Wednesday, July 29, 2009
They were casting a made for TV film based on the life of a famous designer, and they contacted me to audition for the role of her friend who was "blonde".
When I arrived a bunch of heinously dressed "actresses" were milling around a big room.
A tiny Japanese girl greeted me "hewwo!", then said something I had trouble deciphering because of her bad English.
Ohhhhh, sign in and fill this out?... Take my head measurement for hats? OK!
I looked around at the other girls who were filling out there info sheets furiously.
Once they were done, they all starting jumping up to get the measuring tape like bulimics after a box of cookies.
I sat and watched all the bitches measure each others heads, amused.
My info sheet had a 33 on the back, and girls had started to line up by numbers to go into the audition room.
It was a long boring wait.
After 25 minutes of listening to these chicks blab on about guy troubles, and try to one up each other about acting jobs they had done, I put my iTunes on.
I tried to ask the audition monitor if she had sides, but she didn't understand that word in English I guess.
"Size? Whaaa? Sieees? Pieees?"
Oh my god, Forget it.
When it was time to go upstairs, they crammed a bunch of us into an elevator.
We got off on the 19th floor and sat in the entry way of the TV Network and waited again.
Finally they called us in the room six at a time.
The director and her assistant were sitting at a big wooden desk.
They had us all hold up our number sheet and took pictures.
Then they asked if we would all color our hair black for the movie.
Whoa! Hold the egg roll lady,this is a non paying gig!
All the other girls said they would.
I told them they called me into audition for the blonde friend part,but I would wear a wig if needed??
I mean seriously do they understand how bad black hair would look with my complexion?!
"ooooooo wokay" they said.
Then they launched into explaining what they wanted us to do for the audition.
"Dis desk is caw wreck an you aww verdy sad because you boyfriend in caw die.
You feel caw and be cwying."
I looked around the room to see if I was to only one about to burst out laughing.
The other bitches were taking it totally seriously. I thought I was in a bad SNL skit. Or I was being punked or something.
We were sent out of the room and they called in the first girl to do her melodramatic scene.
Then minutes later, it was my turn.
I was still trying to suppress my laughter when I heard "AWCTION!"
Somehow I managed to pull it together for two minutes to feel up the desk, and pretend to be sad about my dead boyfriend inside of it.
It was probably one of the worst auditions I have ever done.
Walking back to the subway afterwards my mother called.
I told her I had just auditioned for a Asian network TV movie.
She didn't ask how I did, or wish me luck. Instead she said:
"You had better be careful about auditioning for those Asians!
Don't you watch 60 Minutes? They tell you it's an audition then shoot you up, and ship you in a box to Asia!" You'll become an Asian Prostitute!"
And then I went home.
Friday, July 24, 2009
I took ballet lessons knew they would bounce around and get in the way.
All of the Prima ballerinas in Dance magazine had no boobs so why should I?
So with that in mind, I used to lie on top of my hardcover school books so that my boobs wouldn't grow.
That was generally the extent of use the school books ever got.
Maybe it worked, because at 15 I still hadn't developed any boobs.
Instead I think all of my boob fat went into my J Lo/tomuchassforawhitegirl booty.
The boys out here in my Bed Stuy neighborhood yell "nice ass Snowflake!" when i'm walking home.
Anyway, back on topic, being flat didn't bother me that much, and I never really missed boobs because I was used to being able to go bra-less.
Well I never did become a dancer, I went into acting.
An industry where large breasts are a good thing.
Some things about being flat chested are rather annoying.
My Dr told me that I can't get a mammogram because they are to small to fit in the machine.
Sometimes I can go to the teen section or training bra section, and find a better fit than in women's.
I have friends who complain about having to much boobage. I always ask if they will donate some to me.
Finally after getting sick of going to auditions with no rack, I went out determined to find those chicken cutlet push up thingies I kept hearing about.
It was a sacred day at Century 21 when I bought my first pair of boobie enhancers.
I didn't get the gell kind because the texture was kind of gross, but a soft nylon pair.
When I got home and tried them on it was love at first sight.
If I could marry my fake boobs I would.
The one concern is when wearing them i'm constantly worried that one is going to pop out! Mainly because I can't get the double sided tape that came with them to work.
I have visions of being in the middle of a monologue or onstage, or having sex with a casting director and one of my boob pads falling out on the floor.
What would I do?
Would I say "whoops lost one!", pick it up and pop it back in?
Would I leave it on the floor and pretend it wasn't mine?
In the end, having a little fake B cup is worth all the stress, and maybe if I'm good Santa will bring me implants for Christmas next year.
Sunday, July 19, 2009
Monday, July 13, 2009
Upon getting to the location about 150 bitches had already gotten there before me.
