Posts Tagged ‘christian’

Tide Turning?

September 22, 2010

A couple weeks ago, I did “featured extra” parts in one short film and one feature-length film.  The short film was done by a production company that apparently has a movie in select theaters right now and is tearing up some of the festivals.  The feature length movie is done by a guy who has already put something out there on DVD that is well-liked enough that the Chinese ladies who walk around to every open door in the city saying, “DVDs?  DVDs? $5!  $5!”, have his movie…which means you’re moving up in this city.  The part I did in the short film was total crap:  10 hours of sitting around for about 30 seconds of work that didn’t include my face (on the upside I got to meet and have about an hour conversation with Cindy Cheung from Lady in the Water.  She’s the young Asian girl that interprets the old myths for Paul Giamatti’s character…which means I’m only one degree from M. Night and Giamatti in the Kevin Bacon game.)  The feature film ended up being great.  I got to do a pretty cool fight scene with the main character that went on for quite awhile and then we had a couple minutes of dialogue before he shot me.  The director was really excited about what I did and said I impressed him and that he’d remember that for the future.  I think being an assassin and stunt person would be a pretty cool subordinate to my big picture dreams…if I had to settle.  While I was waiting around at that gig I finally got a call from an agent, which is something I had been waiting on for awhile.  We set up a meeting and today was that day.

So, when the day started, I knew I had that meeting and I thought I might go to an open casting call for some TV pilot.  The agent meeting was mostly crummy because she could tell right away that I have no idea how to play the game and she is just FULL of the game.  However, she must have seen something in me because she said she wanted me to get another actor (which will be Scott, decided I, because she said it could not be my wife) and do a 5-minute scene that I didn’t write and show her what I can do.  If she likes Scott, then she’ll rep him as well.  We’re just supposed to call her when we’re ready to rock it.  Then I went to the open call for the TV pilot and got cast on the spot.  The show involves undercover secret agents and singing and is being shopped to Nickolodeon and the Disney Channel.  I’ll let your imagination fill in the blanks and, yes, I know how ridiculous it sounds.  I will be recording a couple songs tomorrow for it in some studio.  I got home to learn the songs and, after getting a call for an interview tomorrow for the NBA Store, I got a call from another agent that wants to set up a meeting for the end of the month.  So, that’s cool.  Then I got a call from the director of an Alfred Hitchcock remake project and we set up an audition time for Thursday.  It was all in a very short amount of time which was strange and sort of felt like a prank.  God is good and I will continue to praise Him no matter what happens.  None of this means anything awesome yet but it seems as though things are starting to go my way a little.  We’ll see.

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January and February

February 27, 2010

It’s getting really annoying  writing on here without some sort of triumph to report.  Sigh.  That’s why entries are getting spaced out like vacuum supply stores.  We spent a lot of our heart and free time on this play I wrote out here.  Rehearsing was quite the process and pretty darn expensive once we moved out of our kitchen.  We had some pretty cool breakthroughs the last week of rehearsal and went in to our first performance without a tech rehearsal but with a lot of excitement and hope in what we had.  The first performance went well considering the lack of tech rehearsal but there were some nerves and minor issues that only we knew about.  We had about 7 people there for us out of the 60 or so total audience members.  It was a small theater by Peoria standards–probably would fit about 80 which is pretty big by NYC standards–and it was mostly filled.  At this point I was still under the impression judges were involved in deciding the winners all the way through the process so we were confident we would be moving on even though it wasn’t our best performance and we had relatively low audience representation.  We saw the other two shows–one was pretty good the other was terrible–and knew we had a better show.  Pretty easy round because only 3 shows were in each session and two of the three would move on to the next round…which we did.  The second round was also the semifinals and this is when I discovered that I was mislead by the bumbling artistic director of the festival.  This is when I found out that judges did not come into play until the finals…so the first and second rounds were completely decided by audience votes.  At this point–5 minutes before the first show started–I looked out at the audience and saw that, despite our best promotional efforts, we had 5 friends in the audience (afterwards we found out that three of them had to leave right after our show and, therefore, were not allowed to vote since they wouldn’t be seeing all the shows…even though we watched  as 15 people showed up right after our show pledging their allegiance for the last of the four shows–we were 2nd–and saw them being handed ballots and given instructions on how and when to vote before they were ushered into the theater).  Our show went great.  It was the best we had ever done it, the audience was cracking up and responding the way I had hoped an audience would back when I first wrote it.  I was really proud of us and, for the first time, absolutely, wholeheartedly believed in it.  I knew we had put together a fantastic play.  Then the next morning we looked on the appropriate website and saw that we were done.  No judges would ever see it and we would never get a chance to put it up against others on a level playing field.  Only one show from each session moved on and–guess who–it was the last show from our session that would be advancing.  This was just to punctuate what a popularity contest the first two rounds really were.  We had watched it.  It was well done.  It was…cute.  We didn’t think it was even in the same league as what we had just done….didn’t matter.  So, the competitive side of me felt unjustly ripped off and led me smoothly into a solidly depressive hopelessness that lasted for a good week…which was great.  My writing has come to a standstill because I’m usually spending my energy battling myself on whether or not there’s even a point to it.  Obviously, my persistence sucks.  My discipline sucks.  My sense of “creating for the sake of creating” sucks.  I’m really not cut out for this battle…..but God is and He’s saying “stay”.  The last couple weeks have been spent trying to figure out what our next step is and the only thing that gets us excited is the idea of performing our show for the artists in our church followed by a call to arms for all of the creatively gifted people in our church to come together in collaboration in an attempt to find purpose and to glorify God as directly as possible with our gifts…and see what happens.  First steps still need to be made on that.  We’ll see.

Other stuff:

So, it’s starting to get to that point where it is hard to remember what it was like not living in New York (I don’t think it is a coincidence that that sounds like something a prison inmate would write.)  The big picture and the major stuff is still there in my head but the details and the feeling of living in the Midwest is becoming harder to conjure up in the ol’ memory bank.  No, that does not mean living here is starting to grow on us…I think it means that 8 months is a lot longer than it sounds.  Anyway…

I know it is unwise to draw broad conclusions from singular events but, until shown otherwise, I am very uncomfortable with the mindset of rich Jewish people in New York City.  I worked my very first Bat Mitzvah a couple weeks ago and the experience was strange.  Even if I had Bill Gates-type money I have a hard time imagining dropping $80,000 (minimum) on my daughter’s birthday party.  Now I know that turning 13 is a bigger deal than any other age according to Jewish customs but I’m pretty sure that it’s because of  religion-based reasons that that is the case…and it’s difficult to take the relgious ceremony aspect of the whole thing seriously when you have someone with a microphone screaming to a room full of 12, 13, and 14-year olds (while the appropriately inappropriate rap song from 5 years ago thumps loudly from the speakers) “Where’s the sweat dropping?!!!” and the children respond along with the music, “Sweat drip down my balls!  Aaaall these b****es crawl!  Aww skeet skeet motherf—“….and on it goes from there.  This while all the parents look on smirkingly and the two adults paying for the party smile wider because the company they paid to come in to scream at and dance with these tweens are, in fact, making this party more lively.  I suppose it’s no different than families who celebrate Christmas with all the gusto and flair one could imagine and never pay one ounce of attention to Jesus (the Christ in Christmas) through the holiday.  Whatever the case, it made me uncomforable…but I did take home a lot of mints that had dear Molly’s name and birthday all over them.

