Wednesday, October 12, 2005

you can't see me (and you can't hear me, either)

had an audition for a k-mart commercial on tuesday, got a callback today and now i'm trying to forget about it -- even though every so often, i can see a big sack of money hanging over my head because i know how much money i'd make if i actually got it. but i don't think i'm going to, because i didn't make very strong funny choices when i was on-camera. then again, when i'm pretty sure i didn't get something, i usually land the gig. so what do i know?

they called me around noon and told me that i had a callback at 4:30pm so there was no time to get wound up about it. actually, there's never a windup with commercials because so much is decided by what you look like. they take a look at you and it's all over.

i'm always surprised when i get a callback on a commercial audition.

for black women in this industry, it's all about whatever your hair is doing. some blacktress i know told me in passing recently that they cast natural hair for commercials and straightened permed hair for movies. according to her, television can go either way. no matter what you're auditioning for, it's important to have hair that white people recognize or feel that they're familiar with, at least.

no one that's famous has a hairstyle like mine. every hairstyle i had before now had a celebrity/famous person attached to it and so inevitably, i ended up getting told that i resembled that person. when i had extentions, it was whoopi goldberg. when i had a perm, it was whitney houston. when i cut it all off "comme de garcon" it was josephine baker. when i wore a headwrap, it was erykah badu. after awhile, i was like, wow -- no one is looking at me. if i put on a wig, i'd be invisible.

that goes double when i sing. i've read reviews on the swing cd that said i sounded like "a young rosemary clooney" -- huh? other reviews have said i sound like everyone from nina simone to carmen mc rae and back again to the likes of betty carter -- the list goes on and on and on. i've actually had people take me aside inbetween sets with the biggish band to say that i sound like billie holiday. no one can pin me down because none of it's true. i refuse to be pigeonholed. how could i possibly sound like all those people? clearly, they have a favorite in mind and that's all they can hear when i sing. you know who i sound like? you guessed it -- my very own unique self. i mean, i thought that was the whole point.

whenever anyone tells me that i sound like someone else, i think -- you aren't listening to me.

oh, by the way -- moviewise, i watched "sunset boulevard" the other night and "the lady vanishes" tonight and then i sat up and watched "all the real girls" again. i liked "george washington" a lot, so i figured what the heck.

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