Friday, October 18, 2013

a logical look at LA LA Land

I spent 3 weeks in Hollywood and now I'm back to my normal life. Ugh.

So I guess what I should say is that everyone keeps asking me about whether I'm moving and when, and I should answer you all.  Yes... and I don't know.  I have an idea about when, but nothing is set in stone.  My lease is ending on my apartment July 1st, so I should probably make that my deadline because I don't want to sign another lease and then get screwed if/when I can't find someone to replace me.  I'm applying for an acting program that would start in the middle of August, so perhaps it would all work out anyway.  Then there's my boyfriend who, assuming he is joining me, we have a lot to plan together.  While this may seem like a long time away for you readers, when you work freelance and plan film shoots and gigs like we do, it's very hard to put off something like planning.  Though at this point we'll just leave it until after the holidays and not live our lives on "What-ifs" right now.  We don't need anymore stress on top of our stress.

Who knows though, what could possibly happen in the next 8 months or so?  One of us could hit it big out here with something completely unexpected that we weren't even truly aiming for.  Dustin Hoffman got his first film after being seen in a play.  He didn't even WANT to be in The Graduate, but was later convinced, and where did that get him?  There are plenty of people who were seen onstage somewhere and then got a great agent and started touring.  So there are always possibilities for the both of us.  Though it would be smarter for us to go to where the "big work" is, and the sooner the better if people love him and I'm not going to be able to play a high schooler for too much longer.

Right now what I'm sick of, is that I've been making the same income for about 2 1/2 years.  It's like no matter what I do, I get a new nannying job that's supposed to pay more, and then they try to give me way less hours than what I was hired for.  Or I'll be told by an actor I should get every Saturday in October at this gig, and then I only get one from the person doing the schedule.  I just feel like I can't trust people, and the longer I go, the more a salaried job feels so fucking tempting.  But I would kill myself after two weeks at a desk, and I definitely don't want to go back to school and feel stuck somewhere at a job I hate.  No, I'm a performer.  I just have to wait it out like everyone else and be ruthless.

That's the other reason why getting my SAG card and moving is so tempting.  I know people who make their rent off of just extra work, and I also know some people who can request me as one of their extras.  So it's like, even though I don't know any Spielbergs, at least I know how to make my rent and probably make more than I'm making out here.  The acting instructor at the program I'm applying for asked me what I would like to have happen in two years. I said that I'd like to make enough money so that I can just live off of acting, and nothing else.  I don't need crazy fame and over the top fortune, but I'd like to spend more time changing my costumes, than changing diapers.  Which at this point, it's about 70-30 and that's not terrible.

I'm going about this whole move in a very logical manner.  I'm saving my money, I have a LOT more experience on set and onstage than most actors who just mindlessly move to LA thinking they'll be famous in two weeks, and I connected with a fair amount of people during my visit.  I have a reel, I have a plan... I know what I'm doing, is what I'm trying to say.  I'm sick of going to family parties or whathaveyou and having people try to give me advice, when they don't do what I do for a living.  As if I don't sit on the computer every day and I don't know what my resources are, or what sort of steps I should take professionally.  This is not an easy business, and I fully understand that, which is why I'm going about all of this in the way that I am.  So the next time you see me and ask how the plans for LA are going, let's just assume I have it covered.  Unless you work in my business, I'm probably going to just be polite and let you say your piece but inside think, "yeah.. I know."

I'm not the kind of person that will pack up and leave without giving it a lot of thought first.  This just isn't the same when I studied abroad because I was bored with my life, this is a major career move and the love of my life is also involved in this decision.  So I'm not going until I feel that I'm truly prepared for an agent, for set work, and having no friends for a while.  And my boyfriend has things he wants to get prepped as well.  But we got this, and we're still doing great things in the meantime.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

no time to waste, no time to kill

I don't know what made me say it.  I had just taken a nice nighttime walk on the beach near the Cape house I grew up in, so happy that the man I love finally got to see this precious gem in my family's lives.  We were holding hands and getting wet sand between our toes, looking at the mist and starting to climb a jetti to get to the next beach, and I finally said it out loud.

"I'm just feeling kind of... sad lately."

As soon as it came out of my mouth, I suddenly had an epiphany.  I was admitting this to my darling that I look to for almost all comforts, the comforts that I can't substitute with prayer or my mother, and he replies with almost a laugh.  It had struck him that he may be unhappy as well (disclaimer: not with each other!)

