Short Cuts

Dealing with rejection is a part of this business. You can’t take it personally. When you go into an audition as an unknown, 90% of getting the part is looking the part. No one wants to be stereotyped, but let’s face it – I’m probably not going to get cast as a sun-drenched native Caribbean beauty, no matter how far spray-tan technology advances. You just don’t get to play against type until you’re already big – like Renée Zellwegger in Bridget Jones. (Why couldn’t they just hire someone who was already fat instead of having her scarf down Snickers Bars at every meal? But that’s another matter.)

So when you don’t get that callback, you just have to figure you were too tall, too young, too old, too blonde, too American or too whatever. I like to go with too tall. Did you ever realize how short most actors are? They won’t cast an actress opposite a diminutive Tom Cruise-like actor unless she a) is married to him or b) is a supermodel making her first – and usually only – major motion picture.

I saw Nick Nolte on the flight back from Cannes (that guy has some scraggly luggage by the way – think Down and Out in Beverly Hills). The guy looks huge on screen, but in person – let’s just say although he could still take me down in a dark alley, if I had the right heels on I’d have a fighting chance.

My theory on short actors is this: think back to high school. The tall guys played basketball or baseball, the big guys played football or wrestled. That leaves the little guys for plays and musicals.

When you go to an audition, or a first date, it’s best not to pin all of your hopes on this being “the one”. High hopes and low expectations is the way to go. So when I got an e-mail telling me I got into the showcase I auditioned for a few weeks ago, I was elated. I could be seen in front of agents and have a chance to get to that next level. What scene would I do? Who would be directing? What would my scene partner be like? But then, as I toasted myself with some imported Crystal Lite (a poor gal’s Cristal), I began to think, “Hey wait a minute. Does everyone get in? Is this a scam? Should I even bother?” It’s the old axiom: do I want to join a club that would have me as a member?

Finally I decided to take it for what it was – an opportunity. Besides, maybe my scene partner would be cute. But let’s face it, he’ll probably be short.