Saturday, November 27, 2010

How I Got a Legal Prescription for Marijuana

Since the government went from a liberal house held up by Republican filibustering to a conservative house with undoubtedly more still water, I decided to take a job that wouldn't eat at my soul in a doggie boarding place just in case my unemployment benefits are discontinued. I have been on unemployment for a year anyway, I need to start thinking ahead.

Our orientation was led by a sarcastic, Filipino woman we will call Lynn. She runs all of Human Resources out of a little closet in one of the doggie personal suites. Her sarcasm was so fine, even I couldn't pick up on it. The thick accent didn't help:

Lynn to another new employee, "You got a bad reference. They had nothing good to say about you. Seriously. (silence)"

Me, "Lynn."

Lynn, "What? You didn't know I was kidding? HAHAHA"

***

Lynn, "If you do not ask for assistance when you need to or spend too much time taking a restroom break, I will find your house and burn it down. I have the paperwork with all your address on it. Just kidding."

***

Lynn, "There is no gossiping here. We run a professional work place where respect is very important. So please, do not gossip. Lucy and Mario are a couple. I thought they were just friends but I guess they moved in together. Who knew?"

***

Lynn, "I will yell at you, I will. I will make you cry because I would rather approach you personally."

Four hours of hearing that, got me telling her I looked forward to it! Afterward, the receptionists warned me that she has made all of them cry at one point. So . . . not so funny?

***

The first week at Doggie Boarding, I had a terrible headache. Now, if you read my blogs you know I don't have to be writhing from a headache to smoke some ganja. However, I am professional. At work, I leave my iPhone in my car, I try to be no more than 10 minutes late and I am usually completely sober.

I don't know if its the chemicals they use in the mop buckets or all the dogs, but my head was throbbing. I smoked a little to keep it from turning into a full blown migraine. And, I can say, the best possible way to hear you have to take a drug test is when you are stoned.

An employee walked in, "(to Lynn) Sorry to interrupt but here is your change. Your sangria is on top of the fridge." Lynn, "Oh . . . thanks. (to us) Its virgin sangria."

I thought about taking a concoction to dilute my urine. I thought about turning down the job. I consider it a complete violation to analyze my bodily fluids for any activity outside of the work place. Then, I figured, its probably time for me to get legal.

Em's husband is legal, and I was going to take his reference. But then, you know how you mildly freak out about something and just have to take care of it as soon as possible? That was me. I looked up marijuana dispensaries on Google and found a place on Sunset.

I called up and spoke to a woman, "I don't know how to do this, but I am looking to get a prescription and one of those cards."

Woman, "Oh baby, this is just a dispensary. We sell it but we don't give out prescriptions. I have a recommendation for you, he will give you a deal if you let him know we sent you over there. His name is The Doctor."

Me, "The Doctor?"

Woman, "That's right. Here is The Doctor's phone number. After you get your prescription, come on by and I will give a double discount on everything. Just ask for Flame Swallow."

Me, "Flame Swallow?"

Woman, "Yes. Flame Swallow."

I called and made an appointment for as soon as possible. In one hour, I arrived in a little mini mall in Hollywood. It was on the second floor behind the Wendy's. I walked in to bare white walls and a handful of Hispanic men filling out paperwork. It felt like a temp agency, for laborers.

The male receptionist was behind thick glass and a large sign that said "Cash Only". I only had $58 from my last audience job. No money in my checking account. Hopefully, I could get everything I needed.

He handed me a clipboard to check off any kind of symptoms: Loss of Appetite (check), Migraine headaches (check), Sleeplessness (check). And I am not even lying, how nice.

Lower down the list, I had to initial and sign that I would not smoke and drive (cough) (check), that I would discontinue use if I discovered I was pregnant (check) that marijuana could trigger apathy (CHECK and a Smiley Face). Finally, I had to acknowledge that this was not allowed under Federal Law. Check. Sign . . . of the cross.

I skipped the section on my doctor and approached the receptionist. Me, "Excuse me, I don't have insurance so I don't have a general practitioner."

Receptionist, "You have to have a doctor. This is a medical prescription and if you have any of the listed conditions, you will have had to see someone about treating them with traditional medicine first."

Silence. I was thinking.

Receptionist, "Just put anybody."

I looked up the Neurology Test Center in Van Nuys, where I was tested for alternative migraine medicine. Of course, the pills didn't work. The pills have never worked. I made a life out of Tylenol PM, a heating pad, and days of my life lost sleeping through the pain.

I finished my paperwork, and soon was escorted back to The Doctor's office.

It felt like I was sitting in a folding chair in front of a man's desk. He had a lamp, a computer (I think it was a laptop) and a painting behind him you could find in any middle American motel. No family pictures. No plants. No stress balls or rubber bands or coffee mugs.

Then I looked, yup, he was wearing a wedding ring.

The Doctor, "Have you taken marijuana before?"

Me, "Yes . . . I am taking a drug test for employment."

The Doctor, "You know that it is still up to the employer whether they accept the prescription or not?"

Me, "Oh yeah, I would normally not take a drug test but the economy is so bad right now."

The Doctor, "No shit."

Silence. He was quickly flipping through my paperwork and initialing/signing where necessary.

Me, "You need more personal artifacts in your office."

The Doctor, "Are you a Capricorn?"

Me, "On the cusp, how did you know?"

The Doctor, "You walked into my office and told me what I needed to do."

Me, "Oh."

The Doctor saw the worried look on my face and winked. "Takes one to know one."

Me, "Its just the white walls and one generic painting kind of put you on edge."

The Doctor, "That's right where I want you to be."

He asked if I had any questions. I didn't. He walked me out of his office.

Me, "This was interesting, between you and me."

The Doctor, "It always is."

The appointment for prescription was $45. I also had to get an ID card which cost an extra $20. I only had $13 left in cash. Shit.

The receptionist was smiling and distracted, then turned to me, "Sorry, its just they make the best sandwich down the street. I had to wait 45 minutes for it, but its so good I don't even care."

I smiled. "Must be a good sandwich."

He nodded and said, "Would you like to get your ID card today?"

I said, "I don't have enough money."

He said, "That's ok, I will do it for $15."

I said, "I only have $13."

He said, "Ok, I will do it for $10. Keep the other $3."

That was easy.

Picture taken.

The receptionist said, "Here is your card. Keep this in your wallet at all times." Then he held up a large white certificate with a seal on it. "Keep this in the glove compartment of your car at all times. This way you are completely covered."

I wouldn't have money for the Store on Sunset until the following week.

When Abe came out to visit that week, he was eager to vicariously live through me with the legal experience. He is a little bit of a conspiracy theorist and doesn't want any paperwork on him for the government to "use". So he gave me $60 cash, told me to spend only $40 and parked the car on the street. A woman passed us in torn clothes with sun damaged skin and greasy hair.

Woman, "Change?"

Abe, "Sorry I only have plastic today."

I reached for my wallet. I had change. Since I ran out of gas and could have used 4 quarters to drive my car up the street, I caught myself and put my wallet back in my purse.

It was a bit nerve racking. I know nothing about marijuana. I smoke it, but I never started buying for myself until Abe and I broke up, and even then, my friends where picking my ganja for me. I only know two things, "Sativa" which is wakey wakey and "Indica" which is sleepy sleepy.

I walked into the dispensary where a cute, dark boy was behind the counter. I walked in with my wallet in hand and said, "Hi, I just need to buy some stuff."

The Boy, "Stuff?"

Me, "I have this card here and I came by to pick up stuff." WTF am I saying?

The Boy, "First time?"

Me, "Yeah."

The Boy handed me a bunch of paperwork. More paperwork. Signing that the dispensary was not liable, that marijuana is a not legal under federal government, not to share or sell to anyone without a prescription, more of the same. I asked to keep a copy of the document for my records. He gave me a look.

Am I the first person to ask that? A signature is your wholeness of being. You should keep everything you sign, something I have been religious about since I saw THE CRUCIBLE. "I have given you my soul, leave me my name!!!"

He retrieved it, without smiling this time.

The panhandler off the street walked in. I thought she was going to ask the Receptionist for some money. The Boy, "Hey darlin'"

He knew her?

She flashed her card and waited on the couch. I looked at her. That bitch would have taken my money to light up, NICE!

I waited for her to recognize me and maybe explain herself. She smiled and said, "You know what I like about this place?" I shook my head. She said, "'The candy."

We were stuck in the lobby, as the door to the dispensary was locked. I tried walking back there when an older woman stopped me and asked me to wait. Her face was stretched to both ends of her jawline and she dyed her hair fire red. Bold choices.

She smiled warmly, as best she could, and I continued to wait in the lobby. I think only a certain number of people are allowed back by the goods at a time.

A professional looking gentleman walked out with two white bags, only a green cross printed on the face of both. He thanked everyone and walked out. I stood by the door.

The older woman came back. She took my arm and led me to a small area with a glass counter and a refrigerated, corner glass display. A huge white board was hung behind the counter with two sections, 'Sativa' and 'Indica'. Then there was a menu list:

Indica: King George, Purple Mr. Og, Hindu Kush, Lavendar, Barack O' Bubba, Purps Mr. Nice Guy . . . and more

Sativa: Pineapple Punch, Green Crack, Trainwreck, Casey Jones, Cherry Bomb, Silver Haze, Snow Cap . . . and more

There were edibles too. Tons of edibles. Lollipops, pizza slices, ice cream, cone joints, pie, almonds . . . it was overwhelming to say the least.

The girl behind the counter was pretty and genuinely kind. There was an older gentleman next to her, slightly overweight in an old polo shirt but a simple, smart and direct kind-of-guy. The old woman, who introduced herself as Carol, disappeared behind the back after assuring me they would attend to me very soon. She introduced me to the girl and the older guy making sure they knew I was a new customer.

