A breakdown, for those who are not familiar with the double negative term, (triple negative if you consider how rarely one actually gets the job) is a listing that is sent out to talent agencies to submit actors for commercials, film and television. In my case, it is only commercials, in which I book a mere smattering of times a year, just enough to insure that the government, as well as my parents, view me as barely employed and hardly employable.
In the good ole days before that new fangled Interwebicom came along, my agents would have to call me on the telephone, that thingy plugged into a weird hole in my wall that mysteriously went nowhere and give me the information on my appointment. I would then write down what they told me in their voices on something called paper using a phallic instrument known as a pencil or a pen. At no time did their information include a physical description of the character, only a time, location and wardrobe choice. Nowadays, I am fortunate enough to be emailed all the information that my agents are given, the entire can of stinky beans, something I would rather not have.
Below is what I received late this afternoon after returning from a call back in which I basically sucked the big one and was led out of the room in emotional handcuffs. Layman’s terms, I did not get the job.
Client: Dorothea Coelho
Date: Thursday, April 30, 2009
Time: 2:30 PM
Status: E-Mail Client
REAL TO CHARACTER LOOKING, INTERESTING FACE. 5TH
GENERATION TOMATO FARMER FROM THE HEARTLAND, SHE'S A COMBINATION MARTINA
NAVRATILOVA AND SARAH PALIN. Rate: SCALE
Wardrobe: MID WEST FARMER ATTIRE.
So tomorrow, I will feed Otto his lunch, put him down for his nap, walk into my bedroom, open the big drawer under the built in armoire that holds my ratty old sweatpants and dreadfully unflattering sleepwear, reach all the way back on the right hand side and pull out a large pair of old, Big Mac overalls that used to belong to my grandma Phyllis who often wore them to garden, paint, bake bread and shoot deer. These puppies are vintage working class and were lovingly purchased at a Sears and Roebuck long before Nixon was impeached. They are fucking old school.
They were my wardrobe anchor in 1990 back when I was performing hazardous college theatre and blindly pairing them with Doc Marten’s, a black blazer and a velvet hat I haggled for at a local Cambridge arts and crafts fair, outbidding a woman with a full beard and a soup can collection jingling in a satchel made out of colorful kitchen twine. They made me feel amazingly hip and cool, cool not only because they were as large as an authentic teepee, helping aid in the circulation of air in my private V.I.P. room, but because they were what all the funky, hipsters were wearing and I desperately wanted to be accepted by a large group of people who looked like an original member of Dexy’s Midnight Runners.
I will wear these kitschy coverall’s, these lesbian leggings, these denim dinosaurs out into the sunny afternoon tomorrow knowing that some people will see me as the secret lovechild of the manliest female tennis player of all time and the Republican party’s idea of a poorly written pussy joke. But I will not be happy about it, unless of course, I book the job. Then you can all call me Farmer Dotty and kiss my scary ass!