"Yeah... me too. I don't know why. It's funny that you said that."

I held him close, knowing he's one of the few things helping me keep my sanity.  We're both workaholics you see, and as great as that is to be a "hard worker" and admired for tenacity, it can be exhausting.

Sleep? What's sleep?  Coffee is my fuel, there's plenty of time to sleep when you're dead.  But more importantly, my calendar would make you cry.  I have it color-coded thank you much, and that thing is a fucking rainbow.  Running around doing at least two things per day that are work-related and very time-consuming, can make you go insane.  But it's a very slow process that creeps up on you, you're going about your business and have no idea how it's affecting you, until one morning you wake up and realize you're in a mattress-lined room and you can't move your arms. 

Suffocated by your own commitments.  You think you love all these things you're doing, and yes you do love them very much, but you should probably love them separately and spread out instead of climbing all over each other like the wrong flavors of ice cream melting into one another.  You start to take bites out of the world's most random sundae and you feel sick.  Because really, no one should mix peanut butter and black raspberry ice cream with with coconut sprinkles.  That's just gross.

If you knew how much (or how little) money I took home every week for the amount of work I actually do, it would make you sick.  "Get a new job," you'd say, "it's not worth it!"  Oh, but it is.  Whenever I make a new friendship or a connection, that's a new possible job (and of course a friendship).  The time I spend onstage or in front of a camera when I can turn my "India" brain off and pretend I'm someone else is very well worth it.

There is what's called taking pride in your work.  But performers are also very prideful.  They want to do as much as they can, as often as they can, and stay one step ahead of everyone else.  Then you read or hear about someone you know doing slightly better than you, and it just guts you.  This is competitive, and it's our lives.  Work is not something you leave at the office and don't think about when you go home, you live it.  It's what you breathe, eat, and bleed.  If you can't handle that, then this is not the business for you. 

People wonder why I'm OCD about scheduling, I plan everything and I have anxiety when I have a day in my calendar with absolutely nothing.  That day will soon have blocks on it that say, "gym, laundry, guitar, youtube" because I just can't handle not scheduling myself! 

So I go down the Cape this weekend and I'm leaving in two hours and NOW the sun starts to maybe peek out?!  No wonder I'm stressed, it's been raining and I had no way to turn my brain off and let myself fry on the beach for three days.  I ended up almost literally running around with my Nana the entire time, who's like me but old so while I'm worrying about three auditions and a rehearsal I've got to prepare for, she's worrying about the guy fixing the bathroom tile like it's the apocalypse if he doesn't come and do it tomorrow.

This is why movie stars go to the middle of the equator on an island for weeks at a time.  They work 10-16 hour days for a couple of months and then just take off.  I'm actually jealous of people that go to work, go home, and don't have to do anything important.  They have their cute hobbies like jewelry making or knowing all of the football stats for the year, while I haven't sat down and watched an entire Red Sox game in weeks and it feels awful.  I love baseball.  I don't even have time to look up baseball stats!  Someone got injured this weekend and I can't even remember his name! What the hell is wrong with me, I thought I was a Bostonian?!

What to do... Welp, for starters I'm going to go for a run on the beach before I'm forced to leave this heavenly retreat.  Then I'll probably have a little cry on the way home, and then suck it up and bury it all deep down until my next mental collapse.  Sounds like a plan, right?  Usually I wait until I can't take it anymore, I finish up a few projects and then I retreat to Millbury where things used to make sense and I had no responsibilities in my life aside from working at a movie theater and deciding which bathing suit to wear on the canoe.  Well supposedly I have a week off in August so perhaps that should be the time to plan another trip to my mother's. 

God I can't wait to just pick up and move.

Monday, June 24, 2013

me, the bee, and Jesus.

I'm gonna tell you a quick story.  This was far too much to put in a simply facebook post.

I'm allergic to bees.  I've never gone into anaphylactic shock or anything, but the few times I've been stung the reaction was pretty severe.  When I was a kid I remember stepping on a bee or getting stung on my hand, and my affected limb was immobile for days on end from the swelling and temporary nerve loss.  Even a few years ago, I stepped on a bee and my foot was so swollen and numb that I was taking benadryl for three days at least.  These reactions make me never want to think about how my body would react if (God forbid) I were to be stung in the face or the core part of my body.

