Sunday, March 29, 2009

A case of "The Blahs"

So, I woke up today feeling a little blah. Blasé. Blahsarific. Blahzee Blahzerson. I needed to face it. I had a pretty bad case of “I’m not feeling so great about myself, today.” I muddled through my normal routine, but I was just lagging behind. I felt extremely unmotivated and lackluster throughout my daily cleaning and pre-work chores. As a result, and to top it all off, I was 10 minutes late for work. The thing is, though, I didn’t speed or even stress about getting there, either. Pretty bad huh?

It got so bad that for the first hour of my shift, tending bar, I actually started trying to convince myself that my once seemingly attainable dreams were indeed becoming decidedly unattainable. But, then it occurred to me, as I have been hearing often from good people around me, “Negativity begets negativity.” As cheesy this may sound, all of a sudden, I heard a little positive voice in my head, the one we all have, (apparently the volume was up today ;) say to me, “Yes! I can, and, yes, I will.” I felt better as I repeated this — slowly, but surely — relieved and rejuvenated.

For the rest of the night, each time I served someone her Cosmopolitan and cheese plate, or his pork cheeks with Scotch on the rocks, when the those negative thoughts came back, I replaced them with, “Yes! I can, and, yes, I will.” Typing here, now, I feel more ready to do what I need to do, in order to make myself happier in the long run. I am also able to remind myself that I am content with my journey, and I am happy right now.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Jet Lagged

Well, it has been a few weeks, but I am finally coming around from being jet-lagged. Where did I venture, you ask? Nowhere — I am simply a victim of Daylight Saving Time. Now, most of you probably think this is a figment of my vivid imagination, but every year when we move that little hand forward and lose that hour of sleep, I feel cranky, sleepy, and just plain unproductive for the few weeks that ensue. Both my mom and my husband claim that I make this up to explain why I like to sleep a little later. (I argue and argue, but in their defense, I am a professional sleeper.) I understand why they say this, but that doesn’t make it true.

To compensate, I am forced to up my beauty regimen with a little more focus on my eyeliner, pinker colors for my lips, a little more blush and an extra spritz or two of a revitalizing body spray. I have also done a lot more shopping than usual this month. I started off getting some cute tops from H&M and paired them with my favorite jeans and my BCBG heels. Then, I headed over to Old Navy and found some spring-weight cords which, once my husband saw the first pair on me, I was told to go out and buy more. He didn’t have to tell me twice! I ended up getting them in dark green, dark tan and light tan. I purchased the last two pairs on sale for $19.99. Plus, I had a birthday coupon — got to love that.

I imagine that the people out in Indiana are still adjusting to the big change since in the last few years they, too, have finally joined the rest of us. March seems like a blur. Now that we are heading into April and I have finally stopped responding to requests for the time with, “well, the clock reads 3 p.m., but it is really 2 p.m.,” I think I can finally say I have recovered.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Would you please be my PUH?

(Personal Umbrella Holder, that is)

I recently saw pictures of a few famous people, who shall remain nameless, in US weekly. Each of them had a PUH — on set, going to a premier, a party, the 7-11… Well, I believe, being the struggling actor/model that I am, that I actually need a PUH more than the already famous, simply due to the fact that once one becomes famous she doesn’t have to carry anything!!! So, really, it wouldn’t hurt her to carry her own umbrella.

Now, I have been to many castings and auditions. Each time I am carrying my portfolio, my music if it’s for musical theatre, and extra headshots so after the casting director calls me back right away and books me for the part, he can give those extra photos to Steven Spielberg on his coffee break, and, WOOHOO, I’m famous by lunch!

But, I digress. In addition to the marketing tools, I also carry a pair of heels to change into when I get to my destination — no one should walk around Manhattan in heels — and a few other unmentionables in case I’m asked to model some of the designer’s clothes. Oh, and please don’t forget the lip-gloss. Where does all of this go? In my huge over the shoulder tote, of course. Naturally, I always need my pink Blackberry handy to get that call from my pal, Steve. And hydration is important, so I need my eco-friendly water jug.

As you can imagine, this leaves me with absolutely no free hand for my umbrella. If it rains, it’s all over for me. I am dropping things, struggling to pick them up, dropping more things in the process, and my whole left side somehow becomes drenched. How DOES that happen?

So, you see, I definitely qualify for this service. Maybe I should call my congressman? I’m sure he could squeeze this somewhere in the new stimulus package!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Rock Band (Or… Everyone Needs a Hobby)

I guess it was about a year or so ago that I was introduced to Rockband on Xbox. My brother-in-law, Ron, has always been an “early adopter,” way ahead of the curve in terms of technology and progress, such as it is. He’s also a huge audiophile, with a collection of vinyl records that would rival most college radio stations. So, it was quite fitting that I should play my first round of the game on his system — the perfect blend of “Smoke on the Water” and microprocessors in the living room.

My husband is a musician, and for a while was risking being called an “old man,” with his cranky dissings of this popular, and may I say, super-fun game. For the longest time he answered my stories of the great times I had at Ron and Heidi’s house with comments like, “you know, playing that guitar is like playing a ukulele with five frets and one string;” or, “If you would spend just a quarter of the time that you spend over there playing that game, playing a real guitar, in a few months you’d be able to play the guitar!”

