Sunday, June 30, 2013

Fighting Back

A few weeks ago, I was minding my own business on the street in Manhattan. It was the day before I was to be published in the Huffington Post. Things were going well. That is, when I was approached by a man I knew in passing. We began talking and the next thing I knew he grabbed my hand. His grip was hard, iron clad. I asked him to let my hand go and he said no. I repeatedly asked him until I yanked it out.

I was alarmed. I never realized this acquaintance was such a sick fuck. As a young person, and I have written about this, I experienced a violent relationship with a former fiancé. One thing about me is that I don't take any kind of bullying-especially bullying from a man-lying down. So just when I didn't think it could get worse it did. The idiot asked me if I could have a hug. I told him no. And then he had the nerve to ask me why. That is when I cursed him out. I was so angry and scared that I didn't know what he was going to do next. But this idiot wasn't going to take advantage of me. So I stomped on his foot, spit on him, and ran in the other direction. For the rest of the day I was so angry. I was angry some sick man thought he could take advantage of me because I was a woman who wasn't all that big. I was angry that for as bright and accomplished as I was, and as many women are, we still are treated like second class citizens on the street. I was angry that in a world where women supposedly have equal rights we are still victims to sadists who feel this behavior is appropriate.

Later, I found out this idiot had a history of doing this to women. Many of these women either got upset and changed their routine as not to see this creep, or they just felt uncomfortable and sick. They told me I was a "hero." Still, the whole experience left me shaken. I wanted to believe so badly sexism was dead, but unfortunately the beast is alive and well.

I am writing this because had I not known self-defense I would have been a victim. While women's rights have come a long way, unfortunately we are still moving targets on the street. There are men who still prey on us. This is why we need to fight back.

I am writing this blog to encourage all women to take self-defense. Take it at your local YMCA or karate school. Not only is it a good workout, but it also centers you and is a great way to express anger management. The common misconception about self-defense is that it teaches you to be a hot head. The first thing any self-defense instructor will tell you is that a truly brave person avoids conflict, and fights when they have no other option.

Yesterday Aries, the assistant, spoke of a champion MMA fighter who had come out of an abusive marriage and trained with him. Having no money, she cleaned mats at his gym. But she trained and said she would never let that happen to her again. It gave me hope not just after my little scuffle, but that I had been doing the right thing by transforming myself from the pathetic person who had endured the bully of a partner I had at twenty-one.

It was the universe's subtle way of letting me know that yes, this was a good thing I was doing for myself and I had to continue to do good things for myself. It also let me know that it was going to be alright. The message self-defense gives women is that they can only be victims if they allow themselves. The message I give anyone regardless of race, color, creed, or gender is that you are only a victim if you allow others to make you so. It also makes me more fearless with my activism. While that is an identity that makes some uncomfortable, it serves to help others.

There are no victims, there are only volunteers.

If my message is too much for some (and when I say some I mean mostly men unfortunately), I am sorry I am not in the comfortable mold called pathetic woman. If my message is too in your face, I am sorry I don't speak like a lady. If you think labeling me as an angry woman for the way I handled that dip shit is appropriate, do it. I will lose no sleep.

I could speak about the issues the world at large has against women. About how the white, hederosexist majority has declared a war against my gender. About how religion in general has declared a war against my gender. But that is for another blog. However, one must always fight back.

That is why I recommend Jeanene and Aries at the UFC Gym. Request their seminar when you can.

xoxoxo
April
I Came, I Saw, I Sang: Memoirs of a Singing Telegram Delivery Girl
Paperback available on Amazon and 877-Buy-Book
E-Book available on Kindle and Nook, also through Brown and NYU Books
Audiobook available on itunes and Audible this Summer
www.youtube.com/aprilthestarr
Portion of proceeds go to Ali Fornay Center

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Feeling Weird

This is a weird time of year for me. A lot happened around this time six years ago that would take a book to get into, so I won't. I feel a mix of emotions. There is a part of me that feels so proud and so serene. And the other half of me feels fucking depressed.

I feel like just staying the fuck in bed and almost did Friday. Hell I slept for thirteen hours between Thursday and Friday. Some of it is I think I have been working a lot. Father's Day weekend I toured the tri-state in between the puppets and telegrams. Plus the telegrams have been keeping me busy. Before that I published in Huff Po, which was cool and was author of the week. And the website is almost up and the audiobook is finished and just needs music. It has been busy and maybe I am just tired.

Tuesday I was recognized by a fan which is crazy. I was walking along when these guys who work at some sound engineer school said hi and the one kid knew me as the puppet girl. I was like, awesome. It started when someone read the name April on my bag and the rest was history. Lots of young guys are putting the moves on me. It's like being in high school again, except this time guys are actually talking to me.
LOLOL

I find myself also with a lot of cool projects which is cool. Okay, my adjectives are so nondescript. One is a TV thing that is in infancy which is cool. Another is a possible piece for a bigger news source. On top of that the audiobook is coming out. Things are cool. On the other hand, none of it might come to anything. There is always this fear of being all and then being nothing at once.

As I struggle my way up the ladder, despite being a minor celebrity in some ways, I find the strike against me because I am not a white guy that looks like a Ken Doll. When I tell this to dudes in comedy they don't understand. I just feel like the white hederosexist male paradigm is standing on my neck. The women are no better. They are quicker to go Tonya Harding. Maybe I am obsessed with gender and gender roles lately, but woman is more than what is outside and inside but my political identity. As I get older, the role of woman in my personal and political life becomes more full. Sorry if it is too much for the world I live in. Sorry if I care about my reproductive rights and my safety when it comes to not being groped. SORRY!

I feel like hiding in some ways. I am not a Ken Doll. I am not a big breasted bimbiotic freakshow who earns her fucking career on her back. I am a hardworking career woman who is alone and pushes a bolder up a hill daily. Of course I get no metal. I am not running around with a bikini and a machine gun. Instead I have my words and they say I whine.

I have no idea what is next for me.

Maybe more comedy stuff. But again, I am kind of exiled from the clubs being a woman making it her own way. Not to mention I am not safe and bake cookies. In addition, I am not the ethnic group of the moment and I don't look like a Ken Doll. And as someone who doesn't live at the all you can eat buffet people don't assume I am funny. Oh and while we are on it I am not an annoying mom comic. So who knows?

Maybe more TV. But I am not a model. I am not going to be in Playboy anytime soon. The only thing America wants to see is some former beauty queen who never had a bad day in her life or some Playboy Model who can't speak but looks pretty. A safe woman for America...

Maybe some acting. But I am not stuck up with a twig up my ass and don't take myself so seriously. Plus I don't look like I am in constant pain.

Maybe more music. Well my radio stuff was an accident. I have cousins and friends who have real skill and my lack of talent is apparent as compared to them. Call it lightning in a bottle. But then again if I shake my ass like every tramp with a music video I too could be a soul train dancer.

Maybe more writing. But I am not a professional victim like most women writers, and I am not a fan of the habitual chauvinism of most male writers.

