My Date ... With DESTINY!
Please excuse the cheesy title, but once it got in my head I couldn't get it out.
When I was thirteen, my friends and I were talking about what we wanted to be when we grew up. I admitted that I wanted to be an actress. And then they proceeded to tease me about it, saying that the only work I'd ever be able to get would be facial hair bleach and maxipad commercials. They cracked themselves up about it for the rest of the afternoon.
Since then, I've been very careful about what I tell people when they ask me what I'm doing in Los Angeles. I say "I'm a writer." Which I am. I get paid to write, which was the other thing I wanted to do when I grew up. But there was still that other thing, and no matter how hard I tried to ignore it, it wouldn't go away.
Being an actress is a terrifying prospect. You're basically choosing to go into a career field that ninety-nine percent of people have no success in. I didn't want to make that kind of committment to failure, but eventually I got to the point where I was more miserable not going for the acting thing than I would have been if I had gone for it and failed. So I went for it. At the beginning of this month, I sent out a bunch of headshots to various agencies. This is what is called a "mailing" in the biz. I apologize for my use of the word "biz."
I sent out the headshots at the beginning of this month fully expecting nothing to come of it. If I was lucky, one or two of the many agents I sent my stuff to would call me in for a meeting. If I was really really really lucky, one of them would take me. Since I am never, ever lucky except when I play three card poker in Vegas, I figured I'd spend a lot of money on stamps and good resume paper and get nothing in return except knowing that I went for it and actually did something instead of sitting around being afraid to do anything. Which was worth the money to me, so, no problem there.
Imagine my surprise when I got a call from an agent a week after I sent out the headshots! Her name was Jennifer Chandler with Q Management, and she wanted to meet me!
So we met on Valentine's Day, which, historically, has never been very good to me. It was a nice meeting: we chatted for a while, I liked her and the agency but didn't want to like them too much because I didn't think anything would come of this and I didn't want to be too disappointed, and then she told me to call her in a few days for her decision.
I spent ten minutes before the call rehearsing what I'd say when she rejected me. I told everyone that I was thrilled to get a meeting but didn't think she'd actually take me. I'm really good at setting myself up for failure. I'm so good that a lot of times, I don't even try something because I'm so sure it won't work out. But this time, I was ready for the rejection, and for the long road of rejections that would follow it. Finally, I was READY!
And then something very unexpected happened: she said she wanted to be my agent.
And it turned out that I had done such a good job preparing for her to say no that I had no idea what to do when she said yes. I think it went something like this:
Agent: I'd like to work with you.
Me: *gasp!* Are ... are you sure?
She was sure! We agreed to meet two days later to go over all the logistics and stuff and I spent those two days waiting for the inevitable phone call where she told me that she made a mistake. But that didn't happen, so I went in to see her and now ...
I HAVE AN AGENT!
I managed to score an agent in one month, and it's the shortest month of the year! ACCOMPLISHMENT! I spent an hour or so basking in this, forty-five minutes of which was spent trying to figure out how to bask. I settled on just smiling a lot.
And you know what? I'd be thrilled to be in a commercial for facial hair bleach or maxipads. Perferably, a commercial about tampons where I'm in a store changing room next to my friend and she's all upset because she ran out of pads and I inform her ridiculously ignorant ass that there's this thing called a tampon she can use. Then I give her one of mine and we go ride bikes or swim or some other activity you can't do with a pad.