What Happens in Atlanta…

The last time I talked to you all, I was expressing the amount of nervous energy I had pent up inside of this 23-year-old body in regards to my callback.

Well, although I am back in New Orleans and the callback is over, the nervous energy is still there. Maybe that explains the craving for carbs. I seriously just ate 1000 homemade scones. Maple scones, in case you were wondering (it’s all in the details).

Let’s back it up to Friday morning.

I woke up at 6:30am with the imprint of my mother’s couch on my right cheek. My perfectly straightened hair from the night before was now a crinkled mess, and it took me far too long to recognize where I actually was. I made my way into the bathroom to change into my roadtrip outfit (cobalt and navy blue striped yoga pants, teal tank top, navy and gold scarf, brown leather boots and a black biker jacket – clearly, I’m the most fashionable human in the wee hours of the morning). After packing the car and making a pit stop at a local bakery for a king cake to bring to my agent in ATL, we were on the interstate heading to Georgia. Of course, we stopped for coffee. Four shots of espresso for me and lattes for the gals accompanying me on this journey (my mom + partner in crime, Tenea).

I was surprised to find that my mom actually let me drive most of the way to ATL considering we were taking my step dad’s huge ass vehicle Sequoia, and all I’ve driven in my life is my little baby Corolla. I went 90mph most of the way, but don’t tell her I told you that. That might explain why we made such good time…

We made it to our hotel around 5:30pm after encountering a little bit of typical Atlanta traffic. It didn’t phase me much, because I was too distracted by the buildings. For those of you who have been to Atlanta, were you as infatuated with the architecture as I was? I was blown away, and buildings aren’t really something that I notice or even really care for. I mean, buildings rock. Yay buildings. But these buildings? Stunning.

After checking into the hotel, we quickly changed and freshened up before driving slightly north of Atlanta to meet up with my agent and her husband for dinner. Let me preface this by saying how thankful I feel each day for my wonderful agents. My Louisiana agent, Tabitha, is such a sweetie and so lovely to work with. My Atlanta agent, Amber, is the exact same. I feel so thankful to be represented by them!

Back to the evening!

We were welcomed with open arms by Amber and her husband, especially after they saw that we came bearing king cake! I knew that I couldn’t visit Atlanta without bringing them a little slice of New Orleans, especially since it’s Carnival season down here! They were over the moon, and it made my heart happy.

Amber and her hub showed us their beautiful apartment. For those of you familiar with Perkins Rowe in Baton Rouge, it was kind of like that, but infinitely cooler. From their balcony, you looked upon an outdoor shopping center and even an ice skating rink. Whaaaat? I was foolish for believing love at first sight didn’t exist, because I definitely fell hard for this apartment. There’s even a community herb garden that all of the residents share. So cute.

After hanging out at their apartment and playing with their adorable, bouncing Maltese pups, we walked over to dinner.

We went to Ted’s Montana Grill. Apparently, this is a chain, though I’ve never heard of it. We wanted to go to this other restaurant, but the wait was 45 minutes, and it was already 8:30pm by this point. Ted’s it was, and it did not disappoint!

We started with drinks. Pinot Noir por moi. We also shared an appetizer of kettle chips and their house made pickles. Both were good. I had a bite of each, because I didn’t want to intake too much sodium for fear of being bloated the morning of my callback. Two hashtags for ya: #girlproblems #TMI

The restaurant is known for their beef and bison, but because I can often be a creature of habit, I went with the chicken because I’m boring apparently. I did snag a bite of my mom’s bison meatloaf, which tasted like heaven. My nerves for the next morning started setting in, so I could barely eat, but my meal was amazing!

We hung out at the restaurant until around 11:15pm before we decided it was time to go. We hugged and said our goodbyes and talked about coming back for a weekend to spend with Amber. She wants to show us the city, and I am more than game. I have a feeling that Atlanta could potentially steal my heart, and I’m honestly, for now, okay with that idea.

We got back to the hotel around midnight, and after laughing for far too long, the lights went out, and we went to sleep.

Saturday

Saturday morning’s alarm went off at 7am. I was the first one up, and before I did anything else, I went down to the Starbucks in the lobby and ordered a coffee. Medium dark roast, because I’m 88 years old. It did the trick.

I immediately started going over my lines with everything I did. I recited them in the elevator, while I was shaving my legs, as I was applying mascara, and even in-between bites of a banana that I basically ate out of stress/the fear of potentially blacking out at the audition from low blood sugar. The struggle.

I meticulously applied my makeup and fixed my hair to have it as similar as it was for my preliminary audition. *Advice: if you’re called back to anything (film, tv, theatre), always wear the same outfit you wore for your first audition. Casting directors associate people with what they wear. You never know if you’re known as the “purple tank top girl”, so you don’t want to show up in a forest green blouse!  I put on my grey jeans (the one’s that make my butt look good – just being honest), boots, and that awful purple tank top that I was reminded of how much I need to just burn. I threw on a cardigan, a brown leather jacket, grabbed my headshots and resumes and headed out the door.

(This is where I want to take a moment to thank my mom for giving me space, because she knows how psycho I can get before auditions. Also, thank you to Tenea for running lines with me constantly, telling me I have a cute body, and also for not judging me when I started sweating and fanning my underarms. You both rock).