This morning started out pretty interesting.  I woke up at my mother's house, to a bee next to my head.  The bathroom window had a bee sitting on the screen, so I quickly shut the window and I think he's still stuck in there.  I didn't think much of this aside from, "Well the house is in the woods, bees and bugs happen."  Nothing abnormal about it, right?

Until this happened...

I'm in a bathing suit, getting ready to go outside and sunbathe.  I'm on my laptop in the livingroom, and I start to feel a prickle on my ankle.  I think, "It's just an ant, nothing shocking, just brush it off."
I look down and see a very large yellow-jacket crawling around on my ankle!!!

Immediately I freeze.  My mind stops, and I don't know how to react aside from maybe just cry about it and don't move a muscle until it flies away.  I wait about two minutes.... he doesn't move.  I flicked a muscle in my foot, and he moves, but he still won't leave my leg.  Not to mention that I'm still in a bathing suit, feeling very naked and VERY vulnerable.

I pictured what would happen if I tried to squish him, or flick him off my leg with my fingernail or perhaps a magazine within reach.  The stinger either would've immediately gone into my leg, or he would've flown away and come right back, stinger forward ready for vengeance!  This kept me still, going over all the options but feeling powerless to do anything about the current position of the bee.

I decided it was time to pull out the big guns... or at least the only guns I have when I'm stuck in a sticky situation that I feel I have no control over.

I prayed.
Dear Lord Jesus, please remove this bee from my ankle.  Please God, please don't let this bee sting me, please get him off of my ankle.  Please God, Please Jesus, .... 

You get the picture.

I started to feel a tingling in my ankle, and my ankle started to go numb, and then I really started to become frightened thinking that the bee had somehow stung me without me feeling the initial sting!!  I got the courage up to actually look at my ankle, and my foot muscles twitched slightly, and there was the bee. 

He wasn't moving.  But it wasn't like before, this time he seemed frozen.  He seemed... dead somehow.  My ankle still had tingling, numbness, and now warmth.  I thought he had stung me for sure and that explained him being dead.  Then suddenly, he snapped out of his frozen state, and it was as though he had been hypnotized.  I've seen bees behind glass at the zoo or a museum and the way he was moving was just... strange.  He very slowly turned around, and walked down my ankle, and over the top of my foot in a straight line, and casually crawled off of my foot and onto the carpet.

The nonchalant attitude of it all!! Oh God, how this bee just decided he wasn't interested anymore and walked off was a serious blessing and so very strange to me.  And he kept walking! He didn't even fly off, he just kept sauntering in the opposite direction.

I decided, heart pounding, hands shaking, tears on the brink, to protect my bathing suited-self and the oblivious dog sleeping near me on the couch, from this culprit.


Sorry, bud. Wouldn't want your friends coming to join you later.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

crippling fears and embarrassing tears

The past couple of weeks have made me come face to face some of my greatest fears.  I'm sure everyone has more than three legitimate fears, but here are the three I have felt are most pertinent to my current daily life:

1. a question of safety in my own backyard (refer to last post for details)
2. the dentist (I cried and had panic attacks all day Monday when I had to get a filling)
3. Shakespeare

I know.  You're thinking, "India, how can YOU, a highly trained actress that works and gets up in front of people, be afraid of Shakespeare?!"

Well folks, I'll tell you how.  It makes me feel stupid.  There, I said it.  I went to a university, had to take sciences and calculus and all sorts of classes to graduate with my Theater degree, and still I feel like a fucking idiot when I read or have to memorize Shakespeare.  There are so many words that I don't know what they always mean, and I have to read a monologue 6 times before I can understand what's going on and the intent of the words.  I'll even admit, I didn't do well on my SATs which is probably why I went to UMass because I wasn't confident in even attempting to apply anywhere else.  I know that I'm smart, and almost finished my degree with Environmental Science as my second love, but the words of my dear William make me second guess everything about my understanding of the English language and I hate it.

It also makes me feel "less than".  I feel like some of the great actors that are admired for their education and how it made them great actors (Meryl Streep, Anthony Hopkins, etc) did all this Shakespeare and it molded them into becoming fabulous.  Sometimes I feel like I'll never be as great as them because I can't even go to a Shakespeare audition without fucking up and embarrassing myself.  There have been three times where I've blanked during a monologue that I spent weeks memorizing, two of which the director stopped me and sent me outside to try it again and come back in.  Needless to say, I did not get called back.

