Life's been a little great, a little messy and a little complicated lately. But I wouldn't have it any other way. Friday was definitely the most exciting day of the week. I had an interview to be a photo double for someone on a Disney Channel show. Talk about exciting!
I saw the notice on lacasting.com and I fit the requirements they were looking for (between 5' to 5'4", 34 inch waist, size 6-7 shoes), and hallelujah did I hit the jackpot. Extras! Management called me in for the interview within 20 minutes and I was set for Friday.
When I got to set, I realized that I had never been to this place before - and that's saying quite a bit. But I guess it makes sense since I never play a kid, and these shows were all for 18TLY background members, or so it seemed.
Once I parked and walked inside the studio, I saw a bunch of people in the audience stands that were regular background artists. They were taping a segment of the same show I applied for. Since I was early, I didn't know where to go. Luckily a stand-in named Danny was kind enough to help. He led me to the stands and I was signing in within the next 15 minutes.
We were told to wear athletic gear to show off our basketball skills for the scene, and I saw that I was the only girl dressed for the part. As the time drew nearer, a bunch of other girls started walking in, sometimes one or two at a time. My stomach started getting butterflies, but I couldn't stop smiling. I was so excited to play basketball on set.
They even had a fake half court gym for the show, and I imagined playing on it while everyone I knew back home would be watching from the comfort of their living room. It made me excited, but seeing those other girls, each beautiful and fit, vying for the same spot made me queasy. I love competition, but I hate the nature of the industry. It isn't always about skills, and sometimes it only relies on looks. I was nervous, but we all sat together and introduced ourselves and became friends.
They were nice girls, and I was happy to have met them. It made me realize that we are all in the same boat, and that we each have something to offer the industry.
After taping a few segments in the show's living room, they moved to the gym shots. We were all aching to show our stuff, I could tell. When they called us down I jumped off my seat as fast as I could, grabbed my bottled water and headed down to meet the director - a very tall man with blonde hair who had a tendency to lean over you.
He had two (very flat) balls which he threw to the first two girls in line. They dribbled as best they could. Once I saw them at it, I became very confident with my abilities. The next two girls were given a shot, then the next. I noticed that the girls didn't have their opposite hand protecting the ball as though a defender were on them, and they never looked up from their dribble. Once the director passed the ball to me, I got into a low stance and began to dribble while protecting the ball. I stared directly into his eyes as I dribbled and I could see him light up. He was impressed. He pointed to me and said, "Yes. Like that."
The next two girls were given a chance, each taking a note from my book, but they couldn't do it with the conviction that I had. I was so relieved as the balls went down the line. They could handle the ball, but they couldn't do it with the confidence that I had. I was surprised at my own ability considering the fact that it's been 6 or 7 years since I've even played the sport.
The director threw the ball to the front of the line and had us each take a fake jump shot.
Once it was my turn, I was too overzealous-I almost took out a stage light. But the form was perfect. I quickly bounded after the ball to avoid any calamity. The director laughed to another man, "Look at her, getting her own rebounds! She's a one man team."
I smiled as I tossed the ball back to him. The girls had their turn, then they made us dribble around him. I was so fast that he was laughing asking, "Where'd she go?"
He never made any sort of comments to the other girls, so I was happy that he was voicing himself around me. He sent everyone back except me to the stands. I was so nervous and excited. I thought the interview was over.
That is until he asked for the star of the show, Dove to come up to me. They wanted to measure us to see if we were the same height. I noticed as she was walking up to me that she was shorter and I began to sweat. Remember, they dont always choose someone based on talent. It's all about the whole package, the looks, everything.
Well we were shoulder to shoulder then back to back, and I overheard the director say, "You can't get much better than that." I was elated. He sent me back to the stands and told me to wait a while.
When I got back to the audience stands, the rest of the girls were still there. They asked me what happened and I told them that they measured the main character with me. We all started talking about our experience in basketball, then shared a few laughs and continued to watch as the main talent practiced for their next scene.
Once the scene was finished, they sent everyone to lunch. The basketball girls were instructed to stay. We had to practice using the fake basketball gym. It was great. They had us do layups and jump shots, free throws, then defensive slides. It was relatively easy, and I also saved a rogue ball from hitting camera equipment, which made the director look at me pretty favorably.
Once we were finished, they had everyone get their voucher to sign out. Before I could grab mine, the director clasped his hand rather roughly on neck, which made me jump and cringe with surprise. Those who saw him do it laughed at my expression, but they were all real friendly about it. I just wasn't expecting him to do that.
He shook my hand and told me congratulations, that I got the job. It was weird hearing it in front of the other girls, but most of them were very excited for me and I even got a few hugs and good lucks. So that was really nice of them. I wished them luck with everything too. The director asked me to stay for lunch and to get fitted by wardrobe before I leave for the day.
It was great! At lunch I sat next to two of the writers for the show and a few other people introduced themselves to me as well. They congratulated me and wished me luck for the show. I've never felt so elated in my life.
I know it is just photo doubling for the real talent, but I'm happy that I proved that I have the skills to do this- that I was chosen. The fact that I was picked out of God knows how many girls makes me feel incredible. It made me feel like I do have a reason to be here, and that my talent has only showcased the tip of the iceberg.
I called my mom after lunch to tell her the good news. It's pretty important for me to do so since I hardly ever call home unless I have good news, and lately, there wasn't too much that I had been proud of. This was a much needed confidence booster. And there's nothing like making your parents proud. I could tell that Mom was just as happy as me, especially since she loves basketball. It was good to hear her voice. She always knows how to cheer me up, and this time it was my voice that was cheering her up! I couldn't stop smiling the whole day.
I don't work for the show until Thursday, but man, I can't wait!