Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Audience to Audition, Genital Herpes to Falling in Love with a Rapist

Tuesday

Security Guards do not let background audience bring in their cell phones as a general rule. This is detrimental to the life of a freelance worker, but a buffer for people's general stupidity.

Actress 1 on a bench, "I have to bring in my phone. When they come at me with the metal detectors, I just say I had a plate put in my pelvis. Bad motorcycle accident. You can strip search me if you want, they never do. They just pass me through."

Actress 2 on a bench, "I just tell them my clit is pierced."

I had to sit in front of a kid in his early 20s who refused to smile or clap during the show. Now you are audience, THAT IS ALL YOU HAVE TO DO! Someone came up and told him, "Production is complaining that you refuse to smile and clap. I am going to have to pull you if you just sit there."

Idiot, "It's just really hard for me."

PA, (tight smile) "What's hard for you? You are just sitting there."

Idiot, "I am just really tired."

They really can be a bunch of assholes.

Wednesday

I booked BAGGAGE today as audience and returned to my favorite game show to work. It is an 8 hour shift, next to a Thai restaurant and damn entertaining. One of the contestants was asked to defend his baggage to a possible date. The baggage being "I haven't had a job in 3 years". His defense was, "I would just rather do background acting and audience work, and write music all the time."

All of us, stood up and applauded him. Whistled. Hooted. The show asked him to change his defense since the general public can not know that people are paid to be audiences on their show.

Then, I was escorted off.

They always put me front and center in the audience, my face is pretty expressive, especially with shock/disgust/wild amusement. Well, they recognized me as a former contestant and said I could never work audience on the show again. :-( I am not too proud to keep coming back to the show I kinda/sorta starred in as a lowly background player. You keep giving me money, I will keep coming back!

That sucks. I liked working that show. And now Jerry Springer and I can never really be friends.

Thursday

It was the last taping of DON'T FORGET THE LYRICS and lots of guests were volunteering to be in the audience. So those of us who were paid and not needed for the morning were asked to sit out by the dumpster (gotta love Culver Studios) and wait out the morning crowds.

I started a conversation with a young guy, who was fairly handsome. Well he was tall. He was wearing 80s sunglasses so I couldn't really gauge how good looking he really was. He looked very much like Josh Charles. We were discussing the years of WWII, when it ended, who surrendered first.

He found me later when we were being escorted in after lunch. He made a comment that is unmemorable and I took him seriously. He said he was being sarcastic in a way as if to imply that I am not smart enough to get sarcasm. He wanted banter, he would get banter.

He turned to return to his friend and I said, "What you aren't going to talk to me now because I didn't pick up on your sarcasm?"

He said, "I'll talk to you. Do you not like sarcasm?"

I said, "Are you kidding me? Sarcasm and freckles are like an aphrodisiac."

We sat next to each other during the show. His friends were out on the floor, also sitting next to some ladies. I guessed at lunch they decided that they would come back to the show and try to pick up some girls. Lucky me.

He was feeling me out, spoke about how he was a Republican and loved Fox News (which knocked him out of the running to get in my pants straight off) then about DJing and drugs. I matched him. He said he thought I was an accountant type. Yeah . . . funny. He then said, "You're not as square as I thought you were." I said, "Why would you think I am square? Because I use big words?" He was silent, shrugged his shoulder.

He spoke of his ex-girlfriend who was a 40 yr old IBM executive and let him move into her guest house. He proudly announced to me that he used her for the hot tub. From his telling, she was needy and wouldn't leave him alone. I asked how in the world an IBM executive could have enough time on her hands to harass her much younger boy toy. He shrugged his shoulders. He said she kicked him out and he got a place of his own.

I often wonder why men volunteer embellished, SLEAZY, details about themselves if they are trying to establish a physically intimate relationship. I really don't get it.

He spoke of how he saved money to go to Burning Man and wanted to go to an orgy. He asked if I would want to. I said, "If I wasn't in a relationship, I probably would just for the experience." This excited him, "EXACTLY!" He said he might not fully participate, he would just watch and get a hand job.

I looked at him, "You are going to go to an orgy to get . . . a hand job?"

He laughed, then nodded his head. He said he had a girlfriend but was in an open relationship. (They always are, or they are having severe relationship problems)

He said, "I thought that would mean she would be slutty, but it doesn't. Its just very cool and low key."

I said, "You have to be careful, there are lots of STDs out there. You know, one in four people have genital herpes."

He said, "I know, I have genital herpes."

I said, "Oh. Then you should definitely go to an orgy." I shook my head. How is that for sarcasm?

He told me a story of how he nailed some chick in a cemetery and then discovered his first outbreak on a bus. He said he checked his dick and said, "This sucks. But its not that big of a deal. You just dry out your sores and they are gone in a day or so."

I nodded my head and said, "Sure, I heard its not that big of a deal. That said, if I can avoid it, I would rather not have sores on my vagina."

He laughed.

I asked, "How did you broach the subject with your new girlfriends? That must be the most difficult part."

He said, "I don't tell them." Then he laughed. "I figure its going to be wide spread anyway so I might as well help it along."

I am not smiling.

"In the end they will piss me off and I left them a little reminder of my revenge."

Still not smiling.

I thought about the IBM Executive and how now she had genital herpes. And I thought of his girlfriend who possibly doesn't know that she has genital herpes yet, but is spreading herself around freely as if she doesn't.

I said, "I am NEVER having sex again. Thank you."

Again, he laughed, then said something weird. "I am a vampire. I make those girls vampires. That's what we do."

It was a strange thing to say, very dark.

I then noticed he had freckles. What a waste.

He turned to me a couple minutes later and said, "Do you think its wrong that I don't tell them?"

I was applauding a performance on the stage at the time and nodded my head, "Its unethical." The sound of the crowd was loud around me so I had to raise my voice a little, but without judgment.

He grew quiet. We didn't really speak much after that.

We had some lighter exchanges and then went separate ways. I never got his name.

Friday

I overslept from general exhaustion and missed my first audition. I then grabbed some footage for my reel from the editor on the feature, since the director was bullshitting me about giving me the footage, and went to do pick ups as a coke head mom on a student short. (*Pick-Ups are scenes or shots that are needed in the final edit, that were neglected or missed during principle photography)

My co-star was playing an 11-yr-old . . . and looked like one. He is 15 yrs old, and very smart and clever. I could see the man inside, patiently waiting for his body to catch up. Those are the best actors, they have perspective on the age they are playing and control- but are much older than they appear.

Saturday

Abe was up all night editing my reel together. When I arrived at his place late Friday night, I was antsy. He watches movies while editing, and smokes pot. I was exhausted from an intense week and wanted to sleep at some point in the evening. I tried directing him, and every time I did so, he quickly got up, walked outside and took two puffs off of a cigarette.

Abe, "You know saying it is a lot faster than doing it." I said, "I know, I am just helping things along."

We smoked pot in his bedroom and he gave me a massage. Even for a sex addict, I have my priorities in order and asked we to return to the work. My meeting was at 10:30am the next morning, we had less than 12 hours to get a reel finished.

He coldly stood up and returned to his station. I sat down on the floor to watch him and fell asleep against a rolled up carpet. I wandered into his bedroom and fell asleep. At 7am he came in and said, "I am done."

We didn't watch it. I massaged him for 15 minutes and asked him to come to Hollywood with me. He reiterated that he has things to do and can't follow me around Hollywood on all my business. I said, "But that's the only time we can spend together." Silence.

I really think he has some problem with me having MORE business than he does. I would go to his band practice, I would cook or read while he works on his videos (that do not serve as a resume for any set career in his future) . . . just to be with him. He just doesn't . . . want to be spend time with me. The quandary being, he did stay up all night working on my reel.

He restated that he was not going to go to Hollywood with me, but sleep in til 2pm and work on this fucking Red Hot Chili Peppers video that he has spent the last 3 weeks cutting together. He doesn't want to make music videos for a living, so I don't understand what this project means to him, even when I ask. He doesn't think of his future as a path of goals leading in one direction.

So I got up to leave and he said, "What? You aren't even going to kiss me goodbye?"

I came back and pecked him, "Goodbye, Abe."

