Friday, September 2, 2011

I love the old people at equity.

Seriously.  I do.  Like the monitor with the red dyed hair (à la Angela Chase), bad bangs and bad glasses.  The other week she was the monitor at an audition I was at and spent the whole time prattling about how she had gotten a call for this commercial audition that afternoon but she's monitoring (at equity auditions there is pretty much always an equity member working as a monitor to sign people in and make sure the call is run under union rules) and oh of course this kind of thing only happens when you're monitoring and it's only a few blocks away and well why couldn't it have been during the lunch break instead of an hour later?  Now she has to call 50 other monitors to see if someone can cover for her and oh she finally found someone but now she has to go all the way home to get a swimsuit...!  Because that's apparently required for the audition and why couldn't she have just known about this sooner!?  And really, I don't mean this to sound pointed and/or rude, the right sarcastic, amused intonation is hard to capture in writing... but I honestly can't think of any product whose sales would benefit from having a commercial featuring you in a swimsuit... whoops?

Then today, the only call at AEA was for Steel Magnolias (aka, an all female cast) and there were all these old men ambling about.  Now I get that they might have other business to attend to there (and the convenience of the equity lounge as a resting place in times square is not lost on me) but there was this one guy who kept answering his cell phone loudly (you 're really not supposed to gab on your cellphone in the lounge...) and who then sat next to another old guy with the gravelly bellows of a longtime smoker, reading the paper and shouting repeatedly at each other about how it was Roy's or somebody's birthday.  There's definitely a punchline in there somewhere.  (The following to be read in an exaggerated old person's "Jewish accent"):
"Normy?  Normy!  There were only three people at the pool today!"
"What's that? There was free pizza at the pool today?  I wish I was there!!!"*
But like, really, what are you guys doing with your lives?

Anyway, red-haired lady was monitoring again today with the same level of verve and vigor and it got me to thinking... these people, all these equity monitors are actors, or at least, were actors... like, at some point, someone decided they were worth paying money to see perform on a stage.

I mean, there are the 50-something monitor guys for whom everything is stand-up comedy hour, and even the lady today who thought my name was Nathalie Frederico... these people, ok, I feel like I can get these people.  But some of these other characters?  Well, I guess that's what they are/what they played... characters.

And all this got me to thinking.  Am I completely crazy?  Do I expect people to pay money to see me perform on a stage?  What's so special or interesting about me?  Maybe these old, lovable crazies are more worth seeing!  Now I know this is like, a major actor trap to fall into... like how we get all depressed about wanting to be liked (which is not the point of acting, or at least, not supposed to be the point) and that's what drives our careers to an earlier end...  And honestly, today was a good audition day for me.  I felt really solid about some of the work I was putting forth, ran into like a gazillion people again, and made some new friends, which is always fun.  But really, what am I doing here?  I mean, I sang today for crying out-loud.  The last time I really sang was my senior year of high school when I played Mabel in The Pajama Game and I was SO nervous I mixed up the words to "I'll Never be Jealous Again" every damn time!  And then I did a Southern accent?  I mean, I'm just goofing around over here.  Is someone really expected to hire me for this shit?  I mean, I know there's this thing called talent and all, and sometimes I even think I have some of it, but I'm not sure talent is really what's going on right here... and I'm not sure talent is even what people often get hired for!

And this isn't any sort of a self-loathing reflection... I promise, I can do self-loathing... this is just really, a musing on the whole thing.  And it's probably two blogs posts that got wrapped around together in my brain right when it was time for bed so I'm tired and not fully coherent but I still wanted to write it down.

I think it probably all boils down to what Angela Chase/Claire Danes/actually probably a writer somewhere said about being introspective (can you tell I'm marathoning My So-called Life right now?)
"What I was thinking, as like a New Year's resolution, is to stop getting so caught up in my own thoughts, 'cause I'm like way too introspective. I think... But what if not thinking turns me into this shallow person? I better rethink this becoming less introspective thing. Okay, so I'll stay introspective, but I do resolve to stop doing Jordan Catalano’s homework."
Or maybe it boils down to the fact that last night my mother had a dream in which I auditioned for a Broadway musical while comatose... and got cast.  I thought this was hilarious and laughed until I cried for a good five minutes but my father seemed rather offended for me.  My mom: "no really, you were good... we like, propped you up or something... I don't know." (beat) "You're a better singer when you're unconscious?!"  (Further laughter ensues from both of us, and also I think maybe I gave her the finger for a second there... and like, guys, also, I don't even really audition for musical theater!)

...Of course, the night before last my mother dreamt that she had a tiny kitten in her pocket that kept flying away... so I don't know how credible a source this is.

But yeah... something like that.


*Let it be noted that this is a real conversation that once transpire between two of my grandparent's friends, one of them no longer with us, may she rest in peace.

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