Monday, December 31, 2007
Really?!? Today is the last calender day of 2007. I'm pretty sure it just started a couple of months ago. I think you all need to check your dates again. What? Oh, it's me that is wrong? Well, let's think back.
I honestly don't remember what I did New Year's Day 2007. Knowing myself, I probably did nothing. My best guesses are I laid around and watched movies and tv all day; or I took a hike followed by nothing; or I hiked followed by movies and tv. I do remember January though.
In January of this year, I celebrated one month in Cali. I lived in a nice Hollywood sublet while the beautiful Aussie visited her granny. I worked at the Pizza Factory. Rosie made a joke about a certain Celebrity Rich And Zealous Yahoo (C.R.A.Z.Y.) with bad hair after he "forgave" Miss USA for her bad behavior and great publicity. CRAZY started a public feud with Rosie over a funny bit at his expense on a morning television show. CRAZY got personal which resulted in even more attention which CRAZY loves more almost as much as money. The whole thing escalated to the equivalent of two gibbons grabbing their balls with one hand and throwing feces with the other. And I got VD. That was January.
February I was back at my friends' house living on their sofa. I mounted a show. A lovelorn Lady Astronaut did a road trip in a diaper in order to take care of some hootchie trying to keep her from her man. I did not get VD not even on VD. That was February. March was when I moved into my present location. That meant more hikes. Lots of boxes from Chicago arrived nearly weekly. The new place finally made me feel like I really lived in LA. I lost my comedy to partner but gained a job writing a sketch show with some really talented people. I had a great spring. In the summer I quit the Pizza Factory and started temping. Things were getting better every day it seemed. I worked at the offices of a certain televison wise guy. And met a few choice men that I thought would be the future Mr. Lilly and guest. I had a really weird late summer/early fall involving an important person in my life and a drug that rhymes with Bristol Breath. Besides putting upwith someone that is high out of their mind for like a full day or two, imagine a house where every door knob is covered in lube...gross. Then came unemployment for nearly a month followed by underemployment for another month. That month was last month when I turned 39 and hated it. I had an emotional breakdown because I was broke and old. Then there were all those holiday parties so I guess that would make today the end of the year.
To 2007, I say "fuck you, get out of here." I was so good to you but you treated me like shit. You started out pretty good. You even gave us Superbad, Death at a Funeral, and The Kite Runner. You also gave us too much Brittney, too much rehab, and the end the old Chicago Pip. 2008 is bringing the goods and I'm looking forward to it.
Monday, December 24, 2007
Sunday, December 16, 2007
When I was a kid I wanted to be famous. I desired it more than the Hugo: Man of a Thousand Faces doll that I wrote on my Christmas list every year. I imagined that I would do the talk show circuit telling anecdotes about my rise from humble beginnings to my crazy celeberity lifestyle. In my youthful imagination, people speculated about who I bedded and wondered if there would be a sequel to my last critically acclaimed comedy. I had two drivers. My day driver was black and we would talk "black folk" talk while he did the driving that I couldn't do because I had to rest from my busy schedule of personal appearances and product endorsements. My night driver was white (and mostly likely a straight male), in case we got pulled over by the cops. White Driver and I would hardly ever speak except at holidays and on his birthday. My celebrity life meant I was always in the loop. I was a trend setter and bon vivant. I attended the best parties where I was always charming but bored.
Then I grew up. I still want the Hugo doll but I'll take a pass on the fame. Fame, that wonderfully intoxicating drug that feeds the ego of the love-starved the way Old Country Buffet feeds Senior Citizens and families without taste buds. Still, it is an interesting life. The recognition, the stroking, I answered an ad on Craigslist titled, "Want to go to a party in Palm Springs next Saturday?" It was placed by a celebrity photographer. His photos of a blond bombshell grace the labels of a special edition wine named after the certain 50's and 60's sex kitten turned cougar emiritus.
I was urbane and charming in a very cute outfit and I felt for a moment that I was famous. Not as famous as the bombshell sex kitten or hammer wishing Latin singer or even the sexy DJ that played the gig but I still felt electric and special. I suppose I was special by default. I was the only guest (as opposed to hired help) that was under 40 (younger guys did arrive later for the all important after-party). I was the only guest that made less than a 6-figure income. And I was by far the darkest skin guest all night. So, basically, I learned through the evening that being famous is feeling alienated and different from the group and then receiving lots of attention because of your difference. It actually wasn't that bad. Maybe I can handle being famous. Perhaps I should continue my childhood dream. Fame can't be all that bad, can it?