Met some b-list celebrities at work recently.  It wasn’t really that cool and I didn’t have anything to slip to them so they could give it to their agents or any other cliched act like that.  The most exciting for me was meeting Devin Harris and Bobby Simmons of the New Jersey Nets.  If I were running a gossip column, I would tell you that Bobby Simmons ordered a Grey Goose and tonic and Devin Harris ordered a Shirley Temple because he was taking cold medication and I looked like a giddy school child getting to chat with NBA players…but I’m not, so don’t even ask.

I want “Up” to win Best Picture.  It featured the most beautiful montage in cinema history at the beginning of the film and it’s easily the best movie I’ve seen this year.  “Avatar” was visually amazing in 3-D but it doesn’t stand up as just a movie against Pixar’s latest gem.  Speaking of which…Pixar:  greatest production studio ever?  I think so.  Aaaaaaand bleh.

Most of the fall…from Eric

November 25, 2009

This is Eric:

I was really hoping that if I held off long enough from posting a blog I would have some sort of big triumph or victory to report.  However, any victories have been small and have been difficult to dwell in for more than a moment.  I have acted in 3 short films that are being edited now and I’m simply waiting on copies.  That means I’m 2 or 3 away from being able to realistically put together a reel of some sort.  I have a cinematography student with a crew that will be shooting the film that I wrote for Jenn and I in a little over a week so I’m please that that will finally get shot–though I won’t have time to sit and edit it with him until after Christmas most likely.  I have an audition in a week for a feature length movie that would actually take two weeks to film by way of a production company that has a real name and a real website–woo hoo.  I also wrote a one act play, that I’m pretty proud of, that I submitted for a festival/competition and we just got word that it was accepted so we’ll be doing that (with our good friend Scott acting with us)  in February.  So, I know that I have potential as a writer.  I know that my headshot is good enough to get me appointments for auditions.  I also know that I’m pretty darn good at my job.  There is a downside to all of it, though.  I don’t have enough time or ideas to be a prolific writer and really stretch where that might lead.  While I’ve been getting auditions, I haven’t felt like myself at a single one of them in the last month.  There is weird, conflicting swirl going on in my head–a bit of “oh crap, oh crap, you better get this, you better get this!” and a dash of “what difference does it make?” which leads to me resting solely on natural abilities and on-the-spot script interpretation which just isn’t enough here.  I haven’t felt completely confident about anything I’ve done or am doing in what feels like a very long time.  The job thing…well, at least for me, in this field being good at your job does not necessarily translate into making any money.  I have yet to close one deal….not a single one.  So, I’ve been working for free for about a month now…which means stirring up motivation to actually go into work has been…oh…gee…what’s the opposite of easy?….uh…right–like Rush Limbaugh selling suits and BMWs on the rough side of Harlem.  If it weren’t for Jenn’s evil eye, I probably would have given up and moved into a box by now.  Every time it feels like I nailed an appointment or have a senior agent give me some sort of approving hand gesture (not nearly as often a thumbs up as I would like…usually a point and a wink) after a “successful” phone call, I am then blindsided by some outside factor or mild form of neurosis on the part of the client and they decide that it would be better for everyone if they moved to suburban New Jersey and commuted 2 hours (1 way) into work every day—which is awesome.  It definitely feels as if God is withholding blessings…teaching me/us to trust in a way we’ve never had to before.  I didn’t realize that oh-so-subtlely began to trust, and take heart in, the number on my monthly bank statement more than God, Himself.  But I do.  After that was pointed out to me, it’s been an seemingly tireless battle to stop worrying about our funds quickly melting away and trust that He brought us out here for a reason and will take care of us beyond what we could hope for (while accepting failure if that is in His plans instead).  Thinking about as often I do and trying NOT to think about it as often as I do leads to very little progress.  At this point, I don’t even know we’ll have enough money to still be living here in February to do our play.  Right now, in this journey, the quest to quiet the potential “what if”s has led to countless “if only”s.  Mostly, if only we had made this much progress two months into our time here–instead of five–can you imagine how hopeful…how taken care of…how destined.. we would feel right now?  As it stands, it now feels like, after taking two stinking hours to figure out this whole “building a snowman” thing, it’s getting dark and Mom’s calling us in for dinner.  I guess we’ll see.

Some Randoms:

I saw this Hasidic Jew dude on the subway the other day with the most disorderly facial hair I’ve ever seen.  Instead of one beard, it looked like 635,000 individual hairs–each with their own personality.  It reminded me of an ear of corn after just peeling down (shucking?) the outer layer and then seeing all those wispy, wrangly strands hanging about.  Then I thought about how much I like corn-on-the-cob.  Then I thought about how gross it would be to eat corn that was just covered in that guy’s beard hair.  Then I thought about how unpleasant it would be to kiss that guy.  Then I realized it would be impossible because I literally could not see his mouth.  Then I saw that he didn’t have a wedding ring on so he was, most likely, not getting kissed by anyone.  Then I felt sad that he wasn’t kissing anyone.  Then I looked at his beard again and thought it was probably for the best.

