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The Pool with a Caramel Center


(Lining up with the gals at Marquis day club at the Cosmopolitan, and wondering where the heck I put my banana costume.)

Gigs are like a box of chocolates. You know the rest.

One of my friends says, “Doing an indie film is like playing Russian roulette, but the gun has five bullets.” That sounds about right, too.

Sometimes, after submitting for a gig, I have immediate regret. Because, now, WHAT IF THEY CAST ME? Then I have to follow through. Great.

Recently I got an email about an atmosphere modeling gig at a Vegas day club. Two hundred bucks for partying in a cabana for three hours. I submitted...and boom. Immediate regret.

A pool party gig? Why did I do it? This is the stuff of nightmares.

I was faced with an afternoon at a day club, where everyone would be wearing cheeky-butted bikinis and most of the gals will have big boob jobs. Panic!

The standard of beauty in Las Vegas is tremendously high. And at a pool gig, it’s not about looking great in clothes, or showing off clothes. It’s about how great you look without clothes.

And then I got the email. They chose me.

DEFCON 5. Prepare for battle! I grabbed a cute bikini and drove to the drugstore for bronzer. The objective was full body tanification.

Sally Hansen makes something called Leg Makeup that looked like I could possibly rub it over my entire body. Hmm. I bought a bottle of “Medium”. Will it be bronze enough?

I searched the Cosmopolitan for a restroom that had a large stall with a mirror. Applying this stuff would be tricky, as I would have to get completely undressed.

Unfortunately, none of the mirrors in any of the bathrooms were actually inside the stalls. How in the world am I gonna apply this? #PaleGirlProblems.

There was, however, a shiny metal “toilet seat cover” dispenser that could serve as a blurry mirror substitute. I took off all my clothes and rubbed thick cream into my skin. It was very, very dark. I panicked and kept on blending, furiously.

There are moments as a “slasher” when I look at myself during bizarre moneymaking experiences, and I really assess what’s going on in my life. And I had one of those moments, as I gazed into the toilet seat cover, totally naked; hoping no one tried to get into the bathroom stall while my ass makeup was drying.

Elly Brown, this is your life.

I jumped around the tiny stall to dry myself. Then I got dressed and made my way to the meeting point, where a flock of pretty girls exchanged hellos.

I wish I had dressed nicer.

I was wearing tall wedges and sexy white shorts, but my grey Target tank top was definitely not as cute as some of the adorable swim cover dresses the other girls wore. Most of them were in platform shoes. I’m not used to feeling short.

Ugghh. What am I doing? Will I feel better or worse when I’m in a tiny bikini?

Hands stamped, we entered the electronica jungle and made our way through the crowd to the private cabana.

Packed—in a good way; everything you could imagine that someone would want on a day at the pool was readily available. Flowing alcohol, trays of sushi, shrimp, and small plates. They even had In-N-Out burgers and a frickin’ cotton candy machine!

Ever see the latest film adaptation of The Great Gatsby? It was that decadent. Funny blow-up pool toys, like Dalmatians, monkeys, and smiling penguins were tossed through the air by happy swimmers. Stilt walkers painted up to look like fairies and butterflies slowly made their way through the crowd.

One butterfly had four guys behind her, holding up enormous wings on sticks, waving them around in elegant swooshes—well, as elegant as one can swoosh at a crowded pool. A huge pink elephant sat in the middle of the water, billowing adorably. A few guys ran around in banana costumes. Let the puns begin. (Guys in banana costumes are full of appealing jokes. Peel. Wocka, wocka.)

Before arriving, I was convinced that I would feel out of place and a little embarrassed. But once I had a drink and took in the scene, I felt a hundred times better. If gigs are like a box of chocolates, I was getting caramel centers every time.

In N Out burger? Oh my! Red slushies to sip? Ok. Plastic blow-up pool Dalmatians? To be sure.

This isn’t so bad. It’s kinda funny. It’s kinda fun!

So I drank my drink. Then I had another. I borrowed A Dalmatian for silly photos. I clambered into the hot tub and splashed around with the girls. Then I got a photo with one of the banana costume guys. Then I put the banana costume on and danced in it. Then I was dancing in the banana costume and rhythmically waving a plastic monkey. Then I was sitting next to the blow-up penguin, eating sushi, still dressed as a banana.

I almost turned this gig down, people!

A celebrity DJ took the stage, and all attention turned to the booth. Everyone raged in his direction, arms waving. It was exactly like the Andy Samberg parody video except nobody got hurt. I watched, fascinated, shoving shrimp the size of parakeets into my mouth. On the clock.

So now I know: take the money. Do the gigs.

Turns out, my box of chocolates is mostly yummy ones.

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