Promises and Endings

You’d think that by now I would have trained myself to resist the sweet bait of promises. You’d think I’d have realized that nothing is permanent, including happiness, including certainty.

And yet.

Last summer, I resisted the honey they poured in my ear. I tried to let it drip out as it came, delicious and sweet, but not something to hold on to too tightly. Of course, as honey always does, it sticks.

In this business, promises are frauds. Nothing lasts. A perfect moment, an upswing, a success, will pass even quicker than it came. Humans like to make sense of things. People in normal industries are used to this. You intern. Then you assist. Then you office manage, then you’re a junior partner, then you’re a CEO. Or whatever.

That is not the world I live in. There isn’t any "fairness" to it. The best, most honest of intentions are thwarted. No one lies on purpose. No one says, "there will be a reading in March," or "we’re going to cast Connie Britton," or "there’s interest in a transfer" or "that was beautiful to watch" or "you’re undoubtedly going to have a career" and NOT actually believe that they’re telling the truth.

Nothing in this business works with they way things are "supposed" to go. You don’t climb the ladder. You don’t work with the same people in the same office on the same schedule on the same things day in and day out. Your job doesn’t conflict with ANOTHER job because you just have ONE job. You don’t turn down the opportunity to audition with a casting director who loves you for a lead role in a hilarious short that’s filming in a gorgeous beach town in August with all the people who love you and tell you how special and talented you are because you have 7pm performances of a play with the company you both helped found in 2010 and were weirdly fired from in 2012 in a basement theatre in the East Village.

And yet, that’s what happens. And it’s not the first time.

It’s hard, when shit like this happens, to feel like its worth it. My heart breaks on a weekly basis. But when I’m in rehearsal, with knee pads on, loping around like the Zanni from commedia dell’arte, I understand. When I’m set up in front of a camera and I dig my hands in my pockets and gaze into the tiny eye of the lens, I understand.

It seems, based on my posts this summer, that its been particularly trying to be an actor at the moment for me. I guess that’s accurate. It was so EASY last summer– but now I’m back in reality and its not quite as simple.

1. I’m in NYC, land of (too many) opportunities, not trapped in Jersey and safe from the cattle call.

2. I’m doing a show that may or may not be any good, and that people may or may not see and may or may not enjoy.

3. I have to talk myself down off the ledge. I don’t have two 40 year old moms to tell me I, good and special and important.

This life is exhausting in its complexity. Being in rehearsal from 11-3 feels so good, but at 3 I have to go to an audition, or go home and work on my relationship, make dinner, go to the psychiatrist, THINK.

I helped host this panel with the Drama Desk Awards in June, which brought together a number or folks making their Broadway debuts totals about, we’ll, "Making My Broadway Debut." One young (my age… Oof) actress, who’s currently in VANYA AND SONIA AND MASHA AND SPIKE said something along the lines of: I love going to work. But even though I’m actually doing my JOB (performing in a play 8 shows a week), I feel like I’m not. It feels like my job is to find the next project. I’m not comfortable just coming to the theatre every night and doing the show. The SEARCH for work feels like my job almost more than the job itself.

And even when I was at my most comfortable in a show, I agree– you’re always looking for the next. Everything ends. Even a Tony-Award winning play. Even happiness. Even a promise.

But I also have to believe that even the frustration, the stagnation, the sadness, will end, too. It’s just a matter of time.

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Scared, disappointed, lost (and hopeful)

Went to my friend T’s cabaret tonight. It was a benefit for a theatre company and featured a number of young Broadway stars (from Annie, Mary Poppins, Matilda, etc).

I was at a table with the people I so blissfully spent last summer with. They make me feel important. They make me feel like I could be someone; like I AM someone, and it’s just a matter of time.
But we talked about the show we did last summer.
And we talked about the movie adaptation (which is happening). And we talked about how I would play my character’s sister. Because I’m “sexy” now. I’m too old.
I’m too old.
I’m too old.
It’s over.
I will never play Jonatha again.

My heart feels like it’s breaking. It doesn’t feel fair. It doesn’t feel right. It feels like I was given a beautiful gift, but after a few months of enjoyment, it’s been taken from me.

Which isn’t a fair way to see it.
The girl who developed the character through a number of years and a number of readings was replaced by me. It’s the way of the world.

But it was supposed to be me.
They told me it was me.
They told me not to worry.
“13 till 30,” we said.

But it took too long. It won’t come to NYC till next year. Next year I’ll be 25. Wow.

And I can guarantee you that I’ll be too old to play 14, no matter what they said last summer.

