I’m sure you don’t remember me, but unfortunately I remember you. Many years ago, when I was still auditioning and believing that one could make it on talent and talent alone, I was thrilled to get a response from your talent agency that you wanted me to come in for a meeting. After all, what struggling actor in New York City wouldn’t want to be represented by About Artists Agency? “This is my chance,” I thought. “This will be the door that will lead me to the right audition so I can finally be a working actor.”
I arrived at your office about five minutes earlier than my appointment was scheduled. As I sat in the waiting room, nervous about what I would say, I could hear you talking on the phone. As my appointment time came and went, I sat and waited patiently for my chance to meet you, a respected talent agent who could change my career path. Minutes ticked by and I waited. And waited. Finally, about fifteen or twenty minutes past my scheduled time, you yelled at me to come into your office.
There you were, holding my headshot and looking at my resume. You stared at my photo without ever looking up at the real me who was sitting across from your desk. Without looking away from my picture, you said, “Have you ever thought about getting your teeth done?”
I was shocked that this was the first thing you had to say to me and especially surprised that you still had not looked at my actual face.
“Well, I’d like to, but it’s so expensive. Maybe someday…” My voice trailed off with hurt.
My teeth have been my least favorite thing about myself my whole adult life. When I was a pre-teen, my dentist suggested to my parents that I get braces, but they couldn’t afford it. Thinking back now, I am embarrassed at how upset I was with them for not doing it. Like they could just go out to the Money Tree that grew in the backyard and pick off a few thousand dollars so it could happen. Renee Glicker, you had just opened a wound and then you got some salt, because you were not finished.
“Don’t get me wrong,” you said. “You’ll never be a Cary Grant but even the wacky next door neighbor still needs to be put together.” As you said those hurtful words, you motioned your hand around your face as if to indicate that my face was not put together enough to be an actor. It was then that you finally looked at me. I doubt that you saw the hurt in my eyes because anyone who is that careless with the emotions of others only sees what they want to see.
I tried to keep smiling even though now, every time I did it, all I could think of was how crooked my teeth were. I offered to do my monologue for you and then I gave you a video tape of me doing standup comedy. You took the VHS tape and tossed it onto a pile of crap that looked like it was one step away from the garbage can and told me you didn’t need to see my monologue. Our meeting ended, I shook your hand and left your office.
When I got onto the street, safely away from your prying eyes, I began to cry. There in midtown Manhattan, I stood on the sidewalk and bawled like a baby. I sobbed, not because I didn’t get an agent, but because my feelings were hurt. How could a grown woman with that much power in her hands be so reckless with her words?
Fast forward, about 15 years: I finally got braces. I didn’t get them because Renee Glicker of About Artists Agency told me I should. I did it because I wanted them and because I could afford them and because I knew they would make me happy. So, Renee Glicker, I want you to know that the next time someone comes into your office who is full of hope, ambition, excitement and drive, you should choose your words more carefully. The words you so easily toss about and then forget the second they leave your lips, can stick with a person for years to come. Yes, I finally “got my teeth done.”
Fuck you, Renee Glicker.