8.03.2007

FF: TRYING TO MAKE IT BIG

For Flashback Friday I thought I would reflect on the time I tried to be famous. The year was 1997. I had just moved to Camarillo and figured that the proximity to Los Angeles meant I was destined to a career in film and television. Sadly, this dream was very short lived.

It began when I had to give a ride to my sister, Kelley, to one of those model search things at a seedy hotel in Oxnard. When I walked into the hotel lobby to pick her up, the "scout" got really excited and said I was the perfect size to be a catalog model or child actress (who was really 19). I acted like I wasn't interested, but secretly this was a dream come true for me. I "reluctantly" made an appointment with him at his agency in West Hollywood. When I went down there they gave me this whole spiel about how they had discovered a kid who appeared on Sister Kate or some other obscure television show, and that they were going to take a bunch of head shots of me right then and there. I was really disappointed because they didn't do my makeup, hair or let me change my clothes. Then of course they tried to sell me on paying them for their representation. When I refused, they let me have my negatives, and I left. Here's one of the cheesy pictures. I think I look like I am 14.


After that experience, I decided to either try being an extra or appearing on game shows. I started calling lots of game shows and the only one that called back was a little-watched show on the USA Network called, "The Big Date." The premise of this show was that a guy or girl would ask 3 guys or girls various questions. Based on those answers, they would pick a guy or girl to date. The new couple would do a lightening round of questions at the end to win money. It was very time consuming to appear on a game show. First, I had to drive down to L.A. to audition. Then, once I was accepted, the producer called me for an hour and we went over every single question I would be asked on the show. When I arrived to tape the show, I discovered that all of the other contestants except for one guy, were paid actors to appear on the show. The show was really dumb. They would ask us questions like:

Host: What would you do if your date had corn in his mouth?

Me: I would lean over and pick it out for him. (Applause and Laughter)

The non-actor guy who looked like Rolf from the Sound of Music picked me, which may have been a set up because I was the only one who wasn't an actress. In between commercial breaks, the producers would say, "Act like you like each other more. Hold hands, hug." We were pretty lousy on the lightening round and walked away with only $400. In the end I had to choose whether to go on a date with Rolf or split the money. Of course I split the money. Like I would actually go out with a guy from a game show... puh-lease. The host asked us what we were going to do on our date and I said, "Go to Chuck-E-Cheese." Funny, huh?

When I returned to college that semester I had a main role in a NAU-TV drama series. Unfortunately, I was killed off after 4 episodes. I had to play a dead body under a sheet after that. Think what you will, but it is really hard to play dead and not move.

Then, that was that. I grew up, changed my major from theatre to political science and kind of gave up on the whole acting thing. Sometimes I wonder how things would be different if I had stayed on that acting path. I'm guessing I would have probably been one of those kids who does sword fighting in front of the Wilkinson Center at BYU. Not like that's a bad thing, just different.

7 comments:

  1. I really like your post and because so I will forgive you for saying it was ME you were taking to a modeling search in Oxanrd. Nice pic- I liked the one with you in the leather jacket.

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  2. Correction: It IS a bad thing to do sword fighting in front of the Wilk., or at North Park on Thursday nights, or making chain mail vests at Doc's pizza on Tuesday nights, or to be one of the "wenches" wearing your midieval cloak watching your men fight.

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  3. Well, Cristin, that's awesome about you. I had no idea you had this secret past life. Ever thought of doing community theater?
    Oh, and I'm with Jamie. Sword "playing" -- not even actually fighting-- while using bad accents is really freakish-looking. Matt hates that he has to see those guys all the time while going to work.

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  4. Who knew you had this secret past life? I've always wondered if it is hard playing a dead body.

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  5. Just imagine if you became famous you probably wouldn't have time to get together with Erik and you would constantly be chased by paparazzi. I think most everybody in Southern California has been "scouted/discovered" especially if it looks like they can afford to pay for representation!

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  6. That is so awesome. You remind me of a character that would have been on Boy Meets World. Like a funny show that still had some drama about "serious" situations. Maybe you were meant to stay on the other end of the camera, since you do so well directing and producing your own productions...

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  7. I remember watching the tape of you on the dating show together. I totally thought you would be the next Tom Hanks or Mel Gibson.

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