Wednesday, May 22, 2013

HUMILIATION BY ANY OTHER NAME

Yesterday…
While driving home from my Spanish class…
I practiced saying the new words from my lesson…
Still struggling with pronunciations…
As Spanish letters are said different than English.
‘A” is pronounced like ‘E’…
‘E’ like ‘I’…
‘J’ is said like an ‘H’, etc.
As I struggled with one new word…
Moving my mouth and tongue…
To get the pronunciation correct…
A memory began surfacing…
Images of another time…
Another place…
When I spoke Spanish.
A past life regression?
Don’t I wish.
It was actually a memory…
Of a past audition I can’t believe I did.
You see, I am a voiceover talent…
With over twenty-five voices in my repertoire.
One day, many years ago, my agent called.
“Leigh you speak Spanish, don’t you?”
“Uh, no.”
“Did you ever take lessons?”
“Yeah, back in fourth grade.”
“Good enough. Get a tape on Spanish and practice.”
“What? Why?”
“There’s an audition I want you to go to.”
“When?”
“In two days.”
“But I can’t pull this off.”
“You’ll be fine. Oh, and this is a new client.
I want to impress them with you.”
OK, here is when my brain must have farted…
Because I agreed, bought a tape, and practiced.
             AUDITION
Director: “Slate you name.”
Me:       “Leigh Caron.”
Director: “OK, Leigh you can begin anytime.”
Me:       Buenos Tardes—“
   ***laughter in the control room***
Director:  “Stop! You don’t speak Spanish, do you?”
Me:        “Uh, no, no I don’t.”
Director:  “Why did you come to the audition then?”
Me:        “Well, um, you see, um—“
Director:  “Never mind. Obviously you’re not right…
             for this script, but your agent gave me 
             your CD. I like your voice. And I have other 
             scripts you can audition for another day.”
Well, I did get those other voiceover gigs
So it all worked out in the end…
But I can tell you this...
Humiliation in any language?
Feels the same.
So?
Ever do anything so crazy? Or humiliating?
What was it?

Always, Em-Musing


12 comments:

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Hey, at least you got a few other jobs out of the deal.

Susana Ellis said...

It took you years to learn your first language, so why should you be embarrassed that a few lessons in learning your second weren't enough?

I've been there, Leigh. I had a degree in Spanish when I first studied in Spain, and I was tongue-tied. It was only when I quit being embarrassed and concentrated on communicating with PEOPLE that I started making progress toward fluency.

Now, if we had both started learning as toddlers, we could have skipped the self-consciousness altogether. That's why our kids should be studying languages pre-K-12 and not starting in their teens when they are terrified to look stupid.

Okay, you got four cents instead of my normal two.

The Brown Recluse said...

I think your agent knew exactly what he was doing...he got your voice in the door, so to speak.

Adam said...

in Japanese (the romanization anyway) E has a rather light A sound and I sounds like E. Kinda like Hawaii or Wii.

L. Diane Wolfe said...

LOL! I slaughter the English language and wouldn't even try to say something in a foreign language.

Sue McPeak said...

I'm having a good LOL at your expense because I've been there done that except it was with a whole room of Spanish Speaking folks wanting to learn English.

So In my best TexMex...which is kind of a mix of Texan and Mexican...I said, "Bien Vendios, Ya'll. Me nombre es Sue. I am your pescado. Silence...then roaring laughter. I had just called myself a fish...pescado instead of a teacher...profesor.

Good you got a job anyway...I got to keep mine, as long as I spoke English.

Sue CollectInTexasGal~Today's Post~
Oh My Moon and Stars or An Intellectual Pursuit of a Politically Incorrect Pile of Poop

Editors At Work said...

All the best! I'm trying to learn Japanese as well.

Nas

Michael Offutt, "Johnny on the Spot" said...

I tried to learn Japanese. After four years I could get around some, but with no one to talk to, I quickly lost it.

Arlee Bird said...

Your agent must have had some foresight to know that this was an in for other jobs. It worked!

Lee
A Faraway View
An A to Z Co-host blog

Kellie @ Delightfully Ludicrous said...

I wonder how many other people they had audition who didn't speak Spanish either :D

A Beer For The Shower said...

I once went to a job interview that I was extremely unqualified for. The interviewer asked me about my experience, and I basically said that I had none, I had no idea what he was talking about (when he listed what I needed to know for the job), but I was a damn quick learner. He said that was probably the first honest interview he'd gotten, and learning quickly is one of the most invaluable parts of a job, so I got the job.

J. Lenni Dorner said...

Stopping by from the WIP it good Blogfest.
@JLenniDorner

Anyone who has never done something scary or humiliating has never lived. Sometimes you have to put it out there.