So, New Yorkers talk about racism quite a bit.  But being from such a white vs. black area, I never really thought it was that much of a problem since I was witnessing so many different ethnicities intermingling and co-existing all the time.  My job though has introduced me to an unexpected source of racist attitudes:  the Greeks (is it racist to say that Greeks are racist?….hmmm).  The most obvious case was when I took a black couple out on an appointment and our last apartment of the night brought us to a neighborhood called Bay Ridge.  Apparently, nearly all of the owners and landlords in Bay Ridge are old Greek guys.  The landlord called to say he was stuck in traffic and was running about 10 minutes late.  So, we waited in front of the building and, about 20 minutes later, a older guy drove slowly past the property–his eyes searching the front of the building.  I noticed his behavior and stepped forward and tried to match his eyes.  He saw me, he waved big and pointed at my clients and made question marks with his eye brows.  I nodded and circled the three of us with my finger.  He waved again and kept driving slowly forward.  I presumed he was looking for a parking space…but he just kept going.  About two minutes later, he called me and said, “hello, Eric, I thought I was going to be there by now but it looks like now it will be like an hour…maybe two hours..uh…because something happened on the expressway…so…yeah.  If you and your clients want to wait, there’s a Dunkin’ Donuts close by.”  I tried to pin him down but he warbled his way out of the conversation and my clients decided our appointment was over.  I explained to them what he said and they immediately knew what really happened.  I knew they were right.  After finding out from the other agents that Bay Ridge/Greek landlords are known for that, I thought back to Jenn and I’s first conversation with our Greek landlord.  We admitted that we didn’t have jobs yet and were moving here to become actors.  He said, “eh, I’m not worried about that.  So, you like place?”  I really like our landlord.  He’s a great guy…but we are white….so he’s probably a racist.  Which reminds me that David Mamet is debuting a new play here soon called “Race” and it’s co-starring David Alan Grier.  Not only do I think that Grier is a poor choice for just about any role but I think Mamet is extremely overrated.  There, that’s a less awkward note to end a paragraph on.

Nearly all the film students here are freaking snobs.  They all defend Citizen Kane–which is horrible (any time you use the spinning newspaper headline trick more than five times in one hour, I think you deserve an F) and they all love Raging Bull (which is about like, I imagine, watching a step-by-step movie on how a cow in the field become the burger in your mouth).  They all completely disrespect anything that has any commercial success or is actually enjoyable to watch or can move a person to tears.  Which means I really like starting conversations that make them wish they had never cast me in their film…but then I’ll listen to the looong story about their pilgrimmage from Italy to New York City and make a funny joke and then they like me again.  But their opinions still suck…and they take too long setting up lights.  Also, I’m jealous that they’re going to classes about how to make movies.  Uhhhh, Thanksgiving should be nice.

Weeks 13 and 14

September 9, 2009

So I know I have lost out on parts in the past because of some reason other than the other guy being better for the part.  For some reason, though, this one was the most annoying and is taking the longest to get over.  Auditions for that play that were only open to showcase troop members were a week or two ago.  Pretty quickly it got narrowed down to me and one other guy for the one guy role in the show.  It was also quickly obvious (like…within the first ten minutes) that he was favoring this one particular girl for the lead girl role.  This girl happened to be about 5’5” without heels and also happened to be wearing 3-inch heels.  He read us together once and apparently decided that no audience could possibly settle into a story where the girl either doesn’t wear heels or is a couple inches taller than the guy.  From then on, I was matched up with all the other outside-looking-in-girls…some of  whom did a great job…but,for whatever reason, he kept going back to this one girl.  The other guy that was left happened to be 6’3”.  I would be okay and would understand if it was a tiebreaker situation.  However, this was far from a tie…far, far, far from a tie.  I do not want to be the guy badmouthing other actors putting it all on the line out here so I will simply say that, right now, this guy–in his abilities–has a very LOW ceiling and basically has one level at which he plays everything.  So, it felt more like I was ahead 93-68 in the final seconds and then the other guy grabbed a magic ball that read “height” and shot it in at the buzzer which reminded the referee to inform everyone that making a shot with that ball is worth 30 points.  Bitter?  Unfortunately, yeah…a bit.

The Monologue Challenge came and went.  I thought, after watching everyone, that I had a decent chance at getting in the top five which would make me a finalist and put me in the running to be voted by the audience as the winner.  I did not make it into the final five and was a bit surprised to see who did…which I guess gave the failure less of a sting but…eh.  The guy that won gave about 15 seconds of mediocre monologue and then sang ABBA and danced around the stage for the rest of it.  Jenn said it was like a dance contest where one competitor gets out there, does a jazz square and then backflips across the stage for the rest of the routine.  Sure, it stands out–and everyone loves backflips–but does it really count as dance?  It kind of felt like cheating…but whatever.

The last thing in this short run of opportunities was auditions for the sketch and skit troop within the showcase troop.  There are 4 separate and completely different showcases in October.  The monologue challenge winner gets to perform his monologue in every showcase but everyone else only gets to perform his/her monologue in one of the showcases.  The skits and sketches, however, are performed in every showcase…which means, since I made it into that troop, I’ll get to be seen by a lot more agents and the like than if I was just doing my monologue.  If I don’t get called in by an agent by the end of October then this long run of focussing on this showcase and the musical and really not auditioning for much of anything else will have been nothing more than a slight resume builder..and otherwise a total waste of time.  So…starting to get a little freaked out. 

The other annoyance is that after these last few months of watching and auditioning and contesting, etc. I know I belong out here.  Not only do I know that but I know that I was gifted with the talent to “make it” here…or, at least, in this business.  Why is that an annoyance?  Well, for starters I also have seen the fact that talent doesn’t usually even come into play and even when it does, there are enough other factors to make talent not matter.  So, if our year-and-a-half passes by and we take a look at our situation and realize that we are not getting any closer and no doors are opening and we are miserable…it’s going to be that much harder to close this door.  If I thought I/we were out of our league out here…it would make it a lot easier.  But that’s not the case…so I really hope something big changes in the next 15 months.

The musical I was in finally closed.  It ended up being pretty decent and we got some decent-sized crowds in there to finish things up.  There was just a bit of drama but nothing too bad.  It added zero dollars to our bank account and it was a whole heckuva lotta work and headache for one Off-Broadway theatre credit for the ol’ resume but some real friendships were forged and some networking opportunities arose.  My best guy-friend from the show sends me links for film opportunities and film agents all the time and encourages the crap out of me…he’s just a really nice guy and he talks like he “believes in me” and no we haven’t been making out.  My best gal-friend from the show had a birthday party the other day and introduced me to a friend of her’s that has made 3 or 4 documentaries and is trying to build her resume and reel from behind the camera.  This girl is, therefore, very interested in putting my write ’em and star in ’em idea to work.  She has access to all the necessary equipment and is just waiting for me to submit some scripts and start figuring out how and where we want to shoot.  I’m pretty excited and it sounds like she works as fast as I could possibly hope for…as far as let’s meet to talk about logistics, let’s meet to discuss camera angles, let’s shoot, let’s edit and now let’s do it again.  I have high hopes that this partnership will rock it.

Jenn is finally getting over the worst of her physical roadblocks.  She’s started getting out there to auditions again which is great to see.  Nothing is sticking yet but she’s getting back into the swing of things and looking like she’s getting her mojo working again.  Plus, she’s still really hot.

