Episode 4 (3/22) Recap: "I'm an Outcast and I'm OK!"
Last time on The Starlet - Cecile, Donna, Katie, Lauren, Mercedes and Michelynne attended a commercial acting class and shot their own Garnier Fructis commercial on the beach. Donna was sent packing, made an especially graceful exit, and left the other 5 girls teary-eyed. Who will get a kick in the pants this week, and can they leave with as much class as Donna displayed?
Crybaby got back
Mercedes is whining and crying to the others about how she feels she is being picked apart because of her body. While Katie has annoyed me from Day One, I can’t help but agree with her when she explains to Mercedes that the problem is not in how she looks, but in how she feels about how she looks. It is true that self-confidence makes all the difference. Mercedes decides she’ll bounce back by wearing her “junk in the trunk” t-shirt. Yeah, that’ll show ‘em!
When angry broads attack
The ladies arrive at their coaching session and meet their leader for the day, Catherine Carlin (I think that’s her name -they didn’t bother to show her name on the screen.) Today, the girls will be working on the dramatic climax of a scene. Catherine explains that she’ll be asking them to tap into their deep-seated anger. She goes further to explain that with bad acting, an actress tries to show she’s angry, but with good acting she tries to show she’s not angry. The trick is to find that deep-seated anger, and then cover it up.
The first exercise is to find conflict in the scene, and to create conflict if there is none. Catherine begins by asking Mercedes, “What bothers you about Cecile?” Mercedes says a bunch of nice stuff, so basically – nothing. Lauren, when asked, says the same about Mercedes. Catherine reprimands the girls for being too nice to each other. A lightbulb goes off over Katie’s head, but more on that later.
Lauren and Katie are selected to do a scene together. These two have developed an intense dislike for each other recently, so it is no stretch for them to have conflict between them. Their scene begins with shouting and grows to pushing and shoving within about five seconds. Catherine is not impressed in the least.
Lauren and Cecile go next. There is plenty of shouting again, but no physical violence. Too bad.
Yeah, well you’re scaring us too
Their next exercise is to use emotional recall to find the feelings of anger for their scene. We see snippets of the girls crying and shouting how angry they are at their father/ex-lover/friend/whatever. Highlights include a very authentic, pained response from Michelynne, directed at “Angie” from a foster home who was abusive to her. The other girls are moved and you can see that several of them have tears in their eyes. When Cecile gets up for her turn, she channels some very intense anger vibes that cause her hands to shake as she cries and shouts about how she is so angry she scares herself. Her performance freaks me out, and I half-expect her eyes to turn red and fire to shoot from her eye-sockets. No such luck.
It is time to award the “best in class” award, which for this episode will consist of a set of all new headshots for the lucky lady, as well as the always-desired Diva Suite. Catherine says that while she loved them all (awww), Cecile showed the most growth. Cecile happily accepts her award and looks forward to getting her new headshots. The girls are informed that their next screen test will be a dramatic scene with David Gallagher from Seventh Heaven.
How to win friends and influence people, part deux
Back in episode two of The Starlet, Katie practiced making enemies by blow-drying her hair while everyone else slept. It seems she’s been honing her skills in the meantime and has developed a new method of alienating people and in turn, herself.
Katie confesses that when Catherine said the girls are too nice to each other, it really struck a nerve. She decides to get the group together for a little chat. She assembles the rest of the girls and says, “I think we have a problem”. She goes on to explain that it has been wrong of them all to help each other so much in preparing for their scenes, because this is a competition. This does NOT go over well with the others, who see no problem with helping each other run lines and offering their support to one another. Katie explains that she doesn’t want anyone else to win and only wants to worry about herself. Wow, she really has a way with words. Way to go, girlfriend. Lauren assumes the role of Head Bitch and jumps all over the opportunity to tell Katie off. She is practically foaming at the mouth and you can tell she has just been waiting for her chance. She tells Katie that if she doesn’t want to be friends with the rest of the girls, well, fine! Katie weakly tries to defend her position, saying she thinks the other girls are sabotaging their chances in the competition by helping each other. What she doesn’t realize is that the other girls didn’t like her before, and she just gave them all the ammunition they needed to permanently ostracize her from the group. The others say they don’t agree with her, and she eventually leaves the room to go and rehearse by herself.
I’m ready for my close-up
Cecile gets ready for her photo shoot, is picked up by a town car, and whisked away to meet with esteemed photographer, Simon Gluckman. She has her hair and makeup done and is photographed in a range of styles, from casual to glamorous. She really looks stunning and photographs beautifully.
When Cecile returns to the house, everyone slips into their bathing suits and goes out to play in the pool/hot tub. Katie sits apart from the group and eventually goes in to the house early and gets in bed. I feel bad for her, but telling other people that you don’t want them to win and you only care about yourself is simply not very endearing.
I guess I’ll go <strike>eat worms</strike> rehearse
In the morning, Katie dashes into the bathroom for some alone time and some sort of confessional. She says that ignoring the other girls is helping her to stay focused on her scenework, but she does breakdown and shed a few tears. All I can say is that she is building up a nice little reserve of hurt and resentment that she can use in her scene. The other girls may regret having unintentionally given her an edge by ignoring her.
