Monday, August 30, 2010

Love- This Blog is Big

Preface: Ellen, this blog is truly epic, you don't have to read the whole thing before hanging out with me . . .

I haven't done much acting in the last week. I went to a couple auditions, I think around two.

My anger for Abe, who has now earned the name "Flip Flop " because he flipped and then he flopped, has withered. My anger transformed during the heat wave a few days ago. I wanted to hate fuck him, but every time I fantasized about it, the hate fucking ended in soft kisses on a bed of roses. Hm, so frustrating being a girl.

The heat in my apartment was intoxicating. All I could think about for 2 days was sex, Sex, SEX!!! I just can't fantasize about other men, really. I mean- my fantasy arsenal is pretty much Tudors, Dexter but he hasn't brought me to orgasm yet, Napoleon (the historical figure not a movie), Flip and the Prophet. If I think about someone else, I usually can't climax.

And now, I am just profoundly sad. It feels healthy, actually. My neighbor said, "Are you mourning the loss? That's healthy." I haven't heard from Flip since that last email. I think he is traveling. fuck. it.

Jaq is moving to Los Angeles in a fast but sound decision to rebuild her life where there are jobs. She and I had some good talks this week. She has known me for a few years and said, "You fall hard and fast. Is it because you want to have babies?" I am in no great rush to have babies, but I do want a family. I also read recently that fertile females are serial monogamists. They are not promiscuous but rather highly selective when it comes to their mates, and will only leave a partner if there is a better genetic match or a greater alpha male available to her. Sounds like my behavior in the last ten years.

I spent a good portion of my weekend with my guy friend K. He and I performed in a scene for a film class yesterday, and I couldn't stop breaking out in that song, "It's a Heartache" by Bonnie Tyler. Where I was playful before about Flip flopping, I am growing serious about it. I told K while we ran lines, "How am I supposed to fall in love again? "

K said, "You made him go out with you. Then he had lots of great sex with a good looking woman and said, 'Hey, this isn't so bad.' And then . . . he did what douche bags do. They don't care." and "He didn't love you, he doesn't know what love is."

When the scene wrapped, my head was pressed against the banister and I started again, "It's a heart ache . . . nothing but a heart ache. Love him til your arms break . . . then he lets you doooowwwn." My singing voice is terrible. K said, "Forget him, he's a douche bag. And your friends who get back together with their boyfriends you tell me about . . . they're douche bags, too."

The sound guy chimed in, "You know that's a website? Hot girls with douche bags. Look it up."

Awww, the sound guy thought I was hot.

I want to just go out with someone else and make out. Maybe get a back massage. But my heart is back there checking my phone for text messages. I need this part to be over. I need to stop wondering and look forward. Even the ganja can't help me now.

For most of the week, I ended up rewriting a feature screenplay I wrote when I was 22 yrs old.

It was kind of a strange experience. Reviewing the script and its take on relationships from 10 yrs ago . . . half of it was precious. The dialogue was taken out of my life in that period, those relationships, the optimism, the cut throat romantic I was in my early 20s. What needed rewriting was everything to do with the secondary relationships in the script- the married couple and the domestic partners. So I poured my 32 yr-old heart and soul in those rough patches and ended up with a weird, abstract summary of some of the best loves of my life.

I would pace myself, write, lay down, think, and clean my kitchen then reflect and dig down for those symbolic moments of domestic bliss.

Now, the most placid relationship I ever had was with my ex-husband. For those of you that don't know . . . I married the guest professor of a special class I took in Grad school, "How to Produce an Independent Feature Film." The Professor, I call him, wasn't much of a professor or a producer. He "produced" an independent dramatic feature film with no recognizable names, charged it on his credit cards and then declared bankruptcy after the film didn't sell.

What The Professor was, though, was a kind, good person who took care of me when I was completely lost. After I was assaulted on Newport Beach by a complete stranger (who kicked the shit out of me, high on drugs while 7 of my friends stood and watched), I became depressed and nervous. Then 9/11 happened.

I continued with my second year of the Graduate Film Program and felt like everything was darker. Eventually, my short film cost more than what I could afford with rent. I shared the apartment with two irresponsible boys in my program, one of which was a seemingly docile homosexual from Kentucky with a terrible temper. Twice he accused me of stealing his German heavy metal CDs and threw shit at my door.

I had to choose between rent and developing the 16mm print of my short film. So I chose the film development and spent half my nights living with my Uncle, who I am not particularly close to, and the other half sleeping in The Professor's film office which was in a dumpy building in El Segundo.

It was around this time, The Professor showed a specific interest in my education and found new unique and quaint field trips for me to go on with him; seminars, meetings, or a lunch. Around Christmas, we were friendly with each other and he invited me to a Christmas party in Marina del Rey under the guise that it was a networking event. I was wishy-washy. He called me back after 15 minutes and said he just wanted to see me.

So I went. I spilled wine on the floor, and Prof. covered for me. I know we kissed that night but I can't for the life of me remember it. I remember the first time we made love, because I had to ask him to either penetrate me or stop rubbing up against my groin. Cotton burn.

Eventually, we found a place together, then another place, then I brought home a kitten, then we married and then . . . we had one of the best years of my life.

He was a really good guy. He always tried to make me laugh and was genuinely interested in taking care of me. We had the most successful relationship, but I do not consider him one of the best loves of my life. And I am not sure why.

When he wanted to get serious with me, he took me to a sail boat in the middle of the night, held my hand and told me this was everything he was. He loved the ocean and the boats. His favorite story was when the sail ripped on his raft as a child. He was restless and miserable grounded on land. For Christmas, he opened up a box with a big red sail in it. He remembers unwrapping it, holding it up with an open mouth and looking at his father. Now they could watch him sail up and down the river from the house.

He had the soul of a sailor, so he was very easy going, laid back and happy. He was also 13 1/2 years older than me.

After our wedding, which was a nightmare with both my mother and my sister giving me the silent treatment ALL DAY, Prof. and I crossed Catalina Island and sailed back with champagne and Louis & Ella singing over the speakers on the boat. Usually, I get very sea sick, but we were so content. The ocean was gentle with me that day.

The next 10 days of our honeymoon were spent hiking through Sequoia, King's Canyon and Yosemite. Maybe the best 2 weeks of my life.

In the mornings, I followed him to work when he moved sailboats from marina to marina (he worked at a marina), I would lay flat on the bough with my face pressed against the boat, watching the steel cut the ocean. I loved it.

There are two explanations I use when I talk about why I left him, for obvious reasons:

1) We never grew out of the professor/student dynamic. He wasn't terribly interested in my career and at times exhibited mild jealousy over my creative discipline. He stopped reading my screenplays, he didn't help me on the documentary when I begged him to and he eventually, stopped giving me orgasms. I was developing a resentment towards him.

2) While working part-time at the Pet Food store, one day a new manager was brought in and shook my hand. He took my breath away, it never came back. He was the most beautiful boy I have ever seen in my entire life. Tall, dark hair, freckles, almond eyes and the most genuine smile I have seen in Los Angeles. The Prophet. The longest love affair of my half lifetime.

He got in my head. I grew obsessed with him. And eventually, one night we were out, he read my entire screenplay in one sitting and we kissed. My head was turned upside down, I was confused, frustrated, depressed . . . just fucked up. I came clean with the Prof. right away and he decided to live in a world of denial until I moved out.

Just before moving out, the Prophet stopped calling me. Which is the mature thing to do. I spun out into a depression and remember one rainy afternoon crying with my cell phone in hand and saying to my husband, "Why won't he call me back?" Are you shuddering as I am? Yeah, I was a heartless brat.

He said, "I am sure he has a good reason."

I broke into the Prophet's apartment complex to drop off some things. When I knocked, his roommate opened the door and I saw him sitting in front of the television, eating cereal. He saw me and his mouth fell open at first and then he smiled. We talked. He said Prof. had found him at another branch of the Pet Food Store and asked him not to contact me. He wanted a chance to make it work with his wife. The Prophet said, "Only if you promise to take care of her." He agreed. So they shook hands and parted ways.

I went back to confront Prof. about not discussing this with me, or why not just tell me what happened. I never really got a satisfying answer. We were never partners.

We went to couples counseling which was a fucking disaster. We got some bitter divorcee who was convinced I was some conniving Lolita who manipulated my husband into being my stooge. I fucking HATED him. We did a one-on-one where he just asked me to come clean about all the men I had cheated on Prof. with. I said there was no one. DICK.

Things downward spiraled. The Prophet and I had plans to go out one night and he was being distant with me so I got angry, under the stress of the separation. I was just losing my shit all over the place. Why was I out with another man when I was working on repairing the relationship with my husband? No good answer for that folks. I was a screwed up kid. 25 years old and chasing my tail in Venice, CA.

That night I wrote suicide letters to my family, the Prophet and my husband . . . drove out to some anonymous neighborhood and proceeded to swallow around 11-12 sleeping pills with a bottle of wine. I was out of my head, and called Prof. I told him what I did, that I felt like no matter what I did, I was hurting someone.

The Prof responded with, "You have to pull this shit the night I am out with my friends."

Then, I called the Prophet. He drove around Venice until he found me, stuck my finger down my throat and made me vomit up those pills.

The next day I had a therapist appointment for my (low cost) solo therapy. This place was all lame grad students who didn't know how to handle their own personal lives, much less a stranger's. The Prophet made me promise to tell her what I had done. My therapist proceeded to call the police and have me institutionalized. Oh yeah. That was great.

The pills I swallowed had limited my mobility skills, so it was difficult walking and bending my knees. An ambulance came and escorted me to a hospital. Next thing I knew I was next to a homeless whack job who thought he was the Marlboro Man. He wasn't, I know because he was Asian.

We were both locked up and I spent 24 hours in Culver City's mental health facility with all the homeless crazies that were seeking shelter from the rain. I had to share a room with another suicide risk girl who snored SO LOUD, I couldn't sleep. I asked for another room, they gave me sleeping pills. I told them I was in for trying to kill myself with sleeping pills. They said, "Sorry, that's all we have."

Finally, they agreed to let me sleep in an empty room with the door open and the lights on so they could make sure I didn't kill myself (oh, it was tempting in that place). I seriously thought about breaking out. It was disturbing. My snoring roommate had a boyfriend she snapped her teeth at. We had to get our vitals checked every few hours and there was always a physical altercation between two violent patients. Oh, and they didn't give me vegan food and constantly bothered me about getting on psycho-tropic medication, which I outright refused to do.

They had a ping pong table with no paddles. Like . . .seriously . . . trying to make us go bonkers!

I called everyone I could with a stack of quarters at the pay phones in the hall. My mother said, "Oh don't worry, remember that movie Girl Interrupted? They played guitars when they were institutionalized." I said, "There are no guitars here, mother! This is One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, not Girl Interrupted." My mother would grow cold, "Well, I don't know what you want ME to do about it."

It took me about 20 hours to get an appointment with the Psychiatrist who would determine if I was an at-risk patient. I told him I swallowed the pills for attention and my husband and I were going to work it out. He discharged me to Prof's care.