Monday, December 10, 2007
Monday, September 03, 2007
News: Through a national magazine, a Laguna Woods woman finds the courage to go public with the story of her love. | barr, piercey, essay, relationship, years - OCRegister.com
I have been a union member for over ten years. There, that is all I have to say about Labor Day, punk ass holiday.
I will talk about lesbians though. Even more important than lesbians (generally speaking) is the impact of coming out. I am still baffled by people that won't/can't come out of the closet. Well here is the story of a woman that proves that it really is never too late to come out. You hear that Anderson Cooper, my dream lover.
Thursday, August 23, 2007
I just watched Alice at the Palace starring Meryl Streep. It was really cool from a theatrical point of view...some of the songs didn't work and the visuals are fairly minimal but you get to see Michael Jeter and Mark Linn-Baker. Eating Mushrooms is a really cool song with Meryl Steep...enjoy.
Thursday, August 16, 2007
So many deaths to report. The great Max Roach, Merv Griffin, Phil Rizzuto, Brooke Astor, Diane "Chi Chi" Van Lente and Joe Van Slyke. Chi Chi gave me my last stage job in Chicago. Joe was a great person. The rest put their stamp on the world and to you all I say, "rest in peace."
Sunday, July 22, 2007
Tuesday, July 17, 2007
Haven't posted because I have been living versus dreaming for the last few weeks. The last week has been an especially industrious one. I made a vow to be more social. Life happens with others around you. The life that I live in my hermit existence is mostly fantastical and imaginary. I spend my time either watching "reality" on TV or creating some reality while I re-write sketches for the umpteenth time. The writing is going to continue but during the summer I'm only really watching So You Think You Can Dance and Kathy Griffin: My Life on the D-List. I would watch Doctor Who but part of the reason I loved that show so much is because I like to watch it with Steve. No Steve, no Who. It's pretty easy to back away from the TV.
Other amusements have been men. I was a little boy crazy for a second. I went to Chicago two months ago. I felt my singleness rise inside me when I returned. My body and mind declared it's independence. It demanded attention from men that found me desirable. I complied...A lot.
Today, I am in a Zen place. I make time to be social. I dine with friends. Go to parties. Watch great movies (Saving Marriage at Outfest) and not so great movies (Transformers). I am attending another Outfest documentary on Wednesday night called The Believers about a transgendered gospel group (I am not shitting you, I can't wait). The company of others has been balm on my weary social life. I find that it actually helps my writing tremendously. All that human interaction is good for the creative spirit. And when I have that connection with someone, my body and mind crave less attention from potential bed mates.
I just came from the writer's meeting on the National Lampoons project I've been writing. I love being part of a team. I love working with new talent. I love the process of watching creative minds work shit out. Especially if it is done professionally and as cool as I have experienced on this project. Yes, it is incredibly competitive. I am working with some great talent. But it is so rewarding. And I love getting to laugh at other people's stuff. Plus, I am working with a great director/head writer/producer.
My best friend Patchy and I once discussed a former writing partner of mine. His concern was that I was giving too much and receiving too little in return. He told me that I needed to write with someone that awed me. Someone that makes me think, "I can't believe they are even working with me." That conversation was in mid-March. I started working on Lampoons last month. Not bad, it only took three months from his proclamation to become reality.
I'm coming up on eight months in this new city. So far, so good. I'm back to my ideal weight. My confidence is assured. I am more social. I'm all into Chrisette Michele, my favorite new vocalist. My roommate and I continue to get along well. And I am preparing for my brother's wedding next spring. Yours truly will be officiating the ceremony. Life is good.
Monday, June 25, 2007
My first blog was created as a journal of my life as an actor. When I started the blog, I was unemployed and thus, I blogged very regularly. When I started to work, mostly at Second City, I began to blog less and less because I was busy working. It seems that is the case these days. I want to tell you all about the exciting things in my life. I want the world to know about my writing job for a national sketch comedy tour. I want everyone to know that my trip to Chicago at the end of May revitalized me. I'm dying to talk about my relief of finally having health insurance again. I want to tell you about the crazy foster child from my past that keeps harrassing me but it will all have to wait for another day. I have some sketches to write tonight. But I promise to post before this week is out.
