Wednesday, April 27, 2011

How to Seduce any Random Stand-Up Comic

Sunday night was my last night to see Rummy before he flew back to Florida. I was already almost a forearm into a bottle of wine when he showed up. Monday was the year anniversary for my first date with Abe; we drank at a bar, made out in his car and went to Disneyland the next day.

On Friday, I asked Abe via text to see me on our anniversary. Nothing implied, just as friends.

No response.

The shitty part of all of it was I really thought he would agree and I was in a good mood that day fooling myself. Instead, he blew me off. I told him I would not reach out again. And I haven’t.

He has sent a few texts back under the 'Too Little, Too Late' category. Sunday night was the last night I mourned him.

Rummy said, “You deserve so much better. You are going to find someone . . .”

Slurring, I said, “He and the Prophet were special because they understand a part of me that no one does. I don’t really tell people about it, but there are weird, supernatural things that have happened . . . dreams, feelings. They know about that stuff. They relate to it.”

Rummy said, “I understand. There is a part of yourself you shared with them that you don’t show other people.”

I heavily nodded my head and sipped out of the top of my glass, spilling some on my hand and on the floor. Sloppy. “And this day was sacred. It was our day and he threw it away.” And sweet Jesus, out came the tears.

He said, “There are spiritual communities. I am sure there are people there you could talk to.”

I said, “I don’t want to talk to flaky, air headed people about it.”

Rummy said he understood, “There are those types, but I am sure you can find someone that understands.”

Who understands and I am sexually, spiritually, emotionally, intellectually attracted to? :-(    Doubtful.

Rummy said, “Will you let me tuck you in before I go?”

He did. I was crying with red teeth and lips, like I was drinking my own blood. He pulled the covers over, leaned in and kissed me in the dark. Then he left.

When I woke up, I was hung over but there were no more tears for Abe. The mourning after.

I booked audience work on a gig shooting at The Improv that morning. It was for a reality show challenge and the job was pretty much the best it can be; sit down indoors and laugh at Kevin Nealon.


I showed up early, recognized one or two other people but the crowd has really changed since I started audience work. It’s a new slew of unemployed actors and musicians now, all just arriving to Los Angeles with the one suit their mothers bought for graduation day.

One guy I recognized was the black kid from the Bank of America commercial I worked on last year (, we will call him Brian.  He is about 5’8, black, bald with soft features. He looks like he would have been on the chess team for a semester before quitting and taking Drama.

I said, “Look who’s here. I still have your business card in my wallet, so I see your face every time I need to pay for something. Are you the one black guy here?”

He said, “Yeah, the call was for ‘Caucasians mostly’ but I emailed her back and asked if there was a spot for one bald, black guy and she booked me. I need to work; I am going to be homeless in a week. If you know anyone who needs a roommate . . .”

I, myself, am trying to find a way to ease up my expenses so I can continue to live life the way I have been without the financial strain. Ideally, it would have been fuckhead-Abe to move in with me but I have done the denial-bargaining-depression-anger and finally now feel the slight relief of acceptance.

Me, "You could stay with me but I have two pit bulls in my living room."

Him, "I don't do pit bulls. No . . .I mean it sounds good but . . . pit bulls? Nah."

Me, "Why do you keep saying pit bulls like that? What’s your problem with pit bulls? You talk about them like they are Jews?"

Him, "Why don't you say it a little louder?”

Me, "What, JEWS!"

Brian looks around, "Its ok, she is dating a Jew."

Me, "No, we broke up. But yeah, (to the crowd) I date Jews."

No one was listening to us.

He said, “That sounds good, call me when your dogs die.”

I said, “Fuck off. If you met them you would like them. They are super sweet.”

He said, “They can turn on you in a second. Not you . . . but a black man . . .”  His head started boggling like a car ornament. “Yeah.”

I said, bored, “Give me a break.”

He said, "Yeah, well, maybe . . . those cats are gonna bounce so I gotta move fast."

I said, "Your cats are going to bounce?"

Brian (slowly, like a white person), "My roommates are moving out."

I said, “See, now I understand what the fuck you are saying.”

Brian, “As long as you don’t have cats, I can deal with dogs. I am allergic.”

I said, “Shit. I have a cat, too. Bummer.”

Brian said, “No way then. I can’t do cats at all.”



Brian, “Where are all the cute girls?”