I was released, saw Prof. and we had a very long, cold embrace. He was angry with me and wouldn't look at me. Of course all I could do was jump up and down. I was free. Totally free to walk where I wanted to, eat what I wanted to and live! GOD, it was an amazing moment. I can't imagine how prisoners feel after years of incarceration.

After that, while I was up visiting my parents in Washington, Prof. threatened to destroy or abandon my personal property (including our two cats). This wonderfully mellow guy who always had a knack for calming me down and being my rock while finding my footing in LA, said he was compelled to break a beer bottle and cut me with it.

I filed divorce papers. Or he did. I think he wanted the satisfaction. I didn't care . . . I just wanted the pain to stop.

A year and a half later, after he threatened to sue my parents for the truck they loaned him while we were having car problems, sue me for half my rights on all existing films and screenplays (he didn't read) . . . we came to a settlement.

We had no assets, and his threats were ridiculous. I found a lawyer in Beverly Hills who offered to represent me on the condition that I act as legal secretary with the paperwork and pay him in scones. He loved scones. :-)

He called on my behalf and was strong with them about those conditions. We settled the next week. A fair break.

I remember going to Beverly Hills to sign the papers, I was dating an Irish guy at the time. Prof's hair was really short and I started growing mine out because the Prophet liked long hair. We were in an off period because I was dating the Irish dude, who I really liked at the time. He was a fizzler. We sizzled then fizzled.

So Prof came in and I said, "Your hair is short." He said, "Your hair is long."

We went in and I had trouble finding where to sign, and he pointed it out. We giggled a little. There was a very sweet chemistry between us. Afterward, we met at a Starbuck's. We had to exchange some papers or something. I broke down crying, apologizing to him for hurting him. He said he came to peace with the knowledge that I needed to carve out my own life, and he knew that. I left him for me, not for the Prophet. Which is true, actually, under all the drama and tears and insanity . . . I needed to be an adult on my own before latching on to someone, for my own sanity.

So, I spent the next couple years getting a better job, finishing my documentary and spending sporadic time with the Prophet. The first year with him was difficult. He would disappear for days at a time. His voicemail would be full. He would be incredibly flaky. Sometimes we would meet for nookie or I bought and returned my pet food and toys at his store branch and basically continued to pine for him until the next night he agreed to sleep with me. Usually it was only a couple times a month.

Eventually, the Prophet started spending the nights. We always had amazing phone conversations about God, the Bible, spirits, dreams, demons, the future . . . I do believe he is the one person who truly respected me for being vegan. Interestingly, he was only one of two boyfriends who never pretended to change their diet for me. (I would say Flip would be the other boyfriend who truly respected the discipline associated with my diet and never pretended to reject meat or dairy)

I stopped trying to push the Prophet into taking me out on dates. The Prophet showed his love through other ways. He stayed up with me all night long and slept on the floor of my office while I edited my film.

While with the Irish dude, my cats had a flea outbreak. Irish wouldn't come near my apartment while there was the infestation. The Prophet came and bathed the cats with me, vacuumed the apartment, sterilized everything.

When I was on a date with someone else, I got a flat tire. Instead of calling my date, I called the Prophet. We threw a football in the breaking dawn while waiting for a tow truck.

He lost his job. I lost my job. He quit. I quit. We helped each other.

He would loan me money if I needed it. And I would give him my credit card if he was in a stitch (it was rare). He always paid me back more than the sum he owed me. He came over if I called him at 3am from a nightmare.

He wasn't constantly around, but I could depend on him. And God, I loved him so much. I loved his body. I have it memorized . . . every scar, every stray hair, everything. He got my jokes and remembered everything I ever told him.

The Prophet grew up in Michigan but never graduated college. Instead he joined the Marines for 7 years, where he was court marshaled for smoking a joint. He was ostracized by his peers and given shit duty for the last couple years. No one would talk to him.

He lost his high school sweet heart of several years to his best friend, who are now married.

He decided he would finish his term with the Marine Corps and loves to tell the story when his Sargent made a speech during the honorable discharge ceremony. "I have two heroes I look up to. One is a buddy that threw his life on a grenade to save a group of people. The other is [Prophet], where is he?"

In his happiest moments, he would recount that story and his face lit up in a way I never saw with anything else.

There are so many stories about the Prophet that my brain kind of overloads when I think about him. Five years of information, memories, feelings. So many little moments where he surprised me, loved me, hurt me . . . hurt himself.

He never spoke an ill word about anyone. He was always kind and boyishly optimistic with everyone, even the people that hurt him.

He would watch TOP GUN and recite all the words through the entire movie, and when TBS restarted the movie, he would chime in with the opening voice-over right away. Ha ha. He loved my animals like no one else ever has. He taught himself how to make vegan curry for me.

The other side of the Prophet is the hard liquor, drinking and driving, picking fights with strangers . . . cocaine. He would spin out of control. He would quit drinking sometimes and then go back to it. Same with cocaine. His own drug dealer asked him to stop snorting one night when his nose wouldn't stop bleeding. He was best when all he did was smoke ganja. He was calm, more coherent and able to relax. Otherwise, he was hypo-manic.

I liked the mystery of him. Why did he think he was a Prophet; his explanation of the prophecy and his role in Revelations never changed in those five years. Maybe he did have a divine future. Why did he start dating with me? Why was he so uncomfortable with affection and physical contact? He would talk so fast and jump subjects so quickly, it was always difficult following him. I tried and worked with him through all those thoughts, trying to understand. He loved that.

The day before I miscarried, he told me that when he was 14 and his father was dying of lung cancer, he was asked to go to his death bed. When he walked in, his dad tried to say something. The Prophet was so uncomfortable, he turned and walked out on his father. He died before he ever had a chance to talk to him again.

That was the one time he ever got emotional about his past with me. Never again.

Eventually our fights got more intense. I had a kidney infection and was in the emergency room all night with a co-worker. He said he didn't have enough gas to visit me and didn't call me before my phone died (hours later). I came home high on morphine to a house that was ripped apart because he couldn't find his keys, and him on MY computer playing video games. He didn't even greet me at the door. Around that time, we fought. He covered my mouth.

When he drank, he would cover my nose and my mouth. Maybe he pushed me.

One New Years Eve night, he drank himself into a mind of darkness and I had to lock him out. He ripped my Christmas teddy off my wreath and spiked his cotton stuffed head through my metal apartment number.

He would quit drinking, and we would make up. It was a tedious cycle.

Sometimes I would try dating other people and we wouldn't speak. And sometimes, we would spend days up all night on drugs, talking about our lives and ideas. The intense talks. I told him everything, I mean he knows everything about me. I don't think I know everything about him, but I definitely know more than anyone else in his life. Or I did a year ago.

I was evicted for having cats, three years after the landlord gave me a wink and advised I lie on the lease about it. I freaked out, of course, and the Prophet calmed me down, called my landlord for me begging them to renegotiate their position. I love my cats!

Eventually, he suggested we move in together. He held me and said, "You and the cats are my life." And we did. We moved into a place in Hollywood. So much hope . . . a new place, a new approach to our relationship. Being calm about it. HA! We were both so passionate, it was easy not to take each other too seriously most of the time. When we DID take each other seriously it was . . . explosive.

It was a happy month or two before I started going to film festivals with my now finished documentary. He grew suspicious . . . he had no reason to be. I never wanted another man while with him. I was head over heels in love with him. I brought home one pit bull then another. He said we would try to make it work.

There was a fight about dishes that we never recovered from. The fights grew more violent. He pushed me. I think he even put his hands around my throat. Now, this is around the time I did whatever I could to get out of the relationship. We were stuck in a year long lease and I did everything I could to communicate to him that I was not a victim. I was loud and bitchy. Indignant. It escalated the tension.

The Prophet was a big guy, 6'4 and 185 lbs, ridiculously strong. I would never try to fight him. I would die. However, that last year we were together, I said the most evil things I could muster to take him down.

He started seeing demons in my face. He broke every plate in the kitchen. He locked himself in the bathroom begging for a demon to come down and fight him. I didn't know what to do with him. What do you do with someone who is having a psychotic break!? Does anyone know? I didn't want him in jail.

The first time he was put in jail when I called the police, I was up all night worried about him. He came back a few days later and said it was one of the best experiences of his life. He, of course, made friends with his cell mates and had meaningful conversations about God and life. I smile as I write this.

Then one day, he bit my head. Why did he bite my head? I don't know. I was drunk and woke up to him biting my head. We had been fighting that night, but I don't remember what about or anything said before the blood came down my forehead.

That was an ugly night, the cops were unsympathetic at that point. One said, "I thought you were going to move in with your parents." I stammered, "They won't have me." It was true, my mother said that she wouldn't let me move back home because I would just be depressed on their couch. This was tough love and I would have to find a way out.

So I filed a restraining order. I renegotiated my rent by a few hundred dollars. And I got the hell out of there.

I remember around this time, he came back promising to never drink again. He cooked for me, bathed with me, did everything I ever wanted him to. I was so in shock. He then asked me to admit all the lovers I had been with. He was never satisfied with my answer. He always thought I was holding out, and that paranoia followed him to the end.

We broke apart again. We hated each other. Still . . . STILL . . . he stayed up all night with me cleaning the Hollywood apartment when we moved out. (My ex-husband left our last place a disaster for me to clean up alone) The Prophet helped me move my bulky furniture to Pasadena. He even installed a chain latch to keep the dogs from running out of the yard through the door.

You see why its so confusing . . . ?

There was more misery. When my cat died, he came back to help and freaked out instead. Slamming his face into my bathroom mirror. He pushed me down on the ground by my throat and mimicked my choking when the wind was knocked out of me. I called the cops on him for a third time.

He doesn't remember any of these awful moments. Or he says he doesn't.

Even after all of that, one of his friends said, "She can't even take care of her cats. Look one died." The Prophet said, "She takes better care of her animals than most people do of their kids."

After one last, weak attempt . . . we made love a few more times, he hung out in my living room and supported me after I was laid off and started acting. Then he found nude photos taken by a casual partner from the past, and he left. It was a cold goodbye. I never heard from him again.

Its for the best.

But it makes me sad. He was my best friend.

While rewriting those scenes about the couple who had been together for 8 years in my script, I tried to think of domestic bliss. I thought of my ex-husband and the sailing, the morning lattes, the quiet nights at home. It just didn't move the dust into the wind, you know?

Then I thought of home with the Prophet. As Lana once described, "the homey smell of ramen and pot." I turned his ringtone on his iPhone for my number into a big picture of my nipple with firetruck sirens. He always laughed when he picked up. Kissing to Christmas music on a summer night.

The way he helped with my migraines, he knew how long to heat the pad for my head and muted the TV. The way he was so proud of me after the few stand-up comedy performances I did. It was during our final year, The Cancer Year . . . but he would sit on the floor and look up at me with the brightest eyes and smile. He did believe in me.

Through all of this, the Prophet was the tragic love of my life. He was my instrument in finding moments of true love for my script. How fucking sad. And now, from this point forward . . . I am calling him Not for Profit (copyright A. Breckenridge)

My neck hurts and my eyes are burning.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Break Down, Break Up, Break Through

It's been a rough week for me, I am not sure why. A lot happened so quickly, I barely feel like I can get my brain caught up. I remember being tired in the beginning of the week, then I had a fitting, the next day a Sony commercial and then the next day I was on MAD MEN . . . only leaving one day of rest before launching into production on my pilot.

