Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Let's Hug It Out

I just bought my plane ticket. I am officially going to LA in one week.

That's fast, isn't it?

I've been putting off buying the ticket, obviously - just cuz I'm getting nervous and scared. I'm not so great with change, the bigger the change, the harder it is to make myself jump. But everything has been falling into place, including the ticket I've been eyeing for a month never changing, so here I am with ticket in proverbial hand, about to head off on what could prove to be a pretty big adventure.

It's hard to think that I'll be leaving my bed again for a dorm bed and dorm living again. I miss it already, haha. I haven't even begun to pack, but I figure that I have Mon-Wed to get that done.

*is getting itchy*

The word on the street is that in my entire class, there are 6 people total. 6. I am in a room with two other girls, both who already have CA numbers, who may or may not be from Colombia and Puerto Rico respectively. Here is a video I found of the apartments I am staying in:

Please note that when I first went to AMDA, my room was the size of the closet you see there and that was considered SWANK at the time. As was my private shower stall and toilet and my working sink that was literally an ancient basin with a pipe going into the wall. From the looks of this place, I have exposed brick, awesome basin sink with BATHTUB, and not 'a kitchenette' as they told me on the phone, but a full blown kitchen. I'm told there is a fitness center on site, a flat screen in the lounge and there is carpeting. This place may very well be the sexiest place I've ever lived. *crosses her fingers that her roommates are cool*

Or that everyone is cool, for that matter. 6 people? Are you serious? What if there's a bad vibe? One bad vibe in a group that small makes it tough, man. Also, I'm going to probably be the oldest one in our group. From what I'm gathering, all the AMDA West people are relatively younger.

*tries not to hyperventilate*

I'm just freaking cuz it's getting close, y'all. Tomorrow is my going away party and a week from that I am going to be in Los Angeles where I will be staying for at least a year. Thousands of miles away from nearly everyone I know and love. I think it's finally starting to sink in.

But as terrified as I am right now, as tight as my chest still feels like it's right.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Illustrated Insomnia

So it's 3:45am and I, your humble rambler, cannot sleep. I've wandered what I could of the interwebs and now I am chilling listening to some Jill Tracy and figuring I'd talk to you guys for a little while.

Why can't I sleep? I think it's mostly because of one thing - I want a tattoo. Now I know what you're all thinking - "But Stephanie, you're terrified of needles!" or the all important declarative statement - "But Stephanie, you are broke as a joke!" Well, this is all true, my friends. All very true indeed.

That doesn't stop me from wanting one, though.

As for the needle phobia, the concept of a tattoo doesn't freak me out in the slightest. My needle phobia kicks in when it comes to a full piercing of the skin and the action of something being drawn out or injected into my bloodstream. I'm guessing it comes from too many psycho horror movies and CSI-kind of shows in my developmental stages and a really horrible experience in the hospital as a kid. Oh, and the concept of novacaine. For something that numbs you to the point of drooling, it SUCKS to get.

Anyway, it's always been a distant musing of mine to get a tattoo. It's fun to sit and think on what I'd get, where I'd get it, etc. And I've had many ideas over the years, all of which are appealing.

But the other day I saw a tattoo on my LJ friends list and I don't know, I can't stop thinking about getting it. This girl's tattoo was very large and colored in ratio to what I'd want to get, but still. I can't stop thinking about it. I've even drawn it on myself and started designing the font in my head.

What the tattoo is, is the phrase "I Move The Stars For No One" from the movie 'Labyrinth.' I want to get it in a small, fantasy-style script, elegant but not too swirly or busy, on my inner wrist. At first I was thinking my right one, but I am right-handed so I've been drawing it on my left wrist and have been getting used to it there now, so either one I think would do. The prob is that if I got it there, I'd spend the rest of my life having to worry about covering it up if my job requires me to do so, for interviews, auditions, performances, you name it.

So I was trying to think of a place where it would be hidden under clothes most of the time and have it be my own private Idaho, so to speak. But that means my mid-section and back more or less and my mid-section is so unattractive. And as for the back, I feel it would look best on the upper back, but then it would still run the risk of needing to be covered or looking strange with clothing lines.

