Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Casting call

Friend of a friend is a casting director for some reality game show (I think if I tell you anything more specific I will never work in this town again), and he needed two "Production Assistants" for the New York casting call. I didn't have anything to blog about, so natch friend and I volunteered.

The job turned out to basically be crowd control - taking names, getting people ready for their auditions (friend was disappointed we weren't asked to fetch complicated lattes and get yelled at that they weren't right). And let me tell you, people, it takes all kinds. There is a-whole-nother world out there of humans, a whole spectrum of high-functioning psychopathy, permanently occupying the margins of fame and celebrity, even though they seem to remain hopeful that they will get a break, that they are not in fact bit characters adding colour to the scenery, but honestly talented and soon to be recognized as such. They have resumes, they have "I met so-and-so and he gave me his guitar pick" stories, they have - as far as they are concerned - careers, insofar as one can eventually end up on Letterman doing a stupid human trick, or as an extra in a Sonic Youth video, or in the promo reel for America's Got Talent.

The thing is, by day two, I had spent a lot of time with these people, knew a tremendous amount about them, where they were from, what they had done, where they performed around the city, who they wanted to be, and I had a huge swell of affection for them, even feeling fiercely protective, so that when I bid them goodbye and good luck and took their card and promised to come to their next performance, I hoped that they didn't end up on the reality show, ridiculed with editing and sound effects for the sake of the schadenfreude and irony that makes that tv worth watching.

1 comment:

Kate and/or Mike said...

I know what schadenfreude is! Yay!

But only because of Two and a Half Men. Sigh.