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.

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