Sunday, February 26, 2012


I have been working a lot lately which is a good thing, but still I am exhausted. Monday I worked all day on my book, and then had PR work to do on the webseries I am a part of. Tuesday I delivered a telegram and did more work on my book. Wednesday I had a delivery first thing in the morning, marketed my book some more, and then kickboxed that night. Thursday I had a delivery where there was a misunderstanding over the costume (long story) and then I had Derek Boik’s show that night. In between all of that I found out that my loyal little UK fan boys hi-jacked a webcast sponsored by Playboy and demanded to know whether the on air jockeys knew me.

Derek’s show was actually a lot of fun. I got to see old friends and meet new ones. The World’s Tiniest Standup Show lives up to it’s name, and some people had remembered seeing me on TV which was sort of cool. I also had a comedic breakthrough. I told some stories with May about our life as a ventriloquist duo and the people ate them up. They weren’t our usual filth, but rather intelligent comedy. Plus they were quick. Then I stayed afterwards and did the open mic. The show was a lot of fun and I had a good set. Plus I got to put a new story on it’s feet.

Afterwards I had an encounter with an old friend on the street, threatened to slap a guy who tried to grab me, and then hailed a cab. My cab driver was a good dude, Saleem, and has now become my personal driver. I suppose this Rainy Day Woman is moving up in the world.

Friday turned out to be especially busy. I had a Marilyn Monroe with a company I sometimes work with. They are good people but sometimes they book, sometimes they don’t. Well they booked and I went to Greenwich, CT. Then my boss for my primary company booked me in a birthday cake show girl on the Lower East Side. In between that I had even more work on my book, plus talking some more to the producers of the TV project we are trying to pitch.

In between that I saw my old dance teacher Madeline from college. She had been a former Rockette and all around awesome lady. She asked me if I was still doing puppets. I told her yes and that I had been working a lot and that I was oh so tired. She told me not to complain about working ever, which set me straight. Still, by the time Friday ended my bones hurt from the cold and just running around.

Then last night I did a private event where despite my trepidation it went well. You see, my contact didn’t return any of my phone calls. When I got there turned out she quit! Needless to say the people at Sinapi’s Ceola Manner were good people and I took photos with a lot of the patrons at Carnivale. My friend Amazing Amy was on the lineup too and she and her Indian Yoga rocked. The trip out there wasn’t bad, but because of the way Westchester is laid out everything is so far away. I did an hour strolling and while the people were cool, there weren’t that many coming in and out and that is the secret with a strolling act. An hour seemed short, but the way the night worked after eight Amy and the bellydancer had the floor. So from 7-8 I did my thing, and then off I went.

Amy was a good travelling companion. We laughed all the way home and I forgot that I was so tired that if I stayed still too long I would fall asleep. Well I did as soon as I got into my house though.

As of now my place is a mess. There are so many things I need to be doing but am not. I am beat. Last week was a doozy too. In between Valentine’s Day, special events, shooting a music video, and everything else in between I feel as if I am going to pass out. But I have been doing open mics too. Not because I pay for stage time, no. It’s because of all the hard work I did this past year and getting my ass on television I am getting better stage time so I want to be sharp. Oh and then there are my live shows. And then there is the TV project I am helping to pitch.

The terrible thing about me when I get tired is I start yelling at people. But unfortunately sometimes, the louder you yell the less you are heard. I am just tired. But the good thing is, rent is all about paid

Either way, church today and an Oscar Party tonight.

This Wednesday, February 29 @ 7, come see me at Eastville.



Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Lies, Lies, Lies (The Thompson Twins)

Last week I was googling myself when I came across a message board that I was mentioned on. Someone who I went to college with claimed I followed them home and it was the “most terrifying thing ever.” I was trying to think, who is this? I am the most avoidant personality type there is. People claim they have a hard time calling me because I don’t answer my phone. My boyfriends complain that I am too distant, probably because I am more man than they are. I thought, who could this be?

I googled the handle to find it belonged to someone I will call Derek. Derek had been the upperclassman superstar in the acting studio I had been in freshmen year at NYU. Talented and good looking, Derek was slated to be a big star. A favorite in the studio, the faculty gloated over him and it seemed everywhere he walked there were the proverbial flower petals. Girls, especially the second and third years, threw themselves at this future star. I was no exception.

I had seen him act and was blown away by his wealth of talent. A few weeks later I got a chance to talk to Derek one on one who loved the fact I had my puppets. At the time I was doing a report on Jim Hensen and Derek apparently was a Muppet fan. During that time Derek became the listening ear when it came to my conflicts within the studio. Unlike Derek I wasn’t a favorite, far from it. Most of my teachers oscillated in between screaming that I didn’t listen to telling me I had no talent in general. I wasn’t a burgeoning star in this studio and was actually looking to jump ship. I remember Derek always gave me a big hug and assured me everyone’s first year was difficult. I had a friend, or at least thought I did.