Me, “They are all cute. (motioning down the sidewalk) That girl is cute, that girl is cute. (On the other side of me) That girl is cute. They are all cute.”

Then I yawned and used my thumb to point back at me.

Brian laughed.

The millionth actress to bother the audience wrangler about a restroom break stood in front of us, trying to push her way to the toilet. It seemed that was something inspiring all the actresses, to push for the right to visit the restroom at any cost, as if it was the signature of liberation itself.

I said, “What about that chick?”

Brian, "Yeah, she's straight."

Me, "Straight means . . . attractive?"

Brian looks at me and after a long silence, “Yeah.”

Me, “Well, I just thought it meant heterosexual, now I guess it means attractive. Doesn’t make any God damn sense, but whatever. She is straight. Got it.”


Brian (singing) “Rolling with the homies . . .”

Me, “Poor Brittany Murphy.”

Brian, "Yeah ... she's really dead."


We were informed the lighting department was dealing with a major technical difficulty, so production was seriously delayed. I had to go to Doggie Daycare after this but I knew that the Improv would kick out this production no matter what with shows slotted in the afternoon.

We got chairs and seated ourselves along the sidewalk of Melrose mansions, then we watched all the good-looking dog walkers grab coffee.

The crowd was growing restless. I don’t know why, we were getting paid and it really made no difference where we were. We weren’t going to get food, coffee or freedom, so we might as well just enjoy the sunshine.

Brian, "They should give us food."

A very skinny white boy with tight clothes and a thin mustache stood up, “Dude, they aren’t giving us SHIT!”

Jesus, what do you want to do, start a revolution because we weren’t given coffee and donuts?

I turned to Brian, "Why should they give us anything but money?"

Brian, "For the inconvenience."

Me, "What inconvenience? We would just be sitting inside. Now we are sitting outside."

Brian, "Eh."

Me, "I see what this is about. Its because you're black."

The guy next to us put down his book to listen.

Me, “You aren’t all black though, you got a little something else in you?"

Him, "Yeah, slave owner."


We were finally escorted in and walked passed an olive skinned man, sitting outside a café alone with one 9-inch cigar and a small teacup of espresso.

Brian, “See, that’s the life right there. Middle of a Monday morning, just hanging out and smoking a cigar."

Me, "But we are doing that. Its just we don't have a cigar."

Why does everyone have to complain?


We were all brought into the Improv main room. I was given the seat front and center to the stage next to a comic disguised as a bar patron. Then, someone from production came and switched the comic sitting next to me with another comic disguised as a bar patron.

There were stand-up comics assigned specific seats throughout the audience to deliver an “improvised” but actually scripted line. Nothing in Hollywood is real.

The new comic sitting next to me was a gigantic white guy; 6’3, well over 240 lbs . . . but nice brown eyes.

Comic, "Now, when he comes out, laugh a lot and look really happy. Smile big!"

I said, "Don't worry your pretty little head. I am a professional."

I was pulling my tube top over my brassiere for the millionth time. It kept slipping down below my bosom, exposing my black lace bra and new amethyst crystal resting at the base of my cleavage. No one really noticed, it looked Madonna-esque with my open-chested, aqua-blue top draped over.

I squirmed back in place.

Comic, "All squared away in there now?"

Me, "Oh yeah. I am an actress, I am used to exposing my breasts."

He said, “Oh, you’re an actress? Do you get lots of work?”

I said, “You know how it is. Sometimes you do, sometimes you don’t. I am just going with the flow. So how is being a comic?”

He nodded, “Same thing. Up and down.”

I said, “Stay sober.”

He laughed.

I said, “Of course I’m not. I am a ganja girl myself, but I am out, so I have been drinking wine the last few days. Its a bitch of a hang over.”

He was getting me, finally. He stopped talking to me like I was a hand puppet. He told me his name was Sean.

I said, “Were you cast on this by an agent or were a bunch of you just picked up from the same social circle?”

He said, “They just grabbed a few of us out of the same social circle.”

I said, “Are you getting paid well?”

He shook his head, “No, people think you make lots of money being a comic. At the Comedy Store you make $13 a show. At the Improv $8.”

I said, “That’s it!?”

He nodded.

Throughout the shoot, he was distracted with his buddy- a tall, black bald guy to our left seated between two blond, white girls (of course). They kept making bad jokes to one another, winking and nodding. Another not-always-funny comic . . .

Sean kept referring to me as his wife. I played along.