I left and got back into Pasadena right as the high end, pet food store opened and got the kids food. Then fed everyone, changed into a hot dress and went immediately to my talent agent's interview. I was sent an inquiry letter via my profile on www.lacasting.com. I don't know how seriously to take it yet.

When I arrived, there were so many people in the small waiting room, a line was spilling out into the deteriorating building's stairwell.

The agent saw people for 1-2 minutes a piece, apologized for being brief. I am sure he just wanted to see who would be responsible enough to show up and then go from there.

He met me, said he liked my smile and I need a photograph of that on my headshot. I know I need that. Headshots are $200-$400 and I just don't have the money.

He said he wanted to start me off on commercials, I gave him my reel and we had some small chit chat for my benefit I am sure. Then he asked me to touch base with him later in the week and gave me a very thin, plain business card. We all gotta start somewhere.

Next stop was my first audition. I came in and signed a waiver, which I have never done for an audition before. It basically stated that I wouldn't hold the production company liable for any damages. I have nothing of any value so I signed it.

It is a feature film about a woman who falls in love with a man, later to find out he is a serial rapist. She is drawn to him because of his dark side, I am assuming there is some rape role-play there. I like the premise.

The director was an older guy wearing sunglasses, overweight, balding (of course). He came out and described the plot line to see if I was repulsed. I wasn't. Then he said, "In the end, she castrates him to keep him from his dark side, because she loves him. And he lets her, because he loves her."

I said, "This is my dream project."

He laughed and led me back. Introduced me to the already cast lead actor, who was a bit feminine for my tastes. I am more of a Ralph Fiennes type of gal, not Joesph Fiennes, if you get my meaning. He shook my hand and then looked down at my tits. Pig.

I felt really good about the audition. Playing geeky/flirtatious is my forte. I even threw in a snort laugh at the end.

The director walked me out. I said, "Walking me out to my car, what a gentleman!"

He stopped me and said, "If this doesn't work out . . . " circling his finger in the air, "would you be willing to . . . "

I popped on my sunglasses, "Be a rape victim. Totally. But keep me in mind for the lead."

He smiled and said, "Definitely, you had us all laughing in there." That's right, blow smoke up my ass!!!

Next audition was to play Miss Scarlett in a student production. it was all improv, I was being interrogated by a detective who was actually the plump, young female film student directing the project. In the improv I went from playing dumb, to rude, to flirtatious to bored. I could tell she was wondering if I was a lesbian. When I tried to seduce her with my eyes, she was thrown off, uncomfortable, quiet. Maybe she is a lesbian.

The final audition was for a short. I noticed I was the only white girl auditioning. With my hair and name, I guess people could mistake me for ethnic. The dialogue was written as if English was a second language, and I am just not at that level yet as an actor to pull off anything that complicated.

I went in to the audition when I was called, almost apologetic that my skin was the wrong color. The director, Middle-Eastern, quietly noted my skin color. I did the audition as a newlywed lying in bed with my new, very ethnic husband (played by another actor). They had us do the scene twice, which I always expect . . . even just out of courtesy.

If someone has me in and out, I don't feel like I was given a chance. That said, I have still gotten parts from those auditions. When a director takes the time to give me an adjustment and another run through- I feel like I had time to really nail it.

I was excused. Getting the role is not hopeless, I feel good about my performance.

Leaving the building, I called Abe. After auditions, I like to call my support system (Mom, Lover, whatever. I would call my dogs if I could) . . . I am not sure why. It just feels good. Abe doesn't like to talk on the phone and was really testy with me. I kept asking if I could come down to thank him in person, maybe cook him dinner, and he was blowing me off.

So I hung up on him. Then my phone accidentally called him back. That was awesome. He didn't pick up, so now I look like the Kook that hung up and called him back. Fuck.

I went home and slept for 12 hours. He texted me later that he spent all day perfecting my reel. I thanked him, offered him money. He declined and asked why I have to give him guilt trips. I said, "Because socially you are dodging your girlfriend. I don't get it. It sucks and I deserve better."

No answer.

Now I have a headache and would rather chain smoke & think than clean. The living room smells like dog piss.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Speed, Weed & the Perfect Gentleman

So much has happened, and I barely have the energy to write now. The dogs are finally asleep and I am eating, so might as well try to multi-task.

Friday, July 16th I worked the show BAGGAGE as a contestant. Great day, but a 16 page contract is keeping me from disclosing the details until the air date. So let's put a hot pink post-it flag on that one and come back to it later.

I was ecstatic after the show. I came home to the dogs and the cats, which was nice . . . but I wanted to celebrate. My apartment felt especially empty.

A dear friend of mine, who used to be my boss at a shit hole called JustFlowers.com, called me because she found out her boyfriend, who moved to the east coast for several months, returned to Los Angeles and acquired a new girlfriend without talking to her. I could tell from the reverberation that she was calling from a bathroom stall and fighting back tears.

I said, "I am coming down to Orange County tonight, hang tight."

Let me note here, that I just found out from a very reliable source who found out from a well respected Psychic in Hollywood that not only is Mercury in retrograde, but so is Pluto and Neptune. For another 6-8 weeks, men will be feeling generally overwhelmed with responsibility and will emotionally check out of relationships. Women are better with multi-tasking, therefore are not shutting down with major life transformation. And with the amount of romantic causalities I have been dealing with in the last 2 months, I consider this Gospel fact.

After 65 minutes of driving, I arrived to her little apartment. She had another friend over.

My heartbroken friend is a very short, cute Jewish girl with the personality of Hillary Clinton. She isn't afraid to take total control, tell you how it is and then go back to practically running your business without any "please" "thank you" or "ok?" People find it jarring, probably because she looks like she is 12 yrs old.

When I first worked under her, I was sitting next to a guitarist from the 80s who toured with the likes of Megadeth and LA Guns. He had jet black hair, tattooed sleeves and the withered look of an ex-drug addict before Meth hit the scene.

She scolded him for not returning to his computer exactly after his 10 minute break. This might sound a bit extreme, but we were booking flower orders for Mother's Day and were working ridiculous shifts starting from 4am to 7pm. Though I was agitated with her at the time, she was trying to keep a tight ship on a bunch of unemployed artists who took the job for only a week and could give a shit about someone's mom getting flowers on time.

She scolded him . . . in a very cute sun dress. He stood up and slammed the keyboard down. If you looked closely, you may have seen a newborn tear drop. He stormed out and tried to quit with a quiver in his voice. My friend flipped her hair over her shoulder, gently folded the skirt of her sun dress under her as she sat down and resumed her job. Oh yes. I shall call her JAQ (Jewish American Queen) for the benefit of anonymity.

Last time I went out with her, two men insisted on sitting at our table to flirt with us. Jaq said quite frankly, "I am sorry, but you don't meet our standards. Please stop wasting our time."

Jaq, her friend and I drank a few glasses of the blue concoction and discussed our various man problems. Her friend was trying to be an ally and rationalize the problem. When a wound is sore, there is no room for rationalization. I called the long distance ex a complete asshole and his new girlfriend "Muffin Top." I have no idea what she looks like but I pretended like I did and that seemed to help things a lot.

Jaq's friend is very young and in a relationship with her first boyfriend. She feels that only one sexual partner in her very short life is a disadvantage and she is missing something. So she is curiously approaching the dark world of swinging, ever so slowly. I worked on a documentary series about legal prostitution and brushed up against a few swingers. They seem like very sad, lonely people to me. You can advise a young person til your blue in the face. Until they see themselves in a dirty mirror, washing semen out of their hair over a bathroom sink with all the satisfaction of a discarded plastic bag . . . they won't listen to you.

Abe, my boyfriend, and I were broken up for the second time in 3 months due to his delay in returning phone calls and texts. Sure that sounds obnoxious, but 8 hours to respond to my text messages for no good reason annoys the fuck out of me and when we spoke about it, his apathy got under my skin. The problem with being in love is no matter how you rationalize it, you still miss the person like crazy. So I continued to text him platonic notes, and received no answer for 5 days.

I came up with the brilliant idea that we should drive over to his place (it was midnight) and do an emotional intervention. Jaq lit up at the idea. Just after it escaped my mouth, I felt a mild knot in my stomach like . . . ooh, this is immature. The rum was warming me up and I was still high from BAGGAGE. The real high was making over 100 people in the audience laugh at jokes I wrote down on a piece of paper the night before. ZINGERS!

