Continued from Part 2…
I went back to see That Old Wench one last time, and I hoped we would be besties. False. I just hoped she wasn’t going to make me cry, but being as though I already had my “cry face” on (aka; The cry-face is the face you get when you are trying not to cry, but everyone else can totally tell you’re going to bust), I had a bad feeling this was not going to end well, and it didn’t. The last thing That Old Wench told me right before I left to go to the biggest audition of my life was…get ready for it, get ready…ready?
She said, “You’re not going to get this part.” She just plainly looked at me like I was a piece of dust on her coffee table, and the words seemed to effortlessly spill from her mouth. That is literally all she said. I sat there on that same dusty couch I had sat on for the last two days, and I was stunned. Never one to be at a loss for words, I was completely dumbfounded, but I wasn’t sunk yet. I wasn’t about to cry (even though I had my cry face on), because That Old Wench was not going to get one tear out of me. That Old Wench can go blow.
I arrived at the audition nervous, but more excited than anything else. I put the words of That Old Wench in the back of my mind, and I was feeling good. As I walked through the doors I was not ready for what I was about to see. I saw at least ten little heads all ‘a chop complete with bangs and bobs and in the Mary Lennox hairdo. Oh my God, I think I just hallucinated…Was this really happening?? Why, yes, yes it was. It was my worst nightmare realized, and coming to me in the form of bangs and bobs. Why me? Why meeeeeee??? (<–FYI; To this day, I still can’t stand to see this haircut. When Katie Holmes got the bangs and bob, I had to look away for at least six months.) I don’t know if it was That Old Wench’s words coming back with full force, or if it was that I was psyched out by all the little bangs and bobs invading my personal space, but I began to feel really discomBOBulated <–No pun intended.
I waited outside the audition room for my turn, and I suddenly loathed my dumb beret(<–FYI; To this day I can’t listen to Raspberry Beret by Prince.) Just when the bangs and bobs were about to undoubtedly drive me straight over the edge…
My name was called by a girl with a clipboard, “Sarah Barkoff?”
“Yes, here,” I said and got up and went into the audition room.
I was nervous walking into the room, that had at least eight people sitting at a long table staring at me wondering if I was their Mary Lennox, but escaping the bangs and bob room from hell, seemed to do wonders for my nerve. I was asked to do my first song, and then go straight into the dialogue, which I did, and I felt like everything was falling into place. It wasn’t until the beginning of my second song, that the audition began to take a turn for the worse.
The woman in the first seat all the way to the left said, “Okay Sarah, now can you do the same line, but do it a little more perturbed?” She said this as she talked to me like a baby. Awkward.
Okay lady, WHAT THE EF does ‘perturbed’ mean??!! I’m 11, you crazy broad(<–inner thoughts and feelings…) I started to panic, and think about That Old Wench’s last words to me. And for some odd reason, I don’t know why, but all I could think of was the little blond girl from the picture in That Old Wench’s apartment, with her cool jean jacket on. I thought to myself, “Laura Bell Bundy wouldn’t blow this audition…Laura would never show up in a dumb beret, she would have gotten the bangs and bob…Laura. Would. Get. The. Part.” Except little did I know, Laura wouldn’t have gotten the part, because the part wasn’t for a blondie, it was for a brunette-ie. Oh, little did my 11-year-old self know…
“Okay, sure,” I said as I proceeded to do the same line the exact same way, because I had no clue what the ef ‘perturbed’ meant.
“Okay Sarah, thank you very much. We will let your agent know when we have made a decision,” said the woman in the first seat all the way to the left.
For those of you who don’t know, those exact words, nothing more, nothing less, is basically the kiss of death in showbiz. I knew it was over the second I heard the dreadful, “Okay Sarah, thank you very much.” Usually if there is a chance of sealing the deal, there will be more dialogue between the auditionee and auditioner, and inquiring about the logistics of accepting the role, but really at 11-years-old, I figured as much because they never asked to speak with my mom or dad afterward. So, I knew.
And I was right. I didn’t get the part. The casting people told my agent that they actually really did like me, but that I looked too mature for the role, and they wanted a little girl who had a younger look, so all in all, I just wasn’t right for the part. (P.S. Thank God I didn’t cut my hair! Thanks Ma!) When all was said and done, I went home to Michigan, and did not go back to New York City for any auditions for the next 8 years. However, my dream of playing Mary Lennox in The Secret Garden did come true about a year later. I played the part in a professional production of the show in Ann Arbor, MI, and the best part was, I still got to be a normal kid and stay put in Michigan with my family. I still think leaving New York when I did was the best decision I ever made, and I am happy that I was able to have all the normal experiences a kid should have, and that I had a chance to just blend in with my peers for while.
The End…Just kidding! Are you crazy? I’m not about to not give you a follow-up on everyone involved in this story!
First things first…
That Old Wench: Well, apparently That Old Wench is alive and kicking (I googled her), and likely still making other little girls cry. I would tell you her name, and show you a picture of her, but then I would have to kill you. Just kidding, but I don’t want to get sued for slander! Hint: I will tell you that she recently wrote a way famous screenplay, with a way famous lead actress in the lead role, based on a popular book and blog.
Next we have…Laura Bell Bundy…
Photos courtesy of candistar.com and laurabellbundyfans.com