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.

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