Who knows? I love when I write these trainwreck blogs.

Anyway, I am going to kick box. Perhaps I need to hit something. The Ken Doll boys are all looks. The model girls would break a nail. The female writers would write essays speaking victimese. The actors would cry. The comedians would make a bit. But in the end fuck them all. I can win a street
fight.

xoxoxo
April
I Came, I Saw, I Sang: Memoirs of a Singing Telegram Delivery Girl
Paperback available on Amazon and 877-Buy-Book
E-Book available on Kindle and Nook, also through Brown and NYU Books
Audiobook available on itunes and Audible this Summer
www.youtube.com/aprilthestarr
Portion of proceeds go to Ali Fornay Center



 

Friday, June 28, 2013

Making My Own Standards

I am an outspoken woman. I am a political activist in addition to everything else I do. I seek to end bullying, homophobia, and domestic violence. I seek to also end violence against women. I seek to end hate of any kind. I seek to change the world. I seek to end all wrongs. Every sentence starts with "I" which means yes, there is much ego to all my causes. I seek also to get rights for those suffering from HIV and those who are marginalized such as drug addicts. Yes, I believe addiction is a disease naysayers. Science proves my point.

So what I am saying dudes is, sorry, won't be making you a sandwich anytime soon. Won't be joining you and your boys for a poker night. Won't be the decoration on your arm that doesn't talk that you will get to fuck later. Sorry fellas, I have better things to do than be your maid that doubles as your whore.

It amazes me how despite the advances women have made sexism is alive and well. Whether it is the men who seek to redefine rape because of a selfish pro-life agenda, or whether it is the women who back them just to belong to the so called boys club. Or sometimes it is guys saying women take things too personally, such as a remark about sexual assault or music where violence against women is glorified. The members of this boys club say when women get offended, they lose their power. However, when we sit back and let this speech occur, we find ourselves as victims and wonder why and how this happened in the first place. We get upset when Chris Brown hits Rihanna, yet when rappers speak about "smacking a ho" they make millions of dollars a minute.

I was told when I started comedy that being a woman was a strike against me. I never believed it until I saw some television time. The first to say it wasn't fair that I was getting ahead were the so called guys who had been what I now loosely term as friends. According to them, I was sleeping around to advance my career. They said it was wrong I was getting the television time I was. There were women who also took joy in ripping me down. It hurt, but it was pathetic on their part because they wanted to establish themselves as members of the club that badly. Either way, I never realized what a detriment it was to be born a woman until I walked into a club and was bumped my several (male) headliners just because they could. I have never gotten over the sting. While I have not left comedy per se, we have been strange bedfellows for a while. Sure, they can't ban me but in many ways I have been exiled for doing my business the way I do. However, ironically, if I were a man I would be a genius and a folk hero.

The same double standard exists within the ventriloquist community. I remember being badmouthed on several message boards by white, Christian, older, men who claimed I was abusing their art form to further my career. They believed trash printed by those who hated me on a tabloid. Of course one woman came on as sort of an apologist in my court but she was quickly ripped down by the majority. Several of these so called Christians have been vocal about me not being welcome at the ventriloquist events. Granted, I don't think my puppets would be welcome. One is gay. Another is a former drug addict turned Christian who tried to kill her boyfriend and won't repent. Another is a slut. Of course there is the Christian puppet in my collection that was successful in killing her husband. Another is a drunk. The list goes on. Maybe they aren't Godly puppets, but however, they prove a bigger point. The point is that addicts deserve compassion like anyone else, and sluts and gays are a member of our world. Actually slut is a terrible word that seeks to marginalize women. I prefer the word sexually free.

Same in the writing world. Because I do not speak the same victimese many women memoir writers do, I am not welcome on many a women's panel. I do not let the terrible things that have happened in my life define me, that would give the male world the freedom to knock me down. I also find that because I do not wallow in the low self-worth many women writers do, I find I have no support behind them. Fine, I don't write about feelings or the stupidity of emotion. At the same time, I have had many male writers put me in my so called place for the way I published by book. Apparently this makes me less of a writer. Last time I checked Mensa never endorsed their books. Last time I checked they weren't in the collection of any Ivy League Schools. So I suppose this makes me the odd one out at dinner, the guest no one invited on the list that accidentally showed up because she saw the flier for the party.

When I directed my music video for "Stay" I based the character I played not only off the libel written about me, but also off of Calypso the Cave Witch. She was the demi-goddess who had imprisoned Odysseus in her cave to be her lover forever, until Zeus demanded he be released. I loved Calypso because not enough was written about her, but also because she seduced and spit out men at her leisure. Helen of Troy, the great beauty of the time, was one who had men fighting over her. Calypso never saw the need. It was just business. Time to move on. Would she be considered a slut? Hell if I no. Either way, the character is based off of her. Everyone who has seen the video loves it, male and female.

As a woman why should I not give myself the place of power and purposefulness in my work regardless of the medium? When I write songs, why should they have to be begging some man to stay? When I do comedy, why should I whine about wanting a man or how they treat me? When I write, why should I whine about wanting a husband? Why should I whine? Why should I put myself in the place of subservient victim? Why should I not come out from a place of strength and power?

This may turn some off to my work because they do not like me as a person or my so called agenda. That is fine. I might offend some. That is fine. I might not fit into the little mold called woman. That is fine. I might not have my career handed to me like those who follow the rules. Even better, I shatter your boxes and refuse to follow your rules.

I have gotten as far as I have without the help of any man or woman. Perhaps it is some greater power that wants me to succeed. Or maybe not. Either way, if you like me support me. If not, good luck to you and go fuck yourself. I am making my own standards and am changing the world.


xoxoxo
April
I Came, I Saw, I Sang: Memoirs of a Singing Telegram Delivery Girl
Paperback available on Amazon and 877-Buy-Book
E-Book available on Kindle and Nook, also through Brown and NYU Books
Audiobook available on itunes and Audible this Summer
www.youtube.com/aprilthestarr
Portion of proceeds go to Ali Fornay Center




Thursday, June 27, 2013

Weiner Whack

Yesterday I was part of the festivities when DOMA was lifted. Celebrating that our world was changing for the better, I was doing some political activism. Yesterday, I was canvassing for Yetta Kurland. Unlike many of her opponents, Yetta is a true Progressive on the Democratic ticket. She cares not only about the LGBTQ Community but also women. She fights for women's rights whether it comes to our right to choose or equal pay for equal work regardless of gender. Not to mention Yetta campaigns for animal rights and I loooovvvveee the people working on her campaign. And she is a friend of my friend Carlos Valentin who by the way is a fabulous director. So yes, I am on Team Yetta.Oh and she accepted my friend request on facebook and tweeted back at me. Team Yetta it is!

TEAM YETTA!!!!!!!


Anyway, I was minding my own business canvassing. I got hugs from strangers and people were being really nice to each other. Even when people didn't want to sign the petition they were nice. It's because they had signed fifty others or they were too busy on their way to make out now that they could get married. That is when I saw some action.

