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The Naked Truth

I had found a new agent, and one of the first auditions he sent me on was for an HBO series. I would be reading for the part of a father. It was an older, more mature role than I was used to. My agent told me to dress conservatively, maybe wear a suit.

I flew to New York the next day and took a taxi over to HBO’s offices. I checked in at the main desk and rode an elevator up to the 11th floor. The elevator opened and a receptionist greeted me. She walked me into a small waiting area and told me to take a seat.

I was sitting alone in the waiting area when one of the show’s production assistants walked through. She was carrying a stack of scripts. She saw me sitting in a chair and stopped. “Hi, are you here for the audition?”

I stood up. “Yes.”

“Can I get you some coffee?”

I shook my head. “No, thanks. A beer, maybe…”

She laughed. “Right. I hear that.”

I nodded. “Yeah, I’m a little nervous…”

She started to walk away. “I’m sure you’ll be great.” 

I smiled. “Thanks, baby.”

The girl stopped suddenly. She spun around. “What did you say?”

“What’s that?”

“Did you call me ‘baby?’”

“Oh…yeah. Is that bad?”

“You called me ‘baby?’”

“I call everybody baby.”

“You’re auditioning for GIRLS and you called me ‘baby?’”

“I didn’t think—”

She dropped her pile of scripts on a coffee table. “Do you know who I am?”

“Are you one of the PA’s?”


“Baby, wait—”

“OH-MY-GOD.”  She put her hand to her head. “I don’t believe it…” 

I tried to get her attention. “Wait, listen—this is TV, right?”

She was rubbing her forehead and looking at the floor. I waved to get her attention. “This is TV, right? We say ‘baby’ all the—”

The girl stepped in front of me. She stuck out her hand to shake mine. “Hi. My name’s Lena. This is my show. You’re auditioning for my show. Do you know why I started this show?”

“Listen, I really thought you were a PA—”

“Let me tell you why. So that women wouldn’t have to be called ‘baby’ and take crap from guys like you.”

“I call everybody ‘baby.’  Men, too.”

“Well, you must be very proud.”

She was standing very close. Suddenly, I recognized her. “WAIT—you’re the girl who always takes her clothes off, right?”

She was rubbing her forehead. “Listen, just forget the audition. Just pack up your stuff and leave. Now.”

“I’m sorry.”

She waved her arms. “Please. Just go.”

I picked up my coat. “But you’re the girl who doesn’t wear any clothes, right?”


“I mean, that’s you, right? You do all the nude scenes?”

“Yes, that’s me.”

I smiled. “Wow, I’ve seen you...”


A man came running into the room. “YEAH?”

The girl pointed at me. “GET HIM OUT OF HERE. NOW.”

The guy stepped in front of me. “Sir, I need to ask you to leave.”

I already had my coat in my hand. “Sure thing.”

I started to walk to the elevator. I could hear the girl stomping her foot behind me. I pushed the elevator button and turned to look back. She was pointing her finger at me. “You will never work in New York again. Do you hear me? I can promise you that.”

The elevator opened. I stepped in, pressed ‘Lobby,’ and rode the elevator down to the street.###

All contents © 2011 by Gene Mahoney