Wednesday, January 30, 2008

A Snippit from an Actor's Life

This passage was written by my best friend and former New Yorker (born and bred). She has abandoned our Shiny City for the dirty pit of Los Angeles (we will not hold that against her) but nonetheless continues to push forward in the never-ending quest for work as an actor. I thought it was worthy of sharing to you, my small blog audience, since nothing blog-worthy is happen here right now. Her story is an insight into the life of a normal person trying to make sense of the entertainment world... enjoy.

Audition 605 in my descent into madness where no one can follow.

So it begins with a call from my agent saying he has an audition for me -- an ad for a popular Chinese food chain that shall remain nameless. (Nameless except that it features pandas and the food comes fast.) Immediately, I am in Ironic Town, USA. Population: 1 -- because I have personal issues with this chain. You see, my husband loves the food this place dishes out- greasy, hang-over food dripping in faux-Asian sauce. I hate it, because it's gross, and refer to the place as "The Dirty Panda". But since it doesn't exist on the East Coast, dear husband has rekindled his love affair with its oily charms ever since we moved to CA by going at least once a week and dragging my reluctant ass with him. So, pretty stinking funny/horrible that I should get a chance to hock this crapola. My life in art.

I head down to the place and sign in, and on the sign-in table is a cup of chopsticks with a note that says we should "practice using them but not to put them in our mouths because many people would use them all day." I decline chopstick practice, as I have travelled to Asia and would have starved or at least created an international faux pas by using my hands to eat had I not learned to use chopsticks. Also, who does not know how to use chopsticks at this point? I will tell you who- the other girls in the room. They are all pinching cheap, splinter-laden chopsticks with varying degrees of skill and looking worried. I do not feel bad for them, however, as they are by and large Dutch super-models, and do not need my pity.

We go into the room in pairs. I am paired with a girl named Boblinka. I shit you not. We are to sit in front of the cameras and pick hard candies out of a chinese food carton, pretending that they are pieces of delicious orange chicken. The illusion stops short of our mouths, however, as we are told not to actually place the candies in our mouths. Awesome.

But here's where it really takes off. We are supposed to eat and chat and WATCH THE PANDA BEARS CAVORTING IN THE DISTANCE. These creatures are represented by the casting director's hand, held up just behind the camera. We are told to react "just as we normally would to panda bears" and improvise a short scene. We do so. It involves us talking about the cuteness of the hand-pandas. Then we are told to be "really interested" in what the pandas are doing, and then to break out in a "slow smile". Fuck me.

Boblinka was super nice and we commiserated on the bizareness of our lives in the elevator ride down. Then I had to write a check for 3 dollars to the parking attendant because I never have cash. I felt a little like "The Dude" in the supermarket scene in The Big Lebowski.

I will not get this commercial. But if I do, then I hearby renounce my ability to understand anything about anything. Because the world is a land of hand-pandas and fake chinese chicken, and there is nothing to do but laugh or kill yourself in such a world.

Friday, January 04, 2008

Happy New Year!

I have been lax at posting, I apologize. A girl can only write on so many blogs at once, and I have been giving the baby blog all my attention. Most of you who love me (that would be the 3 of you who actually read this blog) already know all this. :)

So, New Year in New York. Rang in 2008 by cuddling with Jacky in our bed because, in a painful reminder of the fourth of July, there were fireworks all around and she was terrified.

Funny tidbit: Today we went to see "There Will Be Blood" at the BAM cinemas. After heading back to Greenpoint and exiting the beloved G train at our home-stop, the chime rang and the "doors closing" voice said its thing. Then, all of a sudden, all the scrappy high school kids on the other side of the platform start screaming "Wait! Wait! Hold the doors!!" to the train conductor. I look up to see a woman running like mad down the steps, trying to catch our train before it leaves. The crowd of school kids starts cheering her on, hollaring "You can do it!" and "Run!!" So the train conductor did, indeed, hold the doors for her. And the kids cheered. Everyone was victorious. It was just about the funniest thing I'd seen in awhile.

I heart New York.