They was some chatter. I look over and there he is, Anthony Weiner. Yes, he was the politician who showed his pee pee to that girl. He was disgraced. He had to resign. His wife was four months pregnant. It was all bad. And then he was replaced by a Republican (YUCK!) But nonetheless he was still a good candidate and a good politician. Before the arrival of Mr. Weiner, no pun intended, I had been talking to his canvassers and they said that they got to meet him and he was mucho coolio. So as he was running around I decided to snap a pic with him.

Anthony Weiner and I on the historic day DOMA was lifted

I figure yes his last name is ironic. Yes he is a Democrat reminiscent of Bill Clinton in some ways. On the other hand he cares about working people, the middle class, families, LGBTQ People, and women. Especially women, but that is in a different way-couldn't resist, sorry. On the other hand his heart is in a good place. Now hopefully he keeps it in his pants cause voters are stoopid. Sigh McSigh Sigh

xoxoxo
April
I Came, I Saw, I Sang: Memoirs of a Singing Telegram Delivery Girl
Paperback available on Amazon and 877-Buy-Book
E-Book available on Kindle and Nook, also through Brown and NYU Books
Audiobook available on itunes and Audible this Summer
www.youtube.com/aprilthestarr
Portion of proceeds go to Ali Fornay Center




Wednesday, June 26, 2013

A Blessed Day

Today the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) has been lifted. This is a blessed day because marriage is no longer federally characterized by the hederonormative man and woman. Now it can be man and man, woman and woman, as well as man and woman. We can all shop with the kiddies at Cotsco. We can all register at Bloomingdales. We can all be a part of.

The camp who says LGBT people shouldn't marry had more holes in their logic than a piece of Swiss Cheese. A gay marriage will not alter the definition of your straight marriage, now everyone will be married and get equal benefits under the law. No straight couple is any less married because gays get married. Also, then there is the how will I explain this to my kiddies? Answer, men can marry men, and women can marry women. As for the homosexual couples influencing children and flaunting their identities, straight couples hold hands and have bombarded Disney for years. And then the churches yelling and screaming that they will have to hold gay weddings. Well don't worry, the gays don't want to get married in your backward assed churches. They want to get married in churches that welcome and tolerate them and all people. Not to mention gay couples have adopted and raised children in monogamous relationships for years. And they pay taxes. Give them equal protection under the law.

Today love has won out and hate has been defeated. Love erodes at the patriarchy, the white hederosexual male normative that has oppressed many for years. Today that is gone and what replaces it is the principal of tolerance. Martin Luther King, JR spoke of judging a man not by the color of their skin but by the content of their character in his time. Now in my time, his daughter, before she passed away, campaigned for gay rights because she believed all people regardless of their orientation deserved rights in the spirit of her late father.

Now lastly, to all couples regardless of your orientation this is what I will say. Respect yourself and each other. Be who you are as honestly and openly and as healthily as you can, while you join forces. Understand each other's differences and make them bring you closer together as people rather than letting them tear you apart. And the things you have in common, let them bring you closer together. Use disagreements as an excuse to learn more about each other as well as yourselves. Have each other's back against the world. In any discord remember love conquers all. Now much happiness on your continued journey together.

xoxoxo
April
I Came, I Saw, I Sang: Memoirs of a Singing Telegram Delivery Girl
Paperback available on Amazon and 877-Buy-Book
E-Book available on Kindle and Nook, also through Brown and NYU Books
Audiobook available on itunes and Audible this Summer
www.youtube.com/aprilthestarr
Portion of proceeds go to Ali Fornay Center

Monday, June 24, 2013

Air Conditioning

I finally have gotten off my ass and installed my air conditioning. After a whole weekend of procrastinating on every task ever, I decided it was time. I am hardly lazy, but the bug does bite me occasionally. I think it is because I work as hard as I do in this man's world without the evidence of tangible reward from time to time. I feel I am a slave to my gender from time to time as I get ahead and no one helps me. Guys want to see me as a sex object. Women want to be catty and jealous. I get tired of the rat race sometimes. There are occasions when I want to be homeless. Maybe live under a bridge where no one can find me.

As I was having this paranoid flash of memory I remembered all my summers on my own in NYC. I didn't have air conditioning for my first few years. It was hell. I managed though because that is what you must do, soldier on. I kept my underwear in the freezer which made some interesting finds for my roommates. I also would date dudes who had air conditioning. Truth, I really didn't like them. However, I liked their air conditioning. My friend Joe D cooked for me and we would watch gay movies. It was an excuse to sleep over cause he had air conditioning. And then Derek and Fernando had air conditioning, too. So yes, air conditioning all the way!

Being air conditionless hold a special place in my heart. In the summer of 2010 I wrote my book in the sweltering heat. I knew I had to. I sweated like a pig and drank plenty of water. Sometimes I even decided to write naked if I was home alone. From time to time the heat was so intense my computer would crash, and the keyboard was hot to the touch. But I cranked out the first draft of I Came, I Saw, I Sang.

Finally in 2011 I was living on my own for the first time ever. I decided in the spirit of the fact that things were beginning to happen with my career, my puppet children and I only deserved the best. So I decided to spring for air conditioning. I went to the store, ordered it, and a little Mexican dude named Paco delivered it to my house. He was nice and I tipped him five dollars. Afterwards, I was clueless as how to install it. I decided to keep it on my floor and was surprised when it created a flood on my floor. My guy friends offered to help me install it but I was like nah, I got this. It wasn't that I didn't appreciate the help. As a woman on her own, I have learned how to do things without the help of men. So I installed this all by myself. I felt liberated, independent, and like I was entering a new era of self. It was a breath of cool air against the heat and pressure called my life. Not only did I have air conditioning, but I didn't need the help of a man to install it.

This elevated me to a whole new plateau. I was more self-sufficient. My early twenties had been spent chasing men who didn't want to chase me back. It had been spent chasing dreams that were finally starting to come true after sacrifice and watching my friends in the suburbs marry and pop out babies at an astounding rate. I wasn't some desperate waif who needed to be loved and was lucky if people gave her a break. Fuck that. I was a strong, independent woman and I had puppets.

Oh and then I had a back ache from installing the air conditioner on my own and had to lay down for two days.

So yes, now I have air conditioning. I was slow to install it this year because Mother Nature had been cray cray. It was so cold at the beginning of June I thought it was going to snow. But after procrastinating this weekend I figured perhaps the cool air would invigorate me. After all, I write for the Huffington Post. I am part of NYU and Brown Bookstore. Britney Spears and Mensa plugged my book. My new May is purrrffffeeeccct. I only deserve the best. And damn it, that means air conditioning!

xoxoxo
April
I Came, I Saw, I Sang: Memoirs of a Singing Telegram Delivery Girl
Paperback available on Amazon and 877-Buy-Book
E-Book available on Kindle and Nook, also through Brown and NYU Books
Audiobook available on itunes and Audible this Summer
www.youtube.com/aprilthestarr
Portion of proceeds go to Ali Fornay Center

Sunday, June 23, 2013

All Apologies (Nirvana)



A few days ago I wrote a blog post about how I not only had been in an abusive relationship, but also survived and turned my life around. I didn’t do this to speak the victimese many writers and women’s activists do, but rather to make myself visible to a young woman, any young woman, who needed to hear that it was possible to have a life after dating violence. That they didn’t deserve to be belittled by anyone, man or woman (domestic violence happens in lesbian relationships as well). My reason for telling my story was to let people know that they were responsible for how they let others treat them. That also, we pick our partners, etc.