A week or two into our friendship the girls throwing themselves at Derek got jealous of the fact he sought me out for extra hugs. These girls, if looks could kill, the bitches would have cut me. During that time Derek invited me to a party. He wanted me to bring my puppets to show to his art star friends. For some reason I couldn’t go, but during my lifetime it has not been uncommon for me to get such requests. I started to develop a huge crush on Derek. So what he was an upperclassman going places and I was barely staying afloat? Suddenly I had a whole new reason to delve into my craft, to impress a guy.

Then it happened, or at least I got my chance.

I was going on a post paper walk after completing the in-depth essay on the Muppets and their deeper meaning. It was late April so the sky was steadily darkening and I could smell rain coming. I figured I would head home. However, on my way there I saw Derek. Like me, he was addicted to the space market, our little corner store, and was using his NYU card to get free snacks. Derek gave me a big hug as usual. Wandering aimlessly, I decided to walk with him. I was going to no particular destination. Plus we were walking and talking and we were enjoying each other’s company. Plus he gave me no indication that he wanted me to go.

“Where are you going?” I finally asked him curious. While I had a major crush on this hottie I didn’t want to seem too clingy, too needy.

“Oh home. You are welcome to walk me there.” Derek half laughed.

While I looked tired from writing a paper and every inch the overworked freshmen woman, I was willing to take the risk. Derek seemed to pick me over the rest of the girls. We talked about acting, our studio, our teachers, and our fear about life after college. We talked about where we were from, our astrological signs and all the other good stuff. The rain drops started to fall like some romantic movie. I was so hoping he would at least kiss me somewhere. The whole year had been a miserable, depressing mess. This would be the perfect ending.

Then we got to his dorm. It was pouring outside. I had no umbrella because the walk had been on a whim. Then I asked, “Do you want to keep hanging out?” I smiled, sheepishly and shyly. I wanted to be Mae West with her overt sexiness and control over the male species. Instead I was stuck being nineteen, clumsy and shy and almost fitting the description of a Smith’s song.

Pause. I was hoping he would say yes.

“Oh I have things to do. Thanks for hanging out.” Derek said and then gave me the wave. It wasn’t the hug that I had grown accustomed to do. It was the wave. Not get home safely, not here’s my umbrella, not I’ll hail you a cab. Nada.

I walked home and the rain began to pour. As I walked back to my dorm room I was soaking wet to the bone. I threw off my clothes, jumped in the shower and cried. Had I gotten my signals mixed? Maybe Derek saw me as a friend and nothing more. I was crushing on him like everyone else and like everyone else I got rejected. Then again, I thought, why would he like me? I was on the outs with that acting school, I was on the chunky side and to top it off he had another young woman who was like a leading lady he supposedly was hooking up with.

On the other hand, maybe I had misunderstood and was willing to take that. These things happened. I had been brave like my hero Mae West, I had put myself out there. Mae would have gotten the guy and this one had just given me the wave. Whatever the case was, at that moment, I decided I was over Derek. I would avoid him at all costs and there would be no more hugs. I didn’t want to get my signals crossed, and if he had been teasing me I didn’t want to play the game anymore. Despite the fact he thought he was God’s gift, one thing I knew was that I was stronger. A day later I got the news my studio switch was approved, and avoiding Derek became easier than ever. He tried to talk to me once or twice but I gave good old Derek the wave treatment.

While he didn’t readily let me see it, I knew it killed his ego. But there were others in his harem. Besides, he had made me cry and I wasn’t going to let him get the last laugh. That punk thought women were expendable and everyone should worship him. I, on the other hand, was teaching him otherwise.

I saw Derek some odd years later after I graduated from NYU walking down the street. Letting bygones be bygones and kid stuff be kid stuff, I gave him the big hello. I asked him what he had been up to and he said he had been working with a small theatre company and waiting tables. I mentioned I was doing comedy and really enjoying my life. While things weren’t fabulous it was enough to get a sneer from Derek, the exalted one and now waiter fallen from grace.

Fast forward four years after that encounter. I was on several TV shows and made several message boards. And then this thread was started, “She followed me home and it was the most terrifying thing in my life.” When I figured out who it was I felt a mixture of anger and betrayal. Derek had been my listening ear during a difficult time in my life. Derek had been someone who had been a friend. Sure, things happened but it was kid’s stuff. I wasn’t holding onto it the way he was.

I called my mother upset that Derek had slandered me. My mother, being the smartest women in the world, put it best. She said, “April, he is just trying to steal your sunlight by attaching himself to you. But he can’t steal what he doesn’t have. So don’t reply and don’t give him any of your energy because that’s what he wants. This is his chance to be heard.”

I laughed and told my mom that he would probably change his story later and claim that we slept together. My mom agreed and then she said, “He will probably tell everyone that’s why you had to transfer to Strasberg.”

