Tuesday, September 30, 2003

mail call.

the new mike doughty CD has a robot on it. !!!

and the monkey got an express letter. hmmm. i wonder if it has lawyer written all over it. maybe i'm paranoid.

apparently, i'll get weekly quotes from my acting-with-thecamera teacher. apropos of this one, i have to wonder what exactly nick nolte was "being" in the hulk:

N.N., on choosing a screenplay: "I look for that story that has deep meaning for me.  I may not know exactly what that meaning is, but I can feel it, and that's the work I'm compelled to do.  When Paul Schrader first called me about doing AFFLICTION, I knew I wasn't yet ready psychologically to go to the places this character has to go.  I wasn't feeling enough pain.  I was fearful I might act it.  I don't like to act.  To me, it's all about being. "

today, i am initiated.

5:30: wake. make coffee, choke breakfast. avoid barfing.
6:00: choose clothes that make me look nothing like angelina jolie.
6:28: kiss monkey, leave apartment.
7:10: arrive in chelsea from subway and sign unofficial "list."

in non-equity auditions, this crappy paper list gets circulated. it only means something if everyone's agreed and everyone is a boyscout. today, everyone was, and i was twenty first in line. you wait outside in the cold until

8:00 announcement is made that people will be letting us in soon.
8:30 announcement is made that people will be letting us in soon.
8:43 announcement is made that people will be letting us in soon.

9:06: we get in an elevator, eight at a time, in our carefully preserved order and get seven more announcements about how fast everything is going to move once the casting people ACTUALLY ARRIVE.

9:30: headshot and resume taken. i'm number 15. there's been attrition.

9:59: we go in to a gas chamber/ballet studio twenty at a time, while an obese casting lady matches us with our pictures and decides who can stay.

i didn't get to stay. whatever. but, man . . . what is this going to be like, week after month after year? holy shit. i'm wiped.

i still remember that, you know, idea about being ferocious. roar. mwrow. i'm just tired, too. mama said there'd be days like this.

Monday, September 29, 2003

in the part of the world that isn't about me, we reaped free cable last night.

i wasn't so sure about bringing the idiot box back into the monkey's fairly blissy nontelevision apartment, but i needed a VCR for this on-camera class (also, there is the issue of ER, which i regard more like a long-term platonic boyfriend than a television show, since it has seen me through high school, college, grad school, and five seattle apartments). i brought a used one home from the east side, and, coming home from a bar in which i stated that twenty bucks a month was too dear for basic cable, we plugged it into the cable jack blind, just for fun.

well, hello, network news. peter, you never looked so dashing. food network, we can actually cook, now. jon stewart and mo rocca, amuse us, please. all of my actor friends who are on law and order, suburban victims unit, we salute you. heh.

oh, man. i hope i didn't just mess up really big. i always think i want to know, but i am, you know, i'm, howyousay, *wrong.

anyway. yesterday was Big Audition, and ferocious-am-i was severly daunted. just because no one flopped like a ecstatic trout over my rendition of phebe from _as you like it_. the response was perfectly not mean, but no one hoorayed and i felt dismissed. i probalby was. it's not something for tears, though, and i directed the monkey into a diner for a chocolate milkshake i couldn't even finish. and then i cried some. shitty, shitty, shitty.

flesh has got to be tougher than this. it simply won't do. please send rhino hide.

today's discovery only slightly responsible, i wonder: am i kind enough?

moreover, we all know that tom robbins big mystery isn't solved yet. who can make love stay?

the idea of losing makes me want to vomit for a thousand years.

Sunday, September 28, 2003

today, i said:

i feel very at home, just, nothing's familiar.

i'll say this about hoofing new york: it's never as good to be home as it is when you are so goddamned tired you couldn't possibly have walked any more except, *you weren't there yet. when you get there, getting off the couch is not an option.

Friday, September 26, 2003

i listened to the debate last night. i got confused. not by positions and things, but becasue i only had a radio, and without visuals they all sound the same except carol moseley braun and al sharpton.

today i read on cnn that the french have created a card deck naming the 52 most dangerous US government personalities.

french, you win.

