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Wednesday, March 25, 2009

The Typecast


Since we're on the topic of AUDITIONS, I thought I'd share another piece I wrote while in LA last year.

It's like a Madonna or Beyonce. You love it and hate it at the same time but are glad that it exists. From being on both sides of the table, I must say both make me a little uneasy. Flashback to when I first arrived in LA. I was behind the table and as the anxious girls and guys formed a straight line in front of us, I was definitley overwhelmed by everyone. So this is HOLLYWOOD I thought to myself. I joined in on the whispers with my fellow partners and felt like I was in the "popular group" in high school - ya know the one that had nothing better to do then sit around and talk about everyone else in the school. Different sizes, shapes, types, and ethnicities, stood before us. Some standing proud, others with wandering and uncomfortable eyes, and others just chilling either because they just didn't care or they were cool and confident cats. Without even knowing their name or anything about them, we sat there and sized them up even though inside I felt a little evil. (Hmmm..I don't know, something about "If you don't have anything nice to say, then don't say anything at all." Yeah, so let's just throw that moral out the window quick and keep it moving.) There were the divas, the trying to be divas, the sweet and innocent "I hope they pick me" types, the odd obnoxious "out there" characters, and of course the ones that woke up and didn't even bother sneaking a peak in the mirror. After a long process, we did the deed and choose our group that would stay to dance.

So moving forward to the present. After not being in LA for 6 months, my first audition back was for a feature film and I had to stand in the infamous line. This time we were in front of the mirrors. I looked in the mirror and tried to find everyone's spirit, everyone's energy underneath the "hip, funky, young-looking' clothes. But it was difficult to find at that very moment. I stood there with "my look", "my type", waiting to hear the "Thank you" or "Please stay" from the Choreographer. The only other time I was on the line, I gladly heard "Please stay". This time, I heard the "Thank you" in my ear and was far from devastated. I said to myself "No Thank YOU for not wasing my time" and off I ran to continue my already planned day of classes and training.

The Typecast. Whether you love it or hate it, it's essential for the industry with the growing number of dancers looking to work. It doesnt' matter what you say, what you think, what you feel, what you can even do with your dancing -- for all they care, you could have two left feet. At that very moment, it literally comes down to how well you did your make-up, hair, and wardrobe that morning, and if it fits the role they are looking for. Welcome back to Hollywood. It's not the school play or a communitiy show we audition for out here people. Let's be real. We're simply back in high school where those with the newest, trendiest clothes and looks win over the brains. Sad but true. Luckily for me, I have graduated from the program and already understand it's all business in the end. It's no longer a personal shot to the heart or to my level of self-esteem or confidence in any way. Accept the reality and move on. I guarantee there are tons of other "Please Stay's" that I will hear in my lifetime and hopefully most of them will be based on more than just "my type."

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