That is how much I currently owe in student loans.
Granted, it's far less than what some people are paying for the same education I received, but that sum is now generally in charge of how I spend my time. For example, right now I am sitting at work in the lobby of a hotel. As far as actor survival jobs go, it's not terrible: flexible, easy, pays well, doesn't involve anal glands. But I've discovered that after the fourth time you've heard Avril Lavigne's "Complicated" in the same day, your soul starts to disintegrate into a wet dust, much like wet sawdust but not quite. While I do get seen on my days off and do stand up after work, most of the time I sit here wishing I could be out at auditions. What I wouldn't give to be that smug actor Twitter account: "OMG just got seen at Gersh! Fingers crossed, toes crossed :)" or maybe even a "Meeting with my comm. agent, then MP ECC, then yoga w/ my besties! Great day. :) X) 0)" For real though, if I had anything to be smug about, I'd smug my shit all over the place. This is what my smug would look like right now: "Totes washed my face today! Feeling capable :)" or "Ate lentils, then off to hummus, and later, Nutella with my besties/no one! Great day. :)"
But if there's one thing that makes me happy to not be completely steeped in auditions, it's casting calls for student films. I'm blessed to know a whole mess of extraordinarily talented people who recently graduated or are still attending film school, but fortunately for them (and unfortunately for us actors) they are in the minority. The formula for many film students who post on Actor's Access goes a little something like this:
19 year old a-hole + acceptance at selective film school + access to thousands of desperate female actors + Kangol hat = The fucking worst person ever. Like, the perfect storm of douchebaggitude.
Unleash that monster on the chum bucket of online casting sites, and you've got some real magic goin' on. Like this gem, for example:
A SERIES OF STRANGE OCCURRENCES
Non-Union / No Pay
Housing NOT provided
(It's already good. No housing AND no pay? Tell me more, tell me more, like does he have a car or do I have to provide transportation, too?)
The premise is a dark comedy concerning the unreliability of gossip and rumors. Three friends discuss a sexual abuse that might have occurred between a beautiful girl and a silent lover.
Ok, here's two good rules of thumb(s?): 1 - if a student film has a story line about a possible rape, but they can only bring themselves to call it "a sexual abuse," it will be awful. Especially if they think of rape as "OMG scandal u guyz UH-OHHH!!" kinda thing. 2 - If a student film bills itself as a "black comedy," steer clear. That's code for "People laughed at my serious movie pitch, so now I'm re-branding it." Lest we forget the ultimate black comedy:
(This breakdown is tearing me apart, Lisa.)
Strange things like the r-word? The sex abuse word? I get that, only quiet creepy dudes commit rape.
[ KATIE ]
18-24 years old, thin, beautiful. Katie is the kind of girl who boys want to date. She is seen in Silent Ed's company and is suspected of being abused.
Did you catch that? 18-24 + thin + beautiful + only described using passive verbs + possibly a victim = "The kind of girl guys want to date." I love this breakdown so much, I'm like a pig in shit right now.
But truly, the best part of Katie is that she is "suspected of being abused." She is an abuse suspect. "Hur?" says your brain. "What does that make bodies with gunshot wounds, murder suspects?" This dude would totally get along with Bobby Franklin. Amiright? Oh you guys, I'm so glad we're doing this together. We should hang out more!
[ STEPHANIE ]
18-24 years old, thin. She is Katie's close friend and is the voice of reason between herself, Greg, and Steve. She listens to both sides of the story before making a decision.
Wait wait wait, forget Stephanie and how you're too fat to play her, who is this Herself? I am intrigued. Is he the hot Swedish exchange student with a dark past and a lower lip that never quits?
(It's cool, Herself, we don't like talking about our childhood, either.)
Less victim-blaming, more hot after-school scenes in the library involving Herself, a thin skinny beautiful victim girl, and a microfiche scanner. I'm sweating like a whitefish at a lutefisk cookoff.
So there's 2 other characters, but I don't really feel like breaking them down. Long story short: they're white dudes of medium-build with boring names who wanna talk shit about Katie and how much of a skinny slutty rape suspect she is. Fuck this shit.
Where's the Nutella?