So we all crawled into Jaq's car and headed over to Abe's. I approached first and saw he was working on his computer out of his garage, which was great because I didn't have to disturb his roommates, "T" and "Menace" . . . formerly known as "Youngin.'" Both are white guys, brothers in fact. They get their own blog entry.

He smiled when he saw me. He introduced me to a mouse he rescued. The other girls gathered around him and I said, "We could go out and celebrate or I could just take my hoodie back . . ." He slowly said, "We can go out." This was going surprisingly well.

First, his hand found its way on my lower back to guide me away from drunks on the sidewalk and traffic. Standing next to him, I could feel the heat from his body a half an inch from mine. Magnetic. Anytime we separated, the girls giggled and clapped, "Yay, he wants to get back together." I muttered, "He still loves me."

Turns out Jaq's friend is under 21 and we couldn't find a place in Costa Mesa that didn't card, so Abe bought two bottles of cheap champagne (my favorite) and we went back to his place.

There, and I am not embellishing for the blog, we sat around and talked about our feelings. I started with Jaq, then her friend which took 2 hours.

With the girls, he analyzed their problems like a scientist. He is very right brained and thinks logic can boil any problem down to a base. Emotion is never part of the equation, but I think that is why destiny brought me into his life. After a long sorted explanation about men and how they have wronged us, I would look over at his face and see his eyes wide. I think we shell shocked him with girl talk.

When the circle came to Abe and his problems, he accommodated us. He is a man of few words. Instead of providing an explanation, he just apologized. Now, whenever I complain about anything he does, he just apologizes and kisses me. I don't know if that is acceptable yet or not, but it is his strategy and he is sticking with it.

By 3am, his arm was around me. My hand found its way to his neck, then his hair. He invited me to stay the night. I did. As my friends drove off, he walked towards them and said, "Thank you for bringing her back to me." I was sloppy at that point and only remember an exchange of precious promises on his bed before we fell into each other's arms.

It's true, he doesn't communicate with me as often as I want. He doesn't have a job and seems to be lacking motivation to find one. He is never on time. However, I am not ready to give up on him. He is a perfect fit in all other regards. In fact, he retains all the best qualities of the men I have loved in my past. There are eerie resemblances. Expectation is a dangerous thing. We will see if he steps up or down.

So, later in the week, I had booked myself on a lot of projects. I knew that I was not going to get much sleep. In fact, I was excited by the challenge. As I proved myself a responsible background talent on game shows, the booker offered to take me on for commercial background work, which pays more. Not a lot, but more.

So I booked a Kraft commercial, which would be two 7pm-7am shoot days back to back- and then a 3 day shoot for a million dollar game show.

A fellow backgrounder, Matt, was working the commercial with me. I like Matt because he laughs at my jokes. He was exactly what I needed to get through two all nighters. We play this game, where I ask him which women on set he would have sex with. He has a very beautiful, young girlfriend . . . but when you are pushing 24 hours on a football field, you need a past time.

Matt had three responses, "Yup", "Yup but I wouldn't tell anyone" and "Hell No."

So we sat down under a tarp with a craft service table that reminded me a lot of what my Grandmother fed me as a child in Milwaukee, WI. Windmill cookies, frosted oatmeal cookies, potato chips with ruffles, shit, shit and more shit.

Matt grabbed a handful of cookies and sat down. We watched a girl in leotards and a black skirt do yoga on a mat. The pole from the tarp was obstructing the view of her face and I saw Matt watching her. I said, "Would you lay down underneath her?"

Her face appeared. He said, "No." Behind Goth Yoga was a woman in her late 60s. "I would rather lay underneath that old lady back there with the red shit on her head."

I said, "By red shit, do you mean her hair?"

Matt, "Oh is that what that is?"

So we covered the majority of young ladies around us, plenty of gorgeous women. He said, "What about you?"

The game is different for me. You see, if I am given the responsibility of having a uterus, I must be highly selective of whose seed I could or would carry; through a mishap or otherwise. Not to mention, women are just more picky in an effort to save time.

I said, "There isn't anyone. Football player #10 and the 24 yr-old that flirted with me from last week (also here on assignment)."

Matt, "That's it, really?"

Me, "Yeah, see the game is no fun with me."

Throughout the night, we sat in a football stadium, in the cold, cheering for the same play in a faux football game over and over and over again. Matt later confided in me that Goth Yoga gives him the evil eye. "A look of pure evil." He had seen her on other assignments and was convinced she was a witch. I came to the conclusion that she was a lesbian on methamphetamines.

About a fourth of the kids we were working with started tweaking around 2 or 3am. You could see them start to vibrate; their hands, their knees, their jaws. Around 4am they were the only ones still active. I had put my head down on my lap like I was stuck on an airplane with only my economy tray table to provide support.

The Assistant Director would shout, "Everyone sit up, everyone UP UP UP!!" I would lift my head, hair standing up, eyes widened to keep my dry contacts from falling out and then hear, "ACTION!" The football scene would play out. "CUT!" Heads fell back down where ever they could lay.

One of the background talent was recruited to be the mascot in a big chipmunk costume. He looked bored through most of the night and then finally started playing charades for us. It was the 5am boost we needed. He was clearly a very cultured actor since most of the films were art house/classics of 1970-1992. He even threw in a stage play here or there. Very funny with a Chipmunk frown on his face.

The game with Matt had evolved into which girl I would have sex with in a threesome with him. That was a zero point game, but I indulged him to keep my brain working.

At 6:00 am we booked out of there, turned in out vouchers and headed to the freeway. At 6:05 am it was a sea of break lights. I had to buy cigarettes.

I got home around 6:40am, let the dogs out and laid in bed. My alarm went off at 9:30am to pick up a DVD in Downtown from a project. I got back at 11:30am, went back to sleep and got up at 3:30pm to get my animals prepped for the night without me before I headed out.

I felt like shit.

At 4:30pm I headed out to beat traffic and checked in at 7pm. Matt brought a 6 pack of beer disguised in various colored Nalgene bottles. We started on them right away and were done by 11pm.

Matt and I were separated from the beginning so the night went on a little slower. They had us sitting in a group and moving to 5 different sections of the bleachers so they could matte us on top of each other. Our group would multiply to a thousand on screen thanks to modern technology.

I was able to sit with Matt towards the latter half.

Me, "Would you do her?"

Matt, "Uhmmm, I don't want to say no because it looks like she just woke up."

Silence.

Matt, "No."

Me, "What about her?"

Matt, "Yeah, I would fuck her with your dick."

Me, "You will have to pull it out of your girlfriend first."

Everyone was talking about drugs, whether it was weed or speed. The tweakers were still in good shape, while the rest of us were fading quickly. One of the Production Assistants took a liking to me . . . I found something about being exhausted and freezing with smudged eyeliner really attracts men. Men come up, grab my head and press their foreheads against me. I don't know what the hell that is about, but I am already checked out, so whatever. The PA gave me his fleece to wear for the rest of the night.

Eventually, we were dragged down to the field level to cheer on the same damn football play from yesterday. I would lay on the grass, my body would get lighter, my foot would twitch, the voices started fading and then I would hear, "Everybody up!" I jumped to my feet and cheered like crazy. "Cut!" Back down on the grass.

When we heard "Wrap!" we booked out of there. Every man for himself. Turned in my voucher, hit the road then hit my bed for about 3 1/2 hours until I had to get up at 10am for an 11am call on another show.

I looked like shit, but tried glamming up a little bit. It was a formal wear call which includes a slight bump in pay for clothing. You wonder . . . would a little speed get me through this a lot easier. I can't turn down the work. My rent check has been $400 short every month, and I spend the rest of the month catching up.

I drove to CBS studio and waited in line. We were brought into a studio for an unusually smart game show that I can not discuss in great detail here, on-line. The shitter about this particular job was they wanted us to stand the whole time. They had women in high heels and we were all forced to stand around like God damn cardboard cut outs. It was painful. Especially on a pilot, when everything takes twice as long, it is like 30 people on their first day of work.