Looking back at it, there was a reason Derek was a favorite at the acting studio I left. The teachers there were a bunch of sick wannabes and Derek was a sick wannabe too. That is why he took the creepy attention seeking tactic he did. Derek, who’s ego was the size of Texas, couldn’t understand why a seemingly nobody could reject him and never got over it. And plus it was easy to be nice to me because he thought I was a lesser being.

Now that the tables have turned and I have things going for myself, albeit I work hard for the things I have, someone like Derek can’t understand that. He was entitled and slated to be the Golden Boy, and the girl with puppets wasn’t supposed to get the spotlight and look out here she comes. While it is kharma at it’s finest, there is a part of me who feels his pettiness is not just ugly but rather sad.

A friend of mine and I spoke about it today. He told me that the reason Derek was so keen on assassinating me is that he is still trapped in that time in his life, the time when things were good. That is why the promising career of someone who he thought of as an underling is so depressing. Then I thought of all the classmates of mine from college who are on Broadway, have been on TV, etc. Each one of them have been gracious when they have seen me, telling me they are proud of me and my puppet children. Even the classmates of mine who aren’t breaking in and doing other things have expressed happiness. Why, because they have moved on with their lives and are living in the present.

I feel sorry for Derek. He could have slept with me and then he would have almost had a career. Ouch!

On the other hand, the truly sad thing is jealousy. Maybe Derek was so busy focusing on what everyone else had and that’s why he can’t focus on his own self. And he’ll be in La La Land until he turns on the tele and sees me and my puppet children. Then he will ring his hands, smack himself because he could have been Mr. April Brucker, and then walk to his laptop to unleash his hate. Love April
PS. There is some kharma. Some people kicked his ass so badly after he wrote that filth that his comment and the comments following it were removed by admins on the site :)

