Wednesday, May 27, 2009

All Ready, Mr. De Mille

A couple of weeks ago I had a wild hair (hard to believe, I know), and sent a resume in response to a casting call for an Iowa-made movie. In the end my wild hair was tamed and my cover letter was ... not as attention getting as it could have been.

Flash forward to now: I still haven't heard from that casting director and I've learned my brother (have I ever mentioned how talented and handsome he is?) will be directing a local production of The Music Man this summer. Coincidence? I don't think so.

Here is the cover letter I should have sent.

Dear Casting Director,
After missing the recent casting call in Cedar Rapids, I was excited to see you would be accepting applications by mail. This will give me a chance to put myself out there without actually, you know, putting myself out there.

In person, I can be rather reserved. But believe me, beneath this shy exterior beats the heart of a true ham. But enough of that dull, wallflower stuff! I'm ready to grab the spotlight with both hands and shake it until I'm on the cover of every supermarket tabloid!

This letter will give you a chance to slowly get to know me. You can keep it around, moving it from pile to pile, referring back to it. It will give me a chance to grow on you. I'm kind of like a pebble in your shoe: easy to miss at first, but impossible to ignore in the long run.

I think most people secretly wish for a little attention, even as they toil away in relative obscurity, keeping their heads down, trying to blend in, establishing a new level of anonymity. Except for that Unabomber guy. He really, really wanted to be left alone. Then again, if that manifesto wasn't a cry for attention, what was it?

Back to me. I realize my acting experience is limited and old. I was in all the usual high school and college productions. I played such roles as: Lady Walking Dog By Window, and Girl Number One. Speaking of that part, there is no truth to the rumor that our production of "Fieffer's People" caused IWC to close its theater department. It was merely a coincidence. Bad timing. Really.

However, to quote The Bard, "All the world's a stage," and since then I have taken on many different roles. My performances have been making people think I'm competent for years. Any Jen, Brad or Angelina can read a script and make it seem convincing. With me it's all improvisation. Extempore. All day. Every day.

You want me to act like I know what I'm doing? Hey, I'm a mom! I haven't had a clue since that first contraction. I'm a substitute teacher, for Heaven sakes -- Spreken ze Espanole? You want me to act interested? I've been to more board meetings than I can shake a stick at, and no one's ever caught me sleeping. You want me to act dumb? "Why no, Officer, I don't know what the speed limit is through here." You want me to act smart? "Yes, those pants do make your butt look smaller!"

In conclusion, all I can say is my "One Grecian Urn" will have you on your feet. "Two Grecian Urns" will make you cheer. And "A fountain"?

Trickle, trickle, trickle.

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