Topless and Topical

The all mighty pendulum is moving like a toddler on a swing in the middle of a hurricane. Good. It’s tough to watch from the shadows, safe in the contrived obscurity of keeping my mouth shut tight.

 A long time ago, my headshot and very short resume were enough to get me an audition for a loosely described B version of Risky Business.  I got the call, secretly squealed with joy and wrote down the address on a slip of paper. Oh, and I was told to wear a bikini under my clothes.  I didn’t own a bikini, so I slipped a green one- piece under jeans and top. My relatively innocent 22-year-old self-found the building, somewhere in Burbank, walked up two flight of concrete stairs, found the casting office and a middle-aged man in a cracked black leather chair sitting behind a messy fake wooden desk.

A well-used ash tray and my black and white glossy sat on the desk, along with a smorgasbord of other hopefuls. He looked uncomfortable. Kind of squirmy. The last actress didn’t work out, and he needed a replacement to be on set immediately. Apparently, her boobs were not up to par. He apologized but he needed to see mine so there would’nt be another mistake, if that was okay.  Nothing and no one stopped me from leaving and it seemed reasonable to me. Quite logical and efficient.  I peeled my suit down to my waist and smiled. I don’t have a great smile, but I got the part.

He didn’t look a second longer than necessary. He didn’t do anything he shouldn’t have. He was casting a topless bit part. It was business.  I didn’t take the job.  On the way home I convinced myself it wasn’t right to start a career without lines, and half naked. Many years in the future, I’d regret being the boob girl. Most of all, I knew my mother would be horrified. I was wrongly righteous because not taking that silly part is not a silly regret. Not because I missed the part of a lifetime that would have catapulted me to stardom. That was never going to happen, but the inauthenticity of my choice bothers me.  

 I’ve always understood there’s no such thing as a free lunch which makes it easier to accept that free speech has never been free, and the path we choose not to take will always be a mystery. The law of unintended consequences may lurk in the shadows, waiting for the best possible moment but like Superman flying from the clouds to rescue Lois Lane, the LOUC never disappoints. Maybe more than ever before the need to seek one’s own counsel, sense of values and truth is critical.

 I haven’t thought about that missed opportunity for years, but I thank #justiceforJohnnydepp for the validation that following sheep is never a wise thing, and there will never be a reason it becomes one.

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