I quit smoking. I didn't regularly smoke for very long, just 6 months or so to lose weight. I lost a lot of weight, around 8-10 lbs. I went from a few cigarettes at a time to half a pack a day . . . then a couple times smoked a whole pack in a day. For me smoking was very ritualistic- take a cigarette or two, hang out in my car with a cup of coffee and listen to classic rock. If I was combining masturbation into my day, now that could eat up all my daylight time!

I enjoyed it. The revelation to stop smoking so suddenly is still unclear. Somewhere in the weeks following the third and final break-up with Asshole Abe, I was stoned and laying on my bed thinking, "I really have to stop smoking. I don't want to do it anymore." And like that I stopped. No cravings. No struggle. I just didn't want them anymore.

About 5 days later, I started violently coughing. Then I started sweating with other unpleasantries. Other former smokers told me that they went through bouts of cold/flu symptoms, sweating, coughing . . . I find it very hard to believe the smoking I did in 6 months time put my body in such a state of withdrawal. I can tell you between the wheezing and coughing, I have no desire to inhale a cigarette ever again.

Then, while on-line with Abe, I felt a warm sensation and realized I was bleeding. I went to the bathroom and discovered I was menstruating 5 days early. Not only that, I was bleeding in excess. I went through an entire tampon in 3 minutes. Really, I haven't bled that much since adolescence. If it's related to my nicotine withdrawal that would be interesting, or maybe it was one of those immediate miscarriages . . . I don't know. It was gnarly though.

Wednesday, I was booked on a SONY commercial as background. I arrived early in the morning and was lead into an abandoned pink warehouse with puddles on the floor. It looked like an old sweat shop. Craft service was three bowls; one of cheese puffs, the middle frito scoops and the third was cashew party mix. Champion's breakfast.

They ended up needing to book us for all three days, and though I would have made more money, I wouldn't give up my chance to be on MAD MEN. So those of us that didn't book the whole assignment, were left in the pepto-bismol walled warehouse where I read a book called the MALE BRAIN . . . riveting.

Matt was working the job with me but didn't bring a book. Peyton, the 24 yr old kid that always tries to put his arm around me or hold my hand, was there. Sandwiched between both boys, I couldn't tear my eyes out of the MALE BRAIN. I devoured that book. I read it cover to cover without putting it down for 6 hours.

It didn't help me with the Abe situation, but nonetheless, it substantiated things I have long suspected. It was just one of those books on behavior that really explains things in a way you can grasp and retain.

Page 48: "Researchers have shown that teen boys begin to be repulsed , not only by the proximity of their mother's body, but also her smell. The scientists speculated that this may have evolved as protection against inbreeding."

Page 55: "And a study in Switzerland of sweaty T-shirts that had absorbed the pheromones of the people who wore them showed that those were were good genetic matches (that is, those who were most dissimilar) smelled best to each other."

Page 56: "In the mating game, a kiss is more than a kiss- it's a taste test. Saliva contains molecules from all the glands and organs in the body, so a French kiss serves up a signature flavor . . . information is collected and sent to our brains."

Page 58: "In studies of mating behavior in primates, females have more sex with males who bring them meat. Primatologists have dubbed this the meat-for-sex principle."

Page 59: "One of the most colorful examples of animal tactics [with regards to human male mating strategy] is provided by the side-blotched lizards. The males come with three different colored throats that match their mating styles. Males with orange throats use the alpha-male harem strategy. They guard a group of females and mate with all of them. Yellow throats are called sneakers because they slip in the harem of the orange throats and mate with his females. The blue throats mate with one female and guard her 24/7."

This book was delicious. Oh there is more, much much more.

I wrapped the shoot and went home to put rollers in my hair for MAD MEN. I bought the curlers as the 99 Cent store but the damn things are so frustrating. How the F U C K did women in the 60s do their own hair? I was constantly unrolling, brushing, rerolling. My arms were tired, I was cramping, but the worst part is trying to sleep with those things coming out of your head. I don't know how I could have slept the entire night if I didn't prop up my pillows like the Elephant Man and smoke a few tokes before drifting off.

I woke up feeling like it was Christmas morning. You must understand, I think MAD MEN is the most progressive feminist narrative show to ever broadcast on mainstream American television. I love Mad Men. I was really excited, and hadn't heard from my parents in a week, nor heard from Abe in 3 days.

My partner and good friend Lana sent me an email wishing me luck. Jaq wrote on Facebook. Helen texted me. It was really sobering and wonderful to hear from those who love you and recognize a magical morning in your life. It honestly was the most exciting job I have had yet as an actress, even though I was just doing background. It would have been a good opportunity to hear from my parents, my sister or from Abe. All of them have their heads jammed so far up their own asses, they probably wouldn't even know if I starred in a Michael Bay movie.

(I should provide a general disclaimer here that I am feeling very angry towards a few people who were close to me. Please excuse the raw emotion.)

I woke up at 6am, checked email then put on the pantyhose, which smeared the cover-up on my tattoo all over my leg. Then my rollers looked ratted, a few were falling out, it was kind of disaster anywhere I looked. I wrapped my wrist tattoo in plastic wrap and put band aides over my ankle tattoo since "sun tan" pantyhose are roughly the same unnatural shade of brown.

I had yoga pants and a button up shirt on when I checked in. I called the casting information line and found out that my call time was pushed back an hour and a half. So I arrived on set, and had to cross the entire studio with shitty hair rollers falling out of my hair. I sat down next to two other women and waited for the hour and a half.

Turned out there were about 22 secretaries in this scene. So a third of us went to make-up first. There, liquid eye liner and fake eye lashes were glued to the tops of my eye lids. This was shortly after my make-up artist asked, "Hey, how many fake eye lashes do we have?" The other make-up person said, "Not many, so only use them on a few people. The people that need it. (to the actress she was working on) You have great eye lashes."

The actress giggled and thanked her as my artist lathered glue on top of my eye lids. WTF? Do I have bad eye lashes??? It felt like my eyes were sticking shut.

Then she painted my lips a bright pink shade called POPPY. I looked in the mirror and said, "Yo!" Everyone giggled. I looked older somehow.

I moseyed on over to hair after that where I had to sit in a small room with three hair stylists and two other actresses for AN HOUR. Oh Gawd, it was fucking boring. She took out my hair rollers and said, "I am going to have to recurl your hair, so get comfortable." I apologized, she patted my shoulders and said, "It's ok. At least you tried, that's what's important." She teased my hair, sprayed it, curled it, combed it, fluffed it. I looked like Edward Scissorhands half the time.

She was playing Etta James on her ipod and ordered a grill cheese sandwich with a side of bacon for breakfast. I really admired her palette. She said she got to hang out with Kris Kristofferson and he said once he was eating out with Janis Joplin in a restaurant. She had feathers dangling in her hair. A random guy came up to hit on her and she turned her head and said, "Oh fuck off!" and blew the feathers out of her face.

Another conversation: The black, plump hairstylist said, "Men don't know how to COURT women anymore." The other short, plump hair stylists with damaged skin and bleached blond hair said, "Oh in Paris they know! You walk down Paris and they make you feel like Farrah Fawcet." She waddled half way down the make-up room like it was a small runway surrounded by Parisian men. I always love my make-up and hair people.

After my hair was put under the control of one whole can of hair spray and hot metal- I was pushed to wardrobe where they gave me a new outfit entirely different from the two I tried on during my fitting. It was a long black dress with a white triangle on the left breast of the dress. I had to put on the pantyhose, a missile pointed brassiere and a slip before throwing that thick black dress on in the heat. Jesus.

We took turns latching the back of our dresses and once again I wondered, how the HELL does anyone do this every single day by themselves?

The shoes were fucking atrocious; way too broad around the base of my foot, so I was constantly sliding back and forth over the narrow heel. It is almost as if everything about the style was meant to make you feel uncomfortable. Mobility is limited, you are under a lot of heat and discomfort. (Don't even get me started on wearing a belt to latch your menstrual pad on before the brilliant invention of a tampon!) What a difference from my 1920s Parisian outfit from the earlier shoot.

Wardrobe walked by and stopped in front of me. One small woman said, "What do you think of her?" The other taller woman said, "Oh we love her, she is tall and lanky. Yeah. Love it." Then they walked away.

We were arranged around the lobby of an office building. Originally I started outside, which would suck because the pedestrian traffic really is just shadows and feet. I was then moved to the interior lobby and introduced to Rachel, our 2nd AD. She was coordinating everybody. I went from one corner to the next when Hair pulled me again to do more frizz maintenance on my do. I was seated next to the chair with the embroidered 'Jon Hamm' across the top. Jon HammmmmMMMMMMM! The lead. His character is one tall glass of almond milk.

He never came to his chair before I was sent back into the chaos of background choreography. Due to the time spent in the hair chair, I missed all the main direction of where to walk. I kept following Rachel and reminding her I needed direction, I WILL NOT be cut from the scene! She had already handed out directions through most of the scene and gave me the last line to cross the scene, passed the principle characters and then walk back. I thought to myself, "Ooooh, that's good."

Rachel said, "Now when the girl says to Jon Hamm ... you know who Jon Hamm is, right?" I said, "Oh yes. If I concentrate hard enough, I can feel his chest hair tickle my cheek." Rachel said, "Eughhhhh, GROSS! I like girls." I said, "Oh, well I can carry his seed and we can raise the baby together." She didn't really laugh, she just kinda stared at me and then walked away, confused and distracted.

Jon Hamm arrived on set. His eyes looked very blue, almost unnatural, bugging out from tired sacks in his head. He punched away on his blackberry, which he kept inside the vest of his 1965 period jacket, and sipped on a Venti Iced Starbuck's coffee. Yeah, I wasn't feeling sexually drawn to him. Sometimes it happens, and sometimes not so much.

When I was on set with Gorden Ramsey, who was not appealing to me in the least on television, I remember seeing him and instantly feeling my uterus walls clap together and rub, like Mr. Miyagi in the KARATE KID. The smell of his sweat with green onions put me in some kind of primal trance.

Last year I met Kevin Spacey, who I always was drawn to on-screen. In person . . . not at all. He is definitely gay. The mystery of attraction ;)

The first run through of the scene cut before I got a chance to cross the set. Rachel asked me about it, I said they cut before I had a chance to cross- so she bumped up my cue. One of the crew members was a tall guy, probably in his early 40s. He could see how happy I was to be on set. He said, "What happened? Why did they save you for last?" I said, "I don't know, as long as I get to cross."

Second run through, I got to cross the scene and meet two other secretaries before crossing Jon Hamm and the other main actress. It was great, we are the only background in that part of the scene. I got back to my entrance mark and high fived the crew member. He said,
"I saw you on screen, you're in there!" I smiled. Rachel looked at me, I said, "That was great for me." The actor behind her chuckled out a cloud of herbal smoke.

