MY TIME WITH DENISE AUSTIN

Posted on November 16, 2012

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So since I’ve been banished from the Belotti household, yours truly has been holding it down in Queens with a bare bones existence, in a struggle for survival.  Thanks to a few kind folks who have bought a t-shirt (love you Bill M!!!) I have managed to afford lunch.  But things were getting close to the wire, and the thought of not being able to finish editing the pilot episode of MY PARENTS ARE CRAZIER THAN YOURS or having no food to eat next week were enough to send me into panic mode.  I have been, as usual, sending in my outdated headshot and resume for random acting jobs, applying to Craigslist for waitressing jobs, and, well, praying.

Then, on Wednesday, while I was eating an egg sandwich that I had to pay for with all the dimes and nickels in my purse, I received a call from a random number on my cell phone.  It was the casting agent that I had auditioned for the week before.  An unprecedented event was happening.  I was chosen for an acting job.  I would be one of the work-out enthusiasts hanging around Denise Austin and asking her questions.  “Are you available tomorrow for the shoot?” the male voice said through my phone.

“Fuck YEAH are you fucking kidding me????” is what I wanted to say, but in lieu of sounding unprofessional, I practiced restraint and just said, “Absolutely.  I will be there.”  I hung up the phone, my hand shaking, and noticed my eyes were moist with tears.  I had to use the crumpled napkins to wipe my eyes.  I didn’t know if I was crying because I was actually chosen for a paid acting job, or if it was some kind of evidence there was a God, who was saying, “Myra, here’s a nugget of goodness so that you know that life is actually good, and I haven’t forgotten you.”

So, yesterday, I woke up at 6am, took Vito for a jog through the chilly Queens neighborhood, showered, and rode the subway into Manhattan for the Denise Austin shoot.  I wondered how or why I was chosen for this.  I’m not your typical beauty nor do I have an amazing slender physique.  I eat too many cookies (as many of you know), and to make up for my perhaps oversized ass, I compensate with my sense of humor.  Then I thought back to the audition and how in my improvisation, I pretended to be afraid to go to the gym because of all the hot guys who distracted me there and how I was prone to fall off the treadmill with my obsessive staring.  Ah yes, this is what got me the job.

While I was sitting in the make-up chair getting brushed on and applied to, Denise Austin walked over to us and screeched with delight in a grand hello and welcome.  I have never met a cheerier spirit.

The whole day was an inspiration to me.  I couldn’t help but think about how consumed I get with my problems and how I let that bring me down.  And here was this successful, beautiful woman who at 55, is a fitness trainer to the stars.  Sure, she has a lot to be happy about…and she isn’t worried about whether she’ll have enough to eat next week.  But what if I could have some of that spark?  That spirit?  That joy de vivre…simply for the heck of it?

She was like a little kid who liked to joke and laugh at herself.  She had enormous compassion and would make a joke every time she screwed up her lines.  Which was a lot.  And after an eight hour day of sitting around on yoga mats and asking scripted and non-scripted questions, Denise and I took a photo together.

I rode the subway home knowing I only had an hour before I had to head back into the city to go do a trial run at a new waitressing job.  I walked into my storage unit of a bedroom, hugged Vito while proclaiming “I’m a professional actress!!” but then sat on my bed.  I was feeling a wave of melancholy.  I really wanted to call my parents and say, ‘Guess what I just did?”  I wanted to share the ups and downs that had been my week.  One of the most challenging ever.

But, they’re not talking to me.  They don’t seem to share my sense of humor when it comes to what I’ve written about them in my blog.  They don’t see that it’s really a Seinfeld-esque kind of funny.  I guess I can’t blame them.

Sometimes I just feel like a little girl, who despite having crazy parents, really still needs them.  Do any of you know what I mean?

In the meantime, I am writing this at a communal table in a Starbucks in Queens where the girl across from me is screaming into her cell phone in Japanese, while her friend is applying Hello Kitty lip gloss next to her like nothing is wrong.  I am giving the cell phone offender dirty looks, but she is oblivious.  This is EXACTLY why I’ve given my loyalty over to Dunkin Donuts for writing sessions, but all their tables were taken.

Anyway…if any of you would like to support me, my blog, or the post production on my web series, please buy a t-shirt for a minimum donation of $50… Or you can also donate what you’d like.  It would be super awesome.  Here’s the link:

https://www.paypal.com/cgi-bin/webscr?cmd=_donations&business=PTDYSWXYHM59S&lc=US&item_name=Marlene%20Rhein&currency_code=USD&bn=PP%2dDonationsBF%3abtn_donateCC_LG%2egif%3aNonHosted

And before wrapping up, I’d like to also say that Sprint sucks.  Trying to reach their customer service is atrocious and when you do get through, you get told things that don’t seem to apply the next day.  F—k you Sprint!!

Lastly, being that this is Thanksgiving season, I’d like to just express gratitude for the following things:  This blog and the readers.  My dog.  My new friend Jules (gojulesgo.com).  My friend Justin who saved my ass today (Zebra!).  The painful things that force me to grow.  Whoever chose me for that commercial.  The ability to choose what I think about despite what the circumstances are.  And my parents who aren’t speaking to me but who’ve given me a wealth of humor to share.

Posted in: Humor, Life