The Best Actor Never Gets The Part by Jonathan Mangum

Film Courage: What is your advice for actors or comics who are going up against the same people time and again [in auditions]. I know of a couple of people who have the same names on IMDB and it’s been competitive when they see each other…it’s awkward.

Jonathan Mangum, Actor/Comedian/Announcer for Let’s Make a Deal: It’s competitive if you go into an audition thinking the best person is going to get the job and that is never the case. The best person is never the one that gets the job. It’s all about what do they need? What type do they need? Do they need someone who is this tall? Does it have to look like the kid they have already hired? Is this guy the friend of the producer? I mean there are so many variables that it is never a meritocracy in auditions (ever) in my 25 years of doing it.

There is a level. You need to be great to get up into that to be picked from but there is no The Best. And as long as you realize there is no The Best, then you can feel less competitive with people you see all the time.

Film Courage: Was it a learning experience, coming to peace with that?

Jonathan: Yes, it took a long time because you’re just like Ahhh? They were better than me and got the part. It’s…(Watch the video interview on Youtube here).

Jonathan as Tom in Kevin Ward’s film A PATIENT MAN


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Jonathan Mangum was born in Charleston, S.C., but spent most of his youth in Mobile, Alabama. He attended college in Orlando, FL. where he began performing with SAK Theatre’s TheatreSports, a wildly successful local improv show. While performing 13 shows each week and attending college, Jonathan began to work with a tight-knit group of improvisers that included Wayne Brady. While in Orlando, Jonathan appeared on such shows as Clarissa Explains it All, Welcome Freshman,Fortune Hunter, and Seaquest DSV. Soon after, Mangum moved to Los Angeles, where he was joined by his Orlando improv troupe later called, The Houseful of Honkeys. The “Honkeys” performed their critically acclaimed improv game show, You Bet Your Honkey at the ACME Theatre for nearly five years and went on to shoot several television pilots for ABC…(Read more about Jonathan here via his website).


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