I saw one of the tweakers, vibrating in a gorgeous, banana yellow, prom dress. She was still shaking, her eyes buggy, her jaw clenched . . . still rockin' that dress. Another girl just moved out from Minnesota and was pursuing a career as a stuntman. She was so peppy when we first met, and asked to "hang out" with me for the rest of the shoot. I hate it when young actresses ask that. I can't think with their neurosis haunting me every fucking second of the day. "Do you think I can make it?" "Who do you think I look like? You know . . . celebrity wise?" "So do you have an advice?"

It took only about 20 hours before the show reduced her to tears and she was escorted off the lot. Good luck in this town, sweetheart!

An actor of about 55 or 60 yrs of age was describing how to make home made opium. He looked a lot like Roger Ebert, especially with the tux on. After 4 hours, I just took my damn heels off and leaned against a cocktail table like a tree after a wind storm. I was fucking freezing, and, once again, a nice boy came through with a jacket for me to wear between tapings.

We had a total of three days on this fucking job. There were ledges for us to lean on between tapings, but usually they were filled with older men. Girls in beautiful dresses with ankles twisted in heels were forced to squat or sit on the floor.

One of the older gentleman also had really bad gas. It was like Indian food AND a rotting corpse blowing through the wind of a cobwebbed cave. The smell would crawl around us. All I could do was warn the ladies in front of me and then listen to the assailant suck on hard candy while we quietly suffered with frozen smiles on our faces.

Another POD (Person of Disgust) was the producer. He was clearly high on cocaine. He must have been in his late 30s but still wore stone washed jeans and a big wrist watch. One of the other actors called him "Wall Clock."

Wall Clock had a booming voice, would come out and yell encouraging remarks to the contestants, then go back behind a thin wall and talk shit about them. When a team was doing really well, we could hear, "They are going to take all my money!" He called another contestant a "chicken." What a moron.

When he resurfaced, he would make cocaine jokes to a female contestant, ask another if she had a boyfriend then beg them all to win while manically chewing gum.

After the 1st day, he started leering at us. When he looked at me, I lifted my upper lip in genuine repulsion. He didn't bother me again.

On the 2nd day, I was moved to another table. The only way I could face another day of standing in the cold for an anticipated 12 hours was to smoke some ganj. On the last day, I baked Matt. He ended up just walking to the other side of the studio and stood frozen like he was posing for a prom picture. An older actor named Tommy came up to me, "Your friend looks stoned." Tommy would bake any chance he got in the parking lot and never recognized me when I called out to him outside of the studio, even when I parked next to him. He just hid behind his Roy Orbison glasses and walked on by.

All the girls had yoga pants on under their gowns and flats/flip flops. Some brought slippers but we weren't allowed to bring anything on set, our purses and books were kept under the stage and out of reach for 6 hours at a time. We learned to hide water, granola bars and sweaters in the curtains of the set.

While we were waiting outside the studio, I was speaking to an actor who moved here from the east coast. I asked him if he noticed a difference in the way men treat women on corresponding coasts. He said, "It varies . . . you know. Men in the bay area are the worst. I see them try to hit on girls, and when the girls ignore them they throw trash and shit at them." Matt thought this was hysterical, I was disgusted.

He asked me if I saw a difference. I said, "I only really know men on the west coast and there is a total lack of responsibility and romance. They just seem so lazy." At that moment, a man came up to throw his garbage in the trash bin next to us. It was overflowing with coffee cups, plastic and food. He shoved his trash in, but it fell right back out on the ground. He watched it roll towards his foot, then walked away.

Me, "Need I say more."

The Actor, "It's like God just came down and created that moment just for you."

Me, "I know."

The other thing that allowed for the time to pass a little faster was our lovely host, possibly the most perfect man on the planet. He was tall- like 6'4 tall, olive skin, bright blue eyes, British, smart, calculated, considerate to everyone, he spoke fondly of his wife and his child. All the things that make women swoon was in this one man.

He was still young, so there was a subtle goofiness to him through the sophistication.

Over the course of 3 days, all the women grew more and more fixated on him. A couple women just stared and smiled at him. It was ridiculous. He pretended he didn't notice for 2 days and then resigned to just enjoying the attention.

When one of the female contestants' bracelet fell off her wrist during the game, he bent down and said, "May I have the honor?" and clasped the bracelet around her wrist again. The room vibrated with "AWWWWW!" From that moment on, he had me in more ways that even he could imagine.

I can never understand why men don't recognize that a little effort and attention is all women really need for basic attraction. You don't have to be brilliant or gorgeous, just a gentleman.

Since I was moved to a new corner and away from Matt, I was now with younger women who did not understand my humor. When I deliver jokes deadpan, they believe me . . . no matter how ridiculous. I decided to play the Matt game with them and asked the women, who in this room would you have sex with.

It was not a pretty crowd when it came to men. Lots of older men and some younger goof balls. Pretty much all the women could only say the host, a few said the Hispanic kid in the corner (if his hair was back). I said, "Hottie Host aside, if we were the last people on Earth and it was our responsibility to repopulate the human race, who would you have sex with?"

The women carefully thought, then would bring in such discussion points as education, physical build and problem solving ability. I kid you not. The difference from playing the game with Matt and a group of women was epic.

After careful consideration, one of the contestants was selected to repopulate with all of us. I agreed with them that I would not carry anyone else's seed in that entire studio. The game was a little depressing, because the contestant, who I called "Christian Slater" because of his 1986 hairstyle, was a cocky bastard. If I was forced to breed with him for the good of mankind, I would need a thick stick or knife in my mouth to clench down on from utter disgust.

I changed the game to what sexual positions could we accomplish with the host at any given point during the game. There was only him and the game table . . . yet a woman's imagination could go very far. Girls started coming over from other tables to share a new position. One girl called dibs on the railing. I told her, "I will call that position 'A Railing.'

When he was off stage with wardrobe and frantically scrubbing a stain off the front of his pants, I asked, "What position do you see yourself there?" The girls giggled with delight.

The host was picking up on the sexual vibrations in our corner and started gravitating towards us. I was at a table with two beautiful young girls, one who asked me to periodically make sure blood from her period didn't start leaking down her leg. Civil duty. The other was 18 and had an attitude that could get her a reoccurring host position on THE VIEW. She would fall on the floor between tapings and say, "Oh My God, I have to pee so bad, it isn't even funny anymore." She was also cruel with criticisms of other girls, in the way children are cruel towards each other. That said, I kinda liked her.

They interacted with him, asked him questions and he obliged. I just had nothing to say to him. I didn't want to waste his time while mentally satisfying him in every way his wife couldn't.

Of course, when we were ordered to look at Hottie Host for a camera shot, I would say, "My pleasure." His back was to us, but he grabbed his ass to emphasize the direction. I said, "Thank you, that was the best part of my morning."

Now, I thought he couldn't hear me, but later I came to realize that he heard everything we said in our corner. When he started flubbing lines, I said, "Someone needs a hot bath and a massage."

He turned his head towards me just before cameras rolled, and I winked at him. A slight smile, then he never looked at me again. He did, however, make his way to our tiny table and talk to both young girls on either side of me. He was directly facing me, sipping his Starbuck's out of a straw, but refused to look at me. I laughed at his jokes and flipped my hair. Nothing. Why toy with a woman in her sexual prime? WHY!?

After he left, the Hispanic guy half of the girls thought was "kinda hot" and the other half thought looked like a mongrel, came up to me and asked, "How do you feel?" I said, "Moist."

Maybe I wasn't his kind of woman. It's hard to say. No matter, he reminded me of Abe. That was the beauty of it. My emotional affair really just led me back my boyfriend.

Towards the end, one of the actors took out his harmonica and busted out a basic blues riff. Another actor sat down next to him and sang, "Been working 13 hours today, ain't allowed to sit down . . . my feet are hurtin' yeah . . . I just wanna go home . . . Been doing Background Work, Baby . . ."

When we wrapped, the booker sent us an apology email for the job: "It will be now known forever in audience lore as the Million Dollar Nightmare... or Last Audience Standing... or just Survivor Background Studio City."

That night, Abe came by. It is hard not resenting him for sleeping in and complaining about being tired when he is unemployed and financially secure after I just busted out 47 hours of work in 5 days. He is privileged, but kind and brilliant.

