Monday, April 27, 2009

Never mind Swine Flu, what's my new address?

Last night the NoHo guys said they'd pick their new roommate today or tomorrow. I checked my email obsessively today, but have heard nothing.

I was concerned last night to find that my second choice, the single in Van Nuys, had reposted her unit on Craigslist. I can't blame her. This morning she left me a voicemail asking if I was still interested; I replied via email, saying yes, and requesting to do the paperwork after work tomorrow night. If the NoHo guys come through and I have to cancel on her, I'll feel bad, but I have to cover my ass, right? She hasn't replied yet, so I'm just hoping she hasn't or doesn't sign someone else!

I know you're thinking, "why didn't you call her back?!" Well, because I'm totally phonephobic! I love my phone and all it does, but not talking on it! I'll always answer when my guy'calls; my parents are at about 55%, but with all due respect to everyone else, I'm not likely to pick up. I just don't want to ever be put on the spot; I'd rather see things in writing first and have time to react and formulate my response. That makes it hilarious that my new job is phone sales, with the goal of a one-call-close!

Today was my first day on the sales floor and I made two deals. I still don't know if that means I'll be any good, since they were both T.O.s, meaning a "turn over." For the first couple weeks we're expected to set up the deal but turn it over to a manager to make the close. A few other new employees got one deal, but I'm pretty sure I was the only at two. I fully realize, you're at the mercy of the dialer; at one point I think I sat there for about forty-five minutes getting nothing but answering machines.

Finally, I am fine and no one I know has flu like symptoms! Seriously - mad cow, bird flu, swine flu...? I think it's all a conspiracy created by vegetarians!

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Limited options and even less time!

This past week I trained for a new job in sales. I know I can do it, but I still don't know exactly how good I'll be at it or how much money I can expect to make. Obviously that makes finding a new place to live a bit difficult.

I'm just going to put the numbers out here, because they are what they are... I currently pay $750 for a 2 bed/2 bath in Studio City. It was stupid of me to agree to split the rent evenly, as my roommates room is much larger with an attached bathroom and walk in closet. C'est la vie. It would be nice to get a roommate in here who would pay $900 or $1000 for the larger room. Neither of the two interested parties I found have worked out and to put someone new on the lease would likely mean another year long lease, which I do not want. So it's looking like I have to move.

There's a studio available in my building, but it's $900. Hilarious! I need my rent to be less than it already is. And this unit is abysmal. There's only one window that looks at the next building. I asked my super about a rate drop, but the company will only go down to $850. Next!

I think I already blogged about the place in Silver Lake/Echo Park. It would be a small room in a condo with another female and her two dogs for $600. The nice part is the price; the living room and kitchen are great and the owner was very nice. However, I would have to park on the street or pay extra for a garage and traffic in the area is horrible.

I felt strongly about somehow knowing my potential new roommates; many people have suggested I go on to find someone to move in with me, but I think that's insane, especially with the recent craigslist killer all over the news! Two friends have suggested males friends of theirs who were looking for someone, but after talking to my partner, he is not at all comfortable with me moving in with a hetero guy.

I was getting very discouraged, as most single apartments are $800 and up. I simply can not afford that. Then, I broke my own rule. I saw $560 on craiglist and instantly clicked it! I expected another scam, which I keep running into, but instead found a very detailed post from two gentlemen in North Hollywood looking for a "gay-friendly" roommate. As I explained below, this is ideal! I met with them and loved their place! The location is amazing, the lease is month-to-month, the room is a little small, but the closet is large and there's a small balcony off the room. The only downside it that I'd have to park on the street, but for $560, I'd deal with that. I chatted with the two guys for probably 15 minutes and we got along well. They said I was "perky and normal" as opposed to the boring and weird people they'd already talked to. One of them got a phone call while I was there and said, "I'll call you back, we're auditioning a roommate." Fuck! You put the word "audition" on something and it automatically becomes more stressful! Now I'm on pins and needles waiting to hear back from them. I just need to know one way or another!

