Fantasy Pandas

Audition 605 in my descent into madness where no one can follow.

So it begins w/ a call from my agent saying he has an audition for me for a commerical for a popular Chinese food chain that shall remain nameless. Except that it features pandas and the food comes fast. Immediately, I am in Ironic Town, USA. Population: 1 because I have personal issues with this chain. You see, Gavin loves the food this place dishes out- greasy, hang-over food dripping in faux-Asian sauce. I hate it, because it's gross, and refer to the place as "The Dirty Panda". But since it doesn't exist on the East Coast, Gavin has rekindled his love affair with it's oily charms since we moved back by going at least once a week and dragging my reluctant ass with him. So pretty stinking funny/horrible that I should get a chance to hock this crapola. My life in art.

So I head down to the place and sign in, and on the sign in table is a cup of chopsticks w/ a note that says we should practice using them but not to put them in our mouths because many people would use them all day. I decline chopstick practice, as I have travelled to Asia and would have starved or at least created an international faux pas by using my hands to eat had I not learned to use chopsticks. Also, who does not know how to use chopsticks at this point? I will tell you who- the other girls in the room. They are pinching cheap splinter-laden chopsticks with varying degrees of skill and looking worried. I do not feel bad for them, however, as they are by and large Dutch super-models, and do not need my pity.

We go into the room in pairs. I am paired with a girl named Boblinka. I shit you not. We are to sit in front of the cameras and pick hard candies out of a chinese food carton, pretending that they are pieces of delicious orange chicken. The illusion stops short of our mouths, however, as we are told not to actually place the candies in our mouths. Awesome.

But here's where it really takes off. We are supposed to eat and chat and WATCH THE PANDA BEARS CAVORTING IN THE DISTANCE. These creatures are represented by the casting directors hand, held just behind the camera. We are told to react "just as we normally would to panda bears" and improvise a short scene. We do so. It involves us talking about the cuteness of the hand-pandas. Then we are told to be "really interested" in what the pandas are doing, and then to break out in a "slow smile". Fuck me.

Boblinka was super nice and we commiserated on the bizareness of our lives in the elevator ride down. Then I had to write a check for 3 dollars to the parking attendant because I never have cash. I felt a little like the Dude in the supermarket scene in The Big Lebowski.

I will not get this commercial. But if I do, then I hearbye renounce my ability to understand anything about anything. Because the world is a land of hand-pandas and fake chinese chicken, and there is nothing to do but laugh or kill yourself in such a world.

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