Category Archives: Realizations

LA vs. NYC, by a 2.5-Years-in-the-Past Me

.

My friend just showed me this post he wrote on my facebook wall almost two and a half years ago. He was staying at The Viceroy in Santa Monica for a TV shoot. I’m fairly positive he was drunk off  $28 Client Dime Martinis when he declared his desire to jump coasts. And I probably wrote him back while sitting at my desk in Manhattan – overworked and underpaid.

In my response, I guess I’m trying to convince him that NYC is better than LA? But man, do I do a terrible job. Dreadful. I practically convince him to eventually move to LA. Which he did. Last week.

Reading my response today, two and a half years later, I think I just convinced myself to move to LA. And I’m writing this while laying in my bed in my apartment in Costa Rica, so at this point I literally have no idea what the fuck is going on. But I wanna go to LA YESTERDAY.

My response:

Jed! Don’t give into its powers. You aren’t thinking clearly – just look around you – your room has plates on the wall and someone cleans it for you everyday. And its FREE!l AND SO ARE YOUR LAVISH MEALS! That’s not REALITY!

In reality, LA is traffic. It’s a DUI driving home from the bar. It’s being spread out all over the city, thus creating a lonely feeling when one realizes they may be 8 miles from their friends but they’re actually 2 hours away from seeing any of them. It’s never being thin enough. It’s wanting to work in the entertainment industry just like everyone else. It’s never getting in anywhere cool because you don’t have fake boobs (or the male equivalent. Fake penis I guess?). It’s everyone dressed the same – like, LITERALLY dressed the same. It’s SPY sunglasses, UGGS, and Ed Hardy hats. It’s less American Apparel and more bedazzled trucker hat.

It’s 70º year round. It’s cheaper rent. It’s the freedom to sing loudly during your commute. It’s a cart full of groceries wheeled out and put in your car. It’s a house, not an apartment. It’s screenwriting opportunities galore. Or at the very least, it’s competition that pushes you. It’s UCB LA. It’s running along the beach. It’s sneaking into the viceroy to take a shit in their lobby bathroom – and letting them give you that free bottle of water, thinking you’re a guest who just got back from a run. It’s Joni’s coffee on a saturday morning (go there it’s not far from you). It’s shoppppping. Cheap manicures and pedicures. Sunny streets. Flourishing lawns. It’s not NYC.

I know how you feel, and I hope now you understand why I was bummed when I got here. It was nothing personal, I promise you. You’re my saving grace here.

And for what it’s worth, after a while you start realizing the things that make NYC fantastic.

Keep having fun.  Hopefully we’ll talk on ichat today. But I wanna hear how it’s going when you have time.

Sara

Advertisements

No Way. I say no way, is any of this real.

Think about it: we live in a reality where if you slice your skin, bright red liquid comes pouring out of your body. BUT. As long as you patch it up, the liquid miraculously stops and over time your skin grows itself back together and eventually, it’s as if your skin was never sliced to begin with.

We have always accepted this as reality but if you stop and really think about it, and I mean really think about it it sounds like something out of a low budget sci-fi film.

And it’s not just the skin thing, there’s more. Like, the DNA thing. You mean to tell me that we have some unique make up inside us that scientists can detect by putting a cotton swab in our mouths? Or by stealing a can of soda we threw in the trash… and rubbing a cotton swab on THAT? Or even by taking a little dribble of a man’s ejaculation… (which is a whole OTHER thing that seems too weird to be real – guys shoot stuff out of their penises? AND THAT’S  THE STUFF THAT MAKES ANOTHER HUMAN? No way. There’s just no way, that’s too ridiculous). So with a little of our spit, cops can read our DNA and tell us if we murdered the person found dead in the barn last week. Yeah, that sounds logical.

I mean, COME ON, guys. We have to just be being naive, right?

Let me stop what you’re thinking right now: I am completely sober. There is just too much we blindly accept as reality.

If you feel no need to question that you’re reading this while you have a basic skeleton shape underneath your surface, then how can you question anything at all? Sure, your skeleton needs milk to stay strong, that’s not random or anything. But no worries, if any part of it does break all you have to do is hold that part of your skeleton in one place for a few weeks and it will just mend itself, no big deal.

How have any of us non scientists never asked to see proof of anything? So many things. Actually, everything. Literally everything.

I’m going to stop letting my brain tell my fingers where to type these letters. And instead I’m going to click “post” and then this stuff will go onto the internet – a magical place where things live only in zeros and ones yet our eyes get to see the final product: this fucking post.

I’m not making sense. Or maybe I am, it’s just that there’s a chip inside your brain blocking you from comprehension. Sounds asinine, I know. But if this is something you were told from the beginning of your life it would make total sense. THAT’S MY POINT. Who knows, maybe THEY put the chip inside your brain! Because if you were to understand this post, the whole world would turn upside down.) You know, the world? That ROUND thing we live on… Not that you’re going to question that or anything.)

