My Failed Audition for Magic Mike


August 17th, 2011

Channing Tatum eyed me keenly from across the room. After a long sigh, he leaned back in his chair. “I’m going to be real honest with you, Mr….Fink, is it?”

“I, uh…yeah uh-huh. Fink,” I coolly replied.

“Ha. Funny name,” he smirked.

“Yeah, high school was awesome. Listen—”

“I’m going to be real honest with you, Mr. Fink. I have no idea why security let you into the building, but I’m in the middle of an important meeting. Like, right now.” The actor gestured to a burgundy couch on his right, which housed a stoned-looking Matthew McConaughey.


“Hiii,” Matthew drawled, waving awkwardly as he gulped down a full liter of Perrier.

“Hey,” I waved back, then turned to the reclining Channing. “I know I might be a few minutes late, but I’m here to audition for the role of Dallas in your new stripper movie. Magical Mike. My manager told me it was an ‘R-rated dramedy set in the world of exotic male dancers.’ Which sounded awful to watch, but maybe awesome to be in. Not to mention this movie is the perfect metaphor for my life right now.”

“Seriously?” Channing flexed one of his ears. “That’s …weird.”

“I guess.” I shrugged. “But the longer I live in NYC, the more I appear to be Benjamin Button-ing myself, and you seem like a dude who appreciates an extended childhood. Plus I did a little Googling, and we seem to share similar life perspectives.” I tossed a webpage printout onto Channing’s desk and pointed at a highlighted quote:

I’ve been able to explore life, and through exploring it I’ve found that I love art, I love writing, I love acting, I love all the things that make sense to me. And I’ve been given the chance to go out and see the world, and to see all the things out there. Not everyone gets that chance.

“That’s you in 2006, I think. I dig your vibe, Tatum, I really do. Also, I think I’d make a great greedy heterosexual strip club owner in your movie. (I’ve been called Zoolander meets Cowboy Ugly.) So should I pop my shirt off now, or…?”

Channing stood up and shook his head. “Hmm, despite knowing exactly nothing about you, Mr. Fink—”

“Call me TJ.”

“Right. Despite knowing exactly nothing about you, Mr. Fink, I’d really like to give you a chance at this role. But here’s the problem: I literally just gave it to Matthew. And I mean, he’s actually sort of born to play this part. You have to admit.”


I turned to Matthew, whose shirt was inexplicably gone already. It was hard to argue with Channing’s logic; McConaughey’s entire career of shirtless adventures might be culminating for this single, golden role. But I didn’t fly all the way to LA just to get shot down by Matthew McConaughey’s abs.

“Listen, dude,” I pleaded. “I sort of flew from one side of the country to the other just to pop this shirt off for you. In like, a narcissistically straight way, of course. Not a gay one.”

“No, right, of course,” Channing nodded furiously. “OK, I’ll tell you what. You can’t have Matthew’s role, but if the two of you demonstrate good on-screen chemistry, maybe I’ll consider you for Adam, the supporting lead.”

“Aw-riiiight,” Matthew chimed in enthusiastically.

“I’ve got just the scene, too,” Channing continued. “The one where Dallas is teaching Adam the ropes of male stripping. Really pivotal moment in Adam’s psychological evolution. You guys ready?”

“Heck yes,” I replied as Matthew sauntered over, an unfamiliar (read: rapey) glisten in his eye. “Let’s, uh…let’s do this thing.”

“OK then. You can go ahead and pop that shirt off now. Annnnnd…action!”

 [Note: The video below might be the finished product, but McConaughey’s performance was essentially identical during my audition.]


“…And scene!” Matthew resumed his perch on the couch, glistening triumphantly like a chiseled walrus. Never had I felt so…dirty.

Channing stood on his desk, applauding for two full minutes as I shamefully dressed myself and headed for the door. “Hey!” He somersaulted to the ground and jumped up beside me. “Where ya going? You were great back there! Totally would have been turned on by you guys if I were a chick. You’ve got the part!”

“Thanks but no thanks,” I sighed as I pushed past him. “I think I have some life-reevaluating to do at the airport…”


And that, Jennifer, is why we’re watching the Matrix trilogy tonight and not Failure to Launch. Matthew McConaughey’s abs give me nightmares. See you in a few hours



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  1. My agent had me pass on auditioning for MAGIC MIKE. Instead, he got me a reading for a Cinemax knock-off called SPLENDID DICK. They went another direction and went with Steve Buscemi.

  2. If I ever start up a rock band, I’m naming it Chiseled Walrus. Also, do you think Matthew McConaughey even bothers wearing shirts to auditions anymore?

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