As we sat down to a great dinner on a spectacular night, I began a conversation with a friend, Mary, about a healthy eating lifestyle I had recently adopted and that I had heard she had been on for some time. It's from Dr. Joel Furman's "Eat to Live" book and it made tremendous sense to me in terms of acquiring superior health - but it also promised rapid and amazing weight loss for people like me - who had had poor eating habits and are overweight. I complained to Mary that in the weeks I have been on it, I have lost very little weight and told her of my disappointment. Mary, who looks amazing (but frankly, always has), encouraged me to stick with it. And I will.
About the same time, Bob's phone buzzed. He took a quick look and his mood was elevated further by learning that he had an audition for a commercial for some pharmaceutical product today. I too was excited but I have learned over the years to temper my excitement with a big dose of reality - the odds are against him. If he goes on 10 auditions, he will likely get 3 to 4 callbacks and MAYBE book one gig. He was recently up for the phone service commercial where the one guy doesn't get the call that the flash mob dance he was in was postponed and so he starts breaking into a freakish solo in the middle of a major train terminal. He was also one of two final candidates for a role in the latest commercial for Loews. It irks him no end when he doesn't book. He walks around for days and weeks depressed that he might not ever book again. Sometimes I would rather he not get the call at all.
Hang on. I'm getting to the point.
This morning as Bob was scurrying around to prepare for the audition and I was reading the latest Vanity Fair, he received another email from his agent. She learned that they were looking for families. Did he have pictures of all of us? When he told me this he had about 10 minutes before he had to leave so I flew to my computer to find something of all 6 of us that is flattering of all 6 of us (especially me). I found two photos that fit the bill (one is the photo above); all of us in a group with me strategically hiding behind everyone else (thankfully, I am the tallest by far). I thought about needing to reactivate my SAG card - how long would that take? And Amanda and Jennifer are in school up north, so could they get here for something like this? I shot a quick text message to everyone alerting them that there was a one in a million chance that this could happen and then I really let it go because, of course, we are NOT going to get it. We are not even going to be considered. And then I settled into the considerable task of cleaning up my office. Again.
Then the phone rang. It was Bob. I asked him how it went and he hesitated for a moment and then said: "Well actually, it went really well. And you were marvelous." I asked him what he was talking about and he said that during the audition he was asked if he had a family and he offered an enthusiastic "yes". They asked if he had a photo and he produced the two I had printed out for him. He said they talked to him a long while and filmed him holding up the photo. The casting director then told him that callbacks would be on Wednesday and that she would be very surprised if the client didn't call back the whole family (with the possible exception of Grace as she was outside of the age of the kids they were looking for). She stressed that were were exactly what they were looking for.
I began to freak out. I saw my slovenly appearance in the mirrored closet door next to my desk. Every pound was screaming at me. I had given flattering photos for Bob to take. I wasn't at all sure that those photos represented me accurately. I couldn't bear the idea of going to a callback only to be looked at quizzically as if to say "Who is she?" or "How old was that photo?", or worse "Wait a minute, we didn't ask for a fat lady!". Bob is the only one with an agent in our family but she would handle the contract for all of us and I so I said: "Bob, you need to call your agent right away to have her let the casting people know that I am overweight". He stopped me in mid sentence and said: "And here's the great part - when she saw you in the photo she said: 'Oh good! I'm so glad you're wife's not skinny. She is supposed to have diabetes in this commercial.'"
Oh. I didn't think I looked overweight in those pictures. I guess I am really deluded. So okay. There is no secret. I guess everyone knows.
But if we do get this callback, I think I'm still going to run out for a new Spanx. If someone actually wants me fat, I want to look my best fat possible.