“The Exes”

A few weeks ago I filmed my first sitcom.

I’m going to be honest and say it was pretty exciting to just write that sentence.  

It was even more exciting because this was a role I never thought I would play. “Ashely” was described as a “sexy, party-girl.” I usually plya that kind of girl’s nerdy, socially awkward, best friend.

I usually play that kind of girl’s nerdy, socially awkward, best friend.

But I tapped into that one time in college when my roommates and I threw a giant party (before I cried and left the house) and it went well.  The producers must have thought so too because a week later I was walking onto the set of “The Exes” (watch it on TVLand!)

I was led to my dressing room and greeted by the cast (people I have watched and admired on TV for years.) I looked around at the cameras, the crew, the actors and I couldn’t help but remember the very first time I was ever on a studio lot.  The very first time I ever auditioned for a big role.  The very first time I ever came close to my dream.

And it hadn’t been like this at all.

I had just signed with my new manager and it was my first network audition.  Before that, I had only been auditioning for student films and films that made sure to start every audition with the words, “we can’t pay you but…”  

So I wanted everything to go perfectly.

The morning of the audition I rehearsed and rehearsed. I had chosen the perfect outfit – a salmon colored dress with short sleeves – and decided exactly how to wear my hair.  But as I stood in my pre-planned outfit reciting my lines, I happened to glance in the mirror and realized my perfect dress highlighted something unfortunate: My sweaty arm pits.

I panicked. Changing my dress was not an option.  I had planned on this dress after trying and rejecting everything else in my closet.  

My audition was in an hour and I needed a solution immediately.  Just before I thought I might have to go buy a new dress, I remembered something.

A minute later I was digging through my bathroom drawer. Finally, I pulled out exactly what I was looking for: Maxi-Pads.

Finally, I pulled out exactly what I was looking for: Maxi-Pads.

I had read that you could use the pads to line the armpits of a dress.  Plus, it said right there on the package they had “moisture-locking protection.”  It was perfect.

As I crossed onto the Warner Brothers lot I was confident. I knew my lines, I had on the perfect dress, and I had moisture-free armpits.

I strolled to my audition and I noticed that everyone was being incredibly kind to me.  An important looking man held the door, a producer I knew waved kindly at me, a complete stranger said hello.  If this was what big-time Hollywood was like, I thought, sign me up.

A few minutes before my audition I ducked into the bathroom to do a final check.

Teeth – check!  Hair – check!  Make-up – check!  Armpits –

I stopped.


There, hanging out of the sleeve of my dress was one of the bright pink maxi-pads.

I couldn’t breath, I couldn’t even look at myself. 

This was why people had been so nice to me.  This was why people had smiled at me with, what I know realized, was sympathy – not kindness. 

I stood there, staring at myself in the mirror, humiliated. 

But now, as I stood in my dressing room about to film my scenes for “The Exes” I thought back to that day, almost three years ago.  

I realized none of that mattered. 

I may never be the girl who has it all together, who doesn’t get nervous and who never makes mistakes. I am not the sexy, party-girl with the perfect hair and the perfectly dry armpits.
But I play one on TV.

This piece was originally written for the Fargo Forum.  You can find them (and me) here.

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