When I started auditioning my arms would go numb all the way up to my shoulders, and my hands would cramp into steady fists. I would leave the audition room and find someone to unfold them so that I could go to McDonalds and hold the McFlurry I was inevitably going to cry into. This happened for a few years before it got worse, and then got a bit better.
I have terrible anxiety, mostly at night. The kind that sends a wave through my body and shoots me out of bed when it reaches the top. I’m nervous all the time, but afraid to show it, and I feel like sometimes I come across as an overconfident bubble. I daydream about moving to my very own cave, as long as Seamless will deliver, and my therapist has said more than once: “I’m curious as to why a person who tries so hard to be invisible chose to be an actor.”
I’ve bombed so many auditions that I’ve conditioned myself to treat them like job interviews and do them “correctly.” Being poised, however, is reallllllly boring, and it’s just not who I am. I once pooped in a garbage can in someone’s dorm room because the girls bathroom was locked and I was too shy to ask for a key. Don’t worry, I was alone! Now the Internet knows my biggest secret and I am free at last.
I told my manager that I’m working on letting my personality shine a bit more when I audition, instead of freezing up and putting on my good girl face. She told me about a mutual friend of ours who is working on something similar. So a few weeks ago, before he went into his audition, he stopped by the bathroom and nestled a slice of ham into his underwear. Ya know. Around the boy parts. I mean… how can you take anything seriously when your scrotum is using deli meat as a hammock?
He booked the job.
Today I found myself battling my nerves before a meeting with a casting director and I remembered that story. I searched through my bag, but there was nothing that would fit into my pants comfortably. So I snatched a red pen and drew a penis on my hand. Because I am a 12 year old. It’s not a great illustration. It looks like a nail with a cartoon dog mouth, but it gave me a chuckle.
Tomorrow I have a callback for a very dramatic role. The character is “poised” and “elegant,” but I, Tory Flack, will have a penis on the inside of my hand, which will not be cramped in terror.