2013…Let’s see if “third time” really is a charm

 

Spit flew from my lips as I gasped for air. It was cold and the wind didn’t help. Other than a small top and thin leggings, the only thing coating me was sweat. I couldn’t breathe except from my mouth, and that, in of itself, was a struggle. I dodged to the left, clumsily landing on the rugged dirt path. Stones and rock tried to trip me, but I couldn’t slow down. I wouldn’t.

My younger brother was just up ahead, just above the steep hill in front of me. They were taking him. And they were going to kill him. The only person around to stop them was me. I heard him scream out my name. I called back with as much strength as I could spare. I came to the bottom of the hill and sprinted up. Digging my shoes into the soft dirt wasn’t enough. They were faster. I saw them drag my baby brother past the horizon and heard the shot. By the time I reached the top of the hill, they were gone and so was my brother. I returned home, defeated.

But tomorrow, they wouldn’t be so lucky.

This is how I motivated myself to run every day. Imagination is a whole-nother world for me. I had never been a runner up until 2012. My friend Pablo said to me one day, after long hours of lazing around, “Let’s go for a run.”

“I don’t run,” I said. “I’m terrible at it and it hurts my knees.” Excuses are always the way to go with Pablo, since he uses them so frequently it’s almost a second language for him.

“Aw come on!” he said.

Before I knew it, we were off, running up and down steep hills around my neighborhood. And that’s all it took. From then on, I started running every day (or night) and usually had an adventurous time with it too, hence my story above.

2012 happened to be quite an eventful year this time around. Just as I’d hoped. My last New Year’s blog was rather depressing, 2011 being rather a drag. I ended up spending New Year’s home alone watching Star Trek and writing my blog. I promised myself that 2012 would be different. That I’d go on more whims, make better friends, and fall in love, and, as per every year, somehow leave my serving job.

Well, folks, I did make all of it happen!

Getting More Agents

At the start of 2012, I added onto my resume another agent, Brady, Brannon, and Rich. They were to be my commercial agent. So instead of being only submitted for theater projects, I was finally able to go out on non-union commercial projects. I got lots of auditions, landed a few callbacks, but no bookings. Better than nothing, I think. It seemed as if my acting life was finally getting interesting. Let me tell you about commercial auditions….EASIEST THINGS EVER! In theater, you have to be prepared on multiple levels—monologues, 16-32 bar cut music, dancing, cold readings—but commercials? Man, it’s like you don’t have to do anything but show up and look the part!

Tipsy Tuesdays!

This year I finally clicked with a group of people I like to call The Rejects. I found myself suddenly with a best friend, Pablo. It seemed after I spent New Year’s eve alone, 2012 decided I wouldn’t spend any more of them like that. So that’s how Tipsy Tuesday was formed. One night, I decided to show up at my work on half-off-wine Tuesday and have a bottle of wine. There I saw Pablo sitting by himself on the other side of the bar. I called him over and we immediately started a long conversation on Metroid and Star Wars. Then others would join in—not the conversation necessarily, but the wine-ing. Katie, Samantha, Stephanie, Justin, and many others would become apart of the tradition known as Tipsy Tuesday. We would start at work, then make our way to Sunset Terrace, a lounge/bar of the neighborhood, and play Shuffle Board, King’s Kup, you name it! It was awesome. And then, one fateful night, I decided to change the name of the game, waste myself on a bottle and a half of wine, plus three whiskey shots, take a dull knife and go at it to my leg again.

The Cutting Returns

I hadn’t had a cutting episode since 2009 when I was miserable living in Arizona, finishing up my bachelor’s degree. That episode was the start of Whimming Lessons and this blog, come to think of it.

Anyhow, during another Tipsy Tuesday night, I had removed myself from my friends to cut in solitude. The drunk part was not the reason to it either. Cutting is a very fascinating reaction to depression and buried emotions. Getting drunk was on purpose to see if it would deaden the pain. Cutting is the release of that pain, when the drunk part doesn’t work. It’s an embarrassing habit that I somehow stumbled upon during my “crazy days” in 2009. Now it remains in my memory as a type of “way out.” A stupid “way out,” but one none the less. I spent months afterwards trying to heal up my leg. It took longer this time than before and got infected. But it didn’t stop me again. Number 1 had to clean me up the second time.

