Friday, January 22, 2010

a "Lost" cause?

Watching 5 seasons of "Lost" in 4 weeks is pretty time consuming as it turns out - especially because there's 25 episodes per season. I'm only on season 2 and that's why I've been MIA.
But here's the thing that's got me thinking (if you're not a "Lost" watcher you're welcome to stop now 'cause you won't know what the hell I'm talking about...or keep reading.)
Kate is one of my favorite female characters that I've come across in anything in a long time.* She's capable at everything from handling a gun to fighting to tracking to playing golf and poker. She's complicated and she has a past but she's essentially good, brave - tough yet still feminine. I'd like to be a Kate ... I'm not necessarily ready to be dropped on a desert island any time soon, but still, I'd like to be a Kate. I identify with Kate.
Jon-Barrett, my willing "Lost" companion and cheerleader (he's been watching from the very beginning and loves the series) said tonight that he didn't think I was a Kate and when I was disappointed he suggested that perhaps I only wanted to be a Kate because all the guys are in love with her. Which, yeah, that's a nice bonus, but of course they want to be with her, same reason I want to be her - she's awesome.
But that had me thinking more broadly about my success to failure ratio in life and Hollywood. Maybe the reason I haven't gotten all the things I want out of life yet is because I'm walking around thinking in my head that I'm a Kate while other people are seeing a Sun or Claire or Libby or Shannon. Maybe there's a fundamental disconnect between who I want to be and who I am and all my dreams keep falling off into the abyss between the two. Maybe I need to accept and embrace what other people see in order to move forward rather than insisting on being something else. Or maybe I need to fully embrace my inner Kate before other people can see that in me...Delusion is not something that is in short supply in Los Angeles and there's a fine line between persistently believing in a dream and walking down Sunset at 80 years old in a midriff shirt and purple cowboy boots pushing a shopping cart.
This question of identity and perception is especially relevant to me right now because Jon-Barrett and I have recommitted ourselves to our acting careers this year - new headshots, casting workshops, acting classes, the hunt for an agent etc., it's all on like Donkey Kong in 2010. I have 2 commercial auditions tomorrow (1st time ever by the way that I've racked up 2 in one day!) I'm essentially in the midst of a huge blowout bake sale and I'm what's on the table. But how do I do that if I don't know what I'm selling?
Everyone in this town always says "Just be yourself." I'm not kidding, EVERYONE says that. Right before the part about becoming a better, thinner, bolder, richer, more confident version of yourself that doesn't actually resemble the you that walked in the place. There's this epic struggle to stay authentic in the midst of an industry that's all about playing a part, whether it's on stage, in a film or walking into a coffee shop before work. And it leaves you wondering whos eyes to look through when looking at yourself .
So who am I?
This much I know: I'm 5'3", I have black hair, brown eyes and skin somewhere between the color of steel cut oatmeal with brown sugar and a soy mocha latte. I don't know how to play golf or handle a gun and no, all the guys are not in love with me. I have a daughter. I am complicated and I have a past, but I am essentially good and brave and hopefully the rest will sort itself out.

*Lest there be any confusion, I want to make it clear that I really like ALL the characters on "Lost" ( except Michael sometimes and Ana Lucia) they're incredible actors with well-written storylines and character arcs on an amazing show. If ever there was something worth staying up for until 2am when the baby wakes at 6am - this is it. At least for the next few weeks.

Friday, January 8, 2010

You've got have a motto...

I've had a song stuck in my head off and on for the past few weeks now - ever since the family and I went on our epic road trip to Oregon and started talking about the musical South Pacific. I love musicals and this is a great one. Pretty much every song is memorable and a hit in its own right. But I've never really thought about this particular song much until now.
There must be a reason why it's playing on repeat in my brain so I've decided to make it official: "Happy Talk" is the theme song for my 2010 experience and the motto is: "You've got have a dream, if you don't have a dream, how you gonna have a dream come true?" Courtesy of Bloody Mary (and Rodgers and Hammerstein.)
I'd write more but I have 6 seasons of "Lost to catch up on before next month!

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

The Stars say...