Sean, "How many kids do we have?"

I said, dry, "Do I look old enough to have kids?"

He seriously took that in for a moment before smiling.

Sean, "We could spoon?"

I said, "Only if I get to be on the outside."

Still in his own mind, he said, "I would be more of a ladle. We could take pictures and make them our Christmas cards."

I said, dryly, "Totally in the nude."

He said, "Like John and Yoko."

I sipped my watered-down, cranberry juice prop-drink, "That’s right!"

He said, "Wow, you remember that?"

I replied quite seriously, "Yeah, I look young for my age."


He turned to regain his friend’s attention and pushed my head down towards his lap as if I was to give him a blow job. I shook free, took my drink and sipped with my shoulder turned away from him. Jackass!

He laughed to his friend, “Awww, our first fight.”


I said to Sean, whose arm now fell lazily over the back of my chair,  "Are you ready for your close-up? Just get in the zone. I support you."

He said, "What about you? Are you ready?"

I said, "I'm a woman. All they expect from me is to sit here and look pretty."

Production Assistant, “Ladies and Gentleman, Kevin Nealon!”

Kevin Nealon came out on stage and read his opening off some ridiculously small cue card. He looked at me once, just once, and never looked at me again. It doesn’t matter, he made me laugh. And when I cackled, I saw the ends of his mouth flicker into a quick smile, like he just got 50 points in skee ball.

Sean, “Ok, that was too much. Bring it down a notch.”

I said, “I’m sorry, am I stealing the spotlight again?”


The shoot was wrapped. The fastest shoot I have ever been on. Details of the show could not be provided because I signed a confidentiality contract with a borrowed pen.

Sean looked for a business card in his wallet, I looked over his shoulder until he gave up and put it away.

I said, “Wow, no condom and no business card. You must have quite the social life.”

He said, “I guess it just wasn’t meant to be.”

I said, “Don’t be a quitter, Sean. You have to work for women like me.”

He smiled and said, “Follow me to my van after the show, and I will give you my number.”

I said, “That’s . . . uh . . . quite the invitation.”

Production Assistant, “Audience!!! Please follow me outside!”

I got up to go and said, “When are you performing at the Comedy Store next? I like comedy.”

He said, “Wait . . .um . . . I will meet you on the corner after everything. Wait for me.”

I said, “Ok.”

Why not? I like comedians.

After collecting our beautiful, clean, white envelopes of cash, I circled around. No Sean. He was probably hanging out with Kevin inside, or getting paid a lot more somewhere else. Whatevs.

I drove up to Sunset Blvd to my marijuana dispensary and picked up some Green Crack Jack, a lollipop, 2 pens and 2 condoms.

Rummy texted, he said the next night would be hard to get through and if I had some green to spare.

I drove up Laurel Canyon to meet him. He didn’t want me to pull into the driveway of his ex-wife’s house, so I pulled into a stranger’s. She knows who I am and I get the feeling Rummy doesn’t want our worlds to collide.

His 6-yr-old daughter cried the night before, begging him not to leave again. He has to get his life on track, but how can a 6-yr-old understand anything more than goodbye?

He grabbed one small bud and said, “Just something to get me through tomorrow night. I am going to be depressed. Last night was rough . . . “ He looked at me and said, “Stay in touch while I am gone. Tell me how you are doing, ok?”

I looked down and said, “I get terrible reception-“

He said, “I don’t care how you do it; text, call or email ... just let me know you are doing ok.”

I nodded and he kissed me on the lips.

My wall is growing. All the fine stones and boulders I can gather are slowly wedging in place between me and men. I don’t desire to fall in love again. I am not even sure that really existed. I just want to float away.

I drove with my windows down over Laurel Canyon Road as Green Crack Jack muffled my ears and wrapped around my head. It was a beautiful day with a cool breeze whipping all my loose trash around in the back seat.

I remembered the Doors song ‘Love Street’ was written about a house Jim Morrison shared with Pam on Laurel Canyon. I just looked it up and found out its actually on Rothdell Trail, just off of Laurel Canyon, close to Sunset Blvd.

I see you live on Love Street,
There's this store where the creatures meet,
I wonder what they do in there,
Summer Sunday and a year,
I guess I like it fine, so far . . .

Strange little song I can’t make sense of.

I felt warm and connected to my ghosts again. I don’t mind floating through life, as long as no one pushes me under ever again.

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