I said, "I don't know anything about marijuana. I just know I need Sativa to stay functional."

They brought out about eight different blends.

The Older Man, "Green Crack is great for dancing. You will be up all night having a blast with this stuff. Casey Jones is a vintage blend, a modern take on an old strain. Trainwreck is very popular, Snow Cap is my personal favorite."

It was overwhelming. I could smell them. I could listen to what they were saying. But all the information wouldn't help me make a "right" choice.

I said, "Ok, I am a writer and my boyfriend is a musician. What is best for that? Oh, and I only have $40."

The girl nodded. "Creative and functional. Well . . . Green Crack or Pineapple Punch is good. And on sale."

I nodded. "Ok, an eighth of Pineapple Punch." They started bagging. "Also, I am supposed to ask for 'Flame Swallow'?"

The older man smiled and shouted, "Hey Flame Swallow!! Someone is asking for you." A window in the wall slid open and I saw Carol's face. She smiled. "Did I speak to you?"

I said, "Yes, over the phone."

She took me by the arm and led me around the dispensary, she described all the edibles to me. I told her I was vegan. She said, "Oh, I don't know if any of these are vegan, but I can text you when I make the next order for delivery."

I smiled and thanked her. I said, "My boyfriend isn't vegan and loves to eat. Can I pick up something for him?"

She smiled and showed me a coconut spread and a slice of cheesecake. She gave me both for a couple dollars. I ended up spending $40 total with the edibles and eighth of Pineapple Punch.

Carol walked me with her arm through mine and made me promise I would come back. I promised. Then she took handfuls of candy and dumped them in my white paper bag with the green cross on it. She hugged me goodbye.

I got in the car and had to head to work. I have been working so much, I can barely feel my face any more from general fatigue. Rent better be covered.

As we drove up Franklin, a man on the sidewalk screamed and flung his whole body into the street. It startled me. Abe took a drag from his cigarette and said, "Yeah, I think I have had enough of LA for this week. Time to head back to the OC."

Abe hung out at my place for a few hours while I was at work before heading back to Costa Mesa. He texted me, "Left you a surprise" then "I am so stoned." He got into the edibles.

Abe likes to clean and organize my place. He made this apartment more of a home than I could have ever imagined. Little things like blankets folded in the corner, the purse holder he built on my kitchen wall, the to-do lists taped up around my cabinets and walls. Walking in from work is so lovely when he is still in the air, like the place is filled with orange blossoms.

I got home after an 8 hour shift and smoked a little Pineapple before tasting a finger tip of coconut spread. I deviated from my diet just a smidge out of curiosity. I watched some TV, ate some dinner, then felt the coconut in my system.

After laying down and thinking about Hinduism and true love, I fell asleep and woke up almost dizzy. I realized Abe left a foot long, Natural Balance sausage (wrapped in plastic for my dogs) in the bed with me. That was the surprise . . . to remind me of him.

I texted him, "That spread knocked my socks off. I didn't realize I was sleeping with a foot long sausage until 3am."

I went back into work and informed Lynn about my prescription.

Lynn, "Ok, that's fine. Just give me the paperwork. I have never done marijuana, how long are the effects?"

Me, "6-8 hours."

Lynn, "Ok, don't smoke it 6-8 hours from your shift." She walked away, "Oh!" She threw me a work t-shirt with the company brand across the chest. "Here. Because I don't like you."

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Good Morning, Baby

Thursday, I worked Million Dollar Money Drop again at Culver Studios. Fucking ICE COLD!! They keep the studios freezing cold, an inside source tells me, because of legend.

Milton Berle was an apparent TV god from the 1950s. He came up with the theory that TV audiences got bored, listless and lost interest sitting for extended times because the studios were too warm. (Couldn't be the writing, or Death-inducing stopdowns due to technical problems) so he insisted that his studios be kept below 70°. And TV producers figure if below 70 is funny, imagine how funny 60° would be. This extrapolation has been now taken to ridiculous ends.

Letterman has a thermometer at his desk monitoring that the temperature does not vary from 54°. This is mimicked by all the TV studios. When Letterman came to L.A. years ago, CBS installed 2 additional AC units on the roof of Stages 36/46 just to insure 54° could be maintained at all time.

Yeah, hilarious. Luckily, Jaq was working with me on this job but I was late, so I couldn't sit next to her for the morning tapings.

The night before, Abe and I got in an argument. I had a possible day that week we could have spent together if he could come with me on two field trips (an audition and a class in valet parking). He didn't return my calls and made other plans thinking I would be busy. The miscommunication ignited a greater argument about effort in the relationship and quality time together.

I said my asshole thing, "If we continue to see each other only one day every two weeks, we should seriously consider seeing other people."

He said his asshole thing, "I do everything for you, and you do nothing for me."

And from there, corresponding paranoia about those two hurtful comments grew like fungus in my refrigerator. He worried I wanted to see other people. I worried/worry that I don't have enough to offer him as a girlfriend.

I woke up that morning at 6:30am, exhausted from my two week work marathon, and left a message confessing that I don't want to see other people, I don't know why I said it and I love him. My voice was raspy from the cold morning and general fatigue.

The last time I saw Abe, he was walking one of my dogs. I was behind him and could see a corner of his boxers. I said, "I love that your underwear matches your eye color."

He turned his shaggy head of hair backwards to look at me. His bright blue eyes splashed like drops of paint from a brush for a second before my dog pulled him several rapid feet ahead of us. His head swung back around. My eyes fell back down on the waist band of his boxers. (Thanksgiving Prayer #1, Thank you for showing me how beautiful the color blue is)

When I got to the ice fucking cold studio, I couldn't help but think about his friend, a close female friend of his (we will call her Amber). Abe carried a torch for Amber throughout their friendship over the years, though nothing was ever consummated raising the flag for my already proven theory that only the penetrated shall pass. Abe and Amber suffered a rift in communication when our relationship took off last spring. And, finally, Amber recently broke up with her boyfriend.

Ok, lets gather all three of those little nuggets, throw them in a hat and call it "Worrisome." In my mind, I could see Abe going over to Amber's after our fight and venting about my asshole comment for seeing other people. He would explain how we went through all of this in the summer and now are reliving old problems that may never go away. He and Amber would be drinking. She would confess how jealous she has been. They would kiss which would lead to heavy petting and then . . . my cheeks were burning. Why could I see it so clearly?

I had to leave my cell phone in the car because of this particular studio's rules. I was waiting for him to leave that voice message, "Hey, look. Something happened last night, I went over to Amber's and . . ."

I kept staring at the lights on the stage, forcing myself to rethink the worst case scenario over and over and over so that it wouldn't hurt when it actually happened.

I found Jaq during a commercial break. Em had given her snacks the night before for our long day on the Million Dollar Money Drop. (Thanksgiving Prayer #2: Thank you for such great friends. Something I have sorely missed for most of my life.)

I confided in Jaq about the conversation over brown bananas. Jaq said, "People say really hurtful things when they miss each other. It has happened to me before. Its just because you haven't seen each other in so long and you two are frustrated." I nodded my head quietly, thinking about my asshole comment and how fucking ignorant and careless it was for me to say something like that. It is manipulative and mean and I would have to respect the fact that he doesn't want to tolerate it.

I avoided going back to my car for my phone at lunch. I didn't want to deal with bad news for the latter half of the day. When we got back to the studio, I was able to sit next to Jaq.

A couple came on as contestants. They had a long distance relationship for 3 years (New York to California) and were now married for 5 months. I wondered how long they would last since they hadn't had time to settle into each other. I think something is potentially delusional in a relationship that lives on events. When you wait to see each other it is an event. As opposed to a relationship where you get to know each other in the daily routine. You can experience each other in real life, not on vacation.

The new bride said, "We agreed in our first year of marriage we wouldn't have a microwave or a television set so we would have to cook our meals and talk to each other every night. " Crowd, "AWWWWWW!!"

Aw indeed. That's fucking poetic. Maybe they would make it, after all.

Jaq was distracting me with conversation. I adore her. Jaq, "Ray (her boyfriend) says, 'Why do you smoke when you have asthma?' and I tell him, I didn't have asthma when I started smoking."

Audience Fluffer, "And we're back from commercial!!!" We all stopped conversation and applauded. Jaq and I were in the pretty girl section, so we had to get up and feign enthusiasm for camera.

NEXT COMMERCIAL BREAK:

Jaq, "Would you get jealous if I got married first?"

Me, "I already have gotten married first." And divorced first. ;-)

Jaq, "You know what I mean."

Me, "Um ... no." Marriage isn't what it was to me. We all played with Barbie Dolls and watched Disney movies. We have to get married. We all feel that way. I went through it. I spent too much money on a wedding (rather my parents spent too much money on a wedding) that I didn't really enjoy to someone I knew, deep down, wasn't my soul mate. I did it because I thought it was a necessary step to becoming an adult. I was wrong, it has nothing to do with being an adult. But we all learn that lesson soon enough.

Jaq, "Would you get jealous if I had a baby first?"

Me, (thinking YES!) "This isn't a competition. I thought you didn't want a baby . . ."

Jaq, "I don't want to have to go through childbirth, at least not without medication. I want the bong hit ready for right after the baby is born."

I said, "Giving birth doesn't have to be so bad. Have you seen 'The Business of Being Born'? Ricki Lake gave birth to a baby in her bathtub and barely made a noise. Just a 'plunk'- see? A baby!"

Jaq, "I know I am going to get a C-section. My mother got a C-section both times."

Me, "Maybe you two have slightly different body types."

Jaq, "No. She has a small clitoris. I have a small clitoris."

Me, "How do you know your mother has a small clitoris?"

Jaq, "I don't want to talk about it."

