While pondering at Boca last night, I was reminded of one of my first experiences in the theater department. I remember going to my Acting II professors office after class one day, and I asked, "How am I doing? Can we talk about my progress in acting in this class?" Her response "Do you really want to know? Shut the door." This scared the shit out of me. I came into the university as a music major, and after two years I just couldn't do it anymore. I had always had an interest in acting, and was never given the opportunity in high school, because the two departments hated each other. My mind was racing...maybe I should run back to music--I know i'm good at that at least.
The first thing she told me was "If I didn't think you were talented, I would tell you to go into Stage Managing or something." I was relieved--but I now realize how offensive that comment was. At the time, I didn't really know what a stage manager was--or how much responsibility they had, so fuck you J...let's call her Juby. She kept talking--and I kid you not--her only comment ABOUT MY ACTING was "You need to lose 50 pounds."
Thank you. That really evaluates the work I've done in your class. So I guess whenever I performed, her only thoughts were "Oh god--look at those 50 extra pounds," or maybe when she took notes on my scene work, she instead sketched out my new, skinny, media influenced body on her notepad.
Oh and here is the best part.
"That should be doable this summer."
WAIT.WHAT? Losing 50lbs in a summer? Are you nuts? Do you want me to look like a sick person? Maybe she wanted to write me in as "Pale Ghost Whore #2," she is known for adding roles. Being new, and scared, I didn't let my inner monologue pop out right then and there, instead I said "Yeah. Sure. I can do that."
Then she proceeded to give me tips. Apparently she wakes up every morning and does an hour of cardio with no food beforehand--then she eats exactly 4 almonds, and 2 pieces of lettuce all day.
"You might feel light-headed but you will be okay. Just start a notebook of images of famous beautiful actors that you will never look like, and cry. Crying actually makes your workout more intense--I also find that saying the actors name out loud is quite helpful. I personally use Natalie Portman. I say her name over and over and over, until an emotional response surfaces. This will help you later for method acting, and developing your "As-If's." It also helps if you workout in front of a mirror because you are constantly reminded of your flaws. You can look at yourself and say "Come on Juby! LOOK AT THAT FLAB. THAT FLAB COULD FEED A SMALL FAMILY. BAD JUBY. BAD. TOMORROW YOU ONLY GET 3 ALMONDS..MAYBE ONLY TWO YOU PIECE OF SHIT. Just get used to the feeling of your stomach eating the rest of your body away--eating disorders aren't that bad!"
Okay I'm kidding about the very last part. But she did think it was doable in one summer. And hey guess what Juby--I've lost 45 pounds. Healthily. In a year and a half. So Suck it.
So that was a nice introduction into the department. I know that image is important--I get that--I'm not an idiot--but I am working my ass off and I know that if I am positive and continue this work ethic, I will have success. It really is about confidence. Have you ever seen someone rock a really ugly outfit?
Don't you just want to party with this Barbie?
But really, be confident, be happy, be positive, and work hard..really hard. It will pay off.