I just received notice of an audition I have on Thursday for a quick little show with a successful director/producer team across both film and theater. Whenever I hear I have an audition, my first reaction is always instantaneous, unbridled fear, and after I get that out of the way, I start looking at the notice, figuring out what I need to prepare and how to dress and all of that. All the real work.

This audition is a bit different. The role I’m reading for is FTM trans, so there’s a part of me that knows it well. The part that lived and breathed trans culture and my own trans identity, when I was 21 and 22. Then there’s the 30 year old, mostly comfortable butch part of me that says, wait – did I “take” this opportunity from a trans actor?

I’ve been in LA long enough now to know that there are very, very few (if any) out, FTM trans actors here. I know my tagline jokingly states that I’m the only butch actress in LA, but that’s not my own arrogance. It’s the fact that after growing up here for 17 years and returning here for the past three, I’ve only had one audition where there was another butch woman in my age range called. And she got the part. 🙂  – So really I should say that I’m the “only other butch in LA except for that one who booked that music video last year.” (And, of course, the women playing at a more established level – the Ellens, the Julie Goldmans, etc.)

I must point out that I have had the pleasure of meeting several MTF lady actresses out here, one of whom was signed by my former agent while I was still with him. And, of course, LA is fairly drenched with drag queens and gay men.

The point I’m getting to is that while I’m excited for the opportunity to audition for an interesting role that directly means something to me, my life, and the audiences I care most about, I also hope that they found a good handful of talented FTMs to see as well. The sad thing is, from my experience here, I doubt it. We’ll see – I would love to meet them.

**(A side note – I’m signing up for something called the SAG Conservatory, which is a series of workshops for Screen Actors Guild members. Conservatory members also get preferential casting for AFI student films, and on the application you check all the boxes you want to be considered for – M, F, FTM trans, and MTF trans. I was pleasantly surprised at these options. If they add Intersex, Genderqueer, Other, and None, I think we’ll be good to go.)