March 13, 2013 - 5:01 p.m.
I know. June was a long time ago.
I’ve been trying to think of excuses, but nothing I can say will make up for nine months of radio silence. I thought of telling you that I took a sabbatical to do missionary work in a third world country...but I think you all know me better than that. I mean, I’d LOVE to save the children and the whales and the trees, but I don’t really go in for anything that involves a hut and doesn’t include a continental breakfast and free access to the World Wide Interweb. After all, who would monitor my Pinterest boards?
Now that we’re clear on just how shallow I really am, I can tell you the truth. I went off the grid to get married, people. So basically, I’ve been doing missionary work of another sort.
I told you all way back in June about meeting this guy on a blind date. The mutual friend who set us up is fairly bonkers, so I wasn’t sure what I was going to get. The only pre-date info I was given was, “His name is Lee. He’s a tall Englishman. And he’s super nice. I swear, you’ll love him.” I said, “Yes...but more importantly, how are his teeth?”
Like I said. Shallow. Vapid and shallow.
I won’t bore you with the details, but it was a good wedding. Exactly what we wanted and a little bit of what my mother wanted, too. Everyone won and we’re still enjoying the leftover wine. Moreover, I still like him. And I think he still likes me. It probably helps that I travel a lot and he doesn’t really have to deal with me for more than a week at a time.
We spent our first Christmas together with my parents in Lakeland. Four days into our trip, I rushed Lee to the hospital for emergency gallbladder surgery. Three days after that, I flew to Cartagena to perform on a cruise ship...leaving Lee in the care of my parents. Looking back, I’m grateful it happened while we were there. Not only did he receive excellent care at the Lakeland Regional Medical Center, it was also the perfect time for him to bond with my folks. After all, sponge baths and enemas have a way of bringing people together.
Aside from that drama, all’s well.
I did my first...(wait for it)...straight cruise this past January. That’s right, folks. My act ain’t just for the gays anymore! It apparently works on the floating retirement home, too. Go ahead...scoff. But I got to headline on the main stage and sing with an eight-piece orchestra...which feels almost as good as good sex.
And I have a new act! BLOOD, SWEAT AND MOUSEKETEARS debuted at the Aventura Arts Center in January. It was really well-received and my partners (the fabulous Rick Leonard and the brilliant David Sexton) and I are taking it to the Mad Cow Theatre’s Cabaret Festival in Orlando this May (www.madcowtheatre.com). If you find yourself in the area over Mother’s Day weekend, please come. I sing better when there are witnesses.
I don’t want to get anyone too excited just yet...but there’s a chance ON THE PATIO (the hit web series starring my mother www.onthepatiotv.com) will be back for a second season. It really depends on Marcia’s availability. We’re currently in talks with her reps and I’m not at liberty to disclose the details.
In the meantime, I’m down in Laguna Beach...reprising my role as Sissy Steinberg in the musical, HAVING IT ALL, at the Laguna Playhouse (www.lagunaplayhouse.com). I really love this show and the wonderful women (Kim Huber, Shannon Warne, Jennifer Leigh Warren and Michelle Duffy) who are gracious enough to let me join them on the stage each night.
Dare I say...things are...good? Am I allowed?
You have to be really careful when you say/write that you’re happy. The roof usually starts to leak.
I mean, look...I still don’t have the sitcom. Or the pony named Brian. But today...there’s gas in the car. There’s hummus in the fridge. And I’m singing eight times a week. And on Sunday evenings...after the lights have gone down...there’s a lovely man with a cute accent waiting for me with a glass a wine. So in a way...I am having it all. For a moment, anyway...
June 22, 2012 - 9:11 a.m.
I’ve been fantasizing about this moment for months.
This very moment right now.
The one where I’m sitting in front of my laptop…cappuccino in hand and The Today Show on mute…composing an entry of recent events.
I’ve seen myself doing it.
Many times, in fact.
But for whatever reason, I’ve been unable to make it happen until this morning. I’d apologize for the lag, however, we all know that’s a waste of time and type.
And anyway, here I am now.
I’m not sure why I put so much pressure on myself with these updates. I suppose I feel they have to be perfect and interesting and inspired and why bother if it’s just a headline, you know?
“Paralysis by analysis” is what my future husband calls it. And he’s right. I’m often shackled by my own thoughts and my inability to simply decide. It’s not for lack of desire or a matter of laziness. It’s almost a form of attention deficit disorder or monkey brain syndrome. I’m here and there and everywhere and then there’s so much to do…where do I begin? And how can I start any of it until the bed is made, the dishes are put away, the desk is tidy and the voice mails returned? But wait…before any of that…let me check the mailbox, get a coffee and clip these coupons. And I HAVE to write Carolyn a thank you note today! A smoothie sounds nice…maybe I’ll make one. Ugh…I can’t because I used the last of the almond milk yesterday. I’ll just run to Trader Joe’s real quick like. Have to get bread and shampoo, anyway. But before I go, let me just look at Facebook…
Can you relate?
And after all the chores are complete and the candles are lit and the stage is set to actually work, it’s time to go to work-work or a doctor’s appointment or a commercial audition in Hollywood and a sense of guilt and shame overwhelm me, as I look at my ever-growing To Do list…
I’ve been criticized in the past for sharing too much…for revealing parts of myself that would look far better on a shrink’s couch. But I share because sharing is caring and I just know that someone will relate and feel less lonely in his/her own monkey brain.
And don’t you like how I just blew past that “future husband” part with no explanation?!
So here’s a headline:
I’m getting married! In August. This August. To a very nice Englishman named, Lee. Ahhh…Lindsey and Lee. Isn’t that adorable?!
We met on a blind date way back in February. This past February. A mutual friend set it up…right down to the time and venue. I knew nothing about “Lee” and had absolutely no expectations. In fact, a part of me didn’t even want to go out that night. But then I waited too late to cancel and I didn’t want to hurt the feelings of the friend who had orchestrated the evening, so I said to my roommate as I rushed out the door, “I’m going to meet this guy and have a quick drink. I’ll be back in 45 minutes. Go ahead and pop in the DiGiorno.”
Needless to say, there was no rising crust for me that night, but there was a lot of lovely conversation in a super-noisy bar. I think it took me all of 30 minutes to decide that Lee was very different. In that really wonderful different way. Like I feel different (and better) when I’m with him sort of different.
When we get married in August, we will not have known each other six months. Sound a tad crazy? Perhaps. But to the naysayers, I simply say…when you know you, you know. And I know that I want to hang out with Lee for a very long time. Mainly because he smells delicious. And he’s also the nicest man I’ve ever met ever.
I think the thing that makes me the most nervous about this major life change is the fact that I’m going to have to rewrite my entire freakin’ act. I mean, I’ve spent years being the smart-mouthed single gal…on and off stage. And now…well, now…Lee has more or less ruined it with his love and promises for our future. Men. It’s always something, right?
Anyway, I’m thrilled…beyond, beyond…and Marcia (my mother) is probably humming the Doxology, even as I type this.
Here’s to taking a chance and turning up at a super-noisy bar on a Wednesday night.
If any of you happen to be in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware this coming Wednesday evening (6/27), come by the Blue Moon around 9:30 to see the last of my single gal acts. And maybe I’ll dip my toe in new, soon-to-be-married-gal tunes. www.bluemoonrehoboth.com for all the details.
January 8, 2012 - 12:46 p.m.
2012. It just SOUNDS futuristic. And yet, I’m the only person (certainly in the greater Los Angeles area) still holding a Blackberry.
Generally speaking, I’m about eight weeks behind. Not because I’m lazy. I’m actually quite driven. It’s just that change is hard and I have to be really convinced something’s right before making bold moves on any front. Baby steps, trial offers and out clauses are music to my Doubting Thomas ears. Ease into the water, I say. Peel off the Band-Aid little by little. Order the filet medium rare, as you can always send it back to the fire.
I still eat Apple Jacks (they’re delicious!), I still use Finesse hairspray (it smells great!) and I’m still a teeny bit in love with my ex-boyfriend (he’s all wrong for me!). These things might seem like small potatoes, but I’m pretty sure they all add up to a lack of growth. However, they say recognition is half the battle when it comes to change and I’m starting to RECOGNIZE that my slow-burn, late-to-the-party, three-steps-back tactics are keeping me from grabbing the bigger prize. That elusive joy is just out of reach and I can’t help but think that if I just didn’t eat the Apple Jacks, I’d have it. Whatever it is…
I saw The Iron Lady the other night and was completely wowed. First of all, Holy Streep! But while Meryl’s performance was astonishing, I began to forget about the acting and focused on the person…Margaret Thatcher, whom, I’m embarrassed to say, I knew little about.
The film isn’t some feel-good, Rudy-esque, tear-jerker about Thatcher beating the odds or overcoming adversity. No…it’s a portrait of a real woman in various stages of her personal and political life. I left the movie feeling deeply moved, a little heart-broken, and completely inspired. Her persistence (and the wall of force behind that persistence) to affect real change for the betterment of her country and mankind made me want to…do something. Change something.
In one scene, she said to her doctor:
“Watch your thoughts, for they become words. Watch your words, for they become actions. Watch your actions for they become…habits. Watch your habits, for they become your character. And watch your character, for it becomes your destiny! What we think, we become.”
Maybe it has nothing to do with my blackberry, my breakfast or my boyfriend (current or ex), but rather my beliefs. Perhaps real change happens first in the head and then moves to the hands. And quite possibly, it happens when one decides it’s going to happen. Obviously, hard work and sticktoitiveness are sold separately.
Here’s to big changes in 2012. Starting with this bowl of Cap’n Crunch.
October 10, 2011 – 11:41 a.m.
I think the thing I miss most about New York is the walking. I love to walk and in New York, you have to walk. Even if you taxi, subway or bus it…you’ll still wind up walking for a portion of your commute. It’s not the same here in LA. This isn’t one big city, but rather, a collection of neighborhoods and everything is pretty spread out. Even if you live and work in the same hood, you’ll still wind up driving from point A to point B. That’s just the way it is.
When I moved to LA four years ago, I was convinced I could get around town using public transportation. “I’m a New Yorker! I’ll take the bus! I’ll walk! I’ll figure it out!” Exactly two (Hepatitis B laden) bus rides and one (outrageously priced) cab fare later, I was at the Toyota dealership, throwing down cash for a used Corolla. Now look…there’s something very nice about the privacy and convenience of your own vehicle. Sometimes I actually LIKE being stuck in traffic…alone with my thoughts and tunes in a climate-controlled environment. But you know what I like even more? Walking.
Like a little old lady, I take walks. Rarely do I carry my Ipod and I never take my phone. And while it’s good exercise, I don’t walk to get my heart rate up or burn a thousand calories. I walk for my head. I’ve exercised more demons on my walks than I ever have on a shrink’s couch. I’ve conceptualized shows, run lines and gotten over bad dates. I’ve made mental lists, talked to God and purged resentment. I’ve openly sobbed, laughed out loud and sung at performance-level. I’ve…well…you get it. If it can happen on a walk, I’ve done it, thought it or sung it. Fortunately, none of my neighbors have ever confronted me and I’ve never noticed judgmental eyes peering through the blinds of the homes I pass. Even if someone did have a problem with my Sybil slog, I wouldn’t stop.
I don’t really have a point here. I didn’t have an “Ah-ha!” moment on my walk this morning and there’s no lesson to be learned from my trip up the hill and back again. This is just me being grateful for a tiny, cathartic piece of my routine that can happen anywhere and most anytime.
September 18, 2011 – 6:46 a.m.
That’s right, folks. 6:46 a.m. I don’t know how people do this every single day.
I’m doing a reading at the Pasadena Playhouse this week (“Sleepless in Seattle” the musical, no less!), so I’ve had to be up and at ‘em bright and early for rehearsal. And because I have this horrible fear of oversleeping, I overcompensate by waking up way before I need to…just in case.
I’ve done several of these readings in the past and they’re pretty great, as you get to see the process a show goes through to get to Broadway. Producers will often host several readings of a new piece to not only help the creative team flesh out the material, but also to garner financial support from other backers. Gone are the days of the solo producer. It’s so expensive to get a show to the Great White Way that a whole team of people and dollars have to push it through. And even then, there’s no guarantee the critics will tip their hats and/or it will be a commercial success.
It’s mostly favorite movies turned musicals these days, as the stories and characters are vetted and there’s a built-in audience. It’s worked really well for films like “The Producers”, “Legally Blonde” and “Billy Elliot”, but not every box office hit can magically morph into a musical. Several years back, they tried it with “High Fidelity.” And after all the readings, workshops, out-of-town try-outs and previews, it closed after just fourteen performances.
Producing theatre is a pretty serious crapshoot. But…if you’ve got a hit…you can laugh all the way to the bank. It takes a savvy producer and a well-oiled creative team to know which film characters are supposed make that leap from just talking to bursting into song. I think Sam, Annie and Jonah should absolutely sing about it.
July 28, 2011 – 11:36 p.m.
Therapist: Why do you think you’ve put it off for so long?
Lindsey: I’m not sure. I like writing. Love it, actually. But every time I start an update, I think, “Oh, who cares?! No one’s reading this crap!” Or, “What a giant waste of time! I should be putting my creative energy into writing a new show or finding a better job!” And then real life pulls focus and there’s a new musical, a gig for the gays, a table that needs cocktails, a date that needs a compliment, a pair of inflamed tonsils that need to be removed and I’m once again months (count ‘em…SIX!) behind on my online presence.
Therapist: And anyone who knows anything about the show business today it’s this: You must remain present! Otherwise, you’re dead in the water.
Lindsey: Don’t I know it! In the online arena, I’m consistently late for class. I’ve overslept and I’m bleary-eyed from too many drinks the night before. My notes are disorganized and falling out of my Trapper Keeper. And how come I can’t find my syllabus? Didn’t I get one when I registered? Oh, right. I forgot to register. Again. It’s exhausting, really. I mean, who needs a baby or a pet when you’ve got a Facebook account, a Twitter feed and blog to manage? You can’t just walk away and hope they’ll tend to themselves or find followers on their own. Noooo. You have to nurture these online creatures so people think you’re actually popular and successful and living the life you’ve imagined. God forbid you actually try to LIVE the life you’ve imagined without FIRST describing it in detail ONLINE!
Therapist: But whhhy are you yelling, Lindsey? No one’s forcing you to do this, you know? It’s not too late to transfer to another program.
Lindsey: Yes. I know. (After a beat) I’m mad because I can’t seem to do it as seamlessly as other folks. It’s not fair that they should have real lives AND find time to tweet and audition and blog. I’m just pissed because I can’t push my own product to the point of popularity. And it’s a good product!
Therapist: Of course, it is. No one’s arguing that. What do you think is holding you back from pushing your product?
Lindsey: Fear. Do you mind if I eat something? I’m starving.
(She fishes around her giant purse and finds a pre-portioned bag of raw almonds…a healthy, yet totally unsatisfying snack)
Therapist: Go right ahead. Are you afraid of success?
Lindsey: (She drops the almonds back in her purse) Oh, Gawd…gimme a break. I’ve had my dress for the Emmy’s picked out for last five years. I’m NOT afraid of success. I’m afraid that no one will want to buy my product and then I’ll have to move home and live with my parents and sell some other, crappy product that no one wants. And then I’ll just be “that girl.” You know…that girl whose name precedes the phrase, “Bless her little heart!” The girl who tried, but couldn’t, so she had to move home and sell that crappy thing and she was never able to eat in nice restaurants or drink top-shelf vodka again, the end. ALL because she failed to stay present and hip.
Therapist: So you define success as being able to do what you love, eat in nice restaurants and drink premium liquor?
Lindsey: Right. Give or take.
Therapist: Interesting. Would you say you’ve done what you love in the last six months?
Lindsey: Yeah. Just not enough of it.
Lindsey: Well, about a month ago, I wrapped a three-month run of a new musical called, “Having It All.” It was a really good skit. Got to work with some very talented women and it was nice to do something in town. I’ve also done my act several times. And I’m getting out on some auditions…
Therapist: So there’s activity. It’s not like you’re stagnate. Perhaps you’ve just hit a patch of the between-gig blues?
Lindsey: Cheryl, show tunes are to me what butter is to Paula Deen…what spray tans are to Snookie…what courtrooms are to Lindsay Lohan. There will never be enough. I feel insatiable. And what if I miss my life because I’m so hungry for the next? Even when I’m in the midst of one project, I’m thinking about the next and will there BE a next?!
Therapist: Lindsey, I’ve told you time and time again…stay out of the future.
Lindsey: I can’t help it! I’m as manic as a cocker spaniel in PetSmart.
Therapist: What about the breathing exercise we talked about? Are you doing your morning and evening affirmations?
Lindsey: Sometimes. I mean, I was doing them for a while. I even sat cross-legged in the corner while imagining myself on a mountain top. But then there was the tonsilfucktomy and I fell into a super-constipated Codeine funk…
Therapist: (overlapping) You must make those exercises a priority. You have to see the life you want and then go about creating it.
Lindsey: Right. Creative visualization. If it were only that simple.
Therapist: It IS that simple. You’re just throwing a block. And fear is just an excuse. What about your personal life?
Lindsey: That’s personal.
(Cheryl smiles for the first time all session)
Therapist: Go on.
Lindsey: It’s fine. It’s good, even. He laughs at my jokes. I like the way he smells…
Therapist: Go on.
Lindsey: Well. I think I might be getting to that place.
Therapist: Which place is that?
Lindsey: I gotta eat something.
(She finds the almonds again…looks at them and then reaches for a stick of gum instead)
Therapist: You were saying you were getting to that place with this man…
Lindsey: (Shoving gum in her mouth) I was saying that…(after another beat) he doesn’t annoy me.
Therapist: Meaning…you care for him.
Lindsey: Meaning…I think I want to bake him a banana bread.
Therapist: I see. That’s a big step for you.
Lindsey: I know. It’s all I’m thinking about these days. Well, banana bread AND show tunes.
Therapist: Our time’s up, I’m afraid. But I think you’re in a better place than you think you are.
Lindsey: Really? Because I feel like it’s all pretty cloudy.
Therapist: Do your exercises, Lindsey. Lay off the premium liquor. And bake some banana bread.
January 24, 2011 – 3:18 p.m.
Artists supporting other artists. Now that’s a good thing, Martha. Just thinking about my friend and fellow artist, Jackie Beat, and how much she genuinely wants to see her friends succeed. In a business riddled with phonies, narcissists and star-f*ckers, Jackie is a breath of honest and hilarious air.