Monday, February 20, 2012

Sad News: NYU Ends Affiliation With Strasberg

This past weekend I found out that NYU had ended it’s affiliation with the Strasberg Institute. To me, not only does it diminish the credibility of my alma mater but robs future students of the chance to study with the best teachers in New York City. I know, I am prejudiced because I love my former studio so much and the teachers that I had there. But there is a reason.
When I was nineteen years old I had arrived in New York and had one of the roughest years of my life. I was placed in an acting studio that I thought would be my dream. Instead it turned out to be a nightmare. My teachers for the most part were frustrated actors who never made it. To my scene study teacher and Shakespeare teacher as an outgoing, blonde haired, ocean eyed woman with a sea of ambition I was Dead on Arrival. My movement teacher/Director of Student affairs ran interference between me and the scene study teacher especially. I didn’t get along with my movement teacher either. She was my advisor in the studio and passive aggressive as could be. This woman told me I was doing well and then slammed me in my written evaluation. A lot of the training was sitting, listening and taking notes. It wasn’t the way I learned. While I wasn’t openly defiant, I didn’t question quite a bit. They told us they encouraged us to do so. In response I was labeled, “Disruptive.”
Of course all my teachers there were crazy. My dance teacher was passive aggressive. My improv teacher, an alcoholic, would sometimes not show up for class giving us a free Friday. Then there were the teacher/student sexual relationships. I was told I wasn’t a good listener. Meanwhile all my teachers seemed to do was bitch and moan, who wouldn’t tune that out?
After a midterm second quarter, I was told there was no place for me in that particular studio culture. These people had pretended to be welcoming but in reality were not. They didn’t celebrate anything different. I had gained some notoriety as a teen ventriloquist and they thought I should stop with the puppets because it was destructive to my mental health. The whole place made no sense. I began to hate it there worse and worse. After a D for my midterm grade I went to my advisors and talked about a switch.
One studio was suggested to me and I met with the head of the studio. A well meaning lady, she told me that I was better to work it out with my current studio before jumping ship. I know when she spoke to me she just wanted the best for me, and didn’t want to see me make the mistake of moving from one place to another as I traded one hell for the other. After talking to her I felt better. Maybe I could work it out there. The other part of me thought of leaving school and trying it out, just as an actor. However, several former classmates dropped out and then crawled back into the fold. My mom encouraged me to stay in school. However, I wasn’t sure.
Things began to turn around in my former studio, but after talking to another NYU advisor bluntly put it to me, my former studio was sending me a message. That’s when he suggested Strasberg. He gave me the email of the woman there. I emailed Maureen, the then Director of Student Affairs, and she set up a meeting.
I went to the Strasberg Institute, a much different studio culture than the one I left. The building was large and austere. The neighborhood was nicer than the Garment District, the home of my other studio. Instead of being able to walk in they had guards at the front desk. The whole place was huge, much bigger than the studio I was looking to leave. Was I making a mistake? I was so miserable where I was and was willing to take the gamble. If worse came to worse I would work it out where I was. But then something caught my eye. It was a picture of Lee Strasberg. A little old man with a watchful eye, he had this twinkle even though it was a photograph. All of a sudden, I wanted to know more.
I met with Maureen McNeil and she was very nice, much different than the woman who handled student affairs at my other studio. She asked me a little about myself and was fascinated by the work with the puppets which was a huge plus. Then she asked me if I wanted to watch a video of the Strasberg Philosophy. I said yes, why not? I went in and at first I will admit I was frustrated by Lee Strasberg talking. But then I took a deep breath and decided to listen.
Lee Strasberg was very bright and hit the nail on the head. He said that a person could have a lot of experience on stage and very little talent, or a lot of talent but very little experience. However, Strasberg said one thing I will never forget, that talent didn’t matter unless you knew how to use it. And talent was useless if when the opportunity arose, you didn’t know how to use it properly. At that moment I was hooked. This man was a genius. I suddenly believed in craft and technique again. I watched the rest of the video, hooked on every word this mercurial little man said. He made sense.
At the beginning of the year Sandra Bowie, a woman who I looked up to for my four years at NYU, told me after she had to run interference with my studio issues, “You are talented, lets get past that. Your job in class is to listen, soak things up like a sponge. Learn to use your talent now.” I had been trying to but the studio that I was leaving weren’t the people to help me. They wanted me to use my imagination yet ripped on me when I used it. Truth be told, I had a fantastical imagination and they just wanted me to calm down. I also had a plethora of life experiences. This was the place for me. I told Maureen this and she placed a call to NYU.
A week later I saw Sandra Bowie, told her what happened, and she assisted with the switch as did Garret Eisler. I finished the year with a light heart and a sense of starting anew, with a clean slate. Part of me was hesitant. I brought my mom to see Strasberg during a visit. She agreed I had upgraded. I hoped in my heart I was doing the right thing. While I knew a large part of me was, would it be more of the same?
Instead it was different. Much different.
Right away I liked my classmates and my classes. I loved the fact that I had two acting classes with two different teachers that were hours long. I loved sense memory and thought it was genius. More than anything my teachers weren’t just artists who were teaching, but they were artist who taught and loved every second of it!
My first year I had both Bill Balzac and Ted Zurkowski for acting. Bill told me that I was so emotional that if I did the work I could win an Academy Award someday. Ted Zurkowski told us he retired from acting, was doing music, but still loved to teach. Through sense memory he got me to appreciate Shakespeare again and told me I had a knack for it. My dance teacher, Madeline Reiss had been a former Rockette and loved to teach students how to dance, even if it was just getting confident on their feet. While dancing scared the bejesus out of me it eventually became one of my favorite classes. Erick Buckley, a Broadway veteran, taught us voice and speech and never settled for anything less than our best.  Kohli Hessler was another speech teacher who taught us IPA, made us laugh and loved every second of being a vocal coach. Of course there was Thai Chi with Ron Navarre. While the slow movement drove me crazy it was the best thing I did for myself. As an elective I took singing with Jan Douglas, one of the smartest things I think I did during my time at NYU. Not only was I not afraid to sing, but sounded pretty decent after a while. As in squirrels did not run.
The studio culture at Strasberg I found was much more healthy. If a student didn’t get along with an acting teacher they were able to change out, no harm no foul. Also, since the teachers liked to teach they encouraged us to be honest about how we felt about the work, and didn’t take it personally when we questioned it. The place was less incestuous, meaning that teachers didn’t exchange notes on students. What happened in class stayed there. Because Anna Strasberg kept tight reign, there was no sexual relations between students and teachers. The environment was free for students to find their voice and that meant making mistakes. The energy was happier and more serene. I remember calling my mother every day and saying, “I love it here. I love going to school.”
Immediately I began to soak up my training. I did my homework with passion whether it was rehearsing with my vocal production partner or going to a public place with a scene partner to do our scene in order to make it more realistic. I ran up to the song shop on Broadway to buy new sheet music. When I went to bed at night I couldn’t wait to go to class in the morning. My teachers were nothing short of inspirational.
My life outside studio improved too.  I was more grounded when I spoke to people. Eye contact became less of something I had to work on and a more organic reaction. I relied less on heavy makeup and atrocious fake eyelashes and went more natural. I wasn’t just becoming a better actor but a better person.
In my second year I found myself growing even more. I had Erick Buckley again and one heck of a partner for vocal production. I also had Jeffrey Ferguson for dance, a man who never settled for anything less than my best. Lola Cohen, being a surrogate Jewish mother of sorts, cracked the whip and made our scene work the best it could be. Once she said, “You just say what’s off the top of your head.” I laughed, it was true. That’s when she told me, “April, that’s not a good thing.” Needless to say, I began to work on that character defect, making myself a better listener and a better performer. Lorca Peress was wonderful as she taught us script analysis and helped make me a part of Hot INK. Geoffrey Horne was not just a genius and an actor of note, but he was one of the few people in this world to get me. He told me my problem was that I didn’t think I was good enough. He was right. I didn’t. But through his class, his tutelage, I suddenly felt confident enough. As for Michael Neller, I loved him more than anything. The Aussie movement teacher was awe inspiring and was a nice way to start a Friday. John Van Weyden was tough and always expected homework to be done, but nonetheless made us understand the art of accents. Carlos Ferante opened us up to masks, and was someone who loved and understood my need to work with puppets.
Second year I remember Maureen McNeill telling me, “I heard about the good work you did with Hedda Gabbler.” That was a night and day reaction from the first time I walked in her door.
When I left Strasberg to make a go in the world of the performing arts, yes I fell more into standup and being an entertainer. While being weird has been my ticket to the party so far, I can use my instrument anyway I need to. There have been times in my career so far when people have asked for a dramatic monologue and I have surprised them. Many around me compliment me telling me I can do anything. Maybe I can, but that ability and confidence is because of the love and nurturing of the teachers at The Lee Strasberg Institute. I know how to relax, I know how to be natural, and I know how to be honest offstage and on. Most importantly, I know how to use my talent.
It breaks my heart NYU had ended it’s affiliation. Not only will my alma mater lose it’s credibility, but it will lose a legion of acting teachers who are nothing short of genius, passionate, and nurturing. The studio culture I had originally came from had teachers who would tell us they were teaching because it was better than waiting tables. However, at Strasberg, these were artists who loved the pedagogy and wanted more than anything to pass it along. Having teachers who love to teach, love their craft and love their students makes all the difference in the world. NYU is robbing future generations of aspiring actors of this gift and these kids don’t even know it.
I had come from another NYU studio where the teachers did not want to teach and I remember how damaging that was not just to my dreams as a performer but to my psyche. I also had teachers at that particular studio who cared more about their egos than the pedagogy or the craft called acting. Having had the other before coming to Strasberg, I knew how detrimental the ladder was. Therefore, I valued people who encouraged students to use their voices, make mistakes, and celebrated the outside talents we all had. At my former studio there was no such love. Now this current generation of NYU kids will not know the Method, the most effective technique for film or television, in it's most pure form. 
To Lee Strasberg and his adherents, I say thank you for teaching me all I know. And when I win my first big award I hope to come and teach a master class. It's because like my teachers, I want to give back without ego but rather for love of the Method and love of my craft. 
To NYU I say shame on you. Maybe if the students at Strasberg streaked you would have kept your affiliation with that studio.
Love April

