at fifteen years old, being cast in new line cinema’s indie flick “a leonard cohen afterworld” was one of the best days of my short life. jared leto, jake gyllenhaal, selma blair and arden myraan were all cast in it. it came out years later after a director-change and total abandonment of the original plot. it was supposedly extremely dirty and i never saw it–but the title was changed to highway.
but filming it was one of the best days of my life. the only thing i’ve been dreaming of since i was three years old has been to be a gifted, working actress. i don’t remember my first audition, but i was one of the alternates to play the little girl in the movie willow. i didn’t get it because ron howard was looking for a girl closer to 5, and i was 3.
i loved absolutely everything about the entire process of film making. i loved the trailers, getting outfitted by the wardrobe department. i still remember my outfit, it was a short, short 60’s mod dress with bright flowers. it was the shortest dress i’d ever worn but it was also really comfortable, i felt free and flirty in it, like i owned myself.
i loved the catering trailer and having lunch with arden who later went on to star in a show with fred savage and now is on madtv. it was her first big break and she was really sweet. i loved interacting with the pa’s and camera crew. everything about the process, i fell in love with.
one of my scene’s i got to be jake and jared’s groupie and sit on their car staring at them adoringly. jared was dating cameron diaz at the time so she was on set, although i didn’t really interact with her.
there were lots of fans trying to get at the set, but they were roped off. it was weird hearing people scream for jared leto. jake wasn’t really a star then, but he was super fun to talk to. later that day i went shopping with selma blair, it was one of her earlier movies and before her breakout tv role on zoe, duncan, jack and jane.
basically, it was before most everyone’s big break. sort of a low budget movie and then when it finally came out our scenes were cut and the movie had gone through a director change or something–it was totally a different plot.
i’m not writing about this to brag, it’s not like i have the opportunity to audition very often. i haven’t done a movie since–only bits on tv…
i will tell you, that day i knew i was born for it. i still go to bed and wake up with those longings. nothing has changed. i still spend hours researching and thinking and pining and drooling. someday i hope i have the opportunity to act on what i was made to do.
for now, i have to live my life in plan b. so i related to a recent tyra banks show episode where she was shedding light on young girls who fall prey to casting couch scams. where basically the director tries to get naive girls to sleep with him, promising they will be cast in the film if they do. this show was inspired by a tragic murder of one young woman.
while i’ve never been naive enough to be scammed, i related to danielle fishel (formerly “topanga” on boy meets world) and the way she talked about her longing to be successful. she said that sometimes she felt she would almost do anything for it, to feed the hunger that burned within. i wonder if all actors can relate to this. i think it’s more than just a passion for actors, there’s something wounded and misunderstood and desperately creative about them.
it was as if she said “yes, baby i see your pain.” in that moment i heard my own “yes, baby”, i acknowledged the pain of my own longing and heard god sigh too. i hope that all the strange, exciting, but also painful steps of 2007 so far are stepping stones to this dream.