Some Randoms:  The fingernail test says that this is a really dirty place.  No matter how short I keep my fingernails out here and no matter how normal or sterile my activities are on a daily basis, my nails have crud under them all the time.  This isn’t from playing in the dirt or searching for loose change in the gutter.  This is walk from home, get on subway, walk to rehearsal, sit in rehearsal, walk back to subway, walk back home, look down at hands…DIRTIEST FINGERNAILS EVER!  I don’t understand it and it kind of scares me.

Just got to go to a Yankee game for the first time.  Stinkin’ gorgeous stadium…I would like to live there…in the stadium.  I guess I still hate the Yankees but it’s getting harder…dang it.

I’m looking into getting my realty license…which would get me pretty close to being a genuine New Yorker…having my security license and realtor license both and working whatever pays the most…total New York thing.

From dressing room time before the musical would start each day, I now know that a group of girls singing Michael Jackson at the top of their lungs is one of my biggest pet peaves.  I love Michael Jackson’s music and I really like his songs being appreciated and sung by others and I’m all for singing your guts out in public but I know now that I don’t want to be around the next time that specific combination is blooming…ever.

Also a new addition to the pet peaves list is girls with sassy ridiculous attitude problems that never grow out of their sassy ridiculous attitude problems.  On Saturday and Sunday, my relief from my security post is a “grown a** woman”–as she would put it.  In the five minutes after she got there and before I left on Saturday morning, she managed to talk about one of the other guard’s horrible body odor (which doesn’t exist), talk about how the poop-smell coming out of the bathroom was going to make her go home and we better take care of it or something bad was gonna happen (there was no poop-smell because there had been no poop), how she knew she was late but we better not say anything because she got “crunked” the night before and we were lucky she even showed up, AND how one of our supervisors better stop talking and watch himself because “I’m a black belt!  He’s like 23 and I’m 45-years old…he’s young enough to be my son and I will whoop him.  I brought him my card to show him I’m a black belt and he ain’t no competition to me.  I’m 45-years old!  He ain’t no competition to me!  I’ll stick my foot up his a** if he talks to me like that again.”  I was unaware of the disagreement that preceded this particular rant but I’m sure it involved this supervisor talking to this woman like he was her boss…which he is…so..yeah.  I don’t think grown-ups should behave this way.  Is it me?  It’s probably me, isn’t it?  Yeah, it’s me.  Wait a second…no it’s not…riiight.

Weeks 11 and 12

August 26, 2009

The show in which Jenn and I met was called Praying For Rain.  It was a drama at the lab theatre that didn’t really have any sort of hook synopsis to get people interested.  We had a couple of performances that barely drew 25 people.  I figured those would be the lowest attended performances I would ever be apart of…and I certainly didn’t think that anything in New York would beat it.  Well, through five performances so far, 28 is our high with our low mark coming in for our Sunday night performance with…4…people.  4.  I believe it speaks to the adversity this cast has had to overcome just to get this show going that we were still able to put out a high-energy, high-effort performance in spite of feeling kicked in the gut after our first glance out at the audience.  Any other show I’ve done would’ve been crap if we looked out and saw that but it was only the 6th time running the show all the way through so maybe there’s still some excitement over doing it without getting stopped for some ridiculously petty detail that needs fixing while gaping holes in continuity still prevalently exist.  Anyway, it finally feels like we have a pretty good show…at least as good as this show could be.

Auditions for the showcase troop’s full play are this week and if I got into it that would mean a little bit of extra money come showtime since the 4 actors in the show will share 60% of the profits…which admittedly will be pretty small I’m sure.  Also, the monologue challenge is less than a week away and the director said that even I don’t win, he’s positive that I will get called in for an interview with at least a couple of agents.

Having Jenn’s mom here was really nice.  She fought through having more than one night where both Jenn and I were completely unavailable due to work or rehearsal.  The rest of the time was spent exploring and having fun.  She and Jenn got to see Mary Poppins which they raved about.  I didn’t get to take part in much but the last two days she was here we all got to go on a tour boat around the city which was very relaxing and informative and to the “Top of the Rock”.  The top floor of the Rockefeller Center presents a gorgeous view of the city that I wasn’t expecting–especially getting to look out over the whole of Central Park.  Those were some nice and surprising treats. 

Working midnight–8am three straight mornings while going to a 3 performance day and night or 7–8 hour rehearsals is a terrible existence and I don’t recommend it to anyone.  Therefore, I am motivated beyond what I could’ve been otherwise to land as many commercials (once an agent or two are in place) as I possibly can.

My friend from college (Becca) came into town and we got to hang out for a few hours the other day.  Then some friends from my irreplaceable group back home in Peoria are in town this weekend but I have 7 performances in 4 days so I won’t get to hang out with them as much as I would like.  Overall, August will have been a busy month for visitors which leaves me happy.

I am still slowly working on my feature-length screenplay but I got another idea the other day.  The director of the showcase group said that our resumes really need at least 5 credits in the film/tv category and I only have 2.  So, I think I’m going to start trying to plow through on empty days and whip out 4 or 5 short-film scripts (about 20 minutes) and go to all the film schools and shop them around.  I’ll present them to people/students needing scripts to direct and produce with the understanding that if they agree to take it, I get to cast it…and then I’ll just cast myself and Jenn and, if needed, other people I’ve met that know I could trust and whom could use the resume credit.  The one thing going for me is that I’ve read through quite a few student-film scripts by now and they’re nearly all crap…just absolutely no good on any level.  I know I can do better, and if I do, maybe the filmmaking students will see it as an opportunity to make something decent for a change.  I don’t know if it’ll work but I’ve heard worse ideas.

Some randoms:  Tension levels have been running high lately within certain factions of the cast of this musical.  Because of this, there is a lot of tough-guy talk in the locker room and it amazes me how every single guy “will put your a** on the ground if you keep trying to get up on me.”  Basically, nearly every fella in the cast can beat up everyone…ever.  I stopped being good at math about junior year of high school but I’m pretty sure that someone has to be wrong.  Actually everyone but one has to be wrong…and if you factor in Chuck Norris then even that one is wrong.  And I’m positive that I could beat them all up anyway so it doesn’t even matter…..(and yes that irony was intentional).

Just saw a preview for some movie with Jamie Foxx where Gerard Butler took the role that I would’ve demolished and used to send me on my way to stardom.  Why couldn’t they just wait?  Freakin’ Gerard Butler. 

I forgot to take socks to the theatre the other day.  I really didn’t want to do the show sockless so, when I saw some seemingly spare socks in somebody’s personal shoes, I took them.  I was hoping to quickly return to the dressing room after the show and return the socks to the shoes they came from with no one knowing any differently.  About halfway throught the 1st act, though, a buddy (real nice guy but we’re not close) from the cast came out smirkingly seething that “somebody stole my socks…they actually stole my socks…who the…?”  I then explained to him why someone might steal his socks and then eventually admitted that it was me.  An awkward moment then followed.  Now I have to do laundry a lot sooner than I wanted.