Thursday, June 07, 2007
I have been in LA for six months now and I have officially decided to stay. The first few months were just a test. An opportunity for me to see if one could really stike gold here; and if I could I grab some of it. Well kids, there truly may be gold in these hills and I am going to find it.
I went to Chicago a few days before Memorial Day. I wanted to see my friends and family. I also needed to gather more of my things. But most importantly, I had to say good-bye to Chicago.
I originally wanted to move to Los Angeles in the 90s. I had just finished school and I was ready to start my full time life as a struggling actor. I was preparing myself to load up my Chevy Spectrum and start a new life. That is until the day the Spectrum died. That poor car, I really should have taken better care of it. Anyway, it broke down while I traveled to Kentucky for a family function. I was traveling up an incline in Ohio when the poor thing just gave up the ghost.
My family towed me and the car to Carbondale, Illinois where I was starting rehearsals in A Chorus Line. The show was a success and I wore a very revealing leotard; but the car didn't leave with me after the final curtain.
I was in Mom's kitchen when I checked my voicemail at home. I got a call back in Chicago for the musical Ain't Misbehavin'. Without my car, I figured LA was out. With this opportunity in Chicago, I thought I could hone my craft so that I can be better when I move to LA in a couple of years.
I auditioned for Ain't Misbehavin' and was cast as an understudy. I auditioned for Schoolhouse Rock Live! the next week and was cast as an understudy in that show too. After being in town for two or three weeks, I had two acting gigs; three if you count the SRL! school tour that I performed with the full original cast. I decided Chicago wasn't so bad.
So, I stayed. I stayed for nearly 14 years. Chicago became home. It was familiar. In Chicago, I was a successful actor, and an unsuccessful one too. I was a gregarious twenty-something and a melancholic thirty-something. I was a fickle single and a desperate housewife. Chicago matured me. It gave me opportunity; too many of which I squandered. Lake Michigan cooled me many summers and it soothed me when Dad died. Clark street excited me and angered me. And silly as it seems, it made me giggle to look at the Hancock Building because it looks like a sex toy from a leather bar; and it has "cock" in it's name.
Well, I'm moving on but thank you Chicago for everything. And don't worry, I can't stay gone too long.
Wednesday, June 06, 2007
Thursday, May 31, 2007
Friday, May 04, 2007
Finally booked my Chicago trip. I will be leaving LA on May 23rd and returning on May 29th. Is it sad that all I can think about is what I will eat when I return to the Midwest? It won't be a loaf of bread I can assure that. For those of you that thought I was joking about the bread accident, here is a picture of my bruised nose.
For those keeping score, it is Carbs 1, Pip 0. Or maybe I should say that Carbs win by a nose. Naw, both jokes are lame.
Thursday, May 03, 2007
Today was one of the first days that I didn't feel shitty because of my allergies. I still did my morning face irrigation but it seems to be less of a hassle each day. I arrived at the pizza factory tired but a bit early. Take-Out was immediately busy but our spirits were enlivened by free muffins courtesy of the manager of the Mrs. Beasley's downstairs. I didn't partake in the muffins because I am cutting back on carbs; five months of free pizza and pasta has taken its toll on my appetite. I cursed the back goods and went back to work. Several hours later a server knocked a loaf of bread off a shelf above me while I poured a peach lemonade for a guest. The The loaf landed on the bridge of my nose; skinning it and causing some minor bleeding. I played the drama of the moment but went back to work. Carbs always win.
My relief was fifteen minutes late getting in causing me to miss a call from my elusive brother Alan; he'll call again (in about a month).
At home, I jumped into the shower and cleansed the smell of BBQ chopped salad and Chicken Tequila fettuccine from my body. I then made my daily trip to the Rite-Aid two blocks from my house. Pringles were on sale. I couldn't resist. I also bought hair clippers. They were on sale for $19.99. When I got home, I realized that I had been charged $24.99. I honestly didn't want to make the two block trip back for $5.00. Then, I calculated that I worked five hours today. My hourly rate plus today's tips means that I made roughly $15 an hour. That means that it takes twenty minutes of me slinging pizzas to make $5.00. Surely it was worth a five minute walk back to the Rite-Aid. So, I walked back to the store to claim my five bucks. The whole return trip, including waiting in line again, took twenty-five minutes; five minutes longer than it took me to earn the $5.00 but I didn't have to wear a tie or offer free refills.
