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Tell me about a time when you had a really bad day but had to perform that night. How did you get through it?

Answer examples and advice for how to answer this interview question for an Acting interview

How to Answer

As you take on new characters, you begin to learn that you have everything you need inside you. The characters are embodied through the qualities you give them in your emotions, words and body language. So, if you have a bad day, it's up to you to set it aside! Share with the interviewer how you push past a bad day and continue to perform.

Tell me about a time when you had a really bad day but had to perform that night. How did you get through it?
Answer example

"As I get into character, I use all of the frustration from the day to energize me and motivate me. I always use the frustration to my benefit."

Entry Level

"If I am having a really bad day, and still need to perform, I talk myself through it. I can shift a bad day into a phenomenal performance, by setting my mind to it! If you have any techniques that you use to help you shift gears and be present on stage, I would love to hear more about them."


"Every actor has a bad day now and then. I remind myself that my performance has nothing to do with me or my personal life. I tell myself that my character deserves the best from me. This mentality helps me in tough or emotional situations. Acting can be an escape as well, so it's best to hang onto that on the toughest of days."

View user-submitted Answers

Tell me about a time when you had a really bad day but had to perform that night. How did you get through it?
When I was on a show boyfriend dumped.
My annual function day.. Haha opss.
Well yesterday, I had the flu and it was really bad but my understudy had it worse.
I was dumped on the day of our auditions and I had to preform in front of the school even though my heart was crushed.
I had three important tests to do in school and prep for an exam and by the end of the day, I was so tired and hungry and my mood had definitely deteriorated over the day and I still had to perform for a charity.
Well there was this one time where I found out that my test wasn't a good score I got a 75% I was upset but the show must go on no matter what!in the acting world you gotta put yourself second and acting first.
When I had muscle rupture and still gave my dance performance.
When my papa was not well by health.
It was pretty upsetting for me.. Because I had anniversary for someone I lost and I was getting overwhelmed so I had to do my best but I think I went well for it.
It was when I asked a girl out but I was thinking she was mad but she wasn't and she did not say no or yes.
Happily for me I had to play the role of an angry arrogant businessman so it all worked out! instead of suppressing it, I exaggerated the negative emotions and let it accumulate until I got on stage and very fully and truthfully delivered. It is, as I have slowly grown to discover, the magic of method acting.
No. I didn't have to face that day till now. Hope I will not get that day in future too.
I was in chicago and I woke up the day of the auditions. I was so nervous that I couldnt eat breakfast and I felt a little weird inside. Plus that morning my dad called from home and I guess I was a little homesick too.
I was feeling really bad about myself and didn't want anyone to see me... Then I realized NOTHING should hold me back from doing what I love.
I actually never had a bad day.
I will never have a bad day.
I once was without voice.
I acted like I had a great day as I walked on stage.
That could be any day. I mean, any day has unique characteristics to it that probably have to be isolated and held in abeyance while the story-spell is being cast. "Real life" cannot intrude on the agreed-upon hypnosis that is to take place. I suppose the toughest challenges I've had with letting go of things outside the story is during the loss of a loved one. But even then, sometimes there is a subtle layer over the performance as a result, or often the performance is a welcome respite from the challenges of the day.
I should play on that day a girl with a smile on her face who was 24/7 happy and that day was really bad for me. Before I went out on the stage I was very nervous that I couldn't do this. Then I went to a quiet room and sat down. I thought about Sally, that was her name, and I made in my mind a whole scene up. Like Sally's boyfriend proposes and she's so happy. Then she is getting a puppy. And things like that and I channeled my inner Sally and then everything was good again, just in time to get on the stage.
When my father had an accident.
Every time. Shitein maself.
At my primary school I wanted to act as a partner to my crush but the teacher switched my position to act somthing else.
Performing allows me to forget my bad days.
It was raining and I was about an hour late to set. Which is bad for any job, but when it comes to actors, like, everyone is waiting on you. I couldn't help it, but I felt really bad. Luckily, the director was realy cool about it. But yeah never be late that's really bad.
It was when I was really sick and my nose was pluged haha and I had a pretty hard headache.
It was a monday at school.
In class 6 they not selected me for drama.
It was a rehearsal. My friend got some really bad news before it began and I knew she was having trouble. I found her and talked to her, and communicated with the stage manager about everything.
Working in Verbatim theatre where some of the work is intense mentally it brings you down at times, but having a bad day while going to perform is hard, but you have to keep your chin up and soldier on and battle through it all.
The person who likes me more than anything was upset on me.
When I went to chicago before my first audition on stage, my dad called to make sure I was doing okay. I started to kind of cry but held it back and then I had to go on stage all gloomy.
I haven't experienced that yet.
Ive never had a day like that.
Yes that Ramayana play I know that time I am suffering from fever and I done a great job in stage performance.
Mostly all my bad day are never with the day I have to perform but one day it will happend.
I havent had one yet, but I know one will come.
Probably when I was little and had to perform some sort of school play.
When I walked in on my parents trying to kill eachother but still had to go to a choir concert.
I don't really think anything of my bad days I just get on with the day as though it was a normal day and try not to cause anyone else trouble.
Well I went to starbucks and dropped my frappucino, I was heartbroken, I wanted to sit there in my car and cry. But I went to the play and sat there until my 5 word sentence had to be said.
Was sick, had a sore throat, fever and was on sleeping pills.
My AS Level in year 12 - my teacher hadn't ordered my costume and yelled at me in front of everyone.
There was one day when I got into a fight with my friends at lunch. They would ignore her. She wanted to cruy. Her mom talked it through with her and she had an acting job later and she still wanted to cry but followed through and did an amazing job.
Oh shoot. Um, there was this one time, actually several times, when I was just really sick and I had to shoot anyway. It's horrible because you're sick, obviously, but because you have to act like you're not but everyone knows you are.

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