My new job is in Van Nuys, which is an area my current roommate wouldn't even consider when we were looking last year. It's not nice and I wouldn't be able to walk to the store anymore, but I've come to learn that it's not as awful as I always thought. I looked at a studio sublet there for $670. The place is really cute; it's a bit smaller than the studio in my building, but I like its layout better. It has a full kitchen, unlike all the "bachelor" units I keep running into. The building has a very charming, quiet courtyard, a pool and gated parking. I'd sublet until September, then have to deal with the building management if I wanted to stay.

Finally, a woman I just met at my new job offered that I could temporarily move in with her and her boyfriend for $550. I went this morning and their place is so charming! It reminded me of some of the apartments in Chicago my brother used to have with crown molding, hardwood floors and a sort of row house layout. But, the price and the cool apartment style are the only good things. It's in an area sort of between Hollywood/Silver Lake and Downtown/Korea Town. Again, I wouldn't be walking anywhere! The buildings on the street were great in terms of beautiful old architecture, but I'm not comfortable with the demographic. I'd have to park on the street, which seemed pretty difficult. The room was small with no closet. Then there were the dogs... They have a French bulldog, which is cute, but also this nasty little rat terrier mixed mut thing. I am not a fan of small, yippy dogs. They jumped on me and smelled like pee. Gross.

Obviously, I am nauseated with hope that the gay guys pick me! Their place is perfect and cheap! If they don't, I feel like I should take one of the cheap options in Hollywood - the $600 or $550, but I don't want to! I don't want to deal with street parking in those neighborhoods, I don't want to drive 16 miles to work in Van Nuys from those areas and I don't want to feel like I'm a nuisance in someone else's space, with someone else's dogs. For some reason with the guys in NoHo, I didn't feel like that since they're roommates to each other and replacing a roommate...

My logic right now is that even though the single in Van Nuys is a little more expensive, my savings in gas and time spent on the road would easily make up the difference! But, I'd also have no one to share utilities with. My fear in that situation is that I'd become even more of a hermit than I already am!

To top it all off, I have to be out of my current place Thursday and am working this Monday through Friday from 1 to 7 p.m. Meaning, I won't have a day to dedicate to moving, I'll have to do it in the mornings. Then there's the issue of renting a uhal or something and begging a limited amount of people to help me.

I'm so stressed right now I could vomit. What if I wait too long to hear from the NoHo guys, then the single in Van Nuys gets taken and I have no choice but to go to Hollywood with smelly dogs?! I want to cry.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Behind-the-scenes at two Red Carpets

The daughter of an old family friend has lived in LA for a few years and does some sort of office work at Paramount Pictures. I know, I know, you're wondering "why have you never talked about this before?" She and her brother are closer in age to my brothers and by the time I came along, we weren't neighbors anymore and bla, bla, bla... Getting a hold of her was something I'd been meaning to do, but never got around to because I'm phone phobic. She knew I was here and had been meaning to contact me too. I finally got her email and though we're having trouble finding a time to meet, she included me on an email inviting people to the premier of the new film The Soloist.

At first I just assumed it was an employee screening, like I go to at Universal; then she wrote, "I'll be running up and down the red carpet, so I probably won't see you." WHAT!?! RED CARPET!!

A friend and fellow Ohio native who was in the musical festival with me last year accompanied me to Paramount Pictures on Melrose in Hollywood. We drove through the huge archway without even showing ID and parked on the lot. I immediately noticed that Paramount is much prettier than Universal. It's like the difference between my Alma mater's campus, where the building are architecturally mismatched and generally unimpressive, to a campus with more uniform building, all with the charm of yesteryear.

We walked to a will-call table where I did show ID to get our passes. In front of a beautiful fountain and another grandiose archway leading to the sound stages, the red carpet started at the street and curved toward the Paramount Theatre. After getting our tickets my friend and I milled around the fountain for about ten minutes, waiting to see if anyone of note would come down the carpet. A few times the reporters perked up, but we didn't recognize the person.

Once inside the theatre's lobby we were surprised and thrilled to see beautiful grazing stations of hor 'devours and an open bar with wine and beer! Floating servers came around with bit sized tuna casseroles and fancy chicken on a stick.

