Thursday, August 25, 2011

Sitting and the City

  I'm sure that every female (and the majority of my male friends) has uttered the following words at some point in the past thirteen years and it is unfortunate to admit that I feel exactly the same way and will utter the same words:

I am obsessed with Sex and the City.

  God, it feels good to get that out! Even though I've probably said it at least a hundred times before... Well, I guess now it's in writing. Anyway, I was watching the series finale of Sex and the City for the twentieth time last night and, let me tell you, it never fails to disappoint. I cry. I laugh. I long for every article of clothing SJP gets to unrealistically flaunt in Paris even on her meager writer's salary. In the episode she traipses the streets of Paris alone while her former-ballerina Russian boyfriend is consumed with his art gallery opening. 

  Carrie keeps commenting throughout the episode on how she is living in such an incredible city with so much to do and to see, but at the same time feels terribly alone and uninterested. She convinces herself that as long as she is in such an amazing place, nothing else really matters. She attends the same museums and patisseries over and over, trying to occupy her immense amount of free time.

  Hmmmmmm....This sounds a lot like someone I know. Oh, right. That would be me. I live in one of the most amazing cities in the world and yet I am constantly bored out of my mind. I can't count how many times I have walked the multiple paths of Central Park, gazed at the gorgeous skylines, people-watched out the window of different Starbucks locations, and sat on the steps of the Met hoping to become cultured by osmosis. 

  Luckily, through my work I get to experience New York through the eyes of innocent children and get to do activities I otherwise would not do on my own. Those are the days when I really feel like a true New Yorker and take full advantage of the city. 

  With a five year-old as my date, I've ridden rides in the Central Park amusement park, taken a horse-drawn carriage ride, cowered beneath the gigantic whale in the Museum of Natural History, enjoyed low-guilt frozen yogurt on a hot summer day, and ordered room service in one of Manhattan's most lavish hotels. Hey, at least the conversation isn't filled with doubts about our futures and our constant financial worry. It's much more advanced.

  Perhaps we should all view everyday in NYC like we are five year-olds that are only in town for a short period of time. Try to fit a million fun things in to one day and experience it like you're getting on a plane and leaving tomorrow. Carrie did, but then she actually left. So...maybe that was a bad example. Oopsies.

The Fro Yo had a little accident...

Monday, August 15, 2011

Expiration Dates

  Exactly one year ago today my last show closed; August 15, 2010. I never...ever...ever thought it would take this amount of time for me to get another job. I'm sure I walked in to my apartment last year and thought that there wouldn't be days like this for long, meaning days with no rehearsals to go to, no shows to go perform. I do know that I walked in and said to myself, "Well, that was fun." 

  My job had lasted for seven months, a hearty chunk of time, however to me it was over in the blink of an eye. The moment I booked the job, I knew that it would one day come to an end and that in seven short months I would be right back where I started. I just didn't think I would be stuck in that phase for a year.

  That's the thing about this cracked-out business. It is so incredibly fickle and is never, ever consistent. It is like you can't fully celebrate any achievement because you know, deep-down, that it will be over before you know it. Sometimes you don't even know when it will be over. Your whole time on the job is spent in fear that soon it could be over and you therefore don't live the experience to the fullest. It's like a countdown clock on a bomb just ticking away, waiting to explode.

  I suppose you could look at the glass half-empty or half-full. You can fully immerse yourself in the experience and attempt to leave all of your fears at the door, not caring how long or how short this time in your life will last. As an actor knowing your fate, that task is very difficult, but none-the-less achievable. 

  I am trying to look at this time of unemployment as half-full, even though most would classify it as half-empty. I am attempting to immerse myself in other activities, even though I know the only activity I want to be doing seems impossible to grasp. I have surrendered myself to the theatre gods and am apprehensively faithful that they will sort everything out for me. I have no control over getting chosen for a job, just like I have no control over how long a job will last.

