How One Audition Changed My Life, But Not in the Way You’d Think

Erica Rhodes
3 min readJun 1, 2021

“There’s no such thing as chance, it’s all preordained. Like, Kismet.” — Marilyn Monroe

One time I went to an audition in LA and the only description of the character was, ‘Medium’ not as in psychic medium, but medium as in body-type medium.

There were only two people at the audition: me and a young woman with pretty red hair who introduced herself as Veronica.

We laughed and laughed realizing “We are the only two women in LA who dare to identify ourselves as medium!”

The funniest thing is I don’t think either of us got the part, even though we were the only ones who showed up.

I don’t remember what the part even was. I only remember how hard we both laughed while waiting in the lobby.

We weren’t overweight. We were just size 6–8 instead of size zero, and not afraid to say it!

Fast forward a few years later: Frustrated with the audition process, I tried a stand-up open mic one night. I improvised for ten minutes about how I had just bombed an audition. My manager told me I shouldn’t post that, because it was my first set ever, and there weren’t any jokes.

I felt humiliated and decided I would never do stand-up again. But after I posted it, Veronica (my medium friend) reached out after seeing the video and said she was producing a stand-up show next week, would I do it?

Okay. Wow! Why not, I decided. I’ll do one more show, before retiring forever from this little experimental phase.

My manager taught me about joke-structure, and I wrote ten minutes of new material in a week (never have I done that again, but naiveté grants us a special kind of ambition).

The show went great. I actually got laughs. And my manager, Bruce Smith (still my manager now) said I should keep doing it.

A few years later, Veronica booked a recurring on ‘Insecure’ and numerous other TV shows.

And I surprisingly became a full-time comedian! That one show led to many other shows, then feature work, then 9 years later, I’m a touring headliner.