When should I wave this thing?

By: Tory  |  Published: June 22nd, 2011   |  Category: Tory Shulman News

“After rejection number forty. I started lying to my friends about what I did on the weekend….By rejection number fifty-five, I was truly neurotic. In the end, I received sixty rejections for the book “The Help.” Letter number sixty-one was the one that accepted me. After my five years of writing and three and half years of rejection, an agent named Susan Ramer took pity on me. What if I had given up at fifteen? Or forty? Or even sixty? Three weeks later Susan sold “The Help” to Amy Einhorn Books. ” — Kathryn Stockett- Bestselling author of “The Help” now being adapted into a Major Motion Picture.

Let’s just say I’ve been to a lot of “generals.” In the acting/hosting world, “generals” are meetings your agent or manager sets up for you to go and meet with the heads of development at various networks. They get to know you and keep you in mind when a show comes up and you might just be right for it.

Here’s how they go down. For each general, I go through hair and make-up, squeeze my thighs into my tightest Spanx, drive my crappy ass Toyota Matrix all over town in crappy ass L.A. traffic to the meeting which is, for some reason, always held during the height of rush hour.

Once at my destination, inevitably, they make the entrance hard to find. Either the door is covered in Ivy or it’s sculptural without a door knob. Why? Why make me walk around the block in my highest Aldo stilettos? Just make it EASY!

After finally getting in the elevator, I realize my amazing smokey eye make-up has just sweated completely off during the frantic hunt for the door, when I acted like Susan in the fucking Chronicles of Narnia looking for the back of the dang wardrobe armoire.

I do a quick wipe under the eyes and enter into a granite encrusted, uncomfortably modern, intimidating lobby while some poor assistant who went to an Ivy league school and can’t believe has to work this menial job asks me if I want a coffee, water or diet coke. “Fuck you” I always want to say. Why can’t I get a regular coke? Or how bout a fatty milkshake? But I always just say…I’d love some water.

As you sit there waiting, agents walk past you in the lobby looking you up and down and you end up feeling like a handicapped sloth in a zoo that everyone wants to get a look at.

“Tory?…come on back.”

From there the meeting goes well. I am good in a room. I know how to go through a short bio, make it funny, add some interesting stories and highlight the best parts of my career. I usually start with observing something in their office like their gargantuan film noire movie poster or their Simpsons bobble head collection. This makes me look a) not nervous b) full of curious confidence and c) creates a great conversation starter where they get to feel special and tell me something about themselves. Feel free to use this amazing technique I’ve come up with at any point. I call how to “boom in a room.” (I just coined that right now!)

The problem that I face does not have to do with getting great feedback after the meeting. It is the fact that I’ve been on 703,000 of these meetings and NOTHING has ever happened. And I always, always, always think something HUGE is going to happen. It’s a constant stream of feeling let-down. Like a Michael Bay movie. I always go in with hope and leave so bitter and so sad.

How does one not give up? How does one not feel like it will never ever ever happen? ESPECIALLY when the “one” I’m referring to is myself and I’m turning DIRTY THIRTY in January. Should I move on to another career? Should I perhaps take my dog training interests more seriously and move on from this pipe dream of acting?

On Monday, I had the biggest meeting of my career. It was with a network I won’t name but it rhymes with Bomedy Bentral. It was at 7 pm. No rush hour! I was asked to come in. I didn’t feel desperate! And it was with all the writers and executive producers. This could be the real deal! Everything went perfect. Everything went great. And after a solid half hour I left them laughing, strutting my Spanx ass out in my high heels, ready to call my Mom and Dad to celebrate my new fame. I walk past the couch I was just on and suddenly see some tousled blonde hair. I hear Ben, the assistant walking behind me. And as I reach the exit, I hear him tell this buxom, beauty that the team is ready to meet with her now and she takes her water and glides right in.

Anyone have a white hanky I can wave?

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