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Open Mics

Lately I have been hitting the open mics. I havent really done so in about a year really because I have been busy being a reality star, cyber jockey/semi-internet celebrity, semi-youtube star, and being a recording artist. I had thought that all the doors of the standup clubs would open for me after all the exposure I got but it didn’t work out that way. In a way I was glad because I had gotten burnt out from standup. Before the reality show I was in the clubs every night or in some dingy basement trying to hone my craft. Then on the weekend I was travelling somewhere. I was just burnt out from the politics.

Now here I am a year later. My position as a cyber jockey is no longer. As a result of my time though I have a loyal bunch of followers who never cease to amaze me with their charm and wit as well as love and support. I am making youtube videos here and there, but will probably never be a youtube celeb. As for the music, still doing that. But the thing is, I missed being onstage. So this past week I went back to the mics.

Monday I went to one mic where I dreaded going because I abhor paying for stage time. Being almost a big ticket item, it seems like the newbies and their amateur dick jokes would be a waste of my time. However, I figured I know where I have been, why not? So I went and the host was this adorable little gay boy. I absolutely had a blast onstage. I just riffed off the top of my head. And after I left I couldn’t wait to get up again.

Tuesday and Wednesday I worked all day and then went to see a friend’s performance. Wednesday night was a solo open mic. I got up and without caring whether or not anyone recognized me or if I would kill or die I told a story. And I had a blast. The story needs work but I put it on it’s feet. That’s all that counts.

Thursday I went back to another mic and got a compliment from a club owner who I had never spoken to. While he has still not offered to give me prime time spots, oh well. It was new stuff. I didn’t care. It was fun.

Friday I went to Parkside and chilled with my boy Cooper Rego and company after his mic. We watched Jeremy Lin after doing what we did and caught up. It had been years since I had seen Coop so it was all good. If anything, Friday made me remember that I was a part of, not a part from, the community.

Yes I am back to paying for stage time. While that sucks, I like being onstage. The club bookings are coming in and I would like that to continue, therefore I have to be sharp. Plus I know where I have been and shortly I will be there again. This time better than ever.

Until then the ego has landed for it’s yearly reduction



Thursday, February 16, 2012

Next Move On the Chess Board

Lately I have been feeling like a princess who has been dropped to Earth on her head. A radio appearance that was going to be good for my career was CANCELLED due to studio issues. We were supposed to ink on the dotted line for a project I am part of the pitch for but the contract not only wanted us to alter our work but then on top of that was going to cheat us out of any and all money we would be making. As a bonus the contract let the folks distribute the series how they wanted to overseas and we wouldn’t make a dime. Oh and then something else I did was sold, the original company got a hefty pay day and because of some documentation I signed I don’t even have a bed. The ironic thing is I am on the TV all the time, people tell me that my puppets and I are on the TV all the time, and I don’t even own one myself.

