very berry steel-cut oats

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

I had a commercial callback the other day. I arrived in full tennis regalia (natch) and as I was signing in, I could clearly hear through the wafer-thin walls that my session was underway.

There was screaming. Like lady-orgasm screaming. With fist-pumping "YES!"s and "WHOO-HOO!!"s thrown in.

Uh oh, I thought. Shit.  

See, often the commercial world works this way: When you go in for your initial audition it's run by a casting assistant who gives you a thorough explanation (sometimes too thorough) of what's happening in the scene, what's expected of you, what the director is looking for, where to stand, where to move, how big the frame is, etc... You usually get this explanation and then have several minutes to process before your actual read. They put that audition on tape and it's shown to the director and advertising executives.

If you're lucky, you get a callback (to now be seen by the director and the ad execs in person) so you think they must've liked what I did the first time around. I'm awesome!

Then you enter the waiting room for the callback and you hear orgasm screams that most certainly DID NOT occur at your first audition. But you have to wait until you get in there for your turn (in front of all the decision makers) to learn the new ropes and instantly perform. 

This annoys me. I know I'm supposed to be ready for what's thrown at me. I know that's part of my job. But I like information. Just tell me what I need to do in advance. Just give me two minutes to think about it and make some smart choices not in front of you. I just drove across town during thick rush hour in my itchy tennis outfit. Can you throw me a bone? 

No? Awesome. 

So I'm finding a way to make peace with this whole deal since I'm on deck. And as I'm wracking my brain to understand how this new shrieking fits into the scene I did last week, the girl in there before me starts going TO TOWN. It's loud. And the walls are paper-thin. And it keeps going. And going. And GOING. And then she gives it a big flourish-y finish. Show-off.

Cue fits of laughter bellowing through the walls. A "WOW!" is heard. They love her. It's awesome for her. And then when the door opens she emerges all flushed and proud-sheepish. "Thank you so much for coming in!!!!!!!!!" They yell out to her. "You were GREAT!!!!!!!"  

And then it's my turn. I walk into the room and say, "I'll have what she's having!" Polite titters ensue from the execs. The director turns to me. "Well, you have some serious competition!" He says, while shaking his thumb at the door where the loud and long girl just exited.


I just stare at him and blink a couple times.

"So, sit down." He says.

I do. Just in time to receive the long-awaited explanation given to me in non-chalant fashion by the director as if he's just giving me a quick reminder of what I've already been told to do (I haven't):

"You're just having dinner with your husband no big deal you do this all the time and then you get a text saying you just won US Open tickets and inside you lives a super-fan so it's like you're having contractions holding it in but you're so excited this fan is trying to get out but you're trying to keep it in but it starts to trickle out and then you can't hold it in any longer and you have to scream and you're so excited you're like a super-fan and you start screaming like you're having an orgasm ha ha and you stand up and get crazy do some crazy and zany stuff move around use the room and then drop to your knees and say the line."

A couple more blinks from me.  

"You ready?"

I take a crack at it. It's maybe not pretty. But I leave my body so I have no idea what actually transpires.

Him: "Ha ha ok you can't actually grab your stomach because then it looks like you're actually having contractions and like you're actually going into labor you need to use the room more you're a super-fan."

Me: "I was just excited and I grab my stomach when I'm excited."

Him: "Well, don't."

Me: "So just to clarify: when I drop down to my knees and say the line is that the zenith of the orgasm?"

Yeah, I said zenith.    

Him, irritated: "No. The orgasm is when you're standing up and excited and acting zany and using the room."

Me: "Oh. So when I go to my knees it's like the afterglow?"

He doesn't think it's funny but I get a titter or two from the higher-ups.

I take a second crack at it. It's not too shabby. I stay in my body enough to know it actually happened.

Except for two rug-burned, bruised knees and a hoarse throat I leave unscathed.

I did not get the job.

***Moral of this story: 

You never know when you're gonna need that extra energy. Eat a good breakfast.

Very Berry Steel-Cut Oats
serves 4

These are so good! There is a dish similar to this on the Le Pain Quotidian menu that years ago I tried to recreate. It's been so long since I had the original that I'm not sure how similar they are anymore. I do know that these are fantastic and a weekend staple at Chez Joeycake:)

4 cups water
1 cup steel-cut oats (I used traditional but Trader Joe's has a fantastic quick cooking version)
pinch salt
1 1/2 cups frozen mixed berries (I used blueberries and raspberries)
1 t ground cinnamon
1/4 c maple syrup
1/4 cup flax meal (ground flax seeds)
1/3 cup pecans, walnuts or almonds, toasted and chopped (optional)
flax oil (for serving--optional)

Prepare the oats as directed on the package (throwing in a pinch of salt when you add the oats to the boiling water). When almost all of the liquid has been absorbed and it seems like you have about 5 minutes of cooking remaining, stir in the frozen berries. They will thaw and gently cook as the oats finish. When the oats have become hot again, add the cinnamon and maple syrup. Remove the pot from the heat and stir in the flax meal. Serve with the nuts and a drizzle of flax oil on top, if desired.

BTW, this refrigerates really well. You can make a big pot of it and just reheat it one portion at a time in the microwave. Add a little almond milk (or milk of your choice) if it gets too thick.



  1. Jolie, I heart you. This was my favorite post EVER. Hilarious :)

  2. Well, even if he didn't think it was funny, I did.

    Afterglow. Pffffft!!!

  3. so I just clicked back to your account of the mini-wheats audition and now that I've seen that commercial I know EXACTLY what you were talking about!

    and it turns out is is really awkward to fist bump a frosted mini-wheat


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