Number 132 and her younger sister, 133, walked into the Riviera Room and took their seats along with the other girls. Knees together, ankles crossed, they concealed quivering nerves as casting director Barry Moss surveyed the prospects.
Politely the girls were excused, all but Shonna Jones, number 132, who was grabbed by the shoulder and pulled back into the room to the delight of her mother, Shirley.
"They called her back. Did you see that? They took her back in there," she clucked.
Emerging after a few breathless minutes, dark-haired Shonna, 21, reported: "Well, he's considering me for something else in the film. They're looking for someone blond with blue eyes."
Mrs. Jones immediately shot an elbow into the ribs of her 16-year-old blond daughter. "Sharon, come on. Get in there."
"No, Mom," came the reply. "I was already in there. He looked at me and said, 'No, you're not the one.'"
It was a classic Hollywood cattle call. The Jones girls from Oxon Hill and some 400 other young men and women, reduced to numbers, came to the Georgetown Holiday Inn yesterday, hoping they would indeed be "the one."
They had been summoned by newspaper and radio ads proclaiming that director Franco Zeffirelli was looking for unknown actors to appear in a new film, "Endless Love." All that was required were "two beautiful teen-agers -- strong, charismatic, very bright and hopelessly in love."
The search also had sent Zeffirelli's organization to Philadelphia, New York, Boston, Chicago and Los Angeles. oAnd from the thousands who answered the call, some 15 will be chosen for final consideration next week.
Moss, who proudly recalled that it was he who discovered Ricky Schroder of "The Champ" sat behind a table covered with white cards bearing names, ages and phone numbers. In the lower right corner of the cards were Moss' comments on their auditions: "Terrible 's' sound," "Cute -- little girl voice."
"Mr. Zeffirelli has an eye for beauty," explained Moss, who said the young girl chosen must be "spectacularly beautiful, so the young man destroys his life over her. It's a look . . . Ideally, she should be a young Candy Bergen. But if a 17-year-old Liz Taylor walked in . . ."
The boy must have a certain look, too -- charismatic, he said.
Moss said yesterday's group, evenly divided between girls and boys, may have produced one solid candidate. Maybe.
There were lots of maybes. Maybe a call. Maybe a reading. Maybe a screen test. But there were many more definite Nos. "You don't have quite the look," was a line Moss repeated again and again.
While Moss was preparing to begin interviewing men, a young lady barged into the room wearing color-coordinated violet from her knit dress to her eyeshadow.
"Umm, excuse me. I just wanted to check. Are you going to call me or what? It just seemed a little bit vague."
Assured by Moss that if selected she would indeed be notified, she retreated after depleting her reservoir of assertiveness.
Her first cattle call confused Paula Hoppe, 17, of Woodbridge, whose normally brown hair was a sun-kissed blond. "When I was in there they said they were looking for someone with dark features. Then, I heard someone say they were looking for someone with light features."
Leaning against the wall next to Hoppe, 21-year-old Yvone Howard, a comparative veteran of New York's off-Broadway, was skeptical.
"I've been to a lot of these things, and with this one you know it's all PR. You can't take this seriously," she said. "But, the point is to get experience interviewing. And you come and see what all the other people are wearing."
The group's level of professional experience was low. Thirteen-year-old Christine Kastrinos had once appeared in a Christmas play. "I forget the name of it," she said. "It was about that man, that King Arthur."
"I was in a high-school play," said Robert Pallia, 19, listing his credentials. "But I dropped out. I was just a person, it was just my body present."
Pallia, like most of the young men who showed up, had forced his body into tight-fitting slacks and a knit shirt, giving maximum emphasis to his slim hips and well-toned biceps. Pallia had taken the day off from his job at the Pizza Wheel at Collington Plaza in Bowie.
Through the hallway outside the Riviera Room the reviews and comments were mixed. "I got the nice guy." "He didn't like my look." "Well, if it worked in 'Fame'. . ."
Meanwhile, down the hall, Dana Terman and his partner Don Platon, Alan Alda's stand-in "The Seduction of Joe Tynan," were pushing their 'Videotest' business. For fees ranging from $59 to "several thousand," fledgling stars could record a brief appearance on videotape, which they could show to prospective agents.
"It's the ultimate calling card," said Terman. And in the room girls gawked at themselves over closed circuit TV. t"I lost my voice at cheerleading camp," said one voice over the TV."If you all want to make me a star I'm taking offers," said another. And a tall, sophisticated youngster flubbed, "I guess you could say I'm an inspiring actress."
Like the hopeful performers, Terman and Platon had noticed the ad and immediately called the hotel to reserve the room next to the interviewing room.
Said Terman: "Opportunity, you know."