07 February, 2020

I Don’t Want to Be the Strong Female Lead

I moved to Los Angeles to become an actress at 24. These are character descriptions of roles I have read for: “thin, attractive, Dave’s wife”; “robot girl, a remarkable feat of engineering”; “her breasts are large and she’s wearing a red sweater.”
I stuffed my bra for that last one. I still did not get the part.
After a while it was hard to tell what was the greater source of my depression: that I could not book a part in a horror film where I had three lines and died on Page 4, or that I was even auditioning to play these roles at all. After dozens of auditions and zero callbacks, my mom suggested I get breast implants. From her perspective, I had walked away from a coveted job at Goldman Sachs and chosen a profession of self-commodification. She wanted to help me sell better.
But I wasn’t drawn to acting because I wanted to be desired. I was drawn to acting because I felt it would allow me to become the whole, embodied person I remembered being in childhood — one that could imagine freely, listen deeply and feel wholeheartedly.