My Life on the G List: Party Time
BY David Moretti
April 13 2010 11:20 AM ET
In Hollywood more gigs are booked over a martini than through an audition. An actor’s ability to properly function as a human in a social environment (which for some brooding, introverted thespians is difficult) is given more weight than the ability to convincingly read three pages of dialogue in a cold room with a stoic casting director on the third floor of some office building in Burbank that is supposed to mimic, oh, let’s say a pristine beach in Cozumel.
There’s some logic to this. Most of an actor’s time spent on a set is without a camera rolling, and directors want to be completely sure the talent is not going to slow down production with personal antics (cough! Lohan! cough!). No one wants to work with that problem actor who hides in his trailer waiting for monogrammed white M&M’s hand-delivered by a princess riding a unicorn. (OMG, is that Jennifer Lopez? No? Oh hmm, thought I saw her. I digress.) Whether or not one is a prima donna is difficult to gauge through an audition alone. So aside from learning to act, one must also master another skill in this crazy business: industry event conversation.
Have you ever been to a party or a bar where the person you showed up with quickly vanished, stranding you in a room full of people you don’t really know, leaving you with a virtual bull’s-eye on your back? The most inebriated and annoying of the strangers you’re left with will surely come up and engage you in inane, slurred conversation. You can surreptitiously pour out your drink into a potted plant and use the need for a refill to get away. If you are indoors and can’t find a place to ditch your vodka soda with a splash of cran, you can just say you have to pee, then flee. These are tried and true easy exits.
At entertainment events your circumstances can be strikingly similar, and you’d probably want to employ the same tactics. However, many of these inebriated slurrers could potentially hire a working actor, so a graceful exit is a little more complicated. Every conversation is a potential job interview, one in which your interviewer is a little tipsy, Lady Gaga is blaring in the background, and people are doing cocaine in the bathroom. Yeah, it’s never dull on the G-list. (Brad Pitt has assistants to deal with this.)