Oct 262010
 

Today is October 25th, the anniversary of the day I broke up with an ex-boyfriend and tomorrow is the anniversary of the day I finally met my husband in person.  Dates are funny.  Not in a magical way.  Dates are like smells in the memories they invoke.  I remember the day I broke up with my ex-boyfriend distinctly.  It was a Sunday.  We had gone downtown to Chinatown for Dim Sum.  The place he wanted to go was closed for a private party so, we wandered around downtown trying to find a place.  By the time we found a Dim Sum place it was filled with people and there was a line.  He got upset.  Clearly, he had issues that had nothing to do with not getting a pork bao and a chicken foot.  I was upset that he was upset.  We walked back to the car in silence.  Then in the car we started arguing about something or other.  I remember taking off the silver rolling ring he had bought me on a fun trip down to Tijuana to have lunch and buy contraband freon for an old car he was working on, and I threw it at him and said, “Maybe we should just break up!!”  The words hung in the air.  A moment later he turned to me and said, “Okay.”  We drove to Canter’s where we had soup and cried.

The following year, John, my now husband, and I started talking on line and then on the phone.  He came to visit me for the first time on October 26th.  At the time I was taking part in a documentary about 4 women of size and their lives.  The camera crew came with me to pick John up at LAX.  The moment we saw each other, for the first time, in the flesh, was captured on film.  We showed that snippet of film at our wedding reception.

Today is just another day.  Days lately seem like just another day.  I lost my job with the accounting firm a little over a year ago.  It was a job, I thought I was good at. But everyday I would drive home from there deflated and sad that that was the job I was doing.  It wasn’t the people.  Okay, it was one of them.  But it wasn’t really the people or the work.  I like accounting.  It just wasn’t what I moved to LA to do.  Every day I would drive home in that ridiculous 101 commute wearing grown up clothes and feeling miserable. When I was “let go” I was sad and frustrated and yet I felt an overwhelming sense of relief and freedom.  That is, once I stopped crying.

sausageA year ago today I was in Amsterdam.  I had paid for my ticket less than a week before I got “let go.”   It was an amazing trip.  I felt inspired and alive when I was there.  When I was home, I continued to feel inspired.  It is an inspiring place.   On this day a year ago I was in a farmer’s market with my sister and brother-in-law.  The sausage guys started singing a Mamas and Papas song and called me Mama Cass.

I know it’s silly.  Nothing has changed in the year.  I weigh the same as I did last year.  My hair is a bit darker.  Financially, I know I need to work and soon.  But I read an article in the LA Times about unemployment and how a woman applied for a job where there were four openings and 2000 people had submitted applications.  It seems so bleak.  And, worse, I wouldn’t want that job.

I have had some great auditions this year.  And, in a sense, it feels like when you are looking at a slot machine and you almost win.  There is that excitement but there are no bells and no money in your pocket.

I remember a long time ago talking to a friend who was unhappy about some things in her life.  I told her, “you have shitty circumstances but you aren’t your circumstances!”  That is kind of how I feel.  Only all of my circumstances aren’t shitty.  And, all of my situations aren’t shitty either.  It really is bits and pieces.  My great husband just came home and I am cooking dinner.  I am fortunate to have a great husband and I am fortunate to have dinner to cook in my apartment.

There is part of me that just knows it isn’t time to quit yet.  I know there is a lot of acting and writing left in my future.  I know I will make money doing what I love.

Jun 152010
 

When I ditched my life in San Diego to follow and pursue my dreams of being an actor, writer and comedian I had no idea what was ahead of me.   When I look back now it is hard to believe I have done all that I have done.   I am definitely grateful for the life I have lived and the opportunities I have had.   It has been quite a ride and I look forward to what’s next.   It’s also not lost on me how incredibly fortunate I am to have been able to fulfill on living this dream.   Even if the dream isn’t complete…yet.

Not long after I moved here I was driving down Santa Monica Blvd.   I was kind of freaking out.   I was all alone here.   I didn’t know many people in Los Angeles. In fact, when I moved here I had two friends who lived here and some family, who I never saw.   So, here I am driving along and there are tons of people out.   I think it was a Saturday.   I almost felt like I could hear people talking.   Not to belittle or diminish schizophrenics but I definitely felt like I was hearing voices.   It certainly was an anxiety filled moment.   I turned the radio on really loud and sang along to ease the ensuing panic. My heart was racing so I pulled into the first place I could find.   It turned out to be the Hollywood Forever Cemetery.   It’s a funny place for a cemetery.   It’s right in the heart of things behind Paramount Studios.   People like Jayne Mansfield and Rudolf Valentino are buried there.   And, so are my great-grandparents.   I am named for my great-grandfather Louis…who I never met.   But somehow it seemed appropriate that in the middle of my lonely, anxiety, fraught freak-out I would end up at their grave site.   They are interred in one of the Jewish mausoleums there.   Is it odd to say that talking to a wall filled with dead people I have never met helped my loneliness and anxiety?   Well, it did.   I drove away from there feeling much, much better.   Not to be overly dramatic and significant but it felt like the loneliness and the uncertainty lifted.

