I want to share with you a story about what it’s like to be me in this glamorous town of Hollywood.
About 12 years ago, I started working professionally, and I’ve been fortunate enough to make my living at it ever since. However, I’ve probably been turned down for 100 jobs, for every one job I’ve gotten. It’s a rough road, this road I’ve chosen. And to be frank… I’m tired of it.
Let’s back up a step, shall we? I’m a dork. I’m not one of those adorable dorks who’s really pretty and tall and perfect and just says she’s a dork because she likes to read non-fiction and knows about Star Wars. I’m one of those dorky dorks who was never popular in high school and always felt a step behind everyone in everything I did. I still do. I was lucky enough to know at a very young age what I wanted to be, but I never felt I was as good as it as other people. Then I discovered comedy and I felt as good as I needed to be, so I stayed there. And 15 years later I started working.
My first major role was on Seinfeld and it was amazing and terrifying and magical. My friends threw a huge party when it aired, and I thought, “This is the beginning”. It wasn’t. I waited tables a bit longer and then I booked MadTV as a series regular. This was another exercise in me feeling “Less Than” everyone else. I was clearly good enough to be there, but I didn’t ever really fit in. I was on the outside, watching everyone else get laughs and fame. I took what little scraps I was given and was let go after a season. It sounds like I’m whining, and I am a little bit, but I want to make it clear that part of it is my own fault. I’m really bad at playing the games you have to play to get somewhere in this business. I always have been.
Time went by and I booked a lot of guest star parts, then I began getting hosting work. But intermixed with all those jobs were about 100 or 1000 auditions that went “really well”, but I just wasn’t “right for the part”. No one ever gets a straight answer on why they aren’t right for a part. So you start thinking things like, “I must be really ugly”, or fat or bad or not funny or too short or too tall or badly dressed or… JUST AWFUL AT EVERY FUCKING THING I DO. It’s nearly impossible to not get a complex unless you just believe in your abilities and looks so much that nothing can ever get you down. I’ve never met one of these people. So years of rejection can really mess a person up. And even though it seemed like I was working a ton, it was hard to not focus on all the work I WASN’T getting. Plus, to be frank, I wasn’t getting really high-paying work. I got close. But I never booked that stuff. I’d “test” for sit-com leads, but never get them. Something wasn’t clicking. Read more