The other day we got a call from our agent (who is incredible btw) for a pilot audition together. As in a tv show that was looking for a real couple to play a real couple. But not a reality show. The audition was on the Sony lot. We set out in separate cars that morning because we both had other auditions afterwards. Nipper asked me if I knew where I was going, and I said, "No, but I'll look at the email with the address before I get there". Except that when I got there I was talking on the phone with Sadie about something really important like, how I had just won an ebay listing for 9 naked Barbies for $1!!!
So Nipper tried to call me, but I missed the call. Then instead of looking where I was supposed to be going, because I'm wired for speed, but not sense, I drove to the main gate, entered the lot and drove to the top of the parking structure.
I took this picture up there. Look at the snow on the mountains in the background! So pretty! At this point, I wasn't panicked at all...
Ok, so I'm sitting up there and it's getting cold, so I call Nipper and he's all "Where are you?" and I'm all "Where are YOU?" He says he's parked on the street because he didn't know if we only had one drive-on pass. I say "Oh, whoops, sorry, I was on the phone, just drive in the gate, tell them you're here for casting, and they'll send you into the lot, we check in at the gate. I'm on the roof. I'll wait here". So I wait. And I wait. 10 minutes go by. I call him. No answer. I text. Nothing. Ok starting to feel a little annoyed. Not panicked or anything just miffed. I'm thinking thoughts like "Ugh, he's probably listening to a podcast and didn't want to pick up" and "he prolly parked on another floor instead of coming to the roof because he didn't hear me say that I was on the roof because I'm a girl, and my tone of voice is in that register that men can't hear, or can block out or whatever." and now I'm MAD.
I go downstairs and check in at the gate, and try to call again. Fuming. No answer. I wait 5 more minutes. It's now 3 minutes to our audition time. For one second I think "He's been in an accident", but I dismiss that immediately, because it made me too sad, and I was pissed. All of a sudden I get a text from an unknown number "I left my phone in the car, I'm here, this is Nipper on someone else's phone". Great. That's great. You're here, but what does that mean? I mean, I was there, and he wasn't anywhere that I could see him. As I'm standing there with my stupid map, Michael Rappaport walks by saying something very Michael Rappaportish into his cell phone, and the dad from Heroes passes me, and I'm shocked at how tall he is, because I always assume that everyone on tv is a midget.
I text Nipper "are you at the casting office?" Nothing. Ok, I think, you'd better just move your ass sister, because at this point it's the time when you're supposed to be calmly sipping bottled water on the couch in the waiting room trying to look like you could give a damn. But instead you're freezing your buns off at what you quickly realize in the WRONG end of the Sony lot. No worries, it's only as big as that little Tahitian atoll that Marlon Brando bought. Great. I'm hoofing it across the lot, freezing, trying my best to look like I wasn't another dumbass lost actress. Little sheep... baaa baaaa. WHERE IS MY SHEPHERD?!
Finally I make it to the other side of the lot, and I'm standing there looking at the map the gate guard gave me and it's upside down, as in North is the bottom the map, and south is top, and I'm having this whole "map is not the territory" argument in my head, and cursing the world, when a nice lady, who must be someone's grandma walks up and says "are you lost?" and I say "yes I'm looking for the Astaire building". But she doesn't know where that is, so she says, "Go right in that door over there, and they will set you straight". And this is the door she's pointing to.
It's the police station. Geez.
I walk in, say "I'm lost, does anyone know where the Astaire building is?" and another nice lady, who I'm sure had nothing to do with that crazy upside down map, and who doesn't look like any kind of police person I've ever seen, says "It's right outside the door down 1st street. I'm telling you this place is HUGE. So as soon as I get outside I see Nipper. I wish I'd taken a picture of him, because it was like being reunited after war. I could have cried. He says he's sorry he left his phone, and I say I'm sorry for not looking at the directions and parking in the wrong place, and we go upstairs and it's fine. This by the way is why Nipper and I are still married after what would be 78 years in real married years. We don't have jobs so we are together 24/7. It's all very pre-industrial revolution. Bottom line, no one goes crazy, we just hug and get on with it.
We have some time to look over our lines, and sip bottled water, and look like we've got thousands of Shakespeare's monologues right at the tip of our tongues. The casting lady comes out to get us, and as we are walking across the sizable office, which I realize might be the nicest one I've ever been in, she smiles and says "long walk". She opens the door where I expect to see a video camera and maybe an assistant to read with us. Nope. Not today Shirley. It's a producers session. There are three couches full of people 8 in all. It looks like this. We know immediately who the director is, because he's got crazy ZZ Top hair and a trucker hat, and there's no way anyone hires that guy unless he's in charge of everything.
We make nicey nicey talk about Nipper's Muhammad Ali tshirt, and Sonny Liston. That takes 2 minutes. Then we read our scene. That takes 30 seconds. They say "thanks". Which in audtion-ese means, "get the fuck out my sight". Not really. It could also mean "you were brilliant, we don't need to see anything else, because we love you so much we can't bear to be in the same room with you, so please spare our tender hearts and go before me melt". But more likely "you seem like nice folks, but you're not right for this".
Mary is my favorite!
It always cracks me up when people cry and beg on American Idol once they've been told they're not going through or they are going home or whatever because dude... You need to be able to smile and look like "Oh, I'm SO glad you just summarily dismissed me just now after I poured my heart out" like TEN times a week in this business. Otherwise, you'll:
A. Seem like a loser
B. Never get called back
C. hate yourself
Rule number one (and two through four) of show business (this from a show business drop out):
1. Be GREAT
2. Your mom is the ONLY person who cares how much you want this
3. Don't make excuses
3.a. It's entertainment NOT therapy
4. Be GREAT
4. Be GREAT
Nipper Knapp walked back to his car which was 3 feet from where we auditioned, but I had to walk back across the lot. So I took some pictures of all the cute shops and alleyways off Main Street just for you guys. Doesn't this stationary store look like it should be in Paris in the 40's? Minus the golf cart obv..
Later that day we ate pizza. How's that for a happy ending?