Whenever I was asked as a child what I wanted to be when I grew up, I always said a famous actress. I was positively obsessed with the idea that I could play dress up for a living and act out hypothetical situations. However, after a brief 6 months in LA at the ripe old age of 17 in 2005, all I had to show for my dreams was 10 extra kilos thanks to the 3 for 1 cookie deal at Subway.
I don’t know if I was eating my feelings because Jen and Brad had separated, or if I was just genuinely hungry, but I have a sneaky suspicion it’s because I was anxious and/ or depressed about being so far away from my friends and family.
They say everything happens for a reason. Perhaps LA wasn’t my fortune. After throwing in the towel, I moved to Boston, got my bachelors in marketing, made incredible friends, got a job out west and met the love of my life, Paul, who eventually swept me off my feet to Mudgee.
Little did I know – I’d dabble in acting one more time. In 2012, I got the urge to find an agent. By minute two of our first meeting, Ms Agent had shot down my hopes of winning a Logie by explaining that my American accent would be a big problem. She did have a point. The Australian accent is incredibly hard to duplicate. (I mean, if Meryl Streep can’t do it, no one can.) Whenever I try, I sound like Austin Powers post stroke.
A few weeks later I got a call to audition for a non-speaking KFC commercial and was convinced this was going to be my big break. I carefully picked out white shorts and a red shirt in an effort to be “on brand” and hopped in my car – Operation Desert Storm – aka my 1989 Toyota Carolla with no AC. This was February, mind you. The 3.5 hour drive to Sydney was spent getting a sunburn on my right arm, listening to Hilary Duff and imagining myself as a triple threat Disney star, and trying not to sweat off my makeup.
When I finally arrived, I paced back and forth out front of the casting office before I finally got the courage to walk in. The room full of people looked like a support group for super models. I took a seat next to the least intimidating girl who also thought it would be a good idea to wear red. A red halter-top exposing her toned body and cavernous cleavage, that is. Never in my life have I felt more like a Voda Phone employee than at this moment.
After some light eaves dropping, I felt more confident because many of the models were worried about having to actually eat the chicken and were already talking about turning down the job. With a silent Dr. Evil Muahaha laugh, I proudly stood when my name was called. Just as I was feeling like I was going to dominate the shit out of this audition, the nice less-intimidating model politely pointed out that I had a massive foundation smear on the butt of my white shorts. Damn it.
Little did I know – the foundation stain was the least of my worries. The casting director and her minions gave me lines to say. LINES THAT AUSTRALIAN PEOPLE WOULD SAY.
I don’t know what came over me, but when I heard action, I gave it everything I had and yelled (in an accent I can’t even call Australian,)
“Give me an A. Give me an S. Give me a T. Give me an R. Give me an A. Give me an L. Give an I. Give me an A! What’s that spell? AUSTRALIA!”
Turns out that actually spells “Astralia.”
I must have sounded like a South African Yiddish Grandmother with a speech disorder. As if it couldn’t have been anymore awkward, I was then filmed (up close) eating food. Because I’m neurotic, I had bitten off all of my nails the night before while watching Snog, Marry or Avoid.
Long story short, I didn’t get the job. BUT I am really glad I tried. I would match rather live with this story filed neatly away in my Mortifying Moments File than the, “What If?” one. #faceyourfears #dontbiteyournails
Summer Land is a blogger and author of Summerlandish. Get her book at Whatever Mudgee, Gorjus or from summerlandauthor.com