a couple of days. But when he discovered it was for a year he tried to get out of it. The executive producer wouldn't let him. Fortunately, Douglass found he enjoyed the role.

Failed Auditions (AW Actors)

Failed Auditions (Non-AW Actors)