The studio where my callback was held was a mere five minutes from the hotel. Both a blessing and a curse. A blessing, because it’s close and I didn’t have to fear traffic. A curse, because I literally had time for a single blink before I was opening up the car door and walking up to the door.

I passed up the entrance, by the way. Thought that was a fun detail I shouldn’t leave out. Also, there was a buzzer I had to ring to be let inside of the building. SO OFFICIAL. SO SCARY.

Once the door opened, I immediately flashed my smile and turned into “Professional, But Still Personable, Kaitlyn.”

I signed in, gawked at the adorable lanterns hanging from the ceiling of this loft warehouse, and sat down at a table with four other girls, none of which spoke. Because I’m me and silence makes me uncomfortable, I was the one who would interchange between subtle vocal warmups and cracking lame jokes with the pair that was administering the callbacks. In times of stress, you either a) eat chocolate or b) crack jokes. There was a bowl of Hershey’s in the middle of the table, but no one else touched it, and because I didn’t want to be the only fat ass there, I turned to my wit. It never fails me.

I was the second to audition, following a girl who looked like me, but nicer. She had kind eyes, unlike mine, which are kind of like laser beams.

I walked in following the casting director, who was dressed in the most adorable ensemble centered around a striped skirt that hugged her waist and flared out. I wanted to be like, “CUTE SKIRT,” but I didn’t want that to ruin my chances somehow. Like, “Bitch, did you just compliment me? NEXT!”

I walked into the room, and the first thing I noticed was the director and his cool sweater. I took my mark and turned my attention on him. After briefing me on the character, I did one take, got redirected, did another take, and that was that. An 8+ hour car trip for an audition that lasted less than ten minutes. Worth it. Especially for an audition that could potentially change my life, or be the catapult for it anyway.

I felt good leaving. Sometimes I don’t feel so good after auditions, but this one, I did. I left with a smile on my face and thanked them for having me. I think part of my joy was knowing that I made them laugh, which is one of my biggest pleasures in life, and the other part of my joy was knowing that burgers and cocktails were in my immediate future.

My mom and Tenea were waiting outside for me, and after sprinting to the car and filling them in on the callback, we went back to the hotel to pack and check out, and hightailed it to the most beautiful restaurant in all of the land, Yeah! Burger.

This place was cool. It was very chill, bright, and colorful, and I loved it. I ordered the fig and goat cheese burger, parmesan fries, beet salad, and a grapefruit cocktail. It was heaven on the plate, in my mouth, and now somewhere on my hips. Now I can tell everyone I have heavenly hips. See? Eating food that’s probably really bad for you has it’s perks! Holy hips! Hips with halos! So many band name possibilities…

We barely spoke during lunch, and when we did, it was “Mmmm.” Seriously. The food was delicious. I’d move to Atlanta just to have access to this restaurant. Everyone who worked there was super friendly too. The bartender took his time explaining cocktails and beer to us, which you do find in New Orleans, as well, but it’s always pleasant to encounter it elsewhere. After looking at ours IDs and realizing we weren’t in Kansas anymore, he asked what brought us to Atlanta. I told him I was there for a film audition, and somehow he got out of that that I was auditioning for The Shins. I went with it, because the Shins are the shit, and I knew it’d make for a funny story.

After lunch, we popped into a couple shops, one of which being an animal shelter, which made it that much harder to finally leave ATL when we did, because puppies.

The ride home was uneventful, and the entire time we were driving back, I was wishing we were still there. I can’t wait to visit again.

And that brings me to today. Sunday. The day of nothing or, if you’re really religious, the day of Jesus and not eating at Chik-fil-A.

Despite getting to bed fairly late last night, my body still woke me up at 7am. I watched an episode of Parenthood, until shit went down with Zeke and my feeble heart couldn’t handle it anymore. I showered, picked up an iced coffee and headed straight to the mall for some retail therapy. I bought $90 worth of makeup at Sephora, Lena Dunham’s “I’m Not That Kind of Girl” and visited a couple of friends ALL THE WHILE trying my damndest to not think about my callback and how much I want it.

That’s the sucky part about acting. The wait. You get an agent only to wait for auditions. You get an audition only to wait for a callback. You get a callback only to wait to see if you book it or not. It’s torture.

The payout, though, the moment you get cast, is worth it. There’s no other high that even remotely compares to seeing your name on that cast list or getting a call from your agent saying you booked the role.

I know I’m not supposed to be thinking about it anymore. I went in. I did my job. The rest is left up to them. “Hit it and quit it.” That’s my audition philosophy. It just so happens that after I hit this one, it was particularly hard to quit because it had good hair and wined and dined me. And, yes, I just compared an audition to an upstanding gentleman. What of it?

Booking this role would be the tits. I felt gross typing that. But it would. If I don’t, life will go on, and I’ll mend my broken heart with Ben & Jerry’s. Just kidding, that’s effing pathetic. I’ll mend it with wine.

I learned a lot from this experience, though, and that’s the most important takeaway of all. I learned, and I grew. That’s something to cherish, so I am. I’m cherishing what I learned, and I’m cherishing my growth as an actor, a person, and a gal with a newfound love for ATL.

Thanks for reading, friends.

Talk to y’all soon,
Kaitlyn

 

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