Monday, October 04, 2004

Chicken Pilgrim

I was reading the Acting Horror Stories posted by numerous actors all over the states, and found this particular entry quite lovely. It put a smile on my face. So, I'd thought I share :)

This is "Chicken Pilgrim" posted by Jo Moskow from Boston:

I was being hip pocketed by a small commercial agency. It was my first commercial audition for a national chain of chicken restaurants. My agent was pressed for time and was fiercely adamant the call was for a “real pilgrim,” so much so that when I tried to ask for a few specifics he snapped, “Look it up on the Internet!” which I didn't need to do cause I grew up in New England where grade school field trip is synonymous with ye olde Plimouth Plantation.

I decked myself out in a floor length scratchy gray skirt and an even scratchier high collared wool gray jacket that covered me completely, (Wouldn't want to be mistaken for a witch!) modest Canadian post women shoes I'd found at a thrift store, and black tights. I pulled my hair back in a plain and uglifying parted in the middle pony tail and covered my face with the palest powder and cover up I could find. I wanted that mid-February corpse look. (All those long gray winters shut up in a muddy cottage stirring bone soup) I completed the look with a crisp white dish towel on my head, folded like a handkerchief.

I was hot. This was southern California and it had to be at least 70 degrees and climbing by mid morning. I scrambled downstairs where my roommate was cooking up a late morning breakfast.
“ Whoa! Where are YOU going? Are you ok?” he asked. “You look awfully pale.”
He came around to feel my head.
“ No silly, I'm a pilgrim! Remember the Mayflower?!” God those California public schools just don't measure up I thought to myself.

I told him about the audition. He was thrilled. He was an experienced actor, had even had a lil speaking part in a Woody Allen film. He was so proud and happy for me that I got him to microwave me a baked potato to bring along in the car for sense memory purposes. The pilgrims used to carry baked potatoes to school for oldentimes hand warmers that doubled as lunch.

After having parked the car I got in character and figured out how to feed the alien-like parking meter without getting my hand bit off.

I walked primly toward the very fine young man behind the reception desk in my floor length burlap.
“ I'm here for the audition?” I asked/said.
“ What audition is that?” He asked
“ The commercial? For the chicken restaurant?”
" Uh, yeah, this is the right place. Sign in please."

He handed me a clip board. I signed in and stood back, mutely surveying the competition with a side ways glance. Everywhere I looked the room reeled with West Hollywood's finest and tannest girls ever. From where I stood they all seemed to be wearing the exact same thing-skin tight jeans, tiny little tank tops and 3” heels. These pilgrims chattered away wildly on their cell phones, flipped their hair, compared belly piercings and tattoos, always glancing around to see who might be watching. I, in turn, shrouded in my own pool of sweaty puritanical darkness, felt my pancake makeup melting off as a dizzy world of shame overcame me in an attempt to help me disappear.

“Could you sit DOWN, PUHLEEZ” yelled the hot guy behind the reception desk like he hadn't said it for the first time. Everyone was looking at ME. I leaned over to him and tried to move my dumbstruck mouth enough to whisper, “uh, I thought this was a call for a pilgrim…..”
“ Pilgrim?” he said out loud. Dead silence. “I don't know what you are talking about.” He said.

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