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I Got Fired For Being ‘Fat’ And Having Acne
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My whole life, all I ever wanted to do was act. Yes, it’s so typical-clich girl, I know. But alas, I ama typical-clich girl. Don’t basic-shame me. I was born this way. And to be perfectly honest, I wasn’t good at anything else. I got terrible, terrible grades. (Can’t count. Still can’t count). I was […]
My whole life, all I ever wanted to do was act.
Yes, it’s so typical-clich girl, I know. But alas, I ama typical-clich girl. Don’t basic-shame me. I was born this way.
And to be perfectly honest, I wasn’t good at anything else. I got terrible, terrible grades. (Can’t count. Still can’t count). I was a sh*t athlete. (Not coordinated. Still not coordinated). And I had zero — I mean zero —interest in after-school “clubs” (gag).
When my mother has a few too many drinks, she loves to tell tales of my adolescent failures. Picture a gorgeous blonde eccentric with a posh British accent:“OH, Blake, my SON, was bloody brilliant at sports. Fab student, too. But poor Zara. She was awful, weren’t you, darling? I remember thinking, ‘Oh sh*t maybe I should encourage her to try ACTING or something.’”
My motherwill then swill her champagne around in her tall stem glass for dramatic effect, let out a perfectly timed peal of laughter and snarkily end with a “Poor little thing.”
She’s totally right (mother always is). I sucked at life. Until I found acting.
Suddenly, I was good at something. When you’ve literally been a failure at everything you’ve ever attempted your whole childhood and have been deemed nothing more than anADHD problem child, finding your “thing” is HUGE.
Finding acting helped shape my identity.There was never a question of what I was going to do after high school. I was going to Los Angeles to pursue the dream, duh.
And my parents, both of whom are glamorous star-f*ckers (I was conceived in Beverly Hills — I never stood a chance), were extremely supportive of my golden Hollywood dreams.
And lucky for ambitious little me, I scored a role in a FEATURE FILM (straight to DVD, but whatevs!) by the age of 17.I played a vixen cheerleader who tries to kill the “good girl” and accuses a sweet boy in foster care of being sexually inappropriate with her. (She lies. But hey, she didn’t have a good family and was just looking for love and validation in all the wrong places like so many of us do, so don’t judge.)
And even luckier, I got an agent pretty damn quickly.
I was elated the day I waltzed into my new agent’s office on the most gorgeously smoggy LA day and signed the ~contract~.
For the purposes of this article, let’s call my agent Gordon Sleazeball*. I wish I could call Gordon Sleazeball by his real name, because I know a lot of other girls whose self-esteem he crushed, but I don’t feel like getting sued.
I knew Mr. Sleazeball was a creep the moment I met him. Even as a teenager I had stellar instincts. (Thank God, because I was a child living alone in a city of demonic angels.)
He sported one of those violating gazes: beady eyes fixated on teen-girl chest. Every time I went in there, he would examine me with his rat-like eyes. He looked at me — my body, my face — like I was a product. I felt like I was lying naked on a operating table under a bright white light, being examined as part of some dark human experiment.
Which I came to find is totally normal in the entertainment industry. Agents in LA are constantly telling young talent they’re “products,” not “people.” I swear, it’s the first thing you will hear out of the mouth of every deadbeat “manager” to whom you pay $500 for a meaningless “career consultation.”
If you dare to question this, you will for sure be met with: Hey, you want to be an actress, don’t you? If you can’t handle being treated like an object from older men three timesyour age, go back to Kansas, Dorothy.
One day, I was in Sleazeball’s office innocently picking up some sides (small little scenes from scripts) for an audition, when I was met with a gasp. He literally gasped at me, mouth ajar, like an18th-century fair maiden.
“Is everything OK?” I said.I folded my arms, protecting my girl body from his penetrating rape stare.
“I’m going to have to ask you to lose 10 pounds,” Mr. Sleazeball said, his pinched face wincing, as if my body werepainful to his sore, fragile eyes.
“What?” I asked, genuinely sure I was hearing things.
“Yeah, you’re going to have lose at least 10 pounds, maybe even 15. If you could lose it in the lower half of your body, that would be great, because you look really good from the top,” he critiqued, carefully emphasizing the word “top” as he lovingly gazed at my 32A chest. There were tiny beads of sweat on his forehead.
He continued.“Yeah, go with 15. Maybe hire a trainer or something? I mean, you’re such a pretty girl. I wouldn’t want you to NOT GET CAST because of your weight.”