Any actor will tell you that auditioning is the worst part of the job. The whole awkward, vulnerable experience is only made worse when you have to submit an audition tape—usually a straight-on shot of you standing in an empty room, reading lines to no one from a scene you’ve probably read once before. Frankly, the process seems like a total drag. So, it makes sense that when comedian Steve Agee found out he had to make an audition tape for a role he’d never get, he decided to tank it in the most enjoyable way possible with a little help from his friends Sarah Silverman and Ellen Page.
A quick internet search confirms that the tape in question was for Zach Braff’s 2014 indie Wish I Was Here, which tells the story of a struggling actor dealing with the declining health of his father. Rather than turn in some humdrum, boring audition for the role of Dr. Perkins, Agee opted to produce a super-low-budget short film of the scene, complete with score and credits sequence. Silverman and a mustachioed Page do their best to keep straight faces as they perform multiple roles against Agee’s very un-doctor-like line readings. But the real star of the show is the set dressing, which includes hand drawn signs that read “Hospital” and “Intensive Care Unit.”
Needless to say, Agee didn’t book it (but journeyman actor Bruce Nozick did!). The comedian was quick to admit that he never stood a chance saying, “Nothing about me says ‘doctor.’ Everything about me says ‘go see a doctor.’” Still, he was able to finally get some feedback from the film’s writer/director all these years later.
We’d like to formally petition that Steve Agee finish what he started here and produce a complete version of Wish I Was Here in which he revives his role of Dr. Perkins and Sarah Silverman and Ellen Page play everyone else. Someone, please, get the Kickstarter campaign going.
You can also see Agee as an aging teen idol in the new comedy Boy Band, whose teaser exclusively debuted on this very website earlier today.
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