The thing is, they still love me. They still talk effusively about working together. How my success is just a matter of time. And I believe them. I do. I wouldn’t be in this business, breaking my own heart, my own spirit, constantly, if I didn’t believe that I would make it.

But that comfort.
The comfort of a part I’m perfect for in a play I love.
The comfort of knowing something is coming, and I don’t have to be afraid of what’s next.
The comfort of having something that’s mine.

Since I left my company, since last summer ended, I haven’t had that comfort. I have been struggling hard, frustrated and broken, scared and yet somehow still hopeful, for the last year.

But to find that one comfort, the comfort of Jonatha and the summer that changed my life, gone? I feel untethered. Scared. I feel like hope isn’t enough. Hope is great except when you don’t have anything to rest it on.

Scared and hopeful.

Disappointed and hopeful.

I guess if I can keep the hopeful, I have something to hold on to.

On Set (A Shoot Day Primer)

On set today for another reenactment drama, to play another daughter of someone who was killed or stalked or what have you.

Arrived for the courtesy van in midtown at 8am. Too early for someone who generally doesn’t get up early. The cast van was heavily populated– four wives, three daughters, two cops, one best friend– and we set off to Montclair.

Like the last shoot for Discovery ID, we shot at a large house in NJ. The living room served as an equipment depository (if you’ve never been on a film shoot, here is what will surprise you– there is a LOT more equipment than you think possible or necessary, and there are way more crew members than you ever thought possible. And yes, they all have different jobs, and Hayes, they all are crucial.)

We nestled up in a second floor den and a third floor bedroom, cooled only by tiny fans and a thin breeze coming through the open windows. Crafty arrived around 10:30, and we bustled downstairs to get coffee and granola bars and bagels and donuts and apples (crafty, or craft services, is the best. On both shoots for ID I’ve done, we had crafty from Trader Joe’s, which includes things like chocolate covered espresso beans and trail mix– yes!).

Around 11, we daughters were instructed to get into wardrobe for the wedding scene. The shooting of the scene basically involved the family (man/wife, 2 daughters) standing together and pretending to get a wedding photo taken. Getting these shots took about 45 minutes. Yes. On-camera stuff is slllooooowwww.

Since then, I have just been bopping around on location. It is 6:30pm,I’ve been here since 9am, finished my shots at 11:45am, and I have literally nothing to do.

This is how film stuff goes, I suppose, I just wish I wasn’t missing rehearsal for it. I also wish that I wasn’t also called tomorrow. For another day that I can GUARANTEE will be exactly like this.

There are worse things, I suppose, than sitting in the backyard of a house in New Jersey reading, chatting, and eating.

Do you guys have any questions about what shoots are like? I am by no means an expert, but I am also incredibly bored. ūüôā

Rolling: the camera is recording
Speed: that’s when the clapper is hit, so in post they can make sure that the sound syncs
Action: my turn!

Post: post production (editing, etc)
Pre: per production (casting, scheduling, location scouting, etc)
Location scouting: visiting locations to be able to accurately gauge if they’ll work for a shoot, and to preliminarily look at possible shots

Call sheet: all the information for what will happen on a shoot day. Arrival/departure time and location, all crew/cast info, scene breakdown and who is called in each scene.

Getting excited (well, trying to)

“Bored”– from my last post?

Pretty sure that was just feeling depressed. Low energy? Apathy for favorite activities? Lack of motivation? Yeah… that’s the thing. There it is.

Talked about it in therapy today. I¬† got off the train at 72nd, and per usual, pulled out my phone to check my texts and email. Got an email with an announcement from my company– one girl they cast (who I knew from high school, who I got an audition) had received an “exciting opportunity” and would have to withdraw from the play. R will replace her.

This shouldn’t cause a huge reaction. Does it really matter? R’s a great actor and right for the part. I should be happy for the other girl.
But no. I felt my heart break. Because where is MY “exciting opportunity?” Where is my thing that is so important I can drop everything else?

And this really has no reflection on this show. I’m excited about it. I like these people. We have issues emotionally, friendship-ly, but I love to rehearse and perform with them. I trust them. And yet… I’m not excited excited. I don’t want to tell the world. I don’t want to like every related status on Facebook. I don’t talk about it in advance, giddily, any chance I get. No. It will be fun. I will feel artistically fulfilled in a basic way. But… I’m not excited.

In fact, there’s nothing in my life I’m “excited” about. Not this show, and certainly not the next. Not my agent, not my day job, not my union card, not a trip home (who knows when the next trip home will be), not anything really. There is nothing in my life I want to shout about from the rooftops.