Herbal cigarettes were being handed out in packs labeled ECSTASY. They smelled like camp fire, and my lungs were already having a hard time with the heat, air conditioning and now heavy smoke.

A man walked around with a small computer vacuum hooked up to a mouth piece. He made it just for MAD MEN to help the non-smokers keep their cigarettes lit. After taping, one actor took a long drag off of his before ashing it out off stage. I said, "Really? One last one drag, just for fun?" He said, "I know, that was weird. They are awful."

We did the scene a few times. We had a nice craft service table with fresh fruit and iced tea outside. Despite having put my purse on my chair in holding, people had tossed it aside, and down, then over to make room for themselves. I don't really care who I sit next to, and eventually was pushed into the old man section of holding.

The guy on my left, probably 65 yrs old or so, said, "I spend a lot of time thinking about the weight of women's breasts. I spent some time weighing my wife's breasts. And its interesting to me . . . I don't know why. Women with big breasts complain about back problems." I said, "Yes, they do."

The guy on my right said, "I have an enlarged prostate, but I don't have to go to the bathroom right now."

We went back and forth to set a few times, and right after we wrapped the scene I had my moment as I do with all my leading men, where I turn and make eye contact. Jon Hamm looked at me, I looked at him. Eh . . . nothin'. I joined the herd of women galloping to the changing room, where we took turns unlatching the hooks, peeling off the layers and running out the door in flip flops.

As I was waiting in line, an AD came by and said, "Who is non-union, keep your hands in the air." "Ok, who was born in March?" Hands went down. "Who is a Pisces?" No hands. In my stomach I know what this is, this is about a SAG voucher. Just say Aquarius, I thought. "Who is a Scorpio?" A girl's hand shot up. "Congratulations, here is a union voucher." She squealed.

I opened my mouth and unleashed very long, loud, "FUCK!" I turned and the guy next to me smiled. I said, "I am always going to be poor." He said, "Don't worry, you will get your vouchers."

All of a sudden, I felt tears brewing behind my sun glasses. I don't know what was happening, I was melting down. The exhaustion, the poverty, the absolute need for validation was all catching up to me.

The crew member signing us out didn't say a word to me. I am sure he thought I as an asshole for pouting. The actress was blond and petite, of course, and was jumping up and down with joy. She shouted, "This is my third one!!" The crew dude said, "Congratulations. Here ya go, now enjoy paying the $2600 initiation fee."

I kept telling myself, she deserves it . . . it is her third. I should be happy for her. But I couldn't recover. I needed a bathroom and found myself wandering through sets and production offices with hot tears pouring out of my eyes. I kept my sunglasses on and made it through the parking garage. By the time I pulled out of the studio, my tears had washed off my fake eye lashes and all accompanying make-up.

Once I started crying, I couldn't stop. I drove to my apartment to meet Em and unload equipment for the pilot pick-ups. It really was no big deal. We grabbed a quick beer after we unloaded and organized, and I felt the tears streaming down my face. Meagan looked and me and said, "What's up? Talk to me." I just muttered, "I don't know."

It was around this time I found out my episode of BAGGAGE was airing and I had no cable, because I am broke, nor did I have warning from the producers as they promised. Meagan's brother, my friend, TIVOed it for me.

She consoled me before I zipped off to another pre-production meeting in a cafe in Van Nuys. There, I walked in and continued crying. I told Meagan, I got used to crying in public in high school. My boyfriend and I had no privacy, so we hung out in diners and had our moments there with the occasional interruption for dessert.

The DP and Line Producer were also going through some tough relationship drama and stress, so we commiserated. Lana said, "I think there is just a lot of excitement right now and your body is trying to catch up."

It was such a motherly thing to say to me. Right when she said it with that strong, matter-of-fact tone with just a sprinkle of warmth and affection, I thought, that's exactly what my mother should be saying to me right now. I wanted to throw a party for my first TV appearance and the discouragement of the voucher, the no call for 3 days from Abe after disclosing to him my blog and having a few great hour-long conversations earlier in the week, and then the total disappointment from my immediate family all crossed wires in my mind and I felt like I was overheating. If there ever is a moment for valium, this was a good one.

I was still functional. I caught up on the call sheet and the equipment. My face was hot from all the crying and I just needed to lie down and sleep I think. I failed to mention it was around this time of day that I texted Abe a few times. They were little text messages (maybe around 3) that were prodding him. I hoped he would call, or maybe even come by and just hold me then decide to help on the shoot because he cared so much about me. I have been feeling so unloved, recently. The energy shifted and I feel like I am staring at a shadow of myself during a really important moment of my life I don't quit understand yet.

Abe wouldn't call. I told him I had a rough day. I told him if he cared he would call. We went back and forth via text before Lana took my phone away and said, "NO! He doesn't deserve to hear from you." I asked her to erase all the messages, call records, every train of communication that would lead me to his mobile device. She did.

She also exclaimed, "Ok . . . it needs to be said. You look REALLY skinny. Too skinny." I smiled, "Reallly?" Lana nodded her head, "Yes, I mean you look gaunt." Feels like an exaggeration but I don't intend to lose anymore weight.

He did text again, throwing some guilt at me. Something along the lines of his feeling like a failure and blah blah blah. So me having a bad day was really about making him feel like a failure! I mean . . . some people really don't know how to think about anybody but themselves. I really think that is the problem with people like my sister who don't socialize then make their entire day about themselves. It makes you a selfish prick.

In the end, he didn't call. And I told him to go to hell.

Then, I drove to Meagan's and Kevin's and watched myself on TV for the first time. It was cued up and Tivoed for me in her bedroom. I was swaying back and forth from sleep deprivation, a joint and the summer heat. My head looked like the size and shape of a walnut on their big screen TV.

I even thought I looked a little heavy.

The show changed my occupation from "Unemployed" to a "Teacher" in Olympia, which is just ridiculous. Throughout the show, I noticed they cut down the audience applause a bit and I realized why comedians prefer live performances. An audience roaring and applauding your joke is the best sound you will ever hear. I promise.

We watched it twice in a row. The second time I grew convinced Jerry Springer's eyes changed when ever he spoke to me. I told Meagan and her husband, "Look at his eyes when he looks at me. They are like brownies baking in the oven." Yes, I think Jerry was in love with me for 45 minutes that day. I can see it in his face.

That Friday between my Mad Men Meltdown and Pilot Pick-Ups was spent completely recovering my mind and energy. I just needed to get my head back, despite whatever emotional side effects I was going through.

Abe called, with a voicemail saying, "I would really like to know what I did that makes you want to condemn me to hell." I always liked the way he put things.

I think there were some minor exchanges when he called and we had the conversation. It wasn't a long conversation, but it pretty much completely changed the way I feel about him. There were a couple things he said that ring out in memory:

After telling him about my Mad Men Meltdown, he said, "You don't see me having mental breakdowns." Another great exaggeration he can add to his collection.

"Why do you complain about guys constantly calling you and you ignore them, and then you do the same thing to me expecting a different result. It doesn't make sense."

This right here, just looking at this sentence makes my blood boil. He is saying that after 3 days of no contact from me or him, my 2-3 text messages on a bad day are like a desperate loser chasing unrequited love. He makes me sound so pathetic . . . and clueless.

Logically, I know its a stupid thing for him to say. My communication was moderate, but never heavy. Abe always said if I wanted to call and talk, I should. And my messaging was a fraction of what it was during our honeymoon period when he actually liked me.

But . . . wow. That was one of the shittiest things a guy has ever said to me. Oh . . . then he says, "I asked my female friends if they constantly want to be around their boyfriends and they said it was overkill-" I didn't EVEN let him finish this sentence. I interrupted and said, "Hey ASSHOLE, I don't want to spend ALL my time with you. Now, goodbye!" Gawd, that last bit sounded like Little Orphan Annie.

VENOM SEETHING out of my PORES. Telling other girls I constantly want to be around you . . . are you fucking KIDDING me?

I texted him, "You are the most arrogant, pig headed, narcissistic jerk I have EVER met."
He texted back ":(("

When your ex-boyfriend says things this awful to you . . . pretty much everything you ever liked about him is washed up and stored in a thin container kept behind the insult. Your initial reference for the ex in question; whenever you hear his name, think about what you did together or what he might be doing now . . . all of those thoughts and memories are now covered by one, brash insult.

Post Break-Up Uzis

My first boyfriend in 10th grade, The Mormon, post break-up: "I hate your teeth. Especially that one on the side that's twisted. Whenever I look at it, I want to puke." Ok. After that, I pretty much begged my mother for braces and orthodontic surgery- immediately. My teeth look fine now, but that was mean.

College Boyfriend I was madly in love with for a month then he dumped me: "I wouldn't cry at your obituary." How he even thought of the scenario still bothers me. The most disturbing about this one is I never said anything to hurt him, so he wasn't angry with me when he said it. He was just thinking aloud.

The Prophet: "The only men who will be interested in you now only want to fuck you before they marry a younger, prettier girl."

Yeah . . . that one has a definite sting to it, doesn't it? And, it still hurts so let's move on.

Abe. Welcome to My Asshole Club where memories never die. EVER.

I never want to see him again. I shudder at the sound of his name. I am desperate to get any particle of him off of my life. I want to go on a date immediately, I want to have sex with someone else as soon as possible and then get rid of anything he may have left behind . . . except for his blanket ,which I will have sex on top of as soon as I find a suitable candidate.

On set of my comedy pilot, Abe was offered the position of gaffer on my pet project, but slipped away in a marijuana induced coma and was replaced by our DP's hot gaffer boyfriend. Things seem to be improving between them and it was especially difficult watching the relationship I wanted on set RIGHT in front of me while still licking my wounds.

He was quizzing her on camera facts. "Where did [so and so] get their couches?" "But I love our couches." Shoulder massage. Smile.

I guess what pisses me off the most is the total and complete personality change from the honeymoon period to real life. I don't think I can ever trust a man with my confidence again until several months go by. Meagan had mentioned waiting to have sex helps. I know it helps, that was always my plan . . . but I gave in. He is a conqueror.

I really wish I could slap his face. Unfortunately, that would involve touching his bullshit face again. Fucker.

OK, look. I got through this. Saturday morning I was in character, serving up the comedy on set. When I am acting, there is no heart break, no overdraft fees, no parents . . . only my imagination. What I always aim for is getting someone to laugh who is standing behind the camera. Now, half the time I am doing comedy, I catch someone giggling in the corner of my eye. The other half, everyone is just focused on the frame and my action. After Lana would shout, "Cut!" I would say, "Was it funny?" She would nod and smile.

Lana is unique. If she was a man, I would be in love with her. I think I actually had a foggy erotic dream about her once a few years ago. I can't remember it, probably because my brain shuts down around a Lesbian's 3rd Base.

When I met her, she picked up on my sense of humor right away. I even think she made it better. She is gorgeous, with brown eyes and all these wonderful chocolate freckles. Her eyes are so delightfully expressive, I was hoping she would decide to act with me in our comedy show. She is sharp- her timing is perfect . . . not to mention she is stunning. Alas, she wants no part of being on camera. Smart girl.