Back at home, I did laundry and made dinner. I ate while I watched Ugly Betty. Halfway into the program my lip began to tingle. I recognized the feeling. I was breaking out. I was getting a hive on my upper lip. I had know idea what caused the allergic reaction but it was happening. I went to the bathroom mirror and looked at my face. I had a swollen lip and a bruised nose. If I only had a black eye I could have re-enacted a scene from Rocky. I was the textbook image of a hot mess.
I am booking a trip to Chicago for Memorial Day weekend. I have to take care of some unresolved business and I miss my dogs.
Monday, April 30, 2007
I have spent three of the last four weeks ill. It seems that the flora of Southern California doesn't agree with my sinuses. Lacking health insurance, I ignored early symptoms which developed into a raging upper respiratory infection. Yummy. I am completely functional. I go to work. And I am able to control most of my symptoms for a six or seven hour stretch but I am fatigued constantly. And oh so full of phlegm.
My day consist of a morning sinus irrigation followed by a thorough gargle. I then take many tablets (Mucinex and Sudafed). I go to work where I pretend to care about pizza, pasta, and customer service. I come home. I watch TV, movies, Internet. I then do a nightly face irrigation followed by a gargle. I take my evening pills (Mucinex and Benadryl). And I think to myself, what a wonderful world.
I watched 20/20 on Friday with Barbara Walters special report on transgendered children. It was so informative and thought provoking. I wish people could move past their ignorance, prejudices, and piety and learn to accept people for people. We have to get past our traditional Western beliefs about gender and sexuality. Although, it should be noted that gender and sexuality are two very separate ideas. This program proves that to me. These children aren't even sexually aware yet but they know that there is a gender disconnect between their genitalia and their self-perception. My heart goes out to anyone that has been born this way. It must be such a struggle. First there is the battle of the mind and body. And then there is the battle with the world. I think this will be the next civil rights issue in our country. We are moving away from the racism of the 50s and 60s. We are moving toward more acceptance of gay rights. Now, we have to protect and liberate the transgendered.
Sunday, April 22, 2007
Monday, April 16, 2007
I'm going to save my Imus rant for another day. Anyone within the sound of my voice in LA has heard it for the last week. I am against censorship (even if it is offensive). But like I said, I am going save this for another day. The whole thing pisses me off.
Today, I am going to take the time to look back. Not very far back either. I want to look back to my last bit of time in the Windy City.
My last days in Chicago were, in a word, pathetic. Three more words. Overweight. Impoverished. Miserable.
Letting go of Chicago and moving on was so difficult for me. I wouldn't admit defeat. I knew that I had to get out but I wanted to leave a hero and not the sad clown that I felt I had become.
This is not to say that some wonderful things didn't happen to me in those last two or three sad years. I was happy of the success of my comedy duo Straight & Nappy. I loved being the "desperate housewife" with Steve and the dogs.
Both of those relationships ended.
One of them I still mourn.
Moving to Los Angeles was the best thing I have done in years. I have worked regularly since I have been here. I mostly work at my survival job but I have had a few small acting gigs since arriving only four short months ago. I have re-united with some long lost friends. And have met some cool new ones. I have also lost my pudgy middle.
"What pudgy middle?," you ask.
Well, one of my last paid gigs in Chicago was dancing in a music video for Mannheim Steamroller ( I told you I was impoverished).
The name of the video is "Creatures of the Night." If you have iTunes, I suggest you check out the dance instructional video for "Creatures of the Night." You don't have to buy it, just watch the preview and see if you don't spot a certain nappy headed ho in ill fitting clothes.
Sunday, April 15, 2007
Friday, April 06, 2007
Thursday, April 05, 2007
This news item is genuine gender fuck: Girl had suspected 'boyfriend' was woman
I've been sick for the last week and a half. Allergies. I am so in touch with my inner phlegm. I can breathe again, thankfully. There were a few days last week that I just wanted to die. I'm going to be tested next week to possibly become part of an allergy study. It means free meds and getting paid. Love it.
My brand new Epson Printer/Copier/Scanner just arrived today and I love it.
My roommate informed me that we are going to have a houseguest for the next three weeks and because of it, he is knocking $100 off my next month's rent. When I told him that he didn't need to do it, he insisted. So, I love that too.