Prior to moving here I had heard that LA was not friendly; I noticed that more during that pre-reception than I ever had before. People weren't making eye contact. When we found a spot to stand and eat our food at one of the tall tables, the people already there didn't acknowledge us. Others came and left the table, all staying within their two-person bubbles. It seemed odd to me. I wondered, were these all incredibly important people who had no need to mingle? Were these friends of friends of employees like me? I was finally able to start a conversation with a cute Asian girl after both our companions had left the table and we were awkwardly left standing, each alone.

When I asked how she was invited she pointed to the man who was with her and said, "he's a famous director." I've googled every incarnation of the name I think she said and can't figure out who he was. She disappeared, but my friend came back reporting that Neal McDonough (who plays Edie's crazy husband on Desperate Housewives) was at the bar. About ten minutes before the movie was to begin, the room became packed. Everywhere we looked, there were familiar faces, but outside of the context of a show or movie, we couldn't figure out who was a famous face.

At one point Rachael Harris stood a few feet from us, talking to a group of people. We knew for certain she was an actress, but in such a sea of potentially important people, we could not recall which show she'd been on. It's like trying to think of how a certain song goes, while another song is blaring in your ear! Now that I've looked up her credits, I feel like a moron! And, she was there because she has a small role in the film.

As I mentioned before, Tom Arnold walked right by me. He is easily recognizable; we made eye contact and exchanged a smile and nod. Unlike most people there, whose tension I couldn't make sense of, the millisecond I shared with him seemed genuine.

We eventually all funneled in to the large, beautiful theatre. Before the film began, director Joe Wright and two producers spoke. As the main characters appeared onscreen the audience applauded, the loudest of which was for Jamie Foxx. When the child actors appeared you could tell it was their family in the audience clapping for them; which was cute. I can't imagine how amazing they must have felt to be in a film of such caliber!

As we'd eaten the hor 'devours, I told my friend, "I can't believe I'm here!... Even if I were an extra, if I got to attend a premier like this for that film, I'd feel like I were the star!" Honestly, I felt guilty that I was there. I'm sure there were tons of crew members that had worked their asses off and day players (actors) who had painfully long hours on set for this film who were not there! Why was I?

Of course, that also made me so frustrated with myself that I had not gotten a hold of the family friend / Paramount employee a year ago! Although, she had alluded in our emails that most premiers are not that fancy.

The film was wonderful and I do recommend it. The story doesn't go as far as fiction would, or even really resolve itself in the way I expected, but it's a true story, and therefore had charm instead of a Hollywood ending.

As we left, we saw the female lead, Catherine Keener, but there was never any sight or mention of Jamie Foxx or Robert Downey Jr. They were photographed on the red carpet, as well as Halle Berry (who was not in the film); I have to imagine they came late and were ushered out early. (CLICK HERE to see celeb photos from the red carpet.)

I hesitated to walk across the lobby and out the doors; there was small clumps of people talking, but again, no one was recognizable. Of course I felt like I should talk to someone, I should figure out who’s who and make a great contact, I was in the same room with amazing, important people, I should do something! But what? My friend didn't seem particularly interested in waiting around. As we walked to the car she said, "if I knew more about the story, it would be different..." I know some of you will also think I should have been more aggressive in meeting people, but please trust me when I say, walking up to strangers, in hopes they're the important one, would have been awkward and inappropriate. Although there was an air of unfriendliness, there was also a feeling of professionalism. No one there acted like fans or tourists; we were members of a business community, celebrating the recent success of a company. Does that make sense?

I felt so fortunate to be there; the essence of that night is what the film industry is about, not all the all the smut you see on TV and at the check out line in the grocery! More than ever, it made me want to be a part of that creative community.

In less inspiring news, when I worked at Universal Saturday, a red carpet was being set up behind the Gibson amphitheater for the TV Land Awards. The hilarious part is, their red carpet was in our dirty tram parking lot! Between the Studio Tour Tram loading and unloading area and the greasy tram garage is a small parking lot. Usually old trams, a busted Delorean and an old mechanical shark from the Jaws animation sit in the lot. Saturday it also housed a half constructed red carpet! Like we tell our guests on the tour, in Hollywood, things are not often what they seem!

What you see in the picture above, is exactly what you get. That red carpet starts and leads no where!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

A boring update.