She got a pre-med degree in Pennsylvania and was accepted into Medical school. She decided one day that she didn't want to practice medicine, she wanted to make movies. That was the day her mother built a wall and told her she was disappointed.

My mother's wall was right around the time when I refused to apply for Graduate programs in Journalism, and said the only way I would continue my education is if it included filmmaking. Exhale. Ok.

My parents only seemed to care about me pursuing an education, despite what that really meant for my career or financial obligations. And, once I completed that education with a Master's degree in hand and worked in various professional facets of the film industry, my mother has the nerve to tell me I have done "nothing" with my life. Oh it burns alright . . . but not as much as it must be for my mother to look back on her monotonous life as a retired secretary. That would be worse.

So Lana and I wrote a comedy pilot (a pilot is an episode meant to be the first of a series if it picks up financing) about being assistants in the industry, trying desperately to keep their heads above water. We wrote on a Google Document and had a great script after one afternoon. Some things gel . . . creatively. Lana and I work that way.

Saturday morning we started shooting pick ups. Before the crew arrived to my house, I laid on my bed holding my iPhone. I opened up my email and saw one from Abe:

date: Sat, Aug 21, 2010 at 2:41 AM
subject: U R Correct

"you were right. Im being super cheap with the Little things that matter alot and that equates to me not caring. I'd like to think I understand because Ive been reading about relationships all night.

I'm not telling you what to do, you dont have to mail me back

I wish you wouldnt hate me. I still have feelings for you. I should have taken the initiative to read and figure things out for myself around the same time you did. I was bad. and I dont deserve a girlfriend who gives me as much confidence as you did.

I feel awful right now. We connected on many levels.

Sorry that I let you down. I miss you being happy. Sorry I made you so unhappy. Sorry if this email is insufficient. Sorry if sorry doesnt cut it. Sorry that I don't cut it. "

I should make a t-shirt that said, "I fell in love and all I got was this stinking email."

I wrote back:

date: Sat, Aug 21, 2010 at 7:04 AM

"I tolerated your exaggerations in person, but to misrepresent me as
needing constant attention to your friends and family is more than I
can bear.

I refuse to endure the humiliation of it. We have crossed the point of
no return. I hoped we could work it out, but I refuse to be in the
company of people who think I am pestering you for constant care.
Especially after I have been so open to your perspective.

Let's not talk about it anymore. It's a waste of time. I have my very
busy and fulfilling life to get back to. And I have my dignity.

Have a good trip with your family."

And that was that. I later texted a "Thank you for the apology. It means a lot." to him but I just sent it because it felt like the adult thing to do. I don't know if it means a lot. His email has the faint odor of guilt trip and I don't know why now, after almost a month of not seeing me, he just decided it was time to pull his shit together and do/say something. Because I called him an asshole? Or maybe he instinctively knows he has lost me for good now? I hope he does know.

We plowed through the weekend of shots. Things went more smoothly this time than when we did principle photography; smaller crew but we had a line producer and an AD this time, thank God. Also, I was far more confident as an actress. I feel like a veteran at this point. Things went really well.

We wrapped. I dropped off all the equipment at various places this morning. I turned to Meagan and said, "You know, I never got a good luck on the shoot or anything like that from Abe." Meagan said, "Maybe he thinks you are done and that last email was it." I said, "It was! But he should be clawing his way back to me like that fat chick in SILENCE OF THE LAMBS." Meagan nodded, knowingly, "Yes, yes he should."

I am done. I am just angry.

This morning, my hair was still ratted from MAD MEN, so I tied it in a bun and showed up to the first venue with sleepy eyes and no coffee. The boys working the counter not only helped me unload all the audio files to a hard drive (on equipment rented from another venue) but I also got one of their digits!

Normally, I try to demonstrate how smart I am by figuring out the equipment and anticipating how things work. This morning, I just had a big whatever painted on my face. I tossed out a few one-liners, "I'm not retarded, just sleep deprived." "I think it worked fine. I don't really know. The only reason I am the one here returning it is because I am unemployed." (My purse falls over) "Whoops! LOOK, nothing fell out. Impressed?" Yeah . . . I am a real charmer.

They treated me like a pretty dolly . . . even though I was in a Cookie Monster t-shirt with my hair frizzing out of my bun and old shoes falling apart around my feet. (sing song) Delightful.

Meagan and I finished the rounds before noon and then had vegan pizza, vegan brownie and beer. We even made a smiley face out of it and took a picture with my iPhone. The waiter was this surfer looking dreamer. He looked at us and said, "I wish I had your life."

Monday, August 16, 2010

Love, Texts, Parents, Lying and MAD MEN

It has been 8 days since I sent Abe the text message, "Are U sad yet?" Suddenly, in the middle of the night Saturday, I got a text. "I am sad now."

Seems like a long time for sadness to settle in. That said, I have had enough experience with guys to understand that they are different beasts entirely. There is an extended time line on everything.

Now, I don't like games. However, giving Abe the time to sit in on life without me is a necessary step for him to figure out what he really wants. I don't want to date a teenage boy who isn't confident making decisions or taking control. That said, I do want to date Abe . . . badly. So I just have to wait out this period a little longer.

I waited 24 hours and texted back, "You are a week late. I have a stomach flu or someone poisoned me with dairy." He wrote back with a picture of his roommate "Youngin" to make me feel better. I sent a pic of me modeling (re: last post) and he said, "Someday that pic is gonna be worth 5,000." I love it when people say shit like that to me. Whether its true or not, it is wonderful to dream.

"If wishes were horses. Beggars would ride." - I read recently in PEOPLE OF THE BOOK

I was following the rule laid down by those wiser than me. End the chain of communication on his message. Never ask questions. Wait 24 hours to text back. I know it all seems like pish posh- but damn if it doesn't work.

He called. We spoke about our week and at the end he said, "I miss you." He took that moment to breath in before letting the words out. I said, "I miss you too." There was a silence, there is nothing more I can say. If he wants me, he has to take the next step.

I know everyone and their mother has to lecture me about HE'S JUST NOT THAT INTO YOU. Somehow, that book has weaseled its way into being a corner stone of every American woman's life.
The book is common sense, don't be the pursuer, something I figured out in high school. I resent that damn book. I resent even more that everyone thinks any guy pulling away from you in the slightest is "Just Not that Into Me."

I am not a fucking retard, I can tell when a guy harbors feelings for me or if he is not connecting. A guy tells you he loves you, makes love to you for a month straight and introduces you to his family . . . yeah, he is into you. He is just scared.

I also resent the way men always have to toss it in my face, as if to remind me how unspecial I am. "Hey, woman, look around. You are in Los Angeles, girls like you are a dime a dozen."
Hey asshole, never question a woman's intuition. Alright. Seriously.

My dear friend
Jaq called me this morning and said, "I know you jumped on that guy who recommended HE'S JUST NOT THAT INTO YOU on Facebook. But you really should read it." I said, "I have read the fucking book. I read it 6 years ago, and you know what that book has done for me? The ONLY thing its done is given me ammunition to throw in my boyfriend's face. They HATE it when I say, 'Hey, I read that book and maybe you just aren't that into me.' Then they get defensive, repeat, 'I hate that fucking book!' and in some sub-conscious part of their brain, they modify their behavior."

It has never, and I will repeat EVER stopped me from pursuing a guy I had an established love interest in. Because, guess what folks, it is not the only tree of wisdom out there. Sometimes guys get scared. Sometimes guys get distracted. Sometimes guys get confused. But guess what, they are still fucking into you!

I should add here that Helen on-again off-again lover, who was reluctant to commit even after nursing her back to health after a terrible fall resulting in both brain damage and a broken wrist, finally broke down after several weeks of the silent treatment. She really is a lot more disciplined that I am.

He showed up to her one-woman show premiere with roses under the guise that he just wanted to be supportive. They spent over an hour in a car passionately discussing the relationship. A week passes, he returns with a ring and a changed facebook status. I know, its what we all dream of.

Right now, I am basking in the glory that my (ex) boyfriend misses me.

(sigh) Ok, that part of my rant is over.

Shall I move on to my next grievance? God, this feels good.

Ok, my cell phone was turned off due to lack of payment. Two months had gone by and I forgot to prioritize it on my list of bills. By the time is was turned off, they wanted full payment (which I never was able to do in one lump sum).

I will take a moment to tell you how much I rely on my phone. It is the only phone I have. It is my only means of booking and securing jobs as a freelance artist. Once it was turned off, I was afraid I would lose my MAD MEN job I booked a couple days before and would have to not only shell out the balance of $220 but also some kind of deposit to put it back on. Mind you, my checking account was -$634.00.

Who do you turn to? My (ex) boyfriend who I am teaching a lesson to about how independent I am. Scratch that off. Or my sister, who is still pissed about a $150 vet bill she offered to front for Esther after she was attacked by a foster dog, Penelope. Esther was ok, but needed antibiotics. Or my parents. Now my parents believe in "tough love" or this was their excuse for not letting me move home when my boyfriend was beating me up in an apartment I couldn't afford on me own. That was last year.

When my cat died, my mother sent me a $100 and then another $100 when I was getting on my feet as an actress. The next day she said she would stop supporting me because she felt like she was enabling me.

I sent them an email "My cell phone was turned off today. I know you don't want to 'enable' me, but if you could help front the money for me, I am waiting on 4 paychecks. I can send you a post dated check. It is my only means for booking work. I am off to a job right now, but its for $40 and I need $220. Me"

While I was doing audience work, I thought about my mother sending me the cash and telling me "not to worry about paying it off. Everyone needs some help, sometimes. In fact, here is a little extra so you can get some food for yourself."

I actually convinced myself that she might take that approach. Why? WHY did I manipulate myself? Maybe its because most of the actors and others I am surrounded by who are supported by their parents in their artistic endeavors as well as financially. They get help with rent, cell phone, headshots, car payments . . . I am not asking for any of that. I just needed a friend to front me the money.

Couldn't they see I have been working my ass off? I work 12 hour days multiple times a week, I work any day that I can, I never ask for money from them (once in a blue moon) and don't they respect that I am not willing to sacrifice my life to be some inferior's SLAVE!? Like they have, their ENTIRE LIVES!

Eight hours passed and there was no response. I post my grievances for everyone to see on Facebook because, as Jaq has said, there is no quicker way to receive validation. It's true. Of course if you defriend someone, they act as though you've torn your Jewish frock in contempt of their very existence.

A friend from the first job I was fired from back in 2007 wrote me and said:

"Would you allow me to pay your cell phone bill? I'm offering this because it seems that the work that you're doing pretty much requires you to have a working phone. And if you don't have a phone your work opportunities will suffer. You can pay me back as soon as you're able.

As I told you before I admire the huge risk you are taking by trying to make it as an actress. And I would really hate for you to have to give up when it really seems you are very close to taking it to the next level and getting some paying gigs.

Your Friend,"

I actually got misty eyed . . . sweating in 100 degree weather, parked in the loading zone of a cafe so I could access free Wi-Fi. I gave him the go ahead.

My mother emailed me a little later with a note that said, "Check is in the mail. You need to get a real job. Everything else has already been said."

