Sunday, August 2, 2009

Growing Up

Climbing out from under the table
to where the rocking guerilla stares and
the giant mouse runs too close to your face.
Too close.
Mocks you with the frozen smile and a dry nose.

Where the wild things are
you sit with two tear stained cheeks.
Rage at being pulled from your bowed state
with the view of their shoes and
the nudge from their knee caps.

If only the stuffed mouse would stay away
you could be brave, brave all day.
Who wanted this party anyway?
Oh. You did. Happy Birthday.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Mischief Managed

The other day I walked from the West Side to the East Side of Manhattan, through Central Park, twice. Both times I was tested, and both times I failed. The first test occurred as I was crossing Park Avenue. Half way across the street and possessing the right of way, I approached two Hispanic men who motioned a semi-truck, which had been parallel parked on Park Avenue, to begin backing up. The truck had been just north of the street on which I was walking. The problem I foresaw was that when that truck backed up to where the Hispanics wanted it, it would have blocked the walkway and left me stranded in the middle of Park Avenue, unable to walk around the truck due to the cars running parallel with me. My time was running out. I had only seconds before the white walking man flashed the red hand and the cars sitting on Park Avenue awaiting their green light started toward me.

So, naturally, I kept walking, looked at the men, raised my arms and shouted, "Guys, I gotta walk."

They looked at me walking toward the truck in reverse, looked at each other, looked back at me, and laughed.

The truck kept backing up, and I kept walking. They kept motioning for the truck to continue. The truck missed me by a matter of inches, at which time, I looked back at the laughing Hispanics and emptied a spew of angry curse words at them.

They laughed.

Later, I was walking across the park for the second time that day, looking down as I walked, when suddenly I heard commotion in front of me. I looked up and saw a cyclist speeding directly toward me. I had seconds to react. Mind you, I was not walking on a cyclist path, but on a walker's path surrounded by other walkers lazily enjoying the beautiful day.

The black man trying to control the racing bike yelled for me to move out of the way. I inched to the left the same time he swerved to his right. I inched to the right as he corrected to his left. With the momentary God-given awareness of freed Neo in the Matrix, I paused, judging in a nano second which way to jump in order to avoid getting pelted and tangled in tire and gravel. I jumped left. He sped past me.

As he did, the curse words again flew out of my mouth at him without a second thought. I looked at the walkers around me who all looked back at the cyclist and shook their heads. I murmered something about hating cyclists and kept walking, heart racing. Then I heard him. The black man. He had stopped his bike. He was yelling at me. Voice booming through the park. He didn't sound nice.

"Girlfriend!"

I kept walking.

"Girlfriend!"

People were looking at me. I kept walking. Didn't dare turn around. Walked faster.

"GIRLFRIEND!"

Ignored him. Kept walking, a different path than usual in order to remain close to people rather than take the more isolated path I usually took that ran under a bridge.

He finally stopped calling after me. I checked to see if he was following me. He wasn't.

Two tests. Both I failed.

I felt in both instances that I was wronged. I was put in danger, and I wanted vengeance. If only to hurt them back through words, I wanted them to be sorry. But in both instances it made no positive difference to my offenders. They did not apologize. They didn't care.

The only one left to deal with my anger was myself. And it felt heavy, and dirty, and dangerous.

I would have rather turned the other cheek than live with that anger the whole day long.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Post on a Post

I almost took the previous post down because it's misleading. It's not that the things I said were UNtrue. It was an honest post. However, looking back on it, and it's been a while since I've peeked at my own blog, the phrase "I lie all the time," is an exaggeration. I don't lie all the time. In fact, I tell the truth most of the time. On occasion, I lie. On occasion, I present myself in a false manner, which is much like lying. I used the phrase "all the time" because I was being dramatic. Imagine that.

What I realized about myself is that I am in the wrong to judge another for lying when I, too, am not only capable of it, but can lie with the best of them if I choose. Which I have.

But I am not a liar. And I don't hate liars. Another dramatic statement.

I do hate lies. My own, included.

So I'll leave the previous post up with this annoying post on a post, and hope for better posts to come.