Now, I can't say that a play that is too "wordy" gets me.  I'm working on a Greek Euripides show right now, "The Bacchae" and it's one of the best I've ever done.  But that English jerkface that spent years of his life making up words from his Latin education confuses the heck out of me, and I think he made up ridiculous words just to fuck with people.  I didn't take Latin, therefore I have no idea how to decipher a word like some of my Catholic school friends do.  Even my boyfriend has to tell me sometimes what a word means and it makes me so mad to have to ask in the first place.

Just now, I am writing this from a library that I had to go to print some stuff out, but before that my boyfriend was driving me in Somerville to a Shakespeare audition.  I started crying in the car on the way there.  There are no words for how ashamed of myself I was because I just knew I was going to screw up and forget the monologue I've already fucked up before at the ART auditions last month.  Will pulled over and held me and said, "You don't have to go, you can do whatever you want."

Which made me realize, "Why in the hell am I auditioning for this in the first place?!  Do I even WANT to do a Shakespeare play on the off chance that I got this part?  NO!"  And that settled it for me.

Ladies and gents, here is my official announcement that I know and will not pretend to say that I am a Shakespearean actor.  I have Shakespeare training, both acting and literary, and I could write a heck of a paper, but at the end of the day I'd much rather do a Greek myth if any classic stuff at all, and will always prefer something from the 20th and 21st centuries.

Being honest with yourself and where your real talents lie is always better for an artist's growth.  Don't get yourself stuck trying to do something you feel weak about and may not even want to do in the first place. 

Friday, April 26, 2013

Boston Marathon Bombing

So after all the shit that went down last week, I would like to reflect a little bit on my perspective of what happened. It would seem impossible that some of you might not know the details of the entire week since we were all glued to the news for days. This is just the series of events with my reactions to those events.

ANYONE THAT DOESN'T WANT TO READ THIS WHOLE THING can view it on my youtube channel: -- this is very long, and would probably be more enjoyed via watching.  I just thought I'd post the script because I haven't done a blog in a while and for those who enjoy reading my blog.  If you don't want to watch it but read this, go check out my channel for a laugh anyhow.

What is Marathon Monday? For those of you who have never experienced one or are not from the area: It's a day when a bunch of crazy athletic people run a bajillion miles and time themselves... for fucking fun. Oh, and they donate a couple thousand dollars apiece to a specific charity so all their rich friends go down near the finish line and get shitfaced at a bar to cheer them on. I imagine that the rest of us bottom-dwellers watch the marathon so that we can cheer on our hopes and dreams to also someday donate our rich person money to a crazy endorphin loving friend's child with diabetes or cancer or something.

The reason I'm telling all of you this is because aside from it being Patriot's Day (which by the way, is only a holiday in like, 4 states) I don't get why the fuck those assholes decided this was a great thing to ruin. This wasn't a democratic rally, this wasn't a religious gathering, it was for freaking charity you idiots! Ok, maybe there are a fuck ton of people in Boston during that, but do you even know your reasonings?! Why, because we're American? Whatever they are, they're probably not very solidified. It'd be like if I decided to go ruin a little girl's birthday party because all the kids there liked cake and I hated cake.

I was minding my own business, babysitting a 5 month old while her parents were with their 6yrold a block from the blasts, so when I got ten million text messages if I was ok I was very confused about why anyone was asking me this. I got a more specific message from my boyfriend and turned on the news, only to realize that I couldn't get ahold of my boss as I'm watching the blasts on repeat. Then I realized, “It's a holiday, and India Pearl loves drinking – why WOULDN'T I be down there?? Not only that, but I'm one of those people that fights my way to the front of the stage in a concert, if I hadn't been working today, I could very wel have gotten blown up out of my own dumb need to be up front for things.” Thank God 15 minutes later the Dad got home to tell me they were all ok, but I can't tell you how awful it was holding a baby in one arm and trying to keep it together while holding my phone in the other hand, just WILLING it to send me a text message from her mom.