One of my best friends and I were talking about all the men we knew in this town who were supported by their parents for an indefinite period of time. Meanwhile, she and I are forced to scrounge for rent and food on our own while also trying to find the time to invest in the career we ultimately want.

To get a career up and going, you need support. You need to have the resources to cover your overhead while investing all the time it takes to hone your craft, build your creative resume and write/dream to where you have enough of an artillery to launch yourself as a professional. I don't care what field you pursue, you need that time to find your way.

Not to mention, I can barely get words of encouragement on even pursuing a career as an actress. Usually, when I inform my parents of a role/audition/booking I get silence then, "I just wish you would get the hell out of there."

Lots of boys get their time bought and paid for by their parents (this is not absolute but there is a pattern I have noticed). My dear friend said, "I think it has to do with insuring that your son carries on the family bloodline. Here is my son, I will give him whatever he wants, just please marry him and have children."

I think that's close. Despite the year being 2010, I think people still carry an idea that women can marry into money. The illusion that a woman can pick her destiny when picking her husband. With sons, they are the destiny. They are the ones whose worth is carved through professional success. Therefore, they are the worthy investment. They are the definitive ones.

Just like that scene in Sophie's Choice, when she is forced to choose which child to be taken away on a train and gassed by the Nazis. She says, "Take my little girl."

The one day off I spent with Abe. We had lots of sex, ate a big vegan brunch, watched THE SORCERER'S APPRENTICE. We drank coffee, walked, laid down and spoke about the Old Testament, Egyptian history, the theory of the human soul, ex-lovers, how he thought I was a sex addict, etc, etc, until 4am the next morning. Sadly, there was more audience work waiting for me and he wanted to drive back at night to avoid traffic.

It's hard letting him leave. It is a long distance relationship. I need the time to work and focus. How easily I could put everything I am in his careless hands . . . I need to stay strong and let him fall in love with me first. It always takes men a little longer. He will.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

My Pipe is Half Empty

Sunday night, I joined my friend, who was cast in a low budget feature film, for a party put on by the production. I LOVE Hollywood parties, and I love networking. There is a dance with entertainment and business that makes the whole thing a delightful challenge.

We walked in and scanned the room. My friend isn't as prone to networking. She is humble, broken hearted about her now ex-(unofficial) boyfriend of 3 yrs and polite. Let's call her Helen. Helen is a little shorter than me, very skinny with straight, fine hair. Her skin is like porcelain. She looks like a Tim Burton super hero.

Her great obstacle in life seems to be physical problems, though you couldn't tell from looking at her. She has dealt with accidents, viruses and disorders and still comes through looking years younger than her actual age. She looks like a teenager and is often cast to play smart, sexy ones. She is also brilliant and hilarious.

We walked in. Ok, so there are all sorts of different people at parties, the people you need to talk to and the people you don't need to talk to and then the underlying sexual tension.

First point of contact tonight is the producers and director. Those who are creatively controlling the project. The director was just assigned to the film, so he hadn't met the was cast yet and was trying to figure it out.

I was introduced as an actress.

Director: "Oh, are you in the film?"

Me: "No, but I could be."

Director and/or his friend: "Yeah, we could write you a part, hahaha!"

Me: "Yeah, I could be the slutty neighbor or . . . the martyr . . ."

Silence.

Me: "Um . . . I am going to grab a drink, excuse me."

This actually was mildly successful, but we can not check mark Director from this party yet based on that exchange.

I got a drink and then met the producer/writer. She was a very statuesque woman of late 30/early 40s with a thick British accent. She was wearing this amazing strapless blue dress with a blue flower clipped over the top right breast.

For some reason, I am just starting to notice fashion since I lost weight and get dressed up in pretty clothes for my newfound career.

Me: "I love that dress."

Producer/Writer: "Let me give you the run down. Dress . . .$12.99 at Ross. The shoes . . . $9.99 at Payless. And this flower clip I got at the 99 Cent Store. So all in all this outfit was $25."

Helen started evaluating her outfit but someone grabbed the Producer's arm and immediately dove into conversation with her on the side. Now this happens all the time. Important people are pulled in all different directions in a party and some people can just be uninterested assholes. That said, in this case the Beautiful, British, Blue dress Producer was simply distracted.

Always do a quick recovery. If you acknowledge an awkward moment and aren't prepared with a zinger of a joke, people stare in silence at you and feel uncomfortable. Most people are very simple and react how you react to a situation. So, I just continue with my friend as if that never happened.

Helen: "Purse I got at K-Mart, this dress at some random Christian yard sale."

Producer: Enough of a Check!

We were walking over to a corner of actresses. The BBB Producer swooped in and introduced Helen to the woman playing her older self in the movie. When she spoke, she was addressing her actresses, she would not look at me. So- I made a 360 and walked over to the catering table and asked the director if the vegetable rolls were vegetarian.

He said he didn't know but hoped so. We ended up getting in this really long discussion about theatrical distribution. Despite how much I DESPISED my job as an Executive Assistant at that last company, I still learned a lot. I don't think my bosses ever noticed, they often treated me like an uneducated stewardess; shortening ideas and sentences as if they were too complicated, or ending a conversation right when I ask them a question about it. What's sad is that they had no idea of my potential. I was just as hungry as the teenage boy interns they brought in for minimal office work.

I developed a theory that because our culture places such little value on education, mentorship or children in general . . . people have stopped trying to influence, inspire, or take chances with younger, inexperienced people UNLESS there is some kind of sexual interest driving the interaction between the elder and the student/intern/me. The excitement to learn is often mistook for flirtation, or sometimes it ends up becoming a shared flirtation.

The only time bosses have bothered to train me or share trade secrets or some how prep me for more responsibility is when they wanted to nail me.

Female bosses see you as competition and gay male bosses treat you like a mule bitch who picks up and arranges food on birthdays.

Despite my two years as a wet nurse with sore tits for two middle-aged men, I also picked up a thing or two about distribution. The world is different, people can find content they want now on their television sets or computers. People only go to movies in theaters if its an event. The smaller the film, the less of an event it is for the average audience goer, especially drama. My advice to Helen's director was to get the credibility from as many of the top tier film festivals as possible, like its a product endorsement, and then find a way to make a conversation about the movie.

For instance, Blair Witch was thought to be a real documentary for 2 seconds before release. In Seattle, I waited several hours, around the block to get in and watch it on opening day. Movies that resurrect old movie stars or have a controversial sex scene or have any kind of story going on about it other than the story itself. This way, people will talk about your movie. He looked skeptical for a flash and I asked him, "What was the last independent drama that did well with box office?"

He asked me to read the script and give him some ideas. This was good. He asked for my contact info and might bring me on to publicity or marketing. Truth be told, I would rather hang myself by my shower head than go into that field. But maybe I can get an IMDB credit!

Director: Check!

I looked over, Helen and the actresses were buzzing. I came over and complimented the actress playing Grown Up Helen, her dress was ridiculously cute! Her name was Gloria, also recently broken hearted under similar circumstances. Men don't want to commit, or be present or make the leap for us. They will live with us, fuck us, cook for us, dream with us, heal us, spend YEARS of their lives massaging our feet and comforting us through bad days and bring home champagne on the good . . . yet they will not commit.

I was married before, I guess he committed. Clearly, that was the exception I threw out the window.

I don't know if its just LA or if this epidemic is across the country, but men will have one eye resting on your heart, and the other open for anyone better. I am not generalizing, but we do live in Hollywood where beautiful and sometimes famous women seek company. Women are on some kind of status checklist. In my experience, a man in LA cares more about showing you off at a party with his friends than having sex with you.

OK, so Gloria had a cute dress, and I already forgot where she got it. She asked me where I got mine.

Me: "Victoria's Secret Semi-Annual sale. I bought a bunch of dresses and then returned them . . . after I wore them all. (laugh) AND I had intercourse in TWO!"

Helen covered part of her place. Uh oh, did I embarrass her too soon? The vodka was settling in nicely. Gloria got my vibe.

I overheard there was an agent at the party from a prestigious Hollywood talent agency. As important as meeting directors and producers, are agents. They can make or break a career through representation and legal contracts. Real opportunity goes through their offices first before finding little people like me.

So we made our way to his corner. My in for conversation was that I knew another agent at the same agency. It is easy, ME, "Are you an agent for CAA?" AGENT: "Yeah." ME: "Do you know . ..? " AGENT: "Yeah. What's your name?"