Cutie patootie and the five angry chicks
The ladies arrive at a high school where they will have their screen tests. The scene they will be doing is from The Cinderella Story starring Hillary Duff. Wow, they are really asking them to emulate some true acting legends – first Whitney Houston, then Kristin Kreuk, Now Hillary Duff. Who will be next, Paris Hilton?
David Gallagher comes out to meet the girls, and they all ooh and ah over how wonderful and cute he is. I’m thinking, isn’t he like twelve years old or something? Damn, I’m showing my age. The scene they’ll be shooting takes place in the boys’ locker room, where the Hillary Duff character confronts David’s character over some trivial high school nonsense.
The ladies go one by one to their screen tests, and later appear individually before the judges to watch their footage and receive their critique while the other girls watch the scenes in another room.
Michelynne says she has a hard time relating to the scene at first, but eventually got into it. She thinks she can use her youth to her advantage and chooses to dress like she would have in high school. Apparently she was a nice dresser in high school and comes off looking too dressy for the scene. Her inexperience shows in her screen test - she looks as if she is trying very hard to get the lines right, and in doing so, barely moves her head or body at all. However, David finds her innocent and sweet, and thinks her read works for her because of that.
The judges all agree that they didn’t care for her choice of wardrobe and that it was too mature. Michelynne tries to explain that it was something she would have worn in high school.
Vivica- It was a little flat. It was good, but you need to add more color so you have presence and life. There was so much dialogue, I didn’t feel you.
Faye- We see a vulnerability about you in your eyes, but I didn’t see it in that scene. You have to not be afraid of who you are.
Joseph – Your confidence has grown so much, but you wouldn’t get a callback after a performance like this.
Lauren’s scene isn’t bad, but it is a bit stiff. She also wears a certain pouty look on her face which we’ve seen several times now in various scenes. David notes that she stood very still during the shoot, and it would be nice to see a little more balance.
Joseph – There was nothing interesting going on. It was not good enough for a starlet.
Vivica- You rushed. The scene has to be complete- there have to be some moments.
Faye – You need to commit to that moment and ask yourself, what am I doing in this scene? I want to see your feelings.
Katie’s scene is very intense, and a little creepy, if you ask me. However, it is obvious that either a) she rehearsed a lot, b) she chose to make some bold acting choices, c) her status as the house outcast has given her some real pain and emotion to work with and she is able to channel it into the scene, or d) all of the above. David seems impressed and says that of all the girls, she took the most risks.
Joseph – Katie, are you ready for me to rip you apart? I’m not going to. (Ha ha, Joseph, you should do stand-up. You’re killing me.) You were natural, and the scene had colors.
Faye – The last half was dynamite.
Vivica- Excellent, my darling. You are maturing.
Katie leaves the room and tells the other girls how Joseph tried to trick her. They are not amused and look really peeved that she did so well.
Mercedes is relieved to be shooting a dramatic scene because this is more familiar to her. She is happy to be judged on her acting ability rather than how she looks in a bikini. I’m hoping that the lack of swimwear will save us from any more whining this episode. She does a pretty good job and David comments that she is very professional.
Joseph – I hated the beginning and then a wonderful actor showed up. You had me for the rest of the scene.
Vivica- You came on too strong at first but then pulled back. I’m glad you didn’t let the last experience hurt you. (Mercedes replies that she thinks it actually helped her because it was her worst fear realized and now nothing worse can happen.)
Faye – We’re getting down to the nitty gritty. I want to see more from you and I think you have it.
Cecile is super-dramatic and overbearing during her screen test. So much so that David has a hard time because he is overwhelmed with her and feels completely submissive in the scene. She comes on much too strong and doesn’t seem to be aware that she is playing the part of a high school girl talking to a boy in a locker room. I think she tapped into a little too much anger.
Vivica- I didn’t believe you were in high school. At times you were too angry. You dropped the ball on this one.
Faye- I was told you won best in class, what happened? You lost a sense of what was going on in the scene.
Joseph – I’m a little frustrated. You have everything I want, but this was your worst piece.
Cecile starts to cry and can’t stop. She thoughtfully tries to explain her acting choices. She is obviously very disappointed in herself and you can see she is very vulnerable and full of raw emotion. Suddenly the judges have fallen back in love with her because the way she was just acting would have been fantastic in the scene.
Joseph tells her that if she gets a chance to come back and try again, she needs to remember this and apply it. Faye calls Cecile’s outpouring of emotion “quite a breakthrough”.
Cecile comes out crying and everyone consoles her. Even Katie tries to be comforting and Lauren tears into her, calling her a fake. The two bicker back and forth for a moment before the girls are called back in to the judges, who give their final comments…
Next time, try America’s Next Top Model, mmkay?
You have a great personality, a great body, but you can’t act. You are very attractive, but your acting is just surface. The starlet has to have depth and unfortunately you don’t. Others have shown real growth but we are not seeing it in you. To be the Starlet, you have to bring life to the scene. Lauren,…don’t call us, we’ll call you.
Lauren looks shocked, as does Cecile, who obviously believed she would be the one leaving. Lauren hugs the girls (with the exception of Katie, of course) and thanks the panel. As she leaves, Katie reaches out to her, but Lauren tells her to stop and shrugs her off before walking out the door. She ain’t no Donna, is all I have to say.
Next time on The Starlet: instead of a screen test, the gals will perform live comedy in front of an audience. In a shocking twist, Mercedes has another meltdown. *gasp*
I guess I’ll go eat worms. firstname.lastname@example.org