Real Funny Stuff

Mostly true and often funny stories about life.
AUGUST 11, 2009 7:14PM

I'm not a Doctor, But I Play One on TV (I hope)

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Today I got a taste of what it must be like to be a god.  Yes, today I was a doctor.  A pediatrician no less.  Let me clarify.  I had an audition for the role of a pediatrician for a television and print campaign for a baby formula.  I have no clue how I did or if I got it.  It was a “straight to callback” audition which means I didn’t go to the first audition, but was brought in for the callback (the second and in this case, final audition).  I can’t tell if this is a good thing (as in they like me so much they don’t need me to go through the first rounds of cuts), or a bad thing (they didn’t like me enough to call me in originally, but due to some weird fluke, they changed their minds).


At any rate, I donned a real white lab coat and a stethoscope, pulled my hair back into a conservative ponytail, put on minimal make up and voila, instant MD.  I was actually surprised at how realistic the results were.  I even had an otoscope in my pocket.  Of course the embroidery on my lab coat spelled out, “Julie Talbert, MD, Party Central Medical Group,” but no matter, I left the coat open (revealing a very conservative and pediatrician-like pink oxford button down over gray slacks) and the “Party” part didn’t show.


There were three other women there at the same call time as me.  They were all older than me, and not by a little, and they all had kind of a “smart girl” look about them.  The fact that I am a “smart girl”--my IQ is 152--is not so evident looking at the outside of me.  The hair maybe throws people off?  I don’t know.  Anyway, real life smart girl that I am I came up with a plan.  I tamed the beast--tied it back in an elastic band, and therefore, looked as smart as I possibly could for the audition.


After it was over I had to pick up my son at camp.  I didn’t have time to go home and change so I showed up dressed like a pediatrician.  I was wondering if everyone would laugh at the fact that I was dressed in a costume and it isn’t even Halloween, but nope, everybody bought it.  Even someone who knows me looked at me confused and said, “You’re a doctor?  How did I not know that?”  Another woman looked at me with a worried face and asked what had happened.  It made her nervous to see a doctor coming to the camp.


Even a little girl looked at me with awe.  “Excuse me,” she asked looking up at me with wide blue eyes, “What kind of doctor are you?”


“The fake kind,” I laughed.  “I’m not really a doctor at all.  I’m an actor pretending to be a doctor.”


She looked rather disappointed as she ran over to one of the camp counselors and said, “That lady isn’t a doctor, she’s just an actor.”


Yep.  I got a taste of what it must be like to walk around with the world assuming how smart and capable I am.  No wonder so many doctors have egos the size of Texas.  They get treated like rock stars everywhere they go (as long as they’re wearing their lab coats and have their stethoscopes around their necks).  Everyone I saw looked at me with respect.


In L.A. unless they’re famous, actors aren’t given a whole lot of respect.  Not from strangers anyway.  I actually don’t even like to tell people I’m an actor.  It’s so difficult to get work anyway, I may as well say I’m something else.  Like an elevator operator.  To say that you are an actor here is like saying, I’m a waiter.  Rarely you meet a waiter who isn’t an actor and vise-versa.  You never meet a doctor who is a waiter, or a waiter who is a doctor.  Just doesn’t happen.


I have to return the lab coat and stethoscope tomorrow.  I’ll be sad to let them go.  But at least for one day, I got to walk in those shoes.  I’m keeping my fingers crossed--please feel free to join me in that, positive thinking, laws of attraction and all.  I hope I get the part.  Then I’ll be able to say, “I’m not a doctor.  But I play one on TV.”

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Gee, how did I not know you are an actress before this? Or is it Pediatrician? Seriously, I didn't.

I'll wish you luck on the callback. I've had many, but you know already there is just no telling from day to day how they choose...kind of like EP's I suspect.

I once played a researcher who got to wear a lab coat and an "official looking" fact, I still have the ID. Crossing my fingers for you!
i didn't realize you were an actress!! of course it makes sense since you are so gorgeous and in L.A. and all of that and i'm sure have some mad skills. i'm praying for you, girl! this is so interesting because you inadvertently did a sociological experiment: how a lovely woman is treated as herself/an actress and as a doctor! doctors in training are beaten down and abused terribly -- first husband/harvard med -- and have huge debts to pay off so they become very arrogant and entitled. well, they can. thank fully some of them remain human beings like the rest of us. fun fabulous story, girl. love lvoe lvoe and gratitude
Buffy W--I am always amazed at how many lives you've led. You look very, very young to have done so many things. I am impressed! I am more of a professional auditioner than an actual actor. I have done a few commercials, haven't gone out for anything other than commercials actually. I may or may not do more with my acting. I like doing any type of creative thing--I need the outlet to be honest. My passion though is writing. I have got to get that book done!

Teddy (if I may call you Teddy!)--you are way too generous with the compliments! I don't know that I'm all that you said I was in your lovely comment, but THANK YOU! I should post a clip of me doing a scene in one of the shows I've been in--then we'd all get a good laugh! I don't know why I keep insisting on putting myself out there. I have fun though, I do. Maybe I'm procrastinating from my writing.
I also did not know you were an actress! I know enough about the profession to pronounce your instant callback a very good thing and I'll be sending all kinds of good "Susan Cross MD" thoughts to your vicinity!
Thank you Annette! Since I posted this I actually got called in for yet another "straight to callback" audition for tomorrow. That's the third one in a week. The first was for a Disney thing (didn't get it). This one today was for baby formula (I think they'd have called by now if I got it), the one tomorrow is for a rather large greeting card company which shall remain nameless at the moment. It's a print job--not tv. I don't even think I can go because I'm going to be out of town when the shoot is. Oh well! I am glad you think the "straight to callback" thing is a good sign, I was starting to worry!
as you allude, and condescend [on yourself!], theres a big class hierarchy for actors, but the truth is, if you get even a single gig, thats an accomplishment. congratulations!!
I've done one print shoot and three tv commercials this year. Not too bad then I guess. I hope to get busier though!