Now, I am a girl who is pretty comfortable with herself in a bikini–you know, with a sarong. –I don’t really wear sarongs. I wear shorts but, sarong sounded funnier. I love beaches, lakes, wakeboarding, tubing; all of which require a bikini and I am totally okay with this. Where I am NOT okay with this is in the audition room, under flourescent lighting, with two douchey guys operating the camera, standing next to Brazilian model #1 who is about three feet taller and twenty pounds lighter than I am. And yet, I agree to it. Here is my day:
Location: Audition waiting room for Bud Light. Calling for “super sexy LA girl who must be very comfortable being in a bikini for Bud Light national commercial. How about semi comfortable with proper lighting?
Enter casting assistant/camera operator: “Okay…Jessica Barth?” he asks as he scans the room of flawless Amazonian women, failing to notice I am right under his nose. Literally.
“That’s me!” I try to feign enthusiasm for what is coming next.
He looks down at me. “Oh.”
Great. And as if sitting in this waiting room full of famished beauties wasn’t awesome enough…he proceeds to go ahead and call out another name.
Nooooooooooooooo! Please let him be calling the casting assistant in the cargo pants behind me.
Enter Gisele Bundchen look alike #1.
Mother of God.
“Right this way.” Gisele is kind enough to walk on ahead of me so I can stare at her stick legs and perfect butt as we continue to walk. I secretly hope she is hiding an enormously gross birthmark under her booty shorts.
He leads us down a hallway reminiscent of the one at Planned Parenthood they take you down before giving you the results to your HIV test. That turned out alright for me. Maybe this won’t be so bad.
“Ok..right in here,” and into a room with not two, but three guys my age with trucker hats and flannels, “you can strip it on down!”
It is this bad.
I start to sweat. Profusely. I feel like I am auditioning for a porn. Mind you, Gisele is already prancing around in her terribly tiny bikini. No gross birthmark to be found. F*@K. Did I really have to have that cheeseburger from In and Out last night!?
I try to calm myself down by talking to myself. It’s a friggin bathing suit! You are in bathing suits all the time! Chill the ef out! Yea! I live in my bathing suit! I’m a water baby. Call me flipper…yea! It’s working!
“Just so you know ladies, we have to do major closeups on your back side so we are going to need you to walk back and forth to the camera a number of times.”
Am I being punked? Is Ashton going to come charging out in his trucker hat, too??
“Cool” is my response.
No sweat. Except for my entire back! I begin to strip it on down.
We stand side by side, Gisele and I. I come up to about her armpit which is awesome. I want to punch myself in the face. There are people out there without arms or legs, people who have terrible disabilities. I have a memory flash of an Oprah episode where a mother lost her arms and her legs and here I am pouting and whining because I don’t look like a supermodel! Boo-hoo, Jessica!
“Ok. Both of you turn around. We are going to start the close ups.” And I’m back to hating life.
We stand there for a few seconds. I want to run. You know what? I don’t need to be here. Bud Light. Who needs a Bud Light commercial anyway? I don’t need the extra twenty or so thousand dollars. I’m good.
“Ok, ladies. Beautiful. Thanks for coming in.” We all smile.
As Gisele and I start to put our clothes back on, I wonder if she was as nervous to stand next to me. BAAAHHHAAAAHHHAAAA!
As I make myself laugh, she turns to me and says, “Well, that was uncomfortable.”
I now love Gisele.
I want to tell her that she is stunning and that she should just be in a perpetual state of bikini-ness due to her stunningness but, I don’t want her to get the wrong idea. I simply say, “You just made their whole day!”
I go back to the ridiculousness of it all. Beauty in LA. Insecurities of even the most beautiful women in the world. The pressure of perfection. I see it far too much in this town, both as a trainer and as an actress and really, as a woman in general. A passion is reignited in me. A passion I have had for a very long time. A passion that moved me to become a Pilates Instructor. A passion to somehow make a change in the standards of beauty today!
First things first. Cut to me making a phone call to my agent to remind them that I am, in fact, only 5 feet 4 inches tall so he can safely remove Swimsuit model from the Special Skills section on my resume: )