My phone is holding my cool red carpet pictures hostage and my other blog has gotten all my attention the past week. Today when I got home from my first day of training at my potential new job, I totally crashed. I'm usually not an afternoon napper, but sometimes it just happens. The training was by no means difficult; all we did today was sit and listen. The culprit is my overall lack of sleep and having to get up by 7 a.m. like a normal person for the past few days. Plus, I've needed to go to the grocery for a week now and am consuming frighteningly meager amounts of food.

As for the apartment search, I keep running into Craigslsit scams. Seriously, who falls for this shit? Tomorrow I'm going to look at a place that would be a roommate situation with absolute strangers. That is something I wanted to avoid; I wanted the person to at least be a friend of an acquaintance or something, but this caught my eye. The price is low, the location is great and they're two gay guys looking for a "gay-friendly" roommate. Living with a hetero male is pretty much out of the question and chicks can be bitchy! I've always been more of a guys-girl with very few female friends, so gay guys sound like ideal roommates to me. We'll see; yes I'll be extremely careful and I'll also blog about the red carpet premier tomorrow!

Monday, April 20, 2009

From the Paramount Theatre for the Red Carpet Premier of "The Soloist"

Holy shit, this is AMAZING! I am at the RED CARPET premier of The Soloist at Paramount Studios!!

No, I didn't walk the carpet, but got very cool pics of it from the other side. A family friend works at Paramount and got me passes. While enjoying free wine and hor 'devours I saw Edie's crazy husband from Desperate Housewives. And Tom Arnold walked by and smiled at me!

No sign of Jamie Foxx or Robert Downey Jr. yet.

Unfortunately Miss Ohio USA didn't make the Top 15 in last night's national pageant, but Miss California USA was even more disappointing!

Ironically, I spent the day helping at a bridal expo, which is about the last place you'd ever think to find me! It was a frightening and hilarious experience, to say the least!

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Stalling: On the tram and in my decision making

As predicted, it happened, I was evaluated yesterday at work! I don't know how I snuck under the radar for so long; everyone else in my class was evaluated last summer. Anyway, it happened during my second tour. Now that I think about it, it may have been longer than five months since I'd worked a normal tram tour. In October I think I only did the Halloween Horror Tours and I don't recall if I had any shifts in November...

Anyway, I knew the evaluator was on my tram from the beginning and I'm surprised it didn't throw me off much at all. That's likely because I was so focused on doing my job well for the sake of the guests, since it had been so long. Of course, at the transition between the front and back lots I encountered a huge stall! A tram was disabled on an attraction ahead of me. It was pretty rough, probably five minutes of just sitting in an very uninteresting part of the lot with not much to look at or talk about, but I got through it. Then coming out of what we call Park Lake/Skull Island/Red Sea the tram almost got stuck in the water. It took a couple minutes of chugging and revving and wheel whining...

Despite the technical difficulties, my evaluator's verbal comments after the tour were very positive. She realized I hadn't worked in forever and thought I handled the stalls well. She called me charming several times! However, I could get nailed on her written form for two content errors I made... Some picture cars from recent filming were sitting out, specifically two Fairview police cars. I said they were from Ghost Whisperer. Nope! The town in that show is Grandview, whereas Fairview is from Desperate Housewives. She said it was an easy mistake, but I know it's a mistake nonetheless. I also confused Andre the Giant for Lou Ferigno in a clip from the Six Million Dollar Man. It's a big deal because if any guests caught those errors then they might think everything I said was bullshit. I'll get a score on her written paperwork sometime in the next thirty days. Based on all her positive feedback, I'm not concerned about it being problematic, which I believe is anything under 80 out of 100.

I was relieved to have my first evaluation finally out of the way, but the tours didn't get any better the rest of the day. This was hands down the most difficult day of tramming I've ever had and not just because I hadn't worked recently. I had several things happen to me today for the first time ever. My third tour sat on the dock of the Jaws animation for ten minutes waiting for it to work. I told them, "they say in Hollywood that you should never work with children or animals, and this is why...!" The Mummy animation didn't work correctly for that tour either. I had never had an animation breakdown before; two in one tour was baptism by fire. My fourth tour was plagued with stalls throughout and we had to stop and restart the tram at one point because the driver was concerned about a light that wasn't supposed to be on. It never went off and the whole time he acted as if it was going to breakdown at any minute.