Then there's my OCD. Ever since I was a kid, I felt absolutely horrible about messing up something untouched. Like a fresh snowfall. It hurt me to see footprints get put in it, or have it be shoveled. As fun as it is, I still always had this regret and sadness over it. I LOVE tattoos, I think the ones Casey and all my friends have are absolutely gorgeous on them and augment them perfectly. But I still have that hesitation and pang in my chest over the idea of inking up my own body. I don't know why, it's so stupid, but I can't help it.

Anyway, I was just wanting to share that with you. And if any of you have ideas over where I might be able to stick this sucker where it wouldn't look dumb, let me know!

Monday, December 22, 2008

And onto the Madness...

So today has been...a weird day. A lot of thinking going on while I was zoning (basically tearing down boxes for 9 hours at work.) And as many of you know, thinking? On me? Is a bad look.

My brain tends to think a lot - there are many studies that show that the female brain fires much more frequently than the male brain. Ralphie May does an AWESOMELY funny bit on the idea, if you get a chance to see that funny bastard. Anyway, I think that if hypothetically the average female brain fires 50 times in a minute (I'm just picking a number here, I have no idea how many times a freaking brain has a thought,) mine must fire at least 150 times a minute.

I can't stop thinking. Ever. My brain, I've come to decide, hates me and wants me to be miserable. Today, it began it's first official attack on the concept that I was indeed uprooting myself in the middle of a recession to go off and finish my BFA in Los Angeles with enough financial aid loans to keep me in ramen noodles until I'm 500 years old. And then there's the other school loan, but we shall not get into that just yet...

See, I left New York for several reasons. The easiest way to put it and the biggest reason was - New York made me crazy. Granted, I knew I had issues when I left for New York, but I was a bright-eyed, bushy-tailed 18-year-old and that can get you REAL far before you know you are so deep in the mud that you can't breathe. I remember things like literally banging my head into a kitchen cabinet over and over - and that was before I really flew off the deep end.

The bottom line is that I returned from New York so beat up and destroyed on the inside that I had no idea who I was. I'm not even sure anything was left. I have spent the last five years of my life trying to rebuild my insides and let me tell you, I still have a huge, Huge way to go. But the world keeps turning, the sun keeps rising and I have been working on becoming a more stable, confident human being.

When I began my work on putting myself into the professional acting world again, I felt good about it. I still mostly do. And AMDA is definitely a step in the right direction for many reasons - I'll be able to see Los Angeles in a somewhat controlled environment, which I like, because I'm a timid creature by nature and do NOT like jumping into things without any clue of what will happen to me, how I'll survive, etc. I'll be getting the degree I have always wanted - A BFA in Musical Theatre. It may very well improve my GPA to the point that I can once again look into Grad schools. And above all, it may help improve my outlook on myself and my abilities as a person and as a performer.

But today, my brain took the first steps into negative territory and began to second guess. It began to doubt, and worst of all - it began to bring up the past. What if I get it in my head I can make it as a professional actress again? You know how well that went last time. You'll never make it, you know that - it's all about who you know or how pretty you are, and you, Stephanie, are not an attractive chick nor are you good at schmoozing. You have none of that 'it factor' that gets people to like you and want to work with you. Everyone thinks you're a nice enough girl, but you're forgettable. You're lucky if they remember your name a second after you say it.

My voice teacher from New York, Scott, is teaching at AMDA. I talked to him the other day about me coming out there and he thinks LA will be good for me - that it has a slower pace compared to New York, and that it is more laid back. I had to try hard not to contain my laughter at that concept. It seems to me that yes, LA is more laid back than NY. But LA's definition of laid back is big plastic smiles and mock sincerity about "how they'd love to hear more about you and to have your people call their people to do lunch, right after you brighten up that pretty smile of yours with some veneers and lose about 100 pounds, ok?" At least in NY they don't waste your time.

That is just my impression of LA, at least. I may be proved wrong. I may go out there and love it, and finally, FINALLY find my niche. And believe me, I'd love nothing more than that. To finally find that little corner of the performance world where I'm not only successful, but welcomed and comfortable. But, I only have so long to do that...