Audience Fluffer, "And we're back from commercial!!!" APPLAUSE!!!!

NEXT COMMERCIAL BREAK:

Me, "I don't think Abe is a boob man. I don't know what kind of man he is."

Jaq, "Ray is definitely a boob man, but I don't have feeling there."

Me, "You don't?"

Jaq, "No. Didn't I tell you about the time they were almost ripped off and I didn't notice."

Me, "WHAT?"

Audience Fluffer, "And we're back from commercial!!!" APPLAUSE!!!

***

After we wrapped, I went to my car and saw the text message I was waiting for all day.

Abe: "What time r u off tomorrow? Want to bring u flowers."

I am an idiot.

The next day, I was doing audience for a Fran Drescher Show. We were stuck outside in the breezy, Los Angeles winter for over an hour in nice clothes. Abe was going to be at my apartment before I was. It had been a difficult two weeks.

Actress in line, "Mariah Carey is such a bitch. You know when I worked on one of her projects, they put some of her clips in my hair and she said, all bitchy like, 'Why is she wearing my clips? Be careful. Don't lose them!' She is sooooo pretty and has a great voice . . . but, yeah, such a bitch."

A school bus full of kids pulled up in front of us, waiting for the stop light. This audience call was only women, so we all started cooing and giggling. The kids waved at us, and we waved back. One child motioned that he liked my heart shaped sun glasses. I felt warm all of a sudden. Life can be beautiful, even while waiting on cement on a cold day . . . in platform heels.

Actress in line,"I met Cuba Gooding Jr. He licked my hand and part of me was like 'Ewww. Gross.' then the other part of me was like 'Oooooh!'"

After we got inside, I was counting down the minutes. The show was fairly interesting. The studio wasn't cold. And, during down time, they were playing hits from the 90s during I knew all the words to.

Me singing, "Donnie D is on the back up, drug free, so put the crack up." I turned to the girl next to me. "I remember in 8th grade taping this off the radio. You had to write down the lyrics to memorize them. Rewind, play. Rewind, play.

Girl next to me, "Aww that's so cute."

Cute? Did I just date myself?

I looked to the camera man for the musical break where Marky Mark stops rapping and mouthed the words to him "Yeah . . . can you feel it baby . . . I can to." The camera man was like 60 and instantly uncomfortable. He avoided eye contact with me for the rest of the night.

I got home to Abe. There was that nervous energy of post-fight, pre-kiss. I ran up the stairs and saw him. His hair is shaggy, but it falls short just over the back of his neck. Every time I see that smooth spot on his neck, I smile. Its so boyishly wonderful. He swung around and met my eyes with a smile. He looked a little frightened of me.

He said, ''Hey!" He was already cleaning. I jumped on him and kissed him. Home, sweet, home.

We couldn't decide whether we wanted to eat or have sex first. Honestly, I was grappling between the two choices on the car ride home. Sex won.

Abe, "What position should we try this time?"

Me, "I could spin like a pin wheel."

Abe, "Are you referring to zero gravity?"

Me, "No, why?"

Abe, "Because that would require zero gravity."

I love that boy.

He took me to the Cheesecake Factory afterward where they made me a lovely, carby pasta dish with the champagne martinis I love so much. (Thanksgiving Prayer #3, thank you for keeping the Cheesecake Factory open until 12:30am.)

While piling food into my mouth and sipping golden deliciousness, I said, "I feel like I am high on Oxycotin."

The two gay men at the table next to us looked over, disapprovingly.

Abe said, "Don't you mean Oxytocin?"

Me (with a mouthful), "Mmm, yeah. Oxytocin."

ox·y·to·cin

[ok-si-toh-suhn]
–noun
1. a polypeptide hormone, produced by the posterior lobe of the pituitary gland, that stimulates contraction of the smooth muscle of the uterus.

I said, "I have never felt this high before in my entire life." I forced every spoonful of food into my mouth despite my stomach's attempts to close it off. Food tastes better around him. Why is that?

I told him about the couple on the show. How they spent 3 years apart and were now married on 5 months. Abe said, "I think it would be easier to have a relationship where you hardly ever saw each other than one where you periodically see each other."

He looked at me and a tiny smile sprang on my face. He missed me, too. It wasn't his desperation for independence that kept him away. That is what I have been fearing all along.

We went home, warmed up the bedroom with my space heater, and climbed under the covers.

We woke up the next morning, Abe's arm around me, my head on his shoulder and Belle, my gray, tiger kitty's head squeezed under my arm and on top of Abe's chest.

Abe barely opened his eyes and said, "Good morning, Baby."

My space heater went off in the night, and the cold, morning air was settling over our blanket. I had to get out of bed and turn it back on.

I closed my eyes again. Nothing could make me move.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Can I be a Naked, Lesbian Model in your Crappy Student Film? Please!!!!

My audition for "Zombie Model" was in Santa Monica. I headed out mostly just because I really want to be a zombie.

The audition note rubbed me the wrong way. It read:
"The purpose of the meeting is to acquaint yourself with Edward. It is as much Edward's tryout with you as it is your tryout with him. He is looking for his muse. He hasn't found her yet."

Hey, asshole, I am auditioning for a role not to be some snotty kid's muse. I mean . . . go fuck yourself.

I went anyway, I had an appointment in Malibu later that night and thought I could get some writing done down in my old neighborhood.

I was instructed to wait at a cafe table in a small, grassy area where students were eating their lunch. We were given a script for a student short, but it wasn't for the part we were actually auditioning for. We were all a little confused. I remember the email saying that he was thinking of me for another part, but still wanted me to come in an audition for the original short.

So I was auditioning for the role of DEVIL for Cold Light of Night and he was looking to cast me in a short called The Pill.

The sides for The Pill involved a young man who hallucinates the transformation of a news studio into a utopia of "half naked" women, some of which are making out with each other. They attack him and force him to take the pill. It was confusing, but there were no lines and it sounded way to close to a 19 yr old's wet dream than a film short.

I asked him about the sides for the Cold Light of Night script. He said he wasn't comfortable sending out the script without storyboards due to the graphic nudity.

. . .

There is supposed to be a note in the casting breakdown if there is any nudity or sexual situations. Um . . . what to do, what to do? He added, "They decided to make this a paid role. $200." How do I feel about it now? I don't know.

I eavesdropped on this Casting Kid chatting with another, younger actress waiting to audition behind us. She mentioned how she wanted to go to film school. He was discouraging her.

Casting Kid, "Don't do it. Be an actress. Actresses should focus on acting. Filmmaking is a whole separate field. You don't want to worry about props."

Actress, "But I am really interested in filmmaking. Maybe not directing myself but other actors."

Casting Kid, "Don't do it. Its really long hours too."

There is ABSOLUTELY no reason for her NOT to go to film school if she wants to. When I was volunteering on other guys sets, prior to being admitted into Chapman Film School, I would hear shit like that all the time.

"Ohhh, its really hard." Oh yeah, hard work? Long hours? Nevermind.

I really hate it when people discourage you, and I am trying not to make this a gender issue, but somewhere inside of my empty uterus, I feel a little itch ... yeah, its a gender thing.

I turned and said, "I went to film school and I think it benefited me a lot. You know how the process works, it gives you an edge. And if you ever get sick of rape me, hooker, stripper roles- you can try something new."

The other actresses laughed hard at the joke. We all know the bulk of non-union shorts, especially male/student films, involve one if not all of the three (hooker, stripper, rape). Pathetic.

Casting Kid joined us at the table and spoke about how the direction for The Pill would be different for the Devil role Edward was directing. He said, "Edward is more Chaplin meets Friedkin." God, could you get anymore pretentious?

I said, "Well I am more like Hepburn meets Streep." Again, the actresses laughed.

Casting Kid gathered himself, he was trying to decide if I was making fun of him or not. I was.

I walked with the young actress back to our cars to plop more change in the meter. I told her I heard there was "graphic nudity" for the role. She was stunned.

She said, "I don't do any nudity. I'm a virgin."

I said, "It pays $200." She quickly replied, "I don't care."

I said, "Well, I just overheard this, so we should wait to see what happens in the audition."

They were pulling actresses for their audition over to a table within earshot of everyone else. It was just a conversation, not an audition at all. I overheard them announce to their buddies that the young actress was a virgin. This whole situation was making me ill.

When it was my turn, I was feeling fairly defiant about the whole thing.

Two boys sat on either side of me at the table. One asked me to talk a little bit about myself. I told him how I went to film school and did a documentary, worked in the industry and have been acting for a year. He said, "Ok, very good. Did you get a chance to look at The Pill?"

I said, "Yes."

He said, "We would be shooting that at the end of the month (blah blah blah)-"

I said, "I am not really interested in doing The Pill. I only do nudity for compensation. (not true but for a bunch of idiots like this, that would be the only way I would consider it) You have to understand, the bulk of non-union casting notices sent out to us girls is about rape and nudity. You have to be selective about that kind of material if you want to be taken seriously." And want to preserve your self respect.

I continued, "And there was no dialogue."

He said, "Well, you would be featured though." Ok, "featured" means that you are recognizable in the background. If I wanted to be featured, I could call up Central Casting and book a job on a legitimate project that paid me. I do not desire to drive down to Santa Monica, strip down, make out with a girl so I can be recognizable to my mother, future children and everyone else in exchange for a bagel.

I said, "Not my kind of thing."

He said, "I understand, so . . . "

Ok, I have to be more clear. I said, "I am not interested in doing The Pill."

He collected himself, "Oh . . . ok. Not interested. In our piece, Cold Light of Night, there is full frontal nudity. Are you ok with that?"

I said, "With compensation."

He said, "Ok, there is compensation. Are you ok with simulated masturbation?"

