Monday, December 21, 2015


Lately I have been thinking of the concept of evolution. No, not like Charles Darwin but just evolving in general. I took a seminar this summer with a life coach through the Actors' Fund. It couldn't have come at a more perfect time. Shit was hitting the fan in my life. I was in a living situation that wasn't working. My relationship was like an oddly built European car that sometimes worked but when it broke down it really broke down until it didnt work anymore. And then I had gotten some indication that I might get where I want to go with the career but there was still much work to be done.

During this session, there was a woman who was an opera singer. Big, black, and beautiful, she admitted she had never sang at any major houses in New York. As a matter of fact, she had gotten a Masters in Vocal Performance from Julliard. In Manhattan, she temped and sold real estate, but she had done all the major houses and festivals in Europe. Now she was tired of living overseas, her parents were dying, and she wanted to teach.

So she said, "I am transitioning to acadamia," 

referencing a job she applied for at the MM program at Manhattan School of Music. 

This life coach stopped her and said, "No, transitioning negates what you have done. You are evolving."

I felt good when I heard that, evolving. Evolution. We are always in the process of walking upright and learning to walk upright more.

Lately I have been evolving. For years, before this past summer, I had been focused on my work to a fault. My children and I against the world. Between performing as much as I had and being on the run as much as I was girlfriend never really had much of a life. When I did stop to have a "life" I always found I was tired and grinding my teeth as if I was growling. I never knew why I was so stressed. Then again, my money was all going to rent and I hauled ass up four flights of stairs. That would piss anyone off day in and day out.

Last Monday I got my colposcopy results back. My squanderamous cells or whatever the hell they are called came back benign. When I read the word benign a feeling of calm came through my body. Being told a Pap Smear is abnormal makes your life flash before my eyes. Then the scraping which is two minutes of hell followed by the doctors and nurses chatting away.

All after I faced a retaliatory eviction.

So I was benign. I didnt have cancer. I wasn't being evicted. My baseboards are currently on my wall and I dont have bed bugs, mold, and a psychotic landlord making my life hell. I suppose I am doing better than I thought.

Wednesday was new release day at the comic book store. I got there to find my new release was not on the shelf. They said this was Diamond and because I was with an indie distributor my situation would have been different. I was kind of pissed. There was so much of me that looked forward to seeing my comic on the shelf. As a writer, it never gets old seeing your writing displayed. It's like a look mom, see what I did.

So I called my editor. He didnt get the books. SHIT! I thought about snapping at the people who worked there like I would have once upon a time and they would have whispered about how I was a crazy bitch after I left. But then I said to myself, "April, you don't have cancer. Your comic book will be on the shelf. Just not today. Don't be a dick."

I left and then as I am getting ready to go back home I get a call from my editor. The comic books had come afterwards and he was on his way. This was a Festivus miracle. So back I went to the store and purchased myself several copies. And sure enough they were placed on the shelf. Life was awesome again. But the most important thing was, I had my health. While it was cool to have the comic book in my hand, I still had my sanity and dignity. Most importantly, I didnt look like a nut job.

When I got home I figured I would rest up and get ready for the ventriloquist show I had to do for the special needs people. But then I got a call from my boss. It was a Marilyn Monroe telegram in the Bronx. It wasn't just in the Bronx. It was waaaaaaayyyyyyyyyyyyy out in the Bronx. 

I told him no. But he had no one else available during this time. Shit. That was going to be a long assed day. I began to plan my day and dreaded what was ahead. But then as I was in the midst of my dread it hit me. I was working and paying the bills again. Yeah, it wasnt the bells and whistles I sometimes got but I was WORKING AND PAYING THE BILLS. There was no high drama. There was no health scare. Life was good. 

My trip to the Bronx was an adventure. The train was getting construction and I had to connect thus taking longer. Dear God. And then I changed in a Dunkin Donuts bathroom and made the Indian dude who owned the place think I was either shooting dope, overdosing, homeless, or possibly having a baby. Either way, he was glad I was alright and even more puzzled as to why I emerged looking like Marilyn Monroe.

The gig was interesting but fun. The dude I was initially supposed to sing to was sent me from his wife, but he has no wife and this woman is a mere girlfriend. She simply aspires to be a wife. But the guy who owned the car lot, well it was his 89 year old dad's birthday. And he wanted to know if it was okay if the old guy got in on the action. I thought, why not?