In my journey as an activist, I have gotten lots of responses in my sharing about my past as a dating violence survivor. The comedy has gotten laughs, which is the goal. But also, it has made me visible. It has gotten other young women to speak to me about their experiences. Of course there have been the gamut of male bookers who have accused me of being bitter. I laugh and give a shout out to the good dudes. How does that make me bitter? Of course there are those insistent that because I speak out on behalf of women I am either a man hater or a lesbian, or a lesbian man hater. Contrary to what those Neanderthals believe, most lesbians don’t hate men. It’s those of us forced to date them that despise them most. Finally there are those dudes who say, “Get over it.” Translated, I struck a nerve. Believe it or not that is the goal of every activist. So when I hear, “Get over it,” I know someone was made to look at his own behavior and didn’t like it. Note, never in any of my exchanges do I say I hate men. This is just a classic example of uninformed idiots putting words in the mouth of a woman with opinions.

The disturbing response I got this week was from some rando who felt the need to hijack my fan page. He told me I made some “accusations” against my ex, and technically if I could not back this up he could sue me for libel. And that I better play it safe and take the blog down and never again blog about my experience. Wait a minute…Why do I have to stand accused? Why do I have to prove my ex did these terrible things to me? Why are they even being called accusations? Oh and here is the best part, I didn’t use his name. So there is no law suit. I am a lawyer’s kid, I know about the law. This moron, on the other hand, was just a man who wanted to hear himself talk.

This feedback in particular upset me because I have no reason to lie about surviving dating violence. I have no pathological reason to make up a story about being stalked unless I am just that desperate to get back at him which I am not. I am also not that desperate for attention. A stalker is not a fiend of convience let me tell you. If anything, they threaten your safety to the point you have to change your routine. An abusive ex is not something you make up either. Instead, when you are with them you make up excuses about why you continue to stay and feed into the codependent cycle you have created together. Yes, a shit relationship is not an I project but a we project.

 That is not what made me most pissed. What a comment like this does as it not just puts me in a place that I have to be an apologist but it does this to all victims. It puts us in a place where we are standing with our backs against the wall and the proverbial gun to our heads. It puts us in a place of blame. Then when we dare speak out it makes us as if we are the architects of our misery. Of course it is basically telling us that we are bitter. Bitter is the wrong word. We are honest. It tells us we are at fault. Yes, we picked our partners. Yes, we chose to stay whether it was eight months or eight years. But eventually we chose to leave.

What was most outrageous, aside from the fact this obvious chauvinist put me in a place where I had to defend myself, was he suggested I take the blog down as not to cause anymore trouble. I endured a year of hell and two more years of a stalker who terrorized me, stalked me by-proxy, and harassed the men I dated. I invested in a separate mailing address just to keep myself safe. My mother had his name on the refrigerator in case I disappeared. Even during the stalking I was nothing but a lady. I didn’t respond to the behavior. While I didn’t feed into him, it killed me inside. Despite the fact he was a master manipulator, I did love the man at one point. So yes I have been to hell thank you very much!

I thought about ripping into that moron for his feedback about my “accusations,” as if I were making them up. For putting me on trial, as if I would be breaking my ass doing all the activism I do because apparently I just have mental problems, the ability to lie, and too much time on my hands. Of course then there is my activism, I only do that because I have nothing else to do as well and just want something to whine about. So I guess what I have really wasted page space saying was, “Go to hell, asshole.”

I thought about how to rip up this idiot with nothing to say. But instead I blocked him. So I will say this. I will speak out when it comes to violence against women. On the matter of dating violence, I will continue to tell people about the psychological and physical dangers. In addition, I will also continue to speak out on behalf of stalking victims and the enforcement of stalking laws. As well, I will continue to champion victim’s rights because they have none. I will also continue to be open, honest, and willing to be visible.  Yes, if you haven’t figured it out I will continue….

I am sorry if my identity causes some people discomfort. I am sorry if some men don’t like the fact I came through hell at the hands of one of their own and am doing amazingly well as a feminist and independent woman. I am sorry if some women who have been married to the only man I ever dated forever think I just need to lighten up. I am sorry my presence is such an abhoration to some people. I am sorry that I have been successful despite the fact so many people wrote me off because some guy was busy beating my head in. I am sorry….

But on that note if this is the way you feel please do not watch me on TV, I am afraid I will turn to stone. Please don’t buy my books, I don’t need your money laced with prejudice and sexism. While you are at it, please don’t support me in any way. Really, many more who want to support me will. Many more who need to see me and hear me will. I don’t need you, so please don’t….

I said my peace. Some will agree. Some will disagree. At the end of the day not much has changed since Amelia Earhardt. How incredibly sad….
 
xoxoxo
April
I Came, I Saw, I Sang: Memoirs of a Singing Telegram Delivery Girl
Paperback available on Amazon and 877-Buy-Book
E-Book available on Kindle and Nook, also through Brown and NYU Books
Audiobook available on itunes and Audible this Summer
www.youtube.com/aprilthestarr
Portion of proceeds go to Ali Fornay Center

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Boys of Summer (Don Henley)


Yesterday I was walking by Hudson River Park. It had been a long week. Sunday I had one gig in Port Jeff and one gig in Yonkers all in the same day. Monday it was web stuff and more book stuff. Tuesday it was not one but two telegrams and then of course picking up my audiobook. Wednesday it was more telegram deliveries. Thursday was being Paris Hilton and hearing some of my book. Friday I had to track down my new May because the Post Office lost her. I ended up finding her but still, it was stressful.

Anyway, I was walking by the boardwalk and decided to just try to see if I could balance on those side thingies, you know. That is when this dude who is running breezes by and slaps me a high five. Okay, it’s summer. Whatever. It’s finally warm. People are in a decent mood. I jumped down from the thingie and proceeded to continue.

As I continued I saw this gaggle of young men swarm by on skateboards. As they came upon me, they began to hoot and holler. Swarming around me, they each slapped me a high five. What the hell was going on? “Yo, wassup!” The blonde one said.

“Wassup?!?” The black one said. While times have changed, most skateboarders in my day were white stoner kids.

“You’re hot.” A third one said. They all had black shirts on with the name of some sort of skate shop. I began to wonder what the hell was going on. This day was indeed very strange in sort of that dream sequence kind of way.

That is when the black skater said, “Yo, will you say something for our camera?”