Jackie Beat is a drag queen. An important one. THE drag queen, if you ask me. If you’ve never heard of her, take a moment to Google. After all, “The Internet is supposed to make you smarter!” Just decide right now that you’re going to be a fan. Make a point to see a Jackie Beat show, follow her on Twitter, and find her on the Facebook. If you really want to take a step in the right direction, buy one of her CD’s and let it light up your morning commute. Just do it. You can send me a thank-you note later. (www.jackiebeatrules.com)
I’ll be honest…Jackie’s not for everyone and definitely not for the faint of heart. I mean, there are plenty of performers who are able to say what we’re all thinking. But Jackie says what we’re all REALLY thinking…like nail-on-the-head style…and then some. I continue to be amazed and startled by her bravery on stage and strive for that kind of authenticity in my own act. Not only does she make you pee (or in my case, fart) with laughter, she makes you think. Like REALLY think…about everything. No one (or group) is safe in a Jackie Beat show…especially if you’re an idiot, an asshole or a hater. In fact, if you fall into any of those categories and you’re planning to attend one of her shows, it’s probably best to avoid the front row. Unless, of course, you want to know what we’re all really thinking about you.
I first met Jackie on a big gay boat. We were both performing and I couldn’t wait to meet her. I had heard tales. Heard she was tough, cynical and cranky. Heard she didn’t suffer fools or kiss ass or rub political elbows. And I heard she was a genius. Our paths crossed one afternoon at the Wind Jammer, the charming trough where everyone grazes on the Royal Caribbean cruise ships. And as we shared lunch with a group of entertainers, I was I surprised by Jackie’s gentle nature, her insecurities and her unique life perspective. I remember feeling enamored and thinking how lucky I felt to be in her presence and to hear her stories. You know…the way you feel around a real star.
One afternoon, Jackie and I were sharing a coffee on the boat and talking about all the talented folks we knew who were not working. She made the blanket statement, “Well, some people are self-starters and others are not.” She wasn’t talking directly to me, but she was. Her words stayed with me and gave me that little push I needed to get moving. After all, no one else was going to do it for me, right?
Jackie has since directed three incarnations of my show here in Los Angeles and I fall more in love with her every time we work together. She has brought out the elements in my act I had been missing…confidence, a new sense of timing and most importantly, permission to cultivate and share my own perspective. She’s a brilliant entertainer in her own right, but her generosity and desire to see her pals excel is what makes her a real star in my book.
January 18, 2011 – 5:42 p.m.
Recently, I was asked to write an article for an online publication regarding third date sex. Apparently, there’s some sort of rumor flying around that the third time’s the charm when it comes to gettin’ freaky. Here’s my take on: Is the third date the “sex date?”
Look…there are no hard and fast rules when it comes to going all the way. It’s case by case, people. Always has been and always will be. And any man clueless enough to feel he’s entitled to see and/or swim in a gal’s pink parts by date three is a total dum-dum.
The ever-changing playing field isn’t helping matters, either. Thanks to the Internet, John Doe can know a ton about Susie Schmo way before they’ve clinked glasses or accidently-on-purpose bumped knees under the table at Starbucks. These dating profiles serve as human CliffsNotes…bringing John up to speed on the last 25 years, thus eliminating the need for the first two dates, right?! In his mind, YES! For example, he already knows she lives for spicy guacamole, Reece’s Peanut Butter Cups and Modern Family. He knows she’s a non-smoking Presbyterian, who definitely wants children and the last book she read was Harry Potter and the Half-Baked Cannonball. And let’s not forget about those six, well-cropped photos! He has seen the little black dress she wore to Kara’s bachelorette party AND the red bikini she wore in Cozumel. I mean, Susie did strategically place herself in the catalog. And John has done his research and engaged in the obligatory guided communication. Shouldn’t he be allowed to add Susie to his cart? Like right now?
The answer is no. Sorry, guys. Just because you’re getting your information faster doesn’t mean I’m dropping my panties any quicker. I have a vagina and I can tell you there’s no formula. Why and when I let someone put it in has more to do with a feeling and the way you smell…NOT the number of times you’ve come a’ callin’. Of course, timing does come into play a little. How can it not? Generally speaking, women are complicated, emotional and contradictory creatures. We thrive on mixed messages, yellow lights and busy signals. We love the dance, the drama and the pursuit of penetration. And face it…once we’ve closed the deal, it’s closed. Game over. We can close it again and again, but then we both know the color of the ink on the page. And history tells us that after the ink is dry, you stop calling. So, sure…we’re going to drag it out. Say it with me...delaaayed gratification.
If you still doubt my years of experience with the slap and tickle game…and you continue to believe it’s your right to lap up the kitty’s milk after round three at the Cheesecake Factory…then you better do the right thing. Pick up the check. Make me laugh. Open the door. Pick up the check. Listen when I’m talking. Catch me off-guard with a kiss. Did I mention the check? Pick it up, ass-clown. Don’t even allow me to do the courtesy reach. In fact, stop me in my tracks! It’s kindness, boys. Well, that and good, old-fashioned chivalry. That’s the only way you’re going to see to my Calvin’s in a ball on the floor by Sunday night.
October 18, 2010 – 11:28 a.m.
I went to a party in the Valley last week, and bumped into a friend I hadn’t seen in years. We embraced and gushed like a couple of good girls at a barn raising. “Hiiieee! OhmyGOSH…how ARE you?! Wow…you look ah-mazing!!! What’s going ON with you?!” You can imagine how annoying it was for anyone standing within ten feet. I was genuinely happy to see her. I wasn’t being phony…promise. My over-the-top shrill had more to do with the champagne than any fakery. I said, “Tell me everything! Leave out nothing!” She said, “WHERE do I begin?! I’ve been SO busy…there are days when I completely forget to eat!” And as I shoveled mini quiche and spanikopita into my mouth, she rattled on about the freelance styling job, the house in the hills, Jeff (the husband) and, of course, Jake (the kid). Jake…who was a baby just five minutes ago. Jake…who is now playing soccer, speaking Mandarin and taking cello lessons. Jake…who is more hip at age six than I could ever dream of being on my thinnest and most clever day.
It’s not that I’m not thrilled about other people’s children. I’m thrilled. I am. It’s just that everyone has a kid and I don’t. I’m not bitter…promise. I guess I just don’t get it. “Oh, Lindsey! You will totally understand one day when you have your own!” Please, shut up.
After I had emotionally eaten through Jill’s E! True Hollywood Story, I managed to say, “That’s a lot of great stuff! And Jake sounds incredible! I wish I could meet him!” What an idiot, I am. Just like the girl with the short skirt in the dark alley…I had asked for it. And there it was…like a Chinese star…the IPhone. I said, “Oh, grrreeeaaat! Yaaayyy!!! Do I just, uh…?” “Yeah”, she said, “Just scroll!” I spent more time with her dumb device than I did with any other guest at the party. And I looked at ALL of them, people! By minute eight, I started feeling creepy. I mean, this kid doesn’t know me from Adam’s housecat, but there I was, looking at shots of him scoring goals, blowing out candles, roughhousing with Dad, baking cookies with Grandma, dressed as a fried egg on Halloween, jumping (naked) off the diving board and getting his teeth cleaned. Come on! What parent sits next to the hygienist and snaps pictures? Isn’t that like one of the first things you actually do on your own? Or were my parents just especially cruel? Whatever. I’m not judging. Bottom line, I now know more about this kid than he knows about himself. He hates soccer, the roughhousing was staged and while he went with the fried egg thing, he really wanted to be a fairy princess. Trust me, I know these things.
I finally stopped scrolling when I got to the before and after shots of the massive home renovation project. I handed the phone back and as she tucked it into her navy clutch, she said, “Oh, enough about my little pumpkin! Sooo…what’s happening with you?” For some reason, I wanted to bash her face in. But I didn’t have the strength after being sucked into the black hole of play dates and bounce houses. I laughed and said, “Oh, nothing. Just living the dream, you know!” “Well, are you dating anyone?” she asked. I replied, “Nope. I’m sleeping with a few people, but not really excited about any of them.” She laughed uncomfortably at my candidness and said, “Well, I guess you have to kiss a lot of frogs!” Right. And then I waited for her to say, “You’ll meet someone when you’re least expecting it!” Or, “You still have PLENTY of time to have a baby!” And all that other ridiculous crap your married-with-kids friends say. But she didn’t. She went a different way entirely…back to her. She said, “Let me ask you something…how did you get into show business? I want to get Jake involved in some sort of acting class and I’m wondering how your Mom got you started?” This time, a numchuck…right in the sternum. I choked a little on my champagne before saying, “Are you fucking serious? I thought you liked this kid?” She laughed again, but this time, more uncomfortably. I think it had to do with the profanity and not the actual question. She went on, “Well, he watches a lot of movie musicals.” Of course he does, I thought. “And, well, he’s always putting on plays with the neighborhood kids. And, well, I just thought maybe I should get him some headshots and put him into an acting program. Is there one you recommend?” She stared at me like I was some Indian guru. Seconds passed. I wanted to respond appropriately to this closet-anorexic/potential stage-mother. After all, Jake’s entire future hung in the balance. I pictured him sitting in a casting director’s office, clutching his little headshot and repeating over and over, “Choosy Moms choose Jiff!” I imagined him years later, standing outside the Equity building on a frigid morning, waiting to go in to sing 16 bars for some casting assistant who couldn’t be bothered to look up from his copy of Variety. And then I saw him as a grown man, riddled with insecurity and false bravado, painstakingly scouring Actors Access for auditions and wondering how he was going to pay for his health insurance or feed his cat…
I took a breath. I took a drink. And then I said, “Well, obviously, I don’t know nothin’ about birthin’ no babies. But, I do know that show business is no place for kids. Expose him to theatre, for sure. Encourage the movie musicals. Give him tap dancing lessons for Christmas. Heck, take him to the next round of auditions at the community theatre if he expresses interest. But do not, under any circumstance, force a formal acting class or headshots upon him. If he’s supposed to be in the business, he will find his own way in. Or the business will find him.” She looked at me as if I had just spoken in tongues. I ended on a simpler note. I said, “Just let him lead you.” And with that, we kissed both cheeks and clinked glasses and promised to see each other soon for lunches and happy hours, knowing full-well they would never happen.
I headed toward the bathroom. My head ached. I felt nauseous from the champagne and the frozen Costco food I’d just inhaled. I thought about everything I had said and a wave of sadness washed over me. Show business is no place for kids? My opinion had come out so clear and strong, I almost didn’t recognize my own voice. Days passed and I continued to think about Jill and Jake and Jeff. I thought about how bitter I must have sounded. Like my formative years in show business had screwed me up enough that I needed to go around warning parents about the perils of allowing their children to professionally emote. I went for a walk. I got a coffee. And I thought about my life right now. God, if only I had been a normal kid, doing normal kid things and not professional plays and television shows…I could be more like perfect Jill, with a giant house in Laguna, a husband named Larry and a human accessory named Lucy.
My parents didn’t choose show business for me. In fact, they were skeptical from the first paying job I booked…at age six. I didn’t even really choose it. It chose me. If I was working right now and not so completely between gigs, I’d tell you how lucky I am and how blessed I feel to be doing something that I absolutely love. I’d geek out and talk about finding a character in rehearsal or getting into make-up for a performance. And then there’s the performance! Honestly, the rush I get from being on a stage and really connecting with an audience…making them laugh or think or really feel something is definitely more powerful than any cocktail or illicit drug. And then there are the people…the actors, writers, designers, choreographers, directors, composers, stage managers, producers, ushers…they are gifted and holy and I can’t get enough of them. And I know they’d all agree, once you’ve done one show and felt that…thing, it’s nearly impossible to walk away and never seek it again. Believe me; I’ve tried many times over. This is going to sound downright twisted, but I feel like I have a disease. When I’m doing a show, it’s in remission. When I’m not working, the flare-ups are almost unbearable.
Having said that, why would I encourage anyone, let alone a kid, to choose this path? I can’t say to anyone, “Come on! You’ll love the uncertainty, the rejection and the between job blues. It’s super swell to put everything and everyone on hold to do a show in a Podunk town for five months. And you know the best part?! Rolling the dice and going year after year without health coverage!” But when you get a gig…no matter how big or small…it all seems worth it. I’m like a junkie. I just can’t stop. After all, we’re all one audition, one phone call and one job away from a bigger high…and nicer crack house.
August 17, 2010 – 2:25 p.m.
Oh, Lord. The start of these things…
I admire real writers so much. What must it feel like to feel compelled to say something every single day? What drives them, I wonder? Is it the money, a deadline, or the characters in the stories themselves that consistently force a writer to the keys? And I wonder if they ever feel daunted or depleted by the task? Or feel they have nothing to say or that they already said it? I wonder.
As much as I enjoy writing, I feel like a phony because I wait for something to say. I don’t attack. I wait for an idea to tap me on the shoulder at a cocktail party. Then I smile and tuck it away in that little, side pocket of my clutch. Weeks go by and I bump into the thought at the coffee place and later, at the bar. It finds me trying belts at the thrift store and sampling trail mix at the farmers’ market. I wave and wink and then head home to make a soup, buy a dress online, watch the House marathon on USA…anything to avoid the task. And while I hide behind the ficus, ignore the friend request and duck out before dessert, the stalking continues. The idea inevitably appears again like a persistent gentleman caller, who simply won’t take no for an answer. Until finally…I succumb to the blank page.
Once the first sentence is down, a sense of relief overwhelms me. And then I’m enjoying (even smiling!) as I type and delete and go back and read aloud whatever ridiculous or genius bullshit I’ve just spit up. The only downside of the process, aside from leaving Facebook long enough to open a Microsoft Word document, is the personal judgment. It just sits in the corner…leering at me…waiting for me fuck up or quit altogether and log onto Twitter. (Btw, you’re all following me @mslindseyalley, right?) I’ve called the authorities a dozen times but they keep telling me that PJ is out of their jurisdiction.
I wonder if real writers wait for an idea to be posted on their walls or if they launch a preemptive strike on the daily riffraff that pulls focus? And I wonder if they suffer bouts of insecurity that clog the pipes and keep them from the doing? I wonder.
Not too terribly long ago, I was intimately involved with a screenwriter…for a moment. He was handsome, clever and a pretty fantastic lover. (Apologies to my mother, the church ladies and current lovers.) However, it wasn’t the action between the sheets that kept me going back for more. Okay…giant lie. The SECOND reason for my repeat visits was my insatiable curiosity. How did he get so much done? He was sharp and prolific and I wanted to pick his brain. I wanted to know what it felt like to write every single day. I also wanted to know where he got his ideas, how he kept his character’s stories and voices straight and what forced him to sit at Denny’s with the meth addicts until the wee small hours, tending to his babies. I’m sure I could have checked out a book on screenwriting, but this sort of study seemed far more satisfying. (You knew that was coming, right? No pun intended.)
During my literal undercover investigation I didn’t glean a ton of insight. I mean, yes…there was a little Final Draft foreplay. And, okay…I recall a post-coital conversation on character development. Also…there was a mid-makeout mention of scene-writing. He advised me to write one scene every day and after a month or so, I’d have something bigger. (I’m leaving that one alone.) I tried his tactic for a few weeks, but wound up with a file of Mad TV sketches, rather than one, proper story. As far as what actually drove him to consistently pound out the words I never learned. I think it had a lot to do with the handsome paycheck he received upon completion of the first draft. He got even more for rewrites. I might also add that he was a bit of sociopath who had nothing else in his life except his scripts. Come to think of it, there’s a good chance he could have choked me with my nylons and stuffed me in his freezer. Thank God a sound friend swept in at just the right moment and convinced me to do my Jessica Fletchering elsewhere.
I think writing is much like going to the gym. I mean, once you’re there, you’re fine and it’s almost easy to get on the elliptical machine and bang out those 30 minutes. And there’s nothing quite like that sweat for which you work really hard. I’m certain that’s the way a real writer feels after some hours at the computer. Even if it’s shit. I mean, a 20-minute walk is better than no walk at all, right? It’s the time spent, the effort put forth and the thoughts worked-out. That’s the difference between the amateurs and the pros. Well, that and technique. But I still insist it’s the doing. And you don’t have to be a sociopath or wait for a fat payday to do the work. You simply have to…do.
June 19, 2010 – 11:29 a.m.
Father’s Day weekend is upon us once again. And once again, I will not be home to honor and celebrate my dear, old dad. While I know my parents are proud of me and happy that I’m doing what I love to do, I also know they’re bummed that I’m far from home and unable to partake in the celebrations, family vacations and other momentous occasions that ultimate weave our family’s tapestry. I’m acutely aware of the miles between us and as the years continue to fly by, I wonder how much longer I’ll be able to stay in this game and miss out on all the life that is happening back home.
I suppose it would be one thing if I didn’t like my family. But I do like them and therein the trouble lies. The fond memories, the encouraging phone calls, the random deliveries from Omaha Steak…it’s all a ploy. They don’t nag me, but rather nice me into their clutches. It’s downright exhausting to be this loved and adored.
So I did what I do for all Hallmark occasions. I called Paulie…my dutiful brother…the good, smart and successful kid, who stayed close to home. And we had the same conversation we have every year.
(Upon seeing my name in his caller ID)
Paulie: What’s up douche bag?
Me: What are you doing for Dad for Father’s Day?
Paulie: I don’t know. Haven’t really thought about it.
Me: Well, Mom thinks we should go in for new lights for the back porch or send him to the dentist to have his teeth whitened.
Paulie: No, that’s what SHE wants. Let’s just get him a gift certificate to play golf at his favorite course.
Me: That’s lame.
Paulie: That may be, but that’s what he does and that’s what he likes.
Me: Alright, then. If I send you a check, will you pick up the gift and include my name on the card?
Paulie: Gotta run.
Me: Thank you!
I wonder how many times I can send my brother a lousy check and ask him to sign my name to the group card? And I wonder if my dad knows how much we really love him, even though we didn’t get him the dimmer switch for the back porch or the professional teeth whitening trays.
Over the years, I’ve made a habit of mocking my mom in my act. She’s such a broad character in real life that she lends herself to the fun-making and feigns disapproval when I “do her.” She’s a much easier target than my dad, who is decidedly easy-going and borderline private. (Well, he’d be private if he wasn’t married to my mom.) He just doesn’t need the spotlight the way my mom and I do. He’s cool, he’s calm and he often whistles for no reason whatsoever. After serving more than 40 years in law enforcement, I guess he has earned the right to whistle, nap and sip the occasional Crown Royal and water.
Growing up with a cop in the house wasn’t as bad as one might think. He never greeted my boyfriends at the door with a loaded shotgun and never once did he force me to take a sobriety test in our driveway. He wasn’t moody, angry or aggressive like the troubled TV cops. And unlike Elliot Stabler, he was around. I remember his presence in our home and his complete attention to whatever happened to be going on in our lives.
When he picked up my brother and me from daycare, he would fire up the lights and blow the siren from his patrol car and the kids on the playground would freeze. And, of course, Paulie and I would climb into the backseat, like a couple of proud criminals. It was dad, not mom, who packed our lunches all through school…taking care to keep the lettuce in a separate bag, so as to not sog our turkey sandwiches. He sat with my brother and me nearly every evening…drilling spelling words and working math problems until we finally got it. He dug library books out of the trash, attended every school play and single-handedly did our science projects. (Don’t lie. Your parents did your science projects, too.)