I haven’t had a farmer’s tan this bad in a long time.  There aren’t really any pools to go to and it’s tough to find time to have a day at the beach so the only way to fix it is to be one of those shirtless douchebags at a public park…not sure what the solution is…”YOU MUST SACRIFICE ONE!  IS IT DIGNITY…OR PRIDE?!”  That was actually a quote from the spartan warrior yelling-voice in my head.  If you quote the voices in your own head…what does that mean about you?  Whoops…thinking time’s done.

Week 10.5

August 13, 2009

Last entry, I forgot to mention the best NYC story I’ve heard to date.  I won’t tell who I heard this story from but you don’t have to know that to feel strange and laugh hard.  So, somebody had a friend who was dog-sitting for her friends.  She was supposed to check in, feed him, play with him, and walk him once in the morning and once at night.  The first few days were fine but for the nighttime visit on the 3rd day, the girl walked in to discover that the dog, who was about 12 years old, had died.  Knowing that the owners were not going to be home and that she didn’t want to be blamed for it, she decided to take the dog’s body to an overnight vet to get checked for a diagnosis where she would then call the owners and inform them of what happened and let them decide what to do with the body.  She looked around the apartment and could not find a pet carrier which made sense since this is an 80-pound labrador we’re talking about.  After searching the apartment some more she settled on the biggest suitcase she could find to transport the rather large body of this dead dog.  She dragged and carried the thing down a couple blocks and up the stairs into the subway.  Once on the train, sweating and panting, she was approached by a nice looking young man who was sympathetic to her exhausted disposition.  He said that it looked like a really heavy bag and asked her what was going on.  The girl knew the truth sounded creepy and embarrassing and might get her arrested on suspicion of being a psychopath…so she made up a story about a crazy roommate and her abusive boyfriend and how she just had to get out of there, so she stuffed everything she owned into this one suitcase and was on her way to another friend’s place across town.  She was rather proud of herself for improvising so quickly and convincingly and the nice young man continued talking to her about the woes of bad roommates and angry men.  Once she indicated they were at her stop, the young man asked if he could at least help her carry her bag to the bottom of the stairs out of the station.  She was grateful to not have to struggle through the turnstile and down the stairs with this dog-filled luggage and had grown rather comfortable with the guy during their 15 minutes of train-conversation, so she accepted his offer.  This being New York though, he, of course then, pushed her to the ground and ran as fast as he could out of the station and and down a side street that was too dangerous for her to follow……………..Now this did add an extra layer to her already awkward explanation to her out-of-town friends (as well as a large piece of missing luggage) but what in heck is that guy gonna be thinking when he opens up that suitcase?  The possibilities are vast in number and variance but my bet is that he eventually decided he wasn’t going to get nothing out of it.  So, on a hope that the rumors about Chinese people were true, he dragged that thing to the back door of every restaurant in Chinatown and then sold the smelly suitcase for $20.  I can’t even venture a guess on what kind of dough one would get for labrador…but after almost dying from shock and disgust, I doubt he agreed to anything too cheap.

So, I barely made it through the weekend of late work and no sleep with a little hint of softball and rehearsal…but I did.  One of the pastors picked me up from work at 8:05am on Saturday morning and drove me to the tournament and I got there just as our first game was starting.  Over the course of 3 games, I got to make 3 Sportscenter catches (including one from which my knee is still bloody and disgusting), knock in a few RBIs and run the bases a bit….but we got trounced all three games.  On top of that, all the other teams in the tournament and in our bracket were completely Korean.  I already hate to lose but my apparently-racist-patriotism made this even tougher to swallow.  It was really nice to compete though and the fun made it worth it.  I got in a few hours of sleep after the tournament before going back to work at midnight.  Then went home at 8:30am and busied myself to stay awake so I could be at church for worship team rehearsal by 10am.  Got home around 1pm and went to musical rehearsal from 2-9:30pm.  This weekend I also have to work three straight midnight to 8am shifts.  This time, Saturday morning awaits with a 9am–4pm musical rehearsal and then the same church deal Sunday morning before needing to be at the theatre for our opening show which is at 2pm.  Now I have an excuse to have college stoner sleeping  habits during the rest of the week….so I guess that’s the positive.

Speaking of musical rehearsal:  for those with experience in theatre…imagine being within two days of opening night and still not once having run the show through start to finish….not even once…now throw in the fact that you have two different casts that both haven’t run the show even once.  That is the case here.  We had an atrocious rehearsal on Sunday which got us about 2/3 of the way through the first act.  Then nothing on Monday.  Then a short music-only rehearsal on Tuesday.  Then Wednesday (last night) an attempt at cue-to-cue tech rehearsal which would then lead to a run-through….but only got us through 2/3 of the first act on simply the cue-to-cue (how is that possible with 6 hours of rehearsal time?  Well, it basically ran as if they had pre-hung the lights and then were doing the light design for the show on the spot…so it averaged out to about 1 cue per 15-20 minutes).  Now we don’t have rehearsal Thursday or Friday with 7 hours planned for Saturday and us still needing to finish the cue-to-cue.  If I had the lead or a really big part, I could at least think that “if I just do the best job I can possibly do, then the show could still be saved”….but I don’t so I feel helpless and scared of being tremendously embarrassed.  I cannot imagine a worse experience from the technical side of things.  The cast is, mostly, terrific which is the only reason this thing has a chance.  But every aspect of the behind-the-scenes work is as ignorant and childish as I can possibly imagine.

Jenn’s mom got in town yesterday all safe and sound.  Although the week will mostly be girl-time for the two of them, it’s nice for me personally to have someone familiar and bright-eyed with us here.  Mom Von-Behren has a lot she wants to do this week and she’s very excited about it.  It happens that I have a very busy week this week, which will cause me to miss most of it but the long-term effects are at least a happier wife…which is never bad.  Hopefully we can help her have a great time.

Some observations:  I got to see my first homeless guy peeing right out in the open.  It was on the steps leading into the subway station.  Some people started yelling at him, others mockingly applauded and exhorted him as classy…the overwhelming feeling that came over me was…actually jealousy.  What freedom!  Now this feeling did not stem from his placement in life….just from the fact that he was peeing right out in the open.  I was not longing for the expectation-free, responsibility-less, no-room-for-fresh-guilt existence of the homeless guy.  I just really like peeing outdoors and to be able to do it right out in the open with no mind paid to who might walk by or if they see my thingy…now that would be something. 

Sometimes there is no room for sensitivity within honesty.  I need to stop fearing this and its potential repercussions…..so does everybody else.