That NIGHT there were reports that police were finding “devices” which I guess means they found bombs around town. And not just around town, no they found them at Harvard square which is very close to where I live and a T station I'm at at least twice a week, it's my favorite place to hang out so I was ripshit that someone tried to screw with it, and then they found one of the devices in fucking Newton! Complete opposite side of town! Now I don't want to go anywhere. I don't even feel safe leaving my apartment, especially when my boss drove me home saying he didn't want me on public transit that day.

Ok so everyone is still reeling from the reality of it all, and I'm watching the news two days later when they announce there was a threat and they had to evacuate the Courthouse downtown. This is when I decided, I'm never taking the train again. Nope, not doing it. I don't even want to go into Boston proper ever again with all this shit going down. I couldn't even describe how this was making me feel, because number one thing was fear, but then more like pure confusion as to how we had all gotten to this fear in the first place.

So I'm already upset and I don't want to do anything or go anywhere, and I wish I could just have my boyfriend glued to my side so I never had to be alone for 5 seconds ever again, when I get 6 text messages from people late Thursday night about a shooting at MIT. This was before most people knew that this was related to the bombing. I'm thinking, “What the fuck, so now that the crazies came out of the closet, all the other ones decided it was their turn to go out in the street and play too?! Where are your mothers?! Why is noone supervising you, because clearly you have the violent wants and needs of a small angry child thinking you can just shoot people for no reason. And how the fuck is everyone getting a gun or whatever they have whenever they want to?”

Apparently, (and if anyone has corrections on my statements of the events that ocurred I will say that a lot of news stations were confused and I was trying to watch all of them to get the most accurate statements) these assholes decided it would be fun to throw pipe bombs at cars and go fucking up Cambridge. This all ended in a horrific police-suspect weapon fight, a smoke bomb, explosives, and then the older brother dies and the scarred pussy little brother wanted to get out of the police barracade so badly, that he ran his own fucking brother over with his car! Pretty sure this was also a stolen car. Now, I'm not gonna lie, I've seen a lot of movies and I know that this was a tragic event where an officer died, but if and when a few years down the line someone decides this would all make a good movie, this would probably be the most exciting part. I was super curious, enough that my little weakling scared of blood girl brain decided it would be a fantastic idea to look up the mutilated body of the brother on imgur. (Don't do it, you'll throw up and I've seen enough movies to say that with confidence.)

I woke up in the morning not knowing any of this aside from the fact that there was a shooting and someone on the run, didn't realize it was connected until about 6am when I got a text saying I didn't have to watch the baby that day because the T was shut down. I didn't think it was a big deal, I'm texting him back like, “Oh yeah, you can totally pick me up later if you still need to go to work.” and he goes, “No, stay home. This is serious, noone should be out of their home right now.” Now I'm thinking, What the fuck happened. They already shut down the T once this week, shit is going down.

I get in twitter, and of course that's where you'll find the most reliable news, and this is when I learn the whole story from the night before, and that Boston, Watertown, Cambridge, basically that whole area just outside of the proper city, is fucking. Shut. Down. Do you know, how serious this had to be, to shut down an entire city and surrounding areas? About $333 million in lost revenues serious!! That's why noone has ever done it before!

I'm sitting there at 7am watching the news and realizing what this all means. A kid with potential bombs on his person, is running around who knows where in a stolen car, and they even suspected he could be heading towards CT or on a highway somewhere. My town was not on the lockdown list, but I can walk to Cambridge, and a lot of parts over here where you walk into Davis square area is Cambridge and Somerville, and a very quick and easy drive in to Watertown. I used to work there. I'm frantically texting my old boss that I hope she's going to be alright and her house is going to be safe, and I'm not fucking going anywhere outside today, and to make sure she was wearing a bra because I knew she did not want to be surprised by Boston's Finest in her pink pajamas when they were doing door-to-door searches. She was very grateful and assured me she was already on top of that.

