Monday, 24 February 2014

"Slightly Over-Weight"

I'm not skinny. I'm not fat either. I am fit, and I have muscles. In fact, I'm on my Weigh-Less goal weight. But I have a goal weight, and I dieted down to get there. And I'm rather sensitive about that.

Body image is never an easy thing for any woman and most of us would rather be called an entire slew of other derogatory terms before being called fat. It's not right, but we are products of our society.And as an actress and a dancer weight has always been a tough topic. No matter how thick skinned I've grown a comment about my weight, or being the 'biggest' girl at a dance audition is enough to send me into renewed efforts at the gym, or to double my daily green tea intake.

And so on Sunday evening I received an email from my agent who, bless his heart has never commented on my weight, to audition for a film. I read the character description he suggested for me and agreed entirely. It's the type of character I want to play and that my agent and I had discussed, she's going to be fun to do, she's comedic.... And then the moment of the character description that changed it all:

"Slightly over-weight"

A small part of me died in that moment.

Now I know (or at the very least hold on to blind hope) that those three words are not why my agent suggested that particular character. She is everything we had discussed that I wanted to do and playing her would be so much fun. Except for those three words.

The morning before the audition a friend made me laugh:
“Well if that’s the case you’re going to get to eat a lot of doughnuts before you start shooting.”
I felt a lot better after that. And in my frumpy skirt, and the shirt I had that resembled a blouse the closest (the characters wardrobe of choice) I went off to my ‘fat-girl’ audition.
After the audition I happened to walk out with the casting agent, who informed me that most of the actresses coming in for the part were all commenting about the ‘slightly over-weight’ clause. He responded that perhaps that would settle for ‘a little chubby’. It really wasn’t about the weight.

“I think it’s more the type of energy for the character, more than the look” I ventured.


And as the casting agent and the women feeding me lines had both laughed during my audition I’m praying for the best.

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