Things at the Pizza Factory keep getting weird and annoying. I got a promotion to Take-Out about 6 or 7 weeks ago. Oh yeah, I have a master's degree and 20+ years of work experience and I am now good enough to work in Take-Out. Look out World! The job is not so bad. It's the bullshit that comes with working in a corporate franchise. There are rules for everything. There are standards about how far you can roll up your sleeves; what time you can phone in sick; and how many employees are allowed to sit together at one table. I just try to roll with it if I can. I recently addressed some other bullshit at the Pizza Factory. I was recently told by one of the managers that I come off as short to some of the employees (read: he doesn't like the way I talk to him like an equal) and I needed to work on my communications skills. I remember looking at him while he spoke to me like a I was the fry boy at McDonalds. "I want you to work on this. It's an issue." I wasn't sure if I thought this situation was weird was because I was ill and feeling funky. Or was the situation just "funked up." I wondered when Ashton Kutcher was going to jump out and tell me that I had been Punk'd. He never did.
Major announcement: The comedy duo of Straight & Nappy is over. Rebecca and I have decided not to continue our working relationship. It is a little sad but I'm actually quite relieved. It was a lot of work. My goal is to put that kind of ingenuity into my personal career. Below is one of my favorite Straight & Nappy characters in a scene that I loved. The character is named Dolores and she is transgendered. Her best friend Carl is also transgendered. I originally wrote the scene while watching the documentary series Transgeneration . The scene was later re-written but this is the earliest version.
Thursday, March 29, 2007
I recently stumbled upon the infamous outtakes of I Heart Huckabees in which Lily Tomlin and director David O. Russell have a swear fest. If you haven't seen it, google it now because most sites have had to take the video down but it is a jaw dropper, trust me. Sorry but there won't be a lot of swearing here but I have decided to do a post of things I love.
1. I heart my new apartment.
2. I heart LA.
3. I heart that when I moved into my new apartment, I only had a dozen boxes, 4 towels, 3 suitcases, 2 pillows, and a borrowed sleeping bag but now I have a bed, a desk, a nightstand, 4 pillows, and a lovely slipcovered loveseat.
4. I heart being invited to audition for anything (this will probably change).
5. I heart getting gratuities.
6. I heart getting calls from loved ones out of the clear blue. Case in point, my Dad's sister called me today and made my effin' day.
7. I heart day's off
8. I heart sparkling white wine.
9. I heart sunshine.
10. I heart that I live walking distance from the Metro subway, a Ralph's supermarket, a Jamba Juice, and Ross (where I have gotten most of my home furnishings for dirt cheap).
11. I heart to laugh.
12. I heart being carded.
13. I heart my nappy head.
14. I heart potato chips.
15. I heart second chances.
Friday, March 23, 2007
I haven't posted a lot lately because I have been trying to get settled into the new place. If you haven't heard, I love my new place. I love my new roommate. The location is a dream. And I even got a California driver's license and registered to vote. I am a true and legal Californian now.
I spent some time with some Second City Alums yesterday. Major fun. I went hiking in Bronson Canyon with my friend Jean. We walked all the way up to the Hollywood sign. We then went to dinner at Birds where we were joined by our friends Celeste, Tracy and Jon. After dinner and drinks we saw our friend Sarah perform her one woman show at the UBC theatre on Franklin. After the show I spotted a talented and dreamy actor.
Wednesday, March 21, 2007
Tuesday, March 06, 2007
I haven't posted in a while so I thought I would bring everyone up to speed. First off, I moved into my new place last week. I love the apartment. The location is great. And my roommate is an okay dude. I'm basically starting life again. I have no furniture but a lot of ambition, faith and hope.
Second, Rebecca and I performed a show a few weeks back. The performance was great but the house size was a bit of a let down. We were only ten seats short of breaking even. They say you don't do theatre to make money and I can tell you that this seems to be true. The bonus is that Straight & Nappy have been asked to perform at the LA Comedy Festival in May.
We also performed with my good friend Marc Warzecha. Marc put together a brilliant political comedy show called "No Waiting with Marc Warzecha" The show was awesome and I was glad to be a part of it.
Work continues at the pizza factory. I try to take the job in stride. It is providing me with money that enables me to stay in LA, pay my rent, and eat everyday. And those things aren't so bad.
I finally so Borat and I am glad. I loved it so much that I saw it twice in one week. Mind you this was the week before the Oscars. Previous to the Oscars, I had only seen one of the Best Picture nominees but I still chose to see Borat. Babel can wait.