I said, "Yup. In fact, I have been practicing." Budum bump. They laughed. I said, "Bad joke" and knocked on the table.

He said, "That's ok, we laughed. Did you prepare a monologue or look over the sides?"

I said, "It was never asked of me to prepare a monologue and I never received the sides."

*As a serious actor, you should always have a monologue ready. Not for these douche bags, but in general.

He was growingly uncomfortable and said, "Oh, well its a feminist piece as much as it is about the main guy character. There is graphic stuff, but its about women too."

I said, "Post feminist."

He fumbled the words out, "Post feminist. I like that."

I said, "You can use that with the other actresses."

He resumed, "Now, the story is a man sees this one beautiful model on a bunch of billboards. One after another. Then, through some weird fantasy, he is alone in a hotel room with her. She seduces him, gets him riled up, then locks herself in the bathroom where she teases him."

I said, "She teases him with her . . . words?"

He said, "No, with her (hand gesture) touching herself."

I said, "Oh I see."

He said, "Then the guy breaks down the door, drags her out by her hair to the bed and proceeds to beat her. That's pretty much the whole thing."

I said, "That's where it ends?"

He said, "Yeah, pretty much. Well, she laughs after he beats her."

I said, "Did you write this?"

He said, "No. (gestures to other man child next to him) He did."

I said, "Can I ask you a question? Are you sexually frustrated?"

They laughed.

I said, "I'm serious. I would like to know where a story like this comes from."

Writer, "Well, uhh, you know, its kind of like a warning."

I said, "A warning for what?"

Writer, "People."

I said, "People to . . ."

Writer, "Just all these ads can make people (gestures circles around his ear) you know?"

This kid can't fucking articulate THIS kind of script. Are you kidding me?

I said, "So you are trying to say that ads sexually tease men, and the end result could be violence."

Writer, "Yeah."

I said, "You know, I never understood how sex and violence marry themselves with men. Its popular in horror movies, and I love horror. But women don't associate one with the other."

Silence.

I said, "Maybe its the surge of testosterone in your brain. It can bring up sex and aggression simultaneously. Hm."

They nervously laughed.

Edward, "Ok, we'll let you know."

Sunday, November 14, 2010

I am a Girlfriend, then an Actress. No, an Actress then a Girlfriend,

Now, they tell you, you should know what type you are. I always say "Girl Next Door" or "Young Mom" because people love to cast me as a single mom in peril (even casting directors don't think I am the marrying type) and I do well with kids. Mostly, children respond well to me because I don't talk to them like they are fucking idiots. When I was 4 yrs old and in YMCA preschool, I remember very specifically thinking, I will never talk to kids like they are morons when I grow up. I haven't and they like it. Go figure.

Friday, I had two auditions. In addition, a casting director called me up and said she loved my comedic reel. She wanted me for a Brink's Home Security commercial spec. It would shoot the next day, on Saturday. I was supposed to train that day at the doggie boarding place, so I called work and they moved my training day to the following week. They took that well.

I called the casting director back and said I moved the day. She said there was a problem; the role was for an upper class house wife and I didn't have the look. They were going to see a few more people. That sucked. Worse case scenario, I wouldn't get the part or the work and I could sleep on Saturday since I already set up an intense weekend for myself.

She was apologetic and said she knew I could do it, but they couldn't see me in the role. I offered to send them my Mad Men pic, which looks nothing like me. Imagination, people!

The Mad Men pic was too dated in style. They wanted to see me. So I drove over to this dude's house (an African-American writer) who was on the other side of Los Angeles. I walked down to the lower level of his house and read the script on his living room couch.

It was hilarious.

Basically, a woman drops her wallet. A black men comes and tries to give it back but the woman runs and locks herself in her house. She screams, 'Don't rape me', he tries to explain, she says she doesn't speak Ebonics . . . then freaks out and calls the Brink's Home Security system. He is shot holding her wallet. Yeah. Funny.

I was excited and performed the commercial, alone, in front of his giant TV. He said, "Ok, thank you. One of the best I saw today. Really."

He walked me up the stairs to the sidewalk. It is always awkward after auditions. They want to validate you, but they are thinking so many other things about you and the production, that anything they say sounds a little robotic. I couldn't tell if he thought I could alter my look or if he really liked my performance.

I texted the casting director. She said they still weren't convinced about my "look."

Now, something got under my skin about the look fiasco. What did it mean that I didn't look upper class? I mean, why not? Was it my expressions? My long un-layered, hippie hair? Or my bad posture and stupid smile? WHAT DOES IT MEAN?

Eventually, I got the call that they wanted me. The casting director sounded exhausted, like there was absolutely no joy in giving me the part. Part of me was concerned that I wouldn't pull it off.

The next day I showed up to set in what I thought a New York housewife would wear, a short black dress or in this case, a long black top over a pair of skinny jeans and some heels. I was ushered into a bedroom where the make-up person would work on me. The make-up person is always the person on set I feel the most intimate with. Something about sitting there for a long period of time while they work on your face and hair, discussing your life and relationships. Its all so maternal, even if you have a gay guy instead of a girl.

If you cry in a scene, they touch up your make-up and inevitably calm you down so your face doesn't melt off. They are also, in general, really great people. I have never disliked my make-up person.

This girl transformed me. Fake eye lashes, curls, thick lips . . . it was weird looking at myself. I went through a few outfits until one was put together for me with the clothes I brought. Now, I should let you know that I don't have a lot of clothes, I mean nice clothes. And, in addition to that, I haven't done my laundry in a few weeks. Yeah. Its bad. I am always self conscious when I bring my wardrobe. Everyone always seems so disappointed. I don't know why? Obviously, I am missing something- like a checking account with money in it and some form of girlish upbringing that includes accessorizing, which (as a sidenote) I have never done. Its not very interesting for me, but I always like myself more after someone puts it together.

So they looked at what I had and made a nice outfit. Then we did the scene.

The guy that auditioned me ended up playing the other part and doing improv. So when the camera was on my side of the door, I did some improv myself. Now, its a slippery slope with the racial jokes.

I was one of two white people on set. I will go far with my humor, real far . . . but I am still totally aware that a joke from me had to be in the right zone. Not only are stereotypical race jokes boring and predictable (ie. chicken, watermelon, slavery, etc) but they are born from aggression. I don't know what these people have been through, and I wasn't about to find out where the line in the sand may be. So, I tried hard to be a racist, funny bitch in front of an African-American crew.

Keep in mind, in this scene I am hysterical from fear and shouting these lines through a closed door. I even worked up some tears.

Spring board is: "Don't rape me." I screamed, wailed and hissed:

"I should have voted for McCain"

"I was a virgin when I got married."

"I am very petite."

"I am on my period."

"My best friend is black. I don't have any pictures but you have to believe me."

"Why do I have to be so pretty? Whhhhhhhyyyyy?"

In general, I am not happy with a take until I see the camera man's shoulders start to shake from laughter. During a scene, I am listening and in my peripheral, checking to see if everyone on set is entertained. In a way, you are doing a live performance.

While on my knees, blubbering and crying, the director fed me the line:

"I dated a black man in college . . ."

Did he know what he was going to get?

Me (tearfully): "I dated a black man in college. We never went all the way but I tried, really hard. He couldn't fit all the way in. We ran out of lube." That last line is like my car, a little too dirty even for me.

My co-star said once that line came out, he had nothing. "Cut!"

The camera man laughed. The make-up girl clapped. And the crew echoed my lines amongst each other. I wanted to be light and laugh with everyone, but my energy was depleted. The part of me working up tears was in a terrible place.

I can cry in a matter of minutes, but I think about my animals dying. I am not sure if I have established yet that I rescue animals and fail to rehome them. Kind of a personal problem and the reason I am constantly in financial crisis. I have two cats and three pit bulls, one is old, the middle one is deaf and the youngest one is just . . . difficult/disturbed/emotionally unavailable but coming around. Mr. On The Right said something kind of magical when he met my youngest, Cupcake, "She is like the girls I approach for a date." She is scared all the time, and its almost impossible to make her feel at ease.

I also had a cat die last year through a violent end.

So, I thought about my oldest dog dying. How busy I am and how I don't get enough time with her. Maggie May is slowing down. She is different than the other two dogs because all she wants to do is be with me. She is the dog that adopted me. To imagine her dying while I am constantly working . . . well it can make me cry on cue. Throw in some images of the moment I knew I couldn't save my cat last year, when she was bleeding out in my car and you have tears, baby, lots of em'.

Now, while concocting this mental stew in my head, I have to think of hilarious things to say, and I was running out. Either the tears would stop or the comedy would stop. It was really difficult to keep the two parts of my brain running parallel at the same time.

In my last hysterical scene, I fall to my knees and crawl around upset. I was out of comedy and burned the skin off my knees. They cut and everyone was so complimentary. They said I was "a real actress." It is a strange compliment but I know exactly what it means. There are a lot of people who overthink things or just want to look pretty on camera, and there are roles for them. But I knew this role was meant for me.

I remember in film school, one actress said she needed to watch Schindler's List to work up some tears. So they went out and rented it, putting the entire set on hold, waiting for her to cry. She said for some reason it wasn't happening this time. Moron.

We had one more scene, where I come in and relax in front of the home shopping network after they shoot the man trying to give me my wallet back. I wasn't hitting the notes. I was coming from the pet cemetery and black dick jokes to the rich housewife we had already established I wasn't. No one laughed at my lines and we did it a few times. Energy was low when we wrapped. What can you do? My mind was just blitzed.

The director talked to me for a long time on my way out to my car. He was very complimentary and gracious. Just for the record, actresses need that to keep from going home, over analyzing how much they sucked and breaking their bathroom mirror. He continues to send me great emails, I really hope I formed a working relationship with that one.

