Monday, August 20, 2012

The Audition

I auditioned for a commercial today. Well, I didn't actually audition. I went to the audition. I entered the building. When I got to the lobby of the production studio, it was empty. I was asked to sign in. All eight or so people who had signed in before me had filled out their names, their agents (!) and their phone numbers. I was the only one so far who had written "N/A" under agent.

This is where I started to get uncomfortable. Actually, I started to get uncomfortable at home when I popped the top button on my dress shirt trying to loosen it so that my fat neck didn't cause me to lose circulation to my head and, thus, die. I had to wear a tie to this audition, and instead of changing my shirt, I asked my wife to fasten my collar with a safety pin. I felt classy. Then, as I was about to leave, my wife said, "Those pants are short.... But they look fine." Classier still.

After I signed my name, the receptionist asked me to wait downstairs in the kitchen area. When I got to the kitchen, I was surprised to find at least 15 people waiting to audition. (Why weren't all of their names on the sign-in sheet? Was there more than one sign-in sheet?) Even worse, more than half of them were men in ties clearly auditioning for the same part that I was. It was 3:45 and the auditions would be continuing until 9.

I didn't really want to audition. I was asked to come by the casting director, a friend, so I thought I'd give it a shot. I've been in a few commercials and one children's theater play, but I cannot call myself an actor. Not at all. But the others in the room were actors, as could be evidenced by the fact that everybody in the room had headshots with them. Everybody but me. Mr. Safetypin.

It could have been the stress, or it could have been the fact that I hadn't worn a dress shirt and pants in two months, or it could have even been the five or six men clearly more handsome than I am--but the sweat began to pour. I was wiping my forehead at 30 second intervals. I went upstairs, crossed my name off the list, and I left.

I'm not an actor. And I don't know how anybody could be.

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