Monday, September 10, 2007

eight steps, but to where?

There were a few moments early this morning where Niki and I would look at each other and just start to laugh, laugh because what we were doing was so spur of the moment, was so hairbrained an idea, was so absurd in every way, because this is life, these absurd moments strung together. On the subway ride this morning, Mikayleigh and Niki had whitening strips over their teeth, and her speech hobbled by this product, Niki asked me what we were doing, and that was one of those moments where we laughed. The question was apt, too apt, and the answer too funny. We were on our way to audition to be Disney characters on a Disney cruise ship, a job that would require an eight month commitment.

Mikayleigh had flown up here from Florida specifically to audition for this job, believing she had it in the bag. At some point in the day yesterday, she convinced Niki that she should audition for it also. The two of them sold me on the idea when I got home late last night and the idea of spending several months on the ocean sounded so good to me then. Being a Disney character, Goofy most likely, did not sound so good, but it sounded easy enough and it would have paid really well, enabling me to travel and perhaps live in foreign locales (Mexico City at the top of that daydreamer’s list) with the money paid after not having paid rent for months and having no real place to spend the money being earned.

And so this morning, after sprucing up our resumes, printing photos of ourselves as costumed characters, and practicing some eight steps, we headed off to this dance studio in our very amateurish dance outfits. It was a world far removed from my normal one and so fascinating to observe, very A Chorus Line. Everyone handed in a headshot with their resume printed on the back and then sat down in this mirrored dance studio doing stretches in their spandex dance outfits and jazz shoes, doing this, but more so applying make-up, perfecting it, in the mirrors.

They split the mass of people auditioning into two groups. We were in the second group and we could hear the choreographer yelling instructions through the room next door. Nerves started to set in for Niki and I and we began to take more seriously how out of place we were amongst these professional auditioners.

Group Two was called and we went into the room next door. A dance routine was hurriedly explained by the choreographer. Somehow this routine was learned by most of the people there and I felt more and more nervous about how bad I was doing. I was looking at the other people around me in the mirror, copying their moves, but not fast enough, and found myself bumping into my neighbors a few times. After these group run-throughs of the routine, we performed for the casting director in groups of three, small groups where I could no longer so easily conceal the fact that I was just faking my way through this dance routine, spinning on my right foot rather than my left, following my neighbor’s lead belatedly, and trying to keep up.

Mikayleigh had told me that I was definitely going to get a job, not probably, that they desperately needed tall guys all the time for Goofy, and from the room full of hopefuls, it seemed to be true. Ninety percent of the people there were females. I didn’t do totally terrible during the dance routine. The casting director asked me my height, then asked me to smile at him so he could get a good look at me, and that was it. After all the groups of three had finished, he looked through his list and then read the names of the people he wanted to stay. Niki’s name was not called, Mikayleigh’s wasn’t, mine wasn't. Our dreams of life at sea were quickly put to an end.

We crossed the street at Mikayleigh’s suggestion, heading to White Castle, she incredibly disappointed about not making the cut. We ate little burgers, quite a few of them. It didn’t mean as much to me and so the burgers didn’t need to comfort me and I wasn’t drunk, which really is probably the only way to enjoy those burgers.

It was a lovely day still, getting to do something and see a side of life that I probably never would have without this visitor. I tried and had fun, got a free dance lesson.

Later this day, this same day, the three of us found a gorgeous couch and matching armchair on the street. We carried them the couple of blocks to our house and then I made a dinner, a lovely thing because it was made with love, for us and I sat on this new couch eating the yummy thing, drinking yummy rum drinks.

Mikayleigh left tonight, not before making me laugh over and over again with amazing stories, and not before christening our nameless cat, Kitty, Bob Dylan.

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