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The Audition

May 29, 2018

 

 

“Are you getting too thin?” the agent asks from a small, windowless room, one of three in the office where beautiful faces hang, poster sized, all beaming, pouting, teasing. The only light is coming from an overhead, commercial grade fluorescent fixture and the walls are partitioned, making it less than halfway to the ceiling. 

 

“Too thin?” the model asks, reaching for her Louie Vuitton tote. “Um, I don’t think so. But thank you! I tried on a bathing suit the other day. I was by myself and laughed!” She giggles, pushing her hair behind her ears.

 

“Don’t get too thin,” the agent replies, looking her over. “That hair color...”

 

“I know,” she says nervously, shaking strands dark at the roots that fade into blonde at the ends, curling just above the shoulders in a summery, flirty, super cute bob.

 

“Who did it?”

 

“My regular girl.”

 

“Hairstylists,” he groans. “They all think they’re going to do you favors, do something fun. No.”

 

“I know,” she replies.

 

“Anybody your age… no offense, but if you’re covering gray you need to do it naturally.”

 

“I know,” she says, nervously touching her crown with perfectly manicured fingers. “It’s just… I’ll go back. Probably in a few weeks.”

 

“Do that,” he advises.

 

“Yeah,” she says as she prepares to leave, “I definitely will.”  

 

“Just two minutes, I promise,” a blonde assistant says as he hurries by a black leather couch and two matching chairs, one of which is occupied by someone preparing to audition. “I’ve been doing spots all day. Which are you here for?”

 

“Kitchen Aid,” replies the actress. 

 

“Kitchen Aid,” he repeats. “Right. Okay. Just two minutes.”

 

After five she’s ushered through a narrow hallway into another room. In the corner stands a rack of emergency wardrobe options. There is one umbrella light flanking a camera that’s been retrofitted with a teleprompter and an “x” marked on the floor with masking tape where she is to stand. In front of the “x” is a metal push cart, on top of which sits a blue pen.

 

“Hide your eyes,” he advises as he switches on the light. “Okay, so pick up that pen there, that’s going to be your knife. We don’t give talent real knives anymore.”

 

“Is that since your commission went up to twenty percent?” she asks.

 

“It’s always been twenty percent,” he laughs. “Unless it’s a union job. Union jobs are only ten percent. Okay, so you’re in the kitchen, that’s your knife, you’re cutting vegetables but you can pretend that the kids are running around. You know, busy mom, crazy kids, and all that. But not like, ‘I want to fucking kill these kids!’ More like, 'Oh, darn these kids.’”
 

“Got it,” she replies, picking up the pen, bringing her eyes forward for her lines.

 

“As a mom of three kids, I have a lot of responsibilities. And not much time. But my KitchenAid appliances make all my kitchen tasks SO much easier and faster.”

 

“Whoa!” he says. “Way too fast. Slow it down next time.”

 

“Okay,” she replies, picking up the pen and pretending to slice.

 

“As a mom of three kids, I have a lot of responsibilities. And not much time. But my KitchenAid appliances make all my kitchen tasks SO much easier and faster.”

 

“Okay, that was better, but don’t talk so much with your shoulders,” he says. “You keep bringing them forward. More relaxed. And you can stop cutting as soon as you start your lines. Otherwise, it looks like you’re rowing a boat. And don’t look away from the camera so much. If your eyes are going up and down and over here and over there, you look like a crazy person.”

 

“Got it,” she says, picking up the pen again.

 

“As a mom of three kids, I have a lot of responsibilities. And not much time. But my KitchenAid appliances make all my kitchen tasks SO much easier and faster.”

 

“Better. But don’t put so much emphasis on the word ‘so.’ It’s not SO much easier. It’s so much easier. And slower. And not so loud. If you were talking to someone standing on the other side of the counter, you wouldn’t be saying, ‘I'M A BUSY MOM.’ Got it?”

 

“Got it,” she replies, picking up the pen.

 

“As a mom of three kids, I have a lot of responsibilities. And not much time. But my KitchenAid appliances make all my… shit.”  

 

“What’s wrong?” he asks.

 

“I forgot my line,” she replies.

 

“Want to do it again?” he asks.

 

“Yeah,” she says, picking up the pen again.

 

“As a mom of three kids… I have a lot of responsibilities… And not much time… But my KitchenAid appliances make all my kitchen tasks so much easier and faster.”

 

“Much better,” he says. “Let’s do it one more time just because. And maybe try it even slower.”

 

“Okay,” she replies, picking up the pen again.

 

“As a mom of three kids…… I have a lot of responsibilities…… And not much… damn.”

 

“What?” he asks.

 

“I forgot my lines again.”

 

“Do it again,” he says. “Super relaxed. Just like, ‘Hey, KitchenAid just makes my life easier. Like, there’s a change from, ‘I have so many responsibilities,’ to ‘KitchenAid makes life easier.’ Problem. Solution. Got it?”

 

“Gotcha,” she replies, picking up the pen again.

 

As a mom of three kids… I have a lot of responsibilities… And not much time… But my KitchenAid appliances make all my kitchen tasks so much easier and faster.

 

“That's it. I like that one,” he says, flipping off the lights. "Hopefully, the next one won't have you slicing imaginary carrots with a pen." 

The "Our Stories" series is an ongoing writing project by Kate Benz.

 

Capturing a moment in time in our everyday lives. 

Raw. Real. Honest. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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