Don’t Back Up Your Shit!

I was so proud of myself for backing up my computer before turning it in to my last job. I connected my hard drive, dragged, dropped, deleted, emptied, gave it a wet goodbye kiss and handed my good friend in…

Well it turns out, you can’t just drag and drop a hard drive. Or something. All I know is, that shit is gone.

GONE.

Commence heartbreak. The slow kind of break that hurts more. OWWWW. My work! My memories! My life… vanished. I didn’t even tell anyone about it for a while, and we all know when you keep quiet about something you did wrong, it was either super dumb or super evil. Man. At least being evil is fun… this just hurt.

But wait. Wait just a hot second here…

Most of my favorite pictures are on facebook. And, let’s be honest, when was I going to finish writing all those “comedy pieces” anyway? And versions 1 through 45,234,938 of every script I ever wrote at Johannes Leonardo doesn’t matter because that approved 45,234,939th version is safe on a PDF on some other computer in the office. Sure, I lost music I’d purchased, but Steve Jobs has gotta eat, right? I’ll rebuy the ones I cared about or revisit some old tunes on my old computer. (In fact, I’m listening to Coldplay as I type this. So what?)

MY CHALLENGE TO YOU:

Stop backing up your hard drive. Live dangerously. Scoff at those who scoff at your carelessness. Trust me, your best stuff you’ve shared via email, facebook, or linkedin (if you are a raging nerd). It’s not gone forever, it’s out in the world where it belongs.

And guys with backup hard drives full of porn… really? That crap runs free all over the internet (I’ve heard). Put on some silk boxers, light some candles, and find some new .mov tonight, it’ll be fun!

CONSUME OR BE CONSUMED

There was a time I felt like a little bitty thing frolicking through life barefoot in the sun. But in New York I am a machine furiously moving between buildings, consuming everything in sight. And I’m not alone here – I look around and all the strangers are doing it too.

Must drink. Must eat. Must sweat. Must read. Must see. Must hear. Must hurry. Must everything.

That’s some Pacman shit.

chomp chomp

Get Out of Your Head

Improv is a tricky thing. A damn tricky thing. When you’re in practice, you just want to be good. And when you’re on a stage, you just need to be good. And with all the techniques you’re been studying – the ‘yes and’ing, the ‘if that then what else’,  the ‘playing to the top of your intelligence’ – it sounds simple enough, right?

Every once in a while, it actually does feel quite simple. Everything comes together beautifully. Your brain is clicking and your energy level is right where it needs to be. You and your team are having the time of your lives up there, while the audience pays you back in laughter. I can’t accurately describe the fantastic feeling you get when you make a connection in your head,  play it,  and a collective burst of laughter emerges from the darkness behind those lights. At the risk of sounding lame as shit – it makes you feel alive. Like the most powerful person on the planet. “Muahaha! Yes, you will all laugh when I tell you to laugh, and I shall live forever!”

But on the flip side, and perhaps more often than not, there are those times you are up on that stage with those lights in your face and so many ideas are flashing through your mind that you can’t seem to catch one long enough to use it. The result of this inability to make a decision is the empty sound of crickets in the audience. That is the purest feeling of ‘failure’. You want to apologize, “I’m so so sorry, you guys. Maybe we should just call it quits today and you can all come back tomorrow and I’ll try to make you not hate me again?”

The easiest way to get through these bad days is to remember that it will all be over soon. Someone will sweep the scene and you can head back to the safe world of leaning against the back wall, watching your team members pick up the slack and do that thing for the audience that makes them laugh and laugh. And in a few moments, they’ll forget about the catastrophe you just created up there. But the bad news about this is that this “safe world” against the back line totally and completely sucks! I mean, it SUUUCKS. It’s boring and shameful and NOT the reason you spend all that time practicing improv, watching improv, and studying improv.

In my experience, when I’m spending too much time on the back line, it’s because I’m so far inside my head that nothing on the outside happens. And all the audience gets to see is a coward, and this cheats them. They didn’t pay money to watch someone stand still and think up funny stuff in their mind for a half hour. They paid to see funny stuff.

My last three shows I feel I have been acting a coward. This is not who I want to be. Not in improv, and also – not in life.

So in my efforts to find the root of the problem, I’ve been forced to trace this cowardly behavior all the way from leaning against the back wall, to how I act on a day-to-day basis outside of improv.

And I’ve found that there are situations and things in my general life that need to change. This couldn’t have come at a better time. It’s Thanksgiving next week. Christmas is right around the corner. And after that? Ah yes, 2010.

The Coward Inside: But, changing things means you won’t know what will happen. That’s so scary!!!

The Rest of Me: Shut the fuck up.

I’m going to change a lot of things in 2010. Big things. And if you’ve been finding yourself acting cowardly lately, then maybe you should think about changing some things too. Because ultimately, making bold and confident decisions the only way to get the laughs, and that’s really all we want anyway, right?