He stressed the importance of reading and to this day, when he sees a vagrant or some sketchy-looking character on the street, he says, “See kids…he obviously didn’t read.” He taught me how to drive (on the riding lawn mower) and still repeats when we’re in the car together, “Watch where you’re going…there could be a kid on Big Wheel right behind you!” If a questionable friend came over to play, he’d tell us that we ARE the company we keep and, “You’re guilty by association.” If my brother and I fought, he’d force us to embrace and then he’d say, “Now say, ‘I love you’.” Paulie and I would be laughing so hard, we’d barely get the words out. When Dad made up his mind about something…that’s the way it was. Period. End of discussion. If we protested or stamped our feet, he’d calmly say, “Too bad, so sad, your dad.” And then he’d remind us that, “It’s a privilege for you all to live with us.”
It wasn’t all witty one-liners and after-school special lessons. Family was and continues to be everything to him. He never took a stoic stance when it came to expressing his love for us. Growing up, we ate dinner together nearly every night and he’d compliment my mother’s cooking and ask about our days. He taught me how to drink coffee (black, of course). He proved that cornbread, black-eyed peas and stewed tomatoes are a gourmet meal (especially when mixed together). He schooled me in poker, pool and Monopoly. He’s the reason I know how to tell time, ride a bike and scramble the best eggs and cheese you’ve ever eaten. During the holidays, he stood in line at Zayre’s for the new Cabbage Patch Kid dolls. He assembled ping-pong tables, Snoopy snow-cone makers and backyard tree-houses. He took the perfect bite out of those nasty Easy-Bake Oven cakes I left for Santa and he strung “those damn” lights on the tree every year. Still does, in fact. Dad introduced me to John Denver, Roger Whittaker and Don Rickles. And he has moved me around the country ten times and still stores a lot of my crap at his home. If that’s not unconditional love, I don’t know what is. Dad didn’t yell when I got into a fender-bender and he didn’t ground my brother when he got his first speeding ticket. He’d say, “It’s all a part of growing up.” And then he’d whistle.
Now don’t get me wrong. My Dad wasn’t a pushover. If he was really upset about something stupid we had done, he’d drop that dreaded bomb, “Your mother and I are very disappointed in you.” That’s all he’d have to say to make us go to pieces. Because let’s face it…no one wanted to disappoint Smokey the Bear.
Perhaps my favorite childhood memory was the thumb-sucking incident. I sucked my thumb when I was a kid and as a result, I looked like I could chew down a tree. In an effort to break me of my rotten habit, Dad rubbed hot peppers on my thumb one evening before bed. His clever plan backfired, as I couldn’t sleep. I cried and wailed and complained about my burnt digit and tongue. Around midnight, he came into my room with the honey jar. Over and over, he dipped my thumb into the honey…until the burning went away and all the while he repeated, “I’m so sorry.” He never mentioned the thumb-sucking after that night and I finally quit in the 8th grade.
Oh, the memories! The trips to Boca Grande, Pisgah View Ranch and the lost luggage in the Grand Canyon…I get the misty giggles just thinking about all the fun we’ve had over the years. I wish I could be there tomorrow morning to watch my dad open the Father’s Day cards and say, “Thank you, kids! You didn’t have to get me anything! You should have saved your money.” I mean, he’s right…the guy has everything he needs. But we get him something so we can hear him say those same lines. It’s a little tradition.
I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t a little bummed out that Paulie and I don’t have kids of our own yet. I’d love to see them rough and tumble with our own version of Andy Griffith. By the time we get around to having kids, we’ll be diapering both the babies AND our parents! But alas, we can’t move forward any faster and we certainly can’t turn back the hands of time. So we’ve got today. And today I’m feeling pretty lucky to have such a great dad. I’m not trying to be a mom here, but be sure to tell your dad or the makeshift dad in your life how much you love and appreciate him…today and always. I promise it’ll make him whistle a happy tune.
June 11, 2010 – 10:40 a.m.
I’ve been moving this entry around and around on my to-do list for the past three months. Poor, little journal. It’s embarrassing, shameful and downright unprofessional. Here I have this lovely web site with pictures and events and credits…I almost look like the real deal. But I can’t even be bothered to write a quick update once a week. Sorry, guys. As much as I enjoy writing, it’s just so hard to make some things a habit.
And I sort of hate when folks say, “Well, if you wanted to do it, you would.” Or, “We make time for the things we want to do.” Give me a break. I’m sure there are tons of things all of us want to do every single day. I mean, I’d love to say I go for a run every morning. Or that I keep a food journal. Or that I track of all of my spending and then log the figures into a spread sheet. I wish I could say that I meditate every afternoon for 20 minutes or read the New York Times every morning…right after my run. But our real lives do not mirror the pages of a Pottery Barn catalog and all that stuff we want to do ain’t gonna get done just by hanging a charming, chalk-board To Do List over our desks. Shit happens and then the shit that you want to happen doesn’t happen. So you just have to do your best and then stop apologizing (in two paragraphs) for all the things you didn’t accomplish before 10 a.m. or even in the last three months.
Of course, this idea of ritual and routine got me to thinking about what I actually do do on a daily basis. I wake up, I take my Synthroid, I have some sort of caffeinated beverage, I check my email, Facebook and Twitter accounts (hoping to learn that an ex-boyfriend is now fat or the guy I met last night has sent me a friend request)…and then I call my mother. I also eat, sleep and well…you know. If I’m being completely honest here (because I typically hold back), I can’t even say that I brush my teeth and/or shower every single day. I know…disgusting. But that’s why God made mouthwash and body splash. Hey…you don’t judge the French for their funk, do you? They’re just French. And I’m just breaking routine and conserving water.
Look, I’m not a total deadbeat. I mean, I go the bank and I pay my bills. I do the laundry and pick up my dry cleaning. I go to church fairly often and I get in my workouts and happy hours with friends. And, of course, I go to every audition I can. But there’s absolutely no rhyme or reason to anything I do and nothing is ever really planned or premeditated. Even jobs. One week I’m waiting tables and the next week, I’m learning lines for a new show or singing “Time After Time” to a bunch of gay men on a cruise ship in Mexico. My life is sporadic, chaotic and anything but stable. I could be financially scraping by in January and cashing a fat check from an IHOP commercial in February. To say the least, it’s unnerving but never dull.
I love my life…I really do. However, I envy those folks with real lives and routines. There’s comfort in ritual. I often wonder what it would be like to wake up every morning at 6 a.m., pack the kids’ lunches and then head out to a spin class. Sometimes I want to trade places with the gal who was just made partner in her law firm...you know, the one who drinks her skinny latte in her BMW, while finalizing her 11 a.m. with her secretary on bluetooth? Sometimes I want to be that girl. I’m a little jealous of my mom’s Wednesday night dinners at the church or Jen’s book club that meets the second Thursday of every month. I wonder what I would do with my yearly bonus if I actually got one or where my husband and I would spend Christmas if I was actually married.
As much as I fantasize about the routines of others, I fear that I’d miss my breakfast to lunch thought process and lifestyle. I wonder what I’d be like with a real life plan and if I’d like it. I don’t know. It’s weird…I can’t even see that version of my life. The only thing I can picture is my un-showered self in yesterday’s shirt at the Panera Bread, drinking stale coffee and typing away…wondering how I’m going to spend this afternoon before heading to the theatre tonight. And feeling absolutely desperate to accomplish something, do something or see something to make this day different from all others. Because the only thing scarier to me than losing all my teeth or having my entire family annihilated in a freak boating accident, is knowing exactly what’s going to happen next.
February 1, 2010 – 10:19 p.m.
Oh, I’m ashamed. Just ashamed. We’re well into 2010 and this is my first post since December. Very bad. Apologies. But sometimes, you have to let these journal entries germinate and grow and then burst forth.
Gawd…what a load of crap.
I’ve been thinking about a lot of things as of late. Like, is it really possible that there’s NO nutritional value in a blueberry cake donut? Because for the past two weeks, I’ve been eating them like it’s my job. Imitation blueberries must have antioxidants, right? And how come no one properly thanks the pilot as they’re exiting the airplane? I’ve noticed most people just sort of mumble a thanks as they walk past, but no one really says, “Hey…thanks for safely steering this big hunk of steel through the sky and completely defying gravity so I could arrive in Dallas in time for my buddy’s bachelor party.” For once, I’d just really like to hear the person in front of me say, “Thank you!” and mean it. And what possesses someone to walk around the locker room of the gym completely naked? For God’s sake, throw a towel around yourself. And the naked hair drying? Quit it. It’s too much. Now, if Diane Lane was doing the naked locker room strut, I wouldn’t bitch. I’d get the popcorn. But I’m pretty sure she doesn’t belong to 24-Hour Fitness.
Then there’s the car wash…when did it also become a gas station, a boutique, a coffee shop and a Hallmark? Is it just the ones in Los Angeles? I haven’t been to a car wash in any other part of the country lately, but Lincoln Car Wash is absolutely my new favorite haunt. This morning, I gassed up, bought two birthday cards, a new change purse, some fancy dark chocolate AND a double latte. For the record, I put back the pomegranate-scented dice, the fondue set and the US Weekly. Then…just like when I was five…I watched through the glass…in complete amazement…as the suds piled up on my dented Corolla. It was better than dinner theatre. Frankly, all they need to add is Friday night speed dating and a wine bar and it would be almost as good as the Viper Room.
As if I’ve EVER been to the Viper Room.
Just got back from a Caribbean cruise with the gays. We had a gay, ol’ time (you knew that was coming) and then I hung out in Florida for about a week with my family. Not sure what’s happening but it is getting harder and harder to leave them. I just really like them. We have fun. And they make me feel so good and loved and a part of everything. Don’t get me wrong, I’m always happy to get back to my life and my space and decent Mexican food. But I’m just so far from my people.
I had high hopes for 2010, but so far, it has been rather underwhelming. The recession trickle-down has officially affected everything, including the number of paying gigs I’m booking and the number of cocktails I’m serving and tips I’m making in between those gigs. Parents reading this…do not…I repeat…DO NOT encourage your children to be artists. If you catch your son painting, snatch the brush out of his hand and replace it with a calculator. If you hear your daughter singing show tunes, smack her (hard) right across the face. Do not take them to movie musicals or waste time or money on dance classes. Bedtime reading should include excerpts from the Wall Street Journal and Money Magazine. Insist they take as many advanced placement courses as humanly possible and let them know it’s completely acceptable to sleep their way to the top. And finally, remind them that if at first they don’t succeed…sell out, play it safe and for God’s sake…marry for money.
I’m kidding, of course. About smacking your daughter. You shouldn’t hit your kids.
December 6, 2009 – 10:57 a.m.
Today is my birthday. I’m on a plane heading back to Los Angeles from New York City, where I spent the weekend celebrating, with family and friends, my 32nd year on earth. 32 years. Thirty. Two. Years. Old. Wow.
I mean, I’m not old. Old people are those unfortunate souls stuck in God’s waiting room, shitting their pants and staring blankly at a fat nurse holding a tray of pureed turkey ala king. (I’d say plane food ain’t much better, but there’s no food on planes anymore.) It’s rather alarming how fast I’ve come to this point. And it feels like the years are beginning to pick up speed. Anyone? Anyone else feel that? Christ. It’s enough to make me shit my pants.
As I was walking around the city, seeing old friends and popping into old haunts, I realized that everyone and everything had changed…but then not at all. For the most part, things were still the same. I asked my former boss if he’d hire me if I moved back. He said, “You’re not really thinking of moving back are you?” I said, “I’m always thinking about it.” I saw an ex-boyfriend and as we embraced on a busy street corner, I felt so cozy in his arms and wondered if we’d get back together if I brought my act back east. I went to old delis, favorite diners, friends’ apartments and wondered what my next New York apartment would look like. Truthfully, I have no intentions of moving back to New York. Not right now, anyway. But it’s nice to know options exist. The past exists. There’s something so safe about the past, right? We know what happened, how it felt and we’d do it better the next time around.
The present is such a dicey place. I find it very hard to just be HERE right now. I know looking back is a waste of time and energy, but the past is right there, it happened and it informs every decision I will continue to make. Looking ahead can be dangerous because there are no guarantees. And I’m not going to even mention the perils of looking down…
Perhaps I’ll start wearing blinders and a neck brace. Fuck it. Maybe I’ll just take out my contacts and hire a Seeing Eye dog to guide me around. Sure as hell seems like the only way to really live in the moment.
The bottom line is I continue to be filled with fear and panic and judgment that I’m not doing enough, living enough, saving enough, singing enough, being 31 enough and now I’m 32 and the calendar pages are flying away, even as I’m trapped in time on this H1N1-filled airplane.
I’ve often thought if I could just get out of my own way I’d be so much more successful and a helluva lot happier. But there’s a block…an impasse around which I cannot seem to get and it’s causing a lot of congestion. I never had these thoughts or feelings as a kid. I must have picked them up at some garage sale in my early twenties. Alcohol helps. Therapy’s better. But it’s the work…the artistic kind…that really rights me.
I know it’s against the law to reveal birthday wishes, but what the hell? You guys know everything else about me. So, for my 32nd year, my wish is to leave the past alone, stay out of the future and…book a hit TV show.
November 20, 2009 – 5:58 p.m.
Anyone who knows me knows that I’m a tad OC. Not an over-the-top Kate Gosselin type. But certain things have to be a certain way and when they’re not, I feel on edge. For example, I can’t work unless my room is clean. That means bed made, laundry folded and put away and desk piles organized. Also, my fridge has to look full. Otherwise, I feel depressed. I’ll even put things in there that don’t require refrigeration just so it appears plentiful. It’s not uncommon to find boxes of cereal, crackers and canned goods in my crisper. And then there’s the business of my eye brows. Don’t know why or when it started. I can’t explain it. Nothing bad happened to my brows as a child. But I have to groom them and often. First thing in the morning, I wash my face, brush my teeth…comb my brows. Sitting at a red light…my brows. My dinner date visits the restroom…brows. Look, I know it’s odd and slightly embarrassing, but my brows are the first place my eyes go to on my own face and it’s the first feature I notice when I meet a new person. There…I said it. I judge other people’s eye brows. Didn’t know I was such a shallow bitch, did you?
So as you can imagine, I’ve invested a great deal of time and energy and money over the years in brow maintenance. And with all my thoughtful obsessing, one would think I’d have the most gorgeous brows on the planet. Not true. As far as brows go, mine are pretty forgettable…thin, mousy brown and nothing at all like the starlets’ brows on the covers of Glamour or In Style. Impressive bosoms and rock-hard abs are lost on me. It’s all about the brows and, “How do I get mine to look like that?” Perhaps my dirtiest secret is my stash of “perfect” brow image clippings. (Okay, let’s be real…my silly stack of samples is absolutely not the filthiest skeleton in my closet). But a gal has to have pictures to take to her brow stylist, right?! I mean, RIGHT? And yes, I have a brow stylist. Get over it. Because Victoria at Anastasia in Beverly Hills has singlehandedly changed the way I feel about my brows and that’s no small feat. Over the past two years, she has reinvented my sparse brow line and brought a sense of sophistication to my comic book face. She’s also kind. She doesn’t scold me for tweezing between visits and never, ever suggests that my brows are the most asymmetrical pair she’s ever seen. Even though I know they are. She’s the Mary Poppins of brows…practically plucking and perfectly pruning until I feel positively pretty in every way. That was a bit much, I know. But I love her.
How I haphazardly stumbled into a shady nail salon for an impromptu brow wax yesterday afternoon, I will never know. I didn’t leave the house with the intention of getting a quickie pluck. It just happened. It was a snap decision. A snap decision that landed me on my back (yet again), staring into the eyes of…a random Asian. A Strasian, if you will. I thought, “Who is she? Who the hell am I at this moment? And how could I do this to Victoria?” I panicked and tried to get up, saying, “You know…I don’t think I need to do this after all.” She said, “I juss clean them. Doh worry, lady. I do this foh long time.” And with that, she firmly pushed me back down onto the butcher paper-lined table. Again I tried to rise and said, “But that’s not the wax I’m used to. Where’s the Popsicle stick…and the pink wax? I like the pink wax.” She said, “Pee wass? We doh use pee wass. This wass lighta. More gentle. You like. Relass.” I practically shrieked, “But I don’t like them thin! NOT thin, okay?” (It’s ALWAYS a good idea to speak to foreigners as if they’re deaf.) She said, “Noh tin…I got it. Relass, okay?” And this time, she pinned me down by the forehead. I felt like Jodie Foster in The Accused. It was brow rape. I tried to scream, but nothing came out. I just let her do what she obviously needed to do. After all, it was my fault. I walked in. I asked for it. She rolled the warm bottle of wax (God only knows where it had previously rolled) above and below each brow, pressed on the muslin strips and ripped away two years of Victoria’s fine tuning and tender, loving care. My eyes filled with tears when she whipped out the needle nosed tweezers and mini scissors. With sharp objects looming over my face, it was game over for my protestations. All I could do was lie there like a helpless bonsai tree. After she finished, she held up a giant mirror for me to look at her not-so-handy work. She said, “Okay…see? You liiiike?” I opened my eyes, allowed the tears to shamelessly roll down the sides of my face and confirmed my worst suspicion. I looked like a mime. Two years of growth and grooming gone in an instant and I was ready for the circus.
Look…it’s hair. And it’ll grow…eventually. Slowly. But eventually. I get it. But my brows are my thing and we all have that thing about which we obsess. It’s those things that keep us real and humble and human. And if a bad brow wax is the worst thing that happens to me this week, well…you know how the sentence ends. Besides, it might be fun to be a mime. Cirque du Soleil’s in town. Perhaps I’ll drop off a resume…
October 8, 2009 – 11:07 a.m.
It’s official. I can no longer deny it. I absolutely, positively must workout at least four times a week. And it’s a startling realization because the gym has always been a luxury to me. Not to sound like the old guy in the barber shop, but when I was growing up, there was no gym. We played. Outside. I also never saw my parents go to the gym. They both had physical jobs and they hired nothing done around the house. There was a never-ending list of chores and everyone participated in the sorting and folding, weeding and mowing, vacuuming and dusting, etc. Exercise was something we just got...not something we built into our schedules.
My relationship with Gym began my junior year in high school. Suddenly, body image was everything (still is) and so was step class. Remember step class…the sweaty birth-place of the techno-remix? I remember it well and three or four times a week, I would spastically jump on and off that plastic, purple Reebok step at Fitness for Her (my brother called it, Fatass for Her) and tried my best to keep up with all the moms in class. I was so obsessed and stepped so much that I eventually developed a cyst (God, I hate that word) on my left heel that had to be surgically removed. After Dr. Thigpen banned me from stepping, I didn’t see Gym again until college. And our time together then was pretty sporadic, as I was getting plenty of exercise in dance classes and rehearsals for whatever show I was doing at the time. When I moved to New York, I didn’t see a lot of Gym, as I walked everywhere and constantly. Moreover, I was waiting tables and that gig is like an eight-hour kickboxing class.
