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Capturing My Essence

It was a Wednesday night in downtown St. Pete. I was in my acting class with Eugenie Bondurant. This night we were being introduced to Mandy who apparently had a knack for pinpointing a persons essence within minutes and without even knowing you.

Now I had met Mandy virtually 2 or 3 years ago. We were in Rus Blackwell's Zoom workshop and her I got paired up with each other. When we were in our on room, the first thing Mandy asked me was what my sign was. I knew immediately I liked this girl. I told her I was a Scorpio, and she told me she was an Aries. Both of these signs have the same planetary ruler: Mars. I told her I am an Aries moon. I don't think she really remembered me though.

I sat in the back row, back meaning the last row of actors, which was really like the 4th or 5th row. I typically sit in the back. Class started at 7 pm and Mandy had been talking for almost two hours now, but it wasn't boring at all and didn't feel like a lecture. She was actually super captivating, and she shared some very vital information when it came to headshots.

Headshot Categories:

  1. Main Photo

  2. Badass

  3. White Collar

  4. Blue Collar

  5. Boho

  6. Commercial

  7. Sexuality (for certain people, Mandy said I needed one)

She went around the room using people as examples as to what essence they give off to each of the energy categories listed above. She couldn't really see the back row, which was only three of us, so Eugenie had us come to the front row.

Mandy had used almost everyone in the room, which was about 14 of us, and I still had not been used as an example. I have to say, she was spot on with everyone. It was amazing.

It really bothered me that I hadn't been noticed and it started to make me realize that this was a common theme I had for most aspects of my life; that I am often overlooked. I started wondering what it was about me...I was just going to wait until after class to ask what my essence was.

Eugenie then called on my name and asked if I had any questions. Shit. I hesitated and said that I wasn't sure if I should say what I was really thinking. People were saying that it was okay and to just say it. So I shyly said that pretty much everyone had been used as an example, and I was wondering when it was going to me turn. I felt like such a little kid.

Mandy then called me up. I was like ahhhh. So here I was on display in the little movie theatre room, lights blasting on me. It kind of felt like I was on set, and someone was about to call action at any moment.

I was in high waisted jeans, grey ankle boots, a light green spaghetti strap crop top tank top, and I had a long grey sweater that went to my ankles, but I was wearing it backwards only up to my forearms. This info will come in handy in a moment.

Mandy looked up and down at me. She said, "You're very pretty."

For some reason I took this as a question like she was asking me if I thought I was pretty. I said, "Yeah I think I'm pretty. I think I've gotten a little more confident with that over time, but I don't think I'm this like bombshell model."

Mandy said, "No, I wasn't asking. I'm telling you that you are really pretty."

I felt really embarrassed. I said, "Oh."

She said something along the lines of that I wasn't very confident and said, "You are easily an 8 out of ten. I think everyone in this room would agree with that." She went on to say that I had a really nice body and chest. She asked me if I was married. I said no. She asked me if I had kids. I said no. She asked my ethnicity. I told her I'm half white and half Hispanic.

She told me that for my badass photo it would be vulnerability. I was a little surprised by that and told her that the typecast I usually get is seductive and manipulative. I told her that I have often been misjudged because I come across as standoffish, intimidating, and have a "don't talk to me face". All true. I said that I am such an observer. I will observe, observe, observe.

I actually had a fellow classmate tell me once that he totally misjudged me. He messaged me after class one night saying, "You know when I first started class, I pegged you for bitter and that was short sighted. You're actually really sweet and you're tough...really respect you."

I was floored by this and told him straight up that I wasn't too fond of him either at first, but then we became scene partners and we started to see the different sides of each other. Anywayyy back to what I was saying.

Mandy asked me something along the lines of what I feel most vulnerable about. I said it was a lot of things, but I could some it up. She said whatever I feel comfortable with. I told her, "My biggest things are that I don't feel special, and I don't feel seen."

She told me that I didn't have that I was exuding toughness in that way and that probably all of the women in class could get my ass including herself. Mandy had said that she isn't a very confident person at all, but she could still kick my ass.

She said that she just wants to hug me and take care of me, that my essence is "take care of me." She said that Meryl Streep would sit in the back of her acting class and people just wanted to take care of her. She said my badass is vulnerability and that it was actually really cool to have that because most people won't let you see them, and that's powerful.

I was fighting back tears at this point. I don't know why. Maybe because I feel like she could see my heart, and all I want is to feel really seen. Then Mandy said that it seemed like I was fighting back tears and that it seems like I just want to cry right now and that is so beautiful.

A tear strolled down the left side of my face. She said, "If I was a casting director, I would cast you right now."

I felt so raw standing up there...It's difficult to recall the exact order of which everything was said because I was so mesmerized by Mandy's take on me. I guess I just really haven't felt that paid attention to in a reallllyyy long time. Honestly now as I even think that and type it out, I am getting teary eyed.

I just want people to see me and feel what I am feeling.



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