Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Life of an Actor

Sometimes as an actress, I must take jobs that aren't exactly challenging in the mental arena.

For example, I just worked at the Vancouver Auto Show as a booth bitch. Don't worry folks, those days of wearing a bikini on a Ford are long gone. I got to be the Mercedes girl.  And with Mercedes comes a black power suit.

I agreed to this show because (a) it pays really well and (b) last year I just sat there rolling posters and talking to the other Mercedes girls.

But this year was not so fun.  This year we had a 'supervisor' in the form of Belinda.  

The reason we had her this year was due to stupid budget cuts that made her job with Mazda obsolete.  Lucky us.

I arrived for my first shift breathless and two minutes late.  Due to the fact that I called an ambulance five minutes earlier because a random homeless man appeared to be dead at the fire hydrant across the street.  Turns out he was just drunk.

Anyways, Belinda, with an annoyingly large fake smile, kindly informed me not to mention the 'incident' again and if was ever late, a full hour's pay would be docked.  I just sort of looked at her, and the empty floor of cars with my eyebrows raised.  Sheesh. I said I was sorry lady.

When she introduced herself, she drew out her name so I always called her Baaa-Lyyyn-daaaa.  Her name was only the first annoying thing about this woman.

Nearing the age of thirty, and not doing what I want to do at the moment, can make me slightly bitter.  I certainly don't need some lady in a suit talking to me as if I were an idiot teenager.  I mean come on, the gist of the job is to smile at people and give them a brochure.  I have a University degree, a certificate from one of the most prestigious drama schools in the world, and business training from the technical institute.  I think I can handle smiling and brochure holding.

But Baaa-lyyn-daaaaa insisted on treating me like an idiot when it came to her 'wows'.  She actually called them 'Baaa-lyyyn-daaa's Wows'.  Somehow I wouldn't exactly call a power window a 'wow' but whatever.

For the first hour of my first shift, Baaa-Lyyyn-daaa walked me around 'training' me with her large fake grin that reminded me of the Cheshire cat and slow, melodic voice that she also must use when speaking to people who are from foreign countries. Or are deaf.

The worst thing about getting trained like that, is it reminds you that you are doing a lame-ass jill job.  Especially when Baaa-lyyyn-daaa took out a folder, smiled and said 'now for the do's and don'ts'.  She took at least three minutes to tell me about this list, her, and I quote, 'do's and don'ts - the laymens terms, okay?'.  Ummm, is there a technical term for do's and don'ts?  Do's and Do not?

They included things like not chewing gum.  Duh.  

Baaa-lyyyn-daaa also told me in her grimace about her 'survival kit'.  It contains everything you will ever need to survive the auto show.  Like a gun?  Just kidding.  But somehow I felt like calling something that contains an exacto knife and scotch tape a survival kit is going too far.  Call it like it is, it's a bag of supplies.  Maybe that is the laymen's term?

Anyways, my life continued for six days.  Standing next to shiny cars and talking to people about the magnificent wonders of the B-Class.  Which I grudgingly admit do have some fun 'wow's.  Like a 12V in the trunk for plugging in your cooler.

I also grudgingly admit that Baaa-lyyyn-daaa grew on me after a while.  Albeit she still had OCD and no sense of humour or fun, but the grin I discovered was real, not fake.  

And at least after six days I was done.  I don't have to travel Canada or actually work for a dealership all the time, talking about my 'wows' of cars and getting people excited about trunk space.  I have a much more fun job.  It's called unemployed.

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