I am single.
This has been the theme for a long time, but lately it has made me feel slightly vulnerable and bizarre.
It all started last week when I received a phone call from an unknown number.
Like all unknown numbers, I let it go to voicemail. I refuse to answer a call from a number that knows my number but won’t show me their number!
Moments later, the red light was blinking on my BlackBerry, notifying me that I had a new voicemail waiting.
Listen, I don’t like voicemails. My friends don’t leave voicemails and my sister never even checks her voicemails. We have texting, email and other miscellaneous capabilities on our phones, so leaving a voicemail can seem relatively pointless.
Anyway, I listened to the message from the casting director requesting me to audition for a national television show. I went ahead and listened to it twice just to confirm I was not, in fact, hearing things.
I was NOT hearing things. It was an audition for a national television DATING show.
A dating show.
I took a deep breath and promptly returned the call. After a few informational exchanges, the specific questions began in order to secure my audition spot.
“Lauren, I have a few questions to ask you and please answer as truthfully as possible,” the casting director said.
“Yes, absolutely…I’m ready when you are!” I said enthusiastically.
Casting Director: “Are you single?”
Me: “Yes. I am very single, I can’t even begin to describe how single I am.”
Casting Director: “Perfect! We need to make sure everyone auditioning is genuinely single.”
Me: “Well, that’s not a worry!”
Casting Director: “A few more question for you Lauren. Describe your current dating habits.”
Me: “Well…umm…I haven’t been dating, really.”
Casting Director: “Oh, okay…well how do you usually get the guys when you go out?”
Me: “I actually really don’t go out, but I guess if I did see a guy…umm…perhaps I would maybe…uhh…”
Casting Director: “I’m definitely convinced you’re single and would love to have you audition.”
Me: “I am certainly single and ready to mingle!”
Casting Director: “Okay then…we’ll see you tomorrow at 3:00p.m.”
Single and ready to mingle?! How did I even begin to let that phrase escape from my mouth? Do people even say that anymore?
OMFG is this why I’m single!?
The next day, I drove to Burbank and arrived at the audition thirty minutes early. I didn’t mind, especially since I found a marvelous and ever-so-rare street parking spot directly near the studio.
I waltzed into the casting office, signed in, had my photo taken and waited.
“Lauren Harper?” I heard, which shocked myself out of staring into space making my damn contacts dry.
“Yes!” I exclaimed.
“We’re ready for you, follow me this way,” she said.
And so I followed. I entered a room with hot stage lights and a big camera. It was the usual scene but I was feeling unusually apprehensive. My thoughts raced and my heart was pounding.
I kept thinking to myself that if I had a boyfriend, I wouldn’t have to be subjected to this harsh interrogation. Even if I had some dates lined up, just one, that would be great…but noooo, I’m single, single, single, single, sing-
“Thanks for coming in Lauren, we’re just going to put a microphone on you and we can get started,” said an overly friendly blonde haired woman sitting next to the camera.
“Fantastic. Take your time,” I said through a façade of irresistible confidence oozing with vampy sexiness.
My outer shell was quickly shot to hell when the camera began rolling and the questions were coming at me like bullets.
Casting Director: “What’s your strategy when you walk into a bar and see a cute guy?”
Me: “I don’t have a strategy. I guess I’m too busy wondering what I want to drink.”
Casting Director: “Okay…how about discuss what you look for in a guy. Do you love rock-hard abs? Someone very rich? Explain.”
Me: “I actually don’t care if they have a six pack or not. I just want the guy to be chivalrous. You know, like uhh, open the door for me and be loyal…”
Casting Director: “You know, we’re not a formal match-making service or anything. This is just for comedic T.V. and no one really finds love on the show.”
My heart sank. I snapped myself out of what felt like a Dr. Phil interview and began to have fun with it. I don’t need a man! I don’t need love! No need to put a ring on it!
“So, Lauren, tell me why you would be the last girl standing and ultimately win over the guy,” asked the casting director.
I paused, smirked and then let her have it.
“I love to win. I always win. I have to win. I am very competitive and losing is never an option. Of course, I do it all with a genuine smile…just don’t get on my bad side,” I purred.
I began to laugh out of sheer amazement with what came out of my mouth. My laughter soon spread to the casting director and the person behind the camera. The feeling in the room was light-hearted and I was wholeheartedly happy in my own skin.
Eager to answer the remaining personal -and sometimes offensive- questions, I took immense pride in the fact this opportunity was a direct reflection of how I choose to live my life.
I will not settle for a random guy. I won’t be a serial dater just to say I’m going on dates. I won’t totally give up and go on Match.com. I refuse to drag myself into therapy and wonder what’s wrong with me. And under no circumstances will I ever pay a psychic again.
Love is vital, nourishes the heart and ultimately fills us with happiness.
However, a night out with girlfriends are vital, wine nourishes the heart and literally fills us with happiness.
Although I auditioned for love, I don’t let the overwhelming questions of romance spin me out of control and into dizziness.
I leave that up to the bartender.
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About the Author: Lauren Harper is an L.A. woman with East Coast blood. Born in Greenwich, Connecticut, she is an actress and writer residing in the heart of Hollywood, California. Lauren graduated from Penn State University with a B.A. in journalism and a minor in French and Francophone Studies. Fast forward to 2012, she has continued to work, successfully carving a niche for herself in the entertainment industry. Lauren is excited to contribute to Happiness Series with Lights, Camera…Happiness and her interview series, Lights, Camera…Interview. Lauren hopes to further enlighten herself and you with each entry. Find out more about Lauren Harper | Twitter: @TheLaurenHarper | Official Site: http://thelaurenharper.com | e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org