Saturday, August 24, 2013

Let it Happen

Guys, I am a hot mess.

After I successfully complete a second interview for a dayjob in midtown east, I change out of my power heels and into my flip flops like any sensible Manhattanite with five addresses on her to-do list. Resolutely, I mosey my way uptown for an audition where I will be considered for two plays in one pop: one Chekhov, one experimental. Once it's my turn, things go alright - the guy behind the table is a personable bloke around my age, and chats with me about the two plays before asking me for a monologue. It is then I realize that I am still wearing my flip flops.

Guys, I auditioned for a Chekhov play in flip-flops.

I make it through my Shakespeare monologue, and am asked to sing. All the options I thought of a minute ago desert me. Briefly I consider busting out some My Fair Lady, but those high notes are always dodgy for me, and the only other song I can remember ever knowing in my entire life is a Gaelic lullaby. Well, actually, the first two words of the gaelic lullaby, so I sing them repeatedly. Which is kind of how I remember the first verse going...right? "Pretty," says the guy. He's very nice. We chat some more and I smile, inconspicuously slipping my flip-flops back on because they had fallen off. Again.

Afterward, I make a pit stop in the bathroom and realize I had forgotten to put on my mascara. GUYS, I forgot to put on mascara today. I put on everything else, including actual pink lipstick, but no mascara. I've been walking around New York City with full makeup and no mascara. How does one forget to put on mascara, one might wonder? I still don't know, but somehow this discovery is not surprising to me. Because I am a mess, a hot mess in fact.

On my way to my next audition, I am walked into by a woman on her cellphone as I stare at a window display. If I remember correctly, it was a display of children's clothing. Why??

Soon my mother texts to let me know that my birthday present to her has arrived at her house - two weeks late - and that it was addressed to me, c/o The Actors Studio Drama School. How??

During the next audition, in a sentence, I can't think of a word. (The word I couldn't think of, by the way, is "appliances." Why I was using "appliances" in a casual conversation during an audition, I cannot reasonably explain. Perhaps it is part of a misguided attempt to be quirky and charming, which lands somewhere between absentminded and baffling.) The rest of the audition happens, as time, loss, and entropy happen, with only moderate line jumbling and heartache.

I let it happen. It happened. It's happening.

I'm a mess.

Then, the easy part of the day. I join some girlfriends for a free concert. On the way in, my bag is searched and my three bottles of wine are confiscated. Yes, three. I was carrying three bottles of wine at this point, guys, and I am not ashamed - but apparently there's a law about smuggling them into concert venues. Who knew? I explain to the bouncers that these are my groceries, that they are cork bottles and I don't have an opener, that I had no intention of opening them at the concert because it's an AMY GRANT concert and that wouldn't make sense or be fun at all, but they are confiscated nonetheless.

As we make the way up the stairs to the venue, I see my ex standing in the doorway - because WHERE ELSE WOULD HE BE. Though I knew this was going to happen, I am still somehow unprepared. Luckily, he is a classy person and accepts my jittery hug with a smile. Whew. Later, in mid-conversation, a dear friend slams her fists in the table, stopping us all, and whispers urgently, "Guys, are we going to be okay?" None of us have a convincing response.

More dark adventures also happened that the world need not share, but to say the night ended in frozen custard and blank stares is an understatement.

This is a true New York story. It is my story. Today. Guys. I am a hot mess. Sometimes we are messes. For me, the mess is frequent and persistent, a happening, an endless beatnik parade with no beginning or end time. Sometimes I can't seem to get it together. Rather than bewail my self-made fortunes, though, I have decided to just...just...just...

Well, anyway, it happened. And by the way, I share this with all of you because I think it's quite hilarious and I want my fellow hot messes out there to know - you're not the only one. We'll figure this thing out. Happy Friday, everyone.

"Let everything happen to you: beauty and terror. Just keep going. No feeling is final." Rilke, via my dear friend Suzette.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Do It

I've always been a girl with a lot of fantasies. Whether it was an impossible dream like jumping into the climactic action of Gunga Din alongside Carey Grant to do battle for Queen and Country and save the Empire myself or an achievable one like keeping a house plant alive in New York City, my head is always brimful of ideas and jam packed with notions. It's really daydreaming, you might say, that sometimes manifests as planning, to be followed by list-making, to be followed by Netflix and napping. Therefore, I have never learned Spanish, taken salsa classes, traveled to Iceland, or even - shame! - owned and operated a hot-dog stand.

One of the biggest challenges of being a professional artist, to me, is effectively managing my time and energy. There have been times where I felt like I had to pick and choose my dreams because I just couldn't do it all. Where I limited myself based on what I thought were real, external constraints but ultimately boiled down to my attitude. I'd skip an event because of a small entrance fee or postpone opportunities because of...something that seemed important...can't remember what it was...

Well, phooey on that.

I'm calling myself out a bit. Rather, someone else called me out recently and now I'm taking credit for it. I was yammering about my fantasy plan for an ideal year and my friend looked at me and said, "Do it." Like it was that simple. Like we were in a Nike commercial.

And I'm thinking to myself, well heck, why not? Sure there are time and energy and financial constraints as always, but it all boils down to making a strong choice. As an actor, that's supposed to be my thing. Strong choices. Action.

And so I have determined to turn a new leaf in my dreamy life. I'm going to go after the things I want instead of counting the reasons why the timing might be off. This begins with a quest for a new yoga studio home and resurrecting my teaching practice. For once, I am going to travel to a dear friend's wedding even though it's on the other side of the country - because I want to be there. I'll actually finish writing the film script I want to finish, and commit to bringing it to life. Then, classes in something other than acting that I am curious to learn. I'll read the news at least once a week instead of relying on Facebook or clips of the Daily Show. Why not?

I'm taking responsibility for my dreams - all of them - and holding myself accountable. Next time I catch myself sighing about what could be, I'll smack myself and say, "Do it!"