Monday, April 6, 2009

The LA Strip

I work hard to defend my city. I am an LA native born and raised, as was my father and his father. I am proud to call it my home. However, as an actor working my way through the Hollywood stereotypes and bullshit, sometimes I too can see what the San Franciscans and New Yorkers mean. Of course when they generalize about all the things they hate about LA, they are most likely talking about Hollywood, CA, which only makes up about 2% of all of Los Angeles. So let me gripe on this 2%:

I’ve been noticing lately that the casting posts I search (“roles that fit me”—female 18-30, any ethnicity), which I read religiously every morning, are developing an obvious pattern- they all end in stripper. Whether it’s a seemingly innocent undergrad student film or a 5 second commercial spot, somehow some way the female lead also happens to take off her clothes as part of her “character”. They always throw a sentence or two in there for some redeeming quality that justifies the stripper part. As if these are all real meaty roles about real interesting women.

Just a few, real, examples taken straight from the Breakdowns to show you what I mean:

ERICA, a bright, funny, uninhibited veterinary technician who moonlights as a stripper to earn enough money to go to veterinary school.

RAQUEL, a Latina dancer from East L.A. Mexican preferred but other Latina types OK. This is a series regular. Great and fun role. Pole dancing experience preferred but pole training provided for right actress.

BONNIE, a very free spirited, open-minded, and will try anything once type of girl. She is an exotic dancer, but does not let her profession become her. She has a 3 year old daughter, but was not ready to be a mother

Hey, I’m not one to judge. I mean desperate times calls for desperate measures and as MSNBC’s Contessa Brewer so eloquently put it, “A girl’s gotta eat”. Last week, in fact, she reported a very timely news piece, “Former Wall Street Professionals Trade Laptops for Lap Dances” about former Morgan Stanley analyst, Randi Newton who went “Jobless to Topless”. I understand there are such stories to tell, I guess.

But, really, almost every female role has to require sexily taking her clothes off? Where’s the creativity people?!

In fact, I could probably have an entire blog post highlighting the best of the worst casting postings ever. Hmm... stay tuned...


Dan Wilson said...

right... so I *shouldn't* work on my stripper story for Short Lived. Back to the drawing board.

nina said...

well, hey, couldn't hurt to have one in there. i mean, who are we kidding, everyone loves a stripper. and it's pianofight.