Have you ever read a subject line and had a sudden intake of breathe due to excitement only to exhale in disgust upon opening the actual email...Yep. It was one of those. From a casting director. Until dudes are asked to show their junk on a very regular basis...Actress friends, this is for you~
There are times when I am so over this industry. I mean really over it. We are bombarded with images throughout our day thanks to technology. And if you are a woman, much of the information being directed at us is about how we are not pretty enough (remind me to tell you the story from a college interview), not thin enough (remind me to tell you the story of a wardrobe fitting for a national) and not young enough (remind me to tell you about this season). Not enough of a sexual object. Or too much of a sexual object if you dare to be confident in your sexuality... You're a hootchie. Or worse , you're a slut. Or you look too "smart." Seriously... ugh...OVER IT!!!! I know it is just part of what we signed up for. So you can either learn to deal or just drop off the key, Lee and get yourself free...
I don't care what they told you. Looks matter. If they told you otherwise, somebody has lied to you. Love it, hate it, let it drive you to drinking... they matter. A lot. So much so that even if you work out for hours a day and are a super model, they are still going to photoshop your ass. Photoshop has become a verb and everyone now knows exactly what it means. The great irony in the face of all of this is that women are banding together via social media to speak their truths while still spending ridiculous amounts of time perfecting our selfies... There must be 100,000 different memes shouting "I am woman hear me roar". Our latest collective feminine mantra is "we are enough." But the mere fact that we have this as our mantra means that we don't really own it yet. ABRACADABRA-- CREATE AS YOU SPEAK...but actresses seem to stay pretty quiet on this. At least I think we do. Why?
I'm not even getting into equal pay, reproduction rights, equality in the workplace, domestic violence in this piece today. Those are issues that are really important so I don't really want to clump those together with looks. However, here I am writing about this stupid shit. Because looks matter in our world and in America and they are hugely important in the entertainment field -- even if I personally think it is incredibly shallow, stupid and silly... But I can tell you I spend more of my time worried about it than I truly care to admit. Which frankly pisses me off. Because after all that is what we are dealing with a large majority of the time in this industry -- particularly for on-camera work. Does she "look" like this role? Is she tall enough? Thin enough? (And god knows on camera those chicks are RAIL THIN...) How will she "look" on camera? How will she "look" with the star? Does she look enough like (fill in the blank of some A lister from a few years back who will probably ultimately end up booking)? I would love to believe that acting chops still count for something -- anything -- but I am seriously beginning to doubt that --especially for certain things in certain regions. Looks are important. If you are a shorty size 4/6, you are too thick for the recurring roles. Truth. Deal with it. So I either slim down or eat a milkshake once a week and start auditioning for the fat friend. Truth. ** Casting Directors/Directors who are reading, PLEASE feel free to prove me wrong and cast me.
I get it. I am WELL AWARE that we are putting it out there to be judged and criticized and critiqued. But sweet baby jesus, it is not for the faint of heart, I am telling you... All of this to say:
"They" want to see me for a topless role in a SAG feature. NEXT! I don't even think this role has lines...lol... No, it does have lines. It's a principal. I just looked again to double check. But really? REALLY? Look, I have gone topless on stage. Hell, I have gone bottomless on stage -- twice. More than twice. Twice in one show. But it was ALL about the story. For me it is always about the story...Give me a great reason why this woman has to do this that moves the story & the characters forward in way that can not be done otherwise and yep, I will take it off. If the story is one worth telling. But I am going to be real honest here. I don't have the confidence after a rather tough summer to go in for this shit right now. For all I know, it is a role of some random chick showing her jugs for 30 seconds in the background and that is all she wrote... Who is this woman? What is her journey? Could I read the script? HAHAHAHAHAHAHA! Now that's a laugh. Who am I to ask to read the script? NEXT!!! I am sure they will easily book the role with someone cuter, younger and thinner... NEXT!!! Let's just be clear: the breakdown doesn't say, " Woman 30's to 40's blah blah about her character and the arc of the story..." It says "Woman - Topless." Seriously? Yep. I just laughed out loud as I wrote this. Nothing about the movie, the commitment, the character, the creative team. "Woman- Topless." And the funny thing is -- or the sad thing is -- I bet you good money that all of the audition times are booked solid. "Woman - Topless." It might as well have read "We need a pair of boobs." That about sums it up here, folks. And also funny enough -- sad enough -- I bet this blog gets more hits than my others just because of the title. NEXT!!!!!
I'm a southern gal with liberal politics who has worked my ass off and sacrificed a lot in order to be a working regional theatre actor. There are lots of working actors who are out here grinding without begin famous. And we consider that we have already MADE it. I really like to tell stories and solve the puzzle of the text. I LOVE untangling scripts and unlocking characters. I really give a damn about the planet and am an avid gardener. I love to get my hands dirty. I am completely fascinated by fellow journey(man) actors and how we survive and thrive. Ballin' on a budget, Baby. http://www.rachelburttram.com/