When I first arrived in Los Angeles, I thought it would be fun to get involved with the acting community here. Having grown up doing theater and later dance, I figured I could do it as a hobby since it seemed to be everywhere. Let’s ignore my obvious ignorance about how Los Angeles works for a minute, and just imagine the innocence of the person pictured on the left.
I started getting audition calls for low-budget indie projects, and I was thrilled. They were small parts, so I never received entire scripts for the auditions—there were times when I just received vague descriptions with a request for an improv audition (true horror, if I’ve ever experienced it). It’s not a surprise then that I never really knew the plots of these movies. I was, however, armed with some basic rules: never go to an audition at someone’s home and be wary of “must be okay with nudity” phrases in movies auditioning in certain parts of the San Fernando Valley.
What I wasn’t prepared for was the number of times I was called in for movies that involved necrophilia. Yes, you read that correctly: necrophilia (or the hint of it). The last of those movies that I auditioned for, before taking a break to start producing, had me improv-ing a death scene. My character was murdered and left on the floor of an apartment before a different guy, who had been stalking the character, burst in and saw the murderer with his hands still on the body. Naturally, I asked some questions about where things were going, and one of the producers said, “At this point, the audience will be expecting necrophilia, but there’s a twist.” I don’t like questioning people’s artistic visions (because I don’t enjoy having it done to me), but I do start to wonder about a film where the audience’s reasonable expectation is necrophilia. But that’s just me.
The strangest things is—this was not the only time I had auditioned for a film where the issue arose. In fact, at one point it had happened so often that I had to take a long look at my headshot to try to figure out what it was exactly about me that screamed “necrophilia!” Sure, I’m pretty pale in the photo, and it’s not the liveliest of expressions, but really? Is that the face of dead desecration (or lovin’ as some would argue)?
And that is how I got started in the entertainment business in Los Angeles.