Weeks 7 & 8

July 27, 2009

This has been a busy and tiring last couple of weeks but not in a way that means I have loads of career-ly good news to write ab0ut.  So, I officially have a job which means that both of us are now employed.  If nothing else, that buys us more time.  Our bank statement this month informed us that, at the rate we were withdrawing, we would have lasted 3.5–4 months longer without income.  We’re still not completely sure (full disclosure in scheduling apparently isn’t in vogue for NYC employers) how much income we actually have coming our way but we do have the knowledge that all you have to do to move up within an NYC company is not quit or get canned for 3 months and then ask (for a raise or promotion).  As hard as it has been to get jobs, we’re now looking around at our bosses and coworkers wondering why it’s so hard to get employment.  New York City job market:  warm bodies desired.

Anyway, Jenn has been adjusting to her new work schedule which is typically 5pm to 1am three days a week and going to a few auditions.  (I wrote her a monologue which is better than the one I wrote for myself and we’re both excited for her to use it but there has not been an appropriate audition for it yet.)  I have been going to more “training” (i.e. excuse to get more money out of me).  But this time it led to a company that actually places promising candidates, and since I can speak, write and remember to wear shoes, that means me.  That means it also led to a “hot” uniform.  Sleek black pants with thick, sexy gray stripe down the side, short-sleeved gray button-up shirt with massive patches of U.S. flag and company name with black pockets and clip-on tie.  Phew…now let’s take a few moments to cool down…okay.  What I mean, of course, is that it’s embarrassing but that’s okay.  I trained on-the-job a few early days last week.  The site supervisor is a lady that fits perfectly into the description that my wife came up with to describe cops and a former boss of ours–aggressive but not too bright.  Add to that mix the catch-you-off-guard sensitivity of a woman and a less-than-stellar grasp of English and you have a pretty good hold on Captain Garcia.  She really likes to explain things as absolutes and then completely contradict herself 5 minutes later and, when questioned, talk to you like you’re a complete moron for not already understanding how things work.  The irony of it all is that I can say, with near-total certainty and within the realms of complete modesty, that I am the most intelligent person she has ever trained or worked on this job with.  I ask questions that pop up when I see blindingly obvious inconsistencies and contradictions (between what she says one minute to another or what our “post orders” tell us and what she tells us) and she gets worried and confused because…this is the first time she’s ever heard those questions or had anyone call her out on anything…because everyone else she’s trained has just smiled and nodded and said “uh huh” at everything she said…because they’re not very smart.  I ask questions and, in her mind, must be the dumbest person she’s ever come across.  However, I don’t have to work with her much anymore because, most likely, my schedule will be midnight to 8am a few days a week.  I worked that shift a couple days ago and it will certainly call for adjustments on my part but it’s the only shift that stays out of the way of rehearsals and auditions….so I’ll make it work.

All of this potential frustration as well as rehearsal frustration and general NYC hatred has given way as of late.  Nothing really improved other than what was going on in my own head and heart…and there are a couple reasons for that.  The biggest reason is that God put it on my heart very clearly–in a moment of horrible brokenness–to add discipline (something I’m terrible at) to my walk with Him by writing His words on my heart by reading the Bible about 3 times as much per day as I’ve ever been comfortable with.  I started this beautiful but difficult regimen last week and (surprise!) things started internally improving pretty quickly.  It’s not really a matter of NYC not sucking anymore or musical rehearsals not being maddening or getting a job that’s a great fit by any means.  It’s more a case of not really thinking about all of that or worrying about it because I’m constantly thinking about Jesus and seeing His glory and beauty in everything around me and wondering how I can better honor Him in my actions and words….and He’s everywhere–just as much here as Peoria or Kansas City or China or anywhere else–so I can observe His magnificence wherever I am and take heart that He is with me always.  The second thing is…Wilson Phillips.  The same day God urged me to read His word more Jenn and I were in Wal-Greens waiting for a no-baby prescription and Wilson Phillips greeted my ears for the first time in years.  It made me really happy but also got trapped in my head more permanently than I’ve ever experienced.  That might drive some people nuts but, suprisingly, I freakin’ love it.  Whenever I can feel myself start to swoon and I’m not in a position to whip out my Bible and read a couple more chapters, I can simply sing to myself these glorious lines put to a wonderfully catchy-inspirational early 90s melody:  “Break   free  from  the chains.  I know that there is pain but if you    hold on for one more day  break free break from the chains  (drum      drum      drum   drum   drum-drum-drum) someday somebody’s gonna make you wanna turn around and say goodbye (say goodbye) until then baby are you gonna let ’em hold you down and make you cry  (don’t you know) don’t- you-know   if-you-change   things’ll go your way   if you hooooold on for one more day-yeah  if you you hoooold on for one more day   things’ll go your waaaaay  Hold On For More Day!”  Is this merely a coincidence?  Or is the one glorious hit from Carnie Wilson, her sister, and the blonde chick part of God’s amazing plan and encouragement for me?  Well, I know that God uses and loves some music that isn’t genred as “Christian” music, and if you look at the vague, yet aspiringly inspirational message in those lyrics….how could it not be meant directly for my heart.  So, if you’re reading this Wilson Phillips (of course they’re reading this…all together squishing into two neighboring computer chairs in Carnie’s basement right before watching Beaches for the 142nd time and alternating chapters reading aloud from the Twilight series), know that you gals and your beautiful music are part of God’s plan.  Isn’t that nice to know?

Jenn’s birthday was this past weekend and we had a very nice evening.  Some coupons and gifts joined together to give us a nice dinner out and then we visited Roosevelt Island which was very pretty at night and then we made our way home for some husband and wife fun and then ice cream cake and prizes (gifts)!  A really simple but wonderful night.

I had the first couple practices for the church softball team.  P90X has really improved the power in my hitting stroke.  We have a few more practices and then an all-day tournament coming up 2 Saturdays from now.  I can’t stinkin’ wait!

Some observations:  Prostitution is, of course, illegal here.  However, I just found out that advertising for prostitution is apparently okay.  Wouldn’t the cops figure that whole thing out.  “Man, I’m an undercover cop and I don’t know how to catch those dang hookers in the act so we can arrest them…hey lookey there, here’s 58 ads for hookers in a mainstream newspaper handed out for free at the entrance of every subway station in the city…hmmm.”

Riding on the subway with a security guard uniform on is humbling.  I guess that’s okay.

Week 6

July 15, 2009

I forgot to mention that we spent the actual 4th of July at Coney Island.  I had never been there and I think it is now my favorite spot in this wretched place.  The sand is cool (as in temperature), the junk food is spectacular, and it doesn’t feel anything like the city.  It’s nice.

