Friday, April 06, 2007

My Television Debut

I can't act. Period. It's a shame, since I loved doing plays as a kid (and a bit as an adult, but that's another story). That didn't keep my then roommate Juli from casting me in her movie in 2003. It was a Good Morning America contest. Contestants were invited to make a Valentine's Day film. Would I mind playing a "bum" collecting cans and bottles from the trash at the beach?
I agreed. I figured I couldn't screw it up too badly. It was a small part, and for me, an easy one. In my early teens I spent a summer raiding park trashcans for bottles and cans so I could cash them in.* I was an old pro at this thing.
The costume Juli and I created looked rattier than an old sneaker. I wore stained, mismatched clothes. Thick makeup covered my face, neck and arms, making me look like I hadn't showered for weeks.
We got to the beach. I rooted through the trash as the camera rolled. Some beach goers didn't get that this was only a movie and glared at me in disgust.
A week later ABC called.
Juli's film was a finalist in the contest and would be shown in part on Good Morning America. We were thrilled. We'd be on T.V.! National T.V.
Then it hit me- I'd make my T.V. debut, on Good Morning America, no less, in a hideous getup, coated with fake dirt, and greasy hair. How flattering. Hello world, it's me!
It aired. I was onscreen for about four seconds. Joel Siegel referred to me as "a homeless lady" a I learned later that Juli's relatives thought that she'd used a real homeless person. Thanks, I think...

*Don't feel sorry for me- I wasn't poor. I was in it for the money

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