And when I feel this way, I become heavily, disturbingly nostalgic.

I miss my high school, a literal bubble in the woods where only we existed and you knew everyone who trudged past you in the snow.interlochen715
We knew we were the best and our only focus was our work, our craft, the active blood, sweat and tears in reaching for what we want most in the world.

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And I miss last summer. I miss the Buffalo Bill House. I miss our mornings at the gym with Rusty the dog, jamming out to the songs on the radio. Late nights, full of white wine and guacamole, dressing up and feeling special and like everyone’s little girl– someone to treasure and support and be ceaselessly proud of.IMG_1397

I miss feeling like anything could happen, like this was the first step in a long journey that would change my life. The pride of being a crucial part of something bigger than myself. Being wanted. Being needed for this step, and the next, and the next.IMG_1412

I miss family dinners. Loud chatter. Silliness. Teasing.IMG_1402

I miss performing. I MISS PERFORMING. God, I miss performing. Walking out in the darkness with two sticks of chalk in my hand, backpack slung over my shoulder, rainbow plastic bracelets stacked at my wrists. The comforting, never boring routine of my role. Enter on this line, grab wrist and left shoulder for the fight, roll onto my right buttcheek for the throw. sit on the wicker chair stage right, listen, listen, listen, laugh, laugh. Let his words cut through my heart, feel the fight seep out, then build back up, slam the door, wrap the chain around the knob, wrap twice around my wrist, lean out, holding the door shut through the screams, eyes wet, looking towards the audience, shaky silence, shaky silence, look out. Black out. (and that’s just a brief selection from two scenes).IMG_1306

Rehearsal. Performance. Onstage or off. The sound of the words. Eventually I knew each one.IMG_1212

Mornings. Coffee brewed by someone else. The last of the cool, wet, nighttime air dissolving in the humidity of coastal Jersey.IMG_1267

For more, if you care, click on any “new jersey” tag. It’ll take you there.

My therapist asked me if there was a way I could take those incredible, warm, loving feelings and instead of holding them outside myself, making me sad, allow them to penetrate and give me some comfort.

I don’t know how to do that.

But I’ll try.

(Sorry about the ramblingness of this post… I started a post and then it turned into another post. Ah well).

 

Valentine’s x2

I woke up on Valentine’s morning before the alarm. Thin morning light lit my gray sheets, and I futzed around on my phone for a while with A’s arms wrapped tightly around my middle. Once we’d officially risen, I told A to stay buried in the covers while I pulled my drawers apart looking for just the right shirt to wear for the shoot I’d go to that afternoon (a recording of 3 monologues and a song to use for a bit of a demo reel, per my agent’s request). One of my favorite A’s is the mussed-up A, face still a little crinkly from sleep, eyes bright when open, and lashes soft and calm when closed. I had a couple of choices I’d bring, but the shirt I decided on was a navy blue camisole, slightly wrinkly at the bottom, but cut well and flattering on top (where it counts on camera).

I rehearsed my pieces in the shower while A sipped his chocolate milk (his daily morning fortification), and then we rotated. I made eggs and sipped a glass of water, favorite jeans on and a lazy-day flannel tied above my stomach. We watched The Office and waited.

At 11, a friend arrived to do my hair and makeup. While she futzed with my hair, A sat nearby, working on his book. She moved onto my makeup, and while we chatted too-much, awkwardly, acquaintance-friendly, while A did the dishes dutifully behind me.

With only a few minutes before our scheduled departure, I packed up the backpack with a few shirts, makeup, and my checkbook. We left hand in hand and walked in the bright sunlight and wicked cold ten blocks up to the studio.

Long story short, in a little over an hour, I filmed four pieces– a contemporary monologue, a British monologue, a Shakespeare monologue, and a Joni Mitchell song. A sat beside me on the couch, graciously, quietly, not really watching but letting me feel he was there. Somehow he always knows what I need. He accompanied me on piano for the song, which was what I was most nervous about, but stayed with me, didn’t get excited, didn’t tell me what to do or what he thought, just let me decide when enough was enough, or if a mistake was visible, and then backed me up on it. It was one of the most perfect “he-did-what-he-was-supposed-to-do” situations in our entire relationship.

Afterwards, we walked home, bought some soda, ordered a pizza, and stayed in our pajamas on the couch for the rest of the day.
Happy Valentine’s, love of mine.

A week later…

We had our real Valentine’s scheduled. A picked me up in a rental car outside of therapy at noon, and we drove to New Jersey, to the town where I did the last real show of my career, to the town where I got my Equity card, to the town where I made some of the most amazing friends in my life, to the town where I realized that my life was something different than my other friends’, and the town where I realized that there is a LOT to come.

