I blew it. That’s what I said to my agent after my audition for a pilot called A Legal Mind. “I kept forgetting my lines, I was distracted, and I blew it. Which sucks because I really wanted this one. I really like Rachel.”
But I blew it.
I went home and ate my feelings (likely some iteration of bread and cheese – pizza, quesadilla, it didn’t matter) because I wasn’t in a place to be able to let it go. I wanted it, and I lost my shot at it. Or so I thought. Turns out, they liked me for the role and asked to test me for it (a daunting process in which you do the audition not just for the producers, but for the studio and network executives). Those suits were about to decide my fate for what would end up being known the world over as Suits.
I had been given a last minute note about my appearance – they wanted more conservative, think hair pulled back and business attire. I bought an outfit on my way to the audition for $45 dollars. I still have that black dress in my closet.
There was no Tom Ford pencil skirt, nor a pair of Louboutins on my feet, a Prada blouse was many moons away on Rodeo Drive, and I’d had my hair blown out at DryBar because it was close to my house and what I could afford. I parked my rattling car and went up the endless floors in the elevator – a time machine, moving me into a new chapter of my life. But I didn’t know it then. All I knew in that moment is that I was nervous, I was hungry, and that a regal looking actress just smiled at me in the waiting room.
I had no idea that this late August morning of 2011 would change my life.
That I would get the part. That I would live in a little apartment in Manhattan to shoot the pilot. That over a lunch of lentil salad and muhammara on Beverly Drive, I would get a call saying we were picked up. That I would film the series in Canada. That I would grow up, and still be silly, or that I would find friends in my castmates. I didn’t know that the regal looking woman was Gina Torres, who would end up feeding me picadillo and white burgundy in her home. Or that Sarah Rafferty would become not just my Suits sister wife, but my sister – the one I hike with, and vent with, and laugh til it hurts with. I didn’t know my cast would become my family, and that so many #suitors would welcome us into their homes.
First, I was a girl at an audition. Then, I was a girl who got the part. Now I’m a woman who’s starting the fifth season of that show.
I remember that day like it was yesterday. My cheeks still hurt from how hard I smiled.