Which brings me to the money. I hate money. I hate that there has to be such a thing as bartering and consumerism in this world. As of right now, I am trying not to have a panic attack not about my psychological, emotional, even physical future. Right now, I am trying not to panic over the fact that I began working out my budget for LA and realized just how financially fucked I really am.

Even if I cancelled AMDA, the loans I have from OSU are enough to drown a person. Add on AMDA and you get the drift. But it's college, that's what college does. Fucks your credit. It is what it is. Considering the degree I'm going for and my rate of success in my life up to this point, I think I will have the dubious honor of claiming bankruptcy before I'm 30.

It just makes me want to cry, because I look at all the good, truly good people I know in my life who are trying to make a dollar out of fifteen cents at the moment and how fucked their credit is. I have decent credit right now. But that is all going to be history in a year and a half. And maybe I'm being stupid, but it made me feel at least a little secure to have that. Over the years, you give up a little more of yourself, a little more of your safety everytime you turn around. "At least my parents are doing ok." "At least I am making $7.00 an hour." "At least I don't have to pay that yet." "At least I'm in school." "At least I'm ok...for now." I don't like not feeling at least neutral about my future. Neutral, fine. Negative? Doesn't really make it easy to look forward to tomorrow, you know?

It becomes scary to wake up every morning. It becomes nerve-wracking to wonder what will happen to you in six months, a year, where you're heading and what will happen to you and those you love. I've seriously had the urge to smoke for the past month and a half, I can almost feel the cigarette between my lips...and I have never smoked a day in my life.

Anyway, I am tired, this has gone on long enough, I had a nice, long talk with some people who know a little better about financial things such as this and I need a hot shower. Walmart is a freezing place to work, yo. If you ever work there, be sure to bundle. Layering is the secret.

And do whatever you can not to wrangle and push carts back into the store in near-negative degree weather. Hide in the bathroom if you have to. Take it from someone who knows.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Tales Of Northern Deliverance

So I said the West Virginia audition would be a blog post all its own...well, I've been trying to think of something to write and I figured that now was as good a time as any.

To fill you in, there is this large audition called the Southeastern Theatre Conference, or SETCs. It's a big, mass audition with around 100 companies there who cast everything from summer stock seasons to Disneyworld Tokyo. If you can think it, they are casting it. In order for me to audition, since it had been so long since I worked professionally, I had to go to a screening audition at my specified regional auditions. Mine was scheduled for November, in West Virginia at this adorable little college about three hours away.

Perfect. I register, prep with my voice teacher, reserve a hotel room for the night and away I go. I'm in the best of moods, practically clicking my heels as best as someone can while driving, thinking about how excited and nervous I am to be jumping into this kind of life again - the world of mass auditions, scrutiny, cruise ship shows and fun, engaging theatres. The first two hours float by without a hitch, I've got Dane Cook and Ralphie May keeping me company and everything is rolling by quite nicely.

This is when I hit West Virginia.

I should have known things were going to take a turn for the worse when I not only saw a rebel flag (I knew I'd start seeing them as soon as I crossed the border - I'm not an idiot,) but a trailer hitched to a truck that is hand-painted with a panoramic scene of the civil war. I'm talking bleeding soldiers on the ground, horses running, the whole deal. On the back of the trailer was the requisite rebel flag, emblazoned proudly, next to an eagle with the phrase "Let's go kill those yankee bastards!!!" Underneath it.

Ok, I get it. You guys ae yay for the grey. I am aware. But you constantly boggle me and make me want to shake you. In the entire history of West Virginia and the Civil War itself, you consistently fail to realize that YOU ARE A NORTHERN STATE. If you hate the north that much, then move the F down to Georgia.

Anyway, I turn onto the final road I have on my map, another state route, and head on my way. The state route turns into a one lane road...on a the dark...

With no signs....lights...or people...or cell reception...

Needless to say by the time I actually found a gas station four later and got myself off of the bermuda mountain, I was a sobbing, nervous wreck who had had wayyy too many images of myself careening off the 20th dead man's curve I'd seen in 20 minutes for her heart to take. All I could think was "If I break down, if I crash n roll down the side of this mountain, no one will know where I am..."

