i had an audition for an industrial called NY's NY, to be directed by mike figgis. i ran into liz lewis casting like my butt was on fire. i was on time but i got caught in the picture-taking undertow at the front desk. evidently, the director requested everyone's picture and phone number on the form aside from the one they usually hand out. so once i bobbed and weaved my way through that bottleneck, i had to wait for the traffic jam to clear at the entry/door. this woman asked if she could go ahead of me. she was well-dressed and she had long dark curly hair and she had on too much make-up and she was kind of not all that attractive. it was 2:40pm and she had to be at work anyway. i'm thinking, you're not going to make it whether you take my slot or not, but i let her slide on ahead of me. heck. i know how it is. i had another audition afterwards but i had an hour to kill before it happened. the black woman i was all chatty cathy with by then let her slide, too. she had on cool boots from payless -- this season, even. and then we were off to the races about shoes, with little miss lateness pacing and mumbling in front of us. wow, i thought. she's probably waiting tables.
as it turns out, they're seeing us in clumps. all we're doing is slating, for pete's sake. i almost said it out loud: all this running around for a slate? no. not for a slate. to be seen by mike figgis.
oh and you're never going to believe who's standing next to me in the line up.
of course the one i warmed up to stays in the hall to continue warming up the bench until the next round. nice lady. married with a two year old. gets lots of commercial work. having a happy life. tall. wears a size 12 shoe. very laid back about it all. why shouldn't she be? she's got a husband with a great job. the bills are going to get paid whether she gets the gig or not.
so everyone wanders into the room. i'm in there first, for some reason. next comes the black girl that didn't speak to me. not that there's anything wrong with not speaking, but when it happens in a white situation wherein the two of you seem to be the only ones in the room, it's a bad sign. she was alternative in a very conventional way, if you know what i mean. it seemed authentic unless you were paying attention and then it seemed contrived. short girl. shorter than me, anyway. androgynous. pants, punk rock t-shirt, punk rock accessories. short hair, a real t.w.a. no make-up. she had these shades that turned her into a diva with attitude when she put them on. when she took them off, all i could see was her bad skin, which made me flinch involuntarily when i got a good look at her. she wasn't exactly a heela-monster but i mean, really. what are you doing in a commercial audition looking like that. what are you doing.
i spoke first. i'm such a nice girl that way. everyone else filed in, in short order. how little miss lateness ended up to me, i'll never know but there she was, turning on the charm. all we had to do was slate. that means smile and say your name. that's it. everyone took a turn. i was to be last. everything was fine until they got to the girl next to me. she says her name and then she pitches in that she's a new york native, born and bred -- and then she throws in a a couple of heh-heh-heh's for good measure. yeah, they're looking for new york types so i guess that means you'll be getting the part now that they know you're from new york city.
have i ever been that desperate?
i am so take it or leave it when i'm auditioning for anything. to my way of thinking, desperation is creepy. with commercials especially, what you look like is just about everything. sometimes they look at you and that's pretty much it.
when auditioning is your job -- and that's exactly what it is until you get one -- moments like that are all in a day's work.