At the beginning of the year I told my agent that I would be available for castings again, after a very long hiatus. I’ve been to four odd castings so far, and I have enjoyed myself immensely. You can’t take this stuff seriously, and as long as you aren’t over invested which causes a certain tight faced desperation that cameras pick up on, it can be such fun.
Request castings are cool because your agents put you forward and then the casting company asks to see you; better than a thousand hungry people waiting for days in stinky casting corridors.
So yesterday afternoon I got sent a brief for a deodorant ad. I said sure I’ll go. And then I saw that there was no story in the brief but they wanted to see interesting people (I am interesting) of a certain age that I fall smack in the middle of. Cool.
I woke up this morning panicking. A deodorant ad. What if I have to show my armpits?
I put a desperate message on the Woodstock group on Facebum. I needed a beautician before 1130am. I found one. I had my armpits waxed. You know the deal.
Fully prepared, I arrived at the casting studio. I had stuck on a smudge of make-up and I was wearing a top that showed my underarms if I lifted my arms even a little bit.
I had a look around. Where the hell was I? It looked like every single homeless white person of a certain age had been dragged though fields of thorns, plate glass windows, cigarette factories and second hand clothes shops, and those that had not died had been dumped at the casting. Most people didn’t have teeth, let alone body hair. The guy before me, a huge, fat, red faced man, was sweating so badly his t-shirt was two distinct colours; wet khaki and dry khaki. More wet than dry.
Three of us went in together. The sweaty guy of a certain age, a young tattooed and pierced ‘hipster’ and me. We had to stand and wait, then watch someone walk past behind the camera and smile. No underarm action at all.
I got back into my car and thanked my life for aircon. Three of the ‘homeless’ people were sitting on the kerb behind my car. The man with the ZZ-top beard stood up to direct me. My armpits started itching. I looked at one underarm in the rear view mirror. Sensitive spots were appearing. Angry, red blobs. Next time I will get the damn brief. Next time.