For the first time in a long time I went to one of the most demeaning social situations in existence. An open call. Being an actor isn’t really all it’s cracked up to be. You put yourself out there to be judged over and over again and you’re denied acceptance over and over again. Not to mention spending countless hours in rooms full of strangers who seem to think it is their life’s purpose to psych you out. I’m pretty seasoned on the audition circuit and don’t get frazzled easily, but I still want to punch those people–you know, for the sake of everyone else. I’ve been lucky in that I’ve had very few unemployed spells as an actor, but I’m definitely coming off of my longest run of steady employment (which translates to longest absence from the auditioning world). It was slightly strange to slip back into a part of my life that was once a daily occurrence. I got nervous, my heart sped up, I thought about what the auditionees were saying about me while I auditioned-totally not the old me.
It’s something about slipping on that old life again that reminded me of where all this neurosis about my body stemmed from. The first time I ever lied about my weight was when I was seven-years-old at a meeting with an agent. My mom told me to say I weighed 70lbs instead of 80. I have no idea what the appropriate weight for a seven year old to be is, but at that moment I knew that whatever I was I was not right. I’ve spent most of my life since that moment auditioning and subsequently worrying about how I look. But this time, not so much. I realized as I was walking home that there was not a single moment while sitting in the holding area that I compared my body with any of the other actresses. In fact, while I was getting ready at home before hand I had a pretty big realization…I’m kinda cute.
As I dressed to fit the play (but in a modern not trying to hard sort of way), and did my hair and put on make-up and made smiley face in the mirror I realized that I’m kind of hot. Now you may say, “seriously Kim you’re not that hot.” Or, you may say, “seriously Kim you’re so hot I’m surprised you ever leave the bed.” But I mean that in the way that rare are the moments that I have looked at myself and really seen me, not what part of me I need to work on. Me, the whole me, is a pretty cute medium sized bundle. I’ll never be Heidi Klum, accident of birth, but that does not in fact mean that I should be banished to live in cave full of cave dwelling animals (of species and genus I can’t really think of right now). I will have to wander the earth in this body that I have and appreciate it because it’s all I have and, it’s actually pretty great.
Can it be that I’ve reached a level of maturity that allows me to look at myself and see me and not a to do list? Wowza, I’m bordering on grown up. If there’s one thing I’ve realized, most recently especially, it is to appreciate the things you have while you have them. I don’t want to look back on my life when I’m 90 (and most closely resemble a shar pei), and think I wasted so much time hating my body while my body was strong and beautiful. This is the moment, as is every moment to love this one body that we get.
There will be no more time spent at auditions comparing of myself to 22-year olds straight out of college. I mean those 22-year old may wear a size 2, but I’ve got an agent. Who’s comparing now?