2012: A Retrospective

2012: A RETROSPECTIVE

January

1 – Celebrated NYE with my parents, grandmother, and family friends in Idaho.

9 – Flew home to NYC. Attended a last-minute cat adoption seminar and was GIVEN my adopted kitty. Without any previous expectation, my girl joined my life.

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22 – Begin a long week performing in a site-specific theatre piece in a hotel in New Jersey.

February

14 – Celebrated Valentine’s Day with a cold shower at the gym, holes in my socks, three vomiting men, and my best friend in her hospital bed at Sloane Kettering.

26 – The Tildas.

March

13 – Had my first audition for what would be the biggest show of my life. Earlier that day, on the train, I received the worst email ever from an agent I was hoping to work with. Cried halfway down the shore, realized I had forgotten a second headshot, cried walking towards the beach, auditioned, and cried all the way home. Subsequently, met with P and got drunk on happy hour cocktails, and then saw WIT with L. Thanks to my finagling, we were able to go backstage and meet Cynthia Nixon. Without expecting it, today became one of the best days of the year.

L, Cynthia, Me

L, Cynthia, Me

21 – Had my first callback for American Stare in New Jersey. Nailed it.

27 – Had my second callback for American Stare in New York. Nailed it.

28 – Booked a gig reading student plays with the McCarter Theatre in Princeton, NJ. Came back on the MetroNorth only to hop in a cab to go to Grand Central to get on another train for a callback for a production of Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson. Halfway through the callback, I received a call that I’d been cast in American Stare. Left the callback.

April

3 – Flew home with Franny to visit for my mom’s birthday.

13 – Did my first extra work on a half-day shoot with Whoopi Goldberg. It kinda rocked.

17 – Ushered a show at Second Stage off-Broadway. Met the boy who would turn into the love of my life.

IMG_110219 – Filmed my first short film. No pay, in a dorm room at NYU, and I still haven’t gotten the footage, but. I felt great.

29 – My 23rd Birthday. Spent alone in a cemetery. And it was great.

May

14 – A pretty nasty self-hosted dinner party at my friends’ that really marked the beginning of the end of our friendship.

21 – A year previously, I graduated from college. This year, I had my first day of rehearsal for American Stare.

25 – Boarded the Amtrak for DC to visit with my family. My mom was singing at the Kennedy Center with her choir on Memorial Day.

June

1 – Left Franny with her catsitter and boarded a train to New Jersey to finish rehearsals for American Stare.

16 – Opening Night of American Stare.

120 – My family visited New Jersey to see my show.

July

8 – I first met the agent who would later sign me.

15 – My “friends” from “my” “company” came to the show. It sort of sucked.

16 – Industry Night for American Stare. One of the biggest nights of my life. It didn’t realllllly turn out how I’d hoped, but. Worse things have happened. Either way, it was a huge blast.IMG_1123

17 – Met that boy for the second time. Was pretty sure I was already in love.

22 – Closing Night of American Stare. A hard, hard night.

24 – Met with the agent who offered to sign me.

August

3 – Phone was stolen. At least it was on a really really fun wonderful night with my American Stare ladies. Got a new phone. A was away at drill. I missssssed him already.

5 – My first by-appointment off-Broadway audition. I didn’t book it.

13 – Started up birth control again. Worth it.

20 – He said he loved me. I reciprocated. Of course.

22 – Saw Sleep No More with the boy. It was something.

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September

1 – Went with A to visit his family for the weekend. It was lovely.

14 – A and I spent our first real romantic weekend in Amish Country in a B&B. It was remarkable.

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24 – Huge audition, huge meeting with agent. Even thinking about it now makes me anxious.

October

6 – First step of the major move into A’s place.

13 – MOVING DAY to Washington Heights!

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20 – Very late night shoot for another non-paid gig I never got paid for. But A came with me and waited for the full 3 hours while I did ballet in Times Square in a leotard at 3am.

29 – Hurricane Sandy hit NYC. We stayed safe– not everyone did.

gty_hurricane_sandy_16_satellite_jt_121028_wblog-1November

3 –  Saw my favorite show of the year at Playwrights’ Horizons, The Whale by Sam Hunter. A was called into active military duty– with no timeline. I might have lost him for a month. Instead, he was home after a day or so.

6 – Barack Obama is back in the White House, and I cast my first official ballot in NY State. Also, we had date lunch and double-featured Argo and Lincoln.

 

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21 – Left for PA to visit A’s family for the holiday. We also visited Gettysburg, which ROCKED.

December

4 – The beginning of a week of fun with A, where we saw Nutcracker at NYCB, Golden Boy on Broadway, “my” “company’s” show off-off-, and the Big Apple Circus!

17 – Home to Idaho with A. He left after a week, I stayed till the 29th. We had fun. When he left, I missed him almost more than I knew how to handle.

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31 – Celebrated the New Year with the best thing in my life (A), in PJs, with a kiss and a toast.

Here’s to 2013 being the best year yet. I’ve got a good feeling about it.

Happy New Year, my dears!

The Adventure Begins

Tomorrow, I’ll catch a cab to 57th St, where I’ll drop Franny off for a two months stay with a friend. Not L, although we tried—Sloan Kettering told her that a single claw scratch could give her a bacterial infection. Sometimes for a moment I’ll think that we can pretend everything is normal with L and that she can be fully functioning, and then the reality hits again like a sack of weights. It’s real, and she’s still incredibly sick.