Jenn got a job–which is a huge blessing!  She went back for the 2nd interview at the top-of-the-line bowling alley and was the only person the managers actually settled on by the end of the day.  They all could agree that she had a brain and was professional and would be a great fit for their administrative marketing position.  For all the other positions, for which it was apparently acceptable to dress like a hooker for the interview, the male managers had to battle out which chest they most enjoyed ogling.  We haven’t yet found out how much she’ll be paid or what her hours will be exactly but tomorrow we will.  Though she is working in the back office, if she plays her cards right she might be able to see George Clooney pick up a spare during a coffee break (or maybe even shake hands with Carrot Top–hey, let me dream).

I’m really impressed with this showcase thing I’m in (it’s called The Actor’s Project NYC).  Wednesday was my first troop meeting and everyone in there is really talented and really supportive and the head guy picked out a monologue for me that I think I can knock out of the park and allows me to act like a total idiot.  It’s still awhile until the showcase rolls around but, along with the troop meetings/rehearsals of monologues, there are also free workshops for your resume and bio and headshot and networking with agents and all kinds of stuff, plus competitions, plus auditions for other aspects of the showcase.  Also, now I have people I can go to with the “I got an email or saw a flyer or an ad for this thing…is it legit or a scam” questions…which is a big help for me since I really have an issue with trusting people too easily.

Rehearsals continue for this music-less musical and now I am not sure which is worse:  training to be a security guard with the worst person ever as my instructor or sitting through these rehearsals.  I don’t think I’ve ever come across a director that is a worse time-manager.  If you’re not going to use a certain group of people for the last hour-and-a-half then tell them they can go home or come late or whatever the case may be.  He doesn’t give clear direction and then blames the actors for not doing what he wants and stops scenes every 10 seconds no matter what, making it impossible to get any kind of feel for the whole scene or get any momentum of any kind.  He’s also quite easily sucked up to and rewards it with extra parts and solos….which means I am at the bottom of his list I think.  The closest thing to sucking up I can muster is not punching him in the face for being a moron.  Even if I’m the lead in a show I love, I typically dislike rehearsal….a lot.  So, this will end up being the hardest earned “credit” for my resume I could ever imagine.

I had my first paying gig on Saturday.  Yep, twenty-five whole stinking dollars—take that self doubt!  It was doing street improv for an art project.  Basically they put a sculpture on the sidewalk that looked like rolled up sidewalk in a busy part of Brooklyn.  Then they gave the three of us actors lab coats and clipboards and had us act scientific (by measuring it and taking samples and such) and try to convince people it wasn’t a sculpture but in fact the sidewalk rolled up.  “This is an aberration which is a mutation of urban structures.  We believe this is caused by group tension or stress.  We already know that human behavior can effect the physical world with carbon emissions and other pollutants.  Well, our theory is that the physical world can also be effected by mental and emotional activity of human beings.  In previous aberrations, we have found traces of norepenephrine which is the hormone in the brain linked to stress.  Also, we have anecdotal evidence of aberrations popping up during the Great Depression, WWII and sporadically throughout the 70s.  If the economic crisis isn’t righted soon and group tension isn’t lowered soon, we believe these aberrations could soon be in walls, foundations of buildings, or even the human body.  This could very well be just the beginning.”  So, obviously, I repeated something close to that quite a few times during my two hours of “work”.  Some people got it and played along and had a good time with it.  Other people got it and, for some reason, got really mad (mostly engineers and architects).  Surprisingly, quite a few people bought it, were very concerned and thanked us profusely for being on the case.  Anyway, it was a quick two hours and a lot of fun.

That was the beginning of a busy day on Saturday.  I then rushed from there to a musical rehearsal.  Thankfully, I only stayed there for about an hour and then went to my callback audition for the improv comedy group I first auditioned with a few weeks back.  I made sure to show some completely different stuff this time around and I got into the group.  My first performance will be this Saturday.  After being around a lot of the members of this group at these couple of auditions, I am really really impressed by the network of sketch and improv comedians I worked with at University of Illinois.  Now I know, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that that group of people at U of I would combine for the greatest improv or sketch comedy group in all of New York City.  Granted:  with all the options here, nobody pays for improv and sketch comedy shows so it would make sense that the best of the best in that category do not reside here…still go U of I comedy network…we ruled.

On Sunday, we went to a barbeque after church with our new church friends and that was a great time with lots of food…a really nice, fun blessing.

I have a feature-length film audition coming up that I submitted for only because I assumed that they wouldn’t call me in to audition.  I was wrong so now I have to try to figure out how to speak with a “legit” South American accent by Thursday.  I guess I’ll google it.

Jenn finally allowed herself to take some days off from auditioning/waiting for hours on end (I think it was getting the job that did it) which is a relief to her body and, actually, a relief to me.  I was intensely getting quietly annoyed at her persistence.  I guess admiration has a limit before turning.  Anyway, I’m glad she doesn’t feel so much pressure now.

Some observations:  In Peoria, if you see somebody walking out of a business with a black plastic bag it means they either just bought/rented pornography or bought something from a store that specializes in pornography.  In NYC, just about every business uses black plastic bags for anything you buy from there….and I’m just not used to it yet.  I walk out of a little side store with a pack of batteries and a carton of juice and I feel like everyone’s staring at me and judging me for my filthy perverted purchase.  I try to hide the bag altogether or make sure the contents of the bag are visible whenever possible and am always looking at the ground hoping nobody sees my face.  It’s completely embarrassing without anyone else’s help.

Tyler Perry’s thought process as I imagine it:  What would make this scene funny?  Oh, I know:  someone can say something really really loudly.

It makes more sense that people in this place are angry or depressed when you realize that a game of bowling costs at least $16 and a movie ticket costs at least $12.50.  Every other way of trying to entertain yourself or go out and have a little fun follows suit.  So, if you have the stress of barely making a living, we offer you no accessible reprieve by way of fun:  good luck.  If this city had testicles, I would kick them.

Random Thought

July 10, 2009

God gave this to me while I was trying to fall asleep the other night…thought I’d share:

Desires are unquenchable.

Desires fuel/guide/determine pursuits.

Therefore, pursuits are everlasting.

This is done by design.  God made us this way because he wants us to desire HIM the way–and as powerfully–as He desires us.

Everything else has limits.  Everything else runs out.  If your desire is possessions so your pursuit is gaining more and more and better and better, eventually you either run out of things to buy or steal (because of lack of funds, limited interests, or something else) or you continue buying but cease to gain any real satisfaction or happiness with each new possession.  If your desire is sexual and your pursuit is that brand of pleasure, you will eventually run out of conquests or perverted twists “to keep things interesting” (if you even survive the potential consequences) or you will find yourself heartless and numb to that pleasure.  If entertainment is your sole interest, you will eventually run out of anything new, anything fun and it will all be the same…or you’ll simply find yourself bored and empty.  If respect and esteem is your pursuit and desire, you will eventually find that no actual power or contentment lies in that and you will always, unstoppably, become less important and less interesting to those who once looked up to you.  Anything worldly you can think of will lead to discontentment, depression, or death.