“What are you filming?” I asked unsure of what was going on.

“Oh Shreddy TV. That is our network.” The black skater dude answered. He seemed to be the brains of the operations. “Say you are with Justin Adams.”

“Who’s Justin Adams?” I asked now very confused.

“I am.” The guy standing next to me explained. He looked to be ethnically ambiguous and was slightly taller than I was. Nonetheless, he was good looking. His arm was wrapped in a cast in an ace bandage.

“Nice to meet you,” I said going to shake his hand.

“Easy. Just broke the thing.” Justin explained.

“So I say, ‘This is Shreddy TV and I am here with Justin Adams?” I asked.

“Nah, just say this is Shreddy TV. That will be easier.” The black skater with the camera commanded.

“Okay.” I said. And that is when I gave the line. Afterwards they asked me to pose for a picture. And then they thanked me.

“Thanks so much, you are so cool.” The blonde white skater said.

“Hey, anything for random guys I meet at the pier.” I replied still confused as to what actually happened and how this thing just transpired out of no where.

“So you’re Justin.” I said turning to Justin not sure of what to say.

“Yes he is, and that is a pro you are standing next to.” The blonde explained. “And we are Shreddy TV. We all like the page on facebook. Friend us.”

Just as he boys sped off Justin hung back and chatted with me for a few more minutes.

This is how the exchange went

Justin: We should hang sometime. I have a sweet assed loft in Brooklyn.

Me: Okay.

Justin: You’re mad hot.

Me: Thanks.

Justin: Do you smoke weed?

Me: No.

Justin: Do you drink? There are a shitload of good bars in my hood.

Me: Not a drinker either.

Justin: What do you do?

Me: Chill and have fun.

Justin: I can chill and have fun.

Me: Fair enough. What’s your sign?

Justin: Virgo.

Me: Libra

Justin: Right on. Lets exchange numbers. Are you a West Side Girl?

Me: Yes sir.

We exchanged numbers and that is when his skater posse beckoned for him. There was more hot wheeling to be done. Just as I was about to cross the street to go home I came across the runner who high fived me once again. He approached me and said, “Hello Beautiful, we meet again.” That is when he took my hand and kissed it. I stood in shock. What the hell had just happened? I asked myself this. I bid him goodbye and a good night because what exactly do you do when you have had an evening like this.

That is when I determined that yes, there are only some things that can happen to me.
xoxoxo
April
I Came, I Saw, I Sang: Memoirs of a Singing Telegram Delivery Girl
Paperback available on Amazon and 877-Buy-Book
E-Book available on Kindle and Nook, also through Brown and NYU Books
Audiobook available on itunes and Audible this Summer
www.youtube.com/aprilthestarr
Portion of proceeds go to Ali Fornay Center

Friday, June 21, 2013

Accidental Grammar Lesson

It's the summer where young guys are out and they think they are smooth. I would say it is the young black and Latino lads, but the not legal white dudes are pretty bold themselves. So here is starts. I am running and have my ear phones on and I see these two kids who are Latino. They could be no more than fifteen. They have their pants sagging and one has a rosary around his neck. I don't take notice because they are both fifty pounds soaking wet and only starting puberty. This is how the convo started.

One says something to me. I take my headphones off. Maybe he is lost.

Me: Excuse me?

Muchacho 1: How old are you?

Okay, he is clearly lost. He is trying to lower his voice and that is the worst pick up line ever! The last time I heard that was when I was 14-15.

Me: Old enough to be your mother.

Muchacho 2: Man, you don't look that old.

Me: Well how old are you? Fifteen.

Muchacho 1: Twenty.

Me: You look like you are fifteen. Let's see some ID.

Muchacho 1: I don't have ID.

Me: Then you are fifteen. I better end this conversation before I go to jail.

Muchacho 1: Miss, we not in Middle School.

Me: Excuse me?

Muchacho 1: Middle school is fifteen. We not in Middle School.

Me: Well since you either failed Middle School or are probably there, if you got anything out of the experience you would know the sentence is, "We are not in middle school."

They both stare at me dumbfounded. I am hardly a grammar Nazi but this is bad even for Ebonics.

Me: Yes, the sentence is we are not in middle school which means you need to maybe go back.

Muchacho 2: We are not in middle school. That sounds correct. I like that. Yeah, we are not in middle school.

So maybe I was able to help someone with their grammar. Perhaps one day this young man will get his GED and stay out of jail.

Muchacho 1: Miss, same thing. We not in middle school.

That is when I say goodbye. I will let these two Muchachos disappoint a woman their own age. Sigh men lie all the time and I would call them dogs. But a dog will never leave you for a prettier owner. And no matter how old they are, they think they are absolutely the cats meow and they think their wand is magic. However, they are funny as hell and never cease to make me smile.

xoxoxo
April
I Came, I Saw, I Sang: Memoirs of a Singing Telegram Delivery Girl
Paperback available on Amazon and 877-Buy-Book
E-Book available on Kindle and Nook, also through Brown and NYU Books
Audiobook available on itunes and Audible this Summer
www.youtube.com/aprilthestarr
Portion of proceeds go to Ali Fornay Center

Thursday, June 20, 2013

The Procedure: A Successful Operation

Last Friday I saw a new play, a good play. Whenever one sees a new work it is always a gamble. The Procedure, a new and exciting work by Marcus Yi, was mounted at the Gene Frankel Theatre. Nestled in the East Village, Gene Frankel and his vision gave birth to ensemble pieces and experimental agit prop theatre with a message. These pieces were well crafted and in a creative way said to society, something is wrong. The Procedure as a piece not only follows that tradition, but honors it, addressing both racism, homophobia, and the subtle xenophobia that still infects America.
The play opens with the main character, Adrian, making a flag of Singapore talking to his mother. He is a man living the American dream. He is from Asia, and he has gone to law school and become successful. However, there is one thing that is a strike against him in our society, he is gay. Adrian is speaking to his mother, who reveals his sister is getting married in Singapore.  Excited, Adrian wants to bring his partner and soon to be husband Jacob. Adrian’s mother explains that while Jacob may come, he cannot sit at the family table and must be present as his “friend.” Then he challenges his mother, who has gray hair and has been going on a hyper diatribe about how she will not eat Asian food not prepared by Asians, about whether or not she accepts her son’s homosexuality.

