Tag Archives: freshman

The Paid Acting Gig

Jana: In college, I was an Actor. Here’s what I mean by that: In college, I minored in theater, I auditioned for all the plays, and I was occasionally cast as topless leads. And like all of my acting colleagues, my dream was to get a paid acting gig. Today, I share the story of my first ever (I mean also last, but you know) Paid Acting Gig. A thrill!

The summer of 2006 was spent in Burlington VT; my first time living in an apartment instead of moving home for the summer. And although I spent June locked in my room with a crushing depression that only abated when I finally found steady employment (The Gap stepped in and gave me a job, so. Support them if you can.), by July I was the happiest of 20-year-olds, working days, drinking nights, and generally doing stupid things in a large group of fellow actors.

When August rolled around, we all started to hear tell that there was a thing happening – this gig, this acting opportunity – that was paid. Our ears perked up. What was it, exactly?

Listen. It was the Date Rape Play.

Yes, you heard me. It was a thing called the Date Rape Play (literally, it didn’t even have a gentle subtitle), and it was performed each year for the incoming freshmen as part of orientation, so that they would be clear about knowing they might be raped at some point/what rape was. Here is the plot of the play:

Girl and guy are BEST FRIENDS. But, guy has a douchy brother, who is in a FRAT (bad). Frat boy brother invites girl and guy to party! They go, and they get pretty drunk (BAD). Afterwards, they go back to boy’s room, and make out. Guy is like, let’s have sex, girl is like, no, guy does it anyway (the lights fade as they’re making out, but it’s clear what has Happened).

NEXT MORNING, Girl is deeply confused and upset. She talks to her Lesbian Best Friend about it, who encourages her to tell the R.A. Girl does, and Boy is expelled from school.

That’s mostly it!

The woman who ran the date rape operation generally hired enough theatrically-inclined people to comprise like four casts, and each actor was paid $200. I called to inquire, and after a brief phone interview, I was cast in the play. And – big news – I was cast as the Rapee. (I told this story to someone once, and when I got to this part he was like, you mean the victim? And I was like, oh yeah, I guess that’s more appropriate to say.) So yeah, I was cast as the victim. Or, in my mind, THE STAR. It was fairly exciting, as these things go.

Rehearsals were hilarious. My cast included one of my friends as the lesbian, another friend as the frat boy brother, and a third friend as the person playing two parts (the lesbian’s girlfriend and the health center representative, who I believe was named Willow). Who, you ask, was playing the rapist? Well, let me tell you. Picture this:

He was in his 30s, and when I asked what he did he told me that he “DJ’s downtown sometimes.” He was short with a curly ‘fro sort of haircut and glasses, and he wore a necklace. Also, he was in his 30s and had agreed to be in this play with a bunch of 20-year olds. ALSO HE HAD TO PRETEND RAPE ME.

Regardless, my friends and I laughed our way through the month of rehearsals (my onstage rapist totally tried to be part of the group but we weren’t that welcoming), memorizing just insanely bad dialogue that included lines like  “You got the look girl, work it!” . And then, finally, the day came. The freshman had arrived, and they were piled into the theater, waiting nervously to make fun of whatever was about to be presented to them. We knew we wouldn’t let them down.

And we didn’t, and here’s why: my onstage rapist actually, and I am not kidding, PLAYED THE RAPE SCENE FOR LAUGHS. The dialogue is something like “come on, I love you!” and he was sort of like, bouncing up and down and just saying it like it was a joke. The audience loved it. Meanwhile, I was acting out my own rape so, you know. I didn’t love it as much.

That’s mostly all! Somehow we got through it, and afterwards we had a party that everyone just referred to as the date rape party (not even on purpose, it wasn’t like a THEME, it was just a statement of fact. It was the party after the date rape play).

Taken at the date rape party. Obviously, my starring role had gone to my head.

We collected our $200 and started junior year refreshed.

Catherine: I think we’re about to get judged, and hard, because I too was in the date rape play, different cast. Same deal. Everyone in the cast was friends, the rehearsals were a total joke, and we learned that rape could (and should) be funny if it was meant to entertain. I played WINNIE – not Willow – BUT WINNIE. The character was based off the person at our school who actually had that job, and hadn’t had the foresight to get a name change before beginning her life of ridicule stemming from her truly ridiculous name. Someway, SOMEHOW, this first paid acting gig did not deter me from pursuing acting (SHUT UP). Perhaps it is responsible for the fact that I only do comedy, though.

To the best of my knowledge, they still do this show every year. To the knowledge of my knowledge, I still say “You got the look girl, WORK IT!” every year, at least once.

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Maybe I (Definitely) Shouldn’t Go To Nightclubs

Catherine: Here I will detail the first of MANY reasons why I should really just stop going to nightclubs.

We open on an 18 year old Catherine, freshman year of college. I had a relentless ability to rage long and hard every single night of the week and still manage to wake up the next day and 1) live and 2) accept any and all drinks, any time of day (luke warm vodka at 3pm? Sounds fun!). One night, I ventured out to downtown Burlington, VT (no doubt taking the off-campus bus and saving myself the approximately 1.2 mile walk) with some fellow dormmates (that was a thing, guys). We headed to the (only?) 18+ nightclub, and I was brandished with big fat X-marks on both of my hands. I am ASSUMING that I was already drunk, but to be fair, that part of the story escapes me. What’s important is this: It was a time in my life where I wore, and loved, Gap jeans I had owned since 8th grade, despite their having holes in both knees and the butt. And the fact that they could no longer zip up all the way. That, I determined, was no problem at all. Instead, I safety-pinned them open and wore them with black underwear. It was a look, it was intentional, and yes, I am glad there are no pictures.

At said nightclub, it was all top 40s which was my JAM. So I was alloverthatshit. I don’t wanna get ahead of myself, but I’m a pretty sick dancer (in terms of grinding, dancing awkwardly provocatively, hair flipping, etc.) My talents were not wasted on the fine men who chose to go to an 18+ nightclub despite being mainly over 21. One such man began dancing with me, citing my “sick moves!” This went on a while, culminating in the ever-sexy “I will dance LITERALLY ON YOU with my feet off the floor as you dip me and I think I look really good most likely.” It was hot.

Upon leaving, it came to my attention that my dance date was missing a tooth. A front one. Prominently in the very center of his mouth. I literally had no idea. The ridicule I endured was appropriate because like, seriously, people. How did I not see that. My friend wrote this poem of the incident:

Hmmmmm…Cathy.
Oh Cathy oh Cathy.
Toothless Willy will never be the same because I bet he never danced with
a chick that didn’t think he was lame.You said he was sick danca’
and that’s all there is to it
because for real, he looked like pranca’
… and you know he wanted to do it.I called his friend Pedro,
maybe that wasn’t right.
But it all seemed just fine
at the end of the night!

I should mention that his friend was called Pedro solely because he was Mexican, and Napoleon Dynamite was really huge at the time.

Jana: Poor Pedro – I’m sure he got that all the TIME that year. And, I can see why toothless man liked you: it was because your outfit was so classy.

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