And then I finally brought it to our house. He was lulled into accepting the Wii into his environment by “World of Goo,” a physics-based game that bores me to tears, and Mario Kart, with the steering wheels, which has brought us no end of laughter. This made it much less of a stretch for me to quietly sneak the big box with the whole package — guitar, drums, microphone — into the home.

And victory is MINE!!! There he was for the first day, looking on with a scowl as I jammed out to Modest Mouse and Cheap Trick. By the second day, he was just doing his best to ignore me, but on the third day, a moment of Biblical proportions occurred. He dug into the box and pulled out the so-far neglected drum kit, hooked it up, and goofed around with the tutorial. He’s had to eat a little crow, but we’ve been having a blast taking our “band” “on tour,” attracting “fans” and earning “cash.” We’re currently only playing Stockholm and Berlin, but soon coming to a theater near you.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

the show must go on

“Ugh, I am not feeling so hot,” were my first words on a cold and blustery Monday morning in February, leading my husband, Craig, to venture out to the pharmacy and get me every cold remedy he could find. It only got worse. Two days later, a beautiful, balmy Wednesday arrives and the doctor says I have bronchitis. This can’t be happening! I am booked to walk that night wearing Sydney's Closet's stunning crimson dress, “Sizzle,” in Catherine Schuller’s “Red Hot ‘n’ Real” runway show to benefit Divabetic, a charity she works with to raise awareness about women’s health issues.

New York City seems a thousand, rather than seventy-five, miles away. I just want to go to bed. But, there’s no way I can turn down the opportunity to do a show at JZ’s downtown 40/40 Club, and it’s a big event for Catherine — the Valentine’s themed show is also a book-signing party for her latest, “Image Power.” I can’t let her or myself down, so I chug my cough medicine and Craig and I hop in my VW Beetle for what’s usually a 90-minute drive to Manhattan. We’re cruising along swimmingly, halfway there, when all of a sudden traffic comes to a complete stop. There’s been an accident up ahead, and we sit there for what turns out to be 45 minutes, me getting more and more anxious.

Finally, the cars around us start to crawl. The one ahead of us sits still. The driver has fallen asleep, and is deaf to horns blowing all around him. As Craig maneuvers onto the left-hand shoulder to go around this dozer, a confused look comes over his face. He pulls as close as he can to the median and mutters, “flat tire.” With that, he’s out of the car, ignoring me as I ask him if he knows how to fix it, only shooting me one of those “Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus” looks. I can’t believe this is happening, and I’m nervous as all get-out as cars are whizzing by us in both directions, asking myself if this is some sign from the universe that we should just turn around and go back home.

Twelve minutes later we’re back in business, and Craig’s got a very self-satisfied air about him from having the opportunity to flex his man muscles. I’m just doing my best to calm and reassure myself that we’ll be there on time. But it’s rush hour at the Lincoln Tunnel — stop and go traffic for another thirty minutes.

I arrive in Chelsea with just enough time to jump into my dress and bring up the back of the line for the last minutes of the rehearsal, joining 30 gorgeous, curvy girls, all dressed in red, as we get a feel for the space and receive some final instructions.

And then it’s show time. For 15 minutes I forget being sick as adrenaline takes over for the antihistamines. The room is packed with an appreciative crowd, and I spot Emme — America’s first plus-sized supermodel — among them, as cameras flash and music pulses, The thrill is greater for all the obstacles I had to overcome to get there. It doesn’t get much better than this.

Or does it? My best girl, Megan, who has met us at the club, has the best surprise in store. After helping me to get organized while Craig fetches the car, she asks us to make a little detour on our trip uptown to drop her off. In a moment, we are upstairs at Tenzan, (285 Columbus Ave.; don’t let them seat you downstairs) enjoying fabulous sushi at one of my favorite places on earth, laughing about all the stressful events of the day. Someone was right when they said, “comedy is tragedy plus time.”

I’m happy to report that the ride home was uneventful. I don’t think I’ve ever slept as well as I did that night.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

first impressions

Lately, it seems everyone on facebook is doing this list of “25 Random Things About Me.” I haven’t done one yet, because, “#1) I’m a huge procrastinator,” but if I did, there might have been a line in there that read, “#5) I was recently asked by a really cool online clothing company to try my hand at writing their blog.” You might already have seen my face on the Sydney’s Closet site, and you already know what great selection and value they offer. If you are new to the site, I can tell you from my working with them that in addition to having fine eyes for fashion, the folks behind the scenes here are great people, too, and “#12) I’m a good judge of character — my first impressions are usually right on.”

I’ve been acting and modeling in and around the New York City area for five years now, and with all the ups and downs of the business, it’s a good thing that, “#14) Perseverance is one of my strongest qualities,” or else I probably would have given it up four years ago. “#18) As a kid, I moved around a lot, and never stayed in one school for very long.” I consider my experience in the modeling world a part of my continuing education, or maybe I should say, “#23) I attended graduate school at Hard Knocks and Sweat More.”

I’ve learned a lot along the way, about myself, business, style and life in general. I’m excited by this opportunity to share some of that here with you a couple times a week. Stay tuned for the next installment, where I shall thrill you with a tale of bronchitis, a flat tire, a runway show at a blingy hip-hop club, dead batteries and fabulous sashimi.