He/God/Jesus is the only desire that never runs out and never stops offering gains with each passing day.  You could spend every minute of every day for the rest of your life learning about Him and never learn everything.  You could spend that time trying to get closer to Him and never get close enough.  You could use all of your heart, mind, and soul to worship and love Him and never feel as if you’ve loved Him or worshipped Him enough.  You could pursue Him and His works for all time and never run out of things to do, learn, love, give, teach, or speak.

On the other side of this, though– this inability to find a finish line will not feel like failure or evidence of some inadequacy when observed truly.  Every gain of the heart or mind; every inch closer to Him you crawl, every new hour you walk with Him hand-in-hand is better than gaining the whole world.  So, the feeling is not “this game cannot be won, so I wish not to play one hour more!” but, instead “this is amazing!  when can I get more?!” and the well will never run dry.  Ever. 

This emptiness in all of us; this feeling and wonder of what else is there or “please what’s next” …is a gift.  It is a gift given by God to His creation so that we all might eventually look to Him as possibly the fulfillment we seek, the end of “what else?”.  So that no matter your surroundings, your family, your country or education, your heart might someday seek its creator and yearn for the only void-filling end-all that exists.

Lies are being whispered into all of our hearts, though…telling us that all these distractions are the answer, telling us how dull and antiquated all this God-business is and how weird it would be to not be the person you’ve worked so hard to be and not feel like you’re the one in control of all this.  However, there is no roller coaster, no scary movie, no sky dive, no orgasm, no new car/couch/house/tv, no earthly relationship that can compare to one second in the presence of the King.  And if we choose it (and it is a hard choice to make…daily) it is there for us every moment for the rest of our lives…and for all eternity.

 

**That is all based very closely on God’s words and I was simply sharing.  But if, by God’s grace, any of this has put a pain in your chest or a weight on your heart, that too is a gift and I plead with you not to waste it:  sincerely ask Jesus Christ to come into your heart, change your life, forgive your sins and show Himself to you.  If you do this, tell somebody that would be excited about it (don’t keep it to yourself) and ask them to pray for you, help you with your next steps, and start talking to God every moment you can.  See what He does and accept His ultimate gift.

If you’ve already given your life to Jesus and this has simply convicted or softened you to the half-heart you’re giving Him…well, I’m in the same boat.  And I would love to talk so we could help each other to…dive closer to fully focussing on the one thing that truly matters and fulfills.

If this offended you, I would really love to talk so feel free to contact me if you are as willing to listen as to talk (I promise I will be too).**

Week 5.5

July 8, 2009

If I were the editor of a New York City paper, I would right now tell you that the 4th of July happened–and there were fireworks and people gathering!–and Michael Jackson died–and he was a terrific father and performer but kind of weird sometimes!–this last week and a half…and that’s it!  Nothing else happened at all…ever…not even some guy consuming a hot dog on a Tuesday happened so don’t even ask!  The earth stopped and 2 things happened so shut up!

I don’t know how the media coverage is elsewhere but here…it’s pretty ridiculous.  Anyway, this has been a really rough week but I will try to not simply rant for 1000 words.  The Monday before the 4th Astoria has its own fireworks celebration.  We heard of this and tried to meet up with some church friends but could not find anyone so we sat in front of a fantastic muni-band with a terrific jazz vocalist and enjoyed that for about an hour.  The fireworks then came and they were at least up to par with a really good Peoria celebration which surprised since it was just for our little village in Queens (not even all of Queens) but then it hit me that, more than likely, there are probably twice as many people living in just our little village as live in all of Peoria. 

It was all down hill from there.  The bright spot was that I got to audition to get into this actor’s showcase that is focused on putting you in front of agents so you can network and perform and get yourself legitimate representation.  I got in to that group which seems promising and I was really glad I had the monologue that I wrote myself after hearing what the dude was looking for.  Other than that, Jenn started an impressive streak, that lasted basically the entire week, of going to equity auditions and sitting for 3-8 hours and getting told non-equity would not be seen and to go home.  I sat through two more 8-hour sessions of “training” being instructed by the biggest hypocrite I’ve ever met.  He is the kind of guy that asks people questions after learning something about their background expecting them not to know the answer.  When they, in fact, don’t know the answer he insults their education, intelligence, manhood, and whatever else might be applicable.  When they do know the answer, he tells them their wrong anyway and eventually rewords what they said as the real answer to show that even if you have experience in this area or went to school for this particular thing…HE KNOWS MORE THAN YOU and he’s amazing and just the greatest, wisest person you’ve ever met (that’s the point).  Nothing I could say in a small amount of space could capture his horribleness…you would have to sit through 24 hours of him yourself…and I would not wish that on anyone.  At the end of this, it became apparent that it was not actually a situation where we would finish training and then have a job.  It seemed as though we would then get told where to go to interview for a job.  But, as I found out today, it’s not even that good.  I gathered all the crap the jerk instructor told me to gather, jumped through all his hoops and met him for “placement” where he gave me a name and an address and said it would be great.  I went and it’s just another security guard placement agency that hasn’t even heard of this guy.  You have to apply as if you’re just some guy off the street and you sit down and they give a half-hearted interview and then say they’ll call you if something opens up.  Hmmmm. 

I also went to the first two rehearsals for my exciting new MUSICAL to find that there isn’t actually any music written down…like in books…with notes…on staffs…you know.  The writer/director just thought of some songs and either wrote some note names on some scrap paper or recorded a line or two into his cell phone….seriously.  He doesn’t have a real good memory so it takes him awhile to remember the songs himself to be able to teach them to us and then hopes we remember them because he’ll change it if we don’t.  First rehearsal was definitely a “what did I get myself into” moment.  The songs are really good once they actually get learned but that might take awhile.  You couldn’t get away with that in Peoria, IL but half-mile away from Broadway, they give you the green light.  Awesome.

So, it’s gotten to the point where I officially hate New York City.  Hate.  Hate it.  But Jenn had a positive sounding interview at the “bowling alley of the stars” and finally got off the schnide to actually get seen at an auditon and thought she did great.  Our computer stopped working for a few days but then it ended up only costing $20 to fix (look at the positive side, right).  I am not totally sure what God’s plan with us is here.  It’s probably not to be miserable for months at a time so I need to adjust something…pray more maybe.  This is tough…but the weather’s been beautiful and Harry Potter comes out soon….great.