The Convertible Mini Cooper Audition
Back when I was living in California, around 2003, I was trying my hand at acting.
I was young, I had hair, the world was my oyster. One day, I was getting new headshots taken in a park and lo and behold, there was an audition going on. Normally for an audition, you have to be invited or go through your agent.
They HATE when people attempt to audition without being asked to. I did just that.
It was for the Mini Cooper Convertible. How could I not crash this audition. It was huge!
So, I walk up, made something up, told them they lost my information and that they need to see me. They bought it for some reason and sent me to the area to begin. How hard could it be. Give me lines and I'll act something out. Boom, done.
It turns out, the reason they were being so strict with this audition was that they specifically needed highly skilled gymnasts. Professional damn gymnasts. Ones that could somersault in the air off a trampoline and land on two feet.
I could not. I couldn't even successfully jump on a trampoline without falling off let alone flip in the air and land it perfectly.
But, there I was. I had to go through with it. Especially since I got myself in this ridiculous predicament.
Each actor/gymnast got two attempts. Most landed it with ease. I mean, they were true athletes.
So, I go up, make some jokes, hoping I can get out of it. No chance. Then they push me and tell me to run, bounce, flip.
I run to the trampoline, jump as hard as I could, legs buckle, and smash my face off my knees. Bloody lip. Bruised ego. That was shot 1.
Shot 2 went a bit different. Lip bleeding, clearly not a gymnast, more people gathered to watch this train wreck. They knew what I was. And so I ran, I jumped on that trampoline, hit it as hard as I could. Part fear, part rage. I launched into outer space. As I was returning to earth, I saw the safety pads...and overshot them. And instead chose a particularly rocky place to land face first. That one hurt. I just stayed there.
The casting agent walked up to me and said, "you crashed this didn't you?" Blood, dirt, ego, I said yes.
She picked me up, got me some ice, and said, "That was the stupidest thing you could have ever done. Now please leave."
I didn't get the part. There was no award for trying. I didn't end up meeting someone really cool.
But I did leave with this, I fucking gave it my all. And that was one thing I could be proud of.
I realize most of the times I've felt like a failure in this life were when I half-assed it. Didn't really try one way or another. But when I did try, 100% and failed, it never felt like a failure. It felt like victory, because in the end there was nothing else I could do.
Each day can be like this. Each moment can be 100% all in.
That said, I still cringe when I see a convertible Mini Cooper.