Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Pass the Beano

The owner of the Pilates studio, Janice, asked me to train a friend of hers last week and I was flattered that she thought of me. When I saw her, I said, “Hey, thanks for the referral. I’m training Scott tomorrow. He had to change his original time because of an audition.” Yes, I said this with sarcasm, a bit of disdain, and some minor eye rolling. I don’t know what my motive was, other than I felt like doing a bit of performing and to have some fun. I'm beginning to think that it is that difficult to simply answer a fucking question or have a conversation with someone, sans the dramatics?

Janice smiled, “Well, he’s a very successful commercial actor.” Uh, oh, here we go.
“Oh, who isn’t? I did commercials.” Janice seemed interested and engaged.
“You would be great in commercials.”
“If I had a dollar every time someone told me that. I did the commercial thing. I used to audition all the time for a couple of years and then, well, it started getting stupid. The auditions got more inane. I’d go in and have to frown in front of the camera, or crawl on the floor like a mouse looking for cheese. And then my dignity kicked in and I stopped.”

Janice was laughing and hanging on my every animated word, which for me, as a comedienne, was like shoving a coke whore’s face into a pile of white dust. It made me want to work harder and longer to sustain the high. “One of my last auditions was for Beano. I was so over it by then and didn’t care anymore so I had some fun.

I had to stand with my pretend friend, holding a cafeteria tray, commenting on the food that we passed while in line. The director yelled, “action”, and I made a fake fart sound.” (insert actual fart sound) It wasn’t the cliched, and childish lip and cheek fart sound. Mine was more sophisticated and deeper, almost baritone sounding, and more convincing. I thought Janice was going to fall of the Trapeze Table she was sitting on. “What? It was for Beano. I thought it was totally appropriate.”

I’m not proud of it but my story promptly started a five minute conversation, with other trainers weighing in, about why people think farting sounds are funny and the farting games available online. I extricated myself from the high brow confab that I’d started and slithered away. My job here is done.

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