The Crime of Being Zany

Are you guys a bunch of naughty little scamps? Then why aren’t you in a casting office right now showing off your personality? Is your personality also a BRAND? Will it be what makes you successful, since your real skill is above-average intelligence and it’s so hard to quantify that? And it’s just not as strong as being in a sorority of your greatest assets: smarts, hyper-vigilance and SASS! Dammit someone should cast you in a movie or at least a vacuum cleaner ad! Isn’t it lonely being clever? Knowing you have so much to give, having higher expectations for yourself than retail or food service can match, and yet not knowing what job that means you should have while you wait for the world to LISTEN FOR ONCE. The USA needs to take a cue from an Arctic arts-loving culture nested in a country the size of Delaware and start paying people to be ARTISTS.

There are jobs out there for everyone. Well, maybe most people (and only a select few cats). If you’re obsessed with murdering women, I suggest you become a nurse or ex-armed forces person. If you’re obsessed with model airplanes, trying flying one of the big ones up in the hostile skies! And so on.

Today I went to an audition for a print/online advertisement. The casting call sought women who can jump over fires, climb fences, leap from boulder to boulder, who have crazy colored hair, or are otherwise living the philosophy of an older woman’s watercolor painting bought at a small town art fair: I CAME TO LIVE OUT LOUD.

I waited in the big main area/bus depot of a giant room with many little casting offices shooting off of it. There were long dongs covered in low-pile carpeting to sit on, so I plopped my bunz down behind a flautist with hot pink hair pulled up in two tight buns and an adventurous shirt covered in faces made out of sequins. There were a LOT of bold shirts in the room. There was a lady in a giant white chiffon skirt with black polka dots who played her accordion. When she came out from her audition she pulled on a big pair of dark grey sweatpants (bless her perfect heart) and slipped out of her skirt. Very “Working Girl.”

When my name was called I went in with five other girls/women AS THE CASE MAY BE. Each of us had to get our photo taken, then profiles, then a brief interview in which we were supposed to tell the people anything ZANY OR UNUSUAL about ourselves. You have to really know yourself in a suburban context for this. Because if what you do is normal everywhere else, well. You might just be living your life like you’re just a run-of-the-mill bimbo-about-town. But in the context of national advertising, even parroting a quick joshing phrase you saw on “New Girl” shows some real pluck.

There was a contortionist in our group. I really admire those broads. She did a couple cool weird things with her body. The woman next to me said that she is in MENSA. The casting director asked if she ever uses her smart math mind for things in everyday life. She said sometimes her husband points out a route they could drive to a restaurant, then she counters with a more efficient route!!! You crazy bish, men don’t like getting directions from ladies! CATHY CATHY CATHY LOCKHORNS LOCKHORNS LOCKHORNS BLONDIE BLONDIE BLONDIE HAGAR THE HORRIBLE JUGHEAD BETTY VERONICA

When it was my turn I flipped the switch on my neon sign of a smile, and it flashed “EAT AT BOB’S” and then “MILLER TIME.” I then said, “I am Tara Jepsen, a 44-y.o. adult woman skateboarder.” There was an admiring whistle from one of the women standing next to me that made me feel embarrassed. We didn’t need to say our age, but I wanted to. I said I skateboard bowls and pools. So I have climbed fences, and I’m comfortable with that. I said, “There are videos of me skateboarding online,” which was the actual dumbest thing I could have said. I had had a moment of thinking that they would think I don’t actually skateboard, and so if I mentioned video documentation, surely Susan Faludi would write a book about my day. So I made a weird face and said, “That is so gross, I don’t know why I said that.” I think I fit about twenty expressions into two minutes, whereas the gals next to me did one long bong rip of GRIN. I told them that I do not do a good ollie, so I shouldn’t be selected if they want a street skater. Overall, I really sold myself. Can you tell?

I am home now. I just turned in my novel for another round of edits. I have to call someone back so we can talk about ISOLATION. I hear a cat meowing outside. I’m trying to decide what to do next.


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3 thoughts on “The Crime of Being Zany

  1. janimal

    taracita, don’t leave me hanging: what ZANY personal info did you choose to share with the hollywood asshats? i know you have several to choose from, so just curious. your post made me laugh and smile (not necessarily at the same time). i love you. CONGRATS on turning in your draft!!

  2. Tara Jepsen Post author

    Janimal, I love YOU! The Hollywood people were honestly really nice. I just feel funny being in a place where your PERSONALITY IS CURRENCY!! HO BOY. I will add my part to the above entry, please hold.

  3. janimal

    lots of expressions, not just whitened teeth baring… excellent! climbing fences and skateboarding are badass; i hope they see that as clearly as i do.

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