The (K)Cates really have nothing to worry about with me, competition wise. Winslet and Blancette can rest assured that my thespian foray has bordered on the inconsequential. And I’m mostly good with that.
Along with getting the occasional casting call (an actual audition appointment) from my agent, I get audition notices all the time to my email inbox, and I can respond or not, which is mostly not. Once in a while I get a personal, direct message via one of my casting networks (usually from an indie production), asking me to audition for a particular role. Often, the role calls for an uptight, conservative Christian woman. Fine. I’ll be Margaret, early fifties, rigid, purse-lipped, devout woman who dresses conservatively and judges quickly.
A few days ago, I was with my friend Stacie who’s battling late stage brain cancer. I had been snuggling with her on the couch when I heard the ping on my smartphone. These were untradeable moments.
The ping was a direct message through Backstage (casting site) to play “Margaret.” I knew it wouldn’t work for me. Rather than ignoring it, I responded quickly, you know, out of courtesy:
Thank you so much for the opportunity, but I am unavailable. 🙁 Have a good shoot!
(Note the sad/smiley face.)
A few moments later, my smartphone pinged again with the director’s response:
Good afternoon Ms. Capone,
Thank you for your hasty response. I wish you good will.
I had a choice to make. I could stay snuggled with Stacie, savor these precious, untradeable moments and not sweat the small stuff.
I made the wrong(ish) choice.
The worst choice would have been to blast the director. I didn’t do that. I decided to take the high(ish) road. I typed back:
I’m not sure what you interpreted as hasty but that was not my intent. I was sincerely wishing you well since I will be unavailable. I made it short to avoid wasting your time. That’s it. Hope your production is a success.
Put that morsel of calm, mature retortiness in your director pipe and choke.
Oh forgive me, I meant no disrespect. Anything within a 24-hr time slot in these matters I consider hasty or a timely manner. So sorry if there was any misunderstanding or miscommunication on my behalf.
What? I was sincerely confused now. Did my mature tactic bring forth humility and contrition or not? In hindsight, I assumed the first email (“Thank you for your hasty response”) to be flat-out rude, topped off with the sarcastic (“I wish you good will”).
And then she apologized, but still called it “hasty”—but then “timely”? What’s happening?!
Chatting later in the day with my daughter, she, as she does, provided some insight. It was insight that I had toyed with a little earlier in the day (all on my own, thank you very much), after thinking about the direct message exchange. Did the director not fully understand the word, “hasty” and mistakenly use it? Was that it? As simple as that? Would it be possible that English was not her first language?
I like to think love is my first language.
Was I a jerk?
Yeah, I think I played the part of the jerk.
I assumed her to be someone she was not, cast her in an unflattering light, expected the worst and not the best, jumped the gun, didn’t give the benefit of the doubt, sweated the small stuff, felt that uncomfortable, unnecessary heat between my ears, traded all of that garbage-iness for sweet, untradeable snuggling moments with my friend.
Am I Margaret? I’m no (K)Cate, but I can play against type.