Number 1

This year was particularly interesting when concerning men. I had The Bartender, Blue Shirt, Mr. Big, and if there were any others, I hate to say I can’t remember them. Oh yeah! The Old Boss. Now, don’t get me wrong, I wasn’t “getting some” with all these guys. I happen to be old fashioned in the way I handle my dating relations with men. Or more simply put: I don’t enjoy sex unless I FEEL something for that person. So I don’t have sex for the hell of it.

I’m quite sure The Bartender and The Old Boss weren’t too happy with me because of this.

The Old Boss was an older man I had been highly sexually attracted to for years. But I make it a point not to get involved with bosses. That is…until they aren’t my boss anymore. So, on a daring and very nerve-wracking whim, I made out with The Old Boss, narrowly escaping being lured into his bed. By that, I mean, it had been a while for me and, boy, were my hormones flying! But there was something quite disturbing about kissing my old boss. It was as if my brain was still in “employee mode” and all I could think of was “obeying” his orders…while he was kissing me….uck! I decided to get out of there as soon as I could. I call it the Boss Whim. Never need to whim that one again, that’s for sure!

Next was The Bartender from Bogie’s. I was totally into him! But he turned out exactly as everyone else said he would, a completely man whore…aka, “bartender.” Three dates were enough for me.

Then there was The Boy, Blue Shirt and Mr. Big both at the same time. These relationships happened at a strange time in my life. I was at a point where I thought relationships were annoying, troublesome, and a waste of my time. Dating was still fun though. But Blue Shirt reminded of someone I had lost a long time ago, someone I had loved. The Boy was a side of attraction and youth I’d never experienced. And Big was the best friend I thought I’d never have. So I had a very intimate relationship with them, trying to decide for myself if either of them would grow into something deeper.

And then it happened one day in my dressing room, fighting off a bad sinus cold, and getting ready for opening night of 1776. I had received flowers from Mr. Big and his eight year old daughter. There was a little note from her as well. My dressing roommate said to me that my eyes were so bright and my face was glowing. It was then I realized who I wanted. I named him Number 1 shortly after that.

The Starving Actor

Whenever anyone asked me what my profession was this year, I said, “Oh, I’m an actor…the starving kind.” But it really wasn’t all the bad. I had become apart of a sketch comedy group called The Movie Guys which kept me busy every month. Then I started doing little promotional events for Cabrillo Music Theatre, the first theater company I worked for since I moved out to California. During the summer, I ended up playing Marian Paroo in The Music Man and in the fall, Abigail Adams in 1776. That’s two leads in a row! I was beyond thrilled.

New Year’s Eve

As I’m sitting here writing this, my friends are laughing, eating and drinking in the kitchen outside my room. I can’t tell you how different this is. California is now home for me. I’ve never written a blog where my friends were yelling at me to get off the computer because we have to go whimming!!!

“Hey, let’s go, I’m starving,” Pablo just said, bursting into my room.

“I’m almost done,” I say, typing as quickly as I can.

2012 was awesome! Despite the cutting returning resulting in birth control being denied to me, and Prozac being apart of my life forever, this year was pretty epic. We went skinny-whimming on a private beach! I whimmed with an old boss! We created Tipsy Tuesdays! I got promoted at work. I have the bestest friends I could ever wish for. I got hired at Marmalade resulting in, hopefully, my ultimate exit from The Restaurant. I got to work with renowned director Nick DeGruccio. And I found Number 1, who is more than a friend, more than a boy, and definitely more than a boy-friend.

Okay, they’re bugging me to get off the computer now, so I have to go. I don’t even have any time to proofread or edit this, so it’s kinda wonky, I apologize. I wanted to put pictures even, but it seems I’m out of time.

2012 rocked, but I got a really good feeling three times a charm! So bring it, 2013!!! BRING IT!

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3 Year Anniversary with California

 

Exactly a year ago, I was in rehearsals for Cabrillo Music Theatre’s production of Annie. I was playing Grace Farrell, my first lead in California. I got to work with Norman Large and Sally Struthers. It was one of the most memorable show experiences I had had at the time and felt so blessed to be apart of it! Sally Struthers playing Miss Hannigan and me

Playing Grace Farrell led me to my first agent, Steven Dry, with Connor Ankrum & Associates. He started me out on my first run of auditions. The first one sucked. I completely screwed it up. It was my first audition where I actually knew that when I turned and exited through the door, I wanted to shoot myself and bury myself in a hole. It was stupid-dumb-bad. And to make matters worse for myself, it was the first audition I had that my agent scheduled me for. I wanted to cry.