Cheers.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

I Hate Liars

I've spent most of my adult life championing that phrase. I hate liars.

Harsh, huh? I'd like to say I've never actually said those words out loud, but...I'd be lying. Liars make me mad. I hate lies. Please don't lie to me. I take offense. I'm offended that you couldn't trust me with the truth. I'm hurt that you feel you have to hide something from me. When you lie, I build a few more layers of wall. I pride myself in sniffing out the best of lies. I'm really good at it. I can catch a person in a lie and they have NO idea I know they're lying to me. I just know.

But here's the thing: I'm a liar.

I lie ALL the time. When I don't want to go out with friends who invite me, I lie. I immediately think of the stories I can tell to get out of it, instead of just saying, "Hey guys, I'm just not up to going out." Because I'm afraid of hurting their feelings, or I feel guilty. But what's wrong with just not wanting to go out? Absolutely nothing.

I pride myself in being a confrontational person during times of conflict, and yet as I confront my friend or my husband with how they've offended me, I keep what really hurt me from them. What I really want to tell them is too hard to say, because it might hurt their feelings. Because it makes me vulnerable. Because it might make them mad at me. Because I don't like how sharing it makes me feel....weak.

I sometimes approach people with false humility. I unconsciously pretend to be less smart, less talented, less capable, so that I passify their ego, so that they'll like me, so that I can gain something from them. It's a form of a lie to get what I want in a backwards kind of way. It keeps me from being my true self.

Yeah so enough of my dirty laundry. The point is I'm done lying. God has made light what was dark.

We all lie. Don't we? We learn to lie as early as we learn how to talk. We learn to manipulate. We learn how to get what we want. Or rather, we just KNOW how to lie, manipulate, and get what we want. We have to LEARN not to.

So here's to learning not to. Cheers.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Stamp of Identity

"The wax that has melted in God's will can easily receive the stamp of its identity, the truth of what it was meant to be. But the wax that is hard and dry and brittle and without love will not take the seal: for the hard seal, descending upon it, grinds it to powder.
"Therefore if you spend your life trying to escape from the heat of the fire that is meant to soften and prepare you to become your true self, and if you try to keep your substance from melting in the fire - as if your true identity were to be hard wax - the seal will fall upon you at last and crush you. You will not be able to take your own true name and countenance, and you will be destroyed by the event that was meant to be your fulfillment."


--Thomas Merton, New Seeds of Contemplation

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

It's 8:03 am and I'm waiting to board a flight to Oklahoma. Going to see my parents. My mom, really, for Mother's Day. Seth's Dad is coming to New York for their annual father/son hang-out thingy, so basically, they kicked me out. Perfect timing for being kicked out seeing how it's mother's day and all.

I don't understand why people, who are clearly surrounded by other quiet, obviously very sleepy, people, feel the need to speak so frickin loud. Honestly. Look around man. NO ONE else is speaking as loud as you are. Ssshhhhhh

I have a little secret to share with you all. Remember how we were always taught in Sunday school that flying is "the perfect time to witness!". We should all find out if the stranger next to us is saved because it's perfect! They're trapped! They can't go anywhere! Here's my little secret. I don't do that.. When I sit next to a stranger I like to be left alone. Very very alone. So alone that I bury my head in a book from the moment I sit down. I'm really hoping that loud man isn't sitting next to me. I KNOW he's the kind that nervously and LOUDLY asks you questions even if you're head's buried in a book. Ok. Gotta go. Boarding. Layover in Chicago.

10:48 AM:

In Chicago, home of the two famous O's. I didn't realize when I booked my flight that this second plane here was one of those little ones. Dang it. Not a fan. I didn't have to sit by the loud mouth. Instead I was smack dab in the middle of two babies, one directly in front and one directly behind, and one, if not both, had a poopy diaper. Lovely. I've cheered myself with a bag of Chex Mix and am waiting to board the rinky dink. Wish me well.

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Thirty.

I remember, when I was seven years old, being hid in the back bedroom of a house with all the other kids. Those kids' parents were throwing my mother a surprise birthday party. They thought it would be cute to theme the party "Over the Hill."

My mom turned thirty that day. I remember hearing them all yell surprise through the bedroom door.