I just wanted to let you know that this standing up straight resolution is going really, really well. I've been a slouch offender since mid-pregnancy in 2008 when my boobs started looking more like grapefruits than clementines. And it's been downhill every since then (for both my boobs and my posture.) Anyway, I'm pretty pleased. And I know that the true test of a resolution comes a month or so in when the initial optimism of the new year has worn off, but I'm celebrating early. In fact, I may even be tempted to make more resolutions. Maybe that's the trick - rather than committing to a whole slew of pies in the sky that are too hard to juggle at once, I should take it one thing at a time and master that before I add anything else. Baby steps. Like my baby :)
And really, what harm is there even if all the pies I throw up there come crashing down on my face? I fucking love pie. My horoscope for this month ended by saying "In all ways, life is getting better and better." Thank you Susan Miller. I hope you're right.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Chin up young person

Happy 2010!
After taking an extended hiatus from our blog, I'm back with more observations, rants, boring stories and other topics that have nothing to do with being a waiter or twitter (my apologies to those of you who are solely Jon-Barrett fans. You'll have to pester him for more writing since my threat tactics only make him giggle. Probably because it involves tickling.)
Now, I'm not promising to write every day or making any half-cocked resolutions about this, but I quietly intend to write at least once a week whether I'm feeling witty or not....
Shoot. That sounds an awful lot like a resolution. My only official resolution this year is to stand up (and sit up ) straight. That's it. To be constantly mindful of my posture. I feel like that's all I can handle for 2010. I need to cleanse my palate of all the overblown and lofty goals that I've set over the past few years. Because it's a really big disappointment to start the year with the intention of getting a lead role in an indie film bound for Sundance and end the year not only not having done that, but not being able to make my $300 car payment come January 1st, AGAIN.
After awhile it feels silly to make a list of how many commercials I'll book and how much money I'll make when I don't even have enough money to buy diapers. And my hard drive on my computer crashed and I need to get my teeth cleaned before my gums start receding because I haven't been to the dentist in 10 years and I somehow managed to gain 10 lbs. over the past few weeks so that even if I did get that magical opportunity to be a Bond girl they'd throw me off the set before I even put my bikini top on.
How do I go from being a 29 year old parent who doesn't even have the very basics of life handled to being a movie star? I don't. That's what it seems like. So some years I resolve and envision and Secret it up with all my big dreams and some years I get practical and make lists about cleaning credit and saving money, but no matter what, I'm still not a movie star and my credit score is still 550.
So, this year I'm just going to stand straight, keep my chin up and breathe. And maybe if I'm lucky I won't cop out on blogging once a week either.

Friday, November 20, 2009


I know that some people go for months and even years without sex. I know that this exists because friends have told me so. "Oh man, yeah, it's been six months since I had sex." - for example. I don't think that I've gone longer than one month since I became sexually active and I really don't want to imagine what my personality would be like should I ever have a longer drought than that. I'm also what people tend to call a serial monogamist which makes it easy.

It's like the difference between being a freelancer and having a 9 to 5. Yeah, sometimes 9 to 5ers just don't want to go to work - it's predictable, boring and can feel like you're just marking time while those freelancers hop from job to job, sleeping late between gigs and racking up stories.
But here's the thing, a freelancer is always hustling and right around the time they're running out of money and wondering how it got to be 4 months between jobs, the 9 to 5er is strolling into work, relaxed and taken care of thinking how much they appreciate steady and reliable.*

Now I'm not making a blanket statement about being single versus being monogamous in general- both have their benefits. I am saying that if you like to have sex, regularly, being in a relationship seems to be a better bet because as far as I can tell, the swinging single is a myth. Being single just means you get to potentially have sex with more people less often - whether you're a guy or a girl....but especially if you're a girl. And if you're willing to have lots of stranger sex then you're really taking a risk in the quality department. Not a worthy trade in my opinion.

Sex is on the brain. Why? Well, I just read a book called The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo, for one.** For another, it's probably been two weeks now since I last did the dirty despite being coupled up with the baby daddy. I would say that this blows my theory out of the water, but two weeks is still a distant cry from 6 months. Ugh. I'm so annoyed with sex right now.