Watching all of this going down was a bit surreal. I honestly started to feel dread. I cannot explain the sinking panic in my chest in any other way, I couldn't breathe, I coudln't move, I could barely speak without gasping for air. So of course that's when I decided to start drinking at 8:25 am. Thank God I had my emergency-in-case-of-terrorist-attack bottle of vodka in my cabinet. *phew*

I was feeling great, until at about 12:30 when they're in the height of working out whether or not this kid was on a highway somewhere, my power went out on my entire block. Here I am, skype day drinking with one of my friends, hoping my roommate gets out of the shower soon so I'm not alone, when everything goes out. People started slowly creeping out of their doorways, just enough to poke their scared fucking faces out to make sure it wasn't just them. I was convinced that that little fuckface had somehow figured out how to shut off my internet and TV, and my basement suddenly became the scariest place I've ever set foot in my entire life. My roommate came out of her room to see me laughing, and crying in hysterics flipping light switches and finally curling up on the floor in shock from the sheer audacity of it all. How could our power go out, 'DURING THIS?!” She asked if I was ok, I said, “There's a fucking terrorist now the news can't tell us where the fuck he is!!” I started sobbing.. then laughing... then sobbing again. And within 15 minutes National Grid came and turned the block on again so thank God that ordeal didn't last very long.

Later that evening after hours of aggressive and over-stimulating newscasters that didn't have any new information for about 14 hours straight, the Governor decided that they were done with telling people they couldn't come out, and they let the T start running again with limited service. I was still not leaving my fucking house. While they were pretty sure that asshole was in Watertown, they didn't know where another fucking “device” could be. And most places were still closed. So people started posting on facebook, “getting outta the house” – I'm sorry, but you don't think you're going to go into the city, do you? Where the fuck do you need to be right now that's so fucking important? STARBUCKS?!?! The only place you need to be right now is either the liqour store or the hospital, and then back to your Goddamn house. And neither of those things require you to ever get on a train!

Of course then it gets to the part where the cops found the kid and he's hiding, which was an hour long ordeal of them getting him out because he could very well explode everything. Assholes in Worcester and over other parts of Massachusetts that I knew had almost no real connection to what was going on, started posting smilling, laughing, and happy pictures of champagne, beer toasting, saying stupid shit like, “Time to start celebrating, I totally deserve a beer, Oh my God been SUCH a long and stressful day! Can't wait til they get the guy so I can start drinking.” FUCK. YOU. That's all I have to say. Unless your brother or sister or someone lives in a lockdown town, or you yourself were in the lockdown, I don't want to see your stupid, smiling, sighs of relief like you're counting down during the last quarter of the Superbowl you think we “have it in the bag” or some shit. This was not fun. This was not a sporting event. And it was not a time for you douches to start posting happy shit while it was still going down. Sure, I had funny memes later on that I posted, but I was actually drinking all day because I was scared shitless for myself, my friends and family that all live HERE. I worked down the street from where that kid was found, I had my aunt and uncle and my old boss all live in Watertown, and while I'm all for solidarity, you don't get to have fun after all that was over, especially when you're posting these pictures like, “look at our safe, smiling, drinking faces like this is all a game and we're watching it go down with half-hearted hope you're ok fb statuses” when you've only ever been to Boston for a Red Sox game that you're too drunk to even remember. This is my home, you assholes!

Of course I was also this angry after everyone and their grandmother starting shit with each other facebook because with all of us being stuck in the house, noone had anything better to do. There were the know-it-alls, the jokers, the wicked serious people, and the people that commented on everything just to shit on the person that posted it because they can't get over the fact that in t-minus 24 hours everyone was going to go back to not giving a shit about your two cents. Everyone has a huge pecker behind a keyboard, and today was just not the day to be starting shit or bragging or being that guy that posts on everyone's updates, “Well I HAVE AN OPININO TOO AND YOU'RE WRONG BECAUSE FARTY MC FARTY BLAH BLAH BLAH and I live in the middle of nowhere so I have a lot to be opinionated about.” I just couldn't deal anymore so instead of giving valid arguments I told them to go fuck themselves. Surprisingly, it made them shut up so maybe I should do that more often.

Ok, moving on basically they got the kid out of the boat, and I decided after all that was over that I made some memes of my own out of relief and the need for a laugh. They're all at the end of the video if you want to see those. I was finally able to breathe, and I allowed myself to laugh at something,

In all seriousness, I knew Kristle through my old job and my sister knew her. Her wake was a block away from my apartment and I know her family was very touched by the thousands of people that came out, I watched the all line up for blocks. I'm not sad in a “that was my friend” way, but this thing in its entirety has been really upsetting to all of us here in Boston and the whole area. You think only 3 people died and it's not like 9/11 at all, but a lot of Bostonians died in 9/11 that's why New York reached out to us right away. Boston is so small that most people either knew a person that was injured or died, or know at least 3 people that did know them. And it was our place, our home, this woman on NPR said it perfectly when she told her little boy that people are sad because someone tried to hurt “Our Mother”. I'm glad they caught that little fuck, and while I'm sorry that he was brainwashed and he has to live with this guilt for the rest of his life, I hope his tongue stays injured and he never speaks again. Because that little boy will never speak again, and so many others might never walk again. But Boston will walk again, and we will have our marathon next year, because like David Ortiz said on national television, this is our fucking city.

