Realistically Speaking |
by Alan Semrow‏

For the record, I’m not doing this for money, so excuse me when I say that this is not benefitting me. This is only a way to tell the truth. The truth of the industry. To the people.
            A lot of people told me after I finished up the last season of my first television show, that I’d be the best new, bright young thing. They plastered a lot of promise in front of me and, in between takes, took pictures and sexually harassed me.
            The writers made jokes on the show that were direct insults to my personality, my persona. Now I say, this is a way to make the record clean. I worked hard. I was the one that moved to L.A. and made the choice to make this my career. It was not lucrative until the show came along and the casting staff somehow enjoyed my awkward, dark-haired ways.
            My parents were only somehow influential in this all. I don’t want to go into details, but they were supportive. That’s all I need to say and I hope people will respect that.
            I’m showing my life to the world now because I really have nothing to lose and I’d only ask for your respect during this next triumphant venture. I am not a has-been, as I know internet gawkers have mentioned on occasion, but…
            Can we stop the camera now?
            I can’t talk to the camera? I’m talking to the camera right now. I—I just don’t understand. What do you want me to do? You want me to drive the kids to work? You want me to do some Pilates? Well, um, the kids at their fathers.
            I could talk about my childhood. How about that? I was gifted, I can say that. I was gifted and I understood that at a young age. I auditioned for all the school plays. I was a card in my high school’s production of Alice in Wonderland. They did my makeup real sparkly. My parents were proud, said I would go far. They would help me, they’d support me. Always did and I told them that if I got famous like I deserved, I’d do the same.
            It’s important for me to say that I am very proud of the success I’ve had. Of course, after the first show ended, I went through a period of… let’s just say disenchantment. No one was throwing out offers and I was probably going out and partying more, so that wasn’t necessarily a bonus, but…
            Okay…timeout! This is going too far. I shouldn’t talk about the party days.
            No, I will speak to the camera. Thanks.
            Okay, then I won’t…but I am.
            I never did a drug in my life. And I recently stopped smoking a year ago, so I really can’t be near it, so I know you camera people are a bit uncomfortable in your place in this world, but secondhand smoke is deadly and I can’t be near it, otherwise I will be sick.
But, wait. Can you guys cut this? Smoking is gross. You might turn off the audience.
            The day I won the Kid’s Choice Award… Oh, heavens, it was ages ago, but it still has a special place on my office mantle. Right now, I’m very optimistic this show could earn me another award. I’m thinking Golden Globe, but that’s my eternal optimism acting up again!
            I am certainly not nervous to invite you into my home. As long as no cameras go into my bathroom when I’m in there, I am okay with showing the world what I have to offer. As I mentioned before, I believe I am a gift to this world and wish nothing but to show the people what it means to be a success. I am not afraid of much. I am very sure of myself and my place in this universe, which I believe is a major part of the Buddhist thought system—something I find interesting.
            No, I’m not afraid to puke or cry on camera.
            My last movie? Oh, it’s been awhile, but three years ago I was in a film called Mother’s Vacation. It was on Lifetime and I played a mother of four who went on a road trip with my best friend from college, as my husband stayed home for the weekend with the kids. It was tremendously fun. I was a little upset when the Emmys did not recognize it, but I did work hard. I can’t say much about the woman I worked with—Mercedes Ruehl. But I loved working with the kids! They were lovely and special and gifted in their own way.
            The thing about fame is, though, that you can’t take it all too seriously. People are going to be cruel and you’re going to get upset when you’re in auditions and people don’t receive you well, or… Or maybe don’t even know who you are, which, of course, is rare. You know, very rare for me, because of my success on my first show.
            Second show? Well, this is…
            You just can’t take the fame game too seriously. That’s what you have to know. I’ve met and befriended a lot of stars in my day—people who have supported me and people who have let me down, but what you really have to do is get right back up there on the saddle and keep riding. You have to be true to thine self as Shakespeare says. Otherwise, you won’t be able to offer any love or any time or anything or anyone.
            Okay. Stop, stop.
            Okay. No. Okay. I just need to say something. I am, I am Nadine Sadler and this is my world! Welcome! Okay.
Okay. Let’s do that again. I seemed too happy. I am happy, though. Maybe I should make that known.
            Okay, but stop.
The thing is this fame thing is a hard road, but it’s worth it.

            I am Nadine Sadler and this is my world!

Alan Semrow lives in Wisconsin and is a graduate of English from the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point. His poems and fiction have been featured in multiple publications, including BlazeVOX14, Red Fez, The Bicycle Review, Barney Street, and Wordplay, and he won the Essayist Award from the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point English Department for his nonfiction work. In 2015, his stories are set to be featured inEarl of Plaid Lit Journal, EAP: The Magazine, Former People: A Journal of Bangs and Whimpers, Indiana Voice Journal, and Blotterature Lit Mag.Semrow spends the vast majority of his free time with his boyfriend, best friends, family, and Shih Tzu, Remy.