Friday, March 03, 2006

Another Audition: "Fame Becomes Me"

As I left for the audition, it was freezing cold. I packed everything that I would need and got there early so I could get ready upon arrival. This audition wasn’t problematic but I’d hit a few snags to get there. The biggest one? My manager gave me the wrong sides, which sent me careening in the wrong direction, memorizing material that I didn’t need to know. Oh, well. My persistence turned things around quickly. I made my friend run lines with me and he ended up learning them, too -- which made for some interesting non-sequitors. His first line to prompt me was “You promised me an evening of full-frontal nudity.” Everytime he said it, it made me smile. It’s nice that whenever I have to memorize something, he helps me. He’s really kind of good at it.

So there I was in Bernie Telsey’s waiting room, signing in. there I was, putting my clothes on in the bathroom as fast as I could because the door handle was busted and I was afraid that someone would walk in on me. There I was, giving myself a basic beat in the hallway’s big mirror. There I was, perched in my favorite heels, an Afro puff on my head, a song in my heart. But which song?

All of the other black girls in the waiting room that were being seen for the part I was up for were heavy-set. No surprise there. Production folk seem to think that when it’s time for comedy, fat people are funnier than the rest of us. The woman that plays the role on his show Jiminy Glick is heavy-set. hmmm...

In short order, I was in that room. The creative end of the entire production staff must have been sitting at that table. The one at the very end – Mark, if I remember correctly -- jumped up and threw his arms around me. We’d done Marci X together. That was my first movie role, my first big line. I pointed at Lisa Kudrow and said, “Get that bitch off the stage!”

It was so great, to walk in the room and be loved.

I sang Stormy Weather which seemed to amuse them. When I was done, they collectively burst into applause, like they were at a cabaret or a piano bar or something. Martin Short tilted his head at a funny angle, made a face and said, in this high squeaky voice, “You’re spiffy.” And I tilted my head in the same way and made the same face and said, “I am.” And he made another face. We totally picked up on each other’s vibe. Cute. He’s a live one, that Marty. And then I did the scene they gave me, and I nailed it because my friend drilled me on it and I knew it. It’s nice to do a great job but I know that the reason why anyone gets cast doesn’t necessarily have anything to do with talent.

That one loving gesture from Mark when I entered the room set the tone for the entire audition. It was one of the best I’ve ever done. I left there feeling satisfied.

Here's a nice slice of wierdness: as I left the building, it began to hail violently.


Antoine said...

Martin is one funny character. I used to watch him a ton during his SCTV days. Funny guy.

I knew you looked familiar! I watched Marci X oh so long ago. :)

Concerning your comment on my blog, I got the coloring book in a place in Toronto called "Magic Pony." I believe they ship to the U.S too. Here's their website:


piu piu said...

o cool. good luck!

i met a load of european puppet actors, street theatre and mime artists....all very weird and interesting stuff. one girl is gonna be in paris not far from me when i go live there for 6 months in april....

black american street theatre/mime in paris...u shud get your ass across here and revolutionise!

queenesther said...

yipes, antoine! you saw marci x? some would want to give you an award for sitting through that thing...

i'm going to check out that magic pony site soon and thanks for the info -- but for now i'm looking for the 70's kiddie game "spirograph" for my special friend's birthday.

and piu piu -- i'm seriously jealous that you're going to live in paris for 6 months. i couldn't make it in france for more than two weeks. i've always wanted to live in a foreign country...*sigh*