Someone from my past facebooked me and asked for a loan because they assume I make all this money. I told them maybe, but first could they loan me their TV cause I cannot presently afford one. To top it off it seems everyone around me is doing so fucking well. Some of my former classmates as on TV, Broadway, yada, yada, yada. I am happy for them but in a way I am not. As my mother says, “When you laugh the world laughs with you. When you cry, you cry alone. Remember that when you blog April.” More of an excuse to eat badly and cry alone. The terrible thing on my part is several of these people have reached out to be to tell me how proud they are of me and my puppet children from TLC, Bravo, Travel Channel, Otto and George, Koldcast and everything else like my cyberjocking. But right now I don’t feel so proud. I feel like I have failed.

Yesterday I was walking down the street when I saw an old friend. We chatted and he mentioned he had seen me on The Today Show. I said that was last year and he said, “What have you done this year?”

I wanted to reply, “Sucked at life.” Instead I told him about the CBS sports show. He played college ball so he was jiggy. In the end it felt good seeing him because I have always liked this friend, and he likes my puppets. I just tend to hear everything wrong.

As I walked along in the rain it occurred to me I didn’t know what was next for me. I am no longer a cyberjocky with my old network. I am about to publish a book, release date unknown. I am about to drop a single and a video, whenever my editor is finished and I yell at the man enough as it is. I might or might not be going to LA or Europe. So much is up in the air. Suddenly I found myself lost and directionless. That’s when I got an invite from an old friend to go see an evening of monologues.

Usually an evening of monologues can bite with one good performer and the rest sucking. However, this was a pleasant surprise. It was six good performers, all wonderful writers who take the art of solo seriously. I got up without any expectations and told a story. While I went over the two minutes because I am used to going for an eternity as a cyberjocky it felt good to be onstage. And then I remembered that is the only reason I do this. I like entertaining people. It’s not about the contracts, the money, the deals. It’s about making people laugh.

I did another open mic tonight. While I abhor paying for stage time in a club I should be headlining in, I did just to work out my skills. It was fun just getting up and meeting new comics. Many of the folks I met tonight were green to the game. Then I remembered how magical my first year of comedy was. I got onstage as much as I could. I loved the people I was meeting. I loved making people laugh. Of course I wanted the stars, the name in lights, but the truth was I was just as eager to bark. These newer folks brought me there, gently reminding me that it was okay to fail. So I got up, told a story I have been workshopping, and had a little fun.

When I got offstage I saw some more old friends who just happened to be around. The club owner, someone who I didn’t even think knew who I was to see me, said, “You have come a long way with the ventriloquism. I was looking at you and was blown away because those lips didn’t move.” Meanwhile I had hosted for the guy for almost two years and never actually met him. Needless to say it made my night.

While I don’t know where life will lead me next I think I know I have to get back onstage in the clubs again. Standup might not be the destination these days but it is a way to keep myself sharp. Plus since I am not beating myself up several times a night anymore I like it. The irony is, now that I am not pounding at bookers they are after me. I am gladly taking the club dates which is another reason to get back onstage.

Actually being onstage is not only invigorating but humbling. While I am doing open mics which well, are themselves, I know I have done what I have done. At the same time, when I suck I suck. I don’t have to prove myself to any of those fools who are eager to knock me behind the knees on any online forum. I don’t have to earn their respect. I know how I am. I can still hear Betsy Parrish, an acting teacher I had first year of college saying to me after a breakthrough in her class, “You don’t have to announce yourself when you come in here. Just sit down, we know you’re here.” Poor Betsy, she probably still downs her Advil with Scotch when she thinks of me. She shook her head plenty of times.

Either way, after a lot of agonizing, I know what my next move is. That move is to get back to my roots, my art. I am an actress, ventriloquist, singer, and writer. But at my heart I am a comic in a dark dingy basement. Those dark dingy basements and my activities there have made people pay attention. And every once in a while, even when they are damp and depressing, I must got back.

Check mate

Love April

Friday, February 10, 2012

Fear 'n' Faith

This past week and a half has been a doozy. I have been sick as a freaking dog. To top it off I gave up being a part of something that has literally helped define me for the last several months. Then there is all this uncertainty about what is next for me. While it looks like we might be inking on something that might be good, it is pre-approved. While I am supposed to be publishing a book, we are a tad behind schedule. And things are coming together and falling apart as far as the music video goes. That’s when the fear creeps in.

The crazy thing about fear is that it dictates so many of the bad things in the world. Most prejudice stems from fear as a matter of fact. Whenever I hear a hateful remark against any group it turns out either the person had a bad experience with just one or they have never met any of those whom they openly slander. People drink, do drugs, eat too much or too little, or have wreckless sex because they want to escape the fear of not being good enough. Or they enter a relationship with someone who is wrong for them because they are afraid of being alone. Sure, sometimes fear is healthy. Like looking both ways so you don’t get hit by a mac truck. But it’s also very bad.