I redeemed myself, not right away, but eventually. As the months passed, the auditions were few and far between. It was a slow season for the theater world. Equity houses were closing down without hope of reopening. Union actors were leaving the union just so they could get more work. It wasn’t looking good for California theater. It still isn’t…

Nonetheless, the shows must go on…I don’t know how, but they will.

A few months more went by and I finally signed with my first commercial agency, Brady Brannon and Rich. So I experienced my first round of commercial auditions and callbacks. Let me tell you!!! They are SOOOOO easy. You don’t have to prepare ANYTHING. Just show up and look right. Such a change compared to all my theater auditions, where you have to prepare 16-32 bars of an up-tempo and ballad, bring dance clothes, dance shoes, and whatever else they may want you to do.

I didn’t land a commercial yet, but had mostly callbacks, so I thought that wasn’t too shabby.

Around winter time, I had finally made a good group of awesome friends. I hadn’t really made any since I had moved; I got close to some, but didn’t find anyone I could trust yet. So I finally found some people I could love AND trust. At the same time, I also lost contact with my friend and ex The Terminator. The confusing relationship finally reached its end since I had moved out to California.

During this time, I had met William Shatner. I actually got to hang out with him ON SET, Bill and mebeing apart of the crew. My life was complete at that point. If I had died the next day, I wouldn’t have cared. I also got asked out by four different crew guys that same day. Overwhelmed would definitely be the word for THAT.

For a while there, I wasn’t landing any shows. I was getting callbacks, but nothing after that. It was a serious dry spell. But a part of me was grateful for it. I had time for other things in my life that I normally wouldn’t have if I were in a show. The show-life takes up MOST of your time. Eventually, I was invited to audition for The Movie Guys, a comedy webisode about movies ‘n such. I got in and was able to become SAG-eligible, something I had been thinking pretty close to impossible considering I wasn’t really doing any union related stuff until then.the movie guys

I was ecstatic that I had the ability to call up SAG and say, “I wanna sign up and pay my dues!” I couldn’t believe that doing New Media was a way in.

And then, just to mess with me, my “dark side” decided to come out and be a pain, and I started cutting again. I hadn’t sliced up my leg since I was in college, so it was a serious wake-up call when it happened again at 26 years old. I finally accepted the fact that I was born with something I had no control of. I wasn’t allowed to take any more birth control, according to the nurses, because of the severe depression I was feeling again. They took me off it, and then put me on Prozac again. I hadn’t been on it for a while, but after my bad cutting experience (taking a butter knife at work and going at it on my right leg), I decided it was best to stay on the Prozac indefinitely.

Once I accepted my “craziness,” (as I like to call it), I felt a sense of equilibrium. And, funny enough, things started making sense and being good again. I got cast in The Music Man, playing Marian Paroo, which was one of my dream roles. A friend of mine told me to Lida Roseaudition, and I got it. It really is about WHO you know. I wouldn’t have known about the audition if my friend hadn’t told me about it. Needless to say, I was thrilled when I got the part.

From there, I got another lead in a show, Abigail Adams in Cabrillo Music Theatre’s production of 1776 the Musical. I COULDN’T believe it! I wanted to play her so badly, I was beyond shocked and thrilled that I actually got cast.1776

I began a working-out life style I thought I’d never have. I started Cardio Barre with my roommate. I started running, something I used to HATE all my life, and now love it! I FINALLY achieved my Victoria’s Secret stomach goal, which I had been wanting to reach since I was 14 years old. Took living with a stunt woman with rock-hard abs to actually push me.

And on top of all this, my romance life became interesting after nearly a year of zilch. Sure, I had been meeting people like The Bartender from Bogie’s, and the crew guys from Shatner’s shoot, but no one I actually felt like spending time with.

But then came Mr. Big (MY version, not Sex and the City’s version). And then Mr. Spock. And then Blue Shirt (aka, possibly Skywalker). All of which I have very unusual relationships with. Two of them are close friends, one of them closer in a more physical way, and the third is one I’m technically dating (as in a date once a week kinda thing). ALL wonderful!!!! I’ve become sort of a Queen Bee, giving my love to all my little worker bees…although I’m really not sure what I’m doing at all. In all honesty, at this time in my life, I admit I have a serious problem with monogamous relationships. But we all go through this at one point or another, right? I panic at the idea of being tied down to just one person right now. And not one guy in my life that I’ve been with seriously has deserved my loyalty, so why try to be loyal at all? I guess I’m answering myself with this one…the one who does deserve it will be the one to marry. WELL I’m not even CLOSE to that, so game on! Time to really live out my loving side. I might as well be a futuristic hippy.

