A while back, I auditioned at a showcase event to receive feedback from these TV Host Agents and Casting Directors. Those who auditioned received host scripts the day before the event. We were to choose one script, memorize it, and present it to the agents the following day. I did not worry too much about the audition until I discovered, about six hours before it, that I did not receive copies of the scripts.
I phoned the school but no one at the office had the executive power to e-mail me the. They explained that they had to talk to a higher official, who was not present at the office, because the scripts contained secretive information about who really killed President Kennedy and how North Korea really treated the two captured U.S. journalists. I started panicking because it was the day of the event and I did not have the key ingredient to my showcase, which was my script! Fortunately, about two minutes after my phone call, I received them. Had I received them one more second later, I wouldn’t have been able to do anything anyway. What was I going to do? Break into their computer system and proxy at my own computer to get the scripts?
I chose a script that had the fewest lines and one that most fitted my personality. With these two standards, I was able to absorb the script…after about ten hours.
I was just such a fast learner.
That day, I arrived at the event calm and relaxed. I had already applied about 2.5 pounds of makeup on me so my face looked flawless. I arrived in comfortable pants because I had came straight from a meeting with the Vice President of the U.S… I did bring a skirt with me but did not change because I was lazy.
I sat down and saw that I was the only Asian there, but not the only female. In fact, about 90% of the people at the audition were female. And they all wore dresses or short skirts. As soon as I realized that, I fled to the bathroom and changed into my skirt.
Then, we played the waiting game. The order of who goes into the room was based on the alphabetical sequence of last names. Each person was to go into the room as if she were auditioning for a real part and the entire audition was videotaped. Then, each agent and casting director judged you and gave you feedback.
This last name procedure always haunted me. When I was a student, the lunch lady lined us up by the alphabetical order of our last names. So, I was always fortunate enough to pick my lunch after everyone else did. I got the dried macaroni and cheese and the French fries that looked like they could make potato soup. Not having many food options and eating cold food were my most delighted privileges. Heck, the process helped me stay skinny because I do not eat anymore. I just go on detox diets. Hey. The camera adds ten pounds.
I thought the “alphabetical sequence by last name” procedure would not get worse than that. But, one time, my teacher decided to be fair and reverse the order, except it was not for lunch, it was for the order in which people would present their projects in front of the class. And we all know that public speaking is the number one fear for most people, placed even before the fear of death.
So that was my childhood in a nutshell-eating foods that other people in my class did not select and dealing with something that was even more frightening than death.
Since the casting directors and agents decided to see our auditions in an order based on the alphabetical order of our last names, I auditioned near the end.
Thank you papa Zyu for the last name you gave me.
Then, the torments began. At first, I was fine. I sat there with an open mind. I was not looking for an agent; I was not looking for someone to “discover” me and ship me to Hollywood. I just wanted to receive feedbacks from casting directors and agents. I did not even pay for the event like the other hosts did because I won it from a detox tea sweepstake.
Therefore, I had no monetary incentive or Hollywood dream expectations. Plus, I knew I wasn’t going to screw up my lines because my script was one line and it fitted my personality so well that I could just ad-lib it if I couldn’t remember it verbatim.
But all that indifference vanished as I waited outside the room with the other hosts. They were mumbling and rehearsing their lines for whatever Discovery Channel or lipstick conversation scripts that they had. They paced the hallway back and forth, in their 4-inch heels and perfectly iron curled long hair.
Seeing all of that made me dizzy. So, I re-located myself to a different hallway, just another location that brought me to another group of hosts rehearsing their lines, checking their eye makeup, lipstick and their hair.
I pulled out my mirror and examined every square centimeter of my face to make sure my 2.5 pounds of makeup did not need any touch up. I then made sure that the three strands of hair on my baldhead did not move to an unintended location. Then, I looked at my feet to make sure I did not grow any fungus because of all the madness.
Everything that I checked was fine and normal.
I then pulled out my one line script and started rehearsing it because the other hosts made me so nervous that I began doubting myself. I was afraid I would mess up my line, my one line. After saying it about ten times, in five different body postures, and in five different facial expressions, I realized that the more I practiced, the more I stumbled. So I told myself to stop and to get some deodorant because my armpits were sweating as if it were on a mission to convert a desert into an ocean.
Then, I re-applied my lipstick, adding .1 pound to the 2.5 pounds of makeup that was already on my face.
It still was not my turn.
At that point, I wanted to hug my parents for giving me such a great last name – Zyu.
I started meditating in the hallway and nobody noticed because they were too busy repeating the things that I just did. Finally, the agents called my name. I entered the room. I said my script. I got feedback and the process felt like a walk in the park.
Everyone around me was so nervous that I started copying their actions and absorbing their energy that my indifference to the event disappeared. I am not sure if that nervous energy had a positive or a negative effect on me because I am not a scientist so I did not run a control experiment to compare the results. And I did not really care because I did not screw up and did fine. I do not know if I would have received the same results had I kept myself away from these nervous people. All I know is that people’s energy can easily transfer to those around them. That can be scary…or sweaty. Because I know we all definitely used a good chunk of our deodorants that day.