When I got home I had a message on my answering machine.   It was someone singing really loud to the song Who Will Save Your Soul by Jewel.   I listened to it over and over again.   How odd!!   While I was at a cemetery someone left a message singing Who Will Save Your Soul.   It must have been a sign.   It must have been something supernatural!   No.   It was me.   Yes, I had somehow called myself in the heat of the anxiety I was having and left myself a message of my very loud and out of tune rendition of Who Will Save Your Soul.   Looking back, those voices I was hearing while driving was probably me on my outgoing message.   It was a very funny moment in this journey.   I guess the answer to the question of “Who Will Save Your Soul” (not really yours…)   is and was ME.   That is if you believe in that whole soul saving thing.

Today, the day after a great audition, rather than sulk all day and sit by the phone, I had to run errands.   You know, life errands.   Someone has to grocery shop and someone had to pay the storage rent.   Ooh, me, let me do it!   I had a hard time getting out of the house after having a hard time getting out of bed.   Once showered and coffeed and having had a couple of long phone conversations and having checked my emails I set out for Hollywood.   It has been a while since I stopped in to see my great-grandparents and I thought today would be a good day since it is on the way to my storage unit.   Traffic was nuts so as I zipped by the cemetery I saw they were shooting Dexter there.   How do I know?   The tell-tale bright yellow signs with “Dexter” printed on them indicating that Dexter was shooting there.   After paying my storage bill I was able to pull into the cemetery on my way back.   A guard stopped me.   I explained I was going to see my great-grandparents and pointed to the mausoleum where they are interred.   It was on the opposite end of the cemetery from where they were shooting.   Truly, the last thing I wanted is to be in the way of one of the greatest shows on television.   The writing and the acting on that show is like going to school for me!   The guard told me where I could park.   As I was driving over another guard stopped me.   There was no where to park after all.   And, again, the last thing I wanted was to be in the way.   So, I told the guy, “No problem.   They’re dead…I can come back another time.”   He was very sweet saying something like “it’s the thought that counts” or something gushy.

So, now what?   Well, I continue to look for work.   I continue to write…I have some new ideas.   I heard from the producer we are doing another staged reading of the play I am in.   There is a lot to do to fill a day and I never seem to get it all done.     In the immediate future, I will cook dinner.   Really, my life is very exciting.

Jun 142010
 

lb_new07I had an audition today.   And, while I am a bit superstitious, for someone who doesn’t believe in that kind of stuff, I will say it was a great experience.   It called for someone to be rather tough.   My awesome acting coach and I broke it down on Saturday and came up with the word “menacing” to describe her.   I worked all weekend on it.   Sure, I took breaks.   It was the weekend.   (Is there really a difference between a weekend and a Monday when you are unemployed?   Yes, because my husband is home on the weekends…) I learned the lines and I really got to know the character.   So, when I got to the casting office today, 45 minutes early, I decided to stay in my car and work just a bit more.   Then I walked through the parking structure and out onto the plaza and then into the building.   I figured I had 20 minutes at this point, I should go to the restroom and freshen up and cool off a bit.   As I was in the stall reading the lines I hear someone come in and not go into a stall.   Then I hear the tell-tale clicking of an iPod wheel.   Then I hear really loud music coming from someone’s earphones.   They must be deaf.   I have to see.   I gather my things and step out to the sinks.   There before me was this TOUGH woman.   She looked like Angela Bassett.   She had a muscle shirt on and workout pants and a bandanna on her head.   She was definitely menacing.   How in the world was I, the Pillsbury dough girl, going to compete with that?   She left the restroom before I did.   Then I went into the casting room and signed in.   Scary-menacing-bandanna lady was standing and staring at her reflection in a window with an, “I fucking dare you” look.   Every once in a while she would kind of shift which made me and two other women shift in our seats.   The rest of the women were all kinds.   I was the largest and had the fairest skin compared to my dark hair.   There were red heads and tattooed girls.   There were women with long-hair and short hair.   It was definitely a slice out of almost every group.   Scary-menacing-bandanna-girl went in before me.   I could hear a bit of her audition so I walked away.   I didn’t want it to affect me.     I felt like I gave a good audition.   The casting director was BEAUTIFUL.   WOW, is she pretty.   And, she was very nice and complimentary. She even thanked me for being “so prepared.”   As they say, that and $3 will buy me a cup of Starbucks coffee.

Now what?   Well, now nothing.   I am home.   So, I wait to hear.   But I can’t really “wait.”   It is maddening to wait for a call regarding a call-back or to find out if you got the part.   You just have to think of it like a trip to the store.   Once you are home you don’t think about the trip to the store.   You don’t second guess yourself on if you bought the right eggs and if only you had then life would be better.   You don’t think about the milk or the tomatoes.   You just go on with your life.   Sure, it’s easy to say.   Certainly, every time my phone rings tomorrow I will jump and my heart will beat an extra beat harder.   Then by Wednesday when the phone rings my heart won’t beat harder or extra.   Then when my phone rings on Thursday I won’t even flinch before I answer it…unless I am napping.

Today feels like a step in the right direction.   Whether or not I was the menacing girl she wanted I know she will remember me.   Who knows maybe they will need me for something else or better yet, maybe I will get this part. Let’s see what tomorrow brings.