Stephen Thornton in a promo shot for The Procedure

That is when the fourth wall is broken and the mother speaks. Fenny Novyane, the actress, who plays the mother, reveals depth in this monologue. As the mother, on the surface she is portrayed as an old world eccentric on the surface. However, with the expert acting of Ms. Novyane, it is revealed she has more depth. A deeply religious woman, she reveals she loves her son yet struggles with his homosexuality. During a beach accident she says God rescued her and promised her a son. She dedicated her first son to God and then Adrian revealed he was gay. While she loves her son, she is entirely unsure of what to do when it comes to presenting his sexuality due to her old world point of view. Some of it is the mother protector role, and some of it is the world she came from where she feels she failed Adrian in some way. This creates one layer of discomfort that will continue the entire play which leads the audience members to question what they believe.
A minute later the fourth wall is broken once again and we meet Adrian on a deeper level. Played by Stephen Thorton, Adrian goes from the initial quiet nerd who seems dismissively moody to someone who also has considerably more dimension. Adrian explains he always knew he was gay since he was a child, and often masqueraded in his mother’s clothing. His mother, in denial, dismissed this. Adrian doesn’t understand why she is surprised and bothered by this when it seemed obvious. While it is clear he loves his mother, there is tension between the two in regards to his sexuality as well as identity. This is because Adrian believes that he was born gay, whereas her mother believes it was a parenting mistake. With this opening, the audience is introduced to the experience of being the ultimate outsider in America: Gay and an immigrant. Again, one is left wondering, why the prejudice? What is the truth? What about the American dream?
Next we see Adrian and his new husband Jacob in the office to get their marriage license and undergo questioning to make sure the marriage is legitimate due to Adrian’s immigration status. In contrast to Adrian who is rather rigid at times, Jacob is more straightforward and relaxed. A Native New Yorker, he is the second half to this new union. Right away, the relationship is clear as the two bicker at times like a traditional hederonormative husband and wife. Reynaldo Rivera, the actor portraying Jacob, also gives the character significant depth. While Jacob loves Adrian, he is somewhat obtuse and oblivious to the needs and feelings of his partner. This is not intentional because he is cold hearted, but rather because their experiences are different. The two men are interrogated by an agent portrayed by Lauren Gralton, who does not mask her ever present homophobia by asking inappropriate yet probing questions such as, “Which one is the husband and which one is the wife?” Both spouses stumble over oblivious questions such as which one keeps their toothbrush where. Adrian is questioned by the female agent. Jacob the male (Richard Glucksberg). Finally they are able to get their marriage license, however the issue is with Adrian being an immigrant. He is told that yes, they will be able to get the license. However, Adrian has to get a microchip implanted under his eye, hence “The Procedure.”
After this we see the first of many vignettes. In these star actors Lauren Gralton, Richard Glucksberg, and Shubhra Prakash. In each of these vignettes, the actors advertise the microchips. While these vignettes, which continue until the end of the show, are hysterical, they also evoke the agit prop element of the piece. In each mini-commercial, the microchip user is promised things such as better hair, a better sex life, etc. These are a harsh, funny, yet frankly honest take on the moronic consumer culture that is America mixed with the xenophobia and prejudice that is acceptable.
The couple being grilled

In the next scene it is revealed Adrian and Jacob have other issues in their relationship. While Jacob loves Adrian, he doesn’t understand his husband’s pain. Adrian does not want the microchip implant and feels this is inhuman. He has a point. He works, pays taxes, and has made a home in America. Jacob, on the other hand, is less than supportive. While he loves his husband, he wants him to get the implant so they can be together and won’t be deported. However, in his quest to make their life together he does not understand why Adrian objects. Then it is revealed Adrian feels like an outsider due to his coming to America as an immigrant. This can be seen when Adrian invites Jacob to meet a friend of his from Singapore. Jacob explains that he “cannot understand” Adrian’s friends from Singapore by the way they talk. Adrian points out Jacob understands him, and then corrects Adrian for saying Ikea wrong. Despite Jacob’s devotion, there is a serious disconnect between the two men. It is revealed during a dinner with friends Jacob and a Korean American girl knew the theme song to an American TV show, and Adrian did not. While Jacob does care about his husband, it is clear there is tension in the relationship because he does not identify. This is when Adrian first proposes to Jacob they move back to Singapore. Jacob is horrified.
Adrian then gives a heart wrenching monologue about coming to America and feeling apart from as opposed to a part of. He explains that because he was from Singapore, he was the only Asian like himself. Adrian tells a story about his first day of class and a Vietnamese girl, who he explains he is still friends with asked him, “What are you?” He says very poignantly and matter of factly, “I am a person.” This is a testament to how America, despite being the country many want to flock to, is closed minded, sheltered, and at times bigoted the way it labels people. As a nation, most unfortunately, America has a label for someone or something not white and male. This has been an isolating experience for immigrants over the years, and it is captured masterfully during this scene. That is when Adrian comes up with a solution, he is moving back to Singapore.
In the next scene Adrian is having lunch with his friend Dawn from Singapore, brilliantly portrayed by Shubhara Prakash. In this scene, Prakash steals the show distinguishing herself from the ensemble and shows promise as an actress, and as a theatre fan I cannot wait to see where she goes next. She is funny, on the mark, and brutally honest as she shoots down Adrian’s delusions of a better life in his home country. Dawn explains that while Adrian would always be welcome in Singapore, he would have to stay in the closet because being homosexual is not accepted in that culture. This creates more tension for the viewers. Yes, while Adrian is experiencing homophobia, racism, and xenophobia in America, he is more free to be who he is. On the other hand, if he returned to Singapore, he would have to live a lie.
So he decides to get the microchip implanted. This is after pressure mounts from Jacob and his mother who tells him a disturbing yet on the mark story about conformity. Going to a free clinic, Adrian sits next to a blonde girl named Nadine (Lauren Gralton) who announces she is there for her fourth abortion. Funny and cheeky as the dumb blonde, the character is also appropriate for an agit prop piece as she serves as a message that birth control should be more readily available. At first Adrian is horrified as this young woman violates his psyche with disgusting jokes and comments, but then mentions she is protesting the microchip operations with her friends in DC. Adrian’s ears begin to perk up. Now he has an option, the option that every American dreams of, for their voice to be heard.
The next scene is Adrian getting ready for The Procedure. The Doctor (Richard Glucksberg) is frightening, almost evocative of A Clockwork Orange. He explains that they must get Adrian ready for the micropchip implant also known as the “The Procedure.” While the doctor gets ready, Adrian has a disturbing dream sequence and decides that he cannot go through with the operation despite what it will cost him. He now knows having his voice heard is no longer an option, it is the thing he must do in order to be heard. It is what is necessary to say something is wrong.
Adrian and Nadine go to Washington in order to protest “The Procedure.” However, the protest fails as both Nadine and Adrian are arrested. Upset, Jacob goes to the jail where Adrian is being held. Because of his immigration status, he is facing the threat of deportation. During his encounter with Jacob, Adrian, who began the play as clean cut, is now defiant. He informs his husband that the charges are “trumped up.” Due to his status as an immigrant, Adrian is facing deportation. However, Feldman (Richard Glucksberg) informs him that if he gets the implant, he will not be deported and they can fight the charges. Adrian is indignant, however Jacob, despite being distant at times from his husband, does not want to lose the one man he truly loves.
This is followed by a short montage of everyone speaking various messages from the play whether they be his mother, the vignette actors, Jacob, his friend from Singapore and all other characters. That is when Adrian is defeated. The last scene of the play, in an emotional defeat, shows Adrian with a patch over his right eye. Adrian has gotten “The Procedure.” Adrian has sold out. This experience is a showcase to the unfortunate allegory that so many immigrants are forced to endure terrible hardships such as these in order to make it in America. A vision like this shows the American dream has a perverse darkside.
Lastly, I would like to give a special attention to Sonia Nam, who’s attention to detail as an assistant director was on the mark. Each scene and lighting as well as sound choice added to the element that was achieved. Without the effort of good direction this entire piece would not have been conceivable let alone possible. However, this all came together with the brilliant writing and vision of Marcus Yi.