We spoke for a while but it wasn't long before I dove into his personal life. He was cute and Helen was officially single.

ME: "So, Helen here is a contortionist."

AGENT: "Really?"

ME: "And she's single. Are you single?"

AGENT: "I . . . am."

ME: "That's great. Maybe you two should get together."

AGENT: "I can do the splits?"

ME: "How does that work with external genitalia?"

No laugh.

AGENT: "Oh it's easy. I slide down slow and rest on my upper thighs. I was on the gymnastics team."

HELEN: "I can put my legs behind my head?"

ME: "You guys should do that on your first date . . . facing each other . . . naked."

Helen laughed. The agent kept going. IS THERE NOTHING TO SHOCK HIS KIND?

Agent: CHECK!

Then I met the line producer, and dropped un-boyfriend's name since they had a crew position open for gaffer and un-boyfriend, last I checked, was a gaffer (one who arranges lights for a scene and assists the director of cinematography)

Job for my Un-Boyfriend: CHECK!

So I went back to the corner of smart, funny actresses and got worked up about the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, environment devastation and the lack of motivation from un-boyfriend. Some how it all tied together. I mean, WHY IS NOTHING HAPPENING?

Un-boyfriend has grown even more despondent. The more I reach out, the more he retreats.

ME: "Helen read this book on the male brain and explains how men can only really focus on one thing at time. So I told him (I am tipsy on the martini here) 'Hey . . .my brain can handle multiple layers of thought, so pardon ME if my brain chemistry is superior to yours."

HELEN: "It doesn't really say superior, just different-"

ME: "So he says, 'I can juggle and play an instrument at the same time, can you?' I said, 'I don't have TIME to juggle and play an instrument at the same time."

GLORIA: "And why would you want to?"

ME: "Yes . . . yes (sip), what POSSIBLE real life application does that have!?"

To be fair here, over the Fourth of July weekend, I had to hear from Un-Boyfriend and his roommate how emotion clouds women's brains and they can't think clearly about what they are saying. I had just blown ABE (un-bf's alias) in the good way and just wanted a cup of tea. I didn't know how to even defend the notion at the time, and then their logic started sinking into my blood the week after. Those fuckers.

KELLY (ANOTHER ACTRESS IN A CUTE DRESS): " What does your boyfriend do?"

ME: "He is unemployed and smokes pot!"

ACTRESS lunges for my arm with a huge smile: "My ex-boyfriend TOO!"

Gloria gave me a quick massage since I broke a sweat on my last monologue, then Helen and I left. Always good to leave on a high note. Course, I made a joke about being too drunk to drive, and that no one took lightly as I had meant it. ( I was barely buzzed now . . . I think?) See . . . not funny.

We went to the Cheesecake Factory where we have the Ritz Martinis which combines my two favorite drinks, champagne and a pomegranate martini. It was pushing my limit for the night but those were damn good. OOH found the recipe on-line:

Ritz Cocktail
3/4 ounce Cognac (Hennessy)
1/2 ounce Cointreau
1/2 ounce Freshly Squeezed Lemon Juice
Champagne (approximately 3 ounces)
Flamed Orange Peel


There, we lamented unrequited love from the men who loved us. Un-boyfriend started texting because I held back for an entire day. He said he wasn't into games, but its like they don't even recognize what they are doing. Why does superficial delay produce a result? That feels like a game to me.

We had gone through this wonderful 2 month relationship and he just fucking keeps disappearing. The worst part is I miss him. Anytime I reach out, he recoils like I am trying to wipe my nose on him or something. What happens in the third month that scares men away?

Helen has a more tragic story, she is madly in love with a guy who she has been seeing for 3 years. He nursed her through a bad accident (which took several months of recovery, by the way) and he STILL COULD NOT COMMIT. Like . . . WTF?

Do they not know what love is? Yeah, I said it! It's a line from an 80s love song. Remember when were kids and we heard that Patty Smyth song, "Sometimes Love Just Ain't Enough." My friends and I thought, of course its enough. That's ALL you need. Adults are stupid. Turns out, it isn't enough. That's a fun surprise for all you younger readers.

Do men not see how relaxed and wonderful everything would be if they just recognized they have been in a relationship all this time? Nothing changes, just a word or two. They can't say it and it snowballs into a planet of anxiety and analysis.

Helen broke things off and is quietly hoping he will get his senses back. He has until tomorrow, or the end the week, then his chance is over. I do the same thing. I break up and get angry and wait for them to find me, hold me, say something like "I miss you" or "I do care about you" or "I'm here." All things I got used to with my last un-boyfriend, the father to my aforementioned Fetus #2. He was there, the first 4 years of our torrid affair, whether we were on good terms or bad. He was there more there than anyone had ever been. He could not say the words or promise himself to me. Of course, he also was a self-proclaimed Prophet carrying a message in Revelations which comes in the form of . . . wait for it . . . a Hollywood screenplay. Oh yes! So that is a story for another time.

I missed the friendship from both un-boyfriends. Don't they miss me?

Helen and I went home a little hazy that night. The martinis had adequately sterilized our wounds for the night so we could sleep . . . or try to sleep.

The next day I had an early call for a show I love called Californication as an extra. I am still wacthing the first season via DVD since my cable company disconnected my service for non-payment. I actually think it explores interesting theories about post-feminism. We seem to have come full circle to where women are now oppressing themselves instead of being oppressed. We are more competitive, hyper sexual and lost in Los Angeles than anywhere else I have been. And L.A. men celebrate the oppression, as young women feel more and more comfortable calling themselves "whores" and "sluts" and less comfortable calling themselves a "feminist."

Sadly, nothing really interesting happened here. I showed up to set, ate and read for 8 hours and then wasn't selected as background for the scene with skinny, sexy, scandalous David Duchovny. I still get paid but I wanted to mentally rape the man in person.

Last minute, I was pulled in with two others as a possible background actor for the reverse angle. They took the guy with the hat. So I sat there with my fake martini and watched a very quick scene. At the end, David D. walked off camera straight towards me. He was several feet away but stopped and looked at me.

I looked down and smiled. He noticed me. Fame is the ultimate aphrodisiac in Hollywood, but some charisma thrown in too . . . that makes them irresistible.

Still no contact from un-boyfriend. The fact that he doesn't respond to my texts/calls/emails for 9 plus hours really fucking bothers me. I'm sorry. I AM ASKING YOU A QUESTION! As I later scolded, "People with DAY JOBS get back to me faster."

So when I got home, we got in it again. I just can't seem to avoid arguing with him about it. I have tried to be logical, sympathetic, apathetic. He just doesn't care to a) follow through with the gaffer position on Helen's feature I hooked him up to b) call me c) see me

I don't know if he is depressed, I don't know if my stronger silences and self maintained distance has made things worse, I don't know if there is another girl and I don't know if he just really doesn't care. He can't acknowledge that he is doing anything wrong.

As soon as we started getting somewhere with me coming down to Orange County to visit or an understanding of some kind, he would pull away. At this point, he withdrew himself from helping me on my project (a pilot I am developing) and that hit a nerve. I think he was doing it in rebuttal to my questions regarding his reliability. As I write this, I see that he was returning the hostility. It became a big circle, and just when I thought I was getting somewhere he said flat out, "I don't want to help you on your pilot." My un-boyfriend won't make a date with me, won't call me and won't help me on my pilot. What's left, our non-sex? I just got fucking tired of it and said, "I am moving on, goodnight!"

He sent two texts, one angry then one sad.

I grabbed the pipe out of my cabinet he left with a small bag of ganja. I hadn't touched it since he was last here, so I smoked one puff to chase my disappointment. I laid down and found a t-shirt he left behind, stuck between my frame and mattress. It still smelled like him. The faint smell of cigarettes, detergent and Old Spice brought back what it felt to sleep next to him. I slept for 2 hours trying to quiet my mind. I held it and fell asleep.

I woke up at 4am. Pathetically, the first thing you want to do after breaking up with someone you love, is have passionate sex with them. I was flooded with doubt and wanted him back. Logically, I was doing too much work to justify a relationship. Still . . . I want my old Abe back.

