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.

Oct 212009
 

I arrived in New Amsterdam yesterday morning.   Tuesday morning rather.   I am a bit confused on what time or day it is.   The redeye was crazy from LAX to JFK.   It was supposed to be “wide open” and it wasn’t.   Lots of last minute travelers got on that flight.   So, my stand   by for Business Class ticket rapidly turned into a coach ticket.   Luckily, the gate agent took pity on me and left the seat next to me open so I didn’t   have to squeeze.   The flight was on a Boeing 757.   Those are particularly long planes but not generous in width.   I did look at the bathroom on board and decided it would be best to just wait the 6 hours.   It was fine.   The flight attendant graciously brought me a seatbelt extender and we were on our way.   I didn’t sleep much on that flight.   The seat in front of me was barely inches away from me.   I was fortunate that no one was sitting in the seat in front of me so I didn’t have someone’s head pressed against my belly for the flight.   The snack was pretzels, or peanuts or cookies.   I had club soda.

We landed in NY at 7:30.   I wandered around the terminal for a little while.   I found a food court and got a little breakfast and a bottle of water and planted myself.   I made some calls.   Then I realized somewhere along the way I lost a prescription.   It is possible I left it at home but it is also likely I left it on the plane when I was searching my bag for something else.   I went to the Delta customer service desk.   They called the gate to find out the plane I had been on had already left for San Francisco.   If the meds were left on the plane it is doubtful I will ever see them again.   I then went to the Delta SkyClub and bought a day pass.   It was a lovely place to sit and relax for my very long layover.   I was hoping for a couch or a loveseat so I could have gotten more comfortable but the big chair was fine.   I dozed off and on throughout the day and then got the shuttle from the terminal to the new Delta terminal to catch my international flight.

I did get Business Class from JFK to Old Amsterdam.   It was very nice.   The seats aren’t that wide and the arms don’t move so I did find it to be a snug fit.   I had to get out of the seat to pull out the remote for the TV and I did have to get up to plug in my headset.   But once in the seat it was mostly comfortable.   There is at least 3 feet between the seats so you can recline fully and not be bothered by any other passenger.   There was no one sitting next to me so I was able to use the seat for my purse as well as use the tray for my meals.   I was envious of people who slept on the sides in the chairs.   I suppose I could have figured out the logistics and done it myself but I never did get fully comfortable.

The meals and service in Business Class is night and day from coach.   They brought us menus before we took off and the champagne and beautiful wine choices flowed throughout the flight.   I didn’t drink on the plane as I was so confused and tired from travelling for so long and from not sleeping.   I didn’t want to add alcohol to the mix.   The food choices ranged from crab cakes with pasta to beef tenderloin with lemon risotto.   Amazing!

I think one of the flight attendants thought I was pregnant.   I was sitting in my seat with my arms folded over my belly.   As she walked by she patted my hands and said something in a very sweet tone.

We landed at 5:25a this morning, Wednesday.   We taxied for what seemed like an eternity to the gate.   Customs was a breeze here.   They asked why I was here and for how long then stamped my passport.   My luggage was some of the first pieces off as they were the last ones on.   My bags didn’t get on the flight until my stand by seat was approved.   It worked out perfectly.   Then there were two lines to go to.   One was for people with goods to declare and the other was for those with nothing to declare.   There was no one working the line for people with things to declare and no one was there to ask if you really didn’t have anything to declare.   I walked right through with my bags on a cart.   My sister and BIL were on the other side of the door.

From there we took a train to the city and then walked around 10 blocks from the train station to the boat.   It was interesting to be walking in the dark at nearly 7a.   the sun didn’t start to warm the cold sky until around 8a.   Then the sky started to glow a beautiful light pink.   The air this morning was very cold.   It has since warmed up to a lovely 50 degrees.

To say that it is beautiful here is a ridiculous understatement.   It is absolutely breathtaking.   The boat is gorgeous.   We opened the windows on the boat and fed ducks on the canal.   Their cat sits up top in the sun room (what would be the steering room if there was a steering wheel.)   I have taken pictures and will post them over time. We are going to go venture out and do some shopping today.

