Introducing…Diaries of An Actress: Auditioning for Oprah’s Network and how I had my Halle Berry Moment
I’m telling you because I’ve decided to revamp my blog and shift the focus from cosmetic and fashion advice to documenting my experience in the entertainment industry, with beauty and style sprinkled along the way. Only in my last “My Model Diaries” entry did I beginning talking about my acting journey. Here’s the continuation.
Months ago, I submitted for a principal role on OWN’s “Unfaithful: Stories of Betrayal.” Recently, a show producer contacted me wanting to meet with me about the part. I had totally forgotten about the role, but I certainly was glad to be reminded!
A couple days later, I showed up at the casting in Midtown West in one my favorite outfits – a hunter green V-neck faux wrap dress from Love21 and a cream-colored fedora from Aldo. First, I ended up in the wrong casting room. I stepped off the elevator and a guy who looked like he knew what we was talking about, pointed me and another actress into a small audition room.
There was about fifteen minutes of looking around at the room’s cool decor and finally pulling out my current favorite read – a Christmas gift from my mom. Then, a woman who looked like she knew what she was talking about stepped out of a room and looked at me stunned, greeted me and handed me a contract.
I was a little confused but excited to use my law license as I sat down and started reading. It was for a voice acting gig. I guess she looked stunned because I didn’t look like a voice actor.
Good thing I had arrived early and got to the right place in time! When it was my turn to meet with the producer, she was very complimentary of me. She only expressed concern over the length of my hair. Apparently, the look of the character had changed since she contacted me – these things happen, and they wanted her to have long hair.
While I disdain society’s long hair bias, I figured this wasn’t the time to fight that battle! She asked if I had a picture of myself in a wig. My loyal followers know that I do, this picture from my model picture diary page:
I told her I could email the picture. We wrapped things up, she asked me if I had any tattoos or piercings (I don’t), and we parted. As I walked away, I remembered that I’d read that casting directors and such don’t have very good imaginations. I felt that they couldn’t see how I looked in a wig from looking at the picture alone.
I also remembered how my idol, Halle Berry, landed her first major role. She was being considered for the role of a crack addict in Spike Lee‘s “Jungle Fever.” But Spike ended up telling her that he thought she was too pretty. She begged for a chance to show that she could do the role. She showed up looking raggedy, hair unkempt, clothes dirty and torn.
She showed them that she could do a different look and landed the part.
I decided there was no reason why I couldn’t do the same thing. I searched for the nearest wig place on my iPhone. The first costume shop I went to didn’t have any wigs, but the owner pointed me toward good ole’ Ricky’s. I picked the one that looked the most like the hair the producer vaguely described and, with the help of a couple Ricky’s employees and mirror, wore it out of the store so I could walk back into the audition room fully confident.
I got a couple more catcalls wearing the wig than I got walking to get it, so that helped the confidence level.
Once back inside, I didn’t know the decorum for reappearing at a casting, so I signed in again and waited until my turn. Again. I got a couple compliments from other actresses waiting their turn as well, though one was directed solely toward my teal and purple color block heels.
When I walked into the producer’s room again, she said “nice to meet you” before she realized who I was. “Wow, you look so different. The wig looks so natural! …I didn’t realize you were coming back!” I responded “Me either!”
I was happy that she was happy. She took a picture, and I walked out feeling good. And I’m happy that I’m a lawyer with enough flexibility to go the extra mile in the area of my passion without worrying about getting back to a job.
I still hope to hear that I’ve secured the role, but, even if I don’t, I feel good having had that experience and knowing that more opportunities are on the way.
See you next time!