I also finally saw "The Secret". I liked it. It is all stuff we have heard before. Be grateful. Be positive. Believe it and receive it. Simple ideas based on optimism and faith. It was nice to be reminded of these ideals.
There is more to report but I want to take a nap right now...later, bitches.
Monday, March 05, 2007
Saturday, February 24, 2007
Saturday, February 17, 2007
Sunday, February 11, 2007
I am so close to finding an apartment. It could be as soon as the end of this week. I found a potential roommate that already has a great place with beautiful furnishings. He and I got along well. I like him and he seems to enjoy me. I just have to get past two more interviews. One with the manager of his building and one with the owner of the building. It seems weird to me that I would even have to jump through these hoops since the tenant is the one subleasing the room but if it gets me four walls to call my own, I am completely game.
I went to a fun party last night at Chiz and Higgypiggy's place. It was a twisted V-Day party. I hate Valentine's Day so this was right up my alley. It was nice to be out and hanging with friends and I met some new people last night too. Of course, there were no brothahs or sistahs there but fun was had by all.
When the party ended, I rebuffed at least two offers for a ride home. My temporary couch was too far out of the way and I didn't want to be the "handicapped friend" without the car. I was walking distance from a bus stop that would take me four blocks from where I was staying. I insisted on walking to the bus stop and waiting for the bus. Little did I know that I would have to wait 90 minutes for the bus (not kidding). In the rain. And the cold. In fairness, I should say that it was Southern California cold and not Midwest cold. I wouldn't have been able to take that for an hour and a half.
The upside of my late night bus ride through Hollywood was when I spotted this famous singer. Earlier yesterday, I saw this singer downtown.
Saturday, February 03, 2007
Friday, February 02, 2007
Our What The F*ck story of the day comes from Surprise, AZ where a 29 year old pedaphile posed as a 12 year old 7th grader for four months last year. He was arrested two weeks ago, a day after trying to register as a 12 year old 7th grader at another school.
Thursday, February 01, 2007
I haven't done an WIWWUS installment in a while but I have to question what is happening in our country regarding civil liberties. When South Africa allowed gay marriage, I was shocked. This is a country that once caused me to picket and boycott companies. Because of South Africa's egregious lack of basic human rights toward blacks I didn't drink Coca-Cola for years. Now, Israel is stepping up to do the right thing. Israel? The Middle East? One of the most conservative regions in the world is making us look bad.
We need to get it together America. I know the religious right believes that they are saving us from a wrathful God that hates fags but I got news for Jerry Falwell. Jesus was born and raised in Israel. And he never really hung out with religious people, zealots he called them. He hung out with outcasts and at least one known prostitute.
He would have never hung out with the religious right because while they follow his number one command, "Love the Lord thy God." They fail to follow rule number two, "Love thy neighbor as thy self." If marriage is good enough for you, it's good enough for me, neighbor.
I have been scanning Craigslist for the last three months trying to figure out my housing and employment situation in LA. I found a job via my little brother but the housing has been an unresolved issue. I will continue to scour the many ads of Craigslist including the personals because they always give me a giggle. This one made me giggle and then made me wish I wasn't single. As you can see, the dating pool in LA is pretty shallow.
Sunday, January 28, 2007
My Straight & Nappy partner Rebecca arrived in town two weeks ago. She and spent the last week preparing for an audition we had on Friday. I also spent the last week training for a new position at the pizza factory. I got a promotion to Take-Out. I have been in apartment hell. Where do I even begin?
First, the apartment. I stayed on my friends' couch when I first arrived on December 5, 2006. I actually began on an leaky air mattress that turned into a floor mat. After two nights of that, I hit the couch.
The friends are another actor and his opera singer girlfriend. They also have a female Japanese roomie. And a long haired white cat named Ed that sheds on everything I own including my all black work uniform.
From mid-December through mid-JanuaryI stayed in a sublet in Hollywood . There was talk that the resident of that apartment, a new age Aussie named Lucy, would give up the apartment when she returned for another unit in her building. This would have made her unit available for me to take. January 15th she came back and re-claimed her space (except for the 6 or 7 boxes I left there). She didn't seem all that determined to move very quickly. I was, of course, extremely anxious. I returned to my friends' couch.
I still haven't heard about an available unit her space. So, I have been searching for my own apartment. Rents in Los Angeles are extremely high. The average price for a studio in Central LA usually hovers between $750 and a grand. In Chicago, I could I have such an awesome address for $1000/month. In LA, I could probably be guaranteed nice lighging fixtures but who knows what the location would be.