The Procedure is a work of sheer genius. There is no weak link among the cast. The writing is strong, evocative, funny, and truthful. It shows deep down we are all people who unfortunately categorize each other based on our outsides rather than our insides, and give into fear and prejudice when confronted with outside possibility. A true piece of old school agit prop mixed with modern flavor, The Procedure is a must see. 

Adrian losing and submitting the to American Dream/Lie

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Shy

It's amazing how shy I am. People tell me I should be more confident when it comes to guys. Not in this century. Things have gotten slightly better with age. I am able to carry on a full conversation. I don't use liquid courage to tell a man how I feel only to be bitten in the ass again. I don't bring my puppets on dates. But it is hard as a brick of cement for me. Here is a poem about it. 

SHY
When I see you
I want to disappear
As Mindfreak does
Breaking out of the chained box
My chained box
Called woman

Let me show off my mind
What a turn off
Let me show off my love
Of history and literature
That would be another turn off
With a side of rejection

Let me show off my hot body
Like that beef cookie
Talking your ear off
Hanging out of her shirt
When we all know
A bunch of guys railroaded Miss Thing

So what she wore some man’s ring?
I put her down in my mind because it feels better
As she wears a tacky sweater
When really my big bitch
Is that she is brave enough to
Talk to you without tripping over her words

It’s more fun to slut shame
When she only has a face and body
And no name to go with my insults
And she is a scapegoat to my insecurity
Frailty thy name is woman,
Hamlet was wrong

Legally the name is Catty
Legally the name is Insecure
Legally Insane actually
Stamp that
Seal it
I’ll be crying inside if you need me.

How absurd the things girls do
To make a man want us
And how we run to you
When I just can’t
With my feet of led
That just wont move

I want to run into thin air
Disappear and go for a swim
In the polluted East River
I don’t want to drown
Just swim into the Atlantic
When the sharks eat me

I wont have to face you
When you reject me
I wont have to replace you
And come up with a story about how
I put my foot in my ever blessed mouth
Once again like I do every Friday

Of course I could be wrong
Misreading the signals
In my hormonal rush
And your are my crush, crushing
My dreams, self worth, and self esteem
In my crazy head.

You already screwed this up
Cheated with the beef cookie
Dumped me like a load of
Wet laundry and then burned my heart
Making me want to jump into the water
Never to be heard from again.

I already dumped you in my mind
Am prancing fancy in a red convertible
Where I am driving by as a successful
Woman who cannot be touched by the
Sexuality and sensuality you possess
As I hide under my summer dress.

I don’t want to die
Even though this word objectifies me
And puts me in a box
I kind of like myself
And the words I write
My napalm and elixir against the world

I don’t want to die
I am bright and have a lot to say
Even if the men of the world take my voice
Away with one wink of an eye
It’s not just being a basketcase

Welcome to the world of being shy. 

Friday, June 14, 2013

This Girl is on Fire (Alicia Keys)

I have been feeling a lot lately. The career is amazing, almost as if God Himself/Herself/Itsself ascended and gifted it to me. However I am having some deja vu and not in a good way. I have written about this a lot. When I was twenty one I found myself in a relationship with someone who was the textbook definition of a psychopath. He lacked empathy of any sort. Not to mention was verbally, physically, and emotionally abusive. During the course of the relationship I found my safety and well being threatened on several occasions. Not to mention he put everything I did down.

 I wasn't funny according to him, so I started dropping the ball with comedy. I couldn't act according to him, so I began to explore other career paths. Yes, they made me unhappy but it meant I was supporting him. Oh and his friends thought the ventriloquism was stupid and creepy so I gave that up too. He said me or the puppets. I chose him. My ex had been like Prince Charming when we met. It was flowers. It was presents from wherever he could pick them up off the street. Then one day I set him off and blamo. Suddenly this monster reared it's head. We fought. We made up. He promised to change. He never did for very long though. My ex tried to kill himself in front of me not once but twice. Instead of running away I felt sorry for him, and told myself if I stayed maybe he would get help and change. My ex threatened to kill his mother in order to get the insurance money to be with me. Instead of running I tried to get him to do things like get a job, but that never lasted for more than three days. My ex also choked me on one occasion and I nearly blacked out. I arrived to class with strangle marks around my neck and a bullshit story because he promised never to do it again. The list goes on.....

In the end, I can list all the shit things he did to me but I let him. I kept staying hoping it would change. In the end I picked him though. He never made a secret of the fact he was anti-social personality or borderline textbook definition. My ex got a psych discharge from the Navy and from what I gather he may have punched a commanding officer. Truth is, as I said, I picked him. I choose him. Maybe it was being young and stupid, hoping love could fix everything. Maybe it was lack of self-esteem and just wanting a boyfriend. I was all too willing to overlook everything because I was tired of being alone. Even when he shoved it in my face that the only reason I got into NYU was because my parents were "rich" and my dad was a lawyer. I let my whole disaster of a relationship happen, even when he isolated me from my friends and tried to take me away from my family. For as close as I am to my mother, I never let her know what was going on.

When things ended, I had a bunch of bad memories and a different mailing address as not to be found. I did things I thought would make it better. I drank too much and then some. I engaged in other stupid behaviors. I didnt eat cause why? Of course there were the diet pills that made me peppy as shit. I dated ex cons because nice guys were either scared of the fact my ex was totally nuts, or were turned off by the fact I was insane. The ex cons treated me well but they came with complications. Things were crazy, things were wild, but there was no way in hell anyone was ever gonna put a cattle brand on me again.

Then things got bad and I kind of cleaned up my act a tad. I began to talk about my ex in my act. The bits killed. I got on TV some. I wrote a book. I established a hell of a career after living through hell. I was doing okay, right? Not to mention my puppet babies and I became reunited.

Around the time my puppet children and I got on TLC, they highlighted that my ex made me choose between me and my puppets. It was the way it was edited I guess. In interviews I was honest, by ex was sick. I got fan letters from people telling me I made the right decision. When I opened up in interviews, I got fan letters from young women who told me how they had an ex who was similar. Suddenly it occurred to me I had a bigger function, to end dating violence and above all things to end bullying.

I remember one reporter for a magazine in London asked me if I had any photos of me and my ex. I said, "No, he used to hit me. I burned them."

I remember there was a dead silence on the phone ass he whispered, "Sorry." It was almost as if she felt like she put her foot in her mouth by asking. Wasnt her fault though, how was she supposed to know there was more to the story without asking questions?

