Saturday, March 13, 2021

Hey! You! Get Out of My Way! Enter the 9th Circle Part 22

I cannot get out of there fast enough the minute my shift is done. Bob is waiting outside for me with a flower in his hand. We walk around the Village and he takes me to an all night diner. I am enwrapped by all of Bob’s stories. He drops me off at the door of my apartment building at 6:00 a.m. After finding my identification, I am allowed access. When I turn back around, Bob is looking at me through the window. Our eyes meet and he waves goodbye.

I tiptoe into the apartment, hoping not to wake anyone. Climbing the ladder to the loft, I crawl across the floor and fall asleep on the bed in my clothes. Four hours later the three phones in the apartment are ringing. One phone is ringing downstairs in the kitchen, one in the bedroom, and the other right next to my bed. I ignore it but Regina, downstairs in the kitchen, does not. “Geoff,” she screams from the bottom of the ladder, “Your agent is on the phone, and he’s pissed.” Quickly sitting up in bed, I reach for the phone next to the bed.

Hello?” I whisper. “Where are you?” my agent screams into the phone. “I’m at home,” I answer. I can’t seem to get my voice above a whisper. “I got you an audition for a commercial in one hour and I’ve been calling you all morning.” Richard quickly explains that he submitted my photo to a top photographer from Japan who is here in New York looking for models to be “the face” of a new Japanese company. “Richard,” I croak “where am I going?” 


Searching around the room, I look for something to write with. He gives me the address and I jot it down with a red marker. “Oh, okay,” I say, “I’ll be there.” “Jesus, what is wrong with your voice? Do something about it!” he screams, slamming the receiver in my ear.

I skitter across the floor on my hands and knees and quickly climb down the ladder. Regina is waiting at the bottom. “God, you look awful,” she says as I brush past her, still in last night’s clothes. Looking in the bathroom mirror I see that I have bloodshot eyes, and my hair is standing straight up in all directions. “Oh, God,” I croak again, sounding like Brenda Vaccaro. “I have lost my voice.”

Having little time, I quickly strip and jump into the shower. I’m racing against the clock. I need to be across town in no time flat. Dressing quickly with no time to lose, I hurry out of the building and hail a cab, telling the driver to step on it.

When I arrive at the audition, I find the monitor and check in. I am dressed in a black t-shirt, blue jeans, and black motorcycle boots. My hair is sticking up in all directions and held in place with Dippity-do. Looking around the room, I realize that I’m in a room filled with male models. In my mind, I’m the only one that looks like a real person. Everyone else looks like they have just stepped out of the pages of GQ magazine.

I am called into the room with about twenty other guys. We’re lined up, and the casting director asks for our portfolios. I hand over my picture and resume. One of the guys next to me snickers. Then we’re asked a little bit about ourselves and handed a script. Not only are they doing a photo spread, they’re looking to hire for a commercial training video. They go down the line, asking us to read aloud, one at a time. I am terrified to open my mouth in this group. When it’s my turn to read the guy next to me snickers again. After I’m done I shoot him a look. We’re thanked by the casting director and released for the day. I have to work at The Ninth Circle tonight, so I hurry to catch a nap.

A couple of hours later the phone rings and it’s my agent again. Turns out that the Japanese company is working against a time crunch and they have to cast their project immediately. They tell my agent that they love me and that I have a voice that is perfect for their advertisement and commercial. “Very exotic,” they tell him.

I am so excited and exhausted all at the same time. I look at the clock. I have a couple of hours before work, so I roll over and fall back asleep.

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