Two days ago I turned thirty. There were even a few close friends who yelled surprise when I opened the door. Except I don't have a 7 -year-old daughter waiting in the back bedroom. I babysit a 7-year-old.

My earliest experience associated with thirty is also associated with the words "Over the Hill."

Hmmmmm.

I don't feel anywhere close to a hill.

I was a little worried about thirty. Mostly because when my mom was thirty she had two kids who where 7 and 5. That makes me feel like I'm late on a few things. But I already like thirty. It's liberating. Who cares what everyone else thinks when you're thirty. Everyone else can kiss ass. See, I even said ass when I knew a good bit of you wouldn't approve.

I'm embracing the thirties.

I went to a yoga class today and the instructor had this to say: "Don't fixate on the goal. Fixating on the goal leads to negative feelings towards others who reach the goal and negative feelings towards ourselves if we don't meet the goal as fast as we hope. Instead focus on the present, how you feel in each pose and in each movement. No judgment. Wherever you are today is exactly where you should be."

That's kinda what thirty feels like to me. It feels good.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Welcome to the Club

LITTLE WOMEN is officially closed.

And I am officially a member of the Actor's Equity Association.

The Engeman theater gave me my card. It's the actor's way of saying, "They allowed me to pay for my card." And pay for it, I did. Strange how it took literally half an hour. Half an hour to walk into the Equity building, fill out my application, write a check, and walk out with my card. That simple. Amazing what money can do.

I went to my first audition as an Equity member this past Friday. It's almost unfair how easy it is to get past the guy at the desk. He hardly looks at your card. Doesn't check to see if it's really you. Doesn't look to see if your card is fake. Just barely glances at the thing you pull out of your wallet and nonchalantly allows you to pass. I mean, it should be harder than that, right? Considering all those mornings I woke up to sit for hours and hours only to be told to go home. Considering all those times I had to use the bathroom at McDonald's because I wasn't allowed in to use the Equity ones? Considering ALL those times I got up IN THE 5'S!!!!

When you're non-Equity, Equity members try to tell you that there's not much difference between being union and non-union. I think they just forget what it was like to wake up in the 5's.

My LITTLE WOMEN cast, who were all Equity members already, threw me a little surprise "initiation" ceremony in honor of being let into the club. They pretended to hold an Equity meeting and when I walked in to the meeting (it being my first), I was greeted with flowers and a Congrats card. It was incredible, really. I couldn't have hoped to have started this next phase in my acting career with a better cast or show or theater. It was very special.

I have also officially begun my week of the "Show Closing Blues." Bleh.







Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Nanny Diaries

I took the two-year-old to swimming lessons today. He was a doll. The whole time I sat there with a big grin on my face because he was so cute. His other babysitter (who usually is the one who takes him to swimming) instructed me to, after the lesson, shower the little guy off in the open shower at the corner of the room and shampoo his hair, so we wouldn't have to bathe him later.


The lesson ended. The two-year-old's swim instructor approached me after the lesson.

We'll just call him....Goob.

GOOB:

Have I met you before?

ME:

(thinking) Oh brother... (Then out loud) Uh...yeah, I think once, when I brought his older brother to swimming. I usually work evenings so this is pretty new to me.

GOOB:

(as I'm getting two-year-old ready to shower off) So are you from New York City?

ME:

(thinking) Here we go... (then out loud) Uh...no. From Texas, actually.

GOOB:

Oh. (As I'm heading with two-year-old to the shower) How long have you been working with this family?

ME:

Uh...probably a year and a half, or so.

GOOB:

(While I'm at the shower shampooing the two-year-old's hair) Hey, I was thinking, since I probably won't see you again, I should probably go ahead and ask...

ME:

(thinking) NO!!! DON'T ASK! PLEASE! DO. NOT. ASK!

GOOB:

Would you like to have dinner with me?

ME:

I'm married.

GOOB:

OH....yeah...uh.

ME:

Yeah...haha...I'm flattered...but no.