Thursday, September 25, 2003

i get lost every time i leave the house. still, most days, i do leave the house.

i went to the studio recommended by . . . well, this person--some of you may know her as the wearer of the flightsuit, the ramp jammies, the one who only wanted the sweater 'if we can be *friends*'--who i don't always eye-to-eye with, but she's ambitious, and i posit she doesn't suck at what she does, and so i researched her studio and it sounded good. and then, after all my def-con five fear about paying money for training (get kicked out of one league conservatory and suddenly it almost never seems like an acceptable risk), i felt completely at home. what's more, the interviewer flipped my headshot over and stopped for a second, and then said, "oh. you're a *real* working actor." and immediately placed me in what we all know is the best class. that one was worth it.

so this is what i'm thinking: i will be the driven one. that's going to be my thing. ferocious.

there's so fucking much to do.

Monday, September 22, 2003

him: hey. you should look in that issue of backstage. someone's casting "don juan."

me: really?

him: yeah. i mean, would you work for no pay?

me: maybe. is it somewhere good?

him: i can't remember. but i think you'd be good as that one girl. (makes hand motion)

me: you mean the one who's in love with burton curtis?

him: right.

(the listing in _backstage_ is found. it reads, "NON-EQUITY PERFORMERS: DON JUAN IN OUTER SPACE.)

me: is this the one you meant?

him: (looks.) oh. yeah. sorry. i forgot about the outer space part.

i walked home from the train last night and stopped to tell the taco lady in her trailer that i'm glad she's here. i went into my own apartment (now! with more coffee table!) and slept and woke up being kissed by a movie star.

things are not bad.

Saturday, September 20, 2003

no matter how many times i move, i remember that the newspaper wrappings on my breakable stuff is going to be the *old* city's newspaper. and then i think, "oh! seattle times! the stranger!" and get a little nostalgic when really, it would be much weirder if they were new york papers. i mean.

it has been so long, i don't remember what most of this stuff is. it's like christmas in here. i forgot i even had those pants. i've never been so entranced by the smell of my makeup. i'm so excited to look hot again.

that's it. i'm taking these freaking three month old jeans off right now. hello, new clothes.

Thursday, September 18, 2003

i forgot to say how we went to see bishop allen on tuesday, and how it managed to be great despite a giant, roiling conflict-conversation about the money.

he's at two auditions this morning. the idea of being there scares me crapless. i had no idea i'd be so scared. right now, i'm scared even to sign up for a class, even the kind that are probably cheesy and i might be better than a lot of people in them.

i feel like i should constantly chant, getoveritgetoveritgetoverit. get over it, you.

Wednesday, September 17, 2003

hmm. i just found the blog entry i wrote in copenhagen then couldn't post.

serves me right:

"oh. well, hello copenhagen.

a long time ago, i went on a long road trip with my best friend college roommate, and near the end of it we finally got off the freeway and coasted to a stop behind a modest sedan with a license plate frame that said,

"Happiness is Being A Danish."

of course there was no article, but as i recall we laughed for a good ten miles between sips of diet coke and butt-shift-stretching.

happiness is not necessarily being in a danish airport, especially since this strange mutual woundedness that creeps up on us occasionally (somewhere in the back of my mind, the robot brain is working on this one: what's up with the tendershoes? is it me? is it us? what's the frequency, kenneth?) having put in an appearance. it's banished now, and i suppose jet lagged and having waited an hour for luggage that didn't need to be reclaimed isn't anyone's best game face.

large pieces of fun on the airplane. sadly, we were in the last row. happily, together in a window and aisle with no middle. pantsily, next to the head and gases abounded. a line of people waiting to pinch off a crap are not the scenery i'd hoped. it was good for a laugh, though.

copenhagen. next, the UK. and a night's sleep. and i'm out of the apartment. and, i guess life is starting. the monkey even said so the other day, and rang me back to the day in november he left me outside the security area on my way to mexico after the most incredible goodbye, my having announced his welcome into my capital L life.

so, yes. we have our road shoes on, with long haul tread."


well, jeez.

even though i've maybe never been the sort, everyone sort of wants a millenial-quality party of the first magnitude. i thought leaving seattle was a good time to have it, but rehearsals precluded planning, and then when we got back to town from edinburgh it was all i could do to call the rendezvous and book the upstairs room. i suppose i should have guessed. the people who did show were lovely, but the vision ended up lacking. and a few very precious folks who assured me they'd be there were missing, and i miss them.

but the here and now is all new york. it's like running uphill constantly, on asphalt. i'm terribly scared everytime i'm daunted that *i won't like it*, and god knows what that means, since i don't think i can go back and the monkey certainly isn't leaving.

except the first day was great. capital. and now, i'm frightened by how much i don't know. children on the subway know more about this place than i do. it's a long road from here to day-player roles on law and order: special victims unit.

so, i dunno. it'll work out. in the meantime, the unsettledness is wearing on me, and worse, making me critical. it's hard for this place to do right when nothing's good enough.

