Monday, August 15, 2011

Erin's Beauty Truths

When Cosmo isn't telling me how to please my man (Scrunchies: NOT JUST FOR LAZY SUNDAYS ANYMORE!), it is packing its remaining pages with sage wisdom on how to do my hair and makeup.

Truly. Priceless and necessary. Insight.

Because, ladies, if there are two things that make our lives worth living they are (in no particular order):

As the lack of either--*GASP*--is completely socially unacceptable, I figured I'd make my charitable contribution to the very fabric of your souls by revealing my beauty truths--honed from copious (tedious?) hours browsing magazines, watching Michael Bay films and working in what I lovingly call 'the industry'.

And here's what I've learned. Straight from moi to tu.

1. There ARE some women who are truly transformed by makeup. I am not one of them. For the time being, I will have to rely on my award-winning personality. Wait...where are you going?!?

2. When Cover Girl tells you that "Chelsea" is wearing Just Peachy blush, Smouldering Sierra eyeshadow and Vixen Rose lipstick, she is ACTUALLY sporting Just Peachy Blush, Smouldering Sierra eyeshadow, Vixen Rose lipstick, more than $2,000 worth of the celebrity make-up artist's bag o' magic and OH YES! She is also 'wearing' about $100,000 in lighting design, direction, camera angles and PhotoShop. So take heart, my friends. Miracles CAN happen. And they can happen for you!

3. Real, large breasts are envied in the industry. But only because the other women in the room are jealous you didn't have to throw $12,000 at "the problem" like they did. You probably should fix your teeth though. I hear ABC Casting shows preference to actresses with veneers. Did you hear XYZ is looking for red heads? Perhaps a dye job would increase your chances of nabbing representation. Oh, and for the record, should you ever want to "fix" your nose, I hear Dr. Porter is amazing!

4. (or #3 subhead a.) Real, large breasts are envied in the industry, but only by the countless women who never want to be taken seriously. Because, really, what says "I command respect" like a willingness to show your tatas for a role that is listed as ONE OF A SERIES at the end of the film? (Naked Party Guest #3, Naked Party Guest #4, Naked Party Guest #5...THAT'S one credit I want on MY IMDB page!)

5. If your body is rockin', they can always edit out your face. Or vice versa. Welcome to the machine.

I had an audition today. A callback for a commercial that's coming soon to a television near you. In this commercial, there will be a married couple (I was on callback for the wife), a television hostess (smiling. gorgeous. plastic. You know: a television hostess), and--I do not jest--an entire team of, um, shall we say...'cheerleaders'.

Readers, I am not going to lie. It was a hard read. Not because I do not think I have the acting chops for the role...thing is, I know I do...Life experience has taught me that much...but--and here it comes--my final beauty truth: today the industry got to me.

As a writer, I recognize the flaws in the system, and am usually able to hold my own in the room of beautiful but simple girls who spend the minutes before the audition smoothing out their nerves--and their hair--in the bathroom of the casting office.

It's not that I am above such activity, it's just that I usually don't care. I know who I am. I am a writer. Most say I am a damned good one. And as such, I know I can understand and convey the complexities of a scene.'s just what I do.

But today...well, today was different.

Surrounded by the region's most aesthetically perfect specimens, I suddenly felt...inadequate. Like my brains and my accomplishments and my resume and my agent's confidence in me were somehow not enough t justify my presence in the room with these women who were giving recommendations to each other on makeup to "make your eyes pop" and plastic surgeons with the most natural results.

I have never felt so...alien. So...alone.

I got lost in the countryside on my first day in Italy and had to navigate my way to an obscure hotel. My Italian is appalling, and my directional sense in unfamiliar places is lackluster. I was LOST.--But even speaking a foreign tongue in a foreign land, 5 hours and as many train rides later, I felt I had a stronger footing my first day in Italia than I did in that casting room today.

Sure, I knew the lay of the land. I have been there countless times before. But this feeling. THIS was different. And it threw me. HARD.

If only I had worn makeup to the audition. If only I had skipped going to campus in favor of doing my hair just so. If only I had a well-pleased man at home who would have advised me of my inadequate appearance and helped me choose a more appealing outfit before leaving the house...because that's just the type of kindness a Cosmo man would show...

After leaving the audition I rebounded. It took a long walk, Tupac Shakur and a nap to fully recover, but I think it may have been the well-timed article in The Onion that really sealed it for me: "I was going to succumb to cancer, but then I got this mylar balloon."

So you see, friends, there IS hope out there!

And that reminds me, curl up on the couch with your man, your mascara and your Michael Bay film--then join me for my next segment, "Erin's Insight on Hope: Mylar Balloons, Makeup, Men and Other Cures for Terminal Cancer" or, should the urge strike me, "Erin's Guide to Assured Success: From Insecure Ugface to YOU'RE A TEN! Asskisser in 6 Easy Steps."

Maybe I need another nap. Hail Mary.

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