Monday, April 23, 2007

Proofed

Last Friday, I had a callback for the play Proof. Mary Louise Parker played the lead on Broadway (and I saw her in it, and she was brilliant), and Gwyneth Paltrow played the lead in the movie (and I saw her in it, and she was . . .meh.)

I wasn't up for the lead; I was up for the sister. So were 8 other girls. This is our story.

I'd like to start off by saying that it's ever so strange to be sitting with a group of people who are your "type." An entire row of alto-voiced blondes in business suits, all poring over the same part of the same script. Three of us left our chairs and made strange warm-up noises in various corners of the theatre. Two of us flirted with the "Handsome Math Geek" types sitting opposite us. One of us sat swaying to her Ipod, one of us applied lipgloss at regular intervals, and I chewed gum and sent text messages to my husband:

"I'm sitting in a row of girls who all look like me."

Steve texts back:

"Make sure you get their phone numbers, just in case you decide to leave me."

The lipgloss me stands up and walks over to get some coffee. "I'm freezing!" she whispers, settling back down. She's wearing one of the tightest skirts I've ever seen, and an equally tight shirt with a plunging back. Definitely not me.

"Yeah, it's pretty cold."

She looks over to one of our type: the one in the corner making low moaning noises with her eyes closed. She turns her head to me, pointing discreetly at the moaner:

"I could never be one of those. You?"

"Nope."

We talk a little more. I find out she just finished playing a lead in the national touring company of Grease.

"How cool!" I say. "What did you think of that Grease reality show?"

She rolls her eyes.

"Stupid."

"Yeah."

One by one, we're called in to read. The moaner returns from the audition room, looking subdued.

"Fun while it lasted, kids." Exeunt Moaner.

The minutes pass. Then the hours. The slow exodus continues: Goodbye, Preppy Handsome Math Geek! So long, Spiky-Haired Me!

I'm called in several more times to read; each time with a different "sister." My tight-skirted friend remains, but most of the others depart. I watch as one of us downs her 4th cup of coffee.

One of the remaining Handsome Geeks (the one with the soulful eyes), mumbles:

"Do I even want to be in this play?"

We all laugh; a welcome break from the tension. The stage manager glares at us.

"SHHHH!"

My seatmate returns from her latest visit to the audition room.

"Well, I'm outta here. He's 'decided to go in a different direction.' Gotta love it!" She grins. "It was nice to meet you."

"You, too."

I watch the remaining Handsome Geeks check her out as she departs.

Almost three hours later, I've read with one particular "sister" several times. I think we could pass for family - we're both tall. I look up from texting Steve to see the taller of the two remaining dads exit the theatre. I size up the only dad left. He can't be any taller than 5' 6".

I nudge my tall sister, pointing to the Last Dad Standing:

"This isn't good."

She looks him up and down.

"Not good."

We're called in. We know what's coming, but we're hoping it's not.

"Hi, ladies." The director smiles up at us.

"I absolutely love both of you, and I would love to cast you."

Pause.

"But the fact is, you're just too f'in tall."

He thanks us for our time, and we thank him for his. We walk out of the room together, passing the Short Me and the Short Her on our way out.

"Congratulations!" I whisper.

"Thanks!" They beam.

I walk to the parking lot with my tall sister. As she hops in her car, she says, wearily:

"I'm going straight to In 'n Out Burger."

She drives away. I call Steve on the drive home:

"Well, I didn't get it. I'm too tall."

"I'm sorry, baby."

"Yeah."

"Did you get those other girls' phone numbers?"

"You won't need them. I'm sticking with you."

"Good. 'Cause I like tall."

I already know this. 'Cause 3 1/2 years ago, I totally aced that audition.

Saturday, April 14, 2007

The Easter Bunny Cometh

I apologize for my extended absence from the blogosphere. I was out of town for a while, and ever since I returned I've been feeling singularly uninspired, and didn't want to bore you with my ennui. Now I'm back (as evidenced by this blog entry), and I hope to return with a bang by sharing with you this short video my brother made. He is also the star, and his co-star is a beloved stuffed animal from our childhood. Thanks to this video, I will never again feel safe when it's in the room.