I submit myself for the lead in a short film. It’s unpaid, and I usually don’t submit myself for unpaid roles, but this one really drew me in, and it was for the lead so why not? The project looked fun and smart and I really liked the character. And let’s be honest. I need to fucking ACT. (I’m also kind of blonde now, so I definitely need new footage for my reel since I’m not spending $800 on new headshots at the moment.)
I get called in. Awesome! I am especially excited about this audition. I get the sides. Only one page long and it’s a scene with me and two other guys. There’s little dialogue for me. A lot of listening and reacting. I feel like I really want to nail this thing, so I reach out to my acting teacher, Jo-Ann, to see if she could possibly coach me for the audition. She kindly accepts, and we plan to meet the day before the audition.
The night before I meet Jo-Ann, I get an email from the casting director, Chris.
Thank you for your interest in RobotClub. Unfortunately, we are overbooked and cannot see you this Thursday. However, we have added another audition day. If you are chosen, we will reschedule you for this Sunday, September 27th, from 12-5pm. I apologize for the inconvenience this may have caused but look forward to hopefully seeing you on Sunday. Thank you very much.”
My heart sinks. I quickly decide that no, this is not OK. I am going to this audition. I think for a while about how to respond, and finally send the following:
Thanks for the update and I completely understand. However, Sundays are difficult with acting class and work, and I already changed my work schedule so that I could come in Thursday (this was a lie), so if there was any other time that day you could see me, that would be awesome.
If not, I will absolutely skip class on Sunday to be there, but I figured I’d ask. I’m very flexible on Thursday. (Sidenote: If I say I will be there, I’ll be there. You can count on me.)
Look forward to meeting you on either Thursday or Sunday (if you decide to call me in)! Thank you!
It’s late when I send this, and I do not hear back from Chris. The next day, I go to Jo-Ann’s around 5pm. I decide not to tell her that my audition has been cancelled, because for some reason, I have made up my mind that I am still going. She helps me immensely and now I feel great and confident about going in for this.
“Our script changes a lot so I just wanted to let you know that there are new sides posted on LACasting. The old sides are fine too but it would be even better if you could read the new sides. Also, some of you are scheduled for Thursday and we have yet to schedule anyone for Sunday.
I quickly go on LACasting to check out the new sides. Unfortunately, I cannot access them… because my audition ticket has been cancelled, like Chris already told me. This will not do. I email Chris, AGAIN, even though he has yet to respond directly to me. I play dumb…
“I can’t access the new sides anywhere… can you send them?”
“I will try to schedule you for Sunday but we can’t do Thursday. But actually… If you want to try to come around 11:20 or11:30 I am unsure about 2 people at that time as to if they will show up or not. That’s the best I can do. If you prefer Sunday, I will try to schedule you for Sunday. I have attached the new sides as our writer changes the script a lot. Thanks!!”
Did you read what I just read? It’s like he was telling me no but then changed his mind as he was drafting his email. He also attached three new scenes of sides for me to look over. I quickly email back and let him know, I will see you at 11:20.
The next morning I wake up and get ready, then go over the sides some more. As I’m almost ready to leave, my arms feel itchy. That’s weird. I rub them real quick and head out to my car. Start to drive. Man, my arms are REALLY itchy. I look down. Holy crap, I’ve completely broken out in hives. What the fuck? I then do my signature move: freak out in a complete panic and call Mom. She tells me to get Benadryl. I quickly remind her of my acetaminophen allergy and she tells me to get an antihistamine. “Can you stop somewhere on the way?” No, there’s no time.
“Will you be able to audition?”
Umm, I am not missing this audition. No fucking way am I missing this thing. No. I will figure this out after it’s over.
It’s about 30 minutes to the audition. I keep the air on and as I drive, and the hives start to disappear. By the time I reach the studio, they’ve completely vanished, and I feel fine. Perfect.
