Most of my life is unfortunately quite boring but every now and then, I get tossed a few surprises.
Last week, a talent agency called and they were looking for young vets who could audition for a major dog food commercial. At first, I thought, "Hell no" because that is my usual response to something in front of a camera but I changed my mind and said, "Why the hell not?".
They called three days before the audition so that left me three days to fuss, stress and anguish over my television debut. I have no control over such emotions: I worry, therefore I am. The night before, I even made some crude head shots. I figured that my writing hadn't made me one red cent so I was going to give this acting thing a good try.
The day of the audition, I had the most hellacious work day of the past year. Everything that came in was sick or dying and needed major work-ups. No one was poor. All the owners had money to afford bloodwork and xrays and the necessary treatment. Rich bastards! As the day wore on, I became more and more frazzled. My screen time was set for 6:45 and by 6:00, it became clear that I was going to be late. This caused me even more grief and I began to utter expletives over things that normally I would have taken in stride. Thankfully, the casting center was literally a couple of blocks from my clinic but I still needed time to run home, change clothes, regain my super polished professional self and find parking. Parking is always a factor in L.A. I wish we had hover craft and we could just park above each other. Until that time, there is street parking. This is the devil's invention.
I ran into the office at 6:50 and my mouth was as dry as a bone. I had taken an antihistamine/decongestant for my allergies and while it cleared up my sinuses nicely, it had taken its toll on my mouth. Cotton mouth was not a fair description. I felt like my mouth was the highest-grade chalk and my tongue stuck to my upper palate. I talked like a ret--, ahem, a mentally challenged person. Thankfully, there was a water fountain and I sucked down a gallon of moisture before making my way over to the casting area. I brought along Dusty (we were encouraged to bring our pets) and he seemed completely clueless and uninterested about everything. I was very jealous of him.
I started to eye the competition. They all appeared to be younger AND better looking than I was. And more professional. And more caring. And more "vet-like". And they probably made more money than I did and they were probably HAPPY that they were vets. I started to foreshadow disaster.
By 7:15, a very perky lady ushered me into "the room" and gave me a place to stand with Dusty. Then they loosened me up and asked me to talk about myself. I was okay with that. I knew that they were going to ask me those type of things so I was prepared. Then they hit me with "okay, now tell us something funny that has happened to you at your clinic".
Funny shit happens all the time at a vet clinic. In fact, they should make a reality show about vet clinics and I'm sure it would be a hit. But could I think of something off the top of my head? My mind was reeling. I had to run through 13 years of being a vet and come up with something that was going to BLOW them away. Of course, I'm not a fast thinker and my mind tends to live in the gutter SO ...
I told them the very short story about a woman who brought in a litter of orphaned kittens. She didn't know how to nurse them so she filled a condom with milk replacer and fed them that way. She didn't appear embarrassed or shy, just very matter-of-fact. I suppose she was being resourceful. Give credit when it is due.
At the time of my audition, it was such a "D'oh!" moment. Condoms and cute kitties. It just wasn't a pretty picture and the ladies who were running the audition were more shocked than entertained. They didn't want to hear any more of my "stories". That was a good thing because the only other story I could think of was the one about a client having sex with her dog. I'm sure THAT would have gone over real well.
I wish I could control my mind. Or maybe I just need to control my mouth. Actually, think I need to control both because they are definitely in cahoots with each other.
At the end of the audition, the ladies thanked me and told me they would be calling me the next week to let me know. One of those, "don't call us, we'll call you" comments.
Rejection. It made me feel like a real bona-fide actor!