The Greatest Job Ever
The other day, while walking around picking gum off park benches and busking on street corners, I had a realization: I feel trapped by my bank account. I mean, I know that hosting and bussing at a restaurant that needs neither is fucking sweet. (Getting paid to stand around like an idiot? Yes please.) But seriously, I miss the days when the world was my oyster and I could (theoretically) be anything I wanted. On my terms.
So I thought about what I could do to change that, and I believe I have found the answer. Easy and high-paying? Minimal time commitment? Free lifetime passes to Disney World? Yes, yes, and yes. And, by the way, fuck Disneyland. I mean it. They don’t have a mini-log flume in mini-Norway, do they? No, they don’t.
So, you know how they say that acting is easy? That anyone who can read could do it? Well, I have several things to say to that. First of all: I don’t know who “they” are, but I think they have something. Second: I can’t imagine it’s terribly easy to stand on a line of tape and recite lines with the correct feeling or intent, especially if those lines were written by, I dunno, Christopher Nolan. (Is that a cool enough name-drop for you fuckers? I didn’t even see Inception; it looked dumb.) Third: I am lazy, and I want to make money without actually doing anything or contributing to society in any way. That is why I have come up with the solution to all of my problems: The Disney Channel.
My main problem is this: I’m obnoxious. As in, pay-attention-to-meeee kind of obnoxious. As in, played lamb #4 in the Christmas play when I was a wee lass, was placed in the back row, and, quite literally, pushed Mary and Joseph aside in order to get a better look at the crowd.
As in, hijacked my acting class’s well-thought-out play when I was eight, deciding to become a witch with powers instead of, I dunno, extra #6. As in, did a stage version of The Wizard of Oz, played the Wicked Witch of the West and stayed out on stage cackling and running around with my broom for a good five minutes beyond what I was told to do. At summer camp.
Okay, to needlessly restate: I like attention. But my problem is that I’m not very good at acting. I make goofy faces at the most inappropriate times. I’m talking sturgeon face when I find out that a friend’s hamster has died or the customer I’m serving asks for a booster seat. I flub up lines. I laugh at inappropriate times—mostly funeral and death scenes, that sort of thing. I either phone it in or completely overact. But, damn it, I am determined to make money by memorizing some lines and not doing much of anything else.
That’s why I can’t wait to hit 30. Why? Because then it’ll open up the only door I ever need to walk through: The Disney Channel for adults. No, this isn’t some creepy lets-make-Disney-porn thing. If you were hoping for that, go away. Just go. No, no, no. What I am saying is that the actors on that show are all horrible. Just horrible. They make Hillary Duff look Oscar-worthy. Oh wait…
But the caliber of acting is something someone mediocre, like me, can deal with on a day-to-day basis. Okay, so my thing here is this: both kids and adults on that channel are giant corn-filled turds walking around on-screen. Yet the adults don’t have to succumb to the whole YOU-MUST-BE-WHOLESOME-WE-OWN-YOUR-BALLS pressure. There’s no Hannah Montana’s Dad Does Hollywood, wish as Billy Ray might.
No, there are no Demi Lovatos or Miley Cyruses or…creepy twins…for the over-25 set. Why? Because the viewers—stupid little kids—only want to focus on those to whom they can relate. Other stupid little kids. The wild flailing gets the kids’ attention, and the product placement and “oh” faces hold it.
So those actors are the ones who get mass marketed and shipped overseas to make peace signs in front of hundreds—or thousands—of screaming fans. And the adults are the straw men, the people to fill in the background and look really, really stupid. I will do that with relish.
Need me to say, “Brenton, do your homework before you go off chasing another criminal at this random tiki hut hotel in which we live!”? I can do that. I can fucking do it. I will raise my eyebrows, even my voice. I will send my arms flailing about. But I will keep my feet planted, and when the camera isn’t trained directly on me, I will freeze up and stare. That’s right, stare.
To boot, adults get the benefit of being strung along on the same failing show, season after season. That is, until Disney decides to make some kind of spinoff. But, again, once you cross that magical threshold into the over-25-and-ignorant-of-everything-in-your-general-surroundings set, you get all the Disney benefits without having to do any of that awful promotional shit and cocaine. And if your character isn’t directly related to the spin-off and you get the axe from the next four seasons of Throwing Pudding at Adults, it’s okay. Disney likes to do most, if not all, of their hiring in-house.
That means that as soon as Mom of Tiki Hut Kid is no longer needed—pesky coke problem, running the kids ragged—I can wait in the wings of my fabulous, mouse-shaped mansion for Disney to approach me with a new script.
“Totally brilliant idea, Lisa! Get this: you’re a single mother. You’re an artist. You guys live on a commune made of ox-hair, and the concierge hates you guys. Your kid is precocious and often outwits you, regardless of the 20+ years you have on him. The twist? He’s secretly the most successful commercial artist in the world! Right under your nose! You’ll almost walk in on him painting and sculpting a few times, but don’t worry. Markay will outsmart you time and again in order to protect his secret and your feelings.”
But that’s not all!
“We’re thinking of calling it Undercover Artist and, for the type-setting, get this: we’re going to drape some tarp over the words. Get it? He’s hiding his talents from you. He’s under cover. He gets into all sorts of wacky adventures, doing everything from traveling to trying to cover up his identity and days-long absences to bringing prospective buyers over to his ‘gallery’ aka his bedroom. Hilarity ensues, and his gender-balanced best friends help him along the way. And no one knows he’s a kid!”
Bonus? I will be able to fulfill my lifelong dream of being soaked in slime or an otherwise viscous liquid. And, in that universe, it will make sense, god damn it, when I find myself covered in a mud-like substance. Besides, how many people actually watch this shit? I mean, besides kids, but, again, they’re dumb.
It’s win-win. I get to go on with my lazy self, hardly lift a finger, and my parents won’t hang their heads in shame. Not too low, anyways. I mean, think about it. I would be able to call myself an actor. I’d be on television! And everyone and everything on television is important.
You know what? I don’t get why people say Hollywood is out of touch. I think they’re doing pretty okay. Disney: call me.