5 Nollywood Actors Reveal Their Worst Audition Experiences

Inkblot Productions | Pop
December 16, 2021

Unless they’ve ascended to a point on the ladder of fame where they’re just offered roles, actors have to audition alongside dozens — sometimes, hundreds — of other actors. It seems pretty standard. You memorise your lines and have just a few minutes (or seconds) to blow the minds of the casting directors with your abilities by acting out a scene. However, it’s not always that straightforward, and things can go south for actors really quick, in different ways. The five Nollywood actors we spoke to know exactly what that’s like because it happened to them.

Nancy Isime, 29

My first few jobs were ushering jobs, and the funny thing is that they weren’t even paid jobs. I know it sounds insane now but I did those jobs for exposure. Even though I didn’t get paid for those jobs, I was still dedicated and overzealous. I was the kind of usher who would take off my shoes and wash plates at a wedding because a guest wanted food and all the plates were dirty. I went from wedding ushering to corporate ushering then eventually became one of the most sought after ushers in Lagos because I went to ALL the auditions. After working for a while, I made small money and bought the car I used to move all my things out of my father’s house. And I’ve been on my own since. I’m just happy everything paid off.

Timini Egbuson, 34

Normal is Boring" - Timini Egbuson switches up Look with New Hair Color |  BellaNaija

I got my bug for acting by watching my sister (Dakore Egbuson-Akande) on set. When I eventually decided to get into it, I would go with my friends to random auditions and we would go through stress like rain beating and stuff like that. It was hard then because, at auditions, there would be people I call “audition superstars.” I call them this because they knew the casting directors, they wouldn’t have to wait in line and just go in to audition the second they showed up. The worst ones were when casting directors would put everyone through hell during the auditions only for you to get the role and see that’s it’s a “walk pass” thing. Looking back, I see all those struggles as a rite of passage we all had to go through to succeed.

Frank, 27

It was my very first audition ever, and I forgot my lines. In my defence, I did memorise them. I wanted to be off-book by the time of the audition and I was. But when my time came, the monologue I’d spent so long going over just left my head. At first, I just stood there frozen, but then decided to wing it by doing Hugo Weaving’s famous monologue from V for Vendetta, a big mistake in hindsight because that monologue is very difficult. It was a disaster, I didn’t get the part, and I cried on the bus on my way home.

Jennifer, 24

I’m still convinced it was my village people that did me in that day because everything was going fine up until that incident. I got to the audition on time. In fact, I was among the first few people. When it was my turn, I got there and went straight into the scene I’d rehearsed so many times in my head. It was an emotional scene because I was determined to show people that I could emote and cry on demand. Ten seconds into the whole thing, my wig fell off due to too much movement. The collective gasp from everyone in the room was so loud. Omo, I just picked my hair and left oh. Audition over. I don’t even know who sent me message to be moving up and down instead of staying in one place.

Philomena, 33

In my case, the audition actually did go well. It was what happened after that made everything an all-around terrible experience. I did the audition and smashed it (even if they didn’t tell me, me sef I knew). I got a callback, which every actor is madly excited to get, but the person I was in contact with made it clear, pretty quick, that I’d have to do him “a favour” if I hoped to get the role. I made the decision right there to give up acting. I’d heard of this happening to other people and hoped it would never happen to me. But now that it had, I knew it wasn’t something I wanted to face again. I dusted off my CV and went back to the corporate world. My parents never liked the acting thing anyway so they were lowkey happy to see me give up on it.

Check out Timini and Nancy in the movie, Superstar, when it premieres in cinemas across Nigeria on the 29th of December. Also, the cast of Superstar as they talk about how they got their starts in Nollywood on the Inkblot Meet & Greet podcast. Check out the episode here:

Sponsored by
Inkblot Productions

Join The Conversation

Bring a friend.

You'll like this

February 10, 2022

This 2022,  we’re not joking around. We’re making intentional efforts to step up our lives and put our village people to shame. That’s why we’ve come up with this no-bullshit guide to stepping up.  Set specific goals  Nobody counts January as a month, the actual year starts in February, so it’s not too late to […]

April 30, 2021

It is safe to agree that Nigerian politicians were the kings of comedy until Donald Trump entered the game in 2017. And suddenly, we had competition. So in this episode of #JustImagine, we decided to take a break from superheroes and Disney princesses and explore politics. Trump’s Villa In Banana Island. Trump is squinting at a […]


Now on Zikoko

Recommended Quizzes

November 28, 2019

There are so many talented and stunning Nollywood actors that make it hard not to fall in love with them. So, while we all know the likelihood of us ending up with any of them is super low, it’s still fun to imagine a world where we actually stood a chance, and that’s why this […]

April 3, 2020

While the rest of the world loves to treat our continent like a country, there are actually 54 African countries. So, in a bid to test your knowledge (and educate you), we’ve created a quiz to see how many of their capitals you can correctly name. Go ahead:

October 29, 2019

We are going to be attempting to guess when you’ll marry based on your favourite Nigerian foods. What does your fave swallow have to do with when you’ll tie the knot? Please, don’t ask complicated questions. This quiz is rigorous and accurate (don’t quote us), so just take it already. QUIZ: Why Do You Have […]

October 10, 2019

2019 is certainly Burna Boy’s year, but, if we are being honest, so was 2018. Since his transcendent mixtape, Outside, the afro-fusion star has refused to get his foot of our necks — dropping a string of fantastic singles and then capping it all off with his career-best album, African Giant.  So, in a bid […]

November 1, 2019

Twitter is buzzing right now, bringing a new conversation to the concept of cool vs not-so-cool, especially in relationships. If you’ve been thinking about how much of a red flag you are, why don’t you let this quiz help you decide once and for all?

More from Pop

January 26, 2023

Tems wasn’t playing in 2019 when she told us not to try her.  Tems first caught our attention in 2019 with her defiant hit, Try Me. Since then, she’s blown up big time, moving from an underrated alté artiste to one of Nigeria’s biggest afrobeats exports.Whether it’s dropping songs of the summer back-to-back, with Essence […]


Trending Videos

Zikoko Originals

September 13, 2022
Vs The World is a Zikoko original video series that follows best friends Astor and Hassan as they take on the world.
August 23, 2022
Zikoko Ships is a Zikoko Original series where we invite two people who share a relationship to play the Zikoko card games
December 14, 2020
What happens when a group of chatty young Nigerians talk about things they're passionate about? You get Nigerians talk. A show that discusses very familiar struggles for the average Nigerian. From relationship deal breakers to sex education with Nigerian parents to leaving Nigeria, be prepared for a ride.
November 2, 2020
'The Couch' is a Zikoko series featuring real life stories from anonymous people.
October 26, 2020
A collection of videos documenting some of the events of the EndSARS protests.
June 22, 2020
'The Couch' is a Zikoko series featuring real life stories from anonymous people.
June 22, 2020
Hacked is an interesting new series by Zikoko made up of fictional but hilarious chat conversations.
June 4, 2020
What happens when a group of chatty young Nigerians talk about things they're passionate about? You get Nigerians talk. A show that discusses very familiar struggles for the average Nigerian. From relationship deal breakers to sex education with Nigerian parents to leaving Nigeria, be prepared for a ride.
June 2, 2020
Quickie is a video series where everyone featured gets only one minute to rant, review or do absolutely anything.
May 14, 2020
Isolation Diary is a Zikoko series that showcases what isolation is like for one young Nigerian working from home due to the Coronavirus pandemic.

Z! Stacks

Here's a rabbit hole of stories to lose yourself in:

Zikoko amplifies African youth culture by curating and creating smart and joyful content for young Africans and the world.