Note to self and all other Nut Nannies in New York City: when watching child's swimming lessons, watch nonchalantly and keep outward forms of expression to yourself, unless Goob swimming instructor mistakes smiles and *thumbs up* to be for himself rather than for child.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Blogpology

It's that time, fancied friends, when I re-enter the blogosphere in hopes that there's somebody still there. That time where I profusely apologize for being absent, though it always strikes me a bit vain that I would apologize to YOU for not having any writing of MINE for you to read.

When I'm doing a show, it's hard for me to write. I don't know why. I guess my creative energies are focused somewhere else, or maybe I'm getting all the recognition I need through applause and "Good show"s. Maybe I don't feel the need to prove myself anymore.

Is blogging really all about self-validation?

Sometimes, maybe.

But not all the time. I like it. I like hearing from you guys and reading about what's going on in your lives. I like writing. I like trying to find the memorable things in my day, the small seemingly inconsequential that holds meaning if we'd just let it. And I like sharing it with you. The big things, too. I like holding myself accountable to my own goals and dreams by archiving them. I like having a way to look back.

So, really, I think the reason for my absence, is...I'm just worn out. WIth my free time I want to talk to my husband and catch up on my shows and sleep in and go to church.

But the show's closing this weekend, and I'm preparing mentally for that. which involves remembering how much I like this here form of communication and expression. I hope you guys are still there. Holler if you are. Anyone out there?

Sunday, March 15, 2009

LITTLE WOMEN is officially open! Woo hoo!

Hey check it out! There's some great pics at the bottom of the article.

Click here.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Hubbie's New Job

Remember how I said that my husband just became the musical director at a church here in Manhattan, and that I'd tell you more about it later?

I think I'll just let him explain it to you.

Monday, March 9, 2009

To Be or Not To Be

Oh fancied friends I am not a dedicated blogger these days. I'm sorry the posts are few and far between, and sorry that I haven't been able to make it over to your blogs to read and comment. But my hope is that you're all well and happy and content.

At this very moment I'm on a train to Northport for another long tech rehearsal. We're behind but all in all I'm very excited about how the show is coming together. Right now my cast mates are probably wondering where I am because I forwent the gathering ritual of meeting before the track is announced. I'm a little grumpy this morning and thought I'd spare them all my sullen face. By the time we get there I should be less sleepy and less irritable - irritable because I lost my scarf in the train station. One minute it was hanging loosely from my neck (I had just undone it because I was burning up hot from the cramped subway ride), the next minute gone. Did it fall? Did someone slyly pull it from my neck when I was indecisively trying to figure out which bottled water to buy? Of all things, my pashmina! It was pink. And pretty. My pretty, pink pashmina is now gone forever. And I didn't even buy it. It was a hand-me-down. Actually I was kind of borrowing it. There. Truth be told. It wasn't even mine. Dadgummit.

I looked all around on the floor where I had been. Missing pashmina nowhere to be found. Someone is walking the streets of New York this very minute with my pretty pink pashmina. Well not really mine.... Dangit.

There's this one part in my big duet I sing with Jo, where I am going to (gasp) change the melody! Actually it's just one note but I thoroughly hate this one note, and sparing you the boring details, I'm just telling you. I'm going to change it! I've figured it all out, and I think my way is much better on all accounts. I'm trying to decide if I actually need to inform my musical director. One thing I do know is that musical theater people don't like changing notes. As a folk-slash-pop-slash-kindofrock-slash-Christian recording artist you can change notes all day long and it's ok! But these musical theater folk....oh no. I might scare the scarf off my musical director (he typically wears one) and bring the whole darn number to a svreaching halt.

"Woah woah woah. (nervous chuckle). Uh.... Fancypants.... You sag a B instead of a D there. (nervous chuckle... Wraps scarf back around his neck).

To which I could have numerous responses.

Number 1: Yeah. I know. Who wrote this song? They kind of suck. I'm not singing the D there.

Number 2: OH!!! Oops. That just kinda happened. But I sort of one it better. What do you think?

Number 3: I am so sorry. My mistake, won't happen again. (or will it, she says to herself)

Hmmmmm. Or I could just work it I win my musical director before hand so as not to risk another scarf being lost, but risking my idea being shut down.

Diva or not to be diva? THAT is the question. What should it be, folks?