I decided that I needed to live in a shared space. I searched Craigslist for roomies. Most of the ads that I responded to didn't bother to reply. When they did, I found the rudest, weirdest, and dirtiest people I have ever met. There was the Trinidadian that gave me a list a mile long of things that I would be prohibited from doing in the apartment. There was the cat lady with three cat boxes. She also didn't place cat food in a bowl. Instead, she would simply open a can and dump in directly on the floor. There was also the good looking buff black model from Miami that had a great space in Hollywood. I met him on last Saturday. And there was the laid back Asian college student with an extremely large 2BR in Koreatown. I met him last Sunday.
The Asian student was the first to make me an offer. We shook hands and he agreed to write up a quick contract for me to sign. I could move in February 1st. I was so excited. It was not my first choice of locations but it would do for at least six months. That would be time enough to set up base in this City of Angels.
The buff model called on Monday night offer me a chance to be his roommate. He had the better location and cheaper rent. But I had already given my word to the Asian college student that I would move in with him. I really wanted to back out of the deal with Asian college student. But I couldn't. Tuesday morning I called and politely thanked buff model for his offer but told him he should move on to his second choice.
Tuesday night, Rebecca and I rehearsed in her extended stay hotel room in Hollywood. We chose our material and ran over blocking and edits. In the middle of our session, I get a phone call from Asian college student. He backed out of our deal (that fucker!!!). He told me that his sister (his current roomie) decided not to leave so the room is no longer available. He apologized several times and wished me the best of luck. I didn't get angry. I was too tired. Between my regular host shifts at the pizza factory, my training for the new position, and the audition I just didn't have enough energy to get upset over this set back. I immediately called buff model guy but it was too late. He had moved on to his second choice who had said, "yes."
I'm back to square one. I'm still on the couch. And I still carry a lint brush to brush off Ed's glorious fur.
On a positive note, I passed all my training. Rebecca and I had a great audition and booked our first LA date.
We will be performing Sunday February 18th at 5:30 p.m. That's Chinese New Year. It's the Year of the Boar, Bitches! Mark your calenders and save up $10 so you can see us live in LA at the McCadden Theatre, 1157 N McCadden Place, Los Angeles, CA 90038.
Friday, January 19, 2007
I just wish I could love it from my own apartment. I'm back to sleeping on a couch but I am so grateful to have a roof over my head. Finding an apartment in LA has been challenging for me. I'm working with a very small budget. I need to be centrally located and near a subway stop. And I can't have a crazy roommate either. I am concentrating my search in Hollywood. I loved living there for the last month while Lucy (my sub lessor) was away. I miss the hikes in Bronson Canyon. I miss the Mayfair Market. And, as cheesy as it may be, I miss the Hollywood Walk of Fame. There are also a lot of studios in Hollywood so since I still don't have a car, it is helpful to be there.
I have spent the last week searching for apartments and interviewing with crazy potential roomies so my celebrity sightings have slowed down. And Rebecca, my Straight & Nappy partner, arrived in town on Monday. She is here through pilot season. I did go to an alumni networking function last night with Rebecca as my date. There were no big stars but I did see this consumer advocate, and this longtime character actor.
At the pizza factory, I talked to this actress again. And I saw this celeb, who is not a celeb to me but is in a lot of magazines and TV shows because of who she dates so that makes her a celeb.
On a personal celebrity note, a guy from Chicago recognized me from Check Please! He told me enjoyed my appearance on the show and that it was great to see me. I responded by saying, "Thank you, that is so very kind, table for three? Right this way."
Tuesday, January 16, 2007
Saturday, January 13, 2007
Friday, January 12, 2007
I've not been feeling my best the last two days. The weather here (like my interest in VH1's I Love New York A.K.A. Flavor of Love 3:Hoochie on the Loose) has gone from hot to cold. And not just "California cold" but "even in Chicago this would be cold". The weather combined with a long work schedule have my body a little tense. And the fact that I have been in LA for 6 weeks and still haven't found a permanent residence combined with the low wage from the aformentioned job is starting to take it's toll on my psyche. The owner of the apartment that I have been subletting returns on Monday. It's time for me to move back onto my friend's couch. Last night, I had a dream that I was invited to live with the Obamas. While Michelle and I got along well, I just couldn't get along with the senator. I don't know what this dream means but I'm open to interpretations.
