Fake It Til You Make It

FAKE IT TIL YOU MAKE IT… We’ve all heard that phrase before, especially us actors out there. I’ve never felt so tied to that phrase before though, until very recently.  As Chicago actors, we can become limited in our acting opportunities here. As a Chicago Latina actor, we are even more limited — which is why you may understand why I go through with the ”opportunities” I’ve been having lately in the Chicago commercial acting scene (trust me that wasn’t a run on sentence).
Lately I’ve been getting called into auditions that clearly I will never book: MODEL-TYPE, SASSY BLACK GIRL, INNER-CITY KID and most recently SERIOUS COMPETITIVE ATHLETE. I actually go to all these on the off chance that today I may very well be a sassy black girl. I don’t know what is but I have had a slew of random auditions lately. I’m just waiting for ANGRY REDNECK WOMAN and my week will be complete. I do go to these for a few good reasons:
  1. I’m having great hair day ( rare and unusual, but it happens) and would like the casting director to remember this for next time (Pantene anyone?)
  2. I’m bored at work (AKA don’t wanna do this report during my lunch break)
  3. I want to see who my competition is for MODEL-TYPE (models, of course)
  4. It’s a learning experience

At my most recent SERIOUS COMPETITIVE ATHLETE audition (which clearly stated: not a hobby, must be serious competitive athlete!) I found myself surrounded with…actors. Maybe 1-2 semi-serious athletes at most, but I get it. They were looking for a specific “look.” After waiting for an hour to show off my SERIOUS COMPETITIVE ATHLETE skills in front of the camera (they swore to me this wasn’t a cattle call) it was soon (an hour later) my turn. Since it was an open space I got to see what everyone was doing. It seemed simple enough and thank gah there wasn’t a live marathon involved to prove my SERIOUS COMPETITIVE ATHLETE skills. They took a few pictures of your face, full body and then asked a couple of SERIOUS COMPETITIVE ATHLETEquestions.  I had a few questions of my own running through my head:

  1. What does this person look like to them? (5’3, Latina, Brown hair, Brown eyes with a great sense of humor?)
  2. Do they have some random SERIOUS COMPETITIVE ATHLETE person already in mind?  (Me?)
  3. Should I have spread a little mud on my face?
I overheard SERIOUS COMPETITIVE ATHLETE candidate number 53’s answers, “About 4 miles, I’d say twice a week” and took note. How else was I going to have a chance if I came in there with absolutely nothing to say about SERIOUS COMPETITIVE ATHLETEskills? Another guy claimed he had been running his whole life (like birth?). Number 54 was called and there I was, taking a few headshots, full body and (uh oh) here came the questions. Can you guess what my answers were?  “About 4 miles, I’d say twice a week”And that’s how it’s done.
And no, I did not get a call back. (I really should’ve gone for the mud) But there’s always next time! (Seriously, if you need that redneck, I will be there.)
xox, Latina Actor in Chicago

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