It was a very hot, exhausting day. I got back to my apartment and literally did nothing. There was nothing good on TV, and feeling very sorry for myself, I satisfied a craving for Taco Bell and ate it. Alone. On a Saturday night. On my living room floor. It is ridiculous how pathetic and lonely I feel.

As I've mentioned before, it's like a yo-yo. My interview went well Friday, by the way. It really wasn't much of an interview since they'd screened me over the phone. I wasn't asked much; rather the company was explained to me and I was invited to three days of training next week. It's a sales position, so not everyone will make it through the training. I was surprised the area the office is in was nicer than I imagined. I found myself daydreaming about finding an apartment there and making great money. But the available units in my price range have turned out to be classic Craigslist scams.

Failed scheduling attempts to show my apartment to a potential roommate proved extremely frustrating Friday afternoon. Then last night the issue of my teeth came to me again in a different way, a way that made sense. I've been so consumed with trying to sort out what is logical and what is just an excuse not to try as hard as I should be trying, but last night the teeth thing cleared itself from that confusion. It has to be done. Period.

My clarity then yo-yoed back to torment when I got to work yesterday morning. My job is the best part of my life here. It's amazing! I was on famous sets four times yesterday. Where were you? As much as I love my guy and friends and family in Ohio, there's nothing there for me anymore. Monday I'm going to the red carpet premier of The Soloist. (I won't be on the red carpet, but I'm seeing the film at Paramount for free.) I can go to the beach and touch the ocean whenever I want! (I never do, but I could.) This is the best place in the world to be to do what I have always dreamed of doing. (I'm not really doing it yet, but I will!) I don't want to demean anyone who's reading this and supporting me, but yesterday at work as I looked out over the Valley, the beautiful mountains in the distance and the Warner Brothers studio beneath us, I felt sick to my stomach at the idea of driving my car back to Ohio. I will die of boredom is I'm back there for a year or two.

I feel equally sick to my stomach as I sit in my apartment. I am dieing of loneliness and dwelling on my dental damnation.

I feel sick to my stomach all the freaking time.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

I just got done giving my first tour in five months! It went well, but damn! I'm exhausted! I forgot how much endurance it takes! I started loosing steam about half way through and my throat already hurts. And there's an evaluator out today. I've never been evaluated and though I think I'd do alright, it prbably wouldn't be my best possible score.

- Texted to blogger from my cell, likely with spelling errors.

Half asleep ramblings or an epiphany?

This may sound scattered and random, but stay with me…

I’m lying here trying to fall asleep because I have to be up for a shift at Universal in a few hours and I found myself thinking about my fellow tour guides that I’ll be seeing again… I don’t know about you, but snippets of conversations pop up in my mind and lead me elsewhere.

For some reason I recalled a conversation with a fellow guide about a friend of hers who is a soap star. She went to high school with the soap star and has more training, but she admitted her friend is amazing, charismatic and drop dead gorgeous. She said her friend, the soap star, just can’t understand why she hasn’t made it and gotten a great agent too… The point of the story is that the soap star is one of those sweet people who has no idea how stunningly beautiful they are and how much of a difference that can make.

So from there I thought, “well she doesn’t really try to do much with herself…” Meaning my fellow tour guide. Everyone is beautiful in their own way, but this particular girl could stand out in a crowd with just a bit of effort that I’ve never seen her make, even outside of work.

I immediately felt bad for thinking that. Who am I to judge what she looks like or what she does or doesn’t do with her appearance? And why am I thinking about this person at all when I should be sleeping? I thought, “I’m a horrible person; I’m sure people wonder why I don’t do more to even out my crappy complexion… I wish my skin were better… The worst thing I need to fix before I can make it are my teeth…”

Mind you, all of that took place in my brain in a matter of nanoseconds, but how telling!