I went to an audition, and then came home to take a nap. After I ate and ironed my clothes for the valet work that night, I didn't have enough time for a nap. So I worked valet until midnight and fell asleep by 1am.

At 4:30am, I got up to get ready for work at the doggie day care. I worked there til 2pm, then drove to another commercial spec (remember the condom commercial audition?). Well, I didn't get the part of the girl who dies during childbirth and asks for a condom in post-coitus. Actually, I got no part. When an actress backed out (the mother of a little girl who screams when a serial killer bursts in their front door), I immediately agreed to take the role.

I should say here, its not about pride. Not getting a part is about so many things; the look, the personality, the schedule, the chemistry, the voice, the hair, the height, the skin color . . . I mean, everything about you is a factor in one much larger picture.

An acquaintance said he auditioned Philip Seymour Hoffman for a play before he got famous. He said his audition was unforgettable but he wasn't what they were looking for. Hoffman also mentioned in an awards speech that you should use any platform someone gives you to hone your craft. It really inspired me. If its just about going to a room and performing in front of 3 people, you should do it to find what works and test who you can become.

Not to mention, Saturday Night Live originally chose Chevy Chase over Bill Murray for the first season. When Chase started his (very mediocre) film career, they asked Bill Murray to come on. He took it. What if he was too proud or offended or stubborn? We wouldn't have a Bill Murray. MMMMMM . . . Bill Murray.

So if someone wants to give me sloppy seconds on a role, FUCK IT. Without a doubt, I accept!

Condom commercial

I came to set exhausted. I was averaging 4 hours of sleep a night and it was making me incredibly cranky. They gave me the wrong address for set and I didn't grab espresso beforehand. GRRRR! While waiting in my car, a man named Tito came out to have an extensive conversation with a gentleman in a brand new BMW. I wonder if he was asking for directions?

Then, I got the right address and had the pleasure of meeting my co-star, a little 5 year-old vegan.

We got along right away, of course. She was mesmerized by my iPhone, but then again, who isn't? She wanted my attention and wanted to play games and wanted to ask questions. Her mother was also a vegan. She adopted the little starlet from a drug addict and refused to feed her anything but organic, vegan food.

Its hard being vegan. When I first turned, I was 20 and pissed off. The anger simmers to a boil, you get frustrated with people not listening to you, not caring, not educating themselves, not being disciplined. Now, I always say, if I chose my friends based on their diet, I would be a very lonely person. I let it go. I don't bring it up with people, I let people bring it up with me. I answer their questions and have a conversation about it. You can lead the horse to water but you can't make them eat Tofurkey.

Vegan Mom was very much into forcing the subject. She talked about how picky she was with submissions, how she demands organic food on set for her child, how outrageous this and that is. How people make fun of them or attack her, blah fucking blah. Look lady, I even tuned you out, alright! SHUT UP!

Not to mention, the little girl was hungry and the fruit wasn't organic. Jesus. You have to bring your own food to set, I learned that a long time ago. You can't expect people to research your diet on top of locations, wardrobe, crew, schedule . . . its impossible. That said, I was in desperate need of an Americano.

I was willing to go out and get some, not even just for me but the crew. The director insisted I be waited on like a princess. I wasn't about to argue with him. Now, on to the "Tarantino-esque" director from two blogs ago. He was young and high on some chemical imbalance. He wanted what he wanted. He didn't want to compromise. He told me he hated production at this level because of the compromise. I said, that is the beauty of production, you invent something different, even better, than your imagination. That's what makes it a collaboration.

No, he didn't like that. In addition to his high standards for imagination-to-screen, he wanted me in a juicy couture short short outfit. Well, I don't have short shorts. I used to, but my dogs ate them. And they sure as hell weren't juicy couture. I don't even know what juicy couture is. I emailed the wardrobe guy that all I had were some cute sundresses. He said that would be fine.

When I got to set, I held out four options and said, "Let me apologize in advance for being poor and having bad taste." He picked out a dress he liked, I mean . . . this is one shot of me watching TV with my daughter when a man with a knife bursts through my door. That's it!

The director, however, was unsatisfied with the dresses I brought. Who isn't disappointed in my wardrobe? I think I should hold an annual convention for my boyfriend, Jaq and all these directors and wardrobe people to complain about what inadequate clothes I have. He mentioned a few times this isn't what he asked me for. Ok, I was coming in on this last minute and I wasn't about to spend the last 24 hours before wardrobe emailed me to go out and buy Juicy fucking bullshit with the last $20 I had. So we settled on a t-shirt dress that showed enough leg but didn't, and I am quoting this, "scream rape me." That's right, he wanted me to be sexy but not scream "rape me".

Now that wardrobe was settled, I went out to talk to the make-up person. His name was Josh and he was spending a lot of time on the crazy dude breaking through my front door. Josh was cute in that "I don't give a fuck" kind of way. Deliciously disheveled with a piercing through his lower lip. I asked him if he was doing my make-up. He said no. In fact, he barely even looked at me.

I went to my car and put on a little color. I have gone on camera with too little make-up and too much. It really can make or break you in a scene. Unless you have some awesome scene where you are crying your eyes out, your make-up matters. You will look plain and pale with nothing, and you will look like a transsexual with too much. Its distracting. *Sally Field does her own make-up to make sure its right.

I put on a bit and came in. The director said I didn't need make-up. (sigh) So he spent a few minutes evening out spots on my face with his fingers, while deeply staring into my eyes. At the end he told me how pretty I was. I almost wonder if little boys were given dolls to play with, would it diminish the amount of men aspiring to be directors?

My Americano came. MMMMMMMM. Deliciousness.

Josh, my stuck up make-up guy, needed to touch up the burns on my knees from yesterday's shoot. Finally, he HAD to work on me. I kept dropping comments like, "I thought you were too good for beauty make-up" and "got you on your knees, right where I want you."

He was still quiet as he dabbed in his make-up kit.

I said, "Porcelain please (in reference to foundation color) Just kidding." He said, 'The girl yesterday asked for a specific color too, but she wasn't joking."

He got down to dress my wounds. I said, "I showered before I came, I hope you appreciate that."

He said, "I do."

Right around here, I realized it sounds like I am flirting with him. Sometimes I just don't know what to do with myself.

I said, "I didn't moisturize. I only do that for first dates."

He said, "Can't wait to find out more about you."

I said, "I don't cook or clean," and then "Do you want to know what a room smells like with a pile of month old dirty laundry? Come by my place."

Jesus, I was flirting now. I tried to put the stops on it. I kept checking my phone for Abe, but he has slowed his communication recently. I also haven't seen him in over a week.

Josh said, "Cause you only moisturize on first dates."

I said, "That's not the only thing I only do on first dates."

I heard Vegan Mom shout, "KEEP IT PG, PLEASE!"

The Americano has pushed me over the edge, I now lost the approval of Vegan Mom.

Josh watched us shoot the scene while eating a banana through a crack in the dining room. He and the guy who was working on getting the door to burst open would laugh at my jokes with the little girl.

We both had to pee, and I told her if we concentrate hard enough, we can sweat out our pee. I forgot to tell her that was a joke.

The scene happened in about 12 takes or so. It was one shot with a steady cam. Everything had to be right, and of course, between my espresso and my sense of humor, the little girl couldn't stop smiling during the takes. Poor little girl, Director Juicy Couture was trying very hard not to get frustrated with her! I asked her what scared her. She said The Ring. Why The Fuck has a 5 yr old seen The Ring????? She recovered after that.

The psycho killer actor bursts in with his big butcher knife, licked it, looked at us. It was repulsively good. I know what I was thinking with each take to get my expression right as we screamed.

After we wrapped, I asked, "Is the child out of the room?" The Mom barked, "NO! She's on the porch." Wow, I really lost her approval, and in just a matter of 45 minutes. Impressive.

I turned to Josh, the actor, production designer and stunt door guy and said, "You know what psycho killers like that do with heads after they cut them off?"

"What?" They asked.

I said, "They take the decapitated heads and (silently mouthed) "fuck" them."

Josh, "You have been holding that in for 2 hours, haven't you?"

Me, "It makes perfect sense, men are already so sexually driven. Give them any body part in any position and that's what you get." I shivered.

The actor said, "No wonder you were looking at me like that."

Josh said, "I think you have a morbid fascination with it."

I said, "I think I would rather be raped. Something about fucking my severed head feels like a real violation. And then, with my daughter there too." Shivered again.

Josh said, "This girl has a crazy imagination."

The actor said, "Its like a ferrari, you touch that special spot and zoooooom!"

Josh had mentioned that for his Halloween party, he made a severed head out of his ex-girlfriend's face with his special effects stuff. Nice. He said, inevitably everyone made that joke.

I said, "Don't tell me you didn't think about fucking that head." He laughed.

I brought up Abe in conversation and watched Josh realize that all my flirtation was rising to the air like vapor and I wasn't actually on the table.

I keep wondering what is wrong with me, talking like that to some random guy on set. No doubt about it, I was flirting. Part of me thinks its because a) he was hot b) he ignored me c) I am very lonely when I work so much. Oh, and d) force of habit!

Abe is about a 50 minute drive away, and we talk every night but something about being touched is sorely missed. Of course I am horny, I haven't had sex in over 10 days. However, I would sacrifice a night of love making to feel the warmth of Abe's hand in mine. It eats away at you, the longing for physical contact. I am not sure Abe has the same yearnings, he has been single for so long, he just resumes his bachelor lifestyle; bong, golf, computer, drums. Dork.

I wonder, would it make a difference if Abe wasn't in my life? I would still have all those same longings, so there is no real sacrifice here. I would still be pining over Not for Profit, dating people I had luke warm feelings for, masturbating every morning to historical dramas.

