Friday, September 6, 2013

Coming So Far....

Yesterday was one of those days. It was my first official day back to work after a resting beside my mother's pool. She has waited thirty five years for that thing. Of course this means she is nicer than ever to my dad. It was weird going back home in a way. My yard didn't look the same. When I was a kid I had this sprawling yard that had sort of a tilt on a hill. I had a swing set, rope, parallel bars, hand over hand, and killer jungle gym our parents built. We even had a treehouse.

That was all gone. Built for the pool. Sure my childhood was ripped asunder. However, we now have a pool. That is actually way more awesome than the killer jungle gym if you ask me.

I also went to my old high school where my baby cousin is earning his stripes as water boy. Got to see some of my old teachers. It was cool and kind of bittersweet at the same time. Cool because I have grown up, but bittersweet because yesterday is gone. I went to the mall and was recognized by a girl who had seen me on TV. I tend to get recognized more in New York City. Celebrities are in a higher concentration here as well as Hollywood than the rest of the world. It was neat to get recognized though. She said she was familiar with my work. The kid was about sixteen or so. I remember being her age and dreaming of being on TV, writing a book, doing all the things I am doing now. It is so cool and strange to be doing them for realz.

I am also doing a book talk at the Barnes and Noble in South Hills Village. I used to go there as a kid and get lost in the shelves. Now my book is on their shelf. It's kind of crazy how these things just happen. I remember my parents used to have to pry me out of there. The great part about the book shelves is that is where a weird misfit like myself could feel safe. Now I have a book there. My book is also in my local library too. When I was a kid I used to doggy ear the pages of my books. Librarians and book sellers lost their minds with me, shoving book marks in my collection. After writing one I understand. You treat that book with respect. Someone worked long and hard to write it. I saw a friend doggy eared my pages. I remember leaving his house and was so agitated I called another friend. My friend said, "It's a show of love." I couldn't get passed it. So now I use a book mark and encourage others to do so. Doggy erring the pages damages them. Maybe I need to get over myself. I don't know. On one hand, I have a whole new respect for the Nazi librarian. She really does care for books and respects authors. On the other hand, I am becoming self important and annoying.

Yesterday was kind of crazy in a cool way. After being given a wrong address for a telegram, I sped uptown to get to the correct place. I cursed God for steering me wrong. He didn't seem to take offense as I swore my head off. When I got there it was one of the best deliveries I had done in a while. The people were GREAT! I can say I am blessed to have the job and work for the boss I do. He is so cool. Of course they asked for business cards too which was neat.

As I left hitting the sidewalk, I saw a young man selling comedy tickets. That is the worst job in the world in my opinion. You have people saying terrible things to you and then expect you to be funny on the spot. Some of the clubs in the city make you lie and say people who have been on "HBO and Comedy Central." Yeah, either as extras or they watched it at home. Translated, they are selling you fake credits. It's not their fault. It's the greedy club owners. I know because I have done it. So usually when they approach me I actually stop and talk to them. I have been in their shoes in the worst of weather. I know that pain. This is how the conversation between me and the kid happened:

Me: What club you work for?

Kid: (Random Comedy Club in New York)

Me: Oh performed there millions of times. As a matter of fact I have worked with some of these guys.

I point to the folder

Me: As a matter of fact, Judah Friedlander is one of the nicest dudes in comedy.

Kid: Really, the guy from 30 Rock?

I shake my head

Me: Oh yeah, funny and down to Earth.

Kid: Wow.

Me: He's like Jeff Foxworthy. Who by the way is the nicest guy in comedy. I got to work with him once and he was so cool. I mean, granted, I wagered no opinion on him but after working with him I was like wow, he is so cool. I am a fan just cause I like the dude.

Kid: You are famous, aren't you?

Me: Eh, I've been around.

Kid: You look really familiar. I know I have seen you on TV. I have, haven't I?

I nod. In the back of my mind, I want this kid to give this memo to my bank statement. Apparently, my financials have no idea how famous I am. Neither does my landlord because As Seen on TV, no matter how beautifully written on the rent check, will not do. So I put my finger to my lips like, "Shhhh...."

Kid: Sorry to be weird. But I know I have. Can you take off your sunglasses please?

I lift my sunglasses.

Kid: HOLY SHIT I HAVE SEEN YOU ON TV! Look, I don't mean to be weird, but can I have an autograph? I will add it to my collection. This is soooo cool!!!!!

I nod. I pull out one of the post cards for my book. I ask the typical autograph questions and sign it.

Me: Buy my book kid. Great to meet you.

Kid: Thank you! This is amazing! You have no idea!

No kid, you have no idea. You have no idea how many times I have wanted to turn back. How many times I have wondered what the hell I was thinking coming to a city where I knew no one to pursue a pipe dream. How many times I wondered if living in a shoebox and slugging it out treading the poverty line was worth it as my high school chums married, had kids, and had the dream home. You have no idea how many times as a kid I would dream about being so famous someone would ask for my autograph. You have no idea how cool this is for me. And how I will hold onto this moment when the bills come in the mail dragging my white ass back to reality. Yes, this is amazing, and you have no idea.

When I got home of course I spoke to my mother who is organizing my book talk. Also made some web pages for some projects and checked on other things. She said to make a list of all the things I am doing. Also back to musical land. My mom suggested I invite some of my old high school teachers to my book talk. It will be great to see them. Also, it would be great to let them know what I am doing with my life. Mr. Youngs would like to know I wrote a book. Mr. Kuczawa would like to know about some of the things I am doing with music, such as writing a musical. Dave Cable would like to know I am working as an on camera host again. Perhaps Mr. Beutzow and Mrs. Nogar will turn out. And I know the spirits of Mr. Teitz and Mrs. Reid will also be in attendance.

As I spoke to my mother I realized it had been forever since I had been onstage. All the other projects have distracted me. For as much as I have a love/hate relationship with the art form it's made a lot of what I am doing now possible. I have to start chasing spots again, cause people are chasing me to be a part of their shows.Not to mention I still have a long way to go so it is useless to rest on my laurels.

 Because once upon a time, I was twenty years old standing in Times Square begging people to come see my show. Every once in a great while, I would see someone who is in the position I am these days. I would watch them in awe hoping to be them someday. I would hope to get a look from that established comedian as I endured hours of torment from passerbys with a life just for five minutes onstage. Sometimes they were nice, sometimes they were jerks. I hoped in my heart I would be one of them though. Part of me knew my hard work would pay off, but there was always that tinge of doubt. As I thought of signing my chicken scratch for that kid, I remembered how hard I worked and continue to work. I remembered how scary it was to leave home and go for it. I remember thinking how cool it would be to have an autograph seeker. I'm not worried. I know my financials will catch up one day.

Just as the memory flashed through my mind, I made myself some dinner. In contrast to the nourishing food I grew up with, it was the vodka sauce, random lunch meat, and cheese recipe I came up with on a whim. Then I realized that I had forgotten how to cook.

Sigh, you can't have everything.

I Came, I Saw, I Sang: Memoirs of a Singing Telegram Delivery Girl

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