When I wasn’t dwelling on my future and trying to rationalize the smartest option, my subconscious reemerges with the longtime problem! I have the overwhelming feeling that if I stay in LA now, I’ll still have crooked teeth in another two or three years and look back wishing I had taken this opportunity to fix them. Just like I looked back in college, wishing they had been done in high school; and I look back now, wishing they’d been done in college… When will it end?

I feel like in this moment I have clarity, but I don’t know if it will last… *sigh* I need to be sleeping!!!

Friday, April 17, 2009


This morning my audition went well; solid, but not fantastic. I need to get some sleep for the job interview I have this morning, so instead of rewriting things, here are some snippets that pretty much explain it; hopefully the people these messages were sent to don't mind!

An email to my guy:

Today was just one of those days... I am trying to have a really positive attitude, but it either backfires or doesn't matter. I think the key is to just laugh at it all because it's honestly hilarious. The amount of shit that happens in a day in LA would take a week or two to add up elsewhere.

...I really miss you and I'm getting really emotionally worn down. You thought I was bad when I had to decide about my plane tickets back here, but being here trying to figure all this out is ten times worse. I'm like a yo-yo, one second thinking I have a promising lead and the next second feeling like it's impossible and I'm totally wasting my time trying... This sucks.

And a Facebook to a good friend:

To be honest things look pretty bleak. Nothing specific happened today, just all the stupid little things that add up very quickly when you're by yourself. Or maybe it's that I saw my acting teacher today who is incredibly annoying! He's one of those people who makes everything sound like it's so damn easy. Ya right! I am trying so hard to stay super positive, but it all comes down to numbers. :(

I have an interview in the morning for a telesales job. It could be nice money if I'm good at it. I really feel like it's the make-or-break thing at this point. I filled out a half dozen tedious restaurant applications today, but I know none of them are hiring in time to be able to keep me here. I can't help but feel like I'm running my ass off on things I know are not going to pan out...

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Finally - Up and Running!

My very important package arrived at 6:45 p.m. Monday. I called UPS around 5:30 only to be told they deliver as late as 7:30 p.m. and are not able to give any window of time! Unbelievable! That's worse than the infamous cable guy!

So my car didn't make it to the garage until Tuesday; it needed a bit more work and took more time than expected. Of course.

Today, a week after arriving back in LA I was finally able to leave my apartment and try to make some headway! I took the tour at Universal so I'd feel comfortable once again giving it and can now call in to pick up shifts. I picked up several applications at restaurants on Universal's City Walk and then headed toward downtown to check out a possible new apartment.

The area is Los Feliz/Silver Lake/Echo Park which is nestled sort of between Hollywood and Downtown; I've always heard they're cool "hipster" neighborhoods, but I honestly don't know what that means! Even on breakdowns, some characters are described as "Silver Lake hipster types." Anyway, I'd be renting a room from a young woman who owns the townhouse with her family (but only she and her two dogs live there). It's a good price and I could pay month to month, but the room is rather small, there are no amenities in the complex and I'd have to either park on the street or pay extra for a garage. The market, drug store and restaurants are close, but not in walking distance and while the street the complex is on is clean and quiet, I had to go through some less than ideal areas en route. I've been extremely spoiled in my current location; I literally take the street my apartment is on to the street Universal is on to get to work! It only takes ten to fifteen minutes, it's a nice area and I rarely deal with the highways or crazy traffic. If I choose the place I saw today, I'd have to bite the bullet like most people in this town and sit in horrid traffic every single day...

In huge, exciting news, I have an audition tomorrow! The best part is that I didn't even submit for it! You may recall in the fall I auditioned for a role on the TLC/Discover Health show "I didn't know I was pregnant." My goal for that audition was to build good rapport with the casting directors; although I didn't book the role, I sent a thank you note after the audition. This morning they called me to audition for a small role of a friend to the lead character, the one who doesn't know she's pregnant. Obviously they kept my headshot on file and/or remembered me. So I guess I can say mission accomplished! Tomorrow morning's audition doesn't actually have sides (a script), rather it's an improv scene at a bar with the friends having a fun girls night. Hopefully I'm the look and personality they want! And yes, you guessed it, the morning after drinking with my character, the lead gives birth to a child she didn't know she was carrying. And this is based on real people! You can't write shit that crazy!

