America's Next Top Model
The Girl Who Drives Everyone Crazy

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It Puts The Lotion On The Basket Case

Tyra tells the girls that she's brought in an acting coach named "Alice Spivak," who "has taught a lot of different models. She's taught Claudia Schiffer" -- whose genius training has allowed her to really stretch and play the role of "Herself" in thirteen films and numerous television appearances -- "Cindy Crawford" -- who has played "Herself" in seventeen films and in countless television and radio appearances -- "and Jaime King." And the awesome thing about the "Jaime King" addition is that, when Tyra says her name they slap up a big-ass headshot of Jaime to obscure the fact that Tyra never, ever said her name during this speech the first time and she had to dub it in, like, over the phone from her Caribbean vacation because if you're legit enough to have taught the artiste who played "Bad Girl" in Bulletproof Monk how to be bad, well, you're totally legit-ass in this town. Tyra continues by telling girls that they're not there to learn how to act as in act, but rather to "incorporate it into modeling. I think acting is very important with modeling, especially with selling products." But I thought they really loved the toothpaste the models were telling me to buy! That's why I want to buy it, too! I mean, it wasn't exactly a mandate with only four out of five dentists and all that, so somebody has to tell me what to do. Oh, this business is so cold.

And wouldn't you know it that the premiere acting coach for models (which is kind of like being the premier wrestling coach at a nursery school) is, herself, also an actress! But not a model, except to model the art of acting. And act Alice Spivak has, playing heralded roles ranging from Elegant Middle-Aged Woman (If Lucy Fell, 1996) to Woman Applicant (Deadly Illusion, 1987) to one memorable meta-turn in which she seems to have played absolutely no character at all (Fun and Games, 1973). What she does seem to have is the market cornered on guest appearances on 100 Centre Street, which is a show I think that A&E made up to see if anyone was watching their network. They'd go out on the street and be like, "So, what did you think of last night's 100 Centre Street, and people would be like, "I've heard it's good...wait, is that the same thing as The Wire?" I mean, she never even crossed over into Law & Order territory. So what's with the big-ass round of applause?

Oh, I'm sure she's a lovely person. She seems like kind of a mom type. And she's wearing a cardigan sweater, and will doubtless be the only person who will ever do so on this show. No wonder she wasn't back for Season 2. Anyway, she tells the girls that their first acting lesson will begin with "an imaginary little scene, maybe wrapped around an object. An object in acting is a prop." And in real life it's what women are. Just like in modeling.

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America's Next Top Model

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