As the year ends, and another birthday arrives at the end of the month, I have to reflect on what I’m doing here. Both in Los Angeles and more existentially.
I’ve stopped submitting myself for any acting work, partly because I just need to make more money right now, and partly because I have the luxury of an agent submitting for me.
But going out for the professional television auditions once again brings me back to why I started writing here. Butch is just something most people don’t understand.
I’ve auditioned in the last month to play an estranged military wife, a “newsboy hat lesbian” (I nearly got that one), five different Eastern European members of a women’s ice hockey team (because all scary butch women are written as Eastern European, apparently), a “burly girl”, and a big dumb friend, among a handful of other non-specific parts. Other than the military wife – which, as far as I can tell, I was only called in for because they were looking for short hair – all the parts were written to be played bigger, dumber, and uglier than I am. So bizarre.
And you know, I’m what they call a “character actor” – meaning more interesting and less beautiful than the romantic leads. On the whole, I don’t mind playing big and dumb and stupid. But I still really hate that that is how butch women and MOC characters are written, if we’re written at all.
If any of you have examples of great, smart, normal butch characters out there in the media/tv/film world, I would love to learn about them. I want to see more of what’s been done so I can position myself to fill the ever-widening gap.