I still looked better, but it wouldn't take much. (See the below audition fashion horrors post.)
The line was just to sign in but it didn't move for a good 45 minutes.
Once I finally got to the front of the line, I noticed the film production company was a program run by all teenagers.
I was immediately overwhelmed with all the acne, and wished I had brought a bottle of Oxy with me as a peace offering.
There was a respected casting director on hand helping with the open call, which made things a bit more credible.
Around 2 hours and 400 actors later, my name was called and we were split into groups of 6, one person for each character in the 4 page script.
Then Jennifer with pigtails asked me to read the role of Diane.
When I looked at the script the age range for Diane was 40-57!
I thought, I know your 12 or something, but do I really look 40 to you!?
Nether less, it didn't matter much because I had three words to say in the four page script.
I had better make it one hell of a good "George! You're back!"
So I walk in the room and there are two long tables lined with about 14 tweens and the Casting director.
The actors reading with me really screwed up, dropped lines, and lost there places. I got my three words right on cue, and with serious commitment.
Still though, only one the group got a call back and it wasn't me.
That's right. A bunch of twat faced teenagers threw me out on my ass, and I didn't even get a Twilight DVD as a thank you.
Another day, another audition.
Thursday, July 09, 2009
The dictionary defines it as:
1 : the capability of a strained body to recover its size and shape after deformation caused especially by compressive stress
2 : an ability to recover from or adjust easily to misfortune or change.
In choosing to be an actor, you must be more resilient than a hooker, who blows ten guys for her next hit of crack, then does it again the next day.
You must be like a little bath sponge, which shrinks up in your hand when you use it, but a few minutes later is back to its puffy size.
Or like an NYC water bug, which is so freaking hard to kill you can hit it 46 times and it's still running around taunting you.
At some point all of the other bitches and wannabees decided, hey I wanna be an actor! (which is now a generic term for both sexes).
Sure people told us it would be hard, but did we really know the facts of choosing a career filled with rejection?
In the real world of corporate hell and suits, you might send out 26 resumes for one interview.
In acting you could send out 100 head shots and resumes before getting one call.
When you finally do book a job, it's usually short lived with a short shelf life.
Rejection is never easy.
After most auditions, actors never get much feedback on ourselves or the performance, which leaves us to decide what went wrong.
Was my ass to big? Am I to short? Is my hair color wrong? Do I just suck balls all around? Do I need implants?
Probably option four most of the time. Ouch.
So why do we do it?
I have the theory that if you could be happy doing ANYTHING else besides act, than you'll never make it.
If you have a backup career, than you WILL fall back on it.
The corporate devil will try to suck you in with nice salary, insurance, and paid vacation in exchange for your dreams and soul.
But, as I found from getting sucked into the black corporate devil hole in the past, you will never be happy unless you do what you love. My resilience helped me prevail! Whoooohaha!
Maybe the Resilience can be chalked up to Disillusion, or a Disconnection with reality.
Whatever it is, I say better get an RDD disorder quickly bitches, if you are going to make it as a performer.
Tuesday, July 07, 2009
"Do you want to be a part of AMERICA'S NEXT TOP MODEL?,the hit show that gives young women the opportunity to compete in the high stakes world of modeling? Were looking for a diverse group of real women who want to become the next top model. If you think you've got what it takes and you are 5'7,all shapes and sizes, come to our next open call!"
Well the ad sure sounded good,and what did I have to lose? (besides a few dress sizes)
On August 26th at 9am I packed up my portfolio,14 page application and metro card and "hauled ass" down to the Park Central hotel on 55th. As I reached the hotel I saw the line of girls that continued all the way up to 57th street and wrapped around the building. I walked to the end of the line the hawk-like eyes of the hopeful models followed my every move. Most had on layers of makeup,jewelry and hair product-every no no in the "go see" world. I took my place at the end of the long line. Tourists kept pointing at us, and video taping as if they had never seen aspiring models in real life before. Local news stations were interviewing random girls as the line progressed toward the entrance. Around 1:45 I finally made it to the entrance. My feet were killing me and my hair was totally deflated. Once we were let into the building (after showing photo id) we were filmed by the WB's cameras. We walked down stairs and got our numbers and waivers. I was #1072. Then we were lead into a huge banquet room. About 600 girls were already seated in the chairs,and we took a row. When someone asked how long they had been sitting there they said "about 2 hours". When I heard that I knew I had some time on my hands so I went outside to a nearby deli and got some lunch. When I returned nothing had changed so I started my book. I thought about leaving at this point,but since I had already waited so long I decided to stick it out. Around 4:15 my row was finally called to wait in another line. This one would lead us to the room where we would be filmed with the panel. After a half hour we were led up 6 flights of stairs to another line. The casting person told us that our numbers needed to be on the left side of our chest and we were to stand toe to heel with the girl in front of us once we entered "the room."