I had an audition at the theatre (the first time back since closing!) and did totally fine work. The only people in the room were the Artistic Director (who I’m close with) and the reader. The role was a sexy twenty-something, and I walked in in my skinny jeans, hair down, and a sexy tank and she says, ‘Wow, you don’t look like you’re fourteen this time.” “That’s the idea,” I responded with a smile.

From there, I had A drive us down the road past the Buffalo Bill House, where we lived, and pointed to the window of the Anne Frank Room, where much of our courtship began. (If you are confused about what the Buffalo Bill House and the Anne Frank Room are and why this janky town in NJ is special to me, click any of these hyperlinks).

Then we drove down to the beach. The air was freezing, and because it’s the ocean, the wind was violent. I’d forgotten a hair tie, so I let my nicely curled hair whip around my face. A pulled his fedora down over his ears, and we pushed against the wind as we made our way off the boardwalk, into the sand, and towards the surf. It was clear that the storm had done a number on this tiny town (in fact, the theatre was one of the hardest hit professional theatres in all of the Eastern seaboard). They were repairing the boardwalk and much was cordoned off. But it was enough just to see the ocean, and remember the moment we saw dolphins leaping from the surf, the burning run from the cool ocean across the sun-heated sand to relief on the grass, the feel of the ocean water as it hit my body, the conversations and quiet moments with my book, friends nearby and loving.

We had time to waste, so we drove to the mall, where we wandered and joked about middle America and Jersey. We stopped in the bookstore to use the last of my gift card, and then around 3:45, headed back to the car. The plan was to drive to Edgewater and have a nice steak dinner before coming back into the city. But Google Maps (and yours truly) royally fucked up and we ended up deep in traffic on the Lincoln Tunnel, headed INTO the city. Crap.

A talked me off the ledge and we made a new plan– drop off the car, check into our hotel (yes, that was the romantic part of this evening), order room service and drink champagne, and THEN go to the ballet (the other romantic portion). I agreed, and we were off. We stopped briefly to grab a bottle of champagne (good thing we did, since a bottle cost $75 at the hotel), and after a few turnarounds (when you’re a walker in NYC, you forget that all the streets are one-way), we dropped off the car and brought our stuff to the hotel.

On the way up the elevator, I realized I didn’t have my phone in my pocket.

Nor was it in my bag.

Nor was it in A’s backpack.

FUCK.

We got to the room and I stayed calm and rifled through everything– throwing books on the floor and clothes on the bed, spreading everything out on the white sheets– to no avail. THAT was when the tears came. I felt… mostly just angry at myself. Because now this was a “thing” that we had to deal with and the whole plan of the evening had now turned into “where is B’s phone.” Also, I can’t afford a replacement. I felt like an idiot and I just wanted to go back in time.

A was wonderfully patient with me, and tried to talk me down. Didn’t work. I ended up just being mean. Finally, after grumpily picking what to order for dinner, A placed the order and left for the garage to see if I’d left my phone in the rental car. “I love you, you know,” he said as he walked out the door.

I moped for another few minutes, then lay face down on the bed and breathed. I calmed, then rose and walked to the bathroom, where I wet a face towel with cool water and began to clean my face. As I reapplied my foundation, the door clicked open. There was A, my phone in his hand.

I gave him an huge, huge, too-long hug, apologizing profusely, thanking him up and down and around till Thursday. We popped the champagne, ate the dark chocolate with caramel and sea salt I had purchased, then when room service arrived, sat and devoured our burgers (his, beef, mine, crab cakes) and fries. At 7, we prepped our final touches for the ballet, at 7:08 we had quick sex (if you read deeply enough to catch this, you win!), and at 7:15, walked out of the front door of the hotel, crossed Columbus, and entered the Koch Theater at Lincoln Center to see NYCB’s Sleeping Beauty.

Our seats were great (third ring, first row, dead center), and we both really love watching dance. I’m not sure I’ve ever watched dance as comfortably with anyone else (a lot of people don’t really get it… actors think it’s overwrought and silly, plebes get bored, my mother wants to talk a lot about it after). Afterwards, we stopped at Duane Reade to get ice cream and breakfast foods (yogurt and granola for both, chocolate milk for him), and headed back to the hotel.

We finished the champagne and ate the ice cream, did some other stuff, watched some Netflix on his phone (seriously… what is live TV?), and then, around midnight, both of us realized that we’re actually 85 years old and were really, really sleepy. We both read a little bit, then I curled up under his arm, half my body on top of his, just like every night, and we went to sleep.

