Monday, April 06, 2009

My Big Break

As a feminist and advocate for human rights, I am generally against the objectification of women. When the call came in my first reaction was offence.

I’d forgotten I’d registered with Central Casting a few years back during one of those “my secret dream is to be a movie star” phases. With my work, I don’t have time to call in for available jobs I might be an ideal extra for. Nor could I take the time off work to go be on set anyway.

Then Angie from Central Casting called and asked if I could please make a meet and greet with a certain director. My blood boiled at his name, the Rat Bastard. He was one of those big time Hollywood schmucks whose name is synonymous with objectifying women both in his cadre of films and in his personal exploits which often enough grace Defamer and TMZ.

“You’re his first choice and he wants to meet you tomorrow,” Angie informed me. “He specifically needs really tall women.” Here she hesitated as if ashamed to speak the words: “The part is Amazon Prostitute.” Silence.

I mumbled unintelligible comments while I wrestled with my disgust, indignation, …and possible shot at stardom. “I’ll be there,” I told Angie.

The irony of this being my possible screen debut was not lost on me. That night I tore my closet apart. I needed something whorish but that I felt comfortable enough in that I’d stand and walk with confidence. I settled on my pushiest push-up bra, four-inch heels rendering me WMBA tall, and a low-cut wrap dress which, at last wearing, I’d been accused of throwing my boobs at a boy. That boy is now my boyfriend so I felt the dress worked. I tried everything on and saw the epitome of sexy, warrior goddess chick in my reflection. I’d win this part , get in with people who got things made in this town, and start to change the system from the top down. Yes!

The next day, cleavage and eyeliner in full force, I sashayed across the studio lot with an odd confidence. Men stared, women shot disapproving glares. “This isn’t really ME,” I wanted to confide to them. But at the same time, I enjoyed what felt like amazing power. I walked on, about to expose way more of myself than is strictly proper to a man I vilified for doing the same thing. I was about to seek his approval of merely my body and nothing more.

I was ushered into the casting room with the other four candidates where I babbled random facts about myself hoping to stand out from my Amazon sisters. The “my body and nothing more” part stuck in my craw. I needed him to know I am amazing in ways other than my décolletage and my thirty-six inch inseam. I felt awkward and silly. Not at all the proud, sex-queen that had stared back at me from the mirror earlier. I grinned at the Rat Bastard on his perch on a generous couch and was relieved I didn’t have to meet him in this room alone. We were ushered back out and told we’d be contacted later.

I changed into flip-flops, pulled by neckline higher and shuffled back to my car. I had been his first choice after all. I was sure he’d call.

He didn’t. I didn’t get the part of Amazon Prostitute and I was sad. I was amazed by the absurdity of it all. That he’d call me of all people for such a part. That I’d genuinely want to play it. And that me of all people wouldn’t get it. I’ll never really know why he didn’t choose me but I’m pretty sure I may have talked myself out of the job. I guess feminism and objectification don’t mix. Or maybe eye-candy and brains. At least not if you’re a Rat Bastard.

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