Saturday, August 30, 2014

Up To Now.....

When I was 21, I was exiting out of a horrific relationship. It was nearly this time eight years ago. I still remember getting the phone call. His voice was frightening, frantic. My ex begged me to take him back. I had left the relationship. Everything was wrong with us as a couple. We were physically violent towards each other, and the arrangement was mutually abusive.

The ex made me give up the one thing I loved most, my puppets. I didn't know what else to do. I was 21, and maybe I was getting too carried away with them. I still did comedy, but lacked that thing that made me myself. Not to mention I stayed hidden from friends and all else during what was supposed to be one of the most vital times in my life. I made my world very small, because I didnt want the people who were close and cared about me to know what was really going on. These days, as I let details eek, it usually upsets them quite a bit knowing that perhaps this could have and should have been stopped.

I remember my ex begging me to take him back. There was a part of me that wanted to go. I didn't know what life on the outside without him would be like. Would anyone ever love me again? Maybe we could work it out this time. I was eating, as opposed to before when I wasn't. We both swore we wouldn't drink together, a deadly combo. We talked. He told me he was sleeping with an ex of his who was working as a hair dresser abusing heroin. I knew this girl, she had tried to worm her way into our lives and get me out of the picture. Yeah, the trash pit. Looking back, her self-worth was worse than mine. She knew he still wanted to be with me, yet she was still sticking around. These days I pity her.

"I couldn't go back to something that ugly." My ex explained.

Weeks later, ironically, she sent me a letter telling me she wanted to shoot me. If only she had known about this conversation. I think the bullet might have gone a different direction.

I told my ex maybe he could move to New York, because his sponging had brought him down to North Carolina. We could work it out, play house and live with his Pops in Brooklyn. That is when he said the words that still stick with me. "If I see you I will kidnap you. That way no one else can have you and I won't ever lose you again."

That is when I knew I could never go back and had to keep going. I did. I made it my business to bust my ass as a comedian, and brought my puppets out of the trunk. As I cleaned my life up, I found opportunities presenting themselves because of my puppetry skills. When I was 23, I performed in a show produced by a former reality television star. I not only did all the puppets, but also did the voices. The following year I connected to a puppetry guild. Then the year after that, I produced a piece, somewhat of a disaster, with all puppets. Oh and then I made some puppet short films as well. And then I was a part of a weekly puppet show for children in Long Island City after that.

From there, I began performing ventriloquism once again in comedy clubs. I mixed it in with my standup. These days I make sure both are solid. Some is to give the audience a different, all around experience. Some of it is also to show I can do a set if a club doesn't book an act like mine. And if the club doesn't book an act like mine, it's their loss.

I also started doing shows for kids, something I had dreamed of doing since I was a teenager. I performed at several puppet festivals, and even several high end corporate functions. It was always a nice feeling knowing I made children happy. It also was cute whenever they either thought my puppets were real, or cracked the code by screaming, "YOU'RE MAKING THEM TALK!!"

This past summer, I was blessed to do a project with the Harvard Film Lab called The Breakup. I did the puppet work for Mortimer. It was an all day shoot where I got wet because it was filmed in the bath tub. This week, I got news our film moved to the second round of Project Greenlight, yes the Ben Affleck and Matt Damon brain child. We went from a pool of a few thousand films to a mere 200. While there is still more to be revealed, we made it past peer review which is a big deal.

I also fulfilled another dream, releasing a DVD. My DVD is now streaming online as of this week. We are working out some kinks, my webmaster and I, but I am grateful to have him on my side. It is called Broke and Semi-Famous. This contains the mixture of standup and ventriloquism I spoke about. These days I also crack jokes about the ex who used me as a punching bag, nearly made me give up the thing I love most, isolated me from my family, and wanted me dead. By laughing I win.

In a week or two, I will release a music video with you guessed it......puppets.

There is a lot of uncertainty in my world at the moment. I don't know what is next. There have been emails about possible opportunities my way. Or they have let me know I am in the running. No yeses yet. Not to mention things might or might not or Dear God lets not go there....

My stomach goes tight. This has been the past several years of my life. My puppet children and myself. My trunk that weighs as much as I do. What if these things don't happen? Maybe I will get old and be a failure.

Then I remember I am not a failure. I escaped hell with a mere brush burn, and kept going. I had a goal that kept me from going back. There are those that are not so lucky. My goals have not only made me a better woman, but they have kept me alive. Had I gone back, I have a feeling I would be dead. I do have a different mailing address so the man can never find me. The rewards I reap from my hard work, dedication, an willingness to show up are simply cherries on top of the proverbial cake. Not to mention I do what I love despite the adversity the world sometimes throws my way. I am not a failure. Rather, I am a champion.

Yeah, puppets have been good to me. I will still continue to be their mother. This fall I turn 30.....eeek. It is bad news for some women in show business. However, I write and work with puppets. It doesn't matter how old I am. I can do those things until the day I die. Add in that ironically, I look a lot better than I do when I was 21. I eat well and regularly. Don't drink. And would never dream of touching a speed based diet supplement. Coffee is my only vice. I exercise regularly, and am ageless. I look better and am wiser, perfect combo.

This dark spot in my life is far behind me, but I keep it close to my heart reminding myself things could have been drastically different. Those days I had real problems. These days I have luxury problems. May Wilson lost her shoe. Sweetie Pie Kincaid needs an upgrade. Snap Dragon, we need to work on that routine.....

Off I go.

Check out my DVD Broke and Semi-Famous

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