Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Laughing at Myself

My friend Caroline Bender reminded me that we recently hit the 20th anniversary of the movie, Heathers 

This caught my attention for two reasons:

One, because it feels like only yesterday that I first watched the dark comedy which some consider a cult classic.  Heathers is known for such memorable lines as, "If you were happy every day of your life, you wouldn't be a human being; you'd be a game show host."   And you know... the line about the chainsaw.

The second reason falls under the header category, "random overshare."  See, I actually auditioned for a part in this movie. Seriously. I worked with a real casting agent, got professional photos done and read from the script in front of a test camera. 

It's true, I actually believed I had a shot at being on the big screen.  I thought it could have been me asking Winona Ryder, "Did you have a brain tumor for breakfast?"

I coulda been a contendah.

Okay, so I never even had a shot.  I'm at peace with that now.  Life lesson learned.  Hollywood was not on my path.  Clearly.

The second life lesson from this experience didn't come until much more recently. 

I was sitting in my office one morning.  I had been out for a few days so I was being held hostage by a backlog of emails and other work.
Mid-morning someone came in and asked if I had been around the rest of the office at all yet.  Her cheshire grin made me suspicious.  I stepped outside my office aware that my "friend" was stifling the urge to explode into laughter before the joke was even told.

As I turned the corner of the hallway next to my office, I saw that one of my more embarrassing and very `80's photos had been converted into huge Flashdance posters. They were everywhere.  Dozens of them.  Posters of me in all my circa-Heathers, big-haired, windblown glory.  On every cubicle, office, bathroom and mailroom wall.
Mortified does not even come close to describing how I felt as I raced around the office hunting and killing every last copy of that poster.  I may as well have been on a game show, racing a clock and being paid cash for each poster I found and tore to shreds.  I was red-faced and frantic. 

Naturally, everyone else was hysterical with laughter as I eventually stalked back to my office.

As I sat alone and stared at my waste bin overflowing with crumpled pieces of myself staring back from oversized glossy paper, something just sort of clicked. (Maybe snapped?)  A smile turned into a giggle which turned into a laugh.  I became utterly engulfed in amusement at both the clever prank and my ridiculous reaction.  What the heck was I mad about?  It was really funny. 
It's still funny; amazing how much comic relief those silly posters are still able to spark in a flash. (Or rather, in a "flashdance."  *bahdoom-pah*)

Today's life lesson sponsored by the 20th anniversary of Heathers
Don't take yourself too seriously. 

The next time you find yourself getting your panties in a bunch... look in the mirror at your twisted face (or twisted knickers as the case may be) and crack a smile.

Laugh and the whole world laughs with you.  Sometimes also at you.  But that's okay too.

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john said...

I remember tht movie. do I get to say that your hot? :D
I dont remember the 80s much. I think I was drunk that day. The name heathers is familiar tho. His mom blew up a building?
anyways, thanks for memory flash :)

viince said...

never seen it. the little incident sounds hysterical though. nice lesson. i've learned to laugh at myself more often not too long ago.

plainolebob said...

flash dancin around the office, what a funny picture, laughin with you.

Hunter said...

That's one saucy movie poster!

Great post. I love getting these delivered to my work email. I might have to add that feature to my blog as well.

Stever Robbins said...

I totally don't understand (a) why you decided that not getting the part meant you weren't meant for Hollywood [except that you decided so in a self-fulfilling prophecy], and (b) why you crumpled up all your Flashdance pictures.

I plan to collect _at least_ 200 audition rejections before drawing any conclusions about my suitability for anything in media. I already have one in the bag: I auditioned for the 2nd season of "The Apprentice." The woman sitting next to me felt up the casting director. If I'd been thinking just a tiny bit faster and realized they cast these shows for drama, not business acumen, I would have felt up the casting director, too. As it was, _she_ got the callback and I didn't even get a stupid T-shirt after waiting 8 hours in line.

And _my_ Flashdance posters are still proudly hanging in my office!

Meredith Greenburg said...

I remember that photo. Thanks for bringing back the memories...

Argentum Vulgaris said...

Off topic... Charlene, I have just reviewed your blog on my Blogger's Cafe:
Pop across and see the damage.


Charlene said...

Thanks for all the great comments!

John - and I think I may have been drunk that day too. :-)

Vince - now you have one for the rental list. Get some beer from John first.

Bob - it's okay... you can laugh AT me. I don't mind!

Hunter - let me know if you need any advice on installing the widget; always happy to help!