My father wrote, "No. Yours, Dad"

It really fucking PISSED me off. You do everything RIGHT. You work HARD. You follow your DREAMS. WHY THE HELL ARE MY PARENTS SO COLD? Do they really think they are helping me by not throwing me a line when my fucking phone is about to get turned off? What the hell are they thinking?

I would sink further and further in debt and never be able to recover.

I wrote back to them, "I refuse to feel guilty for asking for help. I work very hard and honestly. It's a shame you don't appreciate that. Your loss."

That's the last thing I ever said to them. I got my mom's check in the mail, no doubt with a small note of guilt. I will shred the check and mail it back to her tomorrow.

Am I a bitch for ripping apart my parents despite my mother sending me a check? Maybe. What's the point though- cashing in a check for pregnant silences and cynical smacking. Fuck it.

I think about how I would treat an ACQUAINTANCE if they came to me for help. I take any request I have made to my parents and wonder how I would answer them if they were an old college buddy and I was picking up extra hours over the summer to save up for another ITALIAN vacation (yes, my mother is in that exact position). Yeah . . . I think I would front them the money. In fact, I know I would front them the money.

I will not become my parents. I will not become my parents. I will not become my (sigh) parents.

Anyway, I had a shoot on Saturday. A cute 23-page script about a couple having trouble conceiving. I was the only white person in the cast and played (of course) an airhead hippie married to a Malcolm X want-to-be.

My part includes demonstrating fertility positions with my black husband in a public park. Needless to say, I feel like this part was written for me.

My Co-Star said, "I get to speak some black power and grind up against my white wife. I have been preparing for this role for 8 weeks. I'm ready!" He was a big guy with dreadlocks. He was very funny, but too goofy. He would lose his focus in an orgasm of giggles. I was surprisingly focused and able to keep a straight face.

At one point, I have to get down on the grass with my legs in the air and let my Black Husband grind on me. He mentioned before we got down on the grass, "I am gonna grind away until there is nothing left." I refuse to be intimidated by silly boys. I said, "So there will only be some of my hair left on the grass by the end of the scene." He had a big laugh.

I asked him before we got down if there was any part of his body he didn't want me to touch. He thought that was hilarious. Then I asked if there was a safe word we should use, "Like More'" I said, smiling. He added, "Or keep going." I liked my punchline more.

Everything was playful and light, until one of the crew, an older man of about mid 50s, made some comment about wanting me. All the guys did- no matter what animal noises I threw in to my bizarre hippie performance, the men were aroused. After the old man made his comment, Ty, my black husband said, "Wait til I am done with her, then you can have whatever is left." That bothered me. It still does.

We got down on the ground and did the scene maybe like 7 times for various camera angles. The last take with him on top of me ended up hurting my vagina a little bit. That belt buckle was intense. He also broke his thin cigar in the scene, as it sat crookedly out of his mouth. Looked funny from my perspective.

I remember an actor saying once, in the case of a sex scene, "I'm sorry if I get an erection, and I'm sorry if I don't."

In this case, he had an erection all right. At no point was the scene erotic. My clitoris is still in recovery. I let my skirt go all the way up with my purple, period panties on secure. I didn't feel I had anything to worry about. Then when I got home, I discovered a round wet spot soaked through. God help me, my black husband probably saw that.

The next 24 hours is a fog of a migraine and a stomach bug, my theory being someone poisoned me with dairy in the vegetarian fast food restaurant I stopped in on after I wrapped. I will spare you the gruesome details.

Today, I woke up knowing I had to prepare for my background role on MAD MEN. The fitting was today and I was booked on the job promising I didn't have highlights, didn't have a fake tan, didn't have visible tattoos and was willing to let them cut my hair to shoulder length. Well ... I don't have a fake tan.

An actor once told me the only way to get somewhere is to lie. He was paid an extra fee for having firefighter experience on a role. Truth be told, he had no firefighter experience. I said, "Well, you're very lucky they didn't ask you to do something career specific." He shrugged his shoulder. "You lie to get a wait (restaurant) position too. They all want experience. You have to lie about it to get your foot in the door." I am so bad at lying.

In this case, I was able to do it over the phone for MAD MEN. (I heart MAD MEN)

I spent three hours curling my hair so it looked shorter and using a video on to cover my tattoos with two shades of foundation and a lip gloss base. By the time I was out the door, my wrist wasn't dry.

When you are an extra, you are booked and given an information line and a call change line. Now, the problem with these lines is they are reused in the future. I checked the call change line box last night at 3am, when I was suffering from intense abdominal pain. And all the info was there. At 10am this morning, it was all gone with, "Your call time change box for Mad Men, Tuesday, August 17th. There are no call time changes as of yet." I was like . . . HUH?

So I called my contact and the emergency line at the casting office, no answer. I left a few voice messages and then drove down there with my foundation curdling on my wrist tattoo. I was half an hour late, I showed up when someone finally called me back from the casting office. I told them I was waiting for them and was at the studio. Part of that was true, I was at the studio.

I park and realize there is no way I am going to be able to hide the clumping make-up on my wrist. I get lost in the studio at least twice before finally finding the fitting room. I am 40 minutes late. The girl doesn't seem to care since she is obsessed with her iPhone. However, I am the only actress there which is unusual for a background role.

Another actor is there and told they don't have time to cut his hair. A girl drifted in who knew the actor. He started bringing up who off the show he met at the table read. This must mean he has a speaking role. The girl asked how one particular actress was (I didn't catch the name) and he responded with, "She's great. She talked to me afterward, gave me $2o, friended me on Facebook." The girl, doe-eyed, "Really?" He laughed . . . "no."

I was sent first to the hairstylists trailer. I walk in and they say, "Ooooh, do you have anything for those roots?" :-( "What roots?" I say. They say they have something they can spray in my hair to fix it. Then they ask if I am interested in getting my hair cut down. I say, "No."

They said that was ok and sent me on my way with hair roller instructions. Thursday morning I have to show up with rollers in my hair and panty hose of the "sun tan" shade.

Then I went back to wardrobe. No one has noticed my wrist yet. I pull off about 4 outfits before they did notice. The only reason they saw it is because they needed to button up the cuffs on a blouse. At that point, they noticed I had smeared make-up on my vintage bra and the white blouse. I am mortified.

She gets a bandage to wrap it and says I am just making things worse trying to rub it out with my fingers. I apologized. My cheeks burned. One of the wardrobe girls said, "Don't worry about it." Everyone is so NICE. I told her, "I feel incredibly guilty." The other wardrobe girl, the short one who didn't make chit chat with me said, "Just wait to cover that up until after you see wardrobe Thursday. That seems like it has more make-up caked on than others I have seen before."

I then told them I tried covering it up for three hours. They expressed mild interest, I think, to ease my guilt and worry. That said, no one noticed the one on my ankle. That one I covered up quite nicely.

The dresses were kind of weird. Really uncomfortable, I felt like my mobility was cut down by one third. Leaning down to put on shoes, I would feel the neck line crush my throat, like it was trying to strangle my reproductive rights out of me. It also made my hips look ginormous.
I also have to use small cloth fillers called "tips" to pop out the ends of those torpedo brassieres. I really don't understand why women would shape their breasts like that, unnaturally. I felt like in the right blouse, I could open fire.

They liked two of the seven outfits they made me try on. They took my picture in both and sent me on my way.

Then I was signed out, with the hour that I should have showed up if I wasn't 40 minutes late, and my real out time. So I was paid for 2 hours. I LOVE this show.

I hope to book more work this week, but really nothing beats writing in my living room surrounded by sleeping dogs. I really hope I can do more of that. I would do it forever if I could.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

How Starring in a Low Grade Horror Movie Changed My Life

I don't think I mentioned this, but I met Abe on the set of a very independent feature film that shot on weekends over the course of 3 months this past spring. I know feature films come with an assumption of glamor and this expectation that it will come out in theaters. This film was the opposite of all of those things.

I was cast because I was the best actress willing to audition in Orange County for a role that doesn't pay. Pretty much everyone that auditioned got a part.

The director is this ex-stoner mechanic having a mid life crisis. He owns his own film camera and equipment, usually renting it out to film students for use. This time he was going to sink his life savings in a sub-par, 45 page, supernatural thriller. The premise was a single mom is in peril when her 5 yr-old daughter starts communicating with the dead mayor of Anaheim, also former leader of the local KKK.

What does this mean? It means that a lot of spirits of the former KKK start meeting and hanging out around my house, which I can't sell . . . and . . . I forget how the first version ended.

So, after my audition- where I thought I sucked because he basically dismissed me after one reading, the director, call him Dir. Dickhead (I do) asked me to meet with him on the script . . . in a bar . . . on Super Bowl Sunday. He was tipsy and we really got no where. He never officially offered me the part but he ended the conversation with, "I look forward to working with you," and handed me a bag of avocados.

Later, I was offered another role on a short (because I am awesome) and I asked for the dates of shoot the following month so I could schedule accordingly. The student production was willing to be flexible around Dir. Dick's needs.

After sending that text, I get a phone call from Dick that he questioned my loyalty with the project, he needs an actress who can be available all the time and isn't trying to pack in other projects, blah blah blah. I said, "Are you saying I don't have the part? Because if that's the case, I should continue to submit myself for paid jobs during April-May."

Silence, then, "There is another girl. I am willing to sacrifice talent in this case for commitment. Maybe we can do a screen test and then make a decision from there." To which I said, "There has never been any question with my commitment. All I have is my word, there is nothing else I can offer you. So at this point, I am going to continue to audition for roles scheduled for production during that period. If you want to do a screen test, fine."

Three days passed. Then he called to say the part was mine. That's right, Dick. It always was.

The film was being shot in a real haunted house built in the early 1900s ... I think. It was a very cool house. I saw it before we started shooting on a wardrobe meeting I had with Dick, alone, at his house. Basically, he asked about my relationship situation, said he had never been with a woman for longer than 9 months and was lonely. Meanwhile, he would comment on the shape of my body in various dresses. If that last comment wasn't clear, let me rephrase. While trying on different pieces of wardrobe for the film, he would comment on how hot some of the dresses got him and once commented that he could see my breasts under one particular fabric. A real Romeo.

Later, I found out that he was unhappy with my clothes and wanted me to go over to the Make-Up woman's house for more wardrobe testing. I went over and met Dirty Debbie. Debbie is a wonderful, quirky, bizarrely unpredictable person. She had orange and white streaks in her hair, goth make-up with a touch of David Bowie. She must be around the age of 50 yrs old, has a personal relationship with Jesus Christ and loves to tell dirty stories. She is awesome.

She has two grown daughters and lives by herself in a very small apartment with three cats. I loved Debbie. When I first met her she couldn't stop talking about how much she liked brandy. Then, as soon as Dick stepped out for a phone call, she asked me if we were intimately acquainted. I said, "NO!" I asked why she felt like asking, and she said that she had a romantic history with Dick but would be cool if I wanted a piece of him. I would rather swallow vomit.

So, here I am, trying on clothes of the director's ex-girlfriend, and he is loving it. He thinks I am becoming the character. I think I am just becoming a younger version of his ex-girlfriend.