During these fear periods I get scared that I will never work again. Nevermind I am as sick as a dog. I also get scared of the fact that I am getting older. Nevermind my late teens and early twenties were a shit show of insecurities stemming from an imaginary battle with my weight which was really a real battle with myself. While in reality I don’t want that time in my life back again, I begin to get afraid that I will go to that island with six cats and gain three hundred pounds as I snack on my container of Lard ‘n’ Chocolate Delight. I also get afraid that I won’t get what I want. I have been working hard for sometime. Yes, despite the exposure and growing fan base I work the odd jobs. I ask myself what if I never have the career I want and am stuck as a whining actor and comic in the back of the clubs whining about how the ship sailed and marooned me? Worse yet, there is this gaping part of me that feels as if everyone is doing better.

When that gaping part of me sets in, it’s usually when I am sick and have nothing to do. Like the rest of the world, my head becomes a dangerous neighborhood. I don’t need to walk through a gang infested territory naked, I just spend an hour in my own mind. I went on facebook to see an old boyfriend of mine got fat. While he got fat and has a fat new lover girl, he has a new girl and here I am stuck, single, and looking like I could scare people in public. Then of course I go to a page of a girl who is a friend of mine and she is doing marvelously with her career and rest of her life. I begin to get jealous and wish evil things on her. Then I see another girl I know and like most of the time doing well and I just am scowling like Satan’s daughter.

Then I remember the first girl walking down the street, seeing me, giving me a big hug and telling me how great I looked. She also told me how she and her friends saw me on TV and how she was so proud of me for doing so well for myself. The second girl has always been my friend and on several occasions stood up for me when people were ripping me down online. When these realizations come to me I feel like an asshole. It’s like the devil himself has entered my body. I not only want what they have but want to see them fail, when these women are my damn friends. That’s when I start crying. It’s the cough medicine and overdose on Lifetime Movies making me go apeshit.

The crazy thing is, when I find that I am happy for people I usually get what I want. I am not some greedy witch angling like a hag in a cave for some ruby slippers she will never get. I guess it’s the law of returns. The universe is kinder. Plus I have been on both and Gawker. I know all about what it is like to have people want to knock you down. I had people claim to know me from certain parts of my life that I never met. And just to be heard they made stuff up about me. It was their way to say “Fuck you, you’re on your way up and I don’t want to be left out of the party.” That being said I feel asinine doing it to anyone else.

Then I think of all the things going for me. I have appeared on NBC, ABC, CBS, E!, TLC, Bravo, The Travel Channel, New York 1, Fox 5, PAX, PIX, and Koldcast. Although my bank account doesn’t reflect it I have been around. I have fans all over the world. I have people who have flown to NYC and brought me and my puppets presents because we have changed their lives. I have worked with celebrities. I have done photo spreads in British magazines. I have had two comedians I look up to say wonderful things about me, and both are legends. One I got to work with, the other defended me live on a radio show where I was being ripped to shreds. My songs have gotten radio airplay. I am close. Things aren’t exactly terrible.

On my way to one of my deliveries today I walked past a dress store where all the clothes were just exquisite. I told myself that I would never look good in one of those. I began to just want to fade away into the sidewalk of NYC. There was that voice again from my late teens and early twenties telling me how ugly and stupid I was. That voice comes out usually when I see beautiful dresses and remember who I wasn’t in high school. I was weird and popular because I did stuff, not because I was pretty. I felt this vulnerability that an ugly duckling feels as they become the wallflower at the school dance and creep out back to cry.

That’s when I heard the voice of Betsy Parrish, a teacher of mine my first year of college. I was basically being asked to leave my acting studio because of a conflict I had with another teacher. Betsy was giving me some sort of pep talk and I started crying. I remember she told me I was enough constantly and I didn’t believe her. Then I heard her say in the back of my mind, “This is what we need to be seeing onstage. You just remember-I believe in you-now go!” Suddenly the vulnerability didn’t seem so horrid. It actually made me feel human in a bizarre sense. But damnit, after all these years it still sucked.

It was weird I thought of Betsy Parrish, the Broadway veteran because earlier that day I had thought I had seen her. I hadn’t but perhaps I crossed her mind. The crazy thing is, I heard a former movement teacher at that particular place in question is a fan of mine. I know the woman wasn’t a fan of mine when she had me as a student. But apparently when some students asked her about me she said she loved my work. I just think it’s crazy. I just want to message her and remind her she was the one who told me perhaps I didn’t belong at said studio.