The double doors parted and we were led into the over air conditioned hotel ballroom where the panel of casting directors awaited. We were crammed in one in front of the other until about 200 girls filled the room around the walls. Once everyone was in,they told us we were to say our name,age,height and weight into the microphone with no interruptions. It sounded like this-Jane Doe-22-5'7-125, 200 times over. Once every girl was finished the judges went over the #'s and told us that if they didn't announce ours we were to leave. My # was not announced and only 4 were. The girls chosen were all 5"10-6 feet tall and very very thin. So much for "all shapes and sizes". I didn't really expect to be picked so I wasn't disappointed. Some of the girls were devastated and crying. They wont last long in this industry of rejection. My feet were killing me and I couldn't wait to get home. As soon as I walked in the door something strange happened. My cell phone rang and the producers of ANTM were on the line. They told me that the WB producers would like me to return on Monday for a "appointment" audition for the "Pussycat Dolls" group. I think i'll pass.
Monday, July 06, 2009
It's your day, so lead the way into the boutiques at Happy Doll Square.
See why reviewers have called it "the destination of choice for 4- to 12-year-old girls from all over the United States."
During your next visit, check out our newly renovated Doll Hair Salon from the pretty, pink decor to the sleek new salon chairs. Your doll will feel truly pampered while one of our specially trained stylists gives her a new do, a sassy ponytail flip, an elegant bun, or a long braid.And be sure to ask about adding on a Pampering Plus package for dolls, complete with a pedicure!"
Soon after getting canned as a flyer handout girl, I was offered a position as a cafe hostess at "Happy Doll Cafe"!
The job paid better than most part time jobs ($10 an hour!), and how hard could it be to seat people, and plastic dolls right?
My first morning on the job, I got dressed in my new crisp black blazer and pants. I had gotten them for a steal at Filene's Basement. Then I and headed to Fifth Avenue.
I was told to buzz into the side entrance,and proceeded to do so. Bubba, the security guard let me in, and I walked down two flights of dark baronstairs. It was so top secret I thought they were going to strip search me next.
I followed the cheap computer printed sign that said "break room" and ended up in a large room with foldout tables,time cards,microwaves, and clear lockers.
The underground of this store was astonishing in size,and winded through many corners.
After signing in with my photo ID at security, I was introduced to my supervisor Shamisha,who took me upstairs to the cafe. Shamisha had been a hostess at Happy Doll for quite some time and took her job super seriously.
She pulled out a big white 3 ring binder and overwhelmed me with seating charts,policies,settings,bookings,programming,speeches to memorize,and more.
I couldn't possibly remember everything she had just told me but whatever it was my first day.
Then the mad rush of parents, bratty kids,and grandma's started to stream in from the escalator and huddle around the podium, all waiting for "brunch" began.
These were not just run of the mill parents.
These women were Fifth Avenue ladies who lunch, and ladies who gave the nanny a day off. They were probably using up one of the two days a yearallotted to child raising time.
I even heard one of them say "Wow, we never realize how hard Maria works while we are away!"
Having a Happy Doll is a status symbol to these mothers.
They run upwards of $90 each, and it's important that the child have one that looks just like her.
In addition many of these family's bought the entire collections of books, outfit changes and playset's, dropping around $2000.
A big concern for these Mom's was that there daughter's doll would be in the hair salon during the reservation time.
I had to calm them down and say, "That's ok! We have a large selection of loner dolls in the cafe for your daughter."
Loner dolls were primped, pressed and styled every morning by there very own gay man in a doll hair salon. The gays even came to do hair touch ups during the day.
It must be a gays dream job, I thought.
Then it was time to fill the dining room. Upon seating a family, I would need to ask "how many dolls are in your party?", and do so without obviously vomiting in my mouth.
Then I needed to take the appropriate number of doll chairs from the shelves,and seat each doll at the table.
These little doll chairs were bitches to put together. You had to snap it just right on the table or the doll would fall face first into her tea and biscuit. When that happens you get an unhappy little rich girl.
The hardest part for me on my first day was learning all of the table numbers.
There were 70 tables in random order.
After a few hours I still couldn't figure these out, thanks to my dyslexic and ADD ways, but Shamisha wanted me to try seating nether less.
I seated table 47 where table 48 should be and table 30 where 31 should be.. whoops.
If looks could kill I would have burned up from Shamisa's death glares.
The staff at the Happy Doll Cafe were not so happy with me.
After 5 hours the happy dolls started to look angry and scary,like Children Of The Corn.