Friday, August 5, 2011

A Blog About Nothing

  I feel like I'm waiting for something. Something to happen. Someone to call. Something to give me a sign. Just something, anything. They always say that when one door closes, a window opens, or that once you stop looking, you find exactly what you've been searching for. Well, if all that mumbo-jumbo is true, then this "something" should have happened months ago! How much can I trust in this feeling of utter nothing-ness in my life currently? How do I keep the faith when I feel as though I have nothing to put my faith in to? Like the door that closed locked me in a room with no windows? It feels as if I'm waiting for, well, nothing.

  I'm quite certain that people of all ages and professions have overcome this conundrum at some point in their lives. They were waiting for something to present itself to them or for some kind of sign. I guess I'm waiting for an affirmation that I am on the right path and that this "something" is waiting for me just up the road, but I have to keep forging ahead to get to it no matter how hard the rain is beating down. I have to remain persistent on the path that I struggled so hard to pave for myself even though I can't even see three feet in front of me.

  I'm starting to fear that there is no "something" waiting just ahead for me, though, and that scares the crap out of me. Or that my "something" is on a different path than the one I'm on. Maybe I made a wrong turn miles ago and at this point it would be useless to turn around and figure out where my mental GPS led me astray.

  My entire life I've had something to look forward to, whether it was a trip somewhere or someone coming to visit or even my clean laundry. It's frightening when you have nothing to look forward to other than your morning bowl of oatmeal with cinnamon sprinkled on top. Yum. Most mornings I wake up and say to myself, "What am I going to do today?" Which is exciting.

  So in conclusion, I have to I have to know that my "something" is still waiting for me. I have to know it in my gut and in my heart and in all of the love and support that comes from those surrounding me. I am so grateful for so many wonderful things and people in my life who without I wouldn't have even had the concrete to pour my path with! This is isn't a blog about nothing. It's a blog about my "something".

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Babes in Totland

  I am so not in-the-know when it comes to NYC's hottest hang outs and most fashionable restaurants and bars to be seen at. However, despite those flaws, I have discovered New York City's hippest new hot spot. It's located right of the heart of some of New York's best shopping and restaurants. It is constantly filled with New York's up and coming young professionals, including entrepreneurs, artists, and future Mensa members. The energy is infectious and you could spend several hours in its lively perimeter, exploring all the exciting perks it has to offer and mingling with new and interesting people.

  It's the Union Square Playground.

  I hadn't discovered this incredible playground until last week, and as a babysitter in NYC that is always looking for a time-killer to take my clients to, I am so glad that I did! It is truly an amazing place. The playground is fenced off in the entire northern region of Union Square Park, which gives it a completely different feel than the center of this bustling, dirty city. Every detail of the playground has been thoroughly thought out and lures children of all ages to each high-tech, yet simple, feature. 

  There is a giant, rotating circle on which kids can sit their little bums and spin furiously until they vomit back up their goldfish. Beside it, a nine-foot tall slide, that although the climb to the top is terrifying, the plummet to the bottom is well worth the terror. A large sand pit takes up the majority of the toddler section of the playground, but unlike other typical sand boxes, there is a large carved piece of gorgeous marble standing in the center. Every so often, water will spill out of the top, making an beach-like experience for the youngsters. After they've gotten thoroughly filthy, make a quick costume change in to your bathing suit and head down to the spraying fountain and take a quick rinse. Please not a shower, just a rinse.

  I have visited many a playground in my day, but this one, by far, tops them all. It is truly a special place, among the harassing homeless and germ-filled subway trains that these poor children have to endure on a daily basis. It's an escape for both the kids and their parents or babysitters. It has plenty of gadgets to keep kids occupied for hours and gives parents a feeling of safety and peace of mind. Everything is securely partitioned and cement has been replaced with a squishy and cushy mat. 

  I highly recommend this haven to any babysitter looking for a break from the confines of a small apartment and a desire to venture in to the city minus the threat of constant oncoming traffic.