I get back onto the highway and to civilization with little trouble considering what I'd just been through and make my way back to Columbus. I'm cold, I'm tired, and I'm exhausted. I'm on Route 33. The end is in sight! In 45 minutes, I'll be home!!! Cue the flashing lights behind me.

Yep, the cops pulled me over for speeding. But my red, swollen face and bloodshot eyes from hours of hysterical crying scared him away to leave me only with a warning. Thank god. And a scientific theory is proven - if you're a chick, crying will get you out of a speeding ticket.

After leaving at 12 noon that day, I returned home at 11:30pm. I crawled into my bed and did not move until the next day. Total. Disaster. Then, to add insult to injury, I got an email from the West Virginia Theatre Conference I was trying to Get to inform me that "I was not accepted to go to the SETC's." Well no shit, sherlock! I couldn't even find your crazy, Twin Peaks campus! But obviously, you didn't even notice I wasn't there since you think I auditioned for you.

The worst part of it was I was scared that it was a sign - a sign that I wasn't supposed to be doing this, that I should stop. Because I had gotten it in my head that it was this symbolic moment in my timeline, I had convinced myself that by it going up in smoke was a bad omen, or some sort of punishment by the great gig in the sky for being...I don't know, being me. Not being a good person, or not playing enough with the weird kid in class in first grade.

But I see it was just another one of the pieces falling into place for me, something taken care of to clear the way for what was really meant to be done.

Once again, I'm getting tired and running out of gas. How funny I finally get inspired to write these things when I'm about to pass out. Off to work again tomorrow - not so sure I like these 3-11pm and 2-11pm shifts, but of course it is better than nothing. *yawns hard enough to wipe tears* Oi.

Night all!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

On my way!

Well, I'm going to give this a shot.

I tend to be a bit of a sporatic blogger, mostly because I think of fun things to tell people when I am nowhere near a computer and then, once I get to one, I either don't have a single shred of recollection of said thing or I just don't feel like it anymore.

But I've made good friends over the years since I returned to Ohio and I still miss my New York friends like mad. And now that I'm heading off to the complete opposite coast...well, I wanted to see if I couldn't at least see if I could get a personal blog going again.

I can't promise constant updating, or even interesting updating sometimes. This might be somewhere I come to squee or to vent, who knows. But we're in this together, right?

So thanks for trying this out with me. Hopefully we can both keep up with each other and things will be right as rain. I gotta tell you, though, I'm a little paranoid. As Casey could tell you, (since she gets to know all my deep dark nueroses,) I have this thing about talking about something before it happens. It's why I was and remain to be pretty clammed up about this whole LA thing. I'm afraid that if I talk about it before it happens, that somehow it will all go tits up and fall apart before my very eyes. My girlfriend would simply look at me and shake her head, say 'silly girl,' and move on. I try to follow that kind of thought pattern - it's a nicer place to live. So here I am, talking about this before I'm officially in my dorm room at AMDA, getting prepared for the next step in my life.

Am I scared? Hell yes. Am I excited? No DOUBT. Am I sad to be leaving you all, or moving even farther away? So much I can't express.

But you know when things begin moving, all at once and seemingly out of nowhere, when things that don't seem to have any real connection to one another begin to slide into place and you're left staring with a whole new path you'd never imagined laid out before you? Yeah, that's kind of what has happened to me. OSU wasn't working, my job let me go and my first big audition in years landed me in the middle of the West Virginia mountains with no cell service and no civilization to help me get home. (That last bit would be a blog entry all on its own, trust me - the cops even got involved.)

So here I am, moving to a city I never dreamed of living, or even wanted to live (because seriously, a girl like me living in the land of skinny blonde perfection? Yeah, exactly where I want to be,) finally going for my BFA and getting to do it at AMDA no less. I'll be taking classes like 'Finance For The Actor' for my math, a dialect class (which is something I've been searching for since I was 15,) some film classes, some pop/r&b voice classes...I can't wait.

It's about a year-long program and it's still for Musical Theatre. Beyond that...I can't really think of anything else at the moment, it's getting late, haha.

So I guess I will wrap this up, welcome you once again to my blog and hope to see you real soon!!!

*hugs n stuff*