Saturday, August 2, 2008

Tasty t.v.

When I was a little girl, I had one single aspiration in life - to be a superstar! My first car was going to be a red hot Ferrari just like the one my Barbie doll sported, and I'd get chauffered around town in stretch limousines. My mother saw some star quality in me and enrolled me in acting classes. I got a manager and was landing bit roles on shows like "Webster" and "Punky Brewster." Then something horrible happened when I was about 11 or 12 - I had to have 8 baby teeth pulled that wouldn't fall out on their own. I was toothless for months. For some reason, that break led to the dissipation of my aspiring acting career at the time.

Years later in college, I dabbled in modeling because I could and it was a fun way to make a little money. I don't even know if what I did should even be considered modeling - I turned into a resident video rat! LOL. I will forever be immortalized in videos featuring such folks as LL Cool J, Snoop Dogg, Master P, and the up-and-coming group N Sync. I look back on that time and I'm angry at myself for not taking advantage of being in college in Los Angeles and really trying to pursue acting. Of course, acting was the furthest thing from my mind since I was on a path to law school. But I think I really missed a golden opportunity back then.

Years later, I've got my law degree and I'm licensed to practice - I can check that off my "to-do" list. But there is still that passion for acting that is ongoing and ever present. I was fortunate enough to find an incredible acting coach in Buffalo - Frank Rossi. I'd go to class every week and spend time with other aspiring actors and always had such a great time. Actors are a unique bunch - full of life and fun - I always left class having laughed a bunch.

I landed a couple of commercials in Buffalo, and even secured representation in Pittsburgh and Rochester. Shortly thereafter I got pregnant which meant I wouldn't be going on any auditions. When I had the energy, I went to a couple more classes before leaving Buffalo. Saying goodbye to Frank Rossi's acting classes were tough - he's a great teacher.

So here I am in Dallas, a much bigger market for modeling and acting. I have every intention of immersing myself in the business here. I've got a year to see what I can accomplish. Time is of the essence because (a) I'm not getting any younger and (b) I plan on sitting for the Texas bar exam next summer. So I've got a year. I'm fortunate that there is no pressure to run out and get a job right now, so it's the best time to try to see what this market has to offer.

A couple weeks ago, I popped on Craigslist to peruse the "talent" section to see what craziness I might find in Dallas. A lot of the jobs on Craigslist are usually sketchy - "seeking lingerie or semi-nude models" or "looking for models who are looking to expand their portfolios" which means there is no pay. I came across a listing that grabbed my attention - "The Bite" television was looking for hosts for a weekly show. Hm. Sounds interesting. I'm pretty good at hosting and I have some experience in that department. I decided that I'd submit my resume and picture and go in for an audition.

My initial reading went great. I had time to memorize the script and pretty much nailed it in the audition. I was invited back for a callback the following week. The callback was pretty competitive. I realized then that this was a legitimate job - there were people there with representation from the big agencies in Dallas. I heard one girl mention that she does the pre-game show for the Dallas Mavericks. I saw another girl whip out her page-long resume and heard her mention how she won't work for less than $200 a day. Several of the girls looked like they've certainly competed in pageants. And then there was me - the 32-year-old mom with two kids who happened upon the listing on Craigslist. There were about 20 women, and they were looking for one female host. I had my work cut out for me.

My first read of the new script went great! I received the script the morning before the audition and hadn't had a chance to memorize it which completely freaked me out because I like to be prepared. Luckily I got matched up with a great guy for my first read and it went incredibly well. Throughout the morning, they matched up different girls and guys to go in for the readings. As the morning went on, they started thanking people for their time and excusing them. But I was still there. Finally, three hours later, there is only one female left in the room, and it's me. I could tell the competition had come down to me and one other girl. I had a 50/50 chance of landing this job - much better odds than earlier that morning.

I go in to read with a different guy (they kept matching up different people to see how everyone looked with each other). That reading also went well. I was a bit intimidated by the guy I was reading with because he was GOOD! He totally had the Access Hollywood-host thing down! We finished are reading and were sent on our way.

The callback was Tuesday. After I hadn't heard anything for a couple of days, I became discouraged. Surely they made up their decision quickly and it probably didn't include me. But there was also some hope - well, since I hadn't heard from them yet, maybe I still had a chance.

Yesterday afternoon, I got the call. I've been chosen as one of the hosts for "The Bite." Turns out they had a really tough time narrowing down to just two hosts, so they've decided to go with four of us - two girls and two guys. We'll start shooting once a week next month, and I have to say, the pay is pretty decent! I'll sign a two month contract - when the contract expires, we'll get to renegotiate for more money. Hopefully by then, I'll have secured representation in the area.

Having a small income is great, but I'm overly excited about the exposure. This is a really great opportunity. And I'm convinced that I must have some sort of talent if I can go on my first audition and beat out a bunch of other actors and get the job.

So far the Dallas acting scene has treated me well - we'll see where it goes from here!


Amy (Metz) Walker said...

Congratulations! What a GREAT opportunity...keep us posted!

Derek and Charyl said...

Congratulations!!! That is SWEET!