Tuesday, May 1, 2012

On heckling and toys

Late post today! I had the day off from work so I didn't have a luxurious afternoon to sit in front of the computer and compile my thoughts. But fear not! Even at this late hour of the day (ok, it's not even 10pm but for me that's pretty darn late) I will commit to bringing you, my attentive readers (or rather...the 3 of you who have commented...) a thoughtful and thought provoking read! You can send me thanks in the form of chocolate and/or flowers. Or cake.

So there is one category in the title of my blog that I haven't yet touched on: Shit that makes me mad. So let's hit on that for a moment. I live in Harlem, a friendly and enthusiastic, very vocal neighborhood. And by vocal, I mean that every time a female walks down the street she is greeted by the voiced admiration of her gentlemen neighbors. I have personally experienced this in the following forms:

Kissing noises
prayer (yes. Prayer. To God. In Heaven. Like, "God bless you baby, you beautiful")
Grunting noises
Creative pick-up lines (some of my favorites being, "Great things come in small packages, baby" and "Yo baby you dropped somethin... yeah, you dropped your sexiness back there")

Now, when I was graced my crutches, I thought how nice it would be to be able to swing through the streets of Harlem without encountering any of these suitors, as surely none of them would attempt this with an invalid.


Today I get to add a new pick-up line to my list: " God bless you baby, I hope he heals that leg up real quick so you can run back to me."
...Seriously? Shit must be bad on the home front, yo. When you're trying your moves on the little girl tripping her way home on crutches, gaze set in concentration, sweat gathering on her brow, chick's ain't diggin you.

But before I could be heckled by a strange and desperate (homeless, possibly crack addicted?) man, I had to endure one of the strangest auditions I've ever attended. I would say I probably won't usually post about what goes on at an audition because it seems wrong or somehow--like what happens in that room is sacred and I am sworn to secrecy by some deathly binding actor pact, but this particular instance is just a little too interesting not to share. So here's what happened:

Yesterday I submitted for a job that was described as "Female puppeteer with small, child-like hands". I am by no means an excellent puppeteer, but I figured the number of good puppeteers would be diminished by the small hand qualification and it might increase my chances. I got a call shortly thereafter from a woman asking me to come in the following day (today) for an appointment. She explained that we wouldn't actually be puppeteering (whew!) but rather playing with small toys. "..ok...great!" I answered, and spent the rest of the afternoon at work trying to imagine what exactly I had just agreed to audition for. Obviously my first assumption was that this was some kind of sexual fantasy about small-handed girls playing with children's toys. Don't worry mom, it wasn't. But it was almost as interesting.

When I arrived I signed my name on the list and sat to wait my turn. When each small-handed girl went in the room, Katy Perry's "California Girls" would play through once or twice and then she would come out. Hmmmmm... a new twist. Is there some kind of erotic dance involving the very small toys done to the tune of Katy Perry?? When my name was called I walked in the room and found a table with 5 small toys on it. These were the kind of toys one might find inside a happy meal from McDonald's. One was a large cat that, when you pushed on it's tongue, would sing to you. One was a cat on a skateboard that rolled across the table and when you pushed down it's head it's eyes would blink. One was a wind-up toy that would scoot around when wound, and there were two other very small animals that didn't really do anything interesting.

The woman showed me what each of them did and then instructed me to "play with them". She said she was going to put some music on (I'm still not entirely sure what that music was for...) and I could begin when I was ready. There was a camera filming only my hands moving the toys on the table and I could see the image on a monitor pointed back at me. As I tried to ignore my initial thoughts of "what the hell is this? What am I supposed to be doing??" I attempted to come up with some fun things for my little animal friends to do. I thought--Hey! The singing cat could sing and the skating cat could skate around him and maybe the useless ones could like head nod to the beat. Well none of that worked because I suddenly had the hands of an 80-year-old parkinsons victim and was unable to manipulate any of these allegedly innocent toys. I could get the cat to sing, my fingers were blocking his face, the skater could only skate in a straight line so he couldn't circle the singing cat and I wasn't pressing his head down hard enough to make him blink. The useless animals were, shockingly, useless and were, frankly, lacking in neck flexibility which made head nodding a challenge for them. Basically, my toy block party was a bust, and this became clear to me when the woman stopped the music and said kindly, "Why don't you just use one toy at a time." Smile. Welp. There goes that job. I tried to redeem myself the second time, but at this point I just felt like a complete screw-up. Who can't play with toys well??? I kept trying to think of something creative or cool to do with these stupid, lazy, disabled cats and ended up doing nothing except making them walk around and sort of "dance" stupidly. Those cats were mocking me. I was grateful when the woman excused me from the room.

I'm not really sure what the lesson is there, I mean there must be one. Maybe I'm just too close or still too damaged by the experience to see it? If anyone else can read the scenario more clearly, I'd love your take on it. I'll just have to be satisfied with nightmares of uncooperative little toy cats on skateboards. And with that, a good night to all!


  1. Wow, those are two diametrically opposed scenarios... from pervs on the street to toys at the audition. Funny you mentioned the sexual fantasy thing - that's exactly what I was thinking this afternoon when you told me about it.
    Better day tomorrow, right??
    At least David Freese hit you a home run tonight. He felt your pain!