Celebreality Bites: Volume 3

Before I knew any better, I spent some time as as “model” with a C-rate agency in Los Angeles. This was during a time in which I classified myself as a student taking some time off who happened to go on castings where other girls booked the job. I was simply going through the motions of what these girls did, minus the payoff. In fact, at the end of the year my expenses outweighed my income so heavily that the government payed me money for even attempting to model. I should have jumped ship entirely after my booker got me a job working at a restaurant to subsidize my lack of income, but I continued pretending with them for a few more months.
I was hired as a hostess at The Spanish Kitchen on La Cienega at a $10 per hour salary plus tips from the waiters. Considering my situation, this was a goldmine, a wondrous opportunity for growth. The day shift allowed me time to work on calculus homework while scheduling birthday parties for people who still thought the place was cool. The food was hit or miss, which didn’t matter because the employees were never given free meals and working two hours for a plate of mediocre chicken mole never seemed worth it. Occasionally one of the bussers would sneak me a doughy white tortilla filled with homemade guacamole. But after the original guac man was fired, it never tasted the same and I refused many a tortilla roll going forward.
There were perks to the job, if you counted D-list celebrity sightings as interesting fodder for dinner party lore. The celebrities themselves were never awe-inspiring. What did amaze me was the ability of the place to draw in only nobodies on a routine basis. I seated Shannon Elizabeth’s bulldog of an ex-husband in the center booth at the back of the room. I asked SuChin Pak what she majored in at college while handing her a sticky, leather bound menu (Berkeley: Political Science). Fred Durst came in with a lady friend wearing a hat that had the dual task of camouflaging a premature receding hairline as well as remaining needlessly incognito. He did an admirable job pretending he hadn’t sat next to me at dinner parties on a few occasions months before.
By far my favorite encounter, the one that sticks with me like my distaste for all Mexican restaurant ambiance, was with Ananda Lewis and her even bigger nobody friend. The pair came in during a busy Friday night, with a standard wait of about thirty-five minutes. When I informed them of this inconvenience, indicating that five years on MTV would not be exempting them from the squalor of delay, the friend leaned across the hostess stand and said, “Don’t you know who this is?” Of course I did. I grew up on MTV. Fashionably Loud, Road Rules, The Real World when it wasn’t as slutty, TRL, the whole shebang. Even in my youth I got excited when Kurt Loder and that blond chick with the short hair came on and tried to tell me what was going on in Bosnia. Yes, I knew who she was.
“Sorry, it will be thirty-five minutes. Can I have your name please?”
The friend sneered, bitter that her vicarious arrogance tactic had failed.
“Ananda.”
Apparently Ananda had lost her voice since leaving MTV for a life of relative irrelevance. Thank god this woman doubled as her PR girl or I would have missed her entirely.

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