Saturday, May 5, 2012

Stage Combat Will Not Save Your Life

Published 5/5/2012

Last week, LA experienced some fairly heavy winds, resulting  in power outages in a few parts of the city.  Consequently, I came home from work to a pitch black apartment and after lighting my way with my fading Blackberry, I managed to locate two tiny votive candles from Ikea- the batteries in both of my  flashlights were dead.  I started to worry that the stuff in my refrigerator would go bad, until I remembered that there was nothing in there anyway, and in that moment I realized that I am grossly unprepared for an emergency.  

It occurred to me that being an actor and living in Hollywood has rendered me rather useless as a normal person. I’ve had to develop  an entirely new skill set, like willing the traffic on the 101 to dissipate so I can make it to auditions on time and faking my way into parties. And though I may one day get cast in a zombie apocalypse movie or a Hunger Games sequel, there is no way that myself or any other Angeleno would make it out in one piece. As much as I hate to admit it, someone from a flyover state has us all beat because they know how to do things.

Actors Can’t Drive

You may be thinking “Of course  actors can drive,” but how many times have celebrities gotten arrested for driving on the wrong side of the road, entering a freeway exit ramp  or driving with an expired license? A lot, that’s how many times. In every natural disaster movie there is a scene in which someone starts a car without the keys and manages to escape. I don’t know how to do that and neither do any of my friends… because we’re actors! I know someone who doesn’t even know how to turn her car off because she always hands her keys to the valet and lets him do whatever car voodoo is involved in reversing and parking, so yeah…

Electronics Are Confusing

Do you know why people in Hollywood have assistants? To program their new Iphones and set up email accounts.  Assistants are  normal people who have common sense, and they know how to do things. I know this because I once worked for an exec who FREAKED OUT when the power cord for his laptop died. I thought it was amusing, but then I realized that I rely on my GPS for everything and I have trouble with microwaves that aren’t my own.  If I was caught in a situation that involved building a fire or rigging  a transistor radio to signal for help and I didn’t have Siri to guide me through it, I would be truly screwed. 

Actors Are Not Morning People

Every time I go to my 11am improv class, everyone lethargically sips coffee with half-shut eyes and moans about how early it is and how tired they are. I have friends who honestly believe the sun rises at 9am because unless  an early call time is involved, actors do not get up early in the morning. They just don’t, and neither does anyone else in LA unless they have a “normal” job.  But what if you have to battle a group of teenagers to the death? You know when Katniss woke up? Before the sun came up! And what if zombies want to feed on your human flesh? They’re not waiting till brunch, friend.  Five in the morning  needs to become your new bestie.

Actors Are Vain

This may be the biggest obstacle in the survival of our outlandishly attractive, talented race.  Thespians are forever in pursuit of their best selves and I foresee a plethora of bad decisions stemming from our undying need for physical perfection . What’s to stop an enterprising young starlet from trying to improve her tan under a post apocalyptic sun that turns out to have deadly turns-you-into-a-vampire rays? That sparkling pool over there looks like it might give you youthful skin forever... never mind that it’s brimming with radiation and now you’re a mutant. Good job day player.

What’s this? Someone from another district is trying to take me out with a slab of cement from the ruins of  Gruman’s ? I’ll just evade them with stage combat skills so as not to scratch my stunning face.  None of that is going to work, and in addition to the hassle of sustaining your own life without a PA, I imagine that post-Armageddon LA is going to be pretty gross. The prospect of the grime and lack of massages alone will probably be enough to force hordes of actors to take their own lives. Nightlock anyone?

In light of this harrowing revelation, I’ve decided to become more conscientious and learn some skills that might come in handy outside of a callback. That’s the plan anyway, just as soon as I can find my phone and Google map my way out of this labyrinthical backlot.


  1. So are you planning on getting cast as a District 11 girl?