Saturday, September 13, 2003

yesterday i said goodbye to my parents. it was not as hard as it might have been, and i felt far more happy than sad. the small distress that poked through was at suddenly not believing that they could possibly know how much this slightly deformed person loves the two of them, sweet and graying and fully flawed and . . . sometimes when i try to talk about my family, i feel like i spent some time living inside a movie no one else saw. i have no vocabulary for it. it was the three of us against the world, end of story.

but it was that way again, for a minute. holding my mother and my dad's arms around me, with the sun almost harsh on my face (and me thinking, however melodramatically, this is the sun of the place i was born, i can actually feel it) and both of them so close that when i opened my eyes, both their faces were right there, warped and too large. for a second, it felt like who we are was real.

today has been the last day in seattle. i had breakfast with B., and it was hard to say goodbye, but what was maybe harder was driving to the next errand and seeing lake union so goddamned gorgeous--just the best day seattle makes, the one where it's sunny but not over seventy five and the water is even more sparkle than it is blue, and you can see the ravages of the kalakala and the skyline from one hill. i pulled over and went down to the burke-gilman trail to walk for a bit and called the best one, then the monkey, then my folks. sometimes, it's much harder to leave the place of this place than it is any of the terribly more worthwhile people it holds inside it.

i got the car washed and polished, inside and out, and the inside smells like pee to me. i'm sure it's really a sort of cleaning solution that is not actually pee, but i'm worried that ever since Ye house of olde worlde cat pee, i am doomed to phantom urea.

i'm on my way out the door. it only feels a little like flesh is tearing. i am pretty happy about where i'm going.

on january 28 i wrote to the best one, "well, you know what they fucking say. if you love something, go let it live in new york for a while."

this story has the best ending ever in my life.

Friday, September 12, 2003

today is my very first one year anniversary. it is also the day of my going away party. thirdly, and sadly, john ritter died today.

in other news, a young man rolled a nut across london with his nose.

Thursday, September 11, 2003

even though my life is better than fine, and i know everything goes at the speed it goes, i believe i should be there right now. i wasn't sure i felt that way until i heard there would be children singing during the memorial.

soon enough. everything will still be there.

Wednesday, September 10, 2003

oh, jayson blair. somehow, the fact that it's called "burning down my master's house" makes me feel a little queasy.

not quite long enough talks yesterday with people i'll miss didn't make me not want to go. so that's good. although i do wonder when i'll see D&B again, especially since they've just reproduced. miss b. was right when she said we might see each other more now. sigh.

and when i do go to new york? am i going to go see mr. pointy? oh, you bet.

i hope people come to my party. jeez.

i also hope the monkey gets a job. the bad powerless feeling does no one any good.

Monday, September 08, 2003

oho! i was blown off!

somehow, knowing that i was going to pedal into the city to keep a social engagement with someone i don't know so well but wished i had before i moved but now i can't because he emailed and cancelled (apparently unaware that this really is steven's last night in town and i passed up better tickets to have his coffee date)--somehow, i feel less anxious and awful.

why with the anxious and awful? why am i feeling like i've left something out in the rain and am far too lazy to successfully graduate from this city?


i got my hair cut the other day. here in my real home town, at the salon where my mother goes.

my mom's been . . . feisty, in the last couple of years. she seems ardently depressed, and the largest symptom appears to be that she's made some sort of blood pact to prove to anyone listening that she is happy, fulfilled and correct. that, and she gets angry all the time. i can only imagine how she's surviving at work--state government would turn the calmest, smartest people into bats, and it's turning my mother into That Woman everyone talks about in the water cooler. maybe the heart-turningest example is her failing relationship with a young man she used to mentor, a sweet Mormon dad who gratefully appreciated her being his champion until she became so tough to work with that he spoke harshly to her. i think she probably appears . . . condescending, and inflexible.