Stever - actually it was a cumlination of things; I'm sure going to college with so many REALLY talented people increased my insecurities. But that was before I knew all I had to do was feel up the casting directors. :-)

Merry - we had some good times, eh? I'm glad I made it out alive! hehe

AV - thanks for the review; you are very kind!

Innocent Owner of Mad Cats said...

I LOVE Heathers. And that hot little poster of you. :) Luckily for me, most pictures of me from the 80's and my three different colored hair are now missing in action.

Sarah said...

just wanted to say you look hot in the poster. should be very proud of yourself.

Charlene said...

At least I was hot 20 years ago! :-)

plainolebob said...

i had no idea that you could sing, found an old tape,........oh that was ''tiny tim'' sorry, lol

knit1kids4 said...

Oh my... I would be mortified if that happened to me... have the same reaction and then laugh later.

But I must say, it is a great shot of you - for the 80's!

pk said...

I have to admit your first reaction would have been mine as well! Thanks for the very good reminder to quit taking myself so seriously. Visiting for my first SITS Sharefest. Too much fun! Have a good weekend...
pk @ room remix

Mikki Black said...

That's fantastic! And way more fun than my embarassing moment of nearly drowning myself on purpose. Yeah, good times.

Happy SITS sharefest.

Nicolasa said...

Haha, that sounds hilarious! I can imagine the feeling of embarrassment though! I am learning to laugh at myself as well!

Happy SITS Sharefest!

hungeryjack said...

Nice post - flashdance pictures ..Keep Posting

flashdance pictures

Shannon said...

I'd be proud to have a photo like that from my past - it's way cool!

Sharlene T. said...

Happy SITS day! Great FlashDance photo! How nice of them to fete you. Prayers for you and your dad and hope that all will be well,soon. Come visit, if you can.

Boutique on Feet said...

Happy SITS day! What a great blog. I'm a P90x drop-out, so kudos to you! Come visit sometime and leave a comment to let me know you stopped by!!

Barbara@CherishCollages said...

Awesome poster and Heathers was a great movie, loved it. I watched it over and over again. Funny someone I know posted a photo of themselves from high school on Facebook yesterday and I asked her if she was a "Heather" she so looked the part.

Visiting from SITS!

Cristin said...

Tee Hee! Your 80's self was way hotter than my 80's self!

Happy SITS day!

Ma What's 4 dinner said...

Ha!! Thanks for the walk down memory lane with Heather. Love the chainsaw line, I feel like I even uttered it the other day! How about the corn nuts? BQ? For some reason my parents took us to see Flashdance in the theater, in NYC no less. I was 8 I think? My brother was 5. Halfway thru the movie my brother looks at my father and says in his full fledged "non inside voice" "Dad? What does f@ck mean?" The entire place erupted in laughter.

Happy SITS day!

Alex aka Ma What's For Dinner

samsstuff said...

I love the movie "Heathers," (& the 80's) "Flashdance" maybe not so much...Great post & reminder not to take ourselves too seriously!

Happy SITS Feature Day!

AmberRay said...

Happy SITS again. I loved the movies Heather and I own Flashdance LOL. For the record I think it is cool that you tried out. That is a great story in itself. Also you look really good in the flashdance photo. You still look great and beautiful. Thanks for sharing.

Kimi@SoManyKids said...

Stopping by from SITS! I'd have just died. Way to find the humor!!!

llutze said...

I'll never forget as a brand new teacher when a colleague left a poster on my desk: If you can't dazzle them with brilliance, baffle them with bullshit. I thought, "What nerve!" But what fun!

Aphrodite's Mortal Friend (ME) said...

My dad used to tell me that my friends and I were like the Heathers- which I thought was soooo cool at the time YIKES!! I'm a little late on my SITS ... so happy belated day ;-) You have a darling site and I am now following you! Hope you can stop by my place soon!

Mommy Joggers said...

Happy Sits Day!
Aww Heathers...I love that movie.
LMAO at your Flashdance Moment ;)


I LOVE THAT PHOTO!!!!!!!!! Hilarious. Happy SITS day. I'm glad I came by, I think I'll be back :) I love a Boston accent - even a virtual one!

just another Belle said...

LMAO that post was too funny! Stopping by from SITS... :)

Kari @ p.s. said...

Very funny! Loved the photo! Very cool that you tried out for Heathers. You think you didn't have a shot - I wanted to be Wynona Ryder - haha! Long shot there! Happy SITS day. I'm a day late - but at least I'm here!

Miss. Ardeth Blood said...

Okay maybe it's me, but I don't see anything wrong with your Flashdance poster. It could actually pass as a real movie cover.

My motto is life should be filled with food, laughter and bad camera work always.

And thanks for stopping on my blog earlier.

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