Cranky had a commercial audition this week. And without fail, commercial auditions are completely fucking retarded. Seriously.
And of course when I got up in the morning there was a mystery bump on my face. Mystery bumps always seem to pop out the day of an on camera audition. Why why why?
Had an appointment at Three of Us Studios. Get there and it is a morass of women of the same age range on a serpentine line just to sign in. Really? Everyone is Asian except for me and one other gal – so I know we are the token Caucasians. Just so the NAACP doesn’t come down on them. National Association of Caucasian Persons. Because the Caucasian middle age white ladies really do need help in the commercial world. Actually this one needs mental help to make it through the audition.
At sign in I am given a board with my name and a number. Then I am brought into the room with eight other women and lined up against the wall to wait my turn. The stone face clients are sitting behind a table. Nobody is saying nothing. You can hear a pin drop in the room. Really? If I am going to make an ass of myself auditioning for your commercial, at least act like you are engaged. The room is dim. The nervousness of each woman as they take their turn in front of the camera is palpable. They are rushing because they are behind. So nurturing for artists, you think?
A woman whose job description I think is “herder” keeps coming in and shoving us down the wall to make room for more victims.
Finally it is Cranky’s turn. Cranky hates reverent silence and must be irreverent at all costs to feel like a semblance of herself. The camera guy asks me to hold the board under my face while he takes my picture. I lock eyes with him and say, “You know this all feels very Nick Nolte.” At least I made him laugh and broke the horrible horrible silence. “I know,” he says, “just don’t let it show on your face.” Then I turn for the profile shot. Then a close up of my hands. OH NO! Not the hands! My nails and cuticles look like they’ve been through a blender. I had a friend who went out for a lot of commercials, and every time she had a call to go on, got a facial and a manicure the day before. Now I know why, but I’m not sure if working in commercials ended up profitable for her.
But the hands were not the worst of it. Next was the video camera. “State your name, your agency and give us your best dance moves.” Your best dance moves in a silent room with the stone face people. YOUR BEST DANCE MOVES! This, as they say in “Tropic Thunder” is FULL RETARD. But it pays pays pays. So Cranky hears the song Money, Money, Money in her head and dances to it. In retrospect, my dance moves were a bit too pole dancey for the mom in a cell phone commercial. Yeah I guess they were. But I closed my eyes and went for it. The specter of dollar bills dancing in my head.
As I was leaving, I pass a room that was auditioning kids for a commercial. The kids are all hanging out by the door to the audition room, and there is actually a girl of about eight wearing a black sequined beret. How sad. Actor kids are such freakazoids. Take your kid home and let them play after school and get dirty. The precious actor thing looks kinda unnatural on a kid, you know? It is bad enough on adults. Of which I admit I am one.
And now it is Saturday and now it is over and I think I will spring for eight bucks and get a manicure. Because us freakazoid actors always have to be ready as they say.