I had an early call to do audience work on a game show called BAGGAGE north of the valley, so I had to give myself an hour to brave traffic.

A quick puff on the pipe to further numb heart ache and I laid there. I laid there and watched the sun rise. That was pretty amazing. It restored something in me.

I should state here that I have been reading EAT, PRAY, LOVE. The authoress has the voice of a journalist, not the soul of a writer. That said, her segment on India struck a chord with me. She speaks about broken hearts and racing minds, and everything that makes young women neurotic. She even went through the exact same relationship crisis as mine; closer then farther. She reached, he pulled away.

Written wisdom she pulled from the mouths of gurus, and monks, and locals in India really resonate with me. One being that prayer starts at 4am, and with the sun melting away the night's venom- I felt renewed.

So, after my wake n' bake, I drove in morning traffic. It was a lovely drive. I really developed a new appreciation for soft rock. I listened to "Easy" by the Commodores, "Avalanche" by Fleetwood Mac . . . I was cruising.

Then I read more on India while sitting on the most uncomfortable concrete block in Van Nuys from 7-8am. That was really wonderful, too.

Then we were escorted into the studio.

SECURITY GUARD: "Is that phone off, no camera?"

It's an iPhone.

ME: "Yeah."

Today's assignment was a dating show called BAGGAGE which is similar to the Dating Game but it fronts everyone's emotional baggage.

Jerry Springer hosts, he came out. We chanted "JERRY! JERRY! JERRY!"

Then he did a small stand up routine.

JERRY: "You guys are lucky to be here rather than my other show. I know, I am ruining civilization as we know it. But what's funny is after I worked this show, I learned something I never knew before . . . women have teeth."

"So I am staying in this beautiful Beverly Hills hotel and in the middle of the night, a gorgeous woman keeps banging on my door. She just wouldn't stop, so I had to let her out. (laughter) Stop? What's that? No? What does that mean?"

Really terrible uncle humor that I found HILARIOUS at the time. My laughter RANG out, I mean it really cut through the air. Jerry noticed and smiled. It encouraged him to stretch out his jokes and walk over to the crowd and doddle whenever he could. He would make an old man zinger and my laugh remained after everyone else's. Then he would smile.

The first show taping we did, I laughed hysterically. Was it me, or was my buzz rubbing off on everyone? The show is bizarrely funny but junk food for the brain. The audience fluffer found a young gay man to sing during set-ups/commercial breaks. He kind of sounded like he was doing a high pitched groaning. It was unlike anything I have ever heard before. Songs he performed today included: "Time After Time" Cyndi Lauper, "Hero" Myriah Carey and "Nothing Compares to You" by Sinead O'Connor. Every time the audience fluffer asked if he would sing another song, everyone groaned until the stage manager asked that he just stop.

By the second show taping, my Indian wisdom and newfound contentment buzz had worn off. They make us sit in different places for each show taping. Jerry asked me if I was the same person. I said, yes.

I was tired, hungry and thinking about Abe. My last text to him was "Why can't you just have said you cared about me and reciprocate? It's a beautiful morning."

Text 2 I sent when I came upon this passage, "EAT, PRAY, LOVE: "I met an old lady once, almost a hundred years old, and she told me, 'There are only two questions human beings ever fought over, all through history. How much do you love me? And Who's in Charge?"

No answer.

God, I want him.

Love really does make me batshit crazy.

Lunch break came and went, there was one more taping in the afternoon. The heat blinded me with a curtain of blue and I suddenly felt light headed, stumbling along the sidewalk. I was annoyed by all these obnoxiously loud twenty-somethings, dressed all in black, shouting their shitty, predictable banter back and forth. It was difficult to ignore them. Fucking theater majors.

Inside, I was seated in their row. Somehow the theater majors, the Russian girls, the young gay boy and the rest of the audience became the rowdiest audience ever that afternoon. I even shouted out of turn during a commercial break to one of the contestants, "Be a Gentleman!" He had dropped an insult to the girl after elimination. Two more comments from the crowd and the stage manager shushed us. All the contestants acted like gentlemen after that.

Usually, I am not so brazen. But it felt good. Like I could scream at my TV set and it not only heard me, but modified its behavior.

Did I mention I star on this show Friday? To be continued . . .

P.S. No word from Abe.

My pro bono dogwalker can't help me out during the week anymore and I think its because I overused his generous offer to help out whenever he could.

The people that were going to adopt my pit bull foster are suddenly going to Argentina for 15 days. Ugh, my neighbors keep complaining about her barking.

Also, a friend offered to help me get a job as an office manager at a clinic. I just can't stomach an office job, and declined. He hasn't responded. Fuck, am I an asshole? A poor, ungrateful asshole?

I feel like I am losing everything tonight.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Game Show Revival

So it has been a rough week. I don't know if it has much to do with me becoming an actress. Mostly its just life, life as a woman, life in Hollywood, life in 2010.

Recently, my boyfriend and I have had some kind of communication meltdown. Usually after the 2 month honeymoon period, there is an expected change in the relationship. Communication becomes less frequent and things settle down a bit.

In my case, things became A LOT less frequent. After two months of having him out here a few days out of the week, a good 4-6 hours of lovemaking a day and his much appreciated help around the house- he disappeared. We have had conversations about it, but it usually is reduced to how much attention I need, how I am clouded with emotion (being a fucking woman and all), how he has his own life, blah, blah, blah.

As I always do, I analyzed the hell out of everything and took a step back. We reconvened last weekend and had a good 4th of July where I went down to his bachelor pad, spent time with his family, had even better sex than before and then poof . . . he is gone, again.

I try to be one step ahead in most things, simply out of Philophobia (fear of being in love). When it comes to delay in text messages and phone calls, I try to slow down my response time. Even as sparse as it has been (quick unit of measure: 1 phone call every 2 days and maybe 1-2 purely factual text messages a day) I still couldn't help asking . . . WTF?

He said the previous level of communication was unsustainable and if I continued to bother him about this, he would not feel compelled to call me at all. I told him I didn't feel connected to him, even that I wasn't in love with him any more or vice versa. He brushed over the conversation, tried dominating, tried making me feel inadequate then crazy. It's so God Damn formulaic.

He accused me of not enjoying my time away from him and being disturbed. To this, I decided to just live my life as if I never knew him. So I booked jobs for myself for the rest of the week. Had drinks with new and old friends. Watched a lot of Showtime/HBO programming.

Yesterday, there was a screening for a short I did, probably one of the better ones. I am so desperate for cash, that when I got booked on a game show I easily took to the job over the screening. I am over $500 in the red with my checking account since my rent check cashed.

Dickfriend disappeared for another 24 hours, incommunicado.

So I reported to Sunset/Bronson studios. Now . . . here I should tell you, I have been feeling a little funny in the last week. My breasts are sore and things are fitting a little tighter than usual. The logical explanation could be that I am drinking and eating more, from the weekend, the Jewish Grandmother, Meagan's guacamole, etc. etc. The other could be unprotected, rabid sex for 4 days and the "How far inside you can I stick my dick" game.

I entered the studio and they had us waiting out in the sun for about 30-40 minutes. This is standard, and usually I find it annoying. This time I got dizzy. I ate breakfast and had some water before I left, but still swooned.

When we were finally lead under a big white tarp, I found a folding chair next to a dirty table in front of a large fan unit. I started reading but still felt dizzy, so I put my head down. I could feel stomach acid crawling up my throat. This would be the third time this week.

Then, I fell asleep in under 3 minutes. Mind you, I had about 9 hours sleep the night before and had only been up and about for a few hours. My body is not doing well.

Ok, I could be pregnant. It's possible. Whatever.

We were lead into this studio and showered in delicious, icy cold air conditioning. I sat down. The show is called FAMILY GAME NIGHT. It is being put on a new channel owned by Hasbro.

They basically take two milky white families and have them compete against each other in typical board games modified for television broadcast. It was hell.

The only type of trivia was in the first segment and it was idiotically easy. ONE QUESTION! That's all my brain had to draw from this ridiculous game show concept. One trivia question.

They played a large version of 'Boggle' and 'Sorry'. Jesus Christ, it was painfully brutal. Not only are the games the opposite of entertaining, each game board took 40 minutes to an hour to set up. Instead of an audience fluffer, we had this cheese ball guy, in a lime green coat wearing an M&Ms neck tie. There were children in the crowd, so I won't take it too personally that he spoke to us all like we were a 1st grade special education class on a school trip. He just abandoned us during those long set ups, leaving everyone to do nothing but complain.

