So…it’s been a while since I’ve gone on an audition. “OMG it’s pilot season! What’s wrong with her?!” My brain bitches to my heart. And my heart responds with a don’t-interrupt-me-while-I’m-eating-ice-cream-and-watching-Long-Island-Medium-and-feeling-sad-for-myself “– I don’t know.”
I did finally get an audition through my agent, for the first time in forever. For a crappy play. In a town a hundred miles away. That is the actual distance. I’m pretty sure she hates me.
At least she didn’t ask me what I would do with my kids, if I got hired to do a show. “Um, leave ‘em at home with some water and a really big bowl of cheese puffs, obviously. It’s just a couple months.”
I declined the theater audition, but I did go on a self-submitted audition for an allergy medicine. I was just getting over a cold. I. Was. Ready.
I walked in to a really backed-up cattle call type situation. And all the cows looked like me. “Moo. Did you sign in?” “Moo. No. The casting assistant is still at lunch, Moo.” “Ok. Moo.” I held my head shot like a top secret document. I hate for other actors to see my dorky picture. Or my resume, on the back. It’s tough because there’s not a benign third side.
All us actresses read the casting call, so we all looked like “Fresh! On the go! Not-Mom-ish!” Some gals did that in UGGS, some did it in flats. And one girl did it in animal print peep-toe platform heels.
She was really pretty. Eva Mendes — but prettier. And when I’m dressed “fresh!” (– meaning, the opposite of my usual “confidence-black”), and standing next to smokin’ hot people, I get the feeling: “Be nice to her! Otherwise, she’ll think you hate her because she’s prettier than you, Dumpy.” I smiled at her as she walked by. I smile at everyone. She smelled like expensive vanilla money. And she didn’t smeyes back.
The audition had called for “Must be comfortable with cats.” I imagined kittens. A sweet rescue Tabby. That girl, must have had at least 3 recently-domesticated cheetahs waiting for her back at her apartment. The kind with sexy talking voices. Like the Cheetos cat.
The audition took place in what would amount to one half of a small gymnasium. There were basketball court markings still on the hardwood floors. But that meant everyone auditioned in front of everyone else. And because of the delay, there was a huge audience.
I mentally practiced fake blowing my nose in a Kleenex. Or fake sneezing. There were no sides until this point, so it was a crapshoot. The first girl stepped in front of the camera.
“OK. Tell us about yourself, then your experience with allergies, then a quirky story”, the casting director instructed.
EW. I hate these auditions! TELL US ABOUT YOURSELF? A milky white wave washed over me and I completely forgot any identifying details about myself.
“Hello. I am name. I can do things to do. I have brown hair. Average. Normal person. I like toast.”
The first girl was somehow ready with a crazy rendition of this monkey face she does for her 4-year old son. WHO LOVES IT, APPARENTLY, BUT HER HUSBAND THINKS IT’S SILLY. (OMG! You’re so adorable and you have people who love you! Get out.)
The next girl was born in Honduras, and spoke Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, French and German. (OMG! She can say “kiss my ass” in so many languages!)
The next girl rescued an injured coyote from the wild. (YOU SHANGHAIED IT from its natural environs. Good job, do gooder.)
The next, spent 6 months in the armed forces… IN HER MOTHER’S WOMB. (Barf.)
The next one survived cancer. (– OK, OK that is good. Give her the job.)
The rest of us watched as zillions of insanely incredible life stories unfolded before us. Each, longer than the last. The collective energy of the room was waning.
Cheetah Shoes walked up to the casting director and whispered in his ear. He motioned for her to slip in ahead of everyone else.
Invisible lasers shot out from all the other cows’ eyes. “THAT
GORGEOUS GIRL IS PROBABLY LATE TO GET BACK TO WORK BITCH.” She clip-clopped to her spot and started her speech.
“HI, I’M MICHELLE AND — omg, can I start over?” The casting director nodded.
“HI. MY NAME’S MICHELLE AND I LOOOOOVE MAKEUP! I —– oh. Wait. Can I just start it again?” She got the greenlight.
I listened to her restart and restart, and I watched everyone freeze in the “checking my phone” position. The worst thing in the world was happening. Or was it the best!
“HI — What’s the first thing again?”
My brain fired a tiny neuron. As this gorgeous beauty was crumbling on camera, I suddenly recalled something about myself.
I’M A LITTLE BIT AMISH! And, I HAVE A SPECIAL CONNECTION WITH HOBOS!
I was so tired of waiting in line, that by the time it was my turn, I let it loose. I even dropped the F-bomb, while imitating the hobo’s voice, in my story! That was probably a really bad choice! But who cared! Everyone was doubled over with what I hope was laughter and not appendicitis.
Cheetah Shoes probably went to her next audition that day, killed it, and booked a $100,000.00 job. At least I hope she did. She’s damn beautiful. And beauty lasts… an amount of time.
I got back in my car and for the first time in a while, I felt ALIVE. I’m getting carried away — semi-human. I love it when people laugh at me.
I don’t know when my next audition will be. I’ve heard people have multiple appointments every day. I hope that’s me soon. Auditioning for great projects, and booking great gigs.
But until then. These moments give me the energy to keep going. To find agents and managers who understand me and want to invest in my career. To go to casting workshops. And to just be brave and put myself out there, when most of the feedback is “No. Not you.”
Because there are those magical days, when the feedback is a hobo yelling, “HAVE FUUUUN AT YER FUCKIN’ YOGA CLASS, BITCH!!”