Monday, 10 September 2012

Size Matters

I’ve written a bit recently about audition waiting rooms. They’re hateful places full of puff-chested actors, all desperate to show the world that despite the fact they’re auditioning for the role of Bystander 3 in an unpaid short film, they’re doing wonderfully well. The best possible outcome of an audition waiting room is that you get to sit quietly in the corner and ignore everyone with a scowl so bitter you could make lemons with it. However, the best possible outcome rarely happens. Or maybe it just doesn’t happen to me very often…

Last week I went up for a corporate job. Hooray. While they won’t get your heart bursting with artistic pride, they’ll make your bank balance extremely happy. Plus this one was actually for a good cause and the script wasn’t half bad either so I was actually looking forward to this one. As usual, I arrived with enough time to squeeze in a couple of performances of Gatz so, after a few laps of Soho, I made my way in. 

On entering an audition waiting room, you expect to be faced with a plethora of more attractive versions of yourself. But for once, I wasn’t. Instead I was greeted by an army of crop-topped, hotpant wearing teenage girls. As I sat down in the only seat available which happened to be in the middle of the whole group, I discovered they were discussing the really important issues of the day and were comparing dress sizes. As a woman with curves and a dress size in double figures, I kept well out of this conversation. However, when two of the girls high-fived each other on discovering that they were both a size 6, it took all my might not to punch them both with my chocolate cake insulated arms. 

Thankfully a chair became available so I moved away before they started to find my thighs offensive. As I sat down another actress popped her head round the door. Her face was so ridiculously youthful that I presumed she was part of the skinny brigade. And when she walked in with her dad behind her, I felt pretty safe in the knowledge that there was no way we were up for the same role. But how wrong I was. She was called in the second she got there meaning I was left to sit there next to her chaperone while I considered my rapidly increasing years and waistline.
As audition prep goes, contemplating your decaying body doesn’t come highly recommended but oddly it seemed to work. Little Miss Youthful McGee was in the audition room for a mere couple of minutes and left with a look of deflation that was only matched by the director. I was then called in and I braced myself for my ageing, increasing body to come under intense scrutiny. However, what followed was one of the most positive, invigorating auditions of my life. I may not get the part but at least I can be happy in the knowledge that being myself ain’t always such a bad thing. So excuse me while I sit under this sun lamp and make my way through a sharing bag of Doritos…


  1. Have you found that shows like X Factor have changed the atmosphere of the audition room and/or types of people auditioning, or do you think there's something entirely else going on here?

    1. I can't say I've seen a difference in the type of auditions I tend to go for. However, I do think it has changed the industry as a whole. A lot of the work being made is looking for those who just want to be on TV. Makes it all feel a lot more desperate.