I had a book. A good one. THE RED TENT. I tell inquiring men its about a group of women menstruating under a red tent. That's true- but they never appreciate the true synopsis. Their eyes glaze over and they dismiss it as "woman's fiction" to which I say- IT'S THE OLD TESTAMENT, MOTHER FUCKER.

I was able to tune out the restless children, the dimwit conversation next to me involving rehab and condoms, and the unfortunate plump couple directly in front of me who bought tickets to this fiasco and dragged their kids 3 hours south to Los Angeles to suffer with us. They said, "When we went to ELLEN, it went a lot faster."

Twice, M&Ms Necktie performed some lounge music. Ok, that was entertaining because it was so surreal. First of all, a third of the audience is under 10 yrs of age. Second of all, um . . . you are singing Frank Sinatra next to large 'SORRY' game pieces. That got me to look up from my book for a few seconds.

Unfortunately, I finished my book about an hour before we wrapped the show. I still have it's dust in my hair. The book follows the life of a midwife and the fabric of womanhood among the wives and daughter of Jacob; blood, marriage, sex, hardship, children, blood. When I started it a few weeks ago, I could feel the dirt kick up in the soil of my uterus. If any book can make you fertile, this is the one. I had no idea, or I would have gone on the pill.

I haven't been on the pill for a long time, years. I was in a 5 year on-again, off-again love affair and only got pregnant once. I was madly in love with the guy, so I was excited. He was not. Anyway, I miscarried a week after deciding to keep the child. Probably for the best. He saw me through it.

For those of you who have not had a miscarriage (70% of women do, the only one that tells you that is Google and your Gyno post factum) there is a procedure called the D&C. The doctors clean out your uterus so whatever was left behind from the pregnancy doesn't cause infection. It speeds up your body's recovery.

My D&C, which was so fucking painful, I don't even have words to describe it... Ok, its like having your insides ripped out with a coat hanger while a male doctor uses his elbow to push your legs further apart. Wow, see that? I can find the words for it.

As much as this love affair was a crazy, abusive, unstable situation, I will always remember this moment. I was crying with my eyes closed throughout the procedure. I don't remember much more but the feeling of his hand cover mine, then his voice repeat, "I'm here." I opened my eyes. He was there. Nothing was left of our baby but a few drops of bright red blood on the counter next to two small, abandoned utensils. Everyone else was gone. Everything was gone. He was there, though.

We tried to be a normal couple after that. It didn't last. We just exploded slowly over time.

So, that story aside, the pull out method had good odds with me over the course of 5 years. I wanted to be fertile some day and not add further complication to my already rotting eggs with too many hormones.

My new un-boyfriend never wanted me on the pill, either. He is very paranoid of cancer. He doesn't eat food cooked or stored in plastic. He only cooks out of stainless steel. No microwave. No dye. Everyone thinks its eccentric, but it kind of makes sense to me.

Later, when I met his childhood friend at a party, I heard the story of their mutual friend in high school die of cancer at the age of 22. The boy fought and suffered, even after they amputated his foot. The diet makes sense.

Where am I going with this? Ah yes, so we decided I wouldn't take the pill. When we discussed this, he demonstrated his ability for control by moving his ear back and forth. Sadly, the ability to move one's ear independent of their head doesn't apply to orgasm and he let one slip a couple weeks ago. I went on the morning after pill and then had a 7-day period. Merry Christmas!

So I made it through, but since, there is also risk of pre-ejaculate. MMMMMMMMM.

So, needless to say, the last place on the fucking earth I want to be right now is in a cold studio audience, watching fat children dive for fake money while a car salesman sings lounge music.

I kept thinking, if I was pregnant, what would I do? I am too old for abortions and already played that hand once before. If it was un-boyfriend's, I would definitely keep it. Then what, move back home. HELL NO, so my mother could drive me crazy? I love her, but she . . . drives me crazy.

Obviously, I would have to give up acting. Maybe I could take early childhood education classes at Orange Coast College (one of the best in the country) and live closer to un-boyfriend and his family. Then try being a pre-school teacher again, that was a long time ago, but really nice.

Then I thought about un-boyfriend. He wouldn't be able to get a job. He is unemployed and has the luxury of giving up his job search out of general frustration. He is on the parental support payment plan. I also do not feel like he would know how to cope with all the responsibility, people depending on him, the pressure. He might get a job and then resent me for the rest of his life. He can be very grouchy.

That would not be ideal. I would want to continue living on my own then, but with three pit bulls and two cats in my 1 bedroom, AM I INSANE!?

Jesus Christ.

I sat there and watched these two families duke it out on this godforsaken game show. Both mothers were fake blonds. You could tell they went to some local hair shop every few weeks to streak chemicals in their hair. Both were slightly overweight. I could see their puffy flesh billowing out of the top of their tight pants. One was also very bitchy to her son during a game of Cranium. The children were playing a form of charades, and the mothers had to guess the answer. Bitch Mom kept saying, 'This isn't helping me." "I need something else." "I am a stupid bitch"

Hey Lady, LET UP, he is fucking 10 yrs old, alright. And if you guessed "opening a book" and "closing a book" you should fucking guess "READING a book" cause' that was the obvious answer. Moron.

I thought about their lives. The husbands were equally puffy, starting to lose hair, and both looked very sedate like they stuffed their faces with turkey before going on. Probably middle management types, addicted to their television sets. Played Wii with their kids on the weekends and called it "Family Time." Masturbated to internet porn and then cleared the cache before their wives indulged in some on-line shopping.

The kids still looked kind of healthy, except for one little girl with ridiculously curly hair, she was becoming obese. I wondered if she was picked on in school. I wondered if she thought being on TV would reward her with acceptance among her peers.

I know that life. The life of settling down in suburbia and insisting that an SUV is safer for the kids. The cleaning, the soccer games, the food which (as best as I can tell) has substituted all other physical stimulus. The identity washed away as you teach your kids that life is about entertainment. You work so you can amuse yourself with TV shows, and movies, and video games after school, after work, over the weekend.

I could feel the air pressed out of my lungs, like one of the two house fraus was sitting on my rib cage telling me this was the only other way. THIS is how you raise a family. You allow time to beat up against you until you are too tired to do anything but watch reality TV and eat deep fried snickers bars.

Shit.

There is another way. Luckily, I live in a carriage house behind a small French family. The Mom has wild hair, doesn't shave her arm pits, and is always so kind. She composts, she built her 3-yr old son a TeePee in the front yard, she wears sun dresses and walks around barefoot. It's nice.

Her husband is building a climbing wall. And their son is probably my best friend at this point, since he is the one constant in my life. He rides his tricycle up to my porch and rings his bell just to say hello. He holds longer conversations with me than most actors. And, for him, clothing is always optional.

The difference between me and my French neighbors and the House Fraus is the man factor. I have no stability. The mother fucker can't even find the time to text me back, how could he possibly make me feel secure with a fetus pressing up against my folded bladder? I can just see fetus #3 in me now, mouthing the words "Daddy" as embryonic fluid bubbles out of his mouth. Sorry, little guy, we are in a responsibility-optional plane of living out here. And Mommy has bad taste in men.

Let's not get ahead of ourselves. I have been eating a little more this week. And drinking. I am sure the weight is from the decadence.

The night ended with a huge Monopoly ATM machine dragged out the center of the cage. The cards won after each board game challenge were cashed in for unknown amounts of money. When the value of the card was shoved in the ATM machine, the dollar amount appeared on a big screen behind them. Then the machine vomits out buckets of paper money. I watched the children drop to the floor, grabbing armfuls of fake money. Fucking repulsive.

At the end, the family with the most money wins a trip to Jamaica. Hey, I would love a trip to Jamaica, but I don't think I would start showering myself in fake money and shouting, "OH MY GOD!!!!" like Hasbro suddenly decided to sponsor my children's college education. Am I saying I am better than them? Better than this cookie cutter family cast on this bullshit game show, writhing around like its some kind of Church revival?

I don't know. I don't know what I will become. Please don't let it be that.