Blacktress finds herself, sitting in CATZ studios, waiting for her turn to read for one of the leading roles in an indie film.
“I just got the audition notice this morning. Haven’t even had time to read the script,” she leans over and admits to another auditioner, who looks exactly like her only a foot shorter.
“Me neither” her midget clone whispers back guiltily.
Nevertheless Blacktress is relaxed and stress free. The girls share a smile.
Same day auditions are the best, she thinks. They give you no time to obsess about your choices or presumptuously spend the entire paycheck in your head.
Once in the room, Blacktress gets a good vibe from the cute writer/ Director. Her attraction wanes once she notices his ridiculously tight jeans and decides he’s either very uncomfortable or has nuts the size of pomegranate seeds. During her read she feels his eyes lingering over her body. She’s unfazed. He’s a director, of course he’s either horny or a wierdo. Before the sun goes down, the horny/wierdo hyphenate calls to offer her the role.
“I need this so badly! I feel like I haven’t worked in forever. And I love the director!” Blacktress squeals excitedly as she sets down two plates between her and Iyanla. They’ve gathered to watch the kind of trashy television program that undoubtedly kills brain cells. Iyanla is half listening; she’s too preoccupied burning through the script.
“This is really good. This guy actually wrote a good part for a black woman. Well I’ll be damned… Miracles do happen.” Iyanla quips before flipping the page.
“You’re so lucky. Really really lu…”
Iyanla’s voice trails off and then announces with all the gentleness of a fog horn, “HOLY SHIT! Have you read this!!?”
Having been swept away by the excitement of her audition and subsequent booking, Blacktress hadn’t taken a moment to actually read the entirety of the movie in which she’d agreed to be one of the stars.
Iyanla rises and announces, “You have to be naked. Like bare ass naked. Like Kate Winslet naked. For the whole last scene.
Iyanal flips a page. “No, for the last two scenes.”
“WHAT?!! That wasn’t in the breakdown!” Blacktress goes into full on cardiac arrest. That’s why Mr Teeny Nuts was eyeing me like that? It becomes increasingly harder for her to breathe. “No, no, no…I… have…a…rule!” she manages to get out.
Blacktress rule #4: THE DADDY DOCTRINE: Never accept a part if you’d rather die than have your father see the finished product.
Blacktress came upon this rule as the perfect barometer for decency after deciding against accepting a role in a hedonistic- ish adaptation of A Mid Summer Night’s Dream being produced at a seedy black box in Hollywood.
Iyanla shakes her head. “ It’s not Shakespeare this time. This is a movie, something people will actually want to see. It could be huge. Sorry to your Pops but the doctrine is done!” Iyanla insists.
It wasn’t even like Blacktress’ father was a prude or a religious nut. He had after all taken her to see Total Recall in the theater when she was a first grader. Nevertheless it had become obvious what she was going to have to do.
“A rule is a rule. I’m gonna have to pull out.” She says weakly.
Iyanla almost slaps the shit out of her.
“Are you fucking crazy. Turn it down? For what?” She asks her eyes burning into Blacktress.
The truth comes bubbling mightily to the surface under Iyanla’s strident glare. Blacktress begins to realize that this may be less about her father figure and more about her figure. Fragments of embarrassing memories long buried in the depths of her subconscious come flooding back. Suddenly Blacktress is remembering a tragic high school sleep over when Satan in the form of a highs chool mean girl referred to her ass as “lopsided”. The stretch marks that debuted the summer her curves came in are also etched into her mind’s eye.
“I guess I have body issues,” she reveals to her friend in a whisper.
“Duh, bitch. You’re a woman. In fucking America.” Iyanla tries another angle. “Look it’ll be just like when we go to the Korean spa. You don’t care about being naked then.”
“ I don’t have as many body issues in person as I will in high-definition. They’re shooting on THE RED!! You have to help me get out of this!”
Iyanla isn’t moved. She stares at Blacktress blankly.
“Iyanla?! What am I gonna do?”
Like a good friend, Iyanla scoops all the carbs off Blacktress’ plate and plops them onto her own.
Blacktress Tip of the Week: Sooner or later this town will ask you to bare more than your soul for the sake of art. If you’re vain, stay toned.