Last night was a perfect ending to my 3 year anniversary with California: a whim on the beach that only happens in your dreams. I had a found a secret entrance to a private beach in Malibu, and a small group of friends and I ventured out into the dark of the night, stripped down to our skimpies and played in the ocean, all the while, of course, wondering if Jaws was laying in wait. It was the whim of the year!

And so the adventures continue! By the way, Cali, did I ever tell you that I love you? Well, I do. Happy 3 years and may the fourth one be ever in my favor!

Blue Shirt

 

So many things can happen in one summer. If we could all remember every little detail we experience, maybe we would finally realize how exciting and interesting our lives really are. We all are living an adventure deserved to be written about. This is why I write. This is why I nag my grandmother, whom I call Mana, to write her story. This is why it saddens me that my grandfather, Papa, never wrote his before he passed away. And this is why I write about the people in my life, because they have an adventure deserved to be documented too.

This summer, I made friends. Good friends. The closely-knit kind I’d been wanting badly. Samantha, Pablo, Katie, Helena, Monique, and many more. They will always be apart of my life story.A drawing of me as Marian by Joseph Lusker

This summer, I got to play Marian Paroo in the The Music Man. Of course, I got a horrendous chest cold during the callback. Somehow survived it, but was out from work the following days. Still got the part. Weird how that works. Anyhow, she was one of my dream roles. I grew up with The Music Man. My family grew up with it too. The musical felt more apart of me than usual. It felt like being home. During the run, I met some wonderful people that I’ll never forget. And, of course, I am madly in love with my opposite, Kristopher Kyer, who played Harold Hill. One of my favorite people ever, truly.

This summer, I got to be apart of The Movie Guys, a comedy group that previews and reviews movies every month. I specialize in the sci-fi stuff, of course. Winking smile I love working with Paul Preston, Karen Volpe, Lee Kias, Adam Witt, and many others. I’ve The Movie Guysmet some very wonderfully funny and interesting people throughout the months.

This summer, I got to sing with the Prescott Pops Symphony orchestra once again, conducted by my father. A year ago, he wanted to book me to sing as one of his soloist, and I kept telling him I couldn’t commit because I didn’t know if I’d have a better gig by then. As the months passed, things worsened for my father at the Prescott college. He was disrespectfully, and without warning, fired through an emailDad conducting by the newest head of the music department at the college, reason being simply a difficulty in communication. And then other soloists were dropping out at the last second for the concert my father was putting on in July. I decided to commit to the concert, not only because I couldn’t abandon my dad, but because I wanted him to know he still had the respect and the support of other singers.

This summer, I developed an unexpected but fully embraced sense of love and support from my aunt and uncle who live in California. There was always love within my family members, but now I feel a sudden closeness to them that I only rarely feel for a handful of people. This feeling is hard for Familyme to describe, but to put it simply, it is the feeling one might feel for their own child…they would kill for them, or die. I’ve felt this way about my parents and my Mana and Papa. There are just a few others I’ve had this feeling for, but now my aunt and uncle have joined this circle in my heart. Sometimes I laugh and brush this emotion off as a fault of my “artistic” side. But it’s there, nonetheless. Now my uncle is leaving for Afghanistan…I can only hope it’ll be boring.

This summer, I also met someone. The man with the blonde hair and the blue eyes. I caught a glimpse of him in the audience during my show. The blue shirt is what drew my attention. And I thought, “he’s cute.” Then I saw him again at dinner with a friend. Coincidence? I don’t know. But I thought it was cool. Because I remember details like that. Just like in a movie. And then he asked me out.

But that’s all I’m gonna say. This story deserves a separate blog.

There’s a little story in all of this, but I think the most important thing to understand is that this was a happy time. I want to remember it well. That’s why I’m writing it now. Because I know when there’s an up, there’s always another down. And the dark side of my brain likes to take over during those downs.

So I hope for the happy times like now to last a long time, and I write to keep it real.

There’s an adventure in all of us, so don’t take it for granted, and remember all the details down to the last blue shirt.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Yep...