Saturday, May 5, 2012

Dancing With Myself (Billy Idol)

This past Friday night I felt myself drained. Thursday had been an event for a potential job. While it was awesome, there was  a lot of press there and it was a lot of pressure to look great and to be on. Looking great and being on aren’t the issues, it’s saying the right thing. I tend to put my foot in my mouth a lot. I know that about myself. I have been searching for editors for my book. That has been a task. There is one who is good but she doesn’t believe in returning emails. While the injuries are getting better, they still plague me making my knees hurt. While I was kickboxing again this week, I wasn’t in shape for the two hour class our gym does on Fridays. Sorry, Jeanene will be back next week.
I also found myself a little down and out and depressed. April had been an odd month with the telegrams. There was Easter/Passover in the same time span which put everyone out of commission. I would have gone home except I had jury duty and didn’t know what was going to happen. So that took me off the rotation for a few days. Then someone pulled some shade for a free show, and while my boss sided with me and I proved myself, it shook him up. But we are good again….I think. Although the telegrams as well as other things are starting to pick up, I had no deliveries. I also felt down and out because I had not done a magazine interview in two weeks. The job I am sort of starting, we don’t meet until next week, it will be great, more on that later. If it goes through it will be good for my career. The pilot I should have gotten didn’t happen, and that commercial that would have been great money didn’t happen either.
To top it off, Holden Caulfield called me high as a kite from Hawaii with some story about how he was working for a rich woman as old as Dimsdale, the comedy legend I once dated. He needed my help with a flier and would Western Union me money and blah, blah, blah. Meanwhile, Hawaii probably has a Kinkos. Not to mention that he has a laptop and this old woman, if she is as rich and has the club he says she has, owns a printer. Bottom line, it was a scheme to get me to come rescue him from the rent boy lifestyle he is living. What makes it so hard is not that I don’t care, it’s that I do care and I know who he is deep down. Unfortunately, he refuses to get sober and to take his much needed medication. On top of that, he sounded like he had been on something and hadn’t slept in days. He was trying much too hard to sound sober.
After that I found myself malcontent, examining my whole life. These days, although I’ll do a club date if it comes my way, standup is not the focus it once was. Between the politics, the fight for stage time, and the fact that as a woman you have three strikes against you I got sick of it. Basically, between the rotting in basements hoping to get better and then hoping that being a good comedian will be enough to get me where I needed to go I just got burnt out. I guess what really did it was when I did the TLC show with my little puppet children, I figured the doors to the art form I had busted my ass in for so long would open. Instead, I was fired from the open mic I hosted because I wasn’t there enough. (In between being on the Today Show and performing for royalty I didn’t have time to do a freebee). The club doors seemed to slam shut because there were either attitudes about what I did or I wasn’t a member of the anointed for the most part boys club. So I found myself wondering if I had wasted my ambition and my early twenties on a thankless pipe dream.
I found myself wondering what I could have done with all those nights I wasted onstage. Maybe I could have been dating, finding love? Or better yet, spending my food money on food instead of stage time? I secretly hoped that I would be “more respected” in the comedy world than I am now. Oops, unless you are boring and fit in a niche that how you earn respect. Plus standup is a dying art form as it is. Most of the time, people who get the good spots anywhere have a youtube following or have been around so long they are almost dead. It’s not about being funny. I should have dated more, found myself.
That’s when it occurred to me to take myself out on a date.
I put on a nice, spring dress. Over my dress, I dawned a gold sweater seemingly spun by Rumple himself. In case I was cold, I put on my designer jacket, payment for a gig as a result of being a reality TV star, and off I went. Like a true Libra contrarian, I took forever to find a restaurant. I didn’t want to eat at a chain, many of the sushi places were too expensive anyway, and Chipotle is not date food. I ended up going to Goodburger. Although it was a chain, I had a really good burger and fries. It was just me.
There was no man to judge me for the way I dressed, or eyed me like a medium rare burger in hopes that he could take a bite. There was no stranger, fixed up with blind, who it could be hit or miss with. There were no topics that were so hot that they couldn’t be touched with a poker, nor was there a man scrutinizing me for all the mistakes I have made. There was no feeling less than because it was one set of rules for him and another for me, making it all too painfully obvious that it is a man’s world and his game; as an object he considers servile I must make the best of it. There was no being called a feminazi for my rhetoric, because maybe I am crazy and maybe he doesn’t view me as servile. There was no telling him what an awful butler I would be and that I didn’t own sexy lingerie. There was no feeling like he was fixing to reject me, because that is the way men roll. There was no jealous former flame, popping up to make things awkward.
I liked my date.
I really liked my date.
She was great company.
I ended up walking around Washington Square Park after finishing my high fat treat to myself. The trees and street lamps lit my way. I thought about the month. Despite being barren financially, I have had a lot of good opportunities. For one I am Panic Girl, the logo for a publishing company and book series for young women. I also am potentially starting a job spotlighting my ventriloquism, and so far my potential new bosses like what they see. I am also about to publish a book about my life as a singing telegram delivery person. I have four songs that have received radio airplay, and am a leap away from terrestrial radio. One of my projects is going to festivals. I did two magazine interviews. Yes, the pilots didn’t happen but I was close which means something will happen soon. That’s when I realized that while standup might not be the focus that it once was, it opened the doors for me. Because of standup comedy the doors opened to the reality show spotlighting my talents as a ventriloquist. Because of standup comedy I could handle any audience, making me a hit on live webcam broadcasts as a talking head garnering me fans around the world. Because of standup I am quick on my feet, and people recognize me from TV because they “love my act.”
Because of standup, when I was massacred on live message boards there were those who followed my career in the clubs jumping to my defense, not only defending me as an artist but as a person saying that I was one of the hardest workers that they had ever seen. Because of standup, and fellow comedians who work in production, I have gotten auditions and jobs because they have vouched for me not just as a talent but as a human being. Yes, standup might not be the focus it once was but it was hardly a waste of time. It was a necessity.
Plus it was a way to use my talents as a performer and a writer, something acting never would have let me do in a million years. Maybe it was like the starter car, it got me where I needed to go and now it’s time for the designer model.
So I did what a guy was to an annoying girl, I told myself to shut the hell up.
Then I thought about going to an indie theatre to see an art house film. There was nothing I wanted to see. That’s when I decided to call it a night. So I walked myself to the nearest deli and purchased a container of Cookies and Milk Iced Cream, and then watched a 48 Hours Mystery about some serial killer. I didn’t put my arm around myself, that would have been awkward. I almost thought about getting Don Juan, my Cassanova in my puppet family, to hit on me. That too would have been awkward. Instead it was just me, not some moron who learned to walk upright last week, and not me slapping his hand because it was wandering somewhere it need  not go.
In my early twenties, I wanted a man. The first time it was a disaster that resulted in a separate mailing address. The second time, the time I was supposed to trust again, he turned out to be the biggest liar I have ever met. Now I like being alone. I don’t care if I ever get married. While I loved Holden Caulfield, I knew it would have never worked. In my early twenties I would have tried to save him, marry him. But now I am better about stepping away.
I know it is me and my puppet children, my puppet children and I, against the world. We are the happiest we have ever been.
I took myself on a date and had a great night. Today I will text myself to tell me what a great time I had. Hey, it’s ten steps ahead of most of the men out there. So fellas, learn some manners.
Love, April

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