I’m a lucky girl.

We woke up this morning at our regular time, 8:30, and lazed around for a while. We ate breakfast, watched more Netflix, took a long shower, and packed. I grabbed coffee on the way to work, and he headed down to get a haircut for Army. He has two days of Army “drill” this weekend (I don’t really get it… but basically it means he has to go to the armory and “work” from like 7am-5pm Sat and Sun, one weekend every month). I hate it because he’s gone two days, but I hate it most because he hates it.

The moral of the story, though, is threefold:

1. I haven’t blogged in a while, and I really should.

2. I had two amazing Valentine’s Days.

3. I love A. I love A. I love A.

Hugs and kisses to all of you out there.

B.

 

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 РClosing 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!

You can bask in my glow.

Two days of binging, because obviously. Show closed yesterday afternoon. Somehow I made it through without crying. Not so lucky with the ED behaviors, but, you know.

Saturday night, “that boy” came and saw the show. I bought him a ticket (though he didn’t really know that, and I just told him to give me $20 or a bottle of wine sometime), but he came. I’ve given him comps for every show before this, and yet he decides to drive all the way out to New Jersey to see this show?! I can’t explain it.

So he drove out. And I saw him out in the audience pre-show, in his flannel in the fourth row, far to house left, looking uncomfortable. And I rocked it. It was a great show. I mean, it always is, but it was great. And I came out after with my hair down, with the assurance of my fellow actors that “he’d be stupid not to want to get into your short shorts.”

I saw him, but meandered into the lobby on my own time, knowing he saw me, letting the “I’m talented and awesome” roll over him. I greeted my other friend who’d trekked out with her aunt, and introduced the two of them (she knows this story, but pretended she didn’t, until the end of the conversation when she says, “I’ve heard so much about you!”). I let him chat me up, but I held the reins of the conversation.

That night was the “cast party” held by the artistic directors at their house. We meandered towards the door and I said bluntly, “Wanna come?” He said sure, and I led the way, chatting with my fellow actors, basically just being WAY too cool for school. He was MY date, I was in charge of what was happening, I was the popular one. “So, we can follow you guys? You know where you’re going?” I called out, before he even offered to drive me. I got in the car without so much as a “so… should I ride with you?” We drove off.

We pulled up at their house, and I led the way in. He was the hanger-on, I was the popular girl. That’s a new dynamic for me. He stuck alongside me through the party. I introduced him to a few people, and I enjoyed the rush of being congratulated and complimented profusely in front of him. It made me feel even more like the star, with a hot boy just tagging along. I also thoroughly enjoyed introducing him to my director, who is a bit of a lech. It made me feel like a grown up to introduce my “date,” total eye-candy, to this guy. It made me feel way too cool for school.

We all decided to head home (last show the next day). We meandered towards the cars, and I stopped at his, saying, “Thank you so much for coming– we’ve got a show tomorrow, so I’ll see you later!” Totally took the “you’re not coming home with me” initiative without even giving him a chance. He reached into his backseat and pulled out 20 bucks and his new CD (he’s a musician for kids) and handed me both. I took the CD but said I didn’t want the 20. He tried to insist, but I grabbed the CD and pulled him into a hug, at which moment I felt his hands on my butt and was really confused but then realized that he was putting the 20 in my back pocket.

I pulled away from the hug a bit flustered and he said, “I wasn’t grabbing your butt…” and I interrupted with a self-satisfied grin, “Uh, well, you were, but okay, sure,” as M screamed out of the car “You SHOULD try to grab her butt!!” Then we had a chaste farewell hug and I got into M’s car.

She was convinced he liked me, based on the way he was looking at me when I was talking, the fact that he came all the way out, etc. But.

He didn’t gush over me. I want to be gushed over.

He didn’t make a point of making me feel like the most important part of the evening. Which I was.

He told two very self-centered stories about himself. And had not much to say to me.

He talked about my ex-boyfriend. AGAIN. This is his running theme.

I’m not gonna do it. I acted like a self-assured, self-possessed, self-confident woman Saturday night. I let myself be the star, and let him exist in the glow of my light. I deserve that sometimes. And I deserve someone who wants to make me even brighter. He’s not ready to do that. He likely won’t ever be. So that’s that. And I don’t feel sad at all.

‚ÄúIt is easier to live through someone else than to complete yourself. The freedom to lead and plan your own life is frightening if you have never faced it before. It is frightening when a woman finally realizes that there is no answer to the question ‘who am I’ except the voice inside herself.‚ÄĚ ‚Äē Betty Friedan