I scrambled into a waiting room full of hopeful actors. A friendly face looked up and waved me over to an empty seat next to him.
“So, when are you going up?” I asked.
“Soon,” he said.
A few steps away, a glass door swung open. A lady with a clipboard called out a name, and my friend stood up.
“Break a leg!” I called up at him as he walked by. He gave me a thumbs-up as he crossed in front of the clipboard lady.
The lady followed his line of sight to me, then looked down at her clipboard, then back up at me.
“You. The friend. What’s your name?”
“You’re next.” And she closed the door behind her.
I scanned the room and realized that everyone had a head shot and acting resume in his/her hand. I had my purse in mine.
“Um. Fuck?” I started to rummage through my purse for pen and paper. “Fuck. Fuck. Fuckity fuck…”
“I can print something out for you if you have it online,” said a voice from the corner of the room. A girl who looked very much like Pauley Perrette, aka Abby from NCIS, was sitting on the floor with a laptop and a printer.
“That’s very kind of you. Thank you!” I said as I walked over and sat down on the floor next to her. “But I don’t have any of that.”
I’m no stranger to the stage, having been on it for some kind of a dance recital since pre-school. American high school got me in a few actual plays but I only had small parts. Some of them I mimed. College was all songwriting workshop performance. Then I did a storytelling workshop after college. That was that. But none of these experiences were available online to print.
Then it came to me.
“Let’s just print out my LinkedIn profile and I’ll just write more stuff on it.”
The printer spit out a few pieces of paper and I frantically wrote whatever I could on them.
The glass door swung open again and the clipboard lady returned.
Pauley look-alike winked at me as I got up.
The clipboard lady led me up the wooden staircase. We turned the corner into a dimly lit hallway with flickering fluorescent lights. Then she knocked on the door on the left, and let me through. It took a second for my eyes to adjust to the room before I saw its occupants.
Steven Spielberg. J.J. Abrams. Joss Whedon. Wil Wheaton. And some other guy.
The dude I don’t know extended his hand, “Hi, I’m Craig.”
“Hi,” I shook his hand, and trying not to gawk at the rest of the room.
“Is that your resume?” he asked. I just handed him the paper. “You know everyone here, I’m sure?”
My mouth started to say, “Duh!” But I made it say instead, “Of course!”
I tried to swallow my starstruck (starstruckness?) but instead I regurgitated it in a ramble.
“I’m trying not to freak out right now…and I probably shouldn’t have said that out loud. To you. The Gods. But, um. Yeah. Hi.” And, I waved. What a dork.
Everyone nodded in recognition. Craig then passed my printout to Wil. He furrowed his brows.
“This is a LinkedIn profile…” Wil said as he passed it over to Joss.
“Yes, well, I didn’t plan on auditioning so this is the best I can do.”
“Well, there must be a reason you were called in,” said Spielberg. I shrugged.
J.J. passed the paper to him. “I’ve got to say LinkedIn profile is a new approach.”
Joss chimed in, “Not bad for someone who actually didn’t know she’s auditioning.”
“I’m glad I could entertain you. I guess?”
Joss surveyed his peers and then looked at me. “So you have never done movies or TV?”
I shook my head. “Look, I’m a social media and marketing-communication specialist. But since I haven’t gotten a full time job in two years, someone recently suggested that I should pursue a career in standup comedy. I think that’s a nice way of telling me I suck at marketing.”
The gang chuckled.
“Well, thanks for stopping by, ” Craig said as he got up to shake my hand.
Spielberg turned to J.J., “Hey, J.J. Sure you don’t have room for her in Star Wars?”
“You know, I might actually have something,” he replied.
I squealed a little bit. “Really?”
Joss held his hand out at the guys, “Wait, wait.” Then he turned to me, pointing, “But wouldn’t you rather get killed in the next Avengers movie?”
I might have let out a bigger squeal. “Ooh, can I die in Thor’s arms?”
Wil added, “Guys, she could do both!”
Yeah. Absolutely. That would be a hoot. Those were the answers.
I looked at Spielberg. “You know, when I was in kindergarten, a few friends called me E.T. because I was small and skinny with big eyes on my big head.”
Spielberg offered me his hand to shake.
And I woke up.
A dream. A total dream. Too much thinking about my employment situation and recent Super Bowl commercial, watching NCIS marathon on and off all day, and reading way too much IO9 and EW’s Cape Town before bed brought this on, I’m pretty sure.