Sunday, June 25, 2006

First Audition

I'm sat in the passenger seat of Estella's Jetta with my elbow on the open window ledge of the door. My usual mid summer tan was in full bloom. I admired my forearm, the way the ridge of muscle bulges on top of the bend and even though my arm is bent and there's a pit just above the joint where no flesh needed to form.

I was finally used to the cavitative drum beat of wind rushing into the back seat. I had tuned out the procession of of Spanish pop songs that had been washing around my head for the previous three hours, but I'll not go so far as to denigrate Mexican radio. I was flexing my hand as it caught the wind next to the mirror, and it made little take-offs and landings on the window frame each time I tilted my fingers. The leather was not lush and extravagant but beige and well worn, probably sweated on quite often in the heat of the central highlands, and not quite welcoming enough to invite me to take off my t-shirt and stick to the lumbar support.

Switching from the endless procession of decrepit towns and dusty landscape I looked over to my silent driver, silent for a choice. She'd not quite so much as run out of things to say or questions to ask, but we'd just arrived at that comfortable silent zone.

Her button nose supporting her cheap sunglasses, her hair tied behind her head, her understated earrings designed by some Incan wizard artist inhabiting her earlobes perfectly. I wasted about fifteen seconds scanning her profile, yet sat in my head during the experience of a good hour.

Her bubblegum lips transported me to the morning where I had watched her fill her mouth with shampoo and wash my penis with it, rinse out, then figuratively make it the dirtiest bone in her body.

She blinked and her manicured lashes crashed down on each other in slow motion. Her brown eyes had listened to my visual stories, watched the betrayal of my body language, and fed her ammunition for her drilling responses and rapid questions. Her eyes also displayed her soul and had told me more about her inner feelings than any of her words could.

She swallowed air or something, and the muscles in her neck moved. The same muscles I'd licked in circles while other parts of her were being stimulated by other parts of me. The same neck that I'd tightened my hand grip around while the rest of her body strangled my penis into submission.

The curvature of her modest breast moved out and in with each breath. The night before, the space between them was a place for my balls to rest while she moved her breasts up and down my shaft. They ended in nipples that were at that moment soft, yet able to willing to investigate any sensation on their feet at a seconds notice.

She suddenly noticed me looking back at her and as if I'd disturbed the peace looked at me and smiled. If there was any tension in my body, it evaporated at that instant. The silence, the inner comfort, the feeling that I was going somewhere worthwhile, it was a moment when Moricone should have stepped in an taken control of the music and put it into your head that it was the time worth living for.

She cleared her throat and through the noise of the radio, her little egg beater engine, and the rushing wind through the windows she asked, "Tell me about your first audition in California".

"oh you don't want to know about that". There was defensiveness in my voice and I looked down at her bare thighs for comfort. Thin valleys were etched into them from years of running, and her skin color, well, I've spewed enough about how I wanted to swim in her hue.

"Yes, I do, go on"

"OK", I shot her my fake confident grin, the one that made Drew originally notice me enough on a cattle call years earlier to get me featured for the first time.

"It was in the early 90s, you know when pastels were still acceptable"

"You do not know your fashion, pastels are still acceptable in Mexico"

With that I'm transported back to a time when I had less wrinkles and still believed I was the next Kevin Costner, that's how fucking tragic I was. Back then my New York agent Arty, who was short and fat and funny and who had never gone an hour without a cup of coffee sent me to meet this LA agent, a cousin of his, who was also strangely enough called Arthur. Arthur was probably the best most well groomed man I'd ever met up until that point. I didn't know LA scum back then, but this guy was a shark among sharks, or so I'd thought.

When I say I met Arthur that day I arrived in LA, I didn't actually meet him, I saw him through a door way. Sure I was on his schedule but some E-list actor had bumped me but he didn't want to miss using me because my headshots were 8x10 sex manuals for masturbating homosexuals. So I'm standing like a gumbah in Arthur's reception and I was intercepted by a sixteen year old girl with huge thighs and braces. She informed me that she was Mr Arthur's assistant Mindy.

Mindy had been hired by Arthur that day and already seemed to think that if she bent over the whole San Fernando valley would wake up and have reason to adopt solar power finally because there was another sun stuck in her ass. Mindy wanted to talk to me, but all she really did was give me a slip of paper, probably written by Arthur's doctor the handwriting was so bad, with an address and a time on it. That was it, my first audition was set up. I had no place to stay, just a rental car and a lot of clothes in the trunk, my clothes, not owned by some wardrobe department.

I was dressed like Gordon Gecko, you know, the power shirt and the blue/gray suit, it was magic. I was not sure why Arty, whom I'd fed loads of scotch to, would dump me in this pile of disinformation. I was warned by others not to mess with agents on their turf if I was a nobody, and by the time Mindy had finished her schoolgirl flirting routines, Arthur's door was shut and he was busy on a call or something.

Fuck Arty I thought, but really I was fucked, and angry, and scared. I had nothing to go on, just an address and a time and for all I know the best start to a porn acting career this ensemble veteran could find.

I was on time, and I was able to find the place. It was a nondescript office building in Burbank, nothing fancy, just a boring slab built in the 70s, a brick and pastel number. There was no reception, just a bunch of chairs and another frumpy teenage girl with a walkie talky. Eight other guys who looked like me were dressed like tradesmen, one guy even had a hardhat. There were four other guys in the room who were fat and balding with moustaches and they were also dressed like tradesmen.

The teenage melancholist took my name and scratched me off her clipboard, then one by one each of the other "actors" in the room went into the other room. Each time the door opened I knew that inside was a lesser version of Dante's inferno and as my number was to come up any time soon, I was dreading the torture that was in front of me.

"Mr Leland you're on deck". The girl with the power announced to the room like she didn't remember who I was.

I stepped up and walked in.

There were three people in the room and a camera. The lead asshole, apparently the assistant to the assistant to casting director looked up at me, shook his head, and the guy to his right yelled out, "thanks for your time", and that was it, my first audition in California. I later found out it was for the hallowed role of "Janitor" in Red Rocks West, which was shot mostly outside of California but it still counts.

I took up Estella's dangerous offer of eye contact and could feel the timidity in my voice.

"I'm still bummed I didn't get to be on that show because I'd have been best friends with Nic Cage by now and we'd be drinking champagne in Monaco and shopping for fine china instead of burning gasoline on this godforsaken road".

"awww, poor baby, but you know you're pretty enough to have taken that role from anyone."

She sighed, looked at the road, and changed lanes. Then she looked at me, pursed her lips, gained twenty years of wisdom, and gave me what was the first of many wake up calls she'd give me and said, "and it would have been better if you prepared beforehand."


Blogger Memoirs of a Sheila said...

Is this Estella ? How do I get thighs like hers ?

2:34 AM  
Blogger J said...

JBJ.. yep, it was her with me, it's the next day from the knife incident, but that's TMI really, I'm writing to expunge those pent up words I have in my head... thanks for consuming them... So you want to be a hardbody? Well, you know those machines at the gym that excercise your legs? Use them. For a woman, lower body workout is a freebie becuase you're geared to be strong under the navel. Oh and run four miles three times a week... cover up every mirror in your house and don't look at yourself for three months... and don't read beauty magazines, they will only make you feel ugly.

10:39 AM  
Blogger WDKY said...

Fuck, that was well-written. Anyway, I often find that the very best advice is contained in those throw-away one-liners, and it's often the advice that you don't really want to hear.

2:45 AM  

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