okay. first of all, i have to say that it takes a lot of makeup in real life -- carefully and strategically applied -- to look like you're not wearing any makeup at all on camera. after all this time, i think i've finally got it down. the contouring. the shadowing. the highlighting. the layering. i can finally leave home and look made up but not really and take a photo at the audition that has me looking dewy and glowy and fresh. not powdery and caked on and fake.
truthfully, i owe it all to way bandy, that extrordinarily gifted makeup artist from the 70s. i found his book in the half-price pile at a local bookstore when i was in college in austin and read it on a lark. it's such a classic. when everyone was running to MAC counters and grabbing overpriced kevin aucoin tomes, i have clutched mr. bandy's book to my chest like a breastplate. he taught me the basics about makeup and skin care. if he only knew how much i loved him, how much his book has helped me.
i zipped over to donna deseta casting at broadway and spring for this one. they had 3 commercials going so it was a little crowded. i filled out my card, took a polaroid and settled in. as soon as i decided that i didn't know anyone there, i realized i knew someone there -- it was grace savage, the fun-lovin' nutroll i worked with on ed durante's movie jake gets paid. she was zipping around from one audition to the other and of course, she looked totally beautiful and happy. and then she was gone.
as soon as i walked in, i knew which actors belonged with which audition. there was a chase commercial that paired up chatty little black girls as sisters and a mom type, so there were all of these very-pretty-but-somewhat-thick-and-therefore-middle-aged-looking-but-
still-youngishly-attractive-in-a-weird-way black women set up with these girls who were basically grown and pretending to be children, and in so doing getting one over on the adults that were wrangling them. a little too perky and polite and knowing and smart and hip. i mean, how hip can you be if you're only 7 or 8 years old? nothing is more disconcerting or annoying or scary than a child that isn't a child.
there was a hardee's commercial. lots of attractive, generic-looking "middle america" white people. like they opened a portal to the country's breadbasket and let it out somewhere in soho.
and then there was my commercial. a good mix of young and old, supposedly everyday folk. the idea was that we were all standing around at a taxi stand (huh?) listening to someone talk about the entrees at outback steakhouse. sort of a riff on that "lean cuisine" from stouffers commercial where everyone is salivating over a description of the food. we went into the room in groups, depending on who had been seen and when they had been called and we reacted to what the speaker was saying or whatever. easy, right?
just when i was comfortable readjusting and reacting in oh-so-small ways to what was being said, the casting person asked me if i wanted to read it. i couldn't say no to that one but i'm not so sure i was ready to say yes. and of course, the next thing i knew, it was over and i was walking up broadway towards the N/R and wondering what really happened...