I called Abe and kept reminding him how hot I am for him.

I said, "My vagina is the size of a pencil sharpener."

He said, "What does that mean?"

I said, "I guess it means I'm horny. I don't know, I just made it up."

He said, "Would you still love me if I didn't have a penis?"

I said, "Of course. Would you still love me if I didn't have a vagina, but I could cook?"

He said, "Wait, you wouldn't have a vagina or you would have a non-functioning vagina?"

I said, "Either or."

He said, "But you could cook" He laughed here, like he just got the joke.
"I don't know, this is a weird hypothetical."

I said, "But its based on your hypothetical."

He said, "Oh yeah. You're right. I guess I will just stop asking stupid questions."

So, yesterday on a Cablevision commercial, I asked Matt, "Would you still love your girlfriend if she didn't have a vagina?"

He said, "Probably not."

I said, "Would you cheat on her with someone else or just leave her?"

He said, "Probably both."

The fact is, when I started this acting thing, I promised myself I would take every opportunity offered to me. Well, I am at the point where I have to discriminate. I review scripts/sides before heading to an audition, and am laying off on the student film auditions because the professionalism is a gamble. I only submit for jobs with money, a character name and a character description that doesn't sound like a personals ad.

Now, seeing as I am booking a lot of work lately, and then taking paid jobs when ever I can, whether it be doggie daycare, valet or audience work, I am left with no time, no money and really bad brakes on my car.

I don't know how to make it work with Abe so far away. I know your relationships are supposed to go before your career, but how does that work exactly? I mean, what if you still really want a career too?

If I was patient, if he was patient, maybe we can see this busy period out in time to enjoy the holidays. The stress, lack of sleep & love is getting to me though . . .

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

There is no 'Last Shot'

As a general practice, I don't like to complain too much. Let me amend that. I try not to complain too much. Venting is very healthy and can be helpful in the right context, but something inside of me clicks off when I publish negative thoughts. It is carrying the negativity out there.

That said . . . may I present the following story:

Friday night, I ran out of gas on my way home. My unemployment check was late and my rent check was cashed, so I was $888 overdrawn with no room left on either of my credit cards. I had no cash, not even 50 cents, on me.

The good news is I ran out of gas right next to a gas station. I put the car in neutral and pushed my car into the lot. Then frantically called my friends, everyone I could think of who didn't live on the west side. Being that it was Friday night, everyone was all over the place and two friends were about 30 minutes away. Jaq was on the phone telling me I should ask a stranger for money.

I am really uncomfortable asking for money, from anyone. In this case, I had no choice. The first guy I asked gave me a $5 bill and offered to push my car in front of a pump for me. Once I put the car in neutral, I noticed four men total around my car. That was kind of awesome. I drove a Hyundai powered by men.

At this point, when something disastrous happens . . . I get a little frazzled. I used to freak THE FUCK out. Now, my voice gets raspy, I get a little misty and ask God 'Why?' but I don't lose my shit. Money is a powerful thing, but even more liberating than having money is surrendering to the idea that you don't have any. With this realization comes a relief that there is nothing you can do. You learn to let go, stop trying to control your life and just float through the universe with a little luck and good karma in your pocket.

I also have really great friends. Jaq picked me up and took me to a play starring an actor I worked with on the pilot. Normally, I would have texted my apologies and stayed at home, but I flaked on this person a couple times already and really needed to follow through and go. Surprisingly for a Hollywood theater production, it wasn't just good (which is already unheard of) but it was great!

Obligatory Plug: http://jewtopiaplay.com/
35% off all tickets Promo Code: GELT35

The next day, I was booked on a show with Tori Spelling. Why am I a Tori Spelling fan? Its nothing specific I can put my finger on. I loved to hate her on Beverly Hills 90210, but really warmed up to her via the reality show she launched on Oxygen. Something awkward, kind and cute about her . . . not to mention SHE is living the dream. Hot hubby, kids, animals, and a career. Really?

I was meeting Jaq for this job, as she got booked too. I told her I was worried about running out of gas on the way to the studio since all I had was the stranger's $5 to get me there until cash paid out at the end of the day. She said, "If you run out of gas, just ask a stranger for money." Ugh. Shiver. Do I have NO PRIDE?

I made it and was genuinely excited to work the show. My friend Helen was having a committment dinner that night (that is a dinner to introduce friends from both sides of her newly committed relationship). I was looking forward to introducing her to Abe and RSVPed us over a month ago. Tori's show was supposed to go 6 hours and then Abe would pick me up at the studio and drive us over to the restaurant, also in Glendale. Perfect plan if I do say so myself.

I waited for Jaq, stuck with wet hair from a quick shower and a cute white dress for the dinner party. Two actors sat next to me. The actress, "Where do you live?" Washed up, LA actor in a business suit, Miami Vice beard and mid-life crisis farting in the bags under his eyes, "In the valley. I do everything I can to keep from slitting my wrists every morning."

Jaq arrives, thank God. She takes her seat next to me. Me, "God, I am freezing!!! Look at the bumps on my legs."

Jaq, "Its because you have no body fat."

Me (distracted on phone), "I know." I put the phone away. "I mean (British accent with chuckle) I know."

Jaq, "Yeah, that's more like it."

A medic came out and introduced herself. She asked us if we needed any medication, Tylenol or feminine napkins. I should have taken this as a prophetic warning of what was to come. I declined.

We were led inside. I found out Tori is co-hosting a morning talk show with . . . Jeff Lewis. JEFF LEWIS from 'Flipping Out'. Now, I avoided the show 'Flipping Out' for almost a year because I didn't want to be reminded of my misery working as an assistant. When I was "let go" from the shackles of bitchdom, I stayed up all night chowing down on soy ice cream and watching every episode I could fit on my DVR. The difference between Jeff Lewis and my previous bosses is he has a sense of humor . . . and a personality . . . and a soul.

In fact, I think Jeff Lewis is misunderstood by most people due to his razor fine use of sarcasm. I admire that kind of sarcasm. I really do.

Tori came out. Jeff came out. I could feel a warm dose of serotonin creep down the back of my neck. Animals came out for the first segment of the show and my pupils dilated to the size of nickels. The estrogen might as well have been dripping off the ceiling since I was also PMSing. I woke up with cramps, which usually gives me a 24 hour warning before I start bleeding.

When I PMS, no one really notices. I might cry a little more easily at this or that. I lust for chocolate. I complain about some mild bloating. That's all pretty normal anyway. Usually, its me wondering if I am pregnant and if not, can I still get pregnant. Or is my mother's theory right, do women ruin themselves with birth control pills and the occasional, early 20s abortion?

Ok, so back to Glendale, I am in the studio, I am laughing at the jokes, enjoying myself, finally find a seat next to Jaq when I notice time is ticking away. The crew let us know that food is there for us. I think, that's weird because they said they were on their last shot of the day and we are still a bit before 6 hours (the legal maximum to work someone without a break for food).

Let's add one more layer of stress. I am occasionally only getting one bar of reception on my phone, which usually fades as soon as I try to USE my phone. Abe texted, "Here." I texted, "On last shot. Out soon."

Well, the last shot wasn't the last shot. There was a whole cooking segment after that which was actually the last shot. Jaq said, "It will be at least another hour and half."

I said, "No way, this is their last shot."

I asked the audience wrangler, "Will it be another hour or hour an a half?" She shook her head and said, "No, not at all. This is the last shot."

**CUT TO: Outside the Studio**

Abe outside waiting for me. He smoked a cigarette and strolled up the sidewalk. He could smell potatoes. He discovered the potatoes are coming from Shakey's restaurant. He walked in and said, "Hey. Do you have taters?"

**CUT TO: Inside the Studio**

I am inside, keeping it cool. They break down the kitchen segment and bring out a whole other set. I look around wildly, "WTF!?!?"

The producer says, "This is the last shot. They are just going to have a few closers. (to end the show)"

Jeff Lewis took food from the catering service for crew and cast, and brought it to us. He thanked us for patience, apologized for the wait and served us food. I swear to God, he is the nicest celebrity I have ever met. That is almost too bizarre for me to wrap my own mind around.

I felt the slow trickle of warm blood in my white dress. FUCK! I can also mention here, since we are such good friends, that I am behind on my laundry and the only pair of panties I had were my nice lavender lingerie panties with the matching bra. This is the ONLY matching pair of lingerie I own and I had to SAVE UP for it to buy it at TARGET! Ok. Pathetic . . . YES, but perhaps an explanation for why my mood started turning.

I hung my head in my lap and started complaining to Jaq. "Poor Abe."


**CUT TO: Outside the Studio**

Abe was in his car, eating taters and smoking pot. When he was done, he went outside to smoke a cigarette next to two people, a man and a woman, and struck up a conversation about inoculations. Abe listens to Coast to Coast am radio, and heard a woman call in with evidence that the flu vaccination weakens your immune system for up to 3 months and can also sterilize men for short periods of time, potentially altering their potency for life. There is a theory that these vaccinations will soon be mandated with travel, employment, school and, as a result, 80% of the population will get sick and die as a super power government slowly takes over.

The man and the woman were also waiting for someone inside the studio. Abe got the sense they were all going to smoke pot. Just a sense he got.

Suddenly, a compact, black vehicle stopped suddenly along the curb, almost obstructing traffic. A middle-aged woman in a provocative top was screaming at her phone.

Woman: "FUCK! FUCKING FUCK!?!? Come on!"

Abe: "Is everything ok?"

Woman: "I can't find the freeway and my fucking phone won't fucking work!"

Abe: "If you go straight down this road-"

Woman: "The maps won't load! WHY WON'T THEY LOAD!?"

Abe: "The 5 is right up there-"

Woman: "GOD DAMN IT, this thing is WORTHLESS!"

