Sunday, April 17, 2011

the human slush pile.

Code title for the Hunger Games...
to keep the fans at bay?
I'm pretty sure the word's out by now.
I learned a few things at the Cleveland Mall in Shelby, North Carolina, yesterday morning. As a writer, and a blogger, I've been trying to find ways to relate everything back to what I consider "pertinent." And you know what? Trying out to be an extra in the Hunger Games really did feel like being added to slush. All I had was myself, my spunk, my unusual eyes, my interesting face (I hope?), and that funny patch on my eyebrow.

I'm not entirely sure what I expected, but the whole process was infinitely simpler than I'd imagined. I got there unnecessarily early, my casting sheet, resume and photo (a cropped version of the second one) in hand. I'm talking 8:15 early. We were expecting a LOT of people to be there by then. Instead, we were almost first in line. I may have been the 20th or 25th.

I sat on the mall carpet for an hour and 45 minutes, chatting with a friend from college. Right before 10 AM, one of the casting folks stood on a chair at the long table and waved his arms to get everyone's attention. He said something like, "So, who wants to be in a movie?!" Everyone cheered. The line moved so quickly after that, I was at the front within seconds.

Of course, as with everything I do, I messed it up. I had stapled my papers together incorrectly. It was the end of the world, I know. But that was easily fixed, and then I answered all the questions in the most confident way I could. That's all I really had to do, answer questions. "Yes, I live in Tennessee, but it's only three hours from here (totally doable).Yes, I will be available if I say I'm going to be available." Things of that nature. I got one of those mysterious "A"s scrawled in red ink on my sheet. Then I put my info in the appropriate tray and, again, surprisingly quickly, regrouped with the folks I'd come with. The first thing I heard someone say was, "Well, that was easy."

As we walked into the parking lot, a fellow hopeful asked, "What time is it, anyway?"

The time, my friends, was 10:01.

I had my face in the bin within the first MINUTE of the first casting call. I was the, let's say, 27th person-- out the possible, what? 9,000 that might go out for it, total? It was so quick and easy and yet entirely nerve wracking. I was so mad at myself for forgetting to staple my resume to the back of the other sheet facing out (duh!). It saddened me that the guy I talked to mentioned how I might live too far away (Not true, I say! Not true!), but that they'd still call if they needed me, maybe...

I felt a little like I hadn't really done it at all.

I was almost tempted to go back in and get it right.

Confession: I'm nervous. All I have going for me is that I was there. Maybe they'll notice that I have a ring of brown and a ring of green in my eyes, maybe they'll like the awkward shape of that one section of that one eyebrow, maybe they'll find something intriguing about my bone structure. These are really the only merits I can bring to the table. It's all I have, in this sort of situation. I have no other chances to show how easy to work with I am, how professional I am, how dedicated, or how freaking glamorous I might look in Capitol wardrobe.

And since I was almost first out of thousands, I am at the bottom bottom bottom of that pile. Will they ever find me?

I like to think that if they need me, they will. But it makes me wonder, does it even matter how good or not good I am? Does it matter that I have I degree in theatre? [Duh, no.] Am I too irrevocably tucked into the back corner? Does it ever matter?

Ah well. Nothing I can do now but wait. And, hopefully, get on with my life. I still have a novel to finish, you know.


  1. Yeah, that's how I feel about querying. You have ONE shot at getting noticed, and after I send out my letters, I'm sure I'll think of a million things I want to change. But, as long as we do our best, right?

    I still really, really, really neeeeeed to know what that A is all about. It's kind of occupying too much space in my thoughts. Oh, and I've always thought your bone structure was very lovely, indeed.

  2. Aw, thanks Jeigh. Here are the theories I've heard for the A: Asheville, Available anytime, or Average body type. I guess all of those things are true about me...

  3. i can think of many things to say like how cool it is you might be in the movie version of one of the best books ever, and how much i miss youand can't wait for e-camp...but i'd rather make fun of you for wetting your pants....

  4. How exciting! Can't wait to find out what happens!

  5. You know, I found this via a comment Kip made on it on your Facebook page, and although I feel vaguely stalkerish, I've read through several posts on this blog and I'm enchanted with your writing. You write a very fascinating blog, Miss Julie. (:

    This is Jessie from saturday, by the by, in case you were wondering who this stranger was on your blogspot.

  6. Jessie, hello! I'm thrilled that you're enchanted. :) I hope you'll keep stopping by.


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