Wednesday, August 27, 2008
One of my FAVORITE career bloggers, the casting director Bonnie Gillespie, writes a column called "The Actor's Voice." She posts every Monday and it's a blog that I read religiously.
She has touched on body image only a few times, and is very honest and open about there being roles for EVERY type--and there are some major types who can be/are frequently cast as being fat. Her advice (which is 100% on the money) is to KNOW your type and GO for it 3000%!
This said...she will still get e-mails, usually from "green" actors (read: inexperienced) who ask her, "Should I lose weight to do movies and TV? Don't I have to be skinny to be on TV?"
This is the first column I've read which expressly addresses just that, and she does it beautifully--putting in a lot of info that's sympatico with body image, fat acceptance and HAES. I am so happy! Read her glory HERE.
I e-mailed her my congratulations:
THANK YOU for your fantastic column on size and body image in the entertainment industry. As a fat actress, I know how it feels when people look at me dubiously when I say I'm an actor--what, do they think everyone is supposed to be a starlet? I also know how scary and internalized it is for people of size--and it's so important for people to understand that acting is not equivalent to thinness. Thank you for your insight--I am sure you will positively affect MANY of your readers!
"Thanks, Jen. :) It was a fun column for me. I'm glad you enjoyed ittoo. Being comfortable in your skin is really all that matters, whenit comes down to it, right? :)
Nice to have another ace up our sleeve, eh? ;-)
[ FEMALES ]THE LOOK: WE WANT ALL TYPES OF BEAUTIFUL ATHLETIC HEALTHY WOMEN WHO ARE BELIEVABLE!! AGES 20-30. SIZE 4/6. NO ONE TOO SKINNY! REAL GIRLS AND MODELS ARE REQUESTED. THE TYPES MUST BE AUTHENTIC AND SPECIFIC AS LISTED.
Size 4/6, not "too skinny," "real girls" requested. Gotcha.
A.) Implying that ANY woman--be she size 0 or size 30--might not be 'real.'
B.) Implying that there is a 'too skinny'--which is, quite frankly, offensive to our thinner sisters.
C.) Implying that real women are only valid as a 4 or 6.
Hmm. Well, this is why the entertainment industry is not subject to the rules, regulations and employment laws of the rest of the world.
But...is it "progress" that they're asking for someone as a size 6 and not a size 2? (Probably not. But just a thought.)
Sunday, August 24, 2008
Ohmylord, after the INCREDIBLE sharing thread at SP (have you read it?!), the events of today were staggering.
My bestest friend ever and I took today to go to Coney Island. She's fat; on the slim side of fat, but she's probably a 14? I can't really tell. ANYWAY. She's still a chubby love. It was her first time and she was SO excited. She is not as top-heavy as I am, but she's got quite a rack nonetheless; I was wearing a one-piece bathing suit and she was wearing a tankini.
After our time on the beach and swimming, when we walked around, I put a shirt over my bathing suit and she just wore the tankini--because it is her every freaking right to do so. You wouldn't have thought that, though, hearing the men around us. We (she?) was catcalled at A MINIMUM OF 10 TIMES in just an hour or two. This was the most catcalling that either she or I had *ever* experienced, and thankfully none of it was "negative." She's VERY insecure about her body (which, yes, I'm working on) and I think she would have gone into a major tailspin.
We were confronted by SO many men, the majority of which were (I think) pinpointing her. Some undoubtedly thought they were being nice.
Some were just sleazy... "HEY BABY! YOU REAL CUTE!"
.....some were relatively tame... "HELLO GORGEOUS! I LOVE YOU!"
...and some were fucking TERRIBLE--men blatantly interrupting the fact that we were conversing, saying, "HEY! HEY! COME BACK HERE! I'M TALKING TO YOU!"
I can't even tell you the kind of shit going through my mind. The problem is, while I've gotten tougher over the years, my BFF has gotten softer. She is wont to respond to catcalling with a smile or a "thank you," because of course it's a 'compliment' and she appreciates it. So unlike me, who walks stoically through the streets and ignores everyone, she will put out the good vibes...which can invite unwanted advances.