Abe: "Just stick on this road and head straight to the 5."

Woman: "But I don't know how to get to Redondo Beach from the 5."

Abe: "Just take the 10 fwy off the 5."

At this point, Abe noticed her breast was falling out of her top.

**CUT TO: Inside the Studio**

Pizza arrives for the audience. Fucking awesome. I can't eat fucking pizza. I am VEGAN.

As they hand out the boxes of pizza for each person to take one slice, I head down to audience wrangler #1.

Me: "I'm sorry but I have a dinner party that started at 7-"

Wrangler #1: "No."

Me: "I just need to know if there is any way I can slip out or when we will leave-"

Wrangler #1: "No. I just need you to sit down and stay where you are."

I went back to my seat and turned to Jaq.

Me: "The only thing worse than not being able to eat pizza, is being surrounded by people who are eating pizza."

Miami Vice turned to me with a pepperoni pizza. "Want some?"

**CUT TO: Outside the Studio**

Abe wandered across the street from the studio into a Middle Eastern bakery, led by his nose. He opened the door and a Middle Eastern baker was behind the counter. His eyes widened when he saw Abe.

Surly Baker: "What do you want?"

Abe: "What do you got?"

Surly Baker: "This . . . we have what you see."

Knowing Abe, he probably leaned over the glass counter with his nose, fluttering his fingers in the air like he was playing piano.

Abe: "Hmmmm, how about a Belgian puff pastry? Or two."


**CUT TO: Inside the Studio**

The audience fluffer, the one entertaining us to keep energy high, knew I was vegan. Throughout the taping, while throwing candy at us like it was day old fish to captured seals, Jaq asked for the Laffy Taffy (vegan) on my behalf. So after the pizza was consumed, she brought me a plate of steamed vegetables. THAT was sweet.

The other audience wrangler, #2 (a blond version of Olive Oyl), one I have seen around for the last year, motioned for me to stand up and move to a new spot. They move us around to keep the audience looking new for camera.

I said, "I'm sorry. I have plans. Is there anyway you can let me out? I am an hour late and they keep saying 'Last shot'."

Wrangler #2, "No, I'm sorry. This is the last shot, and I know you heard it before-"

I said, "You're right. And I don't believe it."

I moved to the new seat, where Jaq was just moved to. I felt the emotion welling, I was so late. I threw down my purse and sat down.

Jaq, "Geez. Relax."

Tears welled in my eyes.

I mumbled something . . . "Why did they have to lie about last shots? If they hadn't lied, Abe wouldn't be outside waiting for me, alone, in the cold. This is fucked up!"

Jaq, "Abe will be fine. He is probably smoking weed in his car."


**CUT TO: Outside the Studio**

Abe smoking weed in his car. He just finished two belgian puff tarts and noticed the studio security guard pacing back and forth. A cop car pulled up to the car parked directly in front of Abe.

Then two more cop cars pulled up. They ask the driver to step out of the vehicle and searched the trunk.

Abe wondered, "Did the security guard mean for the police to search MY car? What if the police made a mistake and they are actually looking for me?"


**CUT TO: Inside the Studio**

The producer comes up to us and says, "We are reshooting the opening because they didn't know you were laughing at their jokes. They felt like they did a bad job, but really they just couldn't hear you laughing because their mics were turned down too far. So we are going to do the intro over."

GOD DAMN IT ALL TO HELL! 40 more minutes!

Finally, we wrapped.

I stood up and jumped over the seats. Tori was talking to a few select people, but Jeff was 5 feet from the door shaking people's hands and thanking them.

I briskly walked to the door then stopped. Jeff Lewis. He makes me laugh.

I turned around and said the stupidest two words I have ever said to any celebrity. "You're amazing." What is so amazing about him? His home decor? Please, I don't know the spider bites on my ass from track lighting. What a generic fucking compliment!

He turned to me, his face was glowing. His smile was huge but the rest of his face was frozen in botox time. I didn't want to shake his hand because I knew he was a germaphobe, then he placed his hand on my lower back and said, "Thank you, so much!" Jeff Lewis. I adore you.

I ran out the door and found Abe standing on a brick partition where all of us were lining up for our clean, white envelopes of cash. My eyes were welling with tears and my voice was breaking up like I just fucked up my oral presentation in 6th grade social studies. (yes, that did happen)

I leaned into his shoulder and apologized. He blew smoke over his shoulder and said in a monotone, "Are you crying? I don't get it. Why?"

Me: "Because I was stuck in there for over two hours and I knew you were out here waiting and we missed Helen's dinner and they kept saying Last Shot, Last Shot ... if they were just honest with me you wouldn't have had to wait. I feel like a bad friend, a bad girlfriend and a very poor person. (text message chimes) Oooh, I got an audition with the Church of Scientology."

Abe: "Baby, I just don't understand why you're upset. I'm fine. I had some Iraq pastry, or something. Maybe it wasn't Iraq. Araat pastry. He acted like I didn't belong there or something. I am like, 'Dude, everybody makes Belgian puff tarts, alright. You aren't special."

Wrangler #2 was checking our paperwork. She was pissed at me for snapping at her inside. I was texting, checking messages. Because my paperwork was not folded out and ready for her to roll her eyes over immediately, she skipped me in line.

Ok, I have been doing audience work for almost a year now. They recognize me. They know me. They still treat us all like shit. They make us hold our urine for several hours at a time during a taping and then refuse to let us use their restrooms after the show has wrapped. We are always supposed to be ready and waiting for whatever they want in exchange for a tootsie roll. Well, I am fucking sick of it.

I am loving a job with no heavy responsibility, but the feeling of being disposable really wears on you.

She moved on to the next girl's paperwork and said, under her breath without looking up, "If you have your paperwork out, it will benefit you greatly."

I unfolded my paper and said, "Or I could just unfold my paper and move up in line."

She looked at me like I called her the nastiest word for a dirty cunt I could muster. She said, "What?"

I said, a little louder, but not much because I knew I didn't have to repeat myself, "Or I could just unfold my paper and move up." There was no attitude, I just felt like stating the obvious.

Her eyes got wide, she grabbed my paperwork and looked it over. She said, "Geez, alright!" Rolled her eyes, turned her head with a twitch like I smacked her in the face. Under her breath and sing song, she said, "No need to get upset about it."

OK BITCH- I was upset when I was bleeding all over my pretty underwear, underneath an air conditioning vent for 8 hours hearing 'Last Shot' over and over while my boyfriend was stuck outside for over two hours. THAT was upset.

THIS . . . ha . . . is not upset.

I walked to Abe's car. Abe, "Sorry if it smells like pot and potatoes in here." Home, sweet home.

We drove to the dinner, which was over, but had drinks with Helen and her old lover/new boyfriend. It was important to me we go, though Abe never understood why. Helen and I both pined over our men and discussed the best way to get them back with the relationship we wanted.

For months, we waited. We broke up with them and tried to be as isolated as possible from our estranged boyfriends. So we would grab cocktails together at the Cheesecake Factory, check our text messages waiting for an apology, a plea or an admission.

Helen's came back first. I will admit, I was jealous as much as I was happy.

Then Abe came back. It worked. They did love us, after all.

After the gathering, Abe drove me to my car, left outside the studio. It was conking out of gas when I parallel parked it prior to the show, so I wasn't sure if it was going to start.

I turned the key. The pitter patter of electronic keyboard rung from my car radio.

Out here in the fields
I fight for my meals
I get my back into my living.

I don't need to fight
To prove I'm right
I don't need to be forgiven.
yeah,yeah,yeah,yeah,yeah

Don't cry
Don't raise your eye
It's only teenage wasteland

I smiled. My car started. My boyfriend smiled at me. Life began again.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Audition or First Date?

Projects can be sketchy. When I first started submitting myself to projects, I avoided any requirements for nudity. Then I got used to changing in parking lots on set and went topless once or twice for a project. Eh. No big deal.

After that proverbial cherry was broken, I started submitting myself to 'nudity required' projects. One project was a feature film called "MENTAL ESCAPE." Of course, this just wasn't any nudity required footnote.

NUDITY: Actor will be completely NUDE in torture and rape sequences which may include camera angles both graphic and disturbing to the viewer in the UNRATED DVD version as they depict actual torture techniques used in 'information gathering' (based on interviews from torture survivors and incidents similar to those at the Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq) including torture of breasts and genitals. Very intense SEXUAL situations, both violent (including RAPE) and intimate (with lovers both male and female) some involving NUDITY and/or sexual contact. Actors should have no reservations about acting in sexual situations with either male and/or female partners. Actor MUST be convincing on screen in each situation.

Sounds delightful, doesn't it? What I originally submitted to was the following:

Role of Rachel: Female, 20s, Psychologist who has done her thesis on 'out of body' experiences and is currently working with the CIA to develop techniques necessary to master mind control.
Feature Film- Rate: $100/day

I was feeling rather bold since I was still in the midst of "ANAHEIM", my B-Horror movie, and was desperate for money.

The audition was being held in a frequently used audition space in Hollywood. I showed up and leafed through the sides (sample of the script used in audition).

Ex.: "You son of a bitch. You may have control of my body, but it's my spirit that's here now, and you have no clue how to deal with that. You can't touch me, you can't hurt me, and you damn well can't rape me. It's your call, asshole. Untie my body or join me in the spirit world."

Ok, bad, yes. The dialogue in ANAHEIM was bad too, I just improvised the dialogue and got away with it until the last few weeks of shooting. After I used a word the director didn't understand, he made me stick to script. Blah!

I went into the audition room and met the director, a middle aged, overweight, balding guy in a Hawaiian t-shirt. Next to him was a woman who looked like a slightly aged porn star. She had the orange skin, platinum blond hair, guppy lips and even the super high heel shoes (the kind people don't walk in).