But then I moved to Los Angeles, where being a member of Equinox is as important as being a member of SAG. And I started driving everywhere rather than running to catch a bus or a subway. And I entered my 30’s. Enough said. No one wants to mention the changes that crop up because at first, they’re not worth mentioning. And they’re not huge. Just subtle and creepy differences that leave me asking, “Why is it painful to put my feet on the floor in the morning?” And, “Why don’t my $200 jeans fit me this week when they fit perfectly last week?” And, “When did the consumption of my three favorite food groups (coffee, cabernet and corn chips) become a lesson in acid reflux?” And, “Why is it next to impossible to recover from the ONE vodka martini I had with (not for) dinner the night before?” A double latte and two Excedrin used to fix me right up. But now, on top of the caffeine and the meds, I need an Egg McMuffin, a two-hour nap AND 45 minutes on the elliptical machine. And remember digestion? I ask myself daily, “What…the…hell…is …going…on?” Or rather, not? Wasn’t that something that used to just happen? But now it’s not and we’re all thinking about it and planning our days around it and listening to Dr. Oz talk about it and filling our fridges full of Activia and buying cereal that resembles duck food and scheduling colonics. Too much? Too soon?* But the scariest of all the questions I’ve been asking lately is, “Why do I just feel so freakin’ bummed and blaaahh?”
My nagging questions could be a result of the life I’m leading…the food I’m eating, the air I’m breathing, the hours I’m keeping, the men I’m dating, the rejection I’m getting in the business I’m pursuing…I don’t know. But one thing is for sure…when I see Gym four or five times a week, I feel a whole helluva lot better…about everything. I can always count on Gym to make me sweaty and breathless and red-faced for at least thirty minutes. Can’t say that much for my other relationships. And there’s no judgment from Gym…as long as you show up and do something (even if it’s twenty minutes on the treadmill while straining to read the US Weekly that the girl on the next machine is reading)…it counts. It doesn’t have to be the toughest spinning class (I say that like I’ve actually taken a spinning class), advanced Bikram yoga or a Bob-n-Jillian-style throw-down. There is only one requirement: Break a sweat. Don’t matter how. Just get her done.
And so I am. Gone are the days of not enough time or I’m too tired or it’s too expensive. Having Gym in my life is now as essential as DSL and Triple-A roadside assistance. Gym makes my mood happier, my skin clearer and my digestion …well…regular. Because of Gym, I feel better in my jeans and sexier on that long, naked catwalk from my bedroom to the shower. And to catch a nude glimpse in the full-length mirror on the way to the head…and LIKE it…is worth more than a Prada bag, a great lay or a series regular spot on Glee.
June 27, 2009 – 1:30 p.m.
Surprise, surprise…it’s another gorgeous day here in Southern California. It’s ridiculously perfect, actually. I just wish my mood was as sunny as it is outdoors. I hate that. It’s my day off. Got nothing on the agenda but time for me and whatever I want to do. And I don’t want to do nuthin’.
I did manage to drag myself and my computer to a favorite spot in Venice for a scone and a cup of tea. Getting out of bed and out of the house is the obvious first step. Getting out of my head and out of my funk is a far greater task. It’s so odd…I’ll go for long stretches where everything feels so positive. And then the bottom falls out somewhere along the way. Never quite sure when or where it happens…if it’s old stuff or something new…but all of a sudden, I’m like a getaway car dragging a bunch of noisy tin cans. In spite of the excess baggage, I’m still pretty high-functioning. Meaning, I don’t draw the shades and let my hair get greasy. I go to the gym, show up at work on time and return my phone calls. I’m even pleasant and often upbeat in the process. The heaviness happens when my head hits the pillow. And then the cartoon flip-book of troubles plays out on the screen in my mind.
Please, God, tell me I’m not alone here.
(I have to interrupt my very public therapy session because Paul Anka is on the radio…covering “Tears in Heaven.” Really? It’s a good song, but not one that should be covered with a jazzy spin by an old crooner. Paul, get your own tragedy.)
My mother called me yesterday on her way home from a dear friend’s funeral and she was so undone, she had to pull off the road. Not because her friend was dead. No. Her meltdown was brought on by the eulogies given by her friend’s grown children. She said they went on and on about how their mother had raised them so beautifully in the church…how she had given them a Bible verse for every crossroad in their lives…and instilled in them a true sense of faith in God. And, of course, this was why they turned out to be a doctor, a lawyer and a perfect mother of three. My mom said she had a full-on panic attack while listening to those kids speak from the pulpit. She said she felt like she and my dad had dropped the ball in a huge way in terms of religious training and faith. She said, “I feel like I failed you and Paulie.” Lump. In. Throat. But was the lump there because I know she IS the most amazing mother and she just doesn’t know it (because I’ve failed to remind her)? Or was she suggesting that I didn’t have my life together (because of my apparent lack of religious training)? Either way you look at it, it ain’t looking good for me.
But I HAD to laugh a little when she said, “What on Earth will you and Paulie have to say at my funeral?” Was she fishing? On this particular afternoon, I didn’t think so. Nevertheless, I took a deep breath and said, “Well, Mom, I’ll just have to tell everyone the truth. I’ll just have to say that you selflessly gave up your own dreams so that Paulie and I may realize our own…that you loved our father without hesitation or reservation…and that you made a great spaghetti sauce, set the most beautiful table in the land and made every person who walked through our front door feel welcome. But, of course, none of that crap matters. Because I can’t quote John 3:16.” She practically wailed. So I continued…
Lindsey: Refresh me…who had the arc and who had the whale? I always get those two guys mixed up.
Lindsey: Seriously, I can’t remember. And was Pontius Pilate a good guy or a bad guy?
Lindsey: Oh, and Mary Magdalene…was she really a prostitute or do you agree with Dan Brown’s version of the story?
Mom: Sweet Jesus, Lindsey! Don’t do this to me right now. You’ll never understand until you have children of your own!
She hung up in a fussy huff and I felt bad about the blatant sarcasm I’d thrown her way. It was ill-timed and totally unnecessary. But if you can’t actually deal with big issues and heavy conversations, you should at least be able to laugh at them, right? Lift and sweep, lift and sweep. That’s the way…
I think I feel so low right now because my life lacks real direction and I’m constantly thinking about how I’m going to redirect the course. My mind is always on the job, the show, the agent, the connection, the meeting, the guy, the party, the gig, the diet, the shoes, the call, the class, the (insert more mindless minutia here). Point is, my mind is always on me and it’s shameful. How do I get what I want? What’s going to be enough? And by the way, what was it that I actually wanted again? I can’t even remember.
Meanwhile, my mom is probably driving off the road somewhere, undoubtedly through a haze of tears, because she can’t stop thinking of everyone else…exhausted by her own do-gooding and hating herself for not quoting more scripture or touting the love of Jesus enough to her children.
My mother and I have led very different lives. By the time she was 31, she had already been married ten years and was expecting her first child. She had a meaningful career as a nurse and was building her own nest-egg that would later be put toward a new home for her family. She is a caregiver. That was and continues to be her calling. When a friend was dying of cancer, she was right there to feed, bathe, cook and comfort. When the penniless Cuban girl joined our church, my mom rallied the troops and pulled an Extreme Makeover on the girl’s home. When the young couple from Ghana wanted to get married, she organized the reception and addressed each invitation. Every year, she orchestrates a neighborhood picnic (complete with Leroy’s fried chicken), so everyone can meet and greet and visit and sip sweet tea. She collects the coupons from the Sunday paper and mails them to me every week (along with the church bulletin, of course), because she knows how much I like to clip and save. She’s the first person to call me on my birthday every single year…and she sings. She has packed boxes, scrubbed old apartments and redecorated new ones. She says to every person who helps her do anything, “Thank you soooo much!” and means it. Her handshakes are firm (and two-handed) and you will never feel more loved than when you are in her genuine (and constricting) embrace. She kisses my dad on the mouth in front of us. She holds the faces of our family pets and tells them she loves them and assures them before leaving the house, “We’ll be right back.” She let us eat Cocoa Puffs when we were kids. She didn’t force me to stay in dance class or waste time on piano lessons that I hated (even though both would have made me a better performer). She emphasized the importance of a prompt and well-written thank-you note. She was (and continues to be) right about all my boyfriends. She makes every single person in her presence feel like the most important person in the room…truly. Whenever I go home, she encourages me to take a piece of art, a piece of jewelry or the good silver. She never lets it go to voicemail. And when she calls, she always makes you feel on the inside by saying, “Are you sitting down?” When I call late and wake her up, she says, “I was just sitting here, waiting for you to call.” She throws themed dinner parties for no occasion at all and buys gifts just because. She has the best laugh of anyone in the audience. She remembers friends’ surgeries, graduations, bar mitzvahs, confirmations and years in remission. Not only does she attend church every Sunday, she and my dad hang the flags, decorate the alter, brew the coffee and set out the attendance pads. Moreover, she actively prays for people…really. She never leaves the house without earrings or lipstick. She is a perfectionist, but does not expect or insist on perfection from others. She tells me to work harder and to use my talents. She takes pride in a sparkling-clean home and decorates for all holidays. She doesn’t remind anyone of gas she has burnt, cookies she has baked or money she has given. Every time I’ve done a show, received an award or been recognized in any way, she is there…on the front row…cheering the loudest. She tells my brother and me that she and my dad are proud of us…all the time. No one…in the whole world…cares about the happiness and successes of others the way she does. She tells you she loves you the moment she feels it and reminds you often. She loves a lot and really, really cares.
My Mom doesn’t have a fancy degree, she has never run for office and she hasn’t written a book or published an article. Not only does she not have an email or Facebook account, she doesn’t even know how to turn on the computer. No one outside our church or hometown knows the name Marcia Alley. But she has made it. She has made it in all the ways that really count. She is known and will always be remembered by the things that really matter and make a person successful.
When I feel like complete garbage…uninspired, unmotivated and unwilling to get off the couch…I don’t think, “What would Jesus do?” I wonder what my Mother would do if she were me and living this life I’ve chosen for myself. Most certainly, she wouldn’t allow herself to feel selfishly depressed. That would be a luxury she just couldn’t afford. She’d work a little harder, ask for more help and not take no for an answer. And if that didn’t work, she’d pray.
Maybe I’ll try it.
June 16, 2009 – 10:41 a.m.
Is anyone else annoyed by the overuse of LOL? I am. Once in a great while, it’s okay. But when it comes at the beginning, the middle and the end of every email or text, I want to choke the giggles right out of the sender. I mean, are you REALLY laughing out loud? Or worse, are you really ROTFL (rolling on the floor laughing)? I’d rather see “Ha ha ha!” typed out. And if you don’t have a vagina, you should absolutely not be able to use LOL. All men (including the gays) should abstain from using this hip, little abbreviation, as it just makes you look stupid. Therefore, the use of LOL (regardless of whether you’re laughing out loud or sending lots of love) should be limited to 7th grade girls and drunken Delta Gammas.
If I can be honest here, I don’t think anyone should text/type an expression that they wouldn’t actually verbalize in life. FYI (For your information)…totally acceptable for real life language. “FYI, the meeting has been moved to Friday.” BTW (By the way)…also appropriate (and actually funny) when used in a sentence. “BTW, that’s the guy from the other night.”
I hate to be the bearer of bad news…but contrary to popular opinion, OMG (OhMyGod) is not acceptable in spoken conversation. Ever. Moreover, you better have a damn good reason to even text/type it. In a way, it should only be used in response to something really broad. For example, your friend texts you, “I just asked my new client when her baby is due. She’s not pregnant.” At that point, feel free to reply, “OMG! You’re a jackass.” But then there’s the more serious text like, “I failed the bar. Again.” You cannot and should not text, “OMG! That’s terrible!” You’ll just seem dumb and disingenuous.
WTF? (What the fuck?) is a special case. It’s fine for texts, as it’s certainly the most charming of all the initialisms, but it really has no place in an email and it should definitely not be overused. Like any other haphazardly-dropped f-bomb, it will begin to lose its effectiveness. Now this is important…if you’re going to use WTF in a sentence, it absolutely must be split. For example, if someone cuts you off in traffic or the guy from last night failed to call today, you wouldn’t say, “WTF?!” You would say “What the F (eff)?” Just to recap: text it in moderation, leave it out of emails and split it in conversation.
Now that I think about it, FYI and BTW are the only adorable acronyms that work as text and talk. All the others should be banished to the basement, along with those extraneous exclamation points. Tell me THAT’S not annoying?! After LOL, the next thing I hate the most in the whole world is seeing 3,000 exclamation points in a single email. It’s like getting a note from a Jack Russell. Seriously, calm down. I get that we haven’t seen each other in a while and you’re really pumped about the barbeque this weekend or the new patio furniture you found at Target, but I don’t need all that punctuation. Save it for a warning label!!!
One final thought…spelling (much like size) still counts. The last time I checked, every computer in the world has a spell-check feature. Find it and use it. That’s what it’s there fer.
June 8, 2009 – 8:30 a.m.
It’s Monday morning once again and once again, here I sit (in the last available cushy chair) at the Starbucks, holding my latte like a newborn baby. The 9 to 5er’s in line stare over at me…probably wondering what gives me the right to be here with my computer and no makeup on a school day. Or maybe that’s what I’m wondering. That’s more likely.
But it’s a new day and there are important things to say and question and ponder. Like, why was the sound so bad for the Tony’s last night? And, why is there now a fiber-rich option for everything we eat? And, how come I want to throw my ice cream at the TV whenever I see an Olive Garden commercial? This is pressing stuff, people. I absolutely deserve to be in the cushy chair.
Seriously though…what the hell is up with those commercials? Is anyone ever THAT excited to be at the Olive Garden? Moreover, have you ever intentionally arranged to meet your friends there…to introduce them to your new boyfriend?! Whattt? And what’s so funny? In every single commercial, everyone around the culturally diverse table is literally guffawing…including the too good-looking waitress. Come on. Olive Garden is where parents take their adolescent children on Friday night to get them full on the cheap. Olive Garden is where retirees go to split an entrée after church. Olive Garden is where mothers and daughters unwind after a day of shopping with unlimited soup, salad and bread sticks. But no thirty-something in his/her right mind is going to rally the troops for a sexy Saturday night at…the Olive Garden. And husbands out there…do not…I repeat…DO NOT take your wife to the Olive Garden for your anniversary. Unless, of course, your wife is really into white zinfandel, paper table cloths and trans-fattening tours of Italy. If that’s the case, now would be a good time to question the relationship.
I’m being a bit of an asshole. I like the Olive Garden as much as the next person. I even had a romantic date there once. But it was the Times Square location and everything is more romantic in New York…including the Olive Garden. Just remember, if your heart skips a beat in the Olive Garden, it’s not your date. It’s the fettuccini alfredo.
Back to the fiber. I don’t understand. Why is it necessary to now add a bulking agent to the foods we love? Fiber-rich Wheat Thins, orange juice, ice cream?! Really? Are we so irresponsible as a country that we cannot monitor our own fiber intake? Is it now up to the team at Nabisco to be sure we’re all regular? I can just imagine how that pitch meeting went. “Well, folks…it seems America is really backed up. We HAVE to do something!” I swear…this is all Jamie Lee Curtis’ fault. For God’s sake…leave yogurt alone! It doesn’t need any extra bugs! Between all the fiber and probiotics I’m unintentionally ingesting, I’m amazed I can even leave the house.
And the Tony’s: Loved Neil Patrick. Thrilled for Karen. Overwhelmed by Alice. But I think we’re all still wondering…who the EFF was running sound? Might be time for a career change.
June 1, 2009 – 11:37 a.m.
How to begin after having not begun for so long? Sadly, this seems to be the start of many of my journal entries. I usually like to wait for something profound to strike me so I’m not just twittering about day to day bullshit. But the real gems come to me when I’m driving or just after lights out. You know the story…there’s never a pen, I’m too tired or I forget to remember the thought. Or even more annoying, there’s a surplus of half-thought thoughts, so then I have to choose which gets to grow into a whole thought. The stress. Of sitting in Starbucks. And trying to look as busy and type as frantically as everyone else. Is almost overwhelming.
It’s June Gloom here in Los Angeles. The sunny Truman Show mornings and warm afternoons have been replaced by blank, overcast skies that feel and look more like New York and I’m grateful. Not that I wish I was back in New York. It’s just nice to see some variety and I always seem to get more work done when it’s cloudy and blah. I often wonder how anyone gets any work done out here, as the stupid-good weather seems to encourage walks to nowhere at all and spontaneous picnics on the beach. And with all that deep-breathing, downward-dogging and avocado-eating comes the notion that maybe things aren’t really as bad as we think they are. Which, of course, is a complete lie.
It’s bad out there. For everyone. And yet, it seems we’re all in denial. I mean, here I am…drinking a latte I cannot afford and working on a journal entry that certainly won’t get me a job…but I still have to wake up and get out and straighten up and work out and hang on to what used to be in the hopes that it actually will be again real soon. I mean, what else are we to do? Build a fort out of blankets and watch SVU reruns whilst motor-boating bag after bag of Pirate’s Booty? I tried it. But just wound up more depressed and really gassy.
Not long ago, I had a business lunch with a gentleman who has been in show business for many years. He had a huge amount of success as a producer, but also faced failure at many turns. When I asked him how he persevered through the tough times, he said, “I just kept going. I kept throwing things against the wall and eventually something would stick…or the wall would fall down altogether.” Such good, basic advice. And it seems simple enough until you’re in the thick of the doing…the writing, the mailing, the calling the begging. After a while, your pitching arm gets tired and you begin to wonder if you’re playing the right game. And if you’re like me and slightly allergic to self-promotion, every “No” or unreturned call feels so depleting and completely personal. But then one little thing happens and there’s movement…an encouraging email, an unexpected call, an inspiring conversation. And you’re back in the game. It’s those little creaks and cracks that remind me I’m on the right path…for now.
February 26, 2009 – 3:20 a.m. (my time)
Why, why, WHY do I take the red-eye? Who thought it was a good idea to travel across several time zones overnight? And how come I can’t remember how bad I feel right now when I’m booking my NEXT red-eye? Because…inevitably…I will do it again. I always, always, ALWAYS think I’ll sleep on the plane and save a day. But I never do and then I wind up cross-eyed and cracked-out for a better part of the following day which I was hoping to save! Blame it on resilient bodies and short memories, I suppose.
Something bad happens on that trek across the country and it’s definitely not healthy. Seriously, I feel like I drank eighteen margaritas and then tried to take the SAT’s. I’m not sure which feels worse…my back or my stomach. The only thing that could fix me at this point is a long yoga class and warm enema. Or was it the other way around?
Also, there’s really no perk in being the first to arrive at any airport…except for maybe the just-cleaned bathrooms. There IS a certain honor in being the first to the lower the seat and pee into the spearminty, blue water. Oh…and it’s the one time of day you can get a fresh spread at Manchu Wok. The scones aren’t out at Au Bon Pain, but thank GOD there’s a steaming-hot kung pao chicken option.