Later, he took me to the house we were shooting the bulk of the story in and I fell in love with it. There were taxidermy animals everywhere, even the kitchen, thousands of pieces of Christian decor in every form, including a huge hanging picture of Jesus Christ when played by Robert Powell. There was a dining room table with an old piano holding up a pile of small, framed pictures. There was a chandelier hanging over the table with angel heads peering out of it.

There was a door along the stairway that opened up to a brick wall. A picture of the house in the house. It smelled faintly of cat piss. That became our home for the next three months, Friday-Sunday.

First night, the crew was incredibly small, only four people. Dick was operating the camera. Abe was adjusting the lights. Peter was recording audio and Giselle was trying to do everything else. I walked on to set and noticed Abe, in those dirty jeans and utility gloves.

My little co-star was the fabulous Jacqueline, age 6. I reverted to film school and tried to make everything work on set the way it should. I tried to be Script Supervisor and at times help with production, but my mind got muddled. So the one thing I learned from the set of ANAHEIM the Movie was to go with the flow and keep stress light when you are in front of the camera. No one was going to save that picture, and it certainly wasn't going to be me.

Every night, at 10pm, Disneyland let off its fireworks over our dialogue, so production would hold as we all snacked on bread and peanut butter.

Whenever I am new and single on a scene, I identify the man I would most likely mate with (if any). Abe. I spoke to him briefly at the end of the weekend, and told him he looked like Willem Dafoe. He seemed fairly detached from the conversation, but later told me that that moment was the first time he wondered what it would be like to kiss me.

Shooting went on, and we found a good rhythm with Dick's insistence on one takes. He often compared himself to Ed Wood, the worst film director in history. WHY!? My character is the lead, but also very reactionary. Most of the time, I am witnessing something, being abused by my ex-husband/ghosts or I have one line. I used to joke about being off book since I think I had less dialogue than any of the other supporting characters in the film, including the 6-yr-old.

Other supporting actors included a guy who was on Millionaire Matchmaker, who we called Cue Card Kevin. He needed huge poster boards with his dialogue written on it, held off camera during the scene because he couldn't memorize his lines.

There was also a wrestler from Texas, a few older men who lived in Orange County and an old biker from Ventura.

I got very close with Dirty Debbie, Peter, Giselle and even the Production Designer who I will call Jean. I made them laugh, took naps on their shoulder, got to know them over the 12-16 hours we would shoot a day. Once I put my head on Abe's shoulder, and felt him grow stiff and uncomfortable. We never developed that bond I had with the others, though my attraction for him was constant. There were a few weeks, where I was still in Mind Fuck Territory with the Prophet, thinking I lost the love of my life because God picked out the most handsome, mentally unstable guy and paired my soul with his . . . just to see what happens.

One day, I felt over the Prophet. I remember waking up and feeling like a weight was lifted. Instead of thinking about him every 30 min, it was 2-3 times a day. Life was simpler, calmer, more easy to manage. I started to notice the way Abe's jeans hung from his hips. His professional concentration with that wavy hair and lazy beard. He somehow encompassed the best parts of a working class man with creative professionalism.

He was also the only person to comment on/compliment my acting during the first weekend of shooting. Lots of directors think reassurance is a superficial luxury for on-screen talent. The thing is, ya gotta know if you are on the right track or not. When everyone is silent, there is doubt.

Dirty Debbie would also hand out compliments to everybody. She is just a really good person. She had about seven dirty stories she would retell over the course of the shoot. Each time I walked in on her telling someone else, I laughed my ass off. That chick is so bizarre.

Dirty Story #1: Once, she was hired to come over and clean an apt. for a guy. She owns her own cleaning service. So she opens the door and the guy is standing in front of her, completely nude. She says, I refuse to come in until you put a robe on.

After cleaning his place for a while, he asks her to Nair his balls. She says no.

Dirty Story #2: One time there was a guy that was stalking her, and while she was at the dentist, she was put under for oral surgery. The stalker somehow paid off the dentist, came in while she was under and stuck his penis down her throat. He carved an x on the base of the throat where he claims the tip of his penis touched.

I was unable to see the scar but she says its there.

Dirty Story #3: A married man used to come to Debbie for haircuts. (She also is a hair dresser ;) His wife came in and told Debbie that her husband had crabs. Debbie says, "Sucks for you, that must mean you have crabs." The wife denied having crabs and Debbie realized this was some kind of manipulated story to get Debbie to admit she was having an affair with this woman's husband. She was not.

Dirty Story #4: There is someone stalking her, she doesn't know who he is but when he sees her, he pulls his pants really high up so she sees the outline of his penis.

Dirty Story #5: Once she made a nice dinner for a sailor. After dinner, they hung out by the pool and he masturbated in front of her. She asked him to leave.

With Debbie . . . penises were always involved.

The caterer was a woman named Cindy, who always seemed agitated. It turned out she also had an affair with Dick. It seems, all the women over the age of 40 involved in the film had been sexually intimate with Dick.

After a while, I started changing all my dialogue to improve it. My partner, Lana, will tell you I thrive with improv. I also think I am a better writer than Dick. Towards the end, he started catching on that I was reinventing the dialogue and asked me to stick with the script. Just because he didn't know what the word "vortex" meant.

Halfway through shooting, Dick called me up to say he wanted to change the ending. He wanted the Wrestler and Cue Card Kevin to rape and kill me at the end. He must have said the word rape at least 8 times in our 5 minute conversation. RAPE. Jesus Christ, I heard ya, you wanna film me getting raped. Something like that can't be tagged on as an after thought. You only use it to spin off a story.

Later he decided I wouldn't be raped, but the next movie he makes will be about two girls that get raped. You know . . . people like that need to get raped!

Also towards the end of shooting, I started to worry that Abe and I would not have time to consummate my attraction. He showed no real interest in me with the exception of one day when he told me my name was 7 and 7; the value of the letter as it corresponds to the alphabet. He said his name was also 7 and 7, and he had never met another person with the same numbers.

Knowing that men need to hunt down their women to feel a sense of conquest and reward, I didn't want to ask him out. So I told every single woman on set that I had the hots for Abe. Literally, the first thing I would say is, "You know who I have the hots for? Abe." They would laugh and then make their way to him on set and poke or prod him a little bit about asking me out.

It was all very innocent. He is innocent, as much as I bitch about him ... he is relatively untouched by the art of love and war.

Jean was leading the campaign to get Abe to ask me out. For the benefit of the women on set, I would arch my back so my boobs came close to Abe's light meter. I would pretend to find myself in sexual positions when he was just around the corner of the set. Then, I said just out of ear shot once, "We would have beautiful babies." Jean said, "Oh my God."

Later, she walked up to Abe and said, "She just told me she wanted to have your kids." Abe responded with, "That sounds nice." He was starting to get it.

So, that night, Jean asked one of her surfer OC buddies to come out and party with us. She wanted to quell my sexual frustration. This short kid arrives to set, and I am feeling slightly uncomfortable since I already planted my seed with Abe. I was also very busy with scenes and stuff. They both had to ask me why I was avoiding them. I wasn't avoiding him . . . really.

We decided to go out to a bar afterward. Abe invited himself along. :)

We arrived at the bar and ordered some beer. Short, goofy kid bought me a bottle and shortly thereafter I discovered we had nothing in common. NOTHING. He was in construction and told me about some of the buildings he worked on; schools, post offices, government buildings. I told him he was making history with all of his cement, brick and wood. He said for the first time I made him feel proud about what he does.

He never had a chance with me, he was so much shorter and didn't like pit bulls.

Abe and the rest of the crew, including Dir. Dickhead, arrived and Abe sat next to me in Goofy's seat while he was using the toilet. We started talking, I was self-conscious because another man bought my drinks and I felt guilty. Abe's head would swivel around to see who I was looking for. Also, while Dick made him shoot some footage in that bar that night (in no written scene), I started a conversation or two with gentlemen there at the bar. I could feel Abe's eyes burning into me, and hear Dick call back his attention.

I finally had his interest. This is the moment when you look within yourself to see if you really want what you have laid out for yourself.

Abe and I got in a talk about his iPod list. We spoke about music, we had a lot in common. Then we spoke about men and sex. I was going through some weird period of slight resentment; re: men being emotionally disconnected from the experience. I said, "I realize men are more visual. Women need context and even romance to get excited." Then Abe said something no one had ever said to me before in all the conversations about men & sex, "Men need that, too." He said it a little quietly, like he was gently suggesting a personal secret.

We smoked outside, and it was raining a lot. This was really unusual for southern california and why was it raining SO MUCH. Abe had an umbrella from his car he kept over me. Later, he would stand behind me and soak in all the rainstorm to keep me dry. He said, "I just want you to know my jeans are completely soaked all the way in back for you."

I was IN LOVE with this kid. Who was he?

As Goofy was leaving, he asked if he could call me. It was raining, the bar was closed and Abe was still holding an umbrella over me. I told Goofy to grab my info from Jean. Abe dismissed himself from the conversation half way through and I turned to catch up with him. He brought me some crackers from his car to help sober me up for the ride home.

From there on out, I couldn't stop thinking about him. It would be 4 days til I could see him again. The next weekend we shot basement scenes in a redecorated mechanic garage. The ghosts of the film basically sport white make-up and look like a group of old mimes. Again, the opposite of scary. Abe was tuned in to me a little more. I caught his eye as I was climbing the prop staircase before my scene. He pulled a sliver from my finger, started taking silly pictures with me and the rest of the crew, then hooked his iPod into speakers for everyone to hear instead of keeping earbuds in all the time.

We went over to Dick's place for drinks on a Saturday night. Giselle sat across from Dick and I sat across from Abe. Chinese zodiac signs were discussed and then Abe mentioned that he is very much into Mayan Numerology and asked for my birthday. When I told him he said, "INTERESTING!" Little did I know how significant my birthday was to Abe, to him it is more important than almost anything else.

Around the second bottle of wine, Abe was coughing up tidbits of story about a chick from his past. Dick knew the story, and asked questions that opened up more and more. A girl from his high school he had a big crush on and later grew fascinated with because of her birthday.

He and I had this intense back and forth about God, aliens, the soul . . . and now I find out he is stuck on some chick!? I excused myself for the night. He said, "Now I am starting to think I shouldn't have said any of this." I said, "You would have thought right."

The next morning, I was the only one who showed up on time to set. I was hung over, had a few hours sleep and a larger commute each way than Dick, Giselle or Abe. I was annoyed. Somehow, I finagled Abe's cell phone out of Dick while I was waiting for everyone on set. No answer.

He showed up and wouldn't look at me. I think he thought things were botched between us, but I slowly won him back over the day. At one point Abe checked the frame of the camera as it was on me. He said, "Looks good. What's on camera looks really good." He looked up and smiled at me.

I ran over to Dirty Debbie and jumped up and down shouting, "He thinks I am pretty!!!"

Another 4 days of no Abe til we shot the following weekend. I texted. I emailed. Nothing. I got him on GChat and implied that I have nothing to do, while not on set. He said, he had nothing either. Then I wrote "hmmmmm" and he basically said he would talk to me later and logged off. Awesome.