*This is a somewhat elaborate and not entirely successful metaphor for sex. Obviously.
**Gave me an entirely new perspective on the Swedes. It was good, but I definitely felt a little blindsided by the content to be honest with you. It was disturbing.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

And So It Goes

I am afraid. I am afraid I am dying. I am afraid my heart might explode. I am afraid I am not living life to it's fullest. I am afraid I am not working hard enough. I am afraid I have chosen the wrong path. I am afraid of being stuck. I am afraid that I am not a good person. I am afraid of not being a good father. I am afraid my fantasies are only fantasies. I am afraid of my limitations. I am afraid of failing. I am afraid of being a success. I am afraid that it won't work out. I am afraid that it will. I am afraid of love. I am afraid of black market kidnappers. I am afraid of changes. I am afraid that nothing will change. I am afraid of letting people down. I am afraid of letting myself down. I am afraid of being poor. I am afraid of Big Banks. I am afraid that my teachers were right. I am afraid it might be too late. I am afraid of being alone. I am afraid of people I don't know. I am afraid I may be losing my mind. I am afraid of the end. I am afraid of starting something new. I am afraid of commitment. I am afraid I am wasting my time. I am afraid I am wasting your time. I am afraid of making BIG mistakes. I am afraid I can't help it. I am afraid I am not setting a good example. I am afraid of being forgotten. I am afraid it is too late. I am afraid of missed opportunities. I am afraid of moments of thruth. I am afraid I have let myself go. I am afraid there is no turning back. I am afraid of being average. I am afraid of things getting worse. I am afraid of not knowing what to do. I am afraid of doing nothing. I am afraid of losing touch. I am afraid that what is done is done. I am afraid I may be wrong. I am afraid I may be right. I am afraid that you don't trust me. I am afraid I don't trust myself. I am afraid of not having options. I am afraid of making the wrong choice. I am afraid it is too late.

OK, phew, I feel better. Thanks for listening. I wanted to write without it being a bitchfest whine-athon, but I couldn't. I am glad I got that out of my system. I should be good for a couple of weeks.

And now to add to my fears, I am including a scene from a short play I submitted to a play write contest. Nothing like putting your work up to public scrutiny to get the nerves active.

The play is called Unnatural Selection. It takes place in a waiting room where people wait to see if they will be selected to sacrifice themselves in order to preserve the future of the human race.

I hope you enjoy.

The room is again silent. LEON sits down next to DARRYL a middle aged, working class black man reading a newspaper.

LEON- Thank god for the silence, huh?

DARRYL- Impending doom!

LEON- Huh?

DARRYL- Impending doom. It’s what drives people like them to chatter so much. (He points at GORDON) That man wants to connect to someone before his time comes today. She wants to as well but she is too paralyzed with fear to realize it. Your little girlfriend wants to be remembered, hence her outburst at the old woman. I think the same goes for you too. If you meet your end today you want us all to remember you and your ideals and how you went out with a fight. (LEON laughs.) There’s a woman in front of us who hasn’t stopped praying since she got here. (Pointing to CATHERINE.) It’s all just another way people deal with impending doom.

LEON- What about you?

DARRYL- I observe the human condition. Distracts me from my own fears, from my own emotions.

LEON- What about the bag lady?

DARRYL- She just fucking crazy. (They both laugh.) What’s your name soldier?


DARRYL- Like Leon Spinks. Names Darryl, like Strawberry.

LEON- I never really followed sports.

DARRYL- Well, fuck you then. (He laughs.)

LEON pulls out his flask and takes a swig. He offers it to DARRYL.

DARRYL- Oh, no! Haven’t touched the stuff in quite some time. My wife made me quit.
You a married man, Leon?

LEON- (Laughs) Yeah, right. That’s what I’ve been thinking about as this whole thing crumbles apart around us. How can I create a family and bring more people into this hellhole? No offense.

DARRYL- None taken. My wife and I have been together long before things started falling apart. No kids. Just her and I surviving together. It makes it easier, you know? Having someone to live for, to fight for, survive for. I wouldn’t have made it this far on my own.

LEON- Well, you’re a better man than myself. I feel like I would destroy anyone I got close to with my anger and disappointment. This shit isn’t getting better.