In my weekly webcasts I would share about my experience as someone who was bullied and someone who had come out of an abusive relationship. My followers rallied around me and I got the sense I was helping people which was cool. I came down like white rice on a paper plate in a snow storm when it came to men who kicked and slapped women around. In a lot of ways I fancied myself a feminine avenger of sorts. My mother had issues with this identity, but I was choosing the activist route by making myself as visible as possible. It was my way of letting young people know they deserved to be treated well regardless of class, gender, sexual orientation, etc. Again, I was okay, right?

A year ago I exploded online in a way I never imagined I would. It was around the Daniel Tosh time. To make a long story short, I found myself fighting online. The people I was fighting with werent enemies or people who hated me, but rather my own friends who were in my corner telling me to get a life. I remember appearing on a friend's radio show where a female caller told me if shit bothered me that much to just change the TV channel or to not purchase his album. She had also mentioned she had been raped once upon a time and was familiar with the angst I was feeling. The truth was, I was far from okay. In my quest to make the world a better place I knew there was a time to scream and shout. Also, there was a time to walk away, but also a time to laugh.

What had happened was in my quest not to be a victim, I had become rather fluent in victimese. In my journey not to make excuses for myself, I had bought into the philosophy of excusology. I was becoming everything I hated when it came to women's rights activist. I have never been a whiner and hate that brand of activism because it paints women as not having a role in their own lives, but rather pawns of a male society. However, I had comfortably set up my tent there.

Around that time I got the opportunity to participate in a campaign about dating violence The campaign was going to have me with two black eyes and other scratch marks on my arms. I remember being repulsed at the thought. This was not the message I wanted to send to young women at all. I remember talking to my mom around that time and she said, "Well he never hit you, right?" And thats when I told her the truth. My mom, who was only known bits and pieces of why her daughter became an angry lunatic around that time said, "I will kill him. If I ever see him, I will kill him." During this phase it began to occur to me the way to make a difference was not to pronounce this identity in an aggressive sense but rather to keep doing well with my life.

That is when I got the fire under my ass to publish my book. Since then I have recorded my audiobook. Oh and my book is a part of the collection at Brown, NYU, and Mensa said it was a Must Read. Britney Spears also plugged me on her website. Huffington Post let me write a piece. Fans write me and want me and my puppets to make videos about them. You know the scoop. The best revenge is to live well.

The ex has also reached out several times in order to make amends, which leads me to believe he is part of a Twelve Step or Group Therapy Program of some sort. Getting the amends has made me less angry about that part in my life. It has also made me accept my part in the scheme of things, whether it was staying or picking fights in order to get a leg up myself. It has also made it easier for me to trust people. I thought about writing him back but my mom said it best, "April, your ex is someone who cannot respect you as a person, and he has shown you who he is. You are a fool to ever speak to him again." My mom was right and everyone around me has echoed the same sentiment. He cannot respect boundaries and has too many issues. I took the healthy step of blocking him. While I did that, at the same time I forgive him. He had a hellacious childhood and didnt know any better. Maybe he has found a Higher Power who is guiding him, giving him relief against his demons. I can only hope and pray God protects others from his anger, but most importantly, God protects him from himself.

In a lot of ways I am grateful I walked this path. Not only did I get my proverbial shit together, but I have served as a guide to others it will be okay. I also know it's alright to be alone, and never at any time do I have to tolerate bullying or harassment from anyone, male or female. I am confident and can stand on my own and dont need anyone to pay my way. Sometimes I am so strong I surprise myself. Then I retreat to my crying corner with my cookie dough like any woman in New York. Okay, I had to put a joke in cause this piece is a little heavy.

At the same time, Rambo is my dream man because we have a lot in common. One is that we live in a world that is not always tailor made for us. People don't always understand what it's like to come out of hell. When I used to explain to people what I had been through I would always get the "Get over it." Or better yet, "Why do you keep provoking your ex?" Yes, I asked to be used as a punching bag! Of course there are the occasions when I want to knock the fucking grill out of Lil Wayne's mouth, or go to the after life and kick Tupac where he really thinks. For the record I wouldn't be a woman, I would be a "bitch" on that occasion. And sometimes I wish like Rambo my dream man I came equipped with a flame thrower and could just torch every half naked Billboard of a woman and every strip club that marginalizes my gender. Or there are those times I have just screamed my head off at some asshole male who pushes me around because I am a woman, and not that big. I feel like screaming at the top of my lungs because this all opens a door and gives men the thumbs up that women are meant to be used, abused, and treated as chattel.

On the flipside, I never get what I want when I go that route. With the rappers, it is all an act. I have a lot of rapper friends as a matter of fact. Plus if I yell and scream it gives Lil Wayne and his woman hating grill more publicity. While Tupac used the term bitch loosely, he also campaigned relentlessly for women. Strip clubs kept me employed as a publicity person once upon a time, and at the root of it they aren't evil people either. The world won't change because I have a bad day. The world won't change because I have issues. It will keep spinning and I have to learn to work with it which means I have to accept it. Yes, whether it is the gender marginalization I feel as a comedian and writer or in general. If I let it upset me too much I just get really angry, explode, and end up making an ass of myself.

However, I can make a change. I can be successful despite the fact comedy favors undeserving, good looking pretty boys from time to time. I can say my talent got me in the door and have staying power as their testosterone driven brand of basement humor dies. I can be grateful I came out of a bad phase of my life, and live every day to it's fullest. I can enjoy my friends and have an open, honest dialogue with my family. I can treat those around me with dignity and respect regardless of who they are. I can share my experience, strength and hope when the door opens for me to do so, making me visible to others who need to see/hear me. I can also speak on behalf of women's rights and vote according at the poles. Most importantly, I can know in my heart I deserve not only to be happy but to be treated well. Oh and I can keep my sanity without looking like a damn fool.

The other day I was on the train when two idiots who were seventeen were talking and referred to a girl they wanted to "bone" as a "thorough bread." There was a part of me that wanted to smack these two assholes to whatever shithole they came from and whatever thing bore them. Then I stopped myself. While I am tiny and it would have been funny as hell, these two morons were not worth a felony charge. Plus the tombs are not air conditioned in the summer. Plus if they spoke this way about women, one of two things was going to happen:

1. Some girl there own age would slap them. That is after they took her to McDonalds and made her pay.

2. They probably had no women and their only hope for love was living on their right hand and her name was Palmala Han Solo. She's Thai I suppose.

So yeah, I just have to keep moving and can't let the past cripple me. Yesterday is history. Tomorrow is a mystery. Today is the present because it is a gift.

xoxoxo
April
I Came, I Saw, I Sang: Memoirs of a Singing Telegram Delivery Girl
Paperback available on Amazon and 877-Buy-Book
E-Book available on Kindle and Nook, also through Brown and NYU Books
Audiobook available on itunes and Audible this Summer
www.youtube.com/aprilthestarr
Portion of proceeds go to Ali Fornay Center