We shot the following weekend at a juvenile facility that left half of its buildings to deteriorate, empty, with no maintenance or grounds keeping. The chapel's corners and crevices were filled with dead bees. Thousands of dead bees.

I even got to drive Abe's car as part of the scene. Pete took video of me licking the stick shift and steering column as an exercise in affection.

The Wrestler was on set and I made quick friends with another girl in my scene who I got to be rude in character. At least I had something to do.

Just before the first dialogue scene, I looked over at Abe . . . holding a fill with his sunglasses on. The corner of his mouth slowly peeled back in a sexy smile. I smiled back just before turning on to camera for the scene.

By the time we got to shooting the interiors, the entire cast and crew BUT Dick were ridiculously silly. I got the nun to pose in provocative positions. The priest was hitting on Abe between shots. Dick lost his temper and yelled at us. I was the only one that believed he actually had the right. None of us were focused, even Abe who is always focused now wanted to be in on every joke.

Before I left, the Wrestler cornered me on the side of the building. It was dark and I had known that he wanted to ask me out. Now that I was advertising my feelings for Abe, everyone was more motivated about intercepting the inevitable. Abe was my destiny.

As the Wrestler spoke to me about Abe, I looked in to another side chapel through a dirty window. Forty feet away, Abe looked up and smiled at me through glass. It was around this weekend that my friend from Canada flew in to town to visit me.

My one bedroom apartment is a very delicate situation. At the time, I had two foster pit bulls, and my two pit bulls and two cats. I rented this apartment because there is a wall of doors that can section off half the apt for dogs and half for the cats. My friend, Canada, left all four dogs in the living room alone without doing the sweep for a bone. There was a fight between the two fosters and he called me on my way home.

It is so frustrating for me when something bad happens with my animals. My cat died last year in a violent end and my heart is still raw from it all; losing the cat, losing the Prophet, losing my job . . . its just a lot.

Canada wanted to stay in a motel nearby instead of my place, so I drove him, tended to my baby's wounds and then got my first text from Abe. It was lyrics to a 70s song, I think "All she wants to do is dance dance." I called and unloaded my story, about the dogs and Canada and my cat. He was patient, trying to listen carefully to everything I was saying. The conversation lasted longer than my cell phone battery.

He mentioned that his grandmother has a vintage mustang and would take me for a ride in it. It was all so exciting for me. This sounded like he wanted to be my boyfriend.

A few days later, I was hanging out on set. My scenes were wrapped, but I was helping out more and more with the equipment to spend time with my friends, mostly Abe. The final shot that weekend was some stunt stuff between two male actors, and one of them was supposed to be thrown from the 2nd story balcony. Dick substituted with a mannequin to fall and collapse on the front lawn.

He did ask the actor to literally jump, because he is all about half fast thoughts and somebody else's safety. The crew and cast (again, all but Dick) took turns molesting the mannequin, taking pictures with it. We ripped off its wig and all took individual pictures wearing it.

As we were packing up, I felt like Abe was being distant with me. Sometimes it seems like I am a huge flirt. I mean, I am, but it was different with other guys than with Abe. He was suddenly quiet and not making eye contact with me.

I was lugging equipment to and fro, looking for any excuse to walk in on him packing things away. I did, and then was suddenly scared and walked out. Out by the equipment van, he suddenly walked up to me, his floppy bangs cast over the top of his head in sweat and he asked me out for a date. I smiled and said YES.

He took me to a bar called Ye Olde Ship. We both got a pint of beer and some snacks, and sat across from each other. It felt like a very big table. After all this time, I now have him. I was nervous. We spoke about basic things; family, my marriage and divorce, school . . .

We walked out and decided to smoke in my car. There, we chain smoked and eventually he asked to hold my hand. I gave it to him. Then we kissed. He giggled like a school girl. It was a little odd, his laughing, but I was so eager to feel if there was electricity on his lips, I kept reaching up for more . . . like it was a drinking fountain when you don't quite realize how thirsty you are.

Both the conversation and our tongues got deeper. We moved to the back of his car, since he is cleaner, and carried on like kids in Middle School. He drew a heart on the foggy window of the car and promised he would never hurt me.

Arrows through hearts, drawn on a misty window . . . you're taking me home in the rain.
My heart is beating don't say no, my head keeps saying, take it slow.

. . . that's right, that's Wilson Phillips. When its applicable, its applicable.

When the sun came up, he asked what I was doing later and I said Disneyland with Canada. He asked to join. I was euphoric. For 5 years I tried to get the Prophet to take me to Disneyland, and now on the first date, Abe was going to take me.

He went to traffic court and then immediately met us at Disneyland afterward. In the line for IT'S A SMALL WORLD, I was bent over the hand rail and meowed like a cat in heat . . . waiting for him. That was day 2 of our 7-day first date. It was everything I wanted, and more. The chemistry and conversation were there, everything was there. I didn't think my heart would come back after the Prophet. And here I was less than 6 months later, and I felt like my heart was ripped out of my chest and hooked up to jumper cables.

The production trudged on. Everyone was happy Abe and I finally consummated, everyone but Dick of course. And I genuinely believe that is because he wanted to nail every single girl on set. The lead actress would be bonus points.

We eventually wrapped principal photography. Bitter sweet, I would save on gas now and never have to work for that ungrateful, 1-take-wonder director again . . . but I wouldn't see my friends anymore. I grew closer to Giselle, Peter, Debbie and Abe faster than any other group of people out in Los Angeles.

It's funny, when I wrote the paragraph on Debbie, she called. When I started the story about Abe, he called. I must be psychically in tune or something.

So fast forward to yesterday: 2 Months Later. I asked Jean to take some pictures of me. I need a body shot of me skinny (I went down a size since I started acting) and a head shot of my smile. A big smile, it might be my most marketable feature.

Jean was in an on-again, off-again thing with Dick and we decided to stop in a bar and have a margarita to commiserate our recent losses. I do have to say, with all my bitching about Abe, it really pales in comparison to everyone else's stories of breaking up this summer.

With a double shot of tequila and a margarita under my skin, we started taking some awesome pictures. The woman has an eye. She would go up to random people and have me pose with them. We walked into stores and took pictures of me in dresses we couldn't afford behind a changing room door. I posed in my bra against a graffiti wall with a 2-piece jazz band next to me.

One more margarita and I was in the sand frolicking in my underwear. I have always been very sensitive about my stomach. It just isn't flat. Its not toned, its not flat- but I am in a place where if my posture is correct, it isn't embarrassing. A man rode his bicycle by and said I looked great. I thought, "Really?"

Then another man showed me his book of poems and said the one on page 21 was written for me.

The jazz band hit on me, everyone was hitting on me. I really think the presence of a professional camera subconsciously tells people that the actor is someone worth knowing. Even someone worth desiring. Even when I was fully clothed, Jean taking pictures of me made me a star. I don't think anyone would have noticed me otherwise.

Jean was bitter about Dick and had his car, so I poured all the sand out of my shoes and in his car. She had described stage 1 of abusive behavior with Dick and I was furious with him.

We drove to a restaurant and met her friend Zane, who is another version of Dick- middle aged, Hispanic with the reflex and conversational skills of a stoner at an outdoor concert. Zane was ok.

I kept drinking and got the distinct feeling that Jean wanted something sexual to happen. She asked me to kiss Zane, which I agreed to a peck. He lingered and I felt like guilt just washed up my chest. I said aloud, "I feel like I just cheated on Abe." No, we're broken up, it was just a peck, blah blah blah . . . I realized that I didn't want to be broken up with Abe. In fact, that I may have acted rashly in severing the relationship instead of just holding back.

I was pushing him into becoming my ideal boyfriend and not allowing for him to catch up with things. Or even allow myself to catch up with things. His communication sucks, it really sucks. I was too intense, too pushy ... I let my feminine neurosis dictate my behavior in the relationship. Under all the texts and conversations, I believe the problem is that I haven't sorted out my issues with the Prophet yet, and Abe has never been in an adult relationship before.

We went back to Zane's place for champagne and a few more pictures. We got a little carried away. I was jumping around in a wife beater with only panties and a hat on, and Jean was flirting. There was pot, there was another liquor run, there was the soft conversation of push and pull between Jean and Zane in the corner. I sent a few drunk texts to Abe and Dick, all in fun, then drifted off to sleep.

I remember Zane massaging me and Jean taking a few pictures. Later, Jean claimed that she saved me from practically being raped by him. I never felt in danger or concerned that either of us would be violated. Zane was an old friend of Jean's, so what the hell? Maybe he made some comments, and maybe she did talk him out of it. *note to self, never crash on a strange man's couch again.

Around 3am, I woke up to Jean flipping out, crying and upset. Zane was sloshed and trying to calm her down, but was too clumsy with his words and feelings to avoid perpetuating the situation. I listed to Jean, who was mourning the death of her Uncle from several years ago. She said he was murdered by an axe murderer and was crying so hard I couldn't understand what the fuck she was talking about. That sounds royally fucked up and random, so it is only appropriate I never found out what she was talking about.

She had regret. Everyone she loves dies. She wants to die. Oh, Jesus.

I tried talking her down, but it wasn't helping. She was crying so loud, Zane was worried the cops would come. I said, "There is a lot of negativity here. The alcohol has us thinking in circles. You need to sleep this off and come back to it in the morning. Right now there are snakes in your brain, Jean! You aren't in a good state of mind."

Jean yelled at me that she would be in pain tomorrow and forever, whether she was sober or not. Zane yelled at me, thinking I was calling him negative and blaming him for the situation. So I said, Jean, "I have to go back to my animals. Do you want to come?" At this point, as I remember she started calmly plucking at an iPhone app, and said, "In just a minute, yeah." I said, "You can't take this negativity back to my place. I have the animals there and its already a kind of delicate system-" She said, "Ok, FUCK YOU."

I laughed. Zane laughed. I said, "Ok, I am leaving." She waved goodbye and said a few mean things that mean nothing to me and I drove home.

There really is nothing like your empty home, with happy dogs and sleepy cats and no crying or screaming to make you think that isolation really is the answer to working in Los Angeles.

Jean disappeared shortly after I left. I called her and Dick, hoping she was safe. Zane asked me out for dinner sometime and Dick asked me if we had a threesome. GET OVER IT!

Everything was calm, Jean called to tell me what a disappointment I was of a friend and how I am the example of why she never has female friends. She opened up to us and we wouldn't help her. Oh, and I told her she would feel better in the morning. She doesn't.

What she wants is the energy of people around her to work in order to alter her emotional state. I just can't deal with that. And after all the stories about Dick, she was back at his place.

I asked her to call me after talking to him. She didn't. I was worried and offered to come by, talk to her, get my clothes that she wouldn't let me get out of the car last night and get my pictures. Most importantly! The pictures.

She took a nap at Dick's. Dick sent me a text warning me not to "fuck" with him again. Also, that he wouldn't allow me to see Jean until he cleared it with her first. Obviously, some story was relayed where, surprise surprise, Jean was the victim and I somehow violated her trust/mind/what have you.

I got them from her today. Great thing about bi-polar people, they have a 24 hour turnaround.