Turned out the old dude was a hoot and it was one of the most fun jobs I did in sometime. He was 89 years young, literally. I hope I am that cool if I get to live that long. He kind of reminded me of my Pop Pop, just funny and kept going. Never took anything too serious.

The trip back to the city to chill out for a tad before my next gig was interesting. I had to change trains and the ceiling of the train station wasn't just leaking but having a monsoon of rain/sewer water and I nearly stepped in it and probably messed up my hair. Plus the place smelled like yucky pee.

When I finally got on a train this angry woman reading a shelf help book body checked me. And then a black power dude started with his spiel and I just wanted to bang my head against the wall. Not you, not now.
Grand Central was equally as crazy as people were pushing, shoving, and going crazy. Bah humbug. Did I mention I hate Christmas? I mean hate Christmas and all the bullshit that goes with it? Well if I didnt mention it I am mentiong it now.

As I went to my next gig, hoping to get it over with, I could barely find a seat on the train and some psychotic woman who looked like she either missed her Prozac dosage or escaped from hell yelled at me. When I got off the train it was raining and yucky and gross. Gosh I just wanted to go home.

I got to my final gig of the day. It was the home for the people with cerebral palsy. Immediately, I saw the residence out front in their wheel chairs. Some seemed more mobile than others. Nonetheless, each had personality. They were endearing, as one woman had $1 Ask Me Anything on a sign on the back of her chair. It's New York. Rent is expensive.

I got inside and the health aids were going crazy. One agency had organized the party, and the other agencies didn't know about it. Some of the West Indian health aids began to yell at each other and two even looked like they were going to duke it out. They kept asking me like I knew. Dear God did I mention I hate Christmas! 

Just then the dude that hired me, an Orthodox Jewish fellow, came to smooth out the situation. Very sweet, he explained everyone was invited. Some stayed, others didnt. Either way, the party began and he introduced me. I began and realized it wasn't the best room to do comedy in. Plus some of my audience members were more mobile than others. Oh this was going to be an interesting hour.

So I decided to go to them. I went from table to table. At first I was met with trepidation as nothing worked. But I just kept going. Puppet after puppet I kept going. Slowly, the residents began to bond with my puppets. Many had questions for them, and others began to hug them. The client who hired me had a 2 year old daughter who was afraid of the puppets but fearlessly looked in my suitcase. It was adorable, very adorable.

After the show, one woman who could barely speak came up to me. She was in a wheelchair and gave me a hug. At first I couldn't understand her, but something told me to slow down and listen. The woman told me she enjoyed my show and wanted to know if I would be coming back. Clutch! The audience liked the show!!!! I told her of course. Of course I would be back. 

Then it hit me. Christmas wasn't about the crazy but instead it was about being a part of, and it was about GIVING. These people were a part of the population that others forget about, or when they see them sometimes they don't know quite what to say for obvious reasons. As a result they make them feel like aliens. I did a show for these people. They laugh like everyone else does. Not so different. So yeah, Christmas is about giving. GIVING!

Then of course that lesson slipped out of my brain as I was back on the train and the 7 was running express because of track work. And it was raining. Gosh the client review would be interesting. 

The next day I read the client review. Five stars. Awesome! Maybe I was one step closer to working corporate. While comedians thumb their noses at the concept, it is where the money is. Plus like people at the comedy clubs, they wanna laugh too. Oh and I am beginning to work consistently as a ventriloquist again after all this drama. Again, life is good. 

Friday was spent delivering all day and managing to battle the insane weather and people traffic. The day ended with a Christmas Marilyn Monroe-esque party crasher at a bad sweater party. While I was exhausted from all that has been going on in my life, I was also happy to have the work. As I came home, I also realized for as much as the universe seemed to take a giant crap on me with one hit after another, for the first time in forever I enjoyed my work again.

I wasnt the girl on TV or the one with all the press or blah, blah, blah, but instead I really was just having fun and that was all that mattered. When I got home I saw my Aunt Lori, Uncle Joe and her sons had sent me a Christmas card. It made me smile. It made my new home feel like home. 

Next time I have a craptacular train ride I will remember the airing of the grievances, and think fondly of the pole I am decorating.
Happy Festivus for the Rest of us!!!!!!!!!!

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