The O.C.
Center Stage

Episode Report Card
Wing Chun: A+ | 30 USERS: A+
YOU GRADE IT
"I Am The Best Goddamn Dancer In The American Ballet Academy. Who The Hell Are You?"

I realize that this movie is a lot older than what we usually run as an Extra these days. But the movie is eminently recappable, and it has a link to The O.C. through Peter Gallagher, so as one of the owners of this site, I'm invoking executive privilege.

We open on a young woman's pink-leotarded torso with a slip of paper pinned to her perfectly flat stomach: "American Ballet Academy National Audition Tour," it reads, with a number 15 Sharpied below. The piano kicks it with a slow jam as the camera pans out from the girl's angelic face, and we see she's in a dance studio doing barre exercises with a bunch of other dancers. The girl -- who, we'll soon learn, is named Jody Sawyer -- looks so much like Jennie Garth that the IMDb had Garth listed on the Center Stage cast list for, like, weeks after it opened. However, once she opens her mouth, it becomes clear that she's not Jennie Garth, but a dancing ringer, because she is a pretty sucky actor. Not the worst-acting dancing ringer in the movie, mind you...but that's really not saying much.

Cut out to the hall. Some random mom-looking woman wanders out for a smoke, past a pair of frumpy-looking parents -- who, we'll soon learn, belong to Jody. Another sidebar: you can tell this movie was filmed in and cast out of New York because everyone who plays a bit part in it has been on Law & Order at least once; Jody's parents are no exception. ("Mr. Sawyer," Stephen Stout: "Ambitious," "Burden"; "Mrs. Sawyer," Maryann Plunkett: "Pro Se," "Burden," "Missing.") Mrs. Sawyer asks Smoky McBadHair how many the auditioners take; Smoky says it's usually no more than twelve. Mr. Sawyer asks, "Twelve out of this class?" Smoky clarifies that it's twelve in "the whole planet." Why, then, there later seems to be a freshman class of about fifty is unclear, but whatever. The Sawyers are worried!

Dancing. A male auditioner compliments Jody. A female auditioner counters that Jody shows "not enough turnout." Get ready to hear that dis about eighty more times in the movie, by the way. And no, I don't know exactly what it means, but I think it refers to how well a dancer can get his or her toes to point outward from his or her body. Female Auditioner also thinks Jody has bad feet, which may be the same thing as bad turnout, or may mean she just shouldn't wear sandals. Male Auditioner replies, "But look at her!" Indeed, Jody does have an endearingly beatific look on her face as she flits about.

"She's just a cosmic girl! From another galaxy!" Jamiroquai informs us. Cut to another galaxy. A bunch of people peer through a side door into another audition, in another town. A pretty ballerina of colour -- who, we'll soon learn, is named Eva Rodriguez -- walks across the frame (her number is 7, for those of you plotting some kind of Kabbalah-themed home game), takes her place in front of the barre, and then turns around to glare at a dude I guess is her boyfriend. A woman appears to close the door, on the back of which is posted a sign telling us (in case we're dim) that these are also ABA tryouts.

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The O.C.

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