Sunday, March 11, 2007

Richard Jeni is dead and I still don't have a job.

Yesterday I auditioned for a plum job at Universal Studios Hollywood. It seems they are opening a scary house/maze called the House of Horrors at the end of March. This will be like a Halloween Horror Nights attraction, except year round. I worked Halloween Horror Nights in Orlando in 2004 and 2005. It's a fun job with lots of great perks, so this was perfect for me, since I'm still not employed here in LA. The open call for that particular attraction was at 2:30pm, but they didn't actually call us in till about an hour after that. The audition consisted of us going in about 10 at a time and being told to walk around in a creepy way to the tune of some scary music (I believe it was the theme from Halloween). The guy then shouted out surprise scenarios for us to react to, such as, "You're a zombie looking for brains," "You're dying from inhaling poison gas," and "You're coming back to life as the monster of your choice." Then they sent a woman out after us who called out the numbers of the people they liked, and mine was one of few numbers not called. I attribute this failure to a number of possibilities.

1. After standing around against a wall for roughly an hour, I was nowhere near the correct state of mind for jumping around and acting scary.
2. Being a careful listener and extremely literal thinker, I heavily considered the fact that they were mainly looking at movement, and that the position required us to wear a full latex mask, so I made no effort to project any scary sounds or even make a scary face. All I did was concentrate on my bodily movement.
3. My movement choices lacked variety, because I was thinking of zombies the entire time.
4. When I was asked to say my name and why I wanted the job, I didn't make any jokes or affable quips, so I came off about as forgettable as Haley Scarnato, when I should have been as memorable as Chris Sligh.
5. My number was 116, and when I looked down at my shirt, it looked like 911, which is cursed with bad mojo.
6. Most everyone else seemed to have a headshot/resume.
7. Body type? This one is probably irrelevant.

Anyway, I was sure that the failure was completely my fault, and it angered and depressed me to no end. I've been looking for a job that I can do without being completely miserable, that would also leave me with enough focus to do the primary thing I need to be doing, which is working on screenplays. This job was ideal for that, and I blew it.

Then I think I was later cheered up by something I saw on TV... can't remember what. And then later that night, I saw that Richard Jeni had died at age 45 of a self-inflicted gunshot wound.


Richard Jeni was one of the comedians I kept my eye on because I loved his standup and hoped to see him live someday. I had managed to see Mitch Hedberg live before his untimely demise, but it looks like I completely missed Jeni. Why is someone just going to shoot themselves in the face? It says on news reports that his girlfriend found him alive in his apartment after the shot was fired, and that he later died in the hospital, and that although the investigation is still open, it was probably suicide due to some undisclosed supposedly-irreversible health issues. Well, someone better get to the bottom of this. I mean, good lord. Don't just shoot yourself in the face. Talk to people.

Maybe I should try to get a job as a standup comedian. Or maybe not.


No comments: