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Secret Agent Man

A Day in the Life of an Actor

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A Day in the Life of an Actor
Photo Source: Steve Weigl

You wake up and try to remember your dream. You were in a coffee shop, about to enjoy some pie, and then something happened. That’s all you remember. The rest is gone.

You have an audition in two hours. Your agent said he worked hard to get it. This is not true. He did not work hard. He did not get anything. The casting director is a woman you paid to meet at a workshop. That’s why you have an audition in two hours. Your agent is a liar. 

As you hurry to the audition, you wish you could lie like your agent lies, but good acting requires complete honesty. This is a dilemma you face every day.

You arrive at the casting director’s office. You say your two lines well. They ring true. Your agent could not have done this. He would have had to lie.

As you rush to your day job, you realize you will not get the part. You made the mistake of shaking the casting director’s hand. Now she will never hire you. Now she hates you. The money you spent to meet her was wasted.

You work hard today because you have been assigned the lunch shift. The busboys want to know if you’re a star yet. They are always asking you this. You laugh but there is nothing funny about their question.

Your co-workers are all actors. They share their stories. They are always bad. You tell them about your audition. They agree: Touching the casting director was a mistake. You will not get the part.

As you race to the workshop you paid to attend, you wonder if you should get new headshots or start a theater company or produce your own Web series. You also wonder if you should drop 10 pounds or buy a new outfit or try your luck in a different city.  

After you wait an hour and 20 minutes, three agents watch you perform a scene you have performed a thousand times. The three agents are bigger than your current agent. You wonder if bigger agents tell bigger lies.

When you’re done, the three agents hand you evaluation forms. They have given you three different grades. Their feedback tells you nothing. The money you spent to meet them was wasted.

On the way home, you stop at your favorite coffee shop and order some pie. You remember that you have the new issue of Backstage in your bag. You take it out and turn to your favorite column.

Your waitress brings you the pie. It looks delicious. This coffee shop has never let you down.

As you take a bite of the pie, the column says you are taking a bite of the pie. This does not concern you.

A man in a suit joins you in the booth. He is wearing dark glasses. He looks familiar. You ask for his name. The man in the suit explains that his name is a secret.

Time passes. The man in the suit explains that he would like to have a piece of your pie. You offer him the plate and he tries it.

“That’s an outstanding pie. Thank you for sharing it.”

The man in the suit leans over and whispers in your ear. His words change everything. You understand now. As he steps out into the night, you feel like a weight has been lifted from your shoulders.

You go home and get into bed, knowing your life is about to change.

The next morning, you wake up and try to remember your dream. You were in a coffee shop, about to enjoy some pie, and then something happened. That’s all you remember. The rest is gone.

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