Casting ‘Ape’ Actors

hestonThe new Planet of the Apes movie just came out, which made me think of this audition I had in Los Angeles a while back. It was for a commercial, I can’t remember the product but it was some sort of office supply, a printer, a copy machine. My agent called and left this message ‘Hey Precious, I have an audition for you. It’s for someone to play an actual monkey in an office. Let me know if you’re comfortable with that, thanks.’ I said yes, because there was a strong chance I would actually book it. I always seemed to book the strange ones, the stranger the better. A milk commercial where I turned into a skeleton dancing, a Burger King commercial where I ran around downtown Los Angeles bare assed in a hospital gown, an IV, and an oxygen tank, or this Nutrigrain ad. So I was pretty nonchalant when I turned up at the ad agency ready to act like a monkey in my office casual attire (heels and a pencil skirt, I mean if I was going to be a monkey, I was going to be a sexy monkey). When I got there a bunch of other actors I had never seen before were waiting too. They all seemed to know each other. They also seemed to give me attitude when I walked in, like who is this chick? It surprised me. I mean, we were at an audition where we had to act like a monkey and these dudes were giving me ‘tude? What the hell. Then I overheard them talking to each other about some movie they had all worked on together, Planet of the Apes. Little by

little, as I sat waiting and eavesdropping, it dawned on me that these actors specialized in primates. That there was an actual clique of (rather snobby) ape actors. Finally, a middle aged white guy in a suit with a paunch and a bald spot, walks in. I smile at him thinking, “Finally one of my people!”. But then I hear, “Hey Bob” and he sits down and opens his leather folder to reveal a headshot of himself… as an ape.

Precious Chong

Precious Chong is an actress and writer, known for L.A. Confidential (1997), Pearl Harbor (2001) and Amelia (2009).

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