Unfortunately, her smiles and 'thank you's culminated in some creepy, leering drunk man following us (I noticed he started after observing that she responded positively to some creep). I am WAY not saying this is her fault! I'm just saying that that's probably what legitimized it in the man's mind. Any way, he started following us while leering. I noticed this and grabbed her and we hurried ahead. HE FOLLOWED MORE QUICKLY. We had to nearly gallop towards the boardwalk (we were, at the time, in a pretty deserted thoroughfare--thanks, C.I., for the abandoned construction sites) to get ahead of him and shoot into a dark bar.
I stuck my head out to see if he'd seen us, and I saw him waiting for us and looking around RIGHT outside the bar. Thankfully, the bartender saw that we were anxious and offered us a way out through the back. We escaped the guy.
I kinda took this in stride. As per my story in that above post, I've had my share of creepy followers and threatening situations. My hyper-sensitivity to these sorts of encounters helped, too, since I was really on-guard and riled up from everyone's horror stories. However, it REALLY shook up my BFF. She's been so nice to everyone, and thankfully never experienced anything like this until now. She was very upset, and was definitely blaming herself. I said, "NO! This is NOT your fault, and it never will be! These people are not INVITED to comment on you or invade your space--you can wear whatever you want, and you can still be a nice person. You are NOT the guilty one here." I think I made an impression on her, but it was still so upsetting to see her taking the 'guilty victim' ideology, here.
I suppose the timing couldn't have been better, though--I was able to pull stories from all the brave souls in the FOS, and give her a sense of what catcalling REALLY is. It is not a compliment--and I feel badly for the men who honestly mean it to be nice, and not predatory. It is unsolicited behavior that comments on our bodies being public property. I hope this scary situation--and the stories of all of you--keeps her on her guard for the future.
Tuesday, August 19, 2008
Tuesday, Aug. 19, 2008, 3:37 PM Pacific
HOLLYWOOD'S NEXT IT GIRLReality TVNON-UNION
Casting Director: DJ FeldmanInterview Dates: Dallas (9/2 - 9/8), NY and LA ongoing Shoot/Start Date: TBD Pay Rate: There is pay -- rate TBD Location: Los Angeles
NOTE: ALSO INCLUDE PERFORMANCE VIDEOS OR ACTOR SLATES IF AVAILABLE. DO NOT SEND DEMO TAPES.The producers of 30 Days and Flip That House, along with a Major Network, are searching the country for HOLLYWOOD'S NEXT IT GIRL in Reality Television.
[ "IT GIRLS" ]Seeking: Beautiful, outgoing, social savvy women between 21-32 years old who are exceptionally attractive and have BIG personalities. - Are you a very attractive and ultra confident woman? - Have you always gotten what you want because of your great looks? - Do you always get your way? - Do you need to be the center of attention? - Are you proud of being a tough Bitch? If you are any or ALL of the above, then we want to meet you!This is the opportunity of a lifetime to become HOLLYWOODS NEXT IT GIRL. 8 contestants will showcase their looks and personalities to compete for a HUGE cash prize. To be considered, submit the following information - Name - Age - Contact Number(s) - Recent Photos (One can be Headshot and Non Headshot) - Why you think you have what it takes to be Hollywoods Next It Girl.
You know what does make me happy, though? My agent that I freelance with just got me a job NOT based on my body. It's the first time they've done that. The auditions and jobs they've gotten me for in the past are all really good, well-paying projects--but they've *always* been about my size. This is the FIRST role I've been submitted for based on my skills, mainly comedic. :) The downside? (Oh, and there is one...)
There is a fat character, a black girl, named Mercedes. Of the couple of lines that I saw she had, one of them involved a skinny, nerdy Indian boy bringing her "stacks of treats and sodas." Her line to him?
"Next time, don't even bother asking--I like EVERYTHING supersized!"