DARRYL- You’re right. I will take a swig off that. (He takes the flask.) It ain’t getting any better. (He drinks) But we are. Human beings are programmed to rise above their natural operating potential in times of crisis. Our physical strength increases, our tolerance for pain increases and so does our compassion. We are built to survive no matter how hard we try to destroy ourselves.

LEON- I guess. Like the mother lifting the car and that kind of shit.

DARRYL- Exactly, that kind of shit.

He takes another drink and hands the flask back to LEON who takes a long drink. ANGIE exits the restroom and crosses back to her magazine. She doesn’t even look toward LEON.

DARRYL- I think she likes you. (He busts up laughing again. LEON chuckles with him.)

The BUZZER sounds as the main door is unlocked. The PROCTOR enters with MR. NORFOLK. NORFOLK walks quietly to his seat and sits down. PROCTOR looks down at his clipboard.

PROCTOR- Mr. Robison. Darryl Robison, would you please come with me.

DARRYL stands up.

DARRYL- Wish me luck Leon Spinx.

LEON- Good luck in there. Hope they like sports.

DARRYL takes a deep breath. He walks toward the door. He kneels by CATHERINE.

DARRYL- Include me in one of them.
She nods and touches his face. He walks over to the PROCTOR who escorts him out.

PROCTOR- Right this way please.

The door shuts and is locked.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Settling in to Settling

Sometimes it seems hard to write a blog about failing (and succeeding) without sounding like a whiny bitch all the time. "This happened, and then that happened and then this f-ed up shit happened..." you get the idea. Hopefully it's all balanced out with enough perspective, humor, and optimism to make it palatable.*
An acquaintance (okay, so it was my ex-boyfriend's fiancee) recently asked me what I thought was "my soul's intention." That is, the purpose that my consciousness had entered this lower vibrational plane to fulfill. And whether or not I would have phrased it quite that way, it's a question that would have been really easy for me to answer a few years ago. The answer would have been along the lines of wanting my life to be an example and inspiration for other people to do what they love for a living and not settle for anything less. That's something that I felt quite passionate about as a young(er) woman: not settling. For me that meant that I was going to move to LA, be an admired and wealthy actress of the stage and film living in my Richard Neutra dream home, playing in a rock and roll band when I wasn't traveling all around the world, having fabulous dinner parties with my luminary friends, looking fabulous (always) and learning to knit in my spare time. And that's just the short version!
But now I'm 28 and when I look around at my life it seems like along the way I've done a lot of settling for things that were not quite what I had always imagined. It actually turns out that I was willing to settle all along. And although I'm not unhappy ( my general disposition is happy and grateful) I'm definitely aware of the discrepancy between the afore-mentioned not settling lifestyle and the life that I'm actually living. I've also been very aware in the past year or so since I got pregnant and had my baby that what looks like "settling" from the vantage point of 17 or 21 looks like a really fucking nice life at 28.
My priorities have changed...Somewhat.
Because tucked away in there amidst being a really good mama and taking care of the car transmission and the health insurance and the laundry and all the other myriad chores that multiply and shapeshift into other, new important chores is still a desire to perform. A desire to create something. A desire to be recognized for that creation and a desire to be paid ridiculous amounts of money for it as well. Oh, and a desire to look H-O-T while I'm doing it! (Which, in my post-baby world is as daunting as winning an Academy Award. Maybe if you're lucky I'll tell you about why I've now added getting a pornstar bikini wax to my beauty list of To Dos in a future blog.)
But here's the thing. I don't know how to fulfill all those desires and take care of my baby and do the chores and be a good girlfriend and open up an ice cream shop and get enough sleep. Even though I spent 7 years in LA settling for not-quite good enough, it always felt like the possibility of the dream life was still there if I would be willing to step into it. And now I don't have the time or energy to step into anything but sweatpants and hand me down purple Uggs. So what's my soul's intention? I don't know. I'd like to figure it out right now, here with you, but I'm tired and the baby always wakes up at 1am which is just 40 minutes away...
Who asks their fiancee's ex-girlfriend that kind of question anyway?

*1) You will discover that I love footnotes and use them often whether it's appropriate or not. 2) This intro is basically me saying that for the next 5 or 6 paragraphs I fully intend to be a whiny bitch and hopefully you still like me when I'm through.