Casting Call: ISO Tech-Savvy Relatives on Zoom Christmas Dinner

Baylor Knobloch
Baylor Knobloch
December 24, 2020

While we enjoyed a lot of screen time with Nana’s ceiling on Thanksgiving, it would have been great if she had adjusted the camera to actually show us her face, too. Not to mention, Uncle Bill wouldn’t stop hitting “share screen,” showing his junk mail containing lots of salacious subject lines. So for the holidays, we are outsourcing these interactions of elderly wisdom to professional actors.

Note:This endeavor is born out of pure necessity, not a deep-seated hatred of my own relatives and how horribly Thanksgiving went. (Is it too much to ask for a holiday gathering that doesn’t end in tears for one-third of its attendees?)

For actors 85+*

Familiarity with Zoom software is a MUST.

*Ok, I’m open to younger talent if they possess a stage makeup kit and are excellent at drawing crow’s feet (must have the lookbook to prove it).

ROLES:

Grandfather: Knows a lot about maritime law, buoyancy, and naval fleets. Deeply distrusts journalists; brings this up constantly while asking how your journalism major is going.

Note: Ideal for an actor whose balding pattern resembles a tufted koala.

Grandmother: Currently housing her fourth pomeranian named Estelle. Unfamiliar with her iPhone camera, but calls you every Monday to ask if the city you’re living in “these days” has any good pubs that serve the spiked Irish coffee she loved as a young girl. She swears she still doesn’t understand how mute works, which is why she didn’t mean for your cousin to hear her say that she’s “gotten fat” on the Thanksgiving Zoom.

Great-Uncle: Famously hates every canine iteration of Estelle. Knows way too much about military coups. He shares suspicious facts about the family’s genealogy but claims that he’s “done a lot of research.” Brings his own toilet paper to airports. (He thinks that makes it safe to fly right now…)

Great-Aunt: Won’t shut up about that one time she dated Woody Allen’s “shrink.” Her handshake feels like getting your finger-bones crushed by a cold, velvet talon.

Note: Actor must have their own fur supply and come reeking of Elizabeth Arden’s Red Door Spa. Impersonations of Liza Minelli are welcome, especially in tense situations, like when anyone dares discuss the wage gap or that new traffic light installed at the intersection by the courthouse.

Mom: My real mom is very proficient at using Zoom. However, I’m more interested in casting a mother who applauds my career path and bombards me with compliments regarding my physical appearance. Please refrain from commenting on my hair’s “hideous, shaggy dead ends,” as my real mother said on our Thanksgiving Zoom.

PAYMENT: Actors will be paid in underhanded compliments from the other family members in attendance, which will undoubtedly leave you crying in a fetal position in your bathtub just in time for the New Year. (Some samples include: “You have such a natural look right now, are you feeling ok?” “Good to see you’ve gotten healthy and gained so much weight!” and “Do you still have that boyfriend — oh, that wasn’t you?”

Don’t miss this amazing opportunity to jumpstart your acting career!