And what’s up with airport Starbucks? Not the same, right? It’s way more expensive and they have those communist pastries like low-fat lemon poppy muffins and espresso bean brownie blocks. Those things look like weapons of mass destruction. Frankly, I think fried rice and a pigeon-filled egg roll sounds healthier.
This trip is for my Mom. Today is her birthday and I thought it would be fun to surprise her. Won’t she be surprised when I stumble in and collapse face-first onto the couch, where I’ll remain until they wake me for dinner? I just hope I’ll be able to muster the energy to sing Happy Birthday.
I’m going to have to cut this one short because I feel nauseated by the smell of burnt coffee and beef and broccoli. I might have to actually throw up into the blue water. Yeah…the red-eye…definitely worth it.
February 23, 2009 – 10:58 a.m.
No matter how many times I’ve seen it…and I’ve seen it a bunch…Steel Magnolias always makes me weep. And I’m not talking about a few soft tears that can be dabbed away with an embroidered hanky. No. I’m talking about uncontrollable sobs, running snot and multiple Brawny paper towels. I literally cannot watch it in the presence of others, as my emotional outburst is downright embarrassing. The knot in my throat appears in the hospital room when Jackson signs for Shelby’s life support to be turned off and culminates in a spewage of face fluids when M’Lynn says, “I can jog to Texas and back, but my daughter can’t! God I want to know why! WHY?!” And just when I think I could not become more wrought and wracked, Clairee and Ouiser save the day with that brilliant comic turn, “Go ahead M’Lynn…knock her lights out!” It’s so wonderful…such a well-crafted scene with simultaneous tears and laughter. Everyone is perfectly cast, the performances inspire me as an actor, and the story illuminates my own relationships with my girlfriends and my mother. Love it.
Like everybody else, I have a short list of films I’ll watch every single time they’re on TNT, Bravo or Lifetime. I have no problem canceling dinner plans with friends to catch the last half of The Breakfast Club, Sixteen Candles or Dumb and Dumber. It’s true…don’t judge me. And I’m not sure why, but I will stay up until all hours watching The Pelican Brief. What is it about that one? Is it that crazy-dramatic music during the parking garage chase? Is it the sexual tension between Gray Grantham and Darby Shaw? Or is it the fact that I’m still trying to figure out what the fuck is going on? I don’t know. But I like it.
You all know how I feel about award shows (they make me itch), but I did watch the Oscars from start to finish last night. Well, let’s be real…I did my laundry and made phone calls during the forgettable parts like Best Animated Short and Best Sound Editing. I know I should care, but I don’t and neither do you. Anyway…I loved Hugh Jackman and his opening number (are we sure he’s not gay?), felt mixed about Penelope’s win (had fingers crossed for Viola Davis), thrilled for the Slumdog crowd (how cute were those kids?!), and over-the-moon happy for Kate Winslet and Sean Penn (such good speeches!). Not only is it an important time for a film like Milk to receive both of those awards, Sean Penn really deserved it. I’ve never been a huge fan of his, but he really transformed himself. If you haven’t seen it…go.
And speaking of gay, I’m taking off in two weeks for another gay cruise adventure on the Solstice of the Seas. Finally…I have an excuse to get a pedicure and don my shiny purple leggings. I’ve done this run to the Southern Caribbean once before, but how exciting to be on a glamorous, new, state-of-the-art boat?! Who do I think I am sailing and singing during a recession? God bless the gays! God bless ‘em.
February 2, 2009 – 8:23 p.m.
I’m starting to really dig the recession. Brian Williams has tried his best to scare me, but I’m not having it. While the rest of you suckers are freaking out, I’m getting shit done. Because I can’t afford to walk out of my house, I’m finally tackling things that have been back-burnered for far too long. Today, I cleaned out my closet, scrubbed the grout in the bathroom and made muffins with the last of the flour and the three rotten bananas in the fruit bowl. I changed the sheets, reorganized my bookshelf, started to read one of the books from my bookshelf and then finished my taxes. As I was I making my list for tomorrow, I literally became overwhelmed with joy. I could redo my resume, finish my thank-you notes, go for a hike, write a new show…the free possibilities are endless. Oh, to be this poor and uncertain all the time! And this got me thinking…we should embrace this fallout…not fear it. While we’re picking ourselves up and dusting ourselves off, we might as well make the most of it, right? The choice is ours, so let’s accentuate the positive. Here’s a list…in no particular order…of fun things to do during the recession:
10. Buy anything. If you have any money left at all and want to make a big or little investment, do it now. Everything’s on sale. Buy a home, buy stocks, buy Gucci. If you just got laid off, take a vacation. Cruise lines are practically paying you to go to the Southern Caribbean.
9. Throw a block party and get to know your neighbors. After all, they don’t have any money either. If it’s still cold where you live, throw a potluck. Misery loves company and what could be more fun than getting everyone’s broke ass together for tacos and Taboo?
8. Learn to sell stuff online. Craigslist can be a powerful tool in this time of need. And do you really need two office printers or that set of skis? No. But someone else does and that could cover your cable bill.
7. Clip coupons and work the system. I’m sure I’ve said it before, but I love clipping coupons…even before the recession. But now the stakes are higher…every coupon counts and every deal can be worked. For example, there’s a salad bar place in town that’s offering a $7.39 lunch. It’s one of those all-you-can-eat feeding troughs, which sort of grosses me out, but there’s an opportunity to capitalize on the offer. If I go for lunch and load up a to-go box with all the toppings and then buy a dollar bag of lettuce, my roommate and I can stretch that for four meals. That’s $2.10 per meal! Amazing.
6. Sober up. Nothing is more draining on our wallets than booze, so a recession is a great time to get clean or at least take a break. You might even want to do a cleanse of some kind. Drinking nothing but lemon juice, maple syrup and cayenne pepper for a week or so will save you a bundle. Except on toilet paper. But if you can’t bear the thought of not having wine with dinner, then go to Trader Joe’s for the Charles Shaw (Two Buck Chuck). It’s literally two dollars and has a lovely balsamic finish.
5. Avoid annoying friends. We’ve all got them…those irritating leeches that suck every drop of good energy from our very souls. In a flourishing economy, we feel bad saying no. “Okay, Stan…sure…we can do margaritas on Thursday.” But now, the recession is your scapegoat. “Ooh, Stan…sorry…I just can’t swing it right now, buddy. The economy is killing me.” No one will ever argue with the lack of funds excuse.
4. Look at porn. I don’t need to justify this. It’s free online. Hours of entertainment.
3. Learn to cook. There are a billion websites dedicated to food and cooking, so you don’t even have to buy a cookbook or a magazine. Just do a little research and find some recipes for things you’ve always wanted to learn to make and then make them. Crock pot meals, soups and casseroles really go the distance if you’re looking to save.
2. Embrace the oldies, but goodies. Remember that dress from last year? Throw a belt on it and it’s your new dress for this year. Remember Kraft Mac and Tombstone Pizza? New staples. The taste (and trans fat) will take you back. Remember Fantastic Sams? Okay…don’t go for a new style, but for a trim or blow-out…it’s your new salon. And they often have coupons in the Sunday paper.
1. Do nothing, start a business, hang out with your friends, spend time with your family, go to church (God knows we need to pray right now), dance, make out in the dark (you’ll save on energy) and get inspired.
January 9, 2009 – 9:06 p.m.
It’s Friday night and I’m enjoying an evening alone at home. I followed my hearty dinner of chips and salsa with two scoops of caramel ice cream and now I’m watching the final scene of that great American classic, Can’t Buy Me Love. I imagine I’ll be in bed by 10. Best night ever. Best. Night. Ever.
I’m sure I sound like the poster girl for Prozac, but really, it’s all good. In fact, I like being alone. And there’s something particularly nice about eating alone, right? Calm down…I’m not binging and purging and popping laxatives. It’s just that, on occasion, I like to eat like the Cookie Monster (complete with flying crumbs) and I don’t want anyone around to judge me, alright? I like being alone so much that I often wonder if there’s something wrong with me. Story of my life: Something feels good/right = I have a problem.
As much as I dread getting so wrapped up in my career that I never meet a man and start a family, I dread meeting that man, starting a family and then never being able to escape them long enough to privately shovel Tostitos into my face-hole. I wouldn’t dare go out on a limb and suggest that most single gals of my generation feel the same way…but I think a lot of them do. Either we want it all…career, husband, kids and chips…or…we have absolutely no idea what we want. For example, we bitch about being single…then we meet a man…and we bitch about him and all the things we’re missing by being with him…then we break up…and, for a moment, we’re thrilled and cutting our hair and singing “Single Ladies” along with Beyoncé…then we’re crying into our cosmos because we’re alone. Or maybe that’s just me (cue the nail-biting).
I guess I just want to know how long I have. How long is it acceptable to be single before people (and by people, I mean my parents) start to wonder what’s wrong with me? Does there come a time when it’s literally not appropriate to be single? Remember how we felt about Carrie Bradshaw and the girls in season 5? They just seemed so pathetic. I found myself groaning, “Are they STILL single?” But I continued to watch. And they did eventually pair off like good girls…and go on to make a movie and several more million dollars.
Even more troublesome is the notion of being past the point of no return. Meaning, will I be incapable of sharing my life with someone after being alone and independent for so long? In this voice-trembling, eyes-brimming, hands-clammying conversation, my Mother would casually say, “Of course you’ll be capable! Stop fretting and stop looking! That’s when you’ll meet someone.” Oh…right. Of course. Why didn’t I think of that? Because it’s ridiculous, that’s why. Let’s be real…is anyone at the ripe age of 31 ever NOT looking? And when you’re not looking, you’re acutely aware of not looking…but you’re still looking.
Ugh. I’m exhausted by my own single babble. It’s almost as draining as being in a relationship.
January 1, 2009 – 10:44 a.m.
It has been exactly 82 days since my last entry. To those of you who check in on me here, I’m sorry to have dropped the ball in this way. But I just haven’t felt compelled to write anything until now. Even in this moment, I feel daunted by words that may or may not come. At some point, however, I must begin again and what better time to begin than New Year’s Day? I’m sure Martha would agree that clean slates are a very good thing.
2008 was a tough one, right? I mean, there were bright spots here and there, but mostly, it felt pretty dark. I was certainly more aware of struggles (personal and universal) than I’ve ever been before. And while my struggles are small in the grand scheme of things, they are still mine and I’m entitled to obsess over them. Just as a mother cannot drop off her ill-behaved children at the orphanage for being bad, I cannot completely abandon my issues. After all, they might grow into a full-blown, resplendent neurosis one day.
A while back, a friend of mine told me it wasn’t a great idea to be so open in these journal entries. That it was poor form to tell tales of working in a bakery to pay the bills…that it was frowned upon to recount a bad audition…that it was professional suicide to bash Los Angeles. He said I was killing the mystery and that people shouldn’t know certain details of my life. For the record, I’ve never been mysterious. Ever.
I thought about what he said a lot and it was irritating the way his words stayed with me. I gave him the green light to take up free rent in my head and then I fell into a stagnant funk.
A few days ago, I wrote him an email and told him to pick up a copy of Chicken Soup for the Soul if he needed some inspirational words in his life. I got glamorous and threw in a few other choice phrases as well, just so he knew how he had affected my psyche. And then I archived the draft. He never read it, but that one little act (which I probably got from a self-help book or Real Simple) actually worked. I felt better after giving him the private middle finger. It’s the little things, isn’t it?
Look…I can’t promise that these entries will be less sporadic, but please know that I will always be honest, often shallow and occasionally joyless. I feel fine about it and you should, too. If not, go find the thing that doesn’t belong on the back of the Highlights magazine. If it’s still in print.
I have a good feeling about 2009. Not quite sure why. We’re on the verge of a depression, there’s something bad going on in Gaza (again) and I still don’t have a commercial agent. But…a lot of things have been made clear to me and for the first time in a long while, I feel like I can be on my side. I know that sounds a tad dramatic, but that really is my ultimate struggle. Because in show business and especially in Los Angeles, you cannot take off your eye off the prize for one moment or the piranhas will eat you alive.
And so I go forth bravely into a new year…just like Clarice Starling into the home of Buffalo Bill. That turned out well, as I recall. So will 2009.
October 11, 2008 – 12:11 a.m.
Just sitting here thinking about how good it feels when something feels so good. I know…vague and random, but go with me.
I’m not talking about the usual feel-good suspects…pulling on jeans still warm from the dryer, sliding into clean sheets, or finding a greeting card beneath a stack of bills. No...I’m talking about the mundane, everyday feel-good activities that we take for granted. These little bursts of goodness have a way of breaking up the monotony, bringing us back to our senses and making us feel alive…all without us even realizing it.
I mean, how good does it feel to rub your eyes when they’re really itchy? This profound itch typically occurs first thing in the morning, right before bed or just after removing your contacts. Why does it feel so good to rub them to the point they actually make that squeaking/sucking noise? I think the only other thing that feels AS good as the aggressive eye rub, is the Q-tip ear sweep after a steamy shower.
And sneezing. How great does it feel when you feel the sneeze coming on, you look to the light to encourage it and then you let it rattle your body like a passing F train? On the flip side, it’s a huge drag to stifle a sneeze…during church, in the movies, at a meeting, etc. If you don’t have to holdback…don’t. A good sneeze can be so cleansing.
Here’s one most folks won’t admit…how about stepping off a long flight and seeing a Cinnabonn in front of your gate? I don’t care who you are, your inner-monologue is singing the Doxology. And let me one up that good feeling…you’re connecting in Dallas, where you don’t know a soul so you feel completely free to boldly order the largest bun in the tray and then proceed to strip off the outer layers of dough and ravage the super-cinnamony, icing-covered nucleus. Just me? I don’t think so.
How about taking off your clothes at the end of the day? Not your shoes…that’s a given. Not your bra or your necktie, either…too easy. I’m talking about stripping down to nothing…hanging out for a few minutes completely naked…taking a few deep breaths…and then…stepping into your coziest lounge pants and T-shirt. Say it with me, “Ahhh.” Throw in a pair of itchy eyes, a sneeze and an unexpected Cinnabonn and you’ve got yourself a damn fine day.
September 21, 2008 – 9:53 p.m.
I live in LA. I should watch award shows and like them. I should go to parties people throw in honor of them. I should know who gave the best speech, who wore the best dress and who threw the biggest dagger at our current administration. For sure…I should watch, like, go and know so I can sound smart and snappy at cocktail parties (like I really go to cocktail parties...) and in the offices of important casting directors and agents. But for some reason, I can barely get through the red carpet pre-show. And it has nothing to do with Ryan Seacrest. To see those actors…all glammed up and sucking in and beaming with pride makes me feel…uncomfortable. Actually, that’s not it. It makes me feel jealous. There. I said it. How about that for a little slice of my soul? Real attractive, right?
Look…I know award shows are big, fake, political popularity contests, but that doesn’t make me want to be there any less. It’s not even the award part of the award show that makes me sick with longing. It’s much more basic. It’s the desire to be a part of that community. The gold statue would be nothing more than icing on the cake compared to the invitation to the party. And who am I kidding? When I eventually do make it to the Emmy’s, I’m sure it will be all about the win.
I guess I should be embarrassed by these candid admissions, but I’m not. Let me be clear…I don’t feel like the sad, fat girl who wasn’t picked for kickball, and I don’t feel like the bitter, sorority wannabe who was passed over by the Tri-Delts. No…I know this familiar feeling and it’s nothing more than a case of good, old-fashioned, “I want that, too!” I suppose I just have to let the green-eyed monster motivate me rather than depress me. But I’m generally annoyed by gross, childish jealousies. Do they ever go away?
A friend of mine once said, “Life is just an extension of high school.” It’s so true. So…until I get to a place of complete confidence and security in my life, I will continue to watch award shows from a distance...on mute.
September 9, 2008 – 12:32 p.m.
On a plane. Again. Somewhere over some ocean with four more hours to go. The flight attendant, with whom I’ve made friends, snuck me an ice cream sundae from business class and I’m eating it like someone’s about to take it away. And only moments ago, I made a vow in front of the airplane bathroom mirror to cut out sugar, dairy and alcohol. Ugh…how quickly those vows are broken. But come on, I couldn’t very well snub her nice gesture and say, “No thanks, I just became a vegan in the restroom.” So, I did what any nice girl would do. I inhaled it and thanked her profusely. My momma raised me right.
Here’s the thing...it’s just too hard to be on a super-strict diet. Travel, social situations and basic cravings make it nearly impossible to eat one way all the time. Now, if you have serious food allergies…my condolences. That sucks. But, if you’re an otherwise healthy human being capable of digestion, how could you not experience everything this great world has to offer in the way of culinary delights? I am just now returning from Spain and I would have kicked myself had I not tried the Manchego cheese, the Serrano ham or the house Rioja. Also, there’s no way I’d ever say no to my Mom’s poppy seed chicken casserole. And if I’m dying for a tacky Papa John’s pepperoni pizza and a cold Bud Light, you can bet I’m going to do it up.
I can appreciate taking a break from meat and dairy and booze…and I’ve done so on several occasions. However, I just can’t bring myself to completely commit to a meat-free, wheat-free, low-fat, macrobiotic or organic lifestyle. It’s too exhausting and farty. And while the various schools of thought on nutrition are fascinating and raise awareness in terms of what we’re actually putting in our bodies, sometimes you just have to shut up and eat a freakin’ hot dog at a ball game, a greasy funnel cake at the state fair…or a free sundae from business class.
August 31, 2008 – 8:55 p.m.
Recently, I went on a date with an actor. Not a pretty poser, but a serious, New York actor who, like me, is also trying to make a go of it in Los Angeles. Over a few beers, we commiserated about the business and the struggle to maintain some semblance of a life in the midst of our quest for success in the arts. And while we both recognize that what we do as actors is not our life or what ultimately defines us, it sure as hell feels that way. It seems the force that compels us to follow this path very much shapes the people we are, the choices we make and the lives we live.
Show business is like none other because you’re never really off. And that’s especially true in LA. After all, it’s all about who you know and you’re always in search of the next gig…or the person who will help you get that gig. That’s why LA has the reputation of being so phony…because everyone is more or less working each other. If you’re not working on a project or hustling someone for the next one, you’re inevitably working some day/night job that pays the bills while giving you the flexibility to actually act and/or hustle. So really, an actor has three jobs...acting, hustling and surviving. And somewhere in there, you have to find time for fun. That being said, no one in their right mind would choose this life if there wasn’t a real love for the craft because it is such a struggle…and a solitary one at that.
I am acutely aware of the amount of energy I expend on moving my career forward. In fact, when I look at my friends’ Facebook pages, I’m made even more aware, as I find myself staring at spouses, babies, new homes, fancy vacations, etc. Those images leave me wondering if I’ve got it all wrong. Should I be focusing more attention on meeting a man and starting a real life rather than chasing a career that may or may not pan out? And if things don’t pan out the way I expect, will I then be too old to meet a man and start a family? When I dwell on these questions (often just before bed), I literally become short of breath. Because the fact of the matter is you cannot have both. (I’m going to give everyone a moment to boo and hiss and tell me I’m a cynic with whacked out priorities or insist that I just haven’t met the right person. Finished? I’ll go on.) While there are some exceptions, the majority of folks in my position will tell you that it is virtually impossible to pursue an acting career AND be in or establish a meaningful relationship. Undoubtedly, something will suffer because both require so much energy.
