Month: December 2011

A Little Post-Christmas Humor

Dear Santa,

Thank you for appeasing yet another superficial little girl, and no I’m not talking about some little rugrat who has been playing with the box her Barbie came in for the past two days.  No, I’m talking about this superficial little girl, the one writing this letter.  I could sit here and thank you for the many blessings in my life but I would rather thank you for my new toys.

Thank you for my perfumes and my clothes.  Thank you for my boots and my slippers.  Thank you for my jewelry and accessories.  You made a good call, Santa.  You advised your little helpers well this year and for good reason because you know I would have just bitched and whined at every single one of those helpers who got me a shitty present.  Luckily, this year, you took caution.  I heard about that little Santa “clause” you made them sign, you clever jolly old fool, you.

A little birdy told me (and by little birdy I mean that I found the carbon copy in the trash) that it went something like this,

“No gift shall be presented to the child [Thanks for that, every woman wants to be thought of as younger than she is] which has not been specifically asked for or expressed interest in as of late.  Anyone who strays from this rule will be taken off of the Nice list and subjected to  cleaning the reindeer after our December 24th run.”

As far as I can tell, my friends and family do not smell like reindeer which means they must have done an impeccable job.  I like your style, old man.  Well done.  Well.  Done.

My apologies for my less than pleasant letter last year.  I realize that my choice in vocabulary was not very lady-like but I am glad to see that you have forgiven me and have done right by me this Christmas.

Many thanks from yours truly,

The Girl Who’s [Usually] Never Happy

Chinese Restaurant Strikes Again

I am far too hard-headed to take advice from family and friends but how about a stranger and a cookie?  The words of a fortune cookie must be heeded and tonight, my favorite Chinese restaurant has struck again.  Even before that, the words of a stranger made me stop in my tracks.

As recently divulged in my last blog, I had decided to follow my dreams of entering the entertainment industry.  Shortly after writing that blog, I was called upon for an interview.  How anti-climactic of me.  One moment I say that I’m going to be brave and chase my dreams and the next, I am turning my back on happiness for a chance at a low-paying salary.  (The idea of being a struggling artist is scary!  Don’t hate.)  Shamefully, I ventured to this next interview, doubting myself along the way but then something amazing happened.

The woman who was about to interview me first told me that she was going to ask a few random questions, unrelated to the position at hand.  A little confused, I said “Sure, of course.”

-“When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?”

-“Oh…well…that changed daily.”

-“Great, that’s just what I wanted to hear.  So, tell me what you wanted to be.”

-“Well, I used to want to be a doctor, and then a lawyer because that’s what my father wanted me to be.  Then I wanted to be a cook and I would play pretend at home.  I would dress up as a nurse and a bunch of different things until I realized I just liked putting on costumes and being a bunch of different things.  Acting became my focus, which around my senior year of college transitioned to writing.”

-“So do you still write?”

-“I do, I’m working on a few projects.”

-“That’s good.  What I want to tell you is this.  You are young.  Don’t waste your youth on anything that doesn’t fulfill you.  If you want to be a writer, there is no shame in taking the waitressing job or the coffee house job so that you have time to pursue your passion.  When people ask you where you’d like to be in five years, it seems so far away but time flies.  It will go by fast.  I don’t want you to look back years from now and have any regrets.  This is the time for you to focus on your career; while you’re young.  I’m not telling you this because you’re not right for the position, I won’t be taking any of this into account during the hiring process.  As a mother, I feel that this is something you need to hear and that your own parents may not be able to tell you.  Many people will try to push you in one direction or another, but you need to do what’s right for you.”

Her words rang true.  It was all I could do to keep myself from crying.  Here was my sign.  Well, my second sign.  (Sobbing while reading the words of other screenwriters being my first.)  I had been praying, asking God to send me a clear-cut sign; an irrefutable sign.  I just want to know that I’m doing the right thing.  I left that interview feeling better than ever before and I didn’t give a damn if I got the job or not.  I heard what I needed to hear.

A few anxiety attacks later (it’s hard to watch your bank account diminish with no definite prospects), and I was faced with an opportunity for another salaried position, this time in Arkansas.  I have been thinking about it over the past few days, but I decided that I am being sent these signs for a reason.  Moving to Arkansas won’t help me achieve my final goal of being a successful writer, as a matter of fact it will only delay it further.  Fear of the unknown has kept me at bay for too long, but as of now I am daring to be bold.  The life of a struggling artist, it is.  Thanks to tonight’s fortune cookies, (yes I splurged and had two), I can now confidently say that I believe I am doing the right thing.

Cookie #1- There is always a way–if you’re committed.

Cookie #2- The greatest test of courage on earth is to bear defeat without losing heart.

Chinese fortune cookies for the win.  They came at a time when I really needed advice; advice unburdened by those “looking out for me.”  Those extra calories were well worth it.

My advice to all of you?  You don’t need a therapist, just order some Chinese take-out and all of your problems will be solved.

Late Night Nostalgia

Who misses the Spice Girls?  I know it’s not just me so you’d better stop hiding behind your new found love for Katy Perry.  She can’t protect you from your past!  Now, please join me in whipping out your copy of “Spice” and dancing around your room like a maniac to “Wannabe”.

