Saturday, January 10, 2009

lifesavers in a sea of silence


sara saved my life. something tells me it won't be the last time.

yesterday sara was my flotation device. just as I was drowning in a hopeless mass of sloshing traffic, the phone rang - a fog horn that shook me from the haze. saved.

she talked me off the ledge in my head - the edge of ok.

to those who have never been stuck in los angeles traffic, let me give you a brief and insufficient taste of the exhaust. it is endless. like a ship at sea thinking it might fall off the earth once it reaches its destination/wondering if it ever will. it is relentless - it is not an anecdote or a cliche, it is a pressing reality that replaces a sense of peace with a raging case of impatience in a matter of moments. I pride myself on my usual achievement of zen while in said situation. as others honk and curse and swerve, I listen to music or public radio, I admire the silhouetted palms and ignore the cacophonous mess. sometimes I even sit there in silence satisfied with the simple task of thought. but yesterday, my friends, I was at a disadvantage for I was driving home from a particularly disturbing audition. you should know that another side affect of los angeles living other than the traffic, is that somehow, someway, eventually you end up involved in "the industry". one way or another, from the most intentional to the most unsuspecting, you become a part of it whether by proxy or by jumping headfirst into its blue. I jumped. living here, waitressing while hearing tales of the riches one could make by simply endorsing deodorant or somesuch... I got an agent. I went on auditions. I booked jobs. yes that is my face selling you sour cream. no I do not want to talk about it.

so here I am, a victim of my own devices - putting myself in these "situations". I sit in traffic to get to these auditions only to sit in traffic to play the whole thing over in my head hoping to eventually get home. anyway, as I was saying, this audition was particularly unsettling for reasons I am going to briefly explain. first off, it was an audition for a print job, as in still photos. print auditions generally consist of standing in a line waiting for your turn to hold a number in front of your chest and smile for a camera. when I explained this to sara, she said it sounded very similar to the process of incarceration. (she is an insightful one, that sara). so I went to this audition expecting the usual bovine activity, only to walk into the room to be met by 5 silent strangers sitting on a couch. the audition started out as expected, but then, I was asked by one of the 5 strangers to dance. naturally I thought, where's the music? then I realized there wasn't any. and then I had to learn the harsh lesson that dancing without music is much like swimming without water - it doesn't really work. so I moved in nonrhythmic movements trying to find a song in my head. nothing. the strangers sat silently, judging my performance. I resorted to a khaki pants dance, at one point actually churning butter. after what felt like far too many measures of non-music, I was relieved of my duties.

this is the point that I am somehow not making - friends are what matters. at the end of a difficult day, they are the flashing light leading us out of the storm back to dry and stable land. I have friends because unlike some people, they would never ask me to dance to the sound of silence. I have friends because they call me when I'm stuck in traffic simply because they know how awful that can be. I have friends because if I didn't I wouldn't laugh nearly enough, like when I read the email jamie sent me after my awkward audition:

(i wrote you a song)

girl dance dance dance to the sounds of silence
yeah dance dance dance to tha rhythm of nothin
dance dance dance
oh dance dance dance
shake ur booty to the elec-tri-city thats pulsin in the air
cuz
that's. all. you. got.
dance!

1 comment:

miss clover said...

oh wow. once again, i am feeling you.

i had a particularly disturbing call back today. i got partnered with a girl that seemed to have no concept of direction, speaking, communicating or even acting. i got dragged down hard and i was humiliated.

the whole process is rife with indignity and i sometimes wonder how i got into all of this myself.