The director was giddy. There was something about him, his gestures and eyes were almost childish. It was like he was a 16 yr. old boy trapped in the body of a middle aged man who suddenly had the resources to do whatever he wanted with women. Porn Lips wouldn't look at me. That was the red flag really.

I read through the lines on camera. The director nodded his head enthusiastically.

Director Scumbag, "Great, great. That was really great. Now this character you just read for has lovers in another dimension that she meets in her mental world. Would you be interested in reading for those roles?"

Me: "Oh yeah, sure."

He handed me the sides.

Ex. of dialogue: "Juliette's house is right over there. You know, if you rub her breast, it's good luck. Of course, if you rub mine, you better be ready for the best lesbian sex you ever had. Sorry, I digress. Down here is Dante's marker. There are many references to Inferno here."

. . . yeah.

I did it. Whatever. I went in there and did the lines.

Director Scumbag: "Great, very good. Ok. So another part we are casting for today are bodies that are part of this large demon orgy. We will be shooting a lot of this against green screen. Faces and bodies will be indecipherable. This part of the audition is just a series of questions. There are no wrong answers.

Are you willing to show frontal nudity?"

Me: "Yes."

Dir. SB: "Ok, are you willing to let male and/or female actors caress your breasts in a scene?"

Me: "Sure."

Dir SB: "Great, ok. Would you let a male and/or female actor go down on you, or you on them?"

Me: "Uhhh" Ok, this caught me off guard. A lot of people say, "I would have kicked him in the balls" or "I would have just walked out." When something like this happens to you, its so surreal you just go along with it. You want to be professional and aren't sure what the fuck is happening. It's weird.

Me: "Um, not a male but a female. I have never done that before."

Dir. SB looked to Porn Lips, "Uh oh, don't get too excited." Porn Lips forced a brief plastic smile.

Dir. SB, "Do you mind me asking why that would be uncomfortable for you? This would be a closed set."

Me: "I just started dating someone. I would have to discuss this with him." This was happening 2 weeks after Abe and I started dating in May.

Dir. SB (to Porn Lips): "Isn't it funny how we own our bodies our entire lives, then we meet someone new and give them all the rights to our own body? Gosh, it always amazes me."

Me: (smile politely): "I will have to talk to him first. But nothing with a man's . . . penis."

Dir. SB: "Ok, again, there are no wrong answers. So this would be a no to having intercourse with a male and/or female actor, then?" He looked up at me with some glimmer of perverse hope.

Me: "That's right. No."

Dir. SB: "Ok, so again, this will be a closed set, just a green screen. You would be acting opposite either me, [Porn Lips] or my producing partner."

Wait, wait, wait!!! I would be the only actor in the scene. I mean, WHY would I be in a demon orgy with the director and his producing partner??"

What do I say, Me: "Ok, thank you."

I didn't say much. I just wanted out of that really awkward situation. Of course, I got the part in the demon orgy. Woo hoo. He emailed me the weekend before asking if I would participate. I never answered.

Last week, I saw that MENTAL ESCAPE resubmitted its roles for another round of auditions.

I guess all the newbies would submit, audition and go through the same thing. Some would take the job. Some wouldn't. Director Scumbag and his producing partner could get laid without risking rejection. Asstacular.

*************************

Two weeks ago I was offered an audition for another project.

Email: "Mongrel 2.0 is very interested in auditioning you for the lead role of Claire in the feature thriller Next Door Where The Light Shines Through that we will be shooting in April. This will be my first feature as a director. I am a Hollywood/Indy screenwriter who became obsessed with mumblecore and guerrilla filmmaking as the next stage in motion picture evolution. I feel this is exactly the right time to be making a movie like this in the manner that I intend to, and if we pull it off I think it will really blow up everyone involved.

It's an adventurous project for adventurous actors.
The actors will be expected to primarily improvise off the script. The role does have two scenes that involve nudity (breasts, butt, thighs), one of which has simulated sex. Auditions will be starting in one week and will be held at the Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf in Los Feliz.

I'm holding the auditions in this public setting because some of the movie will be shot in similar locations and I want to get a sense of how you work in such settings.
Of course if you have any questions or concerns please don't hesitate to contact me with them as well.

Fair enough, right?

I get the sides. The scene is between a "Producer" and an aspiring actress named "Claire." And we are improvising the scene in a public coffee shop . . . ok.

CLAIRE
I just wanted to say - it might
sound dumb - but I'm really glad
you called last night - beyond
because the project and everything.
I really enjoyed talking to you. I
know that sounds like I'm just
kissing your ass but it's true.
(MORE)

You're right . . . it does sound like I am kissing his ass.

CLAIRE (CONT'D)
I really felt like we connected,
you know?

PRODUCER
I felt that too.

CLAIRE
Really? That's so cool.

Revolting and stupid, but ok. Further down through some more dialogue . . .

CLAIRE
And I drove all the fucking way
across town and, you're a fucking
liar. You're just another fucking
asshole. I can't believe this. I
actually paid for this drink that
tastes just like dogshit and, and
you're a... I can't believe this.
You're probably one of the worst
people I ever met... Leading me on
and... I bet you were really got
off talking to me, like what, did
you have your dick out?

She impulsively grabs all his papers and makes to chucks them
onto him but just drops them back on the table. Rips the top
off her drink and dumps it all over them. She looks like she
could go in five different directions at once.

CLAIRE (CONT’D)
Call me again tonight and then you
can come over and rape me. Bet
you'd like that you sick creep.

Ok, at this point in the script you know the guy setting up this audition is a total head case with a deeply rooted fetish for role play. The question is, isn't it just easier to find someone kinky on Craiglist?

While telling this story at a party, someone answered me from a dark corner, "No. It's not."

I wrote him, "I read through the sides and don't think its for me. Thank you for the opportunity! Good Luck!"

No reply.

****

Two nights ago, I had an audition for a condom commercial spec (not a financed project, but meant to be more of a pitch for the director to sell his/her services). The audition was at the director's residence.

Now . . . while parallel parking across from his apartment, the thought occurred to me that I should not go in. Auditioning in someone's house is unusual, and it was 8pm at night. But, the script was really funny.

EXT. BANK - DAY

Alarm sounds, as a MASKED MAN emerges out of the bank, heavily
armored, carrying a GUN and a DUFFLE BAG. He flips off his blood
splattered white hockey mask and reveals himself in a close up -
sixty something with a white beard and a distinctive MOLE. He
smiles, exhilarated.

INT. APARTMENT - EVENING

Door is SMASHED OPEN and a MIDDLE AGED MAN - with the same mole -
barges in wielding an enormous butcher’s KNIFE. A YOUNG WOMAN
screams out in terror and desperately clutches her SMALL DAUGHTER.

He looks at them veraciously.

INT. HOUSE - EVENING

OVEN DOOR is opened and a CAT is put inside.
the knob is TURNED UP.

Camera pans around to reveal: a cute LITTLE BOY -with a cute little
mole- standing there in pajamas, holding a teddy bear and smiling
like a perfectly content demon child, as the shrill SCREECHING of
the cat emanates from inside the oven.

INT. HOSPITAL - DAY

BABY CRIES OUT.

DOCTOR
Congratulations! It’s a boy!

A labor ravaged MOTHER -bearing a familiar mole- lights up with joy
as she catches the very first glimpse of her NEWBORN BABY, when
suddenly her eyes roll back and she FLATLINES.

DOCTOR (CONT’D)
We’re losing her! Defibrillator!!

INT. BEDROOM - NIGHT

A COUPLE emerges from under the covers, giggling.

WOMAN (THE MOTHER)
Do you have one?

MAN
Nah...we’ll be fine.

The two smile mischievously.

CUT TO BLACK.

NAMEBRAND CONDOMS
Better safe. Than sorry.

The opportunities for my reel alone . . . I mean, come on people.

So I waited outside while he finished up with another actress. I watched her from my car, I am cuter.

The director lead me back to his very clean, IKEA furnished apartment and launched into pitching his project. It was intense. Sweat collected around the base of my neck.

He spoke very fast, "I don't want it to be like other commercials. I want it to be something different, you know, catchy. Funny, very dark funny but with this unexpected twist, you know? I like to do things very Tarantino-esque. You know like when the guy is cutting off an ear in Reservoir Dogs, why am I laughing? I don't know its funny."

He went on and on for about 25 minutes. He must just be out of film school . . . and on some heavy prescription medication. It was like he was pitching me some black & white, Swedish film idea when we were just shooting a condom commercial.

He said, "You know how you don't just look at the condom rack and say, 'I think I am just going to give this new name brand a try.' You don't do that. You buy something you can trust, like Trojan."

Me, "Oh, I don't know. I have had every condom break on me, so I don't bother anymore."

No laugh. He said, "Well . . . you aren't our demographic then." And . . . he kept going and going.

Finally, he asked me to take down my hair. Ugh. Frizz City, but all the male directors ask me to. Men love long hair.

Then he lead me through three scenarios; Mom frightened on couch with child, Mom dying in childbirth and Girl in the throws of passion asking for a condom. All of this was acted out with me on his living room couch.

He was using a small camera to videotape the audition without a tripod. He sat next to me on the couch in his desk chair, wheeling back and forth. We went through the birth and death scene about six times. It was just really difficult to die suddenly the way he wanted me to. I was supposed to be tired but keep my eyes wide.

On the sixth time he said we got it and I turned to look at him. It was awkward, I was eye level with his knee.

During the last bit, acting out coital bliss, again, alone on his couch and saying my lines to a piece of asbestosis hanging from his ceiling, he said, "Wow, you are way more natural at that than child birth."

I said (dryly), "I wonder why."

I do hope I get that one, though ;-)