I ended up delivering the telegram and I think the crazy woman who hired me thought I was a stripper. They had no idea of what they wanted me to do. I was given one set of orders and then they were to bring out a cake. Instead they brought out the cake and had me do my thing. I did my thing, I tried. But I think they thought I was going to be more a stripper. The crazy woman shooshed me with her hand and the guys told me I did a good job. Overall they were very weird people. I was honest and told my boss. I am worried they will rip me up online but I don’t think they know how to read. One girl did actually, but it wasn’t about what I did despite the review. It was in retaliation because she recognized me from a TV appearance. People are nuts when you are visible. They either want to be your friend/fan or they want to fight with you to say they did. I know this nutty bitch did because I heard her tell her friends. Todays girl, I would be worried except I don’t think she knows how to read. I think she was more angry at her coworkers for not being clear about what they ordered and for not doing things the way she wanted.

While that sucked I told my boss who was like, whatever. I went to my next delivery which actually made up for the suckiness of the last one. On this particular delivery I delivered to a nice set of people having fun after work. As a matter of fact they laughed, took photos and even had me pose with the guy in handcuffs. To top it off, I got a very sweet tip. Yes, sweeter than I have gotten in sometime. After leaving that particular assignment it not only made up for the suckiness of the last delivery but for being sick. And most importantly, it made me realize I love my job and I love what I do.

It also made me realize that good things are ahead for me. And the bad things havent been bad but rather gifts. My abusive ex fiancé made me find my voice, brought me back to my puppets and ultimately got me off the self-destructive track I was going. Being broke a few years ago got me to put my nose to the grindstone and to be better at my craft. My public debacles have made my sense of humor stronger and let me know that no one could take me down. In essence, everything happens for a reason.

So while I don’t know what is next for me I know I am doing the right thing with myself. Like a kid on Christmas I am shaking that present, wanting to open it. But it’s not time yet. However, when it is I know God will give me something good.

Or as they say, more to be revealed.

Love April

Monday, February 6, 2012

Under the Weather

I am sick. End of story, plain and simple. My mom mailed me a package with medicine that didn’t come. At times like this I wish my mom was living with me so she could make me chicken soup, tell me that everything was going to be okay. Instead I am just sick.

The worst part is, because of my status as a freelancer, when I am sick I am unable to work. I missed a call for a job, but not really. It was between me and friend of mine at the telegram company. She ended up doing it just because she knew the character better but however I had the wig. It worked out better because it was an hour train ride and a twenty minute cab ride. I was light headed and could barely keep my eyes open. I was in no shape to take the trip so it all worked out. Plus as I said she knew the character better and the woman she was singing to was a die hard Lucille Ball fan.

My boss told me not to worry, they would have a gig for me soon. Plus Valentines Day is coming up. Part of me worries that we won’t have any business or that he will leave me off rotation. I know it’s not true. It’s me being paranoid and sick. I am part of the A team at the telegram company. I do certain characters very well, I take risks, I travel. Yes I screw up but on the other hand I never fuck up. There has to be something to be said for that.

Then there was a call for a Giants Cheerleader from another company I sometimes work with that didn’t go through. I think it was God telling to get some sleep. Take it easy. Pop an Advil PM. Advil PM is the best. Nyquil makes me feel hungover and Tylenol PM is like the eternal sleeping pill that you could just get hooked on all Judy Garland style it seems. Advil PM just makes me sleep, I wake up and then presto I start my day. Dayquil is sweet, it’s a stimulant. But relax I am not getting hooked kids.

I am under added stress not just because I am missing jobs but because I am about to publish a book. In between me being sick and other things I am afraid of getting behind schedule. I am looking forward to the release of my book though because I have worked very hard on it. But in my heart I am afraid no one will buy it. Maybe they won’t.

Then I am co-head of a pitch team for a TV show we are currently shopping in Hollywood. At least once a day I am filtering through people who are nothing but smoke and mirrors. People promise you things but then they back down. I also have to be the brass knuckles, explaining to those on my side not to get their hopes up. I hate to be as jaded as I am but I have been in the game far too long to entertain bullshit.

I did write a screenplay I hope to pitch soon. If it is one thing I can do it is I can write. I have been writing since I have been small. Then there are sometimes that I feel I can’t even do that. Did I mention I can’t act either sometimes?

I havent been kickboxing as much as I want to. The week before last I missed class entirely. Then this past week I went once and almost passed out. There is nothing like being near blackout, holding a kicking shield, and then blamo. At least I didn’t faint.

I spent last night with a friend sort of watching the superbowl and talking guys, low key. Yes it was a girlfriend. I don’t have many friends who are girls so maybe this was a good thing. It’s different having my Sunday nights free now that I am no longer hosting. Granted, I am busy as hell but I miss my fans on YouNow. I have been going through sort of a withdrawl since I left. I have all sorts of feelings but I know feelings are not facts. More than anything I just miss my poppyseeds.

I am also bummed because the microphone on my computer is malfunctioning so I can’t make videos. Sucks to be me right now.

Time for DayQuil and time to make a gratitude list. Okay, I am grateful that I am not Tom Brady, a loser that needs hair club for men. Maybe he and that loser/liar/lawyer I used to date can compare notes. Except my loser ex would be laughed out of the room by a model. But Tom Brady might be soon enough too. Love April