anyway. she switched hair guys at some point, and i think it was because she knocked heads with christian the hairdresser. how my mum interacts with hair is emblematic of her greater life. she is convinced that she used to have great hair and now doesn't, and that she keeps asking for the same, known quantity and is foiled by people who have somehow lost their competence. that, and she's now this fiesty person who is sure she knows stuff.

this means the hair guy wanted to talk about my mom. and we did a little in the sort of, hair guy/client pally chatter. he's a nice guy, but really likes to hear himself speak. he shared a personal story about finding out his dad is hugely racist, which he didn't suspect growing up. i shared a story about how my mother once stopped speaking to me because she found out i stopped shaving my legs.

he started giggling and his eyes half-closed, and he kept saying, "i'm gonna have to ask your mom about that one."

to my suprise, i felt really bad. like i'd sold her out. was i thinking that outing her to some dumb hair guy was going to make me feel better?

really, the whole story is very small. it's just, i'd like her to be happy. more than that, i would like her just to start working to be happy. or recognize what's going on. because each time i come back it takes longer and longer to get into her core, past the makeup and the talk about dogs and cars and the involved stories about who's screwing her over at work. a very old friend asked how she was the other day, and i had nothing to say. she's sad, i said. and she thinks that's all there is.

i'd like to help.

you know, i thought the danger of having a week to say goodbye was that it was enough time to get sucked back under the blanket. no.

actually, it's just making me anxious. there are still a few very important people i need to see and it's good i'll get to say goodbye yadda bleh, but i'm finding myself a little caffeiney at the pit of my stomach. it's been almost a week back and i'm still waking up at five. and, really? i want to get on an airplane and arrive, already.

perhaps what i'm really tired of is being homeless.

Sunday, September 07, 2003

has anyone read the piece about nell freudenoidenoidenberger/burger on salon? this young woman who was an assistant at the new yorker and was included in last summer's debut issue and apparently is hot and got a giant advance for her unwritten novel?

we graduated from college in the same year. i'm afraid she's now on the zadie smith list of people who i am, it's turning out, not going to grow up to be.

in fact, the journalist who wrote the piece mentioned he struggled with a similar envy and dismay, and had also graduated from college in 1997, and then i thought:

i don't even write as good as this journalist.

fine. i guess curtis sittenfeld goes on the list too, god damn him.

i've made so many promises to myself about the writing and my upcoming free time. but i've never in the past been good with discipline, so . . . am i heading for a weasel-filled pond of despair? or maybe i should be auditioning instead.

god knows that's never disappointing.

the monkey does not dissapoint. absence makes the heart wake up. but he's got a lot of work to do, and . . . well, that discipline thing is a problem we share, so . . .

sigh. but i'm pulling up stakes pretty well. i think.

Thursday, September 04, 2003

it's early. we're jet lagged.

but i find i'm liking this early morning time. when else to we fix breakfast at five thirty? when else do i have the time and inclination to make scones? and when we're done, washed up and everything,

it's still only eight.

we're in my parents' house. which, quite frankly, is a palace compared to anywhere we stayed in europe, and is such an open space treasure compared to the new york apartment that it feels like we're simply in another, rather nicer phase of the vacation. no sheep and scenery, but a fully stocked kitchen and a king sized bed.

(yeah, it's my parents' bed. i could feel gross, but we really needed the sleep and it's too hot for PJs.)

it's time to start the goodbyes. last dates with important friends. and also the part where you gradually give up on seeing people you want to be important but really you just never knew them well enough. i'm throwing some kind of party. if you're going to be in my town next weekend and you don't find an invitation in your email, leave me a note.

i just . . . you know, goodbyes are my kriptonite. i'm fine now, but next week could be, um, fraught. if you see me, please tell me if my mascara's running. i need to look hot at my party and hope people come.

people will come, right?

Monday, September 01, 2003

p.s. whoever is finding this page by googling, "belching lady," i'm flattered, but you could just bookmark it.

i rode the EYE. the london EYE. oh, yes.

we're home tomorrow, and i couldn't be gladder. everything's charming and travel is life, but . . . there's kitchens to be started and games to advance. i live in new york now. so it's probably time to get it on.

i can't believe how lovely.

oh, yes.

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