On a positive note, I have been on two auditions this week. Things were so bad in Chicago that sometimes I didn't go to two auditions in a month. So, the fact that I was being seen after only being here for 6 weeks made me feel really good. The first audition was held at the MadTV offices (but it was not for MadTV). It was strange to sit underneath a picture of the cast and realize that I personally know half of these people. They lived and worked in Chicago just like me. And like them, this town could provide work for me too.
I met a great actress in the lobby. She and I talked about a threeway with Rob Lowe, the love/hate of Rosie O'Donnell, and the topic of adoption. If any of you have had a face to face with me about adoption, you know that the subject makes me very emotional (I'm actually tearing up as I type this). Here I was waiting to audition for this comedy and I was crying in the MadTV offices because of all of the children without homes and someone to tell them that they are loved. While I was crying, this actor walked past followed by this actor moments later. I finally stopped crying when another actor (MAJOR HOTTIE) I know showed up to audition. Just looking at that face was enough to make me smile.
I felt okay about my audition. I didn't think I killed but I didn't suck. I was just glad to be there. I was almost late because of the bus. Due to some misinformation given me by Metro, I missed my bus. I didn't panic. I called a cab which came very quickly. The cab driver happened to be from Chicago. We hit it off immediately. He worked part time as a film editor and knew the lot where I was going well. It was very serendipitous. Ironically, I missed my bus to get home too. I arrived at the corner just in time to watch the bus pull away. I jumped on a bus going the opposite direction and somehow figured out how to transfer to other buses and I actually got home ten minutes faster than if I had caught the bus that I initially missed. More serendipity I guess.
I worked last night at the pizza factory. We were very busy which means more tips so I can't complain. When I got off, I ate a pear and Gorgonzola pizza which I highly recommend to anyone. After I scarfed the pizza down, I went home. I took the subway to Hollywood/Western and waited on a bus to carry me three blocks west. I was too tired to walk. When the bus came, it was full of crazies. Lucky for me, one of those crazies was a woman named Robin Rosensweig. How do I know her name? Because I watched her on television earlier this week on NBC's "You're the One That I Want." Her picture and a recap are here. Again, serendipity.
Star Sightings: In addition to the people linked in this post, I sat this actress and her mother at the pizza factory.
Monday, January 08, 2007
So, that people can stop asking me, YES, that was me 20/20 last Friday night. I didn't make a big deal about it because I was'nt featured. I attended an event that was being taped by the show and frankly, I was embarrassed to be there. I will write more about this later but right now, I have to go and sell pizzas.
Wednesday, January 03, 2007
The gloss of moving to LA has eroded to the matte finish of everyday life. I still love it here but I don't wake up in the morning quite as excited about it as I was three weeks ago. I still don't have a permanent resident or a car but I do have a job that requires me to smile and walk a lot. I am a restaurant host. It is a position that most people don't consider very important. You walk into a restaurant and this gal or guy seats you in an available seat. That's it right? Wrong. I have now learned the secrets of restaurant math. Where they seat you matters. Everybody wants to sit in a booth but what if you are in a hurry and the server of that booth was one of the slowest employees in the restaurant? Is the booth still appealing? Speaking of servers, people don't realize that when you seat them, you are trying to even out the rotation so that each server has an equal opportunity to make money. If Server A has a party of 6 in his station, I'm going to seat a couple of parties of two or four in Server B's and Server C's section before I sit someone in Server A's section. You see, I'm not seating you in the back because I hate you. It's restaurant math.
I am also mastering the art of the quote time. Our location has very high volume of customers. A good host knows which tables are leaving soon and you start factoring how you can get a party of 10 into a section built to accommodate 8. Or you try to appease the party of two that is in such a hurry that they couldn't possibly wait 5-10 minutes for a table even though the parties previous to them may have waited 30 minutes. Again, restaurant math. Speaking of restaurant math, here is something that I never considered before working as a host. When you go to a restaurant and finish your meal, you should leave...soon. If you stay and linger. You are costing the server tips they could be making from another party. If you still feel you need to stay and chat or do business, leave a huge tip otherwise you are making my job more difficult (because I can't seat other people in the time I quoted them) and the server (who misses out on more money). Of course, no good restaurant would ask a guest to vacate a table but if your server keeps interrupting you and asking you "are you sure, I can't get you anything else?" their subtext is "get the fuck out, you are costing me money you bastards."