‘Big Bang Theory’ Star Mayim Bialik Shares the Creepy Way Auditions Are Different for Women
Mayim Bialik has now starred in two hit shows, Blossom and The Big Bang Theory. Now that the latter has ended, she’s back to being a working actor. That means auditions. Auditions are already tough for any actor, no matter how established you are. Unfortunately, they’re even tougher for women.
Bialik participated in a Groundlings webinar on Sept. 22 on The Reality of Non-Reality TV to raise money for The Groundlings. She described some of the creepy ways auditions are extra difficult on women.
Mayim Bialik still auditions after ‘The Big Bang Theory’
Even though Bialik is an established star now, some casting directors still want to see her. Bialik understands, especially if she’s stretching out of the sitcom world of Big Bang Theory and Blossom.
“I’ve been auditioning since I’m 11 years old,” Bialik said. “It’s a very different kind of path that I have. I still audition for things. Even during Big Bang Theory, I still have to audition and I still feel like people are allowed to say, ‘You’re just a sitcom actor. Let’s see if you can really do other things so I still do audition.’”
Mayim Bialik expects the camera gaze in an audition
Bialik said she’s already dealing with anxiety and nerves with any audition. The Big Bang Theory didn’t cure those. Knowing the extra expectations on women adds another layer.
“If you’re being taped, I know that that tape, that they may not even watch the whole thing,” Bialik said. “I know that it’s not this way for men, but I’ve been to more than several auditions where they literally ask you to slate your name, as a woman, turn to the side. The camera will pan down like this. It will come up, they’ll say, ‘Turn to the other side.’ and it will pan down.”
Mayim Bialik has been on auditions that went even further.
Even knowing what to expect in an auditions, sometimes they still surprise Bialik.
“I once had an audition where they make you say, ‘I’m over 18,’” she said. “I’m thinking what is happening?”
Auditions can be superficial for men too, but there are some questions they’d only ask women.
“For men as well, I’m not saying it’s just for women,” Bialik said. “But for women, literally the size of the dress that you wear [makes a difference]. I’ve been asked measurements on auditions for acting jobs.”
Even after ‘The Big Bang Theory,’ auditioning may be all about looks
Bialik established her adult comic persona on The Big Bang Theory. She’d also proven herself at drama before Blossom, when she played young Bette Midler in Beaches. Still, Bialik knows Hollywood is going to scrutinize how she looks.
“For women, so much of it is the look,” Bialik said. “The saddest part of our industry is that you can be the best person for the job, and still not get it. It’s not like being a lawyer, or another profession where if you work hard, [you will succeed].”
Bialik implied that she’s lost roles because of her voice too.
“I have a very distinctive voice,” Bialik said. “Some people may hear my voice and be like oh, she sounds like a man. She can’t sound shy. I’ve had people tell me I can’t play vulnerable. I’m thinking that’s not what every person I’ve ever dated said.”