Then Friday I have an interview for a telesales job. Don't boo and call me the devil, it's not cold calling! I'd only call people who requested information. There is a potential for great money, but it's not exactly an easy job and I honestly don't know how good I'd be. Am I a closer? I guess I'll find out! I did call alumni for donations while I was in college; that's my main sales experience. Lucky for me, they asked which college and it turns out the manager is also an Ohioan. I think it's safe to say my home landed me the interview over my experience, which is fine by me! Now all I have to do is charm them and make it through the training. This job even has benefits after 90 days. Some think I could make more money waiting tables. I am pursuing both options but benefits and not having to deal with bratty little kids spilling stuff on me does seem more appealing!

Saturday morning I have another audition for a non-union short horror film. Short horror film? I had to laugh at myself when I received the audition information; I must not have read that breakdown carefully before submitting. None the less, I'll definitely go give it a shot. The prototype for the character is Famke Janssen of Nip/Tuck. I hadn't googled her prior to submitting (again, I was submitting too quickly), but upon doing so, I'm flattered!

I know all of this sounds great, but my future remains a question mark. I am still operating under the reality that if I can't find a new place and additional job to cover the rent by the 30th, I can't stay in LA. The order in which I find those things is delicate and difficult to balance. If I wait to find a great job, I may have no time to get a new place to live. It would be even worse to find a place first, go through the hassle of moving and scrounge up and possibly loose a security deposit, only to not get a good enough job...

It's difficult, but I am determined to stay positive. As I sit her at my desk, my quote-a-day "Daughters" calendar given to me by my mom reads, "Hold on to your dreams; they will help guide you on your own path to happiness."

Monday, April 13, 2009

A dog to a mail carrier will pale in comparison to me and the yet to arrive UPS person...!

I thought I was restless in Ohio, but the last few days trapped in my LA apartment have been nearly intolerable!

The good news is that my car is starting! I had planned to take it in for the oil change and tire rotation first thing this morning, then I was determined to get a second job TODAY! Grand plans, indeed.

Then I remembered a package was arriving today that I absolutely had to be here to receive. The clock is now headed toward the 5 o'clock hour and I have no package and no patience! I am very irritated that another day has slipped by with little progress being made. Worse yet is that around 2 p.m. I walked down to check my mailbox, where they would have left a note had I somehow missed them. I was happy not to find a note and happier yet to see their big brown truck about a block away on a side street! I guess I should have walked to them because I am sick of waiting for them to come to me!

Adding to the aggravation is the fact that it was shipped second-day air on Thursday morning. It arrived here at 3 a.m. Saturday. Why couldn't it have been delivered Saturday afternoon?

Never mind the title, that was just for dramatic effect; I won't actually be mean to the delivery person if it arrives today. However, if it does not, I will be bitching on the phone to someone until there is some sort of compensation given!

Saturday, April 11, 2009

An Update: The expected hassles this city delivers

After sitting for a few months, I knew my car would need some TLC. Thursday AAA came to my parking garage to jump it and inflate a nearly flat tire with a portable air machine. I ran it for about an hour and a half to charge the battery back up; I washed the thick layer of dirt off and the sweet guys at a nearby 76 station used their better air machine to check the pressure in all four tires.

I thought I was all good!

Friday I set out to Universal Studios to brush up on the ever-changing tour so I can start working again and to the grocery. However, my car would not start. She is clean and inflated, but the charge did not hold. The grocery is in walking distance, but other than that I feel pretty stranded.

Luckily my apartment manager has a battery charger that is currently on the car; hopefully it takes. If the charger does not work, I'll have to take the bus to Universal tomorrow, as it is imperative that I start calling in to try to pick up shifts and start making money! Monday I need to get the car in for an oil change, tire rotation and possibly a new battery.

Once I have wheels again, I'll start looking for a waitressing job and new apartment. I really don't want to be in another year long lease, but if I could get someone to move in with me and pay more than half for the larger room, that would be nice. There's also a single available in my building, but they'd have to drop the price a few hundred dollars for me! I've put the word out to all my LA contacts, so we'll see...