Then I’ll take the PATH to Hoboken, where I, along with the actors playing my father (C) and mother (A), will be picked up in a car by another member of the cast (M). We’ll drive down the Garden State highway along the shore, deep into early summer traffic, till we reach our little town on the beach. We’ll rehearse 1pm – 7pm, and then retire to the Actor House, a mansion on the river with 8 separate bedrooms on three floors. My home for two months. In less than two weeks, we’ll open the show, somehow, though it’s still inconceivable at this point.

There is much to be excited for. We girls are going to do our nails (M’s bringing her gel manicure kit), we’ll have a screening of the playwright’s newest film, which is currently on the film fest circuit, there will be tons of grilling, wine-drinking, and sunbathing. I have been guaranteed my Equity card. It’s likely we’ll be reviewed by the NYTimes. We’re having an industry performance which may lead to a NY production. This adventure will undoubtedly change my life.

But change is scary. I’ve gotten used to living alone, the quiet and the escape from chaos, the lack of pressure to be funny and social and engaging. I’m not used to doing things with other people. And I’m not used to sharing a kitchen. The rules I follow in my own home won’t apply, but I don’t know what’s going to happen. M loves to cook and has already volunteered to put together a meal plan of dinners we can all make and share. That gives me some comfort… a structure for eating in the day. But what will I eat for breakfast? Cereal is binge food… but if I’m in a house, will I binge at all? Then that little part of my brain lights up and I think: “what if this summer was like three summers before and I could lose 15lbs? God, I wish I could lose 15lbs before photo call… how the fuck did I get cast looking like this?” and then I have to stop and shut it down.

This could be really, really good for me. It could encourage a healthy eating pattern and give me a kind of structure to my eating that I don’t control (because controlling my own eating is either a recipe for binging or starving). Maybe cooking with M will be cathartic, and the “community” dinners will take the pressure off. Or maybe I’ll be freaking out 24/7, at least for a time. I don’t know. I can’t know until we get there.

It’s perverse, but much of my comfort comes from the fact that I’m 23 playing 14 in a cast of 35+ers. I’m the baby in the play, and I’m the baby in the group. I don’t have to take charge because I’m already being taken care of. I’m a professional in the rehearsal room but they’re not idiots… I’m obviously significantly younger and less experienced. I’ve been thrilled so far with how I’ve been taken under their wings—treated like an adult in rehearsal, but allowed to be a bit wide-eyed about the whole thing. I can only hope that feeling prevails as we begin to live with each other.

And I will just have to continue to dim the light of that little part of my brain that looks at myself with disgust, that pinches my stomach, pulls at my arms. None of this has ever been about weight until my body made it about weight… the dark, heavy weight of depression manifest in my round hips and thighs. There is nothing to be done but to go day by day, to try and think less and less about how I’m seen. I will not get fired for weighing the same amount I weighed when I was cast. The costume designer will not hate me for not being able to fit in half of the juniors shorts she pulled (at least I fit in two of the four). None of these professional actors will see me in my swimsuit and gossip to each other about the thickness of my arms. And the fucking NYTimes will not call me fat. They tried that once with a ballet dancer (http://jezebel.com/5701401/dance-critic-thinks-ballerina-is-too-fat) and that did NOT go over well.

In other words, in a nutshell, in conclusion, to put it all to rest…

I am cautiously optimistic. I am hopeful and proud and excited. But I also know myself and I know what that fear that’s bubbling up, tarlike, as I’m zipping my suitcase. It’s going to be fine. Everything always is. But I have an adventure coming—steep cliffs and all.

Franny and Me

Tonight, crying, for a million reasons and none all, I walked to my kitchen to get a knife. I laid back down in bed and pressed the serrated blade into the skin of my thigh. I got through about two swipes when my cat, Franny, promptly laid down on my chest and upper thigh, effectively making self-injury impossible. Despite my writing, she stays firm.

She knows. Franny saved me.

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Home Sweet Home

1. Extreme illness turns a human into a patient, and a patient into a child.
Being friends with someone suffering from something like cancer is like being friends with a memory—you maintain when personality, looks, attitude, changes because you have the hope that when it’s all over, the friend you had, the friend you knew, will come back, at least in some ways.

 

2. I booked my first job that wasn’t because I looked like a real stalking victim or because I’m a member of my company—the first job where I was cast based on an audition & callback. It feels so, so, so good, and I’m proud. I feel like an actor.

http://www.hotelproject.co

Check it.

 

3. My ED is okay. I haven’t had any major binges (some mini ones_, but as I’m sure you all know, I feel like I’m working really, really hard to listen to my body about hunger cues. I want to eat enough but not too much… and balance has never been my strong suit.

4. I have a kitty. I named her Franny after Salinger’s novella, Franny and Zooey. I love the novella, and the name is accurately a mix of urban and young, novice energy. Caring for Franny an exercise in patience—she can’t tell me what she needs, so I have to exist in the middle place of doing my best to vie her what she needs and knowing that I’m not always getting it right.

 

5. One of the boys who ceaselessly te(se)xts me has actually asked me out. Sort of. More like texting during the day and inviting me to dinner/a museum/coffee. I’m not handling it great—I’m weirded out a little, and a part of me wants to say yes, but a part of me has never actually liked him and doesn’t trust him at all.

 

6. I get to take a Shakespeare class with my boss, two students, a couple fellow alums, and PHYLICIA RASHAD, taught by one of the U.S.’s most amazing Shakespeare actors.

7. I spent nearly $80 on a seminar with five top NYC agents. I have never paid for one of these seminars, because it feels like a scam, but FIVE agents? My current mission is to find an agent, and this step gets me into the room with five, which is better than I’ve been able to do on my lonesome in the last six months. CROSS YOUR FINGERS!

 

8. I HATE doing laundry. Anyone want to do it for me?