I am very tired.   I haven’t lied down since Monday morning when I got up at 7a.   It is now noon on Wednesday here which means it is 3a at home.   It is funny to think my husband is home sleeping in our bed and I have already showered and started my day.   I am sure I will sleep like a stone tonight.   I brought my own pillow which will make sleeping anywhere easy.

Let me know if there is anything you would like to know or any pictures you would like to see.

Oct 182009
 

When reading other people’s blogs I have often thought of them as self indulgent and arrogant.   I don’t know that mine will be different.   I started thinking what do I have to offer people that would be of any interest.   Besides my upcoming travels to Amsterdam what is it that would make people be interested in what I have to say?   What is it about me that is different?   Uhh, the obvious thing is, as Bob Goen said over and over   again on Entertainment Tonight about me, “…and she weighs over 300 pounds!!”   Yes, I do. It isn’t that miraculous actually.   Honestly, I have lived a pretty charmed life.   Sure I am big but it really hasn’t stopped me…except when it has.   There are things that smaller people never consider and if they do they don’t consider the magnitude of how it would affect someone larger.   For example, airplane bathrooms are very small.   Most people find them to be uncomfortable and cramped.   For me, it is like I am the last sardine in the can, so-to-speak.   Other common considerations in life are restaurant booths, armed chairs, the dentist chair, movie theatre seats, life jackets, roller coasters and my favorite – seat belts.   (Remind me and I will tell the story of the Torrance police officer who pulled me over for not wearing my seat belt years ago…)

While I am excited about this trip to Amsterdam, to see my sister and my BIL, there is for me a level of apprehension and fear (more than the plane falling out of the sky but I have drugs for that.)   You know that feeling when you are all settled in your seat on the airplane and you see the fat girl squeezing down the aisle trying not to hip check any of the passengers she is walking by and you cringe knowing she is going to try and climb over you and squeeze into the seat next to you undoubtedly ooozing some of her copious flesh onto your seat, or leg, or arm?   Well, I’m her.   Believe me, I certainly don’t want to disturb your travels or make your flight any more uncomfortable than it is.   I have in the past bought two seats so as to not disturb anyone.   When I fly with my husband, he doesn’t care that I need a bit of his seat.   But for a stranger it is uncomfortable.   Believe me, I know.

With the airplane seat issue it raises the question of whether or not I am buying a seat to my destination or am I purchasing passage.   There have been a lot of ugly fights in the media about this issue.   People have found themselves at a midway point in their trip when suddenly a gate agent decides they must purchase an additional seat to finish the last leg of their trip.   The rules are rather discretionary.   So, a big guy flying from LAX to JFK with a stop in Chicago may have no problem getting on the first leg of his flights.   He asks for a seatbelt extender and luckily there is an empty middle seat next to him so no one says a word to him.   He flies in comfort to Chicago.   He gets off the plane in Chicago and races to his next gate.   When he arrives and attempts to check in for the 2nd leg of his trip to JFK, the gate agent informs him he must buy a second seat on the plane because the flight is full.   If he doesn’t he can’t carry on to his destination.   But you see, this is an error in logic.   If the flight is full there shouldn’t be an additional seat to purchase.   Ostensibly, he should be stuck in Chicago until there is a flight that has empty seats.   Should he then be forced to purchase an additional seat on a flight with empty seats?   I know when I have purchased two tickets to a destination I was told that if the flight had empty seats they would refund my money for the additional seat purchased.   I don’t know the answer to these questions.   Bigger seats all around?   Bigger seats for larger people?   What about seats with legroom for taller people?   What about a sound proof area for those flying with small children? Obviously, the airline is a business.   They have the right to run their business as they choose.   I also understand an average sized person who already feels cramped in their seat doesn’t want to feel infringed upon by someone else using up what little personal space they have.   It’s a conundrum.   One that I am going to face over the next couple of days and then again in two weeks.     While I doubt I will come up with a solution for this situation that affects all travellers in one way or another it will definitely be an interesting time.   I will keep you all posted.