When I Stop Reading / by Thea Lux

While I'm attempting to land representation out here, I've been doing more aggressive searches for roles on my own. I have notices sent to my inbox, I'm subscribed to message boards and peruse casting sites daily.

I'm excited that shows such as Orange is the New Black and other new media is giving non-traditional actresses like myself a chance at screen time, but we've (obviously) still got a long way to go.

As little girls we play princesses and queens, we swing from trees and jump from swings, we crawl through tall, uncut grass and imagine being heroes and villains. We walk tightropes and play air guitar. We are puppy dogs, we are popcorn kernels, we are clowns, we are valley girls and bossy pants. We are silly dancers and soaring eagles, radio hosts and secret agents. We are told we can be whatever we want. We pretend to be whatever we want. We are beautiful.

Now as real life grown-up actors, we're regularly told we're only allowed to pretend to be a few things. I can pretend to be a sales representative or a mother. A quirky bank teller or an attractive girl's friend. I've been told by an agent that I don't have a face for TV. I had to pretend that didn't hurt. (ACTING!)

Over the last few days, I compiled a list of casting notices I received and noted when I stopped reading them. This isn't to say that I have poor self-image or don't think I can't play sexy or beautiful, but there are intentional adjectives included in these write-ups that communicate "We don't want your type." (Say that line like James Van Der Beek would.)

  • REAL COUPLE. Very attractive. [Had to break it to the Husbo one of us didn't make the cut.]
  • "Female Runner" should have a good running stride and athletic body [NO OTHERS SHALL RUN.]
  • Flirtatious , BEAUTIFUL, YET INTERESTING [The Beautiful yet Boring role has already been cast.]
  • Sylvia is a carefree beatnik hipster who lives in the moment. Lana Del Rey/ Kristin Stewart type Role will involve: smoking cigarettes ,dancing, stripping into underwear (top only) [Whores take off their bottoms.]
  • Caucasian. 18-25 yrs. Any hair Color. Alluring features. [Glad they don't care about hair.]
  • This is a comedic role. This is for a plus size actress only. [Well, duh.]
  • Looking for a girl that can ride horses and feels comfortable in a beautiful dress. [Even dresses have to be beautiful in Hollywood.]
  • "Real" Models [Take a seat, mannequins.]
  • Female Detective - Any ethnicity. 30-40 years. Professional attire required. Well spoken. Very attractive. [Oooh, a SEXY Murder She Wrote.]
  • Lisa Tina is a menaced woman tormented psychologically by her love interest; Eddy. Tina is a call girl [So close.]
  • Party girl modest beauty, crazy body [Bodies taking Thorazine will not be considered.]
  • Beautiful print model [As opposed to those UGLY models who clutter our magazines.]
  • Almost a femme fatale kind of character. [Almost.]
  • Experienced presenter, speaks eloquently, formal/ professional in appearance. Good looking. [Ahem, she will be PRESENTING.]
  • Angel is a hot bi sexual party girl [IS THERE ANY OTHER KIND OF BISEXUAL?!]
  • Female Body Double. Height 5’0-5'2 and around 100-110lbs. Shoe Size 8-9.5. Hot body, dancer type body. Great Fit Body. [I kept reading because I wanted to see what else this body was.]

I absolutely also receive notices of roles I am "qualified" for, but the numbers are way fewer. If we were basing a census on these roles, 70% of females would be gainfully employed as strippers.

But things are changing. Slowly. At least I try to pretend they are.