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Turkey Day

Air Date: 11/23/2023

Turkey Day


I am not a huge fan of turkey-the bird I mean. I have it at Thanksgiving because it is there. But usually, the rest of the year, I skip having the foul. For actors, the word turkey can be synonymous with an inferior show or failure and started in 1927 as show business slang, probably from the bird's reputation for stupidity. I have had my share of experiences with acting in some turkeys and watching a fair amount of turkeys as I recall. So lets take a moment and reflect on some of our not-so-great experiences so we can see how far we’ve come! Turkey Day, on Casting Actors Cast.


National tour of Grease-story

Come Blow Your Horn-More cast than audience

A few Good Men on Broadway-Missed entrance


Potential turkey signs:

In rehearsal for a comedy and no one is laughing

The director is falling asleep during rehearsal

You wish for your cast mates to liked each other

The audience is shifting in their seats

Family members don’t know what to say after the performance

Use of the “YOU…YOU…” from your agent

The curtain-call applause is over before you are off stage

Silent dressing room

Thinking what you are going to eat after the show during the show


Reasons for thinking about the turkeys we’ve been in:

Keeps a perspective on how far we’ve come

We are humbled and humility is a powerful motivator for not repeating the experience

Is a right of passage for all actors-it is bound to happen at least once


When we can laugh at our past turkey experiences, we are gaining insight at the true nature of acting as art. Taking risks, failing, trying to make the best choices we can despite the reality that it just doesn’t work. These are all part of the profession we have signed up for. Take a moment and be grateful for the turkeys. They help us grow and we are less inclined to gobble up the scenery later on.


Jeffrey Dreisbach, Casting Partner, McCorkle Casting LTD-New York, NY

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