Saturday, November 03, 2007

on point

the other night, i saw the last commercial that gave me two callbacks. you've probably seen it, too: Tylenol PM, the one with different shots of everyone calling hogs in this wierd, cobalt blue montage of snoring, one after another, in their respective beds. it was bizarre and quirky and funny. i didn't full on see it from beginning to end, so i don't know which black girl got hired -- or if they picked one of us at all.

it dawned on me that i had one eye on every commercial that blipped across the tv screen. what was i looking for? in a word, everything: people i knew; black people i knew; black women i knew or even vaguely recognized. i'm looking for what can only be described as "a look"-- the question i constantly ask is, how many brown-skinned black women in my age range with my look are getting work? which products are using them? why her and not me? the more i see, the better my chances are.

all of these questions come and go in a flash. some commercial comes on and i think, wow, it's a young black mom that doesn't pass the paper bag test. slim and pretty with natural hair and great teeth. ah, well -- it's target. yeah, they're pretty inclusive racially but strong on the eye candy and they use lots of dancers and models. that's the way i think when i watch tv nowadays. and i can't turn it off. when i meet someone that tells me that they're an actor, i look at them and i think, you're an attractive white guy -- there's plenty of work for you, why are you non-union, why aren't you working? or i think, if you don't get your teeth fixed, you'll never get on-camera work or i think, i hope you like the chorus, because that's where you're going to be until you retire if you don't transition into film or tv. it's a voice in my head that only talks serious showbiz schlock. and i can't turn the volume down.

without even realizing it, i've made reaching and maintaining that visual mark a high priority in my world. my day isn't complete unless i've had a good hard workout -- and afterwards, the steam room. (steam/sauna is such a luxury when it's cold in the city.) i see my eyebrowist every two weeks. i get my hands and feet done every other week. i get a facial once a month. i moisturize constantly, with great products. i even got a mac pro card so i can give my makeup case an overhaul and have a finished look when i really need it. and they offer classes and workshops so i can get better at applying makeup.

i schedule all this stuff like i schedule appointments with my periodontist. everything is on automatic. the point is, maintainence and upkeep for on-camera talent is a full-time job. it's in my job description/requirement that i do all this crap, which is why i can write most of it off on my taxes. in 20 lbs, i'll be back to normal. and i'll be able to fit into all the clothes in my closet, not just the ones that i'm wearing when i'm having an especially "thick" month.

i want to give myself that 20 lb weight loss as a christmas present.

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