|buy prints of select halfsquatch photographs at etsy or dawanda. (prints of all photographs are available upon request)||day 54
“Stew McKenzie,” Julie called out in her most official production assistant voice.
Stew followed Julie into the audition room. He mugged as she shot the requisite Polaroids. Julie tried not to laugh. “Don’t be an asshole.”
“Hey, you’re that guy who works at the lodge, right?” one of the producers asked.
“Fuck yeah. I mean, yes.”
Julie let out a giggle. “Let’s hook up later,” Stew whispered as she brushed on her way out the door.
Stew stood in front of the producers. They introduced themselves as Scott and Tom. Tom spoke. “So Stew, it says here you were in a local snowmobile commercial?”
“You know it. Got to ride around on some lake – just fuckin’ givin’ ‘er. Sorry. I mean, I got to go really fast.”
“I have to say we’re a little surprised to see you,” said Tom. “You are aware you’re auditioning for the role of Rebecca Richman.”
“Yeah. I just figured she’s pretty, you know, big.”
“We understand she’s a bit of a husky girl,” said Tom.
“I don’t mean no offensive, but she’s built like a brick shithouse.”
The producers tilted their heads in towards each other and murmured quietly. Their discussion became increasingly animated. “Stew, we’d like to see you put on that wig over there and the skirt. We’re going to turn the video camera on and see what you can do,” said Scott.
“Right on!” Stew grabbed up the tangled black synthetic wig and pulled it onto his head. Then he reached for the skirt and wiggled it up over his jeans.
“Now walk,” instructed Scott.
“Walk in a way you think Rebecca would,” added Tom.
Stew clenched his hands into fists and hunched over, drawing his shoulders up to his thick neck. He plodded back and forth in front of the camera, which was mounted on a tripod and controlled by Tom with a remote. He walked with his toes pointed out and his legs spread more than a foot apart. He grunted and scowled.
“How often do you have to shave, Stew?” Tom asked.
“I dunno. Every day?”
“Would you mind taking off your shirt for us?” Scott asked.
“Whoa. This isn’t some kinda homo porno or something is it?”
“We just want to assess your hair situation,” Tom said.
Stew took off his jacket, then his shirt. Hair rose up from his waist to his collarbone.
“Turn around,” Tom said.
Stew’s back was covered in stubble and tiny red bumps.
“You shave your back,” said Scott.
“Yeah, well, I mean, my mom does. I can’t reach all the way around—”
Scott held up his hand. “No need to explain, Stew. We’re just curious about how long it would take to grow in if you didn’t shave.”
“A week, maybe. Less now cause I’ve already got all this stubble and my mom’s away and it’s fuckin’ itchy and—”
Scott held up his hand again. “That’s all we needed to know. Just don’t let anyone shave your back for a while.”