Ok, now that we’ve danced to our heart’s content I suppose it’s time for some confessions.  I miss the 90’s.  I mean, I really miss the 90’s.  If I had a time machine, I would be punching in 1995 right about now and then somehow adjusting the time-space continuum so that we would continue living through 1995-1999 on repeat for the rest of eternity.  Yes, that is how much I miss the 90’s.  Boy bands were still cool, VHS tapes weren’t completely useless, “Hey Arnold!” and “The Nanny” were still on the air, I hadn’t hit my teenage years yet and life was good.  Anything before puberty was  basically just heaven.  In this late night hour I am far too tired to delve further into my 90’s nostalgia.  Perhaps another day, folks.  Another day when I’m not quite so delirious from exhaustion.

I know that some of my best posts have been during bouts of extreme exhaustion or inebriation but for now, readers, I am just too lazy.  So please,  dance about to the Spice Girls one more time and then call it a night for that’s exactly what I’m about to do.

Good night, all.

Diving In Head First

About a month or so ago, I bought a few books on screenwriting, you know, just to feed my addiction.  I hadn’t actually picked one up until about 20 minutes ago.  That’s what I do best afterall; procrastinate.

I have said for years that I want to be a writer, a screenwriter in particular, but I never believed in myself enough to pursue it.  Yes, I took the clichéd route of becoming a waitress so that I would have the free time (and less stress outside of work) to write but instead of writing, I used all of my free time to bitch about how much I hated being a waitress.  Perhaps this wasn’t the best use of my time.  Ah hindsight, you bitch.

After I quit my waitressing gig, I moved on to being a barista at Starbucks.  Wow, and I thought I was a bad waitress- I was a much worse barista.  I could not for the life of me get the hang of steaming milk.  I spent much of my time at Starbucks either praying to be on register or worrying that I just poisoned 30 people with spoiled milk.  Needless to say, I didn’t last there long.  Lucky for me, one of my friends at Starbucks had a regular 9 to 5 job during the day and she told me that they were hiring.  A big girl job?  For me?  Was I ready for that?  I guess so because I sent her my resume and the next day I had an interview.  Two days after that, I had a job!  A real, honest to god, big girl job!

It was awful.  I lasted eight months before I felt my soul starting to disappear slowly.  No, I take that back.  It wasn’t disappearing slowly but rather at an alarming rate.  I cried every day before work and sometimes at work.  It was terrible.  I felt like I was wasting my life.  My work meant nothing to me.  I wasn’t helping people.  I wasn’t doing the world any good.  I felt like I was robbing people of their hard-earned money.  I didn’t like the conniving nature of that environment.  Every move I made felt wrong; on a moral level.  I couldn’t take it anymore.  I quit.  (Well, I gave notice and then they asked me to leave because they felt they shouldn’t have to pay me for another two weeks of work.– Still bitter?  I think so.)  But that has led me to where I am today; unemployed and depressed.

BUT, here’s the silver lining.  I think this book that I finally picked up after months of collecting dust, has just helped me figure out why I’m so depressed.  A reason that, until now, I haven’t been able to accept.  “Tales from the Script” is a collection of thoughts and anecdotes from 50 Hollywood screenwriters.  It is also my saving grace.  In reading the first chapter alone, I was sobbing.  If this is normal, then I have most certainly misinterpreted my reaction.  I choose to believe that I am moved to tears after reading anecdotes from successful screenwriters (even the ones that detail how much failure and rejection comes with the gig) because deep inside me, I know that is all I’m meant to do.  Not sit behind a desk and low-ball people, not stand behind a steamer and poison 30 people, (maybe waitress because the bills have to get paid somehow), but write.  It is the only thing in this world that can make me feel like I’ve really achieved something.  A completed script gives me a sense of joy like nothing else and to me, entertaining people is one of the greatest things you can do.  Make them smile, make them laugh, make them cry but dammit make them feel.  I don’t care how trite that sounds, it’s the truth.

I know that it’s difficult.  Every single writer you talk to will tell you that it’s no walk in the park, but they also seem to agree that if you love it enough, it’s worth it.  It’s time to get over my insecurities, or just push them aside for a moment, and sit down and do the work.  All writers are insecure, neurotic, and scared!  That’s a generalization and I’m not supposed to say that.  Allow me to amend that statement: All but a few (weirdo) writers are insecure, neurotic and scared.  Most actors are the same way.  We, as artists, have to tap into emotions that the average person buries deep inside.  You try going from ecstatic to severely depressed twenty times a day and see how sane and secure you come out.  Those are the emotions that make for good drama.  If these actors and these writers don’t experience those emotions for you first, you’ll never connect to the movie or play that you’re watching and then you’ll complain at what a waste of money that was.  So please try not to judge us if we seem a little eccentric or moody.  It’s for good reason.

After years of crying at the mere thought of being involved in the filmmaking world, I think I am finally ready to accept that fact that I need to grow a pair and dive head first into this business.  It’s time to stop judging myself without giving anyone the chance to see my work first.  You can judge me all you want and I will have to shut up and take it.  No more judging my worth by my salary.  From now on, I want to do what makes me happy even if that means struggling with money.  I’m terrible at saving but it’s time to be a Jew.  Afterall, the Jews run Hollywood right?*

*That wasn’t meant to be offensive!  I just felt it went with the theme of the blog.  Maybe the next step will be to stop apologizing for my jokes…

“If you can find happiness or satisfaction in another field of endeavor, you should do so, because the real reason to get involved in the arts is because you have no choice– you have issues that you need to address through fantasy and fiction.” -Paul Schrader.

Trust me Paul, I’ve got plenty of issues.  So…here goes nothin’.