At this point, you’re probably wondering why I bother dating at all. Well…aside from the actual fun of a date…the food and drinks, the potential make-out and, of course, the moral obligation to go out with ANY man who actually picks up the phone and calls, rather than texting, “Wanna meet 4 drinks 2nite?”…the real reason I continue to date is for sheer human connectedness. Sometimes you just have to look at someone in the eye and touch someone’s hand across the table to feel like you still have a pulse, even if the relationship goes no further than a second beer. And who am I kidding? I’d love for my jaded theory to be wrong.
Now, if you’ll excuse me, there’s a half-full glass of scotch with my name on it.
August 23, 2008 – 6:38 a.m.
Yep…it’s early. It’s Saturday and I work at a bakery on the weekends for extra cash. And like most bakeries, we open early. I’ve never been an early-to-bed-early-to-riser, but the older I get, the more I actually like being up at this time…seeing the first light of day and hearing the early morning sounds. In a strange way, it feels like a private show.
This morning, I feel scattered and unsettled. My 95-year old grandmother is very ill and will likely not live through the weekend. If I can say this without sounding harsh, the grandmother I knew passed away a long time ago. The last time I was home, I went to see her, knowing it would probably be the last time. And while I had prepared myself for what I was going to face, my heart still broke when I saw her sitting in that wheelchair. She was a million miles away. So frail and just…blank. Nothing at all like the vibrant and sassy woman I remembered from my childhood. On the way home, I forced myself to remember her as she used to be and the scenes rushed back…sitting at her breakfast table eating grapefruit from the backyard, standing on a stool in the kitchen to watch her fry okra, playing with her hair for hours on end as she sewed or read, etc. And while it felt good to conjure up these memories, I couldn’t shake off the shock of the recent sight of her.
I’m gonna say it…it fucking sucks that we have to go through this. We live these very full and rich lives and in the end, we revert. No one is immune and no one escapes. Unless, of course, you leave too soon and that’s decidedly worse. Or is it? My mother always says, “I want to die when people still want me around.” But that sucks, too. The fact of the matter is there’s no good time to die. We can’t plan for it and even when it’s expected, it feels sudden and inconvenient.
On Friday morning, I’m supposed to get on a plane and fly to London for a cruise gig. I can’t cancel the gig. Aside from the fact that I’m under contract and it’s my bread and butter for a month, it’s also an opportunity to perform and see parts of the world I might not otherwise visit. And while that sounds incredibly selfish, I am so sad that I’m going to miss paying tribute to a person who was such a huge part of my life. It feels wrong and unfair. But then I think about what my Grandmother might say if she knew I was in this predicament. She would absolutely say, “Great day…you’ve got a job to do now, so go on and do it.”
I suppose the proverbial show must go on.
August 19, 2008 – 6:08 p.m.
I’m wondering tonight…is it possible to look cool and not feel like a jackass whilst eating a burrito? While this opening line of questioning feels more like a Facebook status update than the start of a journal entry, I’m wondering just the same. Because I have yet to feel cool or less jack-assy in all of my burrito-eating experiences here in LA. And believe you me…there are plenty of places out here to get a good combination platter and I intend to continue my research.
Don’t get me wrong…I ate burritos in New York, but it was at Chipotle and I’m sure we can all agree that Chipotle does not count as a burrito joint. Ronald McDonald, Grimace and the Hamburglar formed a mariachi band and then hired the team from Cold Stone Creamery to slap together some runny sour cream and “antibiotic-free” meat and package it in a neat, aluminum condom. While the Mexican Mickey D’s has it’s own appeal, it clearly lacks authenticity. It absolutely cannot compete with the likes of Tacos Por Favor here in Santa Monica.
With that said, I’d like to get back to my original question…could someone please tell me how to eat an authentic chile relleno burrito without looking like a Garbage Pail Kid? And don’t tell me to fork and knife it. That’s crazy talk and about as unauthentic as Chipotle. It’s just a drag when you’re so hungry and so excited about this log of beans and rice and cheese and sauce …and then you take the first bite…and that’s when you feel the warmth…running down your chin and wrist…just like a bad date. It tastes so damn good, however, you hate to have to put it down. But you must. And for a split second, you consider using those crappy white napkins to mop up your face and wrists and arms and wherever else the nougat has unleashed its fury. Instead, you quickly glance around to be sure no one is looking and that’s when you make the bold decision to use a corn chip (in lieu of the crappy white napkin) to “dip” up the fallen debris. Don’t lie. You’ve done it.
I don’t know…maybe it has nothing to do with my technique. Perhaps it’s the actual guts of the burrito…too wet maybe? Too much sauce, not enough rice? It could be that the tortillas aren’t as thick as they used to be. Or maybe these authentic Mexicans out here aren’t swaddling the guts properly in the first place. Or…it could simply be that NO ONE looks cool eating a burrito and it’s a meal meant to be consumed alone. Think about it…why does Chipotle have all those bar stools and a long stretch of counter? So no one has to face each other! Ever notice that the really good burrito joints look like detention halls? Everyone is sitting by themselves at tables for four! Ever wonder why taco trucks were invented? So you can get your burrito and walk away! (I think I’m on to something here...) Also, you’d never hear a girl say, “We had the BEST time…he took me to this great burrito place!” After all, no one wants to look like a dog with a dirty diaper on a date.
What the hell am I talking about? Perhaps I’d be working more as an actor if I stopped eating so many freakin’ burritos and started writing about show business and not lunch. Maybe I will. After dinner.
July 30, 2008 – 6:45 p.m.
Am I the only person who feels threatened, bullied and pressured at the nail salon these days? What happened? It used to be a treat and now it’s worse than a trip to the car lot. I swear, if you’re not getting a ten-minute chair massage, a seaweed wrap or a happy ending, they’re downright pissed. And the “free” massage is then cut short and you get your fingertips “popped.” Am I right? It’s like a little punishment for not purchasing the paraffin pedicure, the purifying peel or the pore-pampering package. And they continue to “pop” all ten fingers, even when you grimace after the first three. Today, I actually said, “Wow…ouch…whoa…that hurts!” Still…I got popped…ten times. I mean, is it not enough to spend $19 ($24 with the tip) on a French manicure?! I realize that’s not a lot of dough, but it’s not like I was at a fancy spa. I was at Tip Top…or Poppy Cock Nails or something. You know the place.
Anyway, just as I was getting slapped with the last coat of top gloss, I pulled my hand back and my pinky finger grazed the side of the soaking bowl. Big smudge. Whoops. It was an accident, okay! But no matter how much I apologized…and I did feel bad…I couldn’t escape the glare I got from my twelve-year-old manicurist. Seriously, I thought she was going to Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon my ass right there in that rolling office chair.
She attempted to perform surgery on the damaged nail, but alas, the smudge was beyond repair and she had to start all over. Between her passive aggressive sighs, I kept apologizing. “Sorry. Really sorry. My mistake.” But she wasn’t having it. At the end of the day, however, I’m glad she started over because it sucks to have nine, well-polished nails and one goopy-looking one.
Now…about the French manicure…I always think I’m going to like it. It always seems like a good decision and the epitome of class and femininity. But for some reason, it always winds up looking stark and tacky on my hands. I look like a porn star. My hands, that is. Look like porn-star hands. Even as I’m watching my hands type, they’re not my hands. I’m having a full-on, out-of-hands experience and it’s grossing me out. I’d get the polish remover out and take it off right now, but that would be such waste. I’ll wait for it to chip. From here on out, I’ll be sticking with the usual suspects…mademoiselle, sugar daddy, ballet slippers, etc. By the way, who comes up with those names? I want that job.
Gentlemen, so sorry if you’ve felt excluded by this sorority-style chatter. With any luck, however, you’re still reading and now judging me rather than fretting about the election, the earthquake or the economy. Cheer up! It’s not that bad. Go get a manicure. That’s worse.
July 28, 2008 – 11:11 a.m.
Does anyone really get any work done at Panera or any other eatery that allows you to plug in your laptop and pretend you’re at home? I mean, seriously…who can concentrate with everything going on? There was the girl with the great cleavage (yes, even I was staring), seductively dipping her sandwich into her broccoli cheddar soup…the old guy loudly conversing with the Indian college student…the overweight kid shoveling potato chips into his mouth…the Asian woman tapping violently on her keyboard…who could possibly think about a book, write a paper, or read a script with all that nonsense going on? Not me. And to haul all those cables and wires from home? The guy in the corner actually brought his printer. His PRINTER. For the love of God, rent some office space! J.K. Rowling did her work on a napkin! I looked like a freak sitting there with just my bag and my black coffee. Perhaps I’m just jealous because I can’t work in public. But it seems like too much work to work in another setting. I need quiet. Not sure what my point is here…just an observation.
And while I’m making random observations, can we talk about Crocs? Ugliest shoes ever. Embarrassing, actually. Am I the only person who feels this way? I mean, I get the appeal if you’re working on a boat or a marina, but for the average guy or gal just kicking around town? I don’t think so. There’s a Crocs retail store on the promenade here in Santa Monica and I find myself scoffing every time I walk past. Who pays upwards of $50 for a pair of plastic shoes with holes in them? If you’re reading this and you own a pair of Crocs, consider yourself judged.
Okay, enough of my judgmental crap…I just got back from another gay cruise adventure and what fun it was! But I never have to go back to Germany or Russia…tough crowd. But I love the boys and the boat. And Chita Rivera was the headliner this time! She did three encores and got five standing ovations…and she’s 74!
Now I’m back on dry land, sans the glamour and glitter (literally) and facing the harsh reality of “What next?” Instead of waiting around for the next gig or looking for a waitressing job, I think I might try to get my act booked into some venues around town…and then around the country. Not quite sure how I’m going to go about it…or how to market it…but I think it’s doable. So keep your eyes peeled…I might find my way to a town near you (insert cheesy wink).
June 12, 2008 – 9:07 a.m.
Once again, I’m trapped on an airplane. I’d try to sleep on the long trek from Orlando to Los Angeles, but I can never sleep on planes. And besides, it’s a good opportunity to drink bad coffee, look at the collection of crap in the Sky Miles Magazine and blow the dust off this journal.
I’m returning to LA after trips to New York and Florida. I was in New York to celebrate my best friend’s graduation from law school and to get my place there ready for the next tenant. The morning after I arrived, a crane collapsed on a building a block from my apartment. It was sirens and chaos and media coverage and I felt right at home…and then I didn’t. For the first time in my life, I felt a tad annoyed by my favorite city. (Insert gasping sounds). The buses and subways seemed slower than ever, the crowds seemed more daunting and everything seemed way more expensive than I remember…even eight months ago. In a matter of six days, I had spent several hundred dollars more than what I had (generously) budgeted for the trip. Chances are good that nothing has changed, other than my perspective.
I’ve been sitting with these feelings…trying to dissect and analyze and determine what they mean. But I think it’s too soon to comment. I’m still in love with New York. But since I’m not living there right now, perhaps it’s easier for me to have a negative perspective towards it in order to not miss it as much? I imagine that’s what my shrink would say. And I never thought I’d say this…but…I’m actually looking forward to getting back to LA. (More gasps here). I even feel optimistic. I mean, why shouldn’t I? The economy is flourishing, gas is cheap and it’s not like there’s a potential strike on the horizon.
On a much less introspective note, I’ve got some very fun cruise gigs coming up this summer. Copenhagen, Helsinki, St. Petersburg, Stockholm, London, Barcelona, Lisbon…it’s going to be incredible. I mean, getting to see the world…while doing what I love to do…on a beautiful, floating hotel…with a bunch of gay men? Seriously…who is luckier than me? The only thing that would make it more ideal is if my girlfriends or my mother were to come along.
In the interim, I’m living like a church mouse in Santa Monica. Taking walks, baking, and reading for entertainment. I feel like a pioneer. And it’s not so bad living on pita chips, cannelloni beans and cheap wine. After a while, you start to crave it. I’m sure one day…very soon…I will look back on this (modest and uncertain) time and laugh. Here’s hoping…
April 14, 2008 – 6:30 p.m.
On this Monday eve, I’m drinking a glass of red wine while watching the sun set over Santa Monica Canyon. I guess it would be easy for me to think of all the things I didn’t do today…or everything that I haven’t accomplished in my life…or dwell on the fact that I’m not where I thought I’d be at the ripe age of 30. But, come on…that shit is tired. Self-loathing is so passé. And I couldn’t possibly go there. Not tonight, anyway.
Nope. Tonight, I’m thinking about how great I really have it. My taxes are signed, sealed and delivered. There’s some leftover salmon and couscous in the fridge that I’m going to heat up in a bit. I start work on a film next week. And today, my Dad donated money to the AIDS Walk New York.
I think in an entry long ago, I mentioned that I had been doing a cabaret act on gay cruise ships. That’s right. I get paid to sail the high seas with 2,000 homosexuals (and a handful of lesbians) for a week or so at a time. True, I’m not getting laid on these boats…but there are worse gigs. In fact, the gay cruise has turned out to be one of my all-time favorite gigs…ever…in the history of gigs. I would count the ways, but just use your imagination and you’ll see what I mean.
Not long ago, I asked my dear friend, Michael, to join me on one of these cruises in the role of my accompanist. Michael is my voice teacher and an overall good guy. He and his partner, Davy, make Bob Villa look Bush-league with their splendid, savvy, space-saving apartment décor/designs. In a crisis, Michael is always there to lend a helping hand, “just listen” or politely school you on exactly how to handle the situation. He shares his friends, his spinach dip recipe and his home at the holidays. All that, AND he can play the piano and sing beautifully. Basically, Michael is THE gay to know.
Recently, Michael sent an email around to family and friends, asking for money for AIDS Walk New York. For the past few years, he and Davy have walked for the cause and raised nearly $20,000. This year, he sent the email to my parents, asking for their support. And then he forwarded the email that my Dad sent back to him. It said, “Marcia and I will put a check in the mail first thing in the morning.” Now…I’m not saying I was surprised. My parents are the kindest and most generous people I know. And that’s a fact. But…for my Dad, a retired undersheriff from Polk County, Florida (think Buford T. Justice meets Andy Griffith meets Smokey the Bear) to give so freely to the gay community and a cause that is so completely off his radar is just astounding. Frankly, I’ve never been so shocked or thrilled in my whole life.
I sent my Dad an email, thanking him personally for his thoughtful contribution and he replied, “Well, Michael has been a real friend to you over the years and we like to help when we can.” And it’s as simple as that.
That’s all I need tonight to feel good about life.
March 24, 2008 – 9:15 p.m.
So…a lot can happen in a month. And I’ve had an epiphany of sorts. Last weekend, I had brunch with my girlfriends…and a breakdown. Yes, over a breakfast burrito, I completely lost it. To the point where I thought I might not recover. Sometimes all it takes is for the right person to say, “Lindz…how ARE you?” And with a fake smile, I responded, “Good. I’m fine.” (Insert uncontrollable sobs).
I cannot tell a lie…this whole LA transition has been hard. And frankly, it has been hard because I’ve made it hard. Granted, I did come out at the worst time with the strike and all. But nevertheless, I’ve really done nothing but complain since I’ve been here. “My LIFE is in New York. My friends are in New York. The guy I’m dating is in New York.” And one of my friends said, “Well, then go back to New York if you’re that unhappy, but at this moment, your life is here. I’d also like to add that you chose to be here. No one invited you.” Okay…so she didn’t use those exact words, but that was the gist. It was like someone hit me between the eyes with a flyswatter.
In general, it’s a bad idea to romanticize what used to be. I’m guessing that’s hard for everyone. To live right here and now and not think about the past or look to the future is a challenge. But as we all know, this moment is all we really have. So we might as well embrace it, no matter how completely crappy or uncertain we feel. (Can you tell I’ve been going to yoga?)
With that said, I’ve made the decision to like LA. (Did I mention that I made this move voluntarily?) Not only am I going to like it, I’m going to relish in everything this coast has to offer. And it has a lot to offer. Strangely enough, when I made that shift in my mind, I started to like it…almost instantly.
Night before last, I was having dinner with an actress friend and we talked about how much we dread auditions. We literally hate them. It’s just the most inorganic way to gauge a person’s talent. But just as the SAT’s are a necessity, so are auditions. Anyway, she was telling me about another actress friend who just said to herself one day, “I’m going to like auditions. That’s part of my job and I’m going to enjoy it.” Taking this advice, I went into my first pilot audition today sans dread. I was actually able to talk myself into getting excited about it and that’s a first.
When I arrived, however, it became a different story, as the energy of everyone else in the room was palpable. Those waiting rooms full of nervous actors are straight up psych wards. People are pacing, breathing deeply, frantically scouring the sides and running lines…with themselves. I felt as though I stepped into a scene from “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest.” Immediately, my saliva became thick, my deodorant began to sour and my sphincter muscle would not become unglued. The pressure was so present; I almost felt my ears popping. And then it was my turn. After nearly an hour of waiting, it was my moment…my time to shine in the room. Suddenly, I forgot about the holding cell and the nervous energy and the assistant’s ringing phone. There I was…reading the sides with the casting director while she taped my performance for the Gods at the network to later judge. And I did well. I held my own. I was prepared and I did the very best I could do in that room at that moment. Minutes later, I congratulated myself in the ladies room mirror on a job well done. You would have thought I single-handedly ended the war in Iraq or found a cure for AIDS the way I was smiling.
In that fluorescent bathroom, I realized that I can do LA, I can handle these auditions and I’m ready to play. And for those of you just joining us, the after-school-special lesson of the day is this: You don’t have to choose. See all things for what they are. You can have the LA and East it sometimes, too.
February 22, 2008 – 10:02 a.m.
So it has been a while. Sue me. But what do you want? The writers went on strike just as I arrived in Los Angeles and I’ve shown my support by not updating my journal. And besides, I’ve been really busy…doing nothing. Actually, that’s not entirely true. The last four and a half months have been about acclimating to my new surroundings on the left coast. Needless to say, the LA is a very different animal. Instead of dashing into Trevi Deli for an everything bagel with cream cheese, I now stroll through the farmers’ market in Santa Monica, eating locally-grown, organic peaches. Rather than reading AM New York on a crowded 4 train, I now sit and listen to NPR (for hours) in traffic on the 10, the 405 and the 101 freeways. In New York, I’d sing an up-tempo and a ballad for a casting director at Chelsea Studios. In LA, I “take meetings” with agents (who don’t care if I can sing) in Burbank. And finally, the most startling change of all…Starbucks is replaced by The Coffee Bean. Thank God In and Out Burger is just down the road.
I could go on and on about the differences…weighing the pros and cons of each town…but you’ve heard it all before.
