Friends in Low Places

yea I didn't have a picture for this is just a shout out to Doug and Heather for getting engaged 🙂

Audition this afternoon. I have my two monologues prepared – the one provided about fitness and health, and the other one I wrote about my girlfriends. I’m greeted at the door by a guy who is basically showing the actors where to go. Someone just walked out before me and there’s no wait. “OK, sign in and you’re up next.” I can never win with an audition. If I wait too long I get more and more nervous, but if I have to go in as soon as I get there I feel frazzled and unprepared. Oh, well. I have them both memorized (I think). He leads me down the hall to a small windowless room with a bunch of crap everywhere, one camera, a light, and a big green screen against one wall.

The director, Stuart, takes my resume. It’s just me and him – he’s working the camera. I’m immediately put at ease in Stuart’s presence. It’s easy conversation and he makes me feel very relaxed. He has me stand on the piece of tape on the ground in front of the green screen and plays with the camera and lighting for a while. “Sorry, the last five people in here were all over six feet tall. What are you, five foot?” 5′ 3″, thank you very much! He starts to ask me something, then laughs and changes his mind. What? “I was going to ask you something but you might get offended. People like to hit me a lot.” I’m from Jersey, I can take it. What. He goes on a tangent about a girl he offended once. “I was shooting this super model and told her she looked like someone. She started listing all these famous people other people told her she looked like. After she was finished I said really? You’ve never gotten Seth Rogen?” OMG why did you say that? “Because she was so full of herself. She did laugh, thankfully.” Wow. He starts talking about something else and I think he isn’t going to say what he was going to say to me in the first place, when he just blurts it out. “I bet black guys hit on you a lot.” Are you serious right now?? He’s laughing and claps his hands once. “Oh man, that was perfect, you should have seen your face. Great reaction. I wish I had the camera on.” I have no idea what’s happening. Did he really mean that? Why would he say that? I try to act like I don’t care but I can’t stop thinking about it. And now I’m blushing. Stuart looks in the camera. “Yea, we’ve got some color now.” He’s talking about my face. Great.

So, I have one of the monologues you provided and one I wrote. “Perfect. What did you write about?” Friendships. “Great. OK, slate for me and go into the first one. I start the fitness monologue and he cuts me off. “OK let me take your blanket.” He grabs the index cards I’m holding. I brought them in case, but he’s absolutely right, I am using them as security. I should have put them down as soon as I walked in the room. A mistake. I go back into it, and it goes well, I think. He stops the camera. “OK, let’s do the next one.” I do it. Not bad. “OK, do it again.” I do it a second time. “One more time.” I’m surprised he’s asking me to do it so many times. I think I must be thinking that on the third time because I mess up. He tells me to go again. Every time does get more and more comfortable and by the fourth time I nail it. “Andd scene. I’d really like to meet your friends.” Yea, they’re awesome. The audition is over but we continue to chat as I sign the release form. Stuart grew up going to a military school and has a really close group of friends from grade school, too. After his first two weeks in LA they all came out to visit him. “Everyone always thinks it’s weird that we’re still so close.” I know! People always say that to me, too. We’re lucky. Stuart asks me where I’m living. Turns out we’re neighbors – we both live in the Valley. “Do you know where “so-and-so street meets so-and-so highway”?” I could easily say yea, sure, but I don’t even bother. No, I have no idea where anything is. “Well let me give you my card. We could meet up some time. I don’t usually do this, but since we’re neighbors and all.” Wow, what a privelege, Stuart. You’re right, I do kind of want to punch you.

I walk out feeling good. I love when an audition goes well. Back at the  apartment I feel like I can’t do anything because I am so cold. It’s beautiful outside, but it’s an ice box when I walk in the door. Not home for long before I head to Lilly’s. A relatively slow night. Tropez makes me laugh as usual. He’s serving tonight. I tell him we’re running out of Ketel One. He sends me an order for a Ketel martini. I run out, so I use Grey Goose instead. I walk over to tell him before he brings it to the customer. Whenever I start to ask him something he gets this serious, concerned, “I’m listening” look on his face. I tell him. Then it’s a huge, ear-to-ear smile. “Great job! I’m proud of you.” Hahaha, what? I didn’t need all that, I just wanted to let you know, but ok, thank you. There’s French music playing on the ipod, of course, and he’ll come behind the bar and start singing, but never the words that are being said in the song. I think he just makes it up as he goes along. Then he’ll look at me as he’s singing like he’s talking to me. I just look at him, eyebrows raised. I don’t know what to say. At one point I mess up. Like, really, really dumb. It’s the espresso machine. I’ve never used one before. The grounds are running out, so I find the bag of espresso beans and dump them into the grinder. Tropez and Miguel are looking at it wondering what happened. “Did you do this?” Yea, why, is that wrong? Nervous laughter. They show me that directly above the grinder is a container holding the espresso beans. All I had to do was press the button on and the espresso beans above would be grinded underneath. “You are really a blond, no?” Ohhhh, clever. Perhaps I am, Tropez, perhaps I am.

I find out that we are not open on Christmas Day, but I will definitely have to work Christmas Eve. That’s fine. I also find out that I’ll get paid on the 17th. So far away. I really need the 17th to get here so I can figure out if it’s worth it to stay here. …I hope so.

*Garth Brooks

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