Thursday, April 10, 2014

How to Properly React On the Occasion of Your Coworker's Daughter Taking Her Clothes Off for a Crappy TV Show

The afternoon before a new show was set to premiere on Comedy Central, a high school acquaintance of mine posted a message on Facebook along the lines of, "Hey, check out this show tonight. My coworker's daughter is in it. We're all really excited for her," etc.

I'm always curious about people from "back home" who took a chance in pursuit of a dream, even if our only connection is casual acquaintance from high school's coworker's daughter... otherwise known as "no connection."

So I watched the show, and it was terrible. An absolute creative failure from concept to execution. The type of thing network executives lose their jobs over.

But what about my high school acquaintance's coworker's daughter? She was only in one scene and, like every other girl in this particular show, her job was to look good in a bra and panties. At this, she succeeded.

The next day, my high school acquaintance followed up with an apology. "Sorry if anybody watched the show on my recommendation. That was awful. My coworker must be so embarrassed. I feel bad for him," etc.



Wrong wrong wrong wrong wrong.

Now, I'm not an actor. I have no desire to be an actor. Two facts I thank God for every single day of my life.

Attempting to be an actor is one of the most horrific endeavors a person can subject herself to. You don't have to be a Hollywood insider to know this; we've all heard the stories. You work your ass off just to get an audition. 5000 other people are auditioning for the same part. Your life is 99.9% rejection. You don't know why you're being rejected, so you don't really know how to do "better" next time. Worse still, the people rejecting you may not even know why they're making that decision; it's just, you know, 5000 other options, who cares? Through it all you have to smile and act happy, as if your entire existence isn't one big shattering defeat. Your likelihood of becoming Sandra Bullock: 0.000000000001%

The day you get a yes on anything -- anything -- it's the new Best Day Of Your Life! A herculean triumph! You've won! "What's the part (as if it matters)? Taking my clothes off? You only want me there because I'll look good naked? What day and what time?"

The thing that my high school acquaintance somehow seemed to have forgotten is that aspiring actors don't exactly get to pick their roles. "Hey, instead of playing a layered, nuanced lead in a compelling drama today, how about if I just take my clothes off for a crappy cable comedy? Cool?"

Sorry, you're only being offered the second thing. The only choice you get to make is I'll do it or I won't. And if you don't, you're less likely get offered the next one.

For most actors, you don't get to be "Mad Men's Jon Hamm" without first being "The Big Date's bachelor number two."

So, here's the proper response when someone you know has a loved one who was cast in a movie or TV show, no matter the role, no matter the quality of the project: enthusiastic congratulations and support.

Congratulations and support. That's it.