“Yeah, but do you like it out there better than New York?”
The answer is simple, yet complicated.
No, I don’t like it better. I love New York. But I also recognize that I’ve lived in New York for seven years and I’ve only been in LA for a few months. I know how to live in New York, but I’m still figuring it out here. I’m like Helen Keller, stumbling around in the dark. It’s new, it’s different, it’s weird…and the people are weird. Why is everyone so against dairy? Why do they wear scarves and mittens when it’s sixty degrees out? And must they put avocado on everything? But then…something will click…and then I’ll get it…and I’ll wonder how I never got it before. Or maybe not?
The strange thing is, when I speak to New Yorkers who now live in LA, they all say the same things. “You’ll get used to it. It’ll take a year or so, but then you’ll never want to move back.” And then some other stuff about the weather being so great and the space and the quality of life, but I’m not listening at that point because they’ve opened with, “You’ll get used to it.” First-time sex was also awkward, but I knew I was going to dig it. I’m not sure I’ll ever dig LA.
Same day…1:10 p.m.
I’m actually on a flight, heading back to LA from Florida, where I was visiting my folks. It’s a Southwest flight, so there’s no assigned seating. I was in the last group on the first leg of the trip to Austin, so I got stuck in the second to last row next to a woman and her baby. Drag…I thought. But she ended up being this really cool lesbian from Boston and we talked a good portion of the trip about Hillary verses Obama and McCain verses Obama and artificial insemination verses the regular method. She was fascinating. But then she deplaned and the LA-bound, Botox boarded and began chatting away on her cell phone about the “contractor” and the “kids’ rooms” and the “travesty” of the whole situation. Just as my ears were beginning to bleed, they called for everyone to turn off their phones. She continued to yap for another five minutes and then the flight attendant intervened.
I’m not saying that everyone in LA is vacuous and the town itself is soulless, but I’m sort of saying that. Look, gross generalizations exist for a reason.
I’d like to table the LA bashing for just a moment and go back to my recent visit home…it was so nice. Maybe I’m getting older and therefore appreciate my parents more…or maybe the quiet and rather simple life they lead there is appealing because it’s not my life at all right now. But the one thing that struck me so much while I was there this time was the sense of real community. Covered dish dinners with the church folks (complete with casseroles containing cream of mushroom soup and Ritz Crackers), wine and cheese on the deck with the next-door neighbors, doctors who actually know your name when you arrive at their offices…it’s all so warm and cozy and charming. A part of me thinks I could have that life one day. Or maybe I’m just saying that because I’m on my way back to a city. Or maybe my Mom orchestrated the whole scene in hopes I would want to move back home and join her PEO group. I wouldn’t put it past her.
As I head back to LA, however, I go with a sense of calm that I’ve not known in my life until this point. I think the shift happened when I turned thirty. Don’t get me wrong, I’m still neurotic…worrying about everything and analyzing endlessly…but I’ve stopped questioning my position in the business. I have no idea what the year will bring professionally and as nerve-making as that is at times, it also makes me shudder with pure joy. Whether I stay in LA or head back to NY or move to FL or somewhere else (!!!), I feel lucky to be in this place at this moment, following this path I know I’m meant to walk. And in the words of a new and wise friend, I shall “be anxious for nothing.”
(This entry is dedicated to Myrna, because she has nothing better to do at work than read my journal.)
October 8, 2007 – 8:00 p.m.
I’d like to talk about a few things that annoy me. I have a lot of pet peeves, but one in particular sparked this entry. Why do food companies put nutritional information for ridiculous serving sizes on the back of their products? I just had one of those super-healthy, sprouted, whole-grain English muffins and eggs for dinner (I love breakfast at any time of the day) and the nutritional information is for half the muffin. Who the hell do you know who eats half an English muffin…besides a toddler or my 94-year-old grandmother? They’re not that filling! I would be so pissed if a friend came to visit, ate half an English muffin and left the other half. Inevitably, they would eat the big half and leave the underdeveloped twin for me. So here I’m thinking I’m eating a 90-calorie, super-healthy, sprouted, whole-grain English muffin, when in fact, I’m consuming 180 calories before butter and jam! That ain’t right. I mean, what would be so wrong with clearly listing the information for a normal serving size for an adult human being? I think we’re all grown up enough to face the actual number of calories we’re taking in, no? What’s with the trickery? And, if we knew the hard and cold facts, then we could make the choice to only consume half at half the calories, thus feeling better about ourselves and not angry at the food companies. Same thing with Snapple. Do you know anyone who drinks half a peach iced tea and says to himself/herself, “Hmmm…I better put the rest of this in the fridge for tomorrow.” The answer is no. We all drink the whole thing in three gulps. I can drink all 16 ounces in a Snapple. I can inhale a container of hummus with five corn chips. And I can tear up an ENTIRE English muffin! I know...I’m crrr-azy.
Something else…people who smoke and walk. Seriously? For God’s sake, stand still with your bad habit. In fact, stand still in a deserted alley. But please…please don’t smoke while walking down the sidewalk. At this point, I would say, “You know who you are.” But I’m not so sure. The walking smoker is an oblivious creature who is typically found yammering away on his/her cell phone, failing to notice the folks downstream who are coughing and waving away the clouds and brushing blown ash off their coats, all the while trying desperately to pass the walking smoker. I’m not trying to judge. I have just as many vices as the next person. Hell, I wouldn’t even be coordinated enough to walk and smoke at the same time. All I’m saying is this: Smokers, take a real smoke break and stand still…no need for exercise.
Finally (for today, anyway), can we talk about people who clip their fingernails in public? I’ve got one word: Gross. There’s truly nothing worse than sitting on a bus or a subway and hearing the distinctive snap of a nail clipper. You instantly look around for the source…your lip is curling, your stomach’s turning and you’re wondering if bits of nail are sailing through the air and into your lap. You passive aggressively let out a disdainful sigh, hoping the thoughtless clipper will get the hint, but of course, he won’t. He remains in his own private world of public grooming and as soon as he finishes the manicure, he’s going to change the soiled Band-Aid on his neck that’s covering the sore he had lanced earlier that day. And boys, I use “he” for a reason. The simple fact is men are much more likely to perform private acts in public than women.
Again, my apologies for these random entries…but I’m still jobless.
October 5, 2007 – 12:07 p.m.
Moving is hard. There’s the physical stress of actually packing boxes and moving years of acquired crap. There’s the emotional stress of closing a chapter of your life and leaving friends behind. Then, there’s the financial stress of how much it costs to actually uproot your life and start over in a new place. It’s all rather intense. And as you get older (as I am), it gets even harder to begin anew. New state, new climate, new job, new pals, new restaurants…you get the idea. Most of us are creatures of habit and we like our comfort zones. Although, with all this stress comes a certain amount of excitement as well. There’s nothing quite like a clean slate and a new space to make your own.
I don’t know about you people, but nothing makes me feel more at home than fixing up my kitchen. Once my wine glasses are in a clean cupboard and the fridge is stocked with my favorite staples, I feel like I can do anything. When I was growing up, we always congregated in the kitchen. When neighbors came over, we sat and talked in the kitchen. When we sat down to dinner as a family, it was always in the kitchen. Only on holidays and special occasions would we actually sit in the dining room…and it never felt as comfortable as the kitchen. In my book, food is love and the kitchen is home.
With that said, I’d like to talk about a few items that I couldn’t be without in my kitchen. Wine glasses. Even if you’re drinking cheap wine, drink it out of a nice wine glass. Nothing makes me feel like a grown-up more than having nice wine glasses. And you can get really pretty, high-quality stemware for about $8 a glass at Bed, Bath and Beyond or Sur La Table. Good knives. You only need two or three really good ones, but they’ll make all the difference in the world in simple, everyday chopping, dicing and slicing. I actually only have two…a paring knife and a chef’s knife. I think the brand I have is Wusthof, but there are lots of options out there. Tongs. I have the stainless steel ones with the rubber handles and they’re great for tossing salads, sautéing veggies and pulling frozen pizza out of the oven. Electric milk frother. Okay, this one’s a little silly to list as a staple, but I use it every day and LOVE IT. It was a gift from my brother last Christmas and quite possibly, the best gift I’ve ever received next to my Kitchen Aid Mix Master. Even if you’re making instant coffee (which I’ve taken to doing these days, as I haven’t yet purchased a coffee maker), topping it with frothy milk really makes you feel fancy and special and it’s a helluva lot cheaper than going to Starbucks every day. Olive oil, coarse kosher salt and fresh-cracked pepper. Do I even need to list the reasons why you need these basics? Even if you only have a tomato or a slice of bread, you can make a meal out of it if you have olive oil, salt and pepper.
Okay, could I be a bigger tool? I’m acting like I’m writing a column for Good Housekeeping or something. But one more thing before the cable guy arrives to hook up my Internet…Meyer’s Clean Day counter top spray. Love it. I bought it at Wild Oats the other day because they didn’t have Windex or Fantastic. And I’m now a convert. It has this great Honeysuckle scent that makes your whole kitchen smell great.
Until I get a job, expect really ridiculous entries like this one. I suppose I have a little too much time on my hands.
October 3, 2007 – 7:01 p.m.
For the record, I started about four different journal entries over the past month. I even established an ongoing list of ideas and topics for future entries (and it’s a good list, let me tell you). But every time I sat down to write, something pulled my focus. I’d apologize once again for the radio silence, however, that would mean I’m delusional enough to think that people are actually logging onto my site daily to see if I’ve updated the journal. So, to the three people who read this thing (all blood related, of course), I’m sorry it has been so long.
I recently moved to California. And by recent, I mean two days ago. With the help of two saints (also known as Mom and Dad), I packed up my apartment in New York and shipped it to Santa Monica. I found a great, little place near the beach and I’ve spent the last two days wandering around my new neighborhood…finding my post office, my grocery store, my pharmacy and my Starbucks. And for the most part, everything is within walking distance…thus making my transition from New York a little easier. I’m really resisting the car thing. It’s not the driving that causes me stress…I drive all the time when I visit my folks in Florida and I enjoy it. It’s the driving on the 405 in LA that gives me bad dreams. I keep thinking about that scene from Clueless, when Dion gets on the freeway by accident and she has a total meltdown and Cher is screaming in the backseat and Murray, Dion’s boyfriend, has to calm them down. Anyway, that’s my impression of LA freeways. That’s right…I just referenced an Alicia Silverstone film…and it’s one of my all-time favorites. Deal with it.
But aside from having to drive in stupid traffic, I’m very happy for this change. After seven years in New York, it was time to shake things up a bit. I’m keeping my place in Manhattan for now, just in case LA doesn’t suit me. After two days, however, I’m already getting used to the slower pace and the miserable weather (and by miserable, I mean amazing). Hmmm…slower pace, beautiful weather…pretty soon, I’ll be drinking Ensure and talking about my bowel movements.
August 8, 2007 – 2:19 p.m.
I’m not even sure where to begin this entry, as I’m a tad scattered these days. (And I love that I say that as if it’s unfamiliar territory.) The truth is, I stay in a constant state of disarray….phone calls unreturned, laundry falling out of the hamper, little pieces of paper clogging my lavender planner…I feel like a hamster on one of those wheels, running wildly but not really getting anywhere. I even allowed myself to go three days without toilet paper last week, as I simply didn’t have time to stop by the Duane Reade. Seriously…who does that? I actually got off the bus two nights ago, knowing very well there was not a stitch of Charmin in my apartment and said to myself, “Ugh…I’m exhausted. And I have a few cocktail napkins in the drawer.” What?! I believe it was a combination of sheer fatigue and utter laziness. And I suppose there’s a little frat boy in all of us.
But I’m sure you’ve all experienced that feeling…you know the one…where you have so much to do, and not enough time and in the midst of all the things you have to do in that short amount of time, you have to work and sleep and eat and find time to go to the gym. (And I love that I say that like I actually go to the gym on a regular basis.) I can’t even comprehend what it must be like for you saints with a real house and a car and kids and a spouse. You must keep extra cocktail napkins around.
But there’s a lot going on right now and that’s why I haven’t posted an update in a while. (I’ve always got an excuse, don’t I?) Anyway…big news…I’m moving. Well, I’m not moving permanently (I don’t think), but I am going to Los Angeles at the end of September to gear up for pilot season. This is something I’ve wanted to do for a number of years and right now feels like the right time. So, I’m subletting my apartment and throwing caution to the wind. Doesn’t that sound utterly romantic and carefree? Trust me, it’s not. It’s fucking terrifying and I spend most of my time these days fretting and crying. The older I get, the harder it becomes to pull up the roots and start over. But I know in my gut this move is right and absolutely necessary. I have to go before I get any older and really lose my nerve…and the elasticity in my breasts.
Before the move happens, however, I’m shooting an indy film in Connecticut (details to follow in some entry six months from now) and then I’m doing my cabaret act on another gay cruise. This one’s going to Italy, Spain and Greece…I’m not at all excited. Frankly, I’m dreading it. Gay men, show tunes, beautiful countries and 24-hour access to the all-you-can-eat buffet…awful. Just awful.
And speaking of all-you-can-eat, I’m preparing for my LA move by eating like it’s my job here in NY. Because you know, no one eats out there and I’ll have to start starving myself down when I arrive. (Impressionable, young girls reading this…please stop reading and know that you’re beautiful just the way you are.)
I think the thing I’ll miss most about New York besides my friends, my apartment and New York itself is the frozen yogurt from Bloomingdales. A girlfriend of mine turned me on to it and now, I get off the train at 59th and Lex every few days to get my fix. I know they have PinkBerry in LA, but that’s just designer imposter, knock-off, wanna-be Bloomingdale’s yogurt. And let’s not forget about THE “everything” bagel from Absolute Bagels, #A7 from Sala Thai and the tuna tartar from the West Bank Café. It’s becoming very clear to me why people call themselves “Bi-coastal.” I’m sure it ain’t all about the business.
June 23, 2007 – 10:40 a.m.
When I was a little girl, I had a rather ridiculous bowl haircut. And it wasn’t by choice. Well, not by my choice at least. I wanted long, pretty hair that I could braid or put up in a ponytail. My mom wanted me to have a low-maintenance, wash n’ go style. To this day, I think she just didn’t know how to braid hair, but I’ve never asked her. I can’t remember arguing with my parents about much growing up…except for my hair. Every six weeks, the discussion would begin:
Mom: I’ve made you an appointment with Joseph for Friday.
Lindsey: What?! Why? I’m growing my hair out.
Mom: No, you’re not. It looks stringy and it weighs you down.
Lindsey: But I hate going there! He always cuts more than he says he’s going to.
Mom: Well, it’s June and you need a good summer cut. And besides, your hair grows so fast…it’ll be long again before August.
Lindsey: And then you’ll make me cut it again.
Mom: Lindsey. (Insert “The Look.” You know the look of which I’m speaking. The one that says this discussion is over.)
Poor Joseph. He knew how much I hated those haircuts. I think Mom gave him “the look” too, except the one directed at him said, “Take an extra inch off…it’s summer and we’re paying for a cut, not a trim.” He was right in the middle of a full-on mother-daughter war and the mother always won. And I always left looking like some version of Ramona Quimby.
Then one day, they both took it too far. I’m not sure it was planned…maybe my mom slipped him a twenty…maybe Joseph just wanted to avoid the argument by taking matters into his own hands, but I ended up with a pixie cut…WAY shorter than I normally wore my hair. Big tears rolled down my face and my mom knew it was bad too. A Yoo-Hoo from the vending machine wasn’t going to smooth things over this time. She was going to need to bring in the heavy artillery. While Joseph was drying what was left of my hair, Mom slipped downstairs to the gift store below the salon and purchased a pink lunchbox with my name painted on it in bubble letters. It was something I’d been wanting for a very long time. Just as Joseph dusted the little hairs off the back of my neck, my mom presented me with the lunchbox. I didn’t even want it. It was now tainted by this completely traumatic experience. This episode in the sitcom version of my life would be called, “The Lunchbox Haircut.”
Since then, I’ve become pretty chill about my hair. My mom was right…it does grow fast. I’m like Harry Potter that way. But nevertheless, no one wants a bad cut, no matter how fast it grows. So this past Wednesday, I was in a bit of a rush and desperately needed a trim. Instead of going to my usual girl who does a great job, I decided to go to the salon right next door to my building. When I sat down, I told the guy I was in a bit of a rush and to just trim it up and follow the lines of the cut I had. And like all hairdressers, he said, “Well, I can do that, but…you don’t have a lot of movement in the back right now.” Seriously…what the hell does that mean? I mean, I know what he means, but just give me what I want, right? Nope. The pissing contest had begun and before I knew it, he was cutting A LOT of movement into the back of my hair and chunks were flying off at an alarming rate. My shoulders were tensing, my breathing was becoming shallow and I found myself right back in Joseph’s chair. Except, my mother wasn’t there looming over the situation and there was no lunchbox when it was all over. I was allowing it to happen and I wasn’t saying anything, except for the occasional bad joke like, “Wow…hope we’re donating that to Locks of Love.” And then I paid for it and tipped and left and cried and went to the drugstore to buy molding paste and little clips to twist this pixie-gone-wrong look into something presentable. Honestly, it looks as though I got drunk and decided to cut my hair with a pair of children’s safety scissors…with no mirror. It’s reminiscent of the cut Julia Roberts got at the end of Steel Magnolias…only worse…a cross between Pink and suburban housewife…I’m dropping the kids off at soccer practice and then going to a metal band show. You get the idea.
Please don’t wait for the after-school special lesson learned. There really isn’t one. Well, maybe…don’t be polite with a new hairdresser? Or…always take a picture of what you want? Too little…too late. Ugh. I need a Yoo-Hoo.
May 10, 2007 – 3:44 p.m.
It’s definitely a two-shower day here in NY. It’s hot and steamy (but not in the good way), and I’m sure my favorite city will soon be reeking of warm garbage...summer has officially arrived. It’s not quite happy hour, yet here I am, sitting in my poorly air-conditioned studio, drinking a melting Corona. Actually, I’m alternating between sipping and resting the cool bottle between my boobs…which are also melting (but not in the good way).
Yes, the Corona is taking the edge off the heat, but it’s also serving as a mild sedative, as I had a less than fantastic audition earlier today. I arrived at the appointment twenty minutes before my call time to allow for necessary touch-ups. In my case on this day, it was a necessary re-do…of everything. My makeup had slid right off my face, my hair (which is stick-straight) was beginning to curl in all the wrong places and I had developed sweat stains under my pits and on the low-back portion of my dress…I didn’t even know my low-back could sweat. I peed, blotted, and fanned violently in hopes of piecing together the version of myself I’d seen in my bathroom mirror only an hour earlier. After a lot of gloss and spray and toilet paper placed in strategic areas, I sort of looked okay. I breathed deeply, walked out of the ladies room and prepared to go in and wow them.