I have yet another tough decision to make within the next few hours. My subscription to that casting website I always refer to expires today! I already let one of them run out and without this one I'll have no access to the breakdowns and no way to submit myself for projects. The trouble is, this website only offers year-long subscriptions for $70. That's a lot of money for me right now, especially if I end up going back to Ohio in a month! On the other hand, they nickle-and-dime you to add pictures and it's a pain in the ass to create your account, online resume, etc... so I'd hate to lose the account and have to do all that again in a month if I do stay.

I can't help but wonder though, if I let it expire today, will they send me some sort of last minute special price to get me to stay tomorrow...?

I feel like there's no point in being in LA if I'm not trying to get auditions and taking acting classes, but I do have a lot on my plate right now with employment and housing. When my roommate and I were catching up Wednesday night she said if she had it to do again, she'd do nothing but work and get acclimated her first six months here. That's not bad logic. I just messaged an actor friend who's lived out here awhile; he said he's only on the other casting site that I let go a few months ago. I've been submitting like crazy with little luck, so maybe it's time to try a different site...

Thursday, April 9, 2009

The Coulda-Woulda-Shouldas

I can not account for the past few months of my life; I can’t even bring myself to type actual number of months. I have to say “few” because it somehow seems like less than the number! As I look back, I am so disappointed in myself. Instead of motivating me forward, the coulda-woulda-shouldas have only added to the debilitating stress and uncertainty.

When I went back to Ohio in November I did look for seasonal employment, unsuccessfully. As I mentioned then, I had several personal and household goals to keep me busy, in addition to visiting with family over the holidays. But then I extended my flight an extra two weeks, I think; and then my departure became indefinite… Had I known I’d be in Ohio for a few months, surely I could have found some sort of work and banked some cash. If I knew I would have been there long enough, I absolutely would have taken improv classes at Second City in Detroit or even stand-up at the local comedy club and definitely a bar tending class. I certainly should have made a better plan back in January instead of letting the indefinite turn into the embarrassing!

On one hand I feel like I did accomplish some needed packing and organization in my home, but there’s only so much you can do. I quickly discovered how unpractical it is to try to live in a home that is even marginally packed up. And I hope it goes without saying that it was wonderful to recharge my relationship; even with all our modern forms of communication, there is absolutely no substitute for human contact. I know I shouldn’t be embarrassed about my lack of productiveness over the last few months; rather, I know I am lucky to have taken a sabbatical, or sorts.

To paraphrase a line from the character Carrie Bradshaw, most of all I’ve come to the realization that I absolutely must find a way to stop shoulding all over myself!

All I want in life is to be happy; I tell myself daily that my current struggles are necessary in the pursuit of my dreams and ultimate happiness. However, it’s impossible to find happiness when you constantly feel uncertain, indecisive and regretful.

I am left wondering, should I focus on making better decisions, planning better and sticking to that plan? Or could I rewire the way I think, as to accept whatever has and does happen in life? There are those words again – Should I? Could I? Would I just shut up already and live my life instead of crying as it passes me by?!?!

I know the answer is a combination of the two, but it’s simply not that easy. On my DVR in Ohio is a PBS special about understanding how things affect your brain function and emotions and learning to manipulate it. I get it, I really do, but there are so many blueberries a person can eat in a given day!

I am better than most people I know at saying mail carrier instead of mail man. I avoid the term “they” when discussing minority groups and I can not stand using absolute terms on issues that I don’t know the facts on or that reinforce stereotypes. I understand that saying “don’t run” is ineffective; you should instead say “please walk,” etc… If I’m able to recognize and control my mind and verbiage in those ways, surely I can learn to eradicate the coulda-woulda-shouldas from my vocabulary. From now on, I CAN, I WILL, I SHALL!

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Greeting from Memphis

No, there is not Elvis stuff all over this airport, at least not along the short walk I took to my connecting gate...

I guess I failed to keep my promise to blog more, but it would have just been more of the same: I'm lonely in LA, I'm without purpose in Ohio, the economy is horrible, I have such a hard decision and I don't know what to do, bla, bla, bla...

But things are about to get interesting again. My arrival at LAX tonight will begin a 21 day scramble to get things figured out! I need a new place to live and additional employment by April 30, or...?