I walk in, feeling very calm and like I’ve already booked this thing. Like it’s definitely mine. I don’t usually feel this way. It’s about a half hour before they call me in. This is that time where the nerves start to get to you. The waiting really is the worst, but when they call me in, I’m just excited. I let them know I only have the old sides printed out. They then let me know, oh we’re not doing those, just the new ones.
Are you sure? I worked on the first sides for an hour with my acting coach and really would prefer to do them.
No, I did not actually say this. I think I said, “Cool.” But in my mind I’m like, what the fuck, man!
So I do the new sides. It’s fun. I feel great.
I walk out to my car, not realizing that I’m smiling. A guy working on a roof yells down. “You’re smiling. Did you get the part?” I look up. I don’t know… but I feel good about it! “Well I bet you got it then.” Thanks!!
I get in my car and drive the 30 minutes home. I’m pretty amped. Walk in my apartment and go the bathroom. Pull down my jeans to sit on the toilet, and boom, hives fucking all over my legs. Ah! What the fuck! Now I look at my arms. I’m breaking out again. Go to look in the mirror. All over my neck and now creeping into my face.
I’m going into panic mode. Is there something in my apartment?? What is happening to me? I run out to my car and turn on the air, because that seemed to help before. Text GirlTalk, asking the Stevers for help. They’re nurses, after all. Megan asks if I changed my laundry detergent. No. I did not. “Did you do anything different today?” No. I mean, I just took Niacin. …
Oh, fuck, that’s it, isn’t it.Yes, yes it is, Lindsay. You fucking idiot. Megan lays into me. Why did you take Niacin?!?!!! I respond with a voice message, feeling like I’m having something like a panic attack. Wondering if it’s the effects of Niacin or if I’m just freaking out. Megan, stop using so many question marks and exclamation points and tell me what to do and if I’ll be OK.
It’s at this point that I think maybe I should be driving myself to a hospital.
Oh, why did I take Niacin? Because I’m a fucking idiot. Because I watched a documentary and only partially paid attention, I guess, and thought that Niacin was good for you, like a multi-vitamin. But no, it is not. It’s a blood thinner. And you’re not really supposed to take it unless a doctor tells you to (but why put it next to fucking vitamin-C? Looking all innocent like it’s not harmful). It’s poison. Some people break out in hives. Like me. Heather quickly makes fun of me but also calms me down as she reads about it online and tells me that I’ll be fine. I take an antihistamine, and that shit makes me feel crazy.
I drive to the grocery store, right down the street, and I do not feel right. High on Niacin and allergy meds. Get back to my place. I’m supposed to meet some UCB classmates in West Hollywood tonight. The one guy is calling and texting me. I make the decision to go, but then realize, I can’t go, because I’m not OK. I don’t even think I should be driving. I text and let them know I can’t make it. I then pace back and forth in my apartment, trying to do simple things like laundry and cleaning, but I can’t do anything but pace. I feel jittery and restless and unable to focus.
And now I’m exhausted. I don’t know what to do. I lay down. Nina texts me to come over. I can’t. I need to lay down. I do. As soon as I do, I realize I made the right decision. I feel like I can’t move. I lay there for about an hour, probably sleeping for about 20 minutes of it. When I finally get up, I feel almost back to normal.
When I reflect on the day, I can’t help but wonder, how and why did the hives go away JUST for the audition?? If I had had the hives when I went in, I would have been very distracted, and not in a good way, because sometimes distractions are a good thing. I would have been panicky, and itchy, and unable to concentrate. But I was totally fine. I think my body knew to let me have this moment to be OK. I don’t know why. I don’ t know why I was so persistent on getting this audition. But I was.
Callbacks are this week. I probably should have heard by now. Not a good sign that I haven’t. But I’m still so sure I’m going to get called in. And if I don’t, they’re dumb, because I will be great in that role.
Moral of the story: if you want something, take it. … unless it’s Niacin. Don’t be a fucking idiot.