  Oooooooooh, also my new favorite find and best stroller I've ever manhandled: The Baby Jogger. Get in to it.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Death Combo

  Ahh, the beauty of musical theatre. Musical theatre actors always have a step up on American Idol contestants because we can also dance. We also have a step up on So You Think You Can Dance? contestants because we can also sing. Most of the time we have a step up on both sets of contestants because we can also act! Man, we are talented. 

  But rarely, if ever, are we asked to do all three simultaneously in an audition. I mean, if we can belt an F the people behind the table usually assume that we can kick our faces too, right? But you know what they say about people that assume: It makes an 'ass' out of 'u' and 'me'.  Turns out that I was the only one portraying the role of the ass on this particular occasion.

  I attended an audition this past spring for a job entitled "College Promo". Apparently, the musical theatre program at a local college was shooting a commercial to promote their program and wanted to hire professionals to appear in it. My agent told me that I needed to prepare 16-bars of a musical theatre song acapella, as there would no piano present at the audition. (A light bulb went off in my head that something was already a little fishy, but I kept listening) Next, prepare your own dance that you will perform to no music, a few counts of 8. (OK, now the light bulb has turned in to a strobe light) To top it off, the audition will be held at a comedy club.

  Now, to an actively auditioning musical theatre actor in New York, this audition preparation would be considered strange, to say the least. But hey, beggars can't be choosers and mama needs a job, so I'm gonna pull out all the stops and wear my best young-and-hip-and-still-in-college-yet-could-double-as-my-In-The-Heights-audition outfit. I'm seeing...denim shorts.

  I enter the comedy club lobby expecting to see dozens of audition hopefuls also sporting their chic college gear, but I am the only one. And I'm half an hour early due to my audition tardiness paranoia. The monitor tells me that I can go in early if I want, as there is no one waiting to go before me. Alright, let's do this thingy! I can rock this total lack of music audition!

  He leads me in to the club, which I'm pretty sure is where Seinfeld filmed all of its opening comedy routine montages. It's a pitch-black room with a few round tables and chairs set up and a tiny stage with a single light beaming down upon it's worn wooden floor. A perfect setting for a COMEDY ROUTINE! 

  The auditor introduces himself and gives me my instructions:
  1. Slate yourself to the camera
  2. Perform your song
  3. Perform your dance
  4. Perform the combo
 I'm sorry, what? Perform the combo? What exactly is the combo? I ask him, my eyes the size of tennis balls. 

  "Oh, perform your song and dance at the same time."  Wow. That's a first. Too bad my dance includes two face kicks, a double pirouette, and a dolphin body wave. And I'm singing the last 16-bars of "Show Off" from The Drowsy Chaperone. And neither of them are the same length. 

  This is going to be horrific.
  As I'm walking up to the microscopic stage, I already know that I am going to have to improvise my dance and attempt to make it the same length as my song. And oh yeah! Hold out a belted C for 11 bars while spinning.

  I perform my first three tasks with as much calmness as possible given the anxiety I am anticipating for the 4th one. I take a moment to myself, facing upstage away from the camera to try and figure out what the hell I'm going to do. When I think I'm ready, I do a fierce drag to turn myself around and start the song, but all the words and steps have completely left me. I am so thrown off by their request that I can't even remember what I am doing! I sing the first few lyrics incorrectly and decide to stop myself and start over. The second time around I do sing the correct lyrics, but I can not think fast enough to choreograph more steps. I decide to just perform the same routine over and over again until the song ends, which is in a pile of twisted wreckage you typically see after a plane crash. I have no breath support for the final note and I'm pretty sure I stopped halfway through it and took a breath, amidst a sadly attempted pas de bourree.

  The room is silent when I finish, aside from my panting with my arms fully extended above my head displaying jazz hands. I dismount the stage, thank the auditor, and leave the club. I have no idea what just happened. I think I just saw my whole life flash before my eyes and a bright light that I was tempted to follow. That audition was a near death experience. It was so sad that all I could do was exit laughing. I guess it was an appropriate reaction when exiting a comedy club, except that I was laughing for all the wrong reasons.