Now, it does intimate that she's got a thing for the Indian kid, so heh-heh-lemme-see-your-dingdong, but.....c'mon, people. Is it really down to jokes this stupid?
Step by step...right?
Friday, August 8, 2008
I opened my beloved Sidereel.com to watch some Buffy. I almost always watch on their link, zepped.com, because it has both halves of the episodes.
However, when I saw this....ohmyLORD. I had to click so I could take screen shots to show what horrendous monstrosity it develops into.
Is there any way to complain about this?! When I 'won' the game, it took me to one of those insipid free ipod sites.
So, last week I filmed that fantastic TV segment that I'd previously mentioned, and--as far as I know--it's airing somewhere around November/December. The production crew was fantastic, as were the women who played the thin bride and the mother.
So, basically, we did somewhere between 10-15 takes over a period of 2 days, 'takes' (in this case) equaling each time the mother and I went out into this BEAUTIFUL bridal salon to do our schpiel in front of many other to-be brides.
First of all, I was given THE most LOVELY dress:
(Which, if I may say so, looks WAY better on a fat chick than the skinny version!)
We filmed at the most incredibly upscale and famous boutique in the world--Kleinfeld, which is also where "Say Yes to the Dress!" is filmed. What would happen is that the mother and I would come out of the dressing area and proceed to the salon, at which time she would start ripping me to shreds for a.) how bad the dress looks on me and b.) it was all because I'm fat.
The idea is to see how other people respond. This is *the* place to be for Manhattanite brides (and one of the most fat-phobic cities in the world?), so the crowd would be massive and interesting.
Basically, all in all, responses were great. We had to work it so that the mother would, at some point, leave--because it was much more likely that I'd be approached alone as the victim than if the aggressor were still there. Sometimes NO ONE intervened--but we were always, always watched, by future brides and their families. (And yeah, I did kinda feel bad that I was likely stressing a LOT of people out on the day that they were trying on dresses!)
For the most part, the people who would approach me when I was Poor Crying Fat Girl were super-sweet, telling me how beautiful I looked, and not to listen to her, and that the dress looked wonderful on me. However, I'm sure you could have predicted that--thanks to the fat bias--there would be a lot of backhanded compliments that weren't meant to be unkind. Like these:
"Oh, but your face is so pretty!"
"Your wedding's in June?! Your mother's crazy--you still have so much time to lose weight."
"You look gorgeous. That dress is so slimming and forgiving."
But, frustrating as those were, everyone meant quite well. I also had PLENTY of time to get in FA points...I don't know how many (if any) will make the final cut, but I would say stuff to my mom like, "Mom! This is just the way my body is! I've tried dieting so many times, it's never worked, and those 'lifestyle changes' are no different. I'm just FAT." I frequently also said that I liked the way I looked and that I felt really pretty, so yay for me. :)
What was a really, really nice experience was talking to my skinny counterpart--who, seriously, thought the world of me and couldn't have been sweeter. I think that everyone was really worried that they'd offend me, just because the nature of the show was picking on something that (on any other non-FA fat girl) would have been extremely unnerving. She was so careful in the dressing room, telling me how "SERIOUSLY!" beautiful I looked and everything; responding to my comments on size with, "No, but you're so beautiful." I was like, "Really honey, it's okay--I am fat, and I know it, and there's nothing wrong with it. You can be fat and beautiful--not but beautiful. I'm actually super into size acceptance..." etc., telling her about FA and everything.
Anyway, the public really came through for the show. The most prevalent reason that people intervened was that the wedding was the bride's day, and that no one should try to make her feel badly about her life or body or choices. But there was one lady who really was wonderful as far as the body in general...she, too was a Jersey girl (be still my heart!) and this wonderful, incredibly warm woman. She was fat and LOVELY, in her 40s or 50s, and just so motherly. She came to me and was SO body positive, very into being comfortable in your own skin and not trying to be anything else. She had said one thing that I can't remember now that rubbed me the wrong way, but only as a general belief of teh fatz.
Anyway--all worked out pretty well. I can't wait to see it. :)