Wednesday, 14 July 2010
Its an advert for some electronic computer game and I have been told to look "pretty and fresh" so I wash my face and put on a floral summer dress and skip off to sunny Leicester Square where I am to meet with The Casting Director at 12.35 pm.
Don't act desperate, Harriet, I tell myself, as I walk towards the door, they'll smell it a mile off. You don't really need the money, you don't really need the money.
YES YOU FUCKING DO !! the voice in my head shouts back at me
"Hello" I say brightly into the the intercom, "I'm here to see..."
The door buzzes opens before I have a chance to finish.
"Thankyou" I scream into the buzzer in an "extremely jolly manner", just in case, by some divine intervention the receptionist has any say in whether I get the job or not.
There is a deadly silence at the other end.
"I am special, I am loved, I am worthy, I am successful, I am talented " I repeat to myself as I climb the stairs, pausing at the mirror at the top of the first flight to repeat my mantra to my flushed and slightly out of breath reflection.
I take a deep breath and walk into the room and look around. Fuck me, its full of young, stunning, model looking 17 year olds. There's one thing trying to look fresh and pretty at the age of 35, but no amount of Estee Lauder Double Wear and Touche Eclat can compete with these nubile creatures. I'm fucked. Game Over Mate. Might aswell pack it in right now and become a drama teacher if this is what I am up against.
I fill in a form anyway, and go and sit next to a really, really tall, thin, beautiful girl...and her baby. Yes. Not only is this girl young and beautiful, she also has a baby. Now I'm really depressed.
Just then the Casting Director comes out of the studio and calls out a name. And then it happens. She spots me and stops and stands there staring at me and in a VERY LOUD VOICE says " What are YOUUUU doing here? YOUUUU'RRREE not supposed to be here until 2.30. Thats when we are auditioning for the mums, deeeear"
And she summons an Elle Mcpherson lookalike into the room
My cheeks go bright red as I see a couple of the other girls staring at me and I wonder yet again why I put myself through this and then the baby starts crying and I look it and sympathise because I know exactly how its feeling, and then I look at her mum next to me who is flicking through Heat magazine and totally ignoring her child and I say
"Excuse me. Your baby's crying"
And she looks up and stares into the pram and says in an Eastern European accent
"Oh, no, she's not mine.She's her's" and points at a girl who is chatting away about herself on her iphone in a loud voice so that everyone else can hear.
And then tall, beautiful girl adds, woefully,
"I wish she was. I wish I had a baby"
And just for a moment , in that hell hole of a waiting room, she is no longer "The Enemy", we are no longer just two more pretty, blonde actresses (albeit several years apart in age).
We are two women wanting the same thing.
I smile sadly at her and get up to leave, when a young 17 year old with a Birmingham accent taps me on the shoulder.
"'scuse me but weren't you in that TV show for ages? "
I blush and nod
"Oh my god.What are you doing here?" she screams innocently, "Shouldn't you be in hollywood or somefink by now?"
And I get my things and go.