Through the paper-thin walls, I overheard the audition of the girl who had gone in before me…and she was singing the song I was planning to sing. My heart sank and I audibly mumbled, “Fuck.” The guy who was waiting to go in after me asked if everything was okay. I said, “She’s singing my song.” As if I owned the audition rights to “There’s a Fine, Fine Line.” He offered a lousy, “That sucks…sorry.” I opened my audition book and rummaged through the pages like a bum going through trash. I decided I would sing, “Bill.” A lovely song, yes, but not quite what I wanted to use for this particular audition. And then, the song thief emerged from the room, giggling and waving goodbye to the judges. The casting director followed her out and exclaimed, “Wow, Brenda…that was a really terrific audition! To make those guys laugh at that material after ten years is quite an accomplishment. Congratulations! Lindsey, are you ready?” Ready for what? To slit my wrists? Yes. To throw myself into five o’clock traffic? Absolutely. To follow that girl? The one who blatantly sang the song I was going to sing? The one who made the judges laugh their heads off and breathed new life into old material? Nope. Not ready for that. The guy who was supposed to follow me was suddenly thrilled he was following me. I was the sacrificial lamb. I was going to take one for the team in a huge way. And I did. I choked. Forgettable singing and zero laughs from the peanut gallery during the reading of the scene. I felt like Eeyore as I tucked my tail and left the room.
An hour later, I sat at City Bakery with my two best girlfriends, recounting the horrible experience. They gave a laugh and said, “Keep your chin up.” God…if only people knew how hard it really was to walk away from those things and not look back. But then, we started talking about the upcoming birth of my girlfriend’s baby and something hit me…THIS moment matters. This moment of touching her pregnant belly and feeling the baby hiccup…this is a moment I will look back on years down the road. Not Brenda or the judges or the song that I didn’t get to sing. One of my best pals is about to have her life changed forever by a baby…a new addition to our girl group! She is bringing life into the world and I am about to be a part of that child’s life. How totally thrilling and uplifting! All of my bad feelings from the day melted away and I realized that life isn’t about what happens onstage, but rather what happens offstage…in our real and very dramatic lives.
April 2, 2007 – 1:32 p.m.
What is it about a Girl Scout cookie that causes people to act insane? Recently, a group of us at work were talking about how much we loved Girl Scout cookies and complained about the fact that it’s so hard to find a dealer in New York. In the suburbs, there’s a Girl Scout on every street pedaling her goods door to door. In New York City, however, you gotta know someone. You gotta have a hook-up. After all, no decent parent is going to let his/her daughter go apartment to apartment in any neighborhood in this town.
During the course of our conversation, my friend, Victoria, casually said, “Roger’s boss’s daughter is a Girl Scout. I could ask him to ask Maureen to place an order. Do you guys want to order cookies?” We all turned our heads slowly and gave her that look. You know the one. The look that says, “Does Dolly Parton sleep on her back?” I think someone maniacally screamed, “Of course we want the f*@%!ing cookies!” It could have been me…I can’t remember.
We placed our order. I put in for three boxes of Thin Mints, one box of shortbreads and one box of peanut butter sandwich cookies. I know…it seems excessive, but they freeze well…especially the Thin Mints.
Weeks later, our order arrived and Victoria came into work with two huge boxes containing the Girl Scout cookies. She told us that several people had offered to buy them from her on the subway and she literally had to fight them off. The one mistake she made, however, was bringing the cookies to work without the original order form. She had no idea who had ordered what and the scene quickly dissolved into an angry free-for-all…Girl Scout pandemonium, if you will. When I attempted to collect my three boxes of Thin Mints, they were gone.
I’m embarrassed to admit this…but I acted as though someone had just taken my one of kidneys. I don’t know if I was tired or sugar-deprived or seriously premenstrual, but my eyes welled up with tears and I screamed out, “But I ordered three boxes of Thin Mints! Who took them?!” The room fell silent. My co-workers looked at me as if I’d lost my mind. And I had. My dear friend, Jason slowly pushed a box of Thin Mints in my direction and said sheepishly, “Here…take mine.” And I did.
My question is this…what the hell is in those cookies that make us all behave so irrationally? And why are they only available a few times a year? And why can’t you buy them online or in the grocery store? I need answers. In the meantime, I’d like to make a public apology for my very bad, very un-Girl Scout-like behavior. It was wrong. And, if anyone would like to come over for coffee and shortbreads or peanut butter sandwich cookies, my door is always open. Just don’t touch the Thin Mints in the freezer. You might lose an arm.
March 25, 2007 – 11:51 a.m.
It’s Sunday morning and I’m once again plagued by guilt. (And no, Mom, it’s not because I didn’t go to church.) I feel guilty that I’ve once again let so much time pass between my journal entries. I also just got around to reading some of the mail you all have sent and almost all of you say same thing… “You don’t update the journal enough.” That, and, “You sound rather depressed. Are you talking to anyone?” So, to you thoughtful people who took the time to write, I promise (once again) that I will update more often and yes, I am talking to someone about my mild depression. But of course, that all depends on my financial situation at the moment. Therapy is the first thing to go when the purse strings are tight. That food and shelter thing has to come before my mental health.
But you all will be happy to know that aside from feeling a tad under the weather, life is pretty good. I just returned from a week in the Southern Caribbean, where I did a cabaret act on a gay cruise. Yes, you read that correctly. I was on the high seas with 2,000 gay men…my own personal heaven. We sailed out of San Juan and stopped in St. Martin, St. Kitts, Aruba and Curacao. We had absolutely perfect weather and each island looked just like a postcard. One afternoon, my accompanist, Ray Fellman, and I went to the Hyatt Hotel in Aruba and sat at a bar in the pool. We hung out there in the shade for several hours, telling tales while sipping Bahama Mamas and eating coconut shrimp. It was just awful :)
I have so many stories from the trip; I couldn’t possibly begin to tell them all here. And some stories I will take to my grave. However, it was an experience I will not soon forget and I’m so grateful that I had the chance to do what I love to do, bask in the warmth of those gorgeous islands and meet so many great people in the process. Randy, Tom, Clay, Greg, Michael, Ray and Jimmy…you guys are my faves and I look forward to our paths crossing again in the very near future…land or sea.
For now, it’s back to the grind. There’s nothing on the professional horizon at the moment, so I’m going to take this downtime to catch up on some theatre and some much-needed rest. Keep writing, as I love to hear from you all and enjoy the Spring!
February 18, 2007 – 1:31 a.m.
The fact of the matter is that you don’t know until you know. You can’t know for sure that you know until you know and that’s when you know.
Yes…this might sound like late-night drivel…and I swear I haven’t been drinking. But when you finally come to realize something, you just sort of want to wallow around in the fact that you finally got it. Eureka! Am I right? Over the past few months, I’ve found myself complaining about certain aspects of my professional and personal life. I suppose all of us are in a constant state of adjustment and growth, however, I feel that I’ve been focusing too much on what I don’t have and not spending enough time thinking about the things I want. And I guess this just hit me…we are all in a position to change our lives at any moment. While making a change is easier said than done, it’s very liberating to know that I have the power to make that shift. I just didn’t know I could until I did. Now that the change has been made in my mind, I can take the necessary steps to make it a reality.
I’ll fill you in on the details another time. Right now, I must get some sleep, as I have a very long rehearsal tomorrow for an upcoming cruise gig.
But before I go, I want to say one other thing…poor Brit. This new development is different from the other silly pranks. It’s very upsetting and I hope she finds herself back on solid ground very soon.
January 23, 2007 – 12:56 a.m.
I’ve been loafing around my apartment for the last few hours…pretending to organize closets, shuffling the little piles of papers on my desk into new little piles of papers, and sharpening my lip and eye pencils…anything to avoid having to update the journal on my website. It’s not that I don’t like writing. In fact, I’m constantly composing entries as I stroll down the street, sit on the subway or take an order at work. It’s just that when I get home, there are a million other things that need to be done…like weeding out the expired vitamins in my medicine cabinet. (By the way, am I the only person who can’t stick to a vitamin regimen? I buy a new one-a-day supplement every few months, take it for precisely three days and then decide the pills are too big to swallow.) Procrastination. It’s a problem for me. And I suppose, “Stop procrastinating!” would have been number one on my 2007 list of resolutions had I taken the time to write that list on January 1st…but I was probably too busy alphabetizing the cleaning products under my kitchen sink.
So here I sit…months after my last entry…several weeks into a new year…determined to update you on the latest goings on…and what do I say? This time last year, there was a lot going on and I absolutely couldn’t procrastinate my time away. I was in the throws of putting together my one woman show for its New York premiere. After my show closed in June, I spent the rest of the summer in Ithaca, New York, working on a new musical called, Angle of the Sun at the Kitchen Theatre. I then returned to the city and did a few readings, including a Jerome Kern Revue and a new musical called, Ever After, based on the 1998 Drew Barrymore film. It was a year of steady work…all exciting and new.
While I was relaxing with my family over Christmas, I started to feel anxious and somewhat depressed about the fact that there was nothing on the horizon for me professionally. When I got on the plane to fly back to New York, I realized I was flying back to wait tables…and that idea sent me into a tailspin. As you can imagine, the uncertainty of this business can make one a bit manic…when it’s good, it’s really good and when it’s bad…well…lets just say it’s not real good. Thank goodness for cheap red wine…it washes down a half a Xanax just fine.
But…I know I am exactly where I’m supposed to be at this moment and there are good things to come. The next time I write (which will be within the year, I promise), I will have a number of fabulous gigs for you to mark in your calendars…I will share a great story about my last night as a waitress…and I will tell you about the amazing man who swept me off my feet. After all, hope springs eternal…
June 3, 2006 – 4:32 p.m.
Okay. Don't nobody be mad at me. There's no time, as I have to jump in the shower in two minutes to be down at the theatre by 6 p.m. It's the closing weekend for Look Ma...No Ears. I can't begin to say what this experience has been for me...amazing, stressful, wonderful, challenging, difficult and absolutely fabulous. I can't believe six weeks has come and almost gone. Time truly waits for no one. When the lights go down for the last time on Tuesday night, I will certainly have more time to write and catch you all up on everything that has been going on, which is quite a lot. But in the meantime, a big thank you to all of you who made it to see the show. I can't tell you how grateful I am, how lucky I feel and how much I appreciate your support. And for those of you who haven't made it, you got three more days!
April 29, 2006 – 9:12 a.m.
I did get some sleep last night...with the help of some Tylenol p.m. And now I'm still trying to wake-up. I'm already having waves of nervous energy rush through my body and there's still 11 hours till showtime. I'm hoping all the nerves will fall away tonight and it'll just feel like another run-thru. Yeah, right.
My friend, Barbara Smith, suggested I breathe deeply while repeating, "Breathing in, I calm myself. Breathing out, I smile." I'll give it a whirl. It's certainly a better choice than that large bottle of Kettle One in the freezer.
Okay, gang...send good vibes and I look forward to seeing all of you at the theatre over the next few weeks!
April 28, 2006 – 10:33 p.m.
I should really be going to bed early. Tomorrow night is my first preview. However, I sorta feel like I'm waiting for Santa. I'm excited, scared, thrilled, nervous, exhausted, anxious and wide awake. I've been working on this particular version of the show for five years now and I can't believe it's finally going to have legs on an (off) Off-Broadway stage. Holycrap. Literally. Can't stop doing that either...and there's no bathroom backstage. I've been joking with my director that the Papaya Dog across the street from the theatre will have to serve as my dressing room. It's what I've always dreamed of.
While I have no idea what tomorrow will bring, one thing is for sure...I have the most talented group of people working on this project. I can't say enough good about my incredible co-writer, Steve Winer (who has sat by my side tirelessly for five years, plunking out every single word on every single page),my amazing musical diretor, Bob Stein (who has written smart, funny and poignant music and lyrics that I love singing over and over) and my fabulous director, Ben Rimalower (who has brought more to this project...and my life than he'll ever know). Incredible, amazing and fabulous. I'm pretty darn lucky. And if the show sucks, it won't be because of them.
As I crawl under the covers tonight, I will have visions of sugar-plums dancing in my head. It doesn't get much better than this.
March 26, 2006 – 10:26 p.m.
It's so early and I can't believe how completely drained I feel. Perhaps those two glasses of cabernet are catching up with me. Or...it could be that I'm just tired. That's also a possibility. I'm now into my second weekend of rehearsal for the show. I say weekend because I'm rehearsing on the days when I'm not working. It's a lot, but certainly not unmanageable. And rehearsals are going well for the most part. There's some dance stuff that's new and awkwardfor me, but withtons of practice, I'm sure I'll be able to make it look "effortless." Ha. My director said to me the other day, "Don't you just LOVE James (the choreographer)?" And I said, "Sure. He's great. But I don't LOVE anyone who is asking me to walk in rhythm." I can barely walk and chew gum, let alone walk on the beat. I'm still mad that my Mom didn't force me to stay in dance class when I was five. Sure...our relationship might not be as good as it is now and I'd probably resent the hell out of her, but at least I'd be able to flap-ball-change or however you say it.
I've found that sleep is the key to staying healthy. Sleep, green tea, broccoli and vitamin C. At least that's what Dr. Weil says. And he seems to be the healthiest guy around. I've been reading one of his books on my morning cummute (the only time I can justify reading) called, 8 Weeks to Optimum Health. Along with dietary advice, he also suggests healthy and stress-reducingactivities like meditation and breathing exercises. If you've never tried to meditate, let me warn you...it's hard. Seriously. I tried to do itthree timeslast week andtwice and I ended up meditating about my grocerty list. The third time I got bored and turned on Sex and and City.
Okay...I'm off to meditate on my pillow. Nite.
March 8, 2006 – 12:24 a.m.
I'm not going to begin this entry with an apology for the fact that I rarely update this journal. We all have a lot going on in our lives and I'm sure those of you reading this understand that it's hard to find time to journal. Journaling and reading are such luxuries. Remember in high school when you were forced to keep a journal for English class? I loved that. Mr. Cleveland, my 10th grade English teacher (who I still have a massive crush on), used to collect our spiral bound journals every few weeks, read them and make comments in green ink in the margins. I was always so excited to get that notebook back and read his remarks. But as much as I wrote for Mr. Cleveland, it always felt good to plunk down my thoughts...however mindless. At the start of each new year, I vow that I'm going to keep a journal. I must have a stack of pretty journals from Barnes and Noble. And they all have one entry in them. These days, I barely have time to write out my "to do" list...which is forever expanding. And books! Love a good book. But it's so hard for me to justify reading. Books totally make me feel like I'm on vacation in some other world. I literally feel guilty...like I should be writing a thank you note or responding to an email or returning a phone call...or updating my website. I know...I'm nuts. Perhaps I'll get in bed early tonight (before 2 a.m.), open and book and indulge myself.
Now that's a little risque...right?
February 1, 2006 – 11:58 a.m.
So...my brother said I should update the website once a week. I think I'm doing well to update it once a month. And as you can see from the date on the last entry, I'm officially a slacker. But that's not really true...there was Christmas and New Year's and this little show I've been working on...blah, blah, blah...excuses. My apolgoies to anyone who is actually reading this (Dad).
Now that I have a business card, I've given it out a lot. I feel pretty cool every time I say, "Let me give you my card." I'm such a tool. And I tell folks to check out my website. You know...the one that I rarely update. Anyway, the general feedback I've received is, "Looks great...but I'd like to see more risque stuff in the journal entries." Hmmm. Well, I'll do my best...keeping in mind that my Dad will be reading this. My wheels are spinning...what can I tell you people that's a bit off-color to satisfy your voyeuristic needs? I have no freaking clue. Perhaps I should call James Frey for some advice. Or better than that, I'll pour myself a glass of wine after work tonight and then fire up the computer. After three sips of my favorite Cavit pinot grigio, my guard will comedown and I'll spill all the scandalous details of my sordid life as a waitress.
To be continued...hopefully in the next month or so.
November 26, 2005 – 7:46 p.m.
Okay...I officially stink at keeping this journal up-to-date. And I still have no clue how to check the mail I'm getting through the site...so, if you've written and I haven't written back, don't take it personally. I'm still adapting to the whole website thing. Now that the backer's audition is over, I'll have a little more time to devote to my web knowledge.
And speaking of the backer's audition...it went extremely well! The Lakeland audience was warm and receptive and it was great to finally perform those songs with a live band. The musicians, Ian Goodman and David Lowrey were outstanding and Bob Stein was amazing as always. That night was the first time the show was on its feet and it felt great. With that said, some of the bits worked better than I thought they would and there were other moments that fell flat. I'll have to go back to the drawing board and do some tweaking, expanding, cutting, etc. At least now I have a better idea of what I have.
I came back to New York the day before Thanksgiving so I could get back to my bread and butter waitressing gig. When I arrived in town, however, I was told that there had been a fire at the restaurant and we would be closed for a few weeks for renovation. Thankfully, the fire happened early in the morning and no one was injured...but what a drag to come back to no job. It sort of drives me crazy when people say, "Everything happens for a reason." But I might have to agree with them in this case. This unexpected time off allowed me to share a fabulous Thanksgiving dinner with family and friends, it's giving me time to work on the show and the website and it's showing me how great New York is this time of year. I used to visit New York during the holidays when I was a kid, but it's quite different to explore New York when you live here full time. I'm not sure I've ever really taken the time to do that. I think I'll check out some museums, go skating in Central Park and catch up with friends at a restaurant in the Village I've always wanted to try. I feel like Christmas came early this year...a little time off in my favorite city was on the top of my wish list.
October 26, 2005 – 1:42 p.m.
My brother says I'm not updating the journal enough...he says I should do it at least once a week. So, while there's not a ton of new information to report, here's my entry for the week.
I'm still overwhelmed, stressed and worried about this upcoming backer's audition. The past few nights, I've sat in bed and wondered if I'm doing the right thing by taking this show to my hometown and asking friends and family for their support. But at this point, I know no other way to do it. And I'm tired of second-guessing every decision I make...it's exhausting. So, I'm just going to go down there and hope I don't look stupid.
In the meantime, it's fall in New York. I love this time of year. I love taking my box of scarves and hats out of the closet and pulling on last year's sweaters. It's time for chicken pot pie and hot apple cider and flannel sheets. Just thinking about it makes me sweat.
October 17, 2005 – 7:09 p.m.
I'm still trying to get my head around the fact that I have a website. And a journal onthis website for all to see and read. It feels atad self-indulgent. But then again, I am an actor. Isn't that what we do...indulge ourselves? A part of me knows the only people who will read this are my parents. Maybe my brother. So, I'll keep it short and sweet...and clean.
I'm in the throws of putting together a backer's audition for my one-woman show. The process has been amazingly stressful and incredibly fulfilling. At this point, I don't have a producer or a general manager, so I'm doing almost everything by myself...and making a ton of mistakes along the way. I know in the end that everything will work out, and even if the show is a big flop, I will be able to look back on this time in my life without regret.
And I don't think the show will be a big flop. I think it'll feel good to get up on stage and sing those songs and tell my story...even if the only people watching are my parents. And maybe my brother. If he's not at the Bucs game.