Sunday, July 31, 2011

Do You Like What You See?

To fellow babysitters, actors, and quarter-life crisis participants!

Do you like what you have been reading so far? Well, Sensibly Libsy would love to hear your thoughts, so please comment below whichever blog posts speak to you, interest you, or just make you laugh! 

Also, I would love for you to become a follower! You can become a follower through your Facebook, Twitter, or Google accounts, and I know that all of you have at least one of those!

Check back often and continue to see what Sensibly Libsy has been up to! You may have shared a similar experience... 


Thursday, July 28, 2011

Making It Werque

  When actors are unemployed, the most popular piece of advice that parents, teachers, and Broadway stars give them is, "Take class." Which is great advice, of course, but such a catch-22. I mean, you take the classes so that you can book the Bway job so that you can make the money on which to live. But if you don't have the Bway job and just have a regular job that makes way less money on which you are "supposed" to live, how do you then afford the classes to book the Bway job? You catch my drift here, fellow Actorias? The answer almost always to that question is, "You just have to make it work."


  I took this "making it work" thing to heart, or should I say, to the streets, by signing up for a new kind of class outside of my comfort zone that incorporates dance, cardio, posture improvement, and a literal ass-kicking: The Stiletto Work Out. I've decided to bring out my inner sex goddess by not only participating in this class, but also the studio's handful of other sexy fitness classes for one month.

  Well, let me tell you that the Stiletto Work Out was a WERQUE out, honey! We were doin' all kinds of squats and kicks and bends and pops that are typically only performed by the lovely employees at Lace on 45th street. Only we did these moves with a five-pound dumbbell in each hand, and let me just say that my legs will be looking fierce just in time for unitard season. I decided that one sexy class just wasn't enough to satiate me, so I also took the following class entitled Sexy Yoga. I'll sum it up with a single quote from the instructor:
  "Try to touch your head to your crack."

  When I awoke this morning, I was not surprised to find that I was in fact paralyzed from the forehead down. I decided I would treat myself to a massage at a new spa that I discovered on my walk home last night from my sexy classes. The sign on the front door read, "75 minute massage - $50.00" Done and done. 

  I arrived at the spa to be greeted by no one at the reception desk. Luckily, the Asian man smoking outside while chatting on the phone was the receptionist and rushed in after me to ask me why I was there. (Phew, I was worried for a second) I told him I had a 3:00 appointment for a 75-minute full body massage, but clearly he could not understand one word I said as he just stared at me blankly. He quickly hurried to the back to find an English-speaking employee who then led me back to a tiny, dimly-lit room blocked off only by a small curtain.

  I assumed I should get down to my skivvies and lay face down on the table underneath the towel provided. Before I was completely covered, the male receptionist who doubled as a masseuse barged in and blurted out, "You ready?" Um, OK, I guess so. I'm pretty sure you just saw my thong, but whatevies. 

  Well, throughout the course of our next 75 magical minutes together he saw more than just my thong. The first thing he did was peel back the towel to reveal my back, however the towel went WAY lower than I expected it to and revealed more than just my back. Pretty sure that half my ass was in full view for the entirety of my back massage, as my sensitive cheeks felt a draft.

  But the amazing thing was that I did not care! It was the best massage I had ever received! This guy knew his stuff, and every inch of my back, arms, legs, and booty was in sheer "hurts so good" bliss. He maneuvered my arms and legs in to some very strange positions and treated each one of my toes like it was paying for its own full body massage. Most massages end the with the masseuse patting down your body to increase blood circulation, but this guy was not exactly the patting kind. He was full-on smacking me! I was in total awe of the full abandonment in which this man massaged me and hit me like he was tenderizing meat. It was amazing.

  After basically stealing this massage with a swipe of my credit card, another receptionist handed me a stack of discount cards to give to my friends for them to use on their first visit. She told me the name of my masseuse so that they could ask for him specifically. 

  His name was Mr. Ho.