I thought at any second they would pick up their dolly tea cups, and start marching out of the cafe in a straight line with butter knifes to kill people.
After a few more days of wreaking havoc on the cafe and causing seating chaos, I decided that hostessing dolls wasn't a good match for me.
I asked HR if they had any other positions like being a cashier or even a hair stylist with my gays. They didn't, so I quit. And for once I was quite relieved not to be going back to a job.
Bank account balance $560
Saturday, July 04, 2009
"Work in New York City's newest event space and museum, located in a historic lower Manhattan building. Part time workers needed to hand out flyer's, conduct tours, sell tickets and provide an upbeat atmosphere for guests. Must be available weekends and evenings. $7.50 per hour."
I sent an email, and had a job interview scheduled within a week.
When I arrived I climbed the stairs of a huge, endless, white painted room covered in mirrors from end to end.
The space was unfinished, but had a creepy feeling about it.
Suddenly from a side door behind a mirror a short nerdy man appeared.
His name was Derek. He was the museum's publicist, and he informed me that he also designed websites for semi-famous Broadway actors on the side.
After chatting with Derek for a bit, he told me that the job was mine if I wanted it.
I could start the following week.
When I arrived for my first shift, I noticed that this museum was to become a tribute to 9/11.
One of the major attractions by the museums owner and director (who was a well known creator of HDTV) was a small high tech theatre.
The film was a 9/11 HD film for guests which ran every hour.
On my first day I went inside to watch the "Reminder" movie.
It was complete with shaking and vibrating seats during the scene when the planes hit the towers.
I left the room completely disturbed.
These poor tourists had NO IDEA what they were in for.
I thought maybe there should have been a seat belt, or warning sign on the door of the theatre.
During the months ahead it would be my job to introduce the film to audiences once they were seated.
It was also my job to hand out flyer's at the Wall Street Bull, and Battery Park when it was slow.
This worked once and awhile to bring in tourists, but most the time we would walk through the park, throw our flyer's in the trash, and eat a hot dog.
All staff members of the museum had to wear headsets complete withwalkie talkies clipped on our waist.
We were a small staff but had become friendly as we dealt with the antics of the owner, who we all agreed looked like Mr Burns from the Simpsons.
On the second anniversary of 9/11 he asked us to go to Ground Zero and hand out flyer's with discounts to the museum.
I refused thinking it was totally wrong, and distastefull.
The staff who did go that day practically got beat up by victims family members.
Soon we found out that many of the mirrors which lined the museum, were two way and that our headsets could be listened in on at any time.
As if that weren't creepy enough, some life sized ground zero photos had just been put all over the walls. While sifting through a photo book sold in the gift shop one day, I saw photos of exploded body parts, and wasnauseous for the rest of my shift.
Between the movie, photos, and walking by the WTC site to get to work every day, I started having 9/11 nightmares.
For months during this job, I dreamt I was trapped in an elevator, or under the buildings as they were falling.
Soon the space started booking events, and I got to work as evening event staff.
I witnessed some very interesting auctions, parties,celebrities, and premier parties.
One of the themed art openings was "trailer trash".
I wore a black wig and jeans that night, because the artist wanted us to fit in with the theme.
Later, another large firms reunion had an open bar.
The staff was standing around and I was offered a drink.
Everyone else was drinking, so I figured why not. I was 20 years old and had never had alcohol before.
The bartender poured me a Long Island Iced Tea, which I was told was a light drink.
I thought "how harmful could an iced tea be?".
Well I got buzzed pretty quickly, and had tons of fun while some big time execs at the event hit on me all night.
One of the girls I worked with was a bit to obvious with her drinking that night and got fired.
We all made sure to hide our evidence quickly after that.
In a few months ticket sales and event bookings had really slowed down.
Handing out flyer's at the bull was getting tiring.
I took a 12 hour bus ride home for Thanksgiving that year.
When I got back to NYC and called to get my schedule, I was told that they weren't going to need me anymore. Once again, I would have to find a new support job.
Bank account balance: $325.00
Friday, July 03, 2009
Thursday, July 02, 2009
I shook his hand and introduced myself to him. He told me he had to go to his dressing room and un bundle and would be back out to rehearse later. Once some of the other cast had arrived Jeff came back out onto the stage. He motioned up to me from the stage to come down from the seating area.
"So tell me about you," he asked.
He asked me if he could rehearse his monologue to me. Of course I was much obliged. When Jeff started acting there was such a smooth transition from his speaking that I hardly knew he had started his monologue. He stared me straight in the eye as he delivered this amazing piece. I was wrapped up and involved in his character in an instant.
At that point he was getting very very flirty.
I went home that night and ordered take in from the Applebee's that I worked at for a day.