Last year in June, I was living "in-between" jobs and it was everything I thought it would be (FYI: I thought it would be awesome). I had a lot of time off between investment banking and Teach for America's summer training program. I spent most of this time getting fit, cooking, going to coffee shops, reading, watching TV and doing home improvement projects. I was living the retired life at 24 years old, which I suppose makes me a baller. I accept.
On top of that, I also co-starred in a short film produced by NYU Tisch graduate students. When I left banking, a good friend forwarded me a casting call for a director needing someone South Asian in a lead role. The movie was to be a short ten minute reinterpretation of O.Henry's The Gift of the Magi. In this version, a laid off investment banker has trouble finding a job and supporting his pregnant wife. My friend convinced me this role was basically written for me and that if I didn't go for the audition I was the biggest wuss in the world. I thought, I am anything but the biggest wuss in the world.
For the audition, I needed some close up photos and a résumé. Being the naïve actor that I was, I cropped some Facebook pictures of myself, enlarged my face and brought them along with my professional résumé. As I stood in line at the audition, I saw several aspring student actors and non-student actors with professional close up photos, acting résumés and portfolios of previous work. I knew I wasn't getting the part, but I decided to try anyway. I am anything but the biggest wuss in the world.
At the audition, the director was obviously a bit thrown off by my cropped and enlarged printed Facebook photos. Apparently, blurry pictures printed on regular printer paper are not classy. Touche, director. He was however, beyond impressed with my résumé. We did some script reading and then he had me do some improv. He seemed satisfied with my performance. More questions.
I suppose since the story was about an investment banker, I could see how he erroneously thought my work experience was completely fabricated. We both got a good laugh out of it. Later that night, he called me - I had gotten the part. Unbelievable. It was a fun experience.Director: "I can see by your résumé that you're very detail-oriented. I like method actors. So what other experience do you have? Have you done here any other movies at NYU?"
Me: "Uh... none. If you recall, I'm the person with zero acting experience. We spoke briefly over the phone."
Director: "Oh. That couldn't of been you... Your résumé... It's so, professional looking. It must have taken you a lot of time to make it for the role. I'm impressed with your dedication and creativity."
Me: "Wait, what? This is my résumé. You think I made this up for the role?!"
I'd been meaning to write about this experience for a while. It's unfortunate how fast life has been moving lately. I rarely get a chance to relive stories like this one anymore. I'm afraid if I don't make time to waste time, I may unconsciously begin to forget some of the most funny, interesting and amazing things that have happened in my life.