The Inevitable Casting Couch

by Chris Hlad…

I’m an actress, and I’m invading your living room on a regular basis, although you might not know it. And guess what else? Okay, I’ll tell you: I work five days a week, get paid, and haven’t had to lay down on one casting couch, if you know what I mean.

If you don’t know what I mean, then you probably live in one of those flyover states, so you don’t count (at least to me – Trump is banking on you, though). Oh what the hell. I’m already home after a hard day’s work, so I’ll fill you in. Let’s face it, there are only two cities in the Union that matter, those of course being Los Angeles and New York (and for all you nitwits out there, Hollywood is part of Los Angeles) and my agent says I need to broaden my horizons so here it is…

The casting couch is mainly used for women, although I suppose men can be trapped in the same predicament, what with equal rights and everything. It’s a place where the true audition occurs; it’s where you show an Agent or Producer or Director your ‘goods’, so to speak. If you’re a willing participant in the audition (and in case this isn’t crystal clear, I’m talking about sex), you have a much better chance of getting the role.

Is it a guarantee?

Of course not. Nothing in the world of entertainment is a ‘guarantee’, but I will tell you that it improves your chances of landing that role dramatically. I mean, it’s really no big deal – you’re just sacrificing your body, soul and whatever is left, but that’s what they made blow for.

But I’ve only heard stories of casting couch auditions; I personally would never whore myself out like that. Yet I still manage to make a living on TV (or cable or satellite or whatever you want to call it) and get plenty of screen time.

You might not even recognize me if you saw me, but that doesn’t mean you haven’t seen me, unless you have a real job. If you work a nine to five steady gig, you won’t have a clue who I am. However, if your a stay at home mom or a chronic alcoholic who just can’t find it yourself to get of the couch and get a job, then odds are you’ve seen me.

You know The Today Show? The one with the big windows that look out on the pathetic crowd just begging for some screen time (aside from me of course – I’m the real deal)?
I’m there. Every day, rain or snow or shine or terrorist attack, Monday through Friday, kind of like the post office. I’m the one staring into the camera, constantly posing and getting your attention.

And I am getting your attention, whether or not you know it. Trust me, the people who watch that show are a dedicated bunch, and like I said, I’m always there. So while you may not recognize me at first glance, I’m definitely hidden in your subconscious somewhere.

I don’t stay for the whole show, though. That would be pathetic, don’t you think? I don’t have the time for that. I’m much too busy.

After I invade your home during breakfast, I hop on a plane, you see. Next arrival: Los Angeles! Home to so many of the daytime shows that you know you love and are addicted to, although you may not admit so publicly.

I’ll let you in on a little secret, though: it’s not really reality. Those couples you see on Divorce Court? Wanna be actors and actresses. And they have it easy. They’re given an outline of a script to follow, something I don’t have the advantage of. That’s what separates the ‘wanna be’s’ from the real deal such as myself.

See, my job is to react, and to react in such a way that you keep watching. Yep, that’s me in the crowd, the same face from the Today Show now in Divorce Court. And after that? Judge Judy. And then Family Feud.

On a good day I can even make it to the latest breaking news story, being a concerned onlooker. Next time you watch one of those candle light vigils, take a good look at the faces and you’ll recognize me, all drowned in sorrow but really just whoring myself out for more screen time.

Yep, the same woman who invaded your kitchen at breakfast is invading your bedroom at night.

Is it easy?

God no. After said candle light vigil, I have to hop on a red eye to make it back in time for The Today Show. Best case scenario – I can’t find a tragedy and take off right after Family Feud; that gives me a couple of hours to sleep when I get back to New York.

Unless, of course, there is an accident in the Lincoln Tunnel, which is fine by me because it’s more screen time.

There is a point to my maddening schedule, though, and I know I can’t keep it up forever.

When I do get that big break, when I do get an audition that eventually leads me to the inevitable casting couch, that’s when it will come into play. You see, whoever I have to do the second audition for will subliminally know my face and cast me immediately!

It’s genius, I know.

Oh no. Agents, Producers and Directors don’t watch daytime TV, do they?

I hope that couch has comfortable padding.

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