Peer Pressure – A Great Idea at Any Age

Posted by Kathy on Jun 29, 2010 in Thoughts from ME |

Oh, not again.  I thought I was done with peer pressure.

I thought I had evolved.  I thought I had a mind of my own.  I thought…well, never mind that now.  Let me get on with it so you can feel sorry for me.  PS – Dark chocolate always cheers me up.

I recently got a call to audition for a short video, for a non-speaking part, just as one in a crowd.  That shouldn’t be too hard, I thought.  Just stand around, smile or cry or do whatever the casting director tells me to do.

I was scheduled for a 1:25 interview, slated to last just five minutes.  Wow, I thought, this ought to be a snap.  Either I look the part or I don’t.  Instructions included how to dress, and that because of the brevity of the audition, it was all about how we looked and took direction.  Once again, I figured it would be a piece of cake.

Be very careful when you have that thought.  That is, unless you keep it in mind.

I arrived a few minutes early, and sat around for quite a while with other actors.  Most were young women in their twenties, one mid-forties, and then there was me.  Let’s just say I passed all those ages a long time ago and MYOB if you think I’m going to divulge my age.

OK, 57.  But I look 55.

The casting director was looking at us in groupings, thus the delay.  Cool.  I was waiting for my group.

Um, I sat there for quite a few groupings, and I started to feel insecure, being somewhat new to this scene.  During the times when others were ushered into another room, we were supposed to be very quiet.  That was my signal to chat it up a little with some of the others.  I asked one pro of about twenty-five a question, to which she answered, “Oh.  Is this your first audition?”  I looked myself over to see where someone might have planted the sign that read “Brand new – doesn’t know what she’s doing – has no business being here – should pull out her car keys and go home before she completely embarrasses herself” but I couldn’t see the sign.  It must have been taped onto the back of me.  So I stayed.

Finally the director took me and several others into the audition area.  Was I imagining it or did she say “Well…OK.  You too” as she sympathetically waved me in like a charity case?

Then she gave us basic instructions that went like this: “Look at the camera, give your name, turn to one side, then the other, then turn around, and walk off.”  Very professional.

I am a trained nurse, and boy, do I know how to follow instructions to the letter.

The first young woman went.  She gave her name, turned to one side, then spun around and walked off.  Wait a minute, I’m thinking, wasn’t there supposed to be two profile shots?  Well, I thought so, but…

The second one went.  Same thing.  “Hi, my name is…” one profile, turn around, leave.

I knew that we were supposed to give two profile shots to the camera before the turn.  I did.  I really knew that.  But these two young women – well, they seemed experienced, right?  I took my turn, feeling intimidated, and I did what I supposed to do.

No, I didn’t.

That’s right.  I followed these young kids even though I knew we were asked to do it differently.

Several others did their thing, and then the last woman did exactly what the director had asked.  At that moment, I saw the director and the cameraman give each other the thumbs up.  Oh, crap.

After that, we moved on to a group scene that lasted about 30 seconds but felt like, oh, roughly three hours.  After which the director looked at us and told us what the next scene was to be.  Then she looked right at me and said, “You’re done.”

Huh?

Oh.

I said thank you and slipped out of the room.

Now, I’m not suggesting I didn’t make the cut.  I won’t know that yet, although my hopes are not high.  After all, I was not the only one who did not do as the director has asked.  But that’s not the point.  I mean, am I still in high school mentality?  Did I not know what I was asked to do, but then followed the crowd anyway?

Just glad I wasn’t in the middle of assisting a surgeon when my brain left its place of knowledge and experience.

Maybe I didn’t need that little acting job anyway.

Maybe it’s all for the best.

After all, my profile on the left is not all that great anyway.

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ADVICE – WHO NEEDS IT?

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If you have a non-urgent, non-life threatening life problem (please, I only look at this blog when I think of it, and at my age…) then send it in and if I can figure out how to use this “so easy a child can use it” website, I will give it a go.

Write in, do not ask me to send you cash, and we’ll chat.

8 Comments

Ann Murray Paige
Jun 29, 2010 at 9:44 pm

Kathy love it, love the blog, love the site. You’ve done a great job, I can’t wait to read more.

[Reply]

Kathy Reply:

Oh – Thank you so much, my friend! xox

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Keli Scrapchansky
Jun 30, 2010 at 12:57 am

Ugh, Kathy, I know the exact feeling you’re talking about. The one that ends with the exclamation, “I knew I should’ve done it my way!” Even if you don’t get the part (and who needs it?), lesson learned. It’s one I’ve learned a thousand times, and I’m only 35 (but I look 33).

[Reply]

Kathy Reply:

Ah, Keli, you have all the wisdom of the ages. I need a cheat sheet to keep in my palm!

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Kerry Wilkins-Deming
Jun 30, 2010 at 4:16 pm

Oh don’t you just want to spit when you make a split second decision like that…I wax and wane with this kind of thing Kathy….Mostly when I am driving somewhere I am not familiar with does this get me, but none the less I end up being a bit angry with myself.

We’re human though, right?

Perhaps you’ll land some other more interesting a fun gig because of you flub? Gotta look at the bright side…. 🙂

O.K. Since Kelly mention it too….I am going on forty one….one of my pateints just last week stated….

“You look like you just got out of college!”

Now, I also need to mention he 85 and I think he did not he had his glasses on at the time!

But I loved hearing it!!!

Keep us posted on your job prospect! Sometimes things turn our way even when we donlt think they will 🙂

[Reply]

Kathy Reply:

Kerry – Yes, you’re right, and I’ve really learned that God indeed opens the window when a door is closed. I just don’t think He realized how many windows I’d need opened due to my innate lameness!

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Antant00
Jul 2, 2010 at 7:51 pm

Oh my….Kathy your problem was quite obvious….your 57 but look 55 (More like 32) but you act like you are 21(going on 57) and was right there with your peers….you couldn’t help yourself….chewing gum and rapping in your mind……just following the group……lol…just kidding….I think we can all fall into that “Same” trap that I harp about all the time….but that being said your personality wins them over…I am sure it showed through the haze…..I’d hire you on just the one profile alone……nice piece….

[Reply]

Kathy Reply:

Antant, you’re so funny! Chewing gum – yeah, maybe that was what blew the audition for me. That & passing notes to my friends…thanks for reading & writing in 🙂

[Reply]


 

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