Do you know what the Colonials did when they were pissed about taxes? They had a tarring and feathering like it was a weekly sporting event. They took one of John Hancocks ships, dragged it out of Boston Harbor, not a little dingy but an entire fucking merchant vessel, and brought it through Boston down to the Liberty Tree and burned it. You know what John Hancock did? He didn't get mad, he helped fund the war because he wanted to be on the side that noone fucks with. Noone fucks with us, or we shut everything down and we will fucking find you. And we here in Beantown won't do you the dishonor of killing you once we do, no we want you alive, because you deserve to live through every moment of dread and being put down like the dog that you are on OUR terms, not yours.

And shut the fuck up all of you people who are making this about the Russians, or Islamaphobia, because I don't care to hear that bullshit. The unibomber, Timothy McVea, and and all those pussy bastards that shot up movie theaters and schools this year were American. There's assholes everywhere, and it's reall fucking sad to have to think about living in a world like that, but we do. Just know, that you are not welcome anywhere, especially not in MY CITY, because you will regret it til the day you are legally put down by the man.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

10 years of crumbling and rebuilding

Ten years ago, I was 14 and had just started to make new friends at my new school whom I had joined in a common love for singing and playing instruments.  That was the year that I realized what a good school actually consisted of.  Before that, I was living in one of the worst parts of Worcester and trudged through Clark University every day to walk to a school that made me feel very small, as I was probably the only white girl in my entire grade.  This new place had a marching band, a winter percussion, a choir, and a drama club, all of which I was very eager to get involved with.  (Needless to say, it was a very quiet, very small, very "white" town... you get the idea)

If you ask me today how I made friends, I would tell you that I don't.  I happen to meet people that become my friends because of work and all of the projects I get involved with, and now that I'm a mature adult I know how to not be incredibly awkward and obnoxious towards them.  If you had asked me ten years ago how I made friends, I would also tell you that I didn't.  Though I would say that I was always trying to.

There was a girl in my new school that seemed to be popular and had a lot of friends.  Her name was Anjela, and she was a senior while I was in eighth grade.  She was very nice to me, and I decided that hanging out with her must be the factor in getting me friends.  I was right.  She invited me to come to church with her, and I went to youth group with her very Sunday night where I suddenly and magically had friends.  I was so happy, and so was my mother that I wasn't getting into trouble.  It was a win/win.

A couple of weeks later, she asked me if I would go on a mission trip with the youth group and some adult members of the church.  They were going to help some people down in Texas with a rebuilding.  I thought, "Sure, I like helping people.  I don't know what this God stuff is all about, but I'll play along if it means I'm helping out and hanging out with my friends." It happened during February vacation, and on day one of arriving at the site I knew that something very strange was going on.

When I was eight years old, my sister whom I shared a bedroom with, had told me that I could die at any age.  When I said that babies couldn't die, she laughed in my face.  Of course my mother had told me that you could only die when you're old!  Why wouldn't she?!  That's what you tell little kids so their whole world doesn't come crashing down on them when they start asking questions about reality.  Of course, then my world came crashing down on me anyway since I was convinced there was no way I could get sick and die of something at age eight!

I started having night terrors, and went into a deep depression.  There was this awful fear in my daily life that I was going to croak and I would end up in darkness, in nowhere.  My mother had never told me anything about God, so I was terrified!  I even told my mother that there was no God.  God wouldn't kill little kids. -- She really didn't like that.  I wasn't entirely sure I did either.

A few months later, it was March.  Springtime was starting to emerge, and the rains came.  I woke up in sweats, breathing hard after another dream.  I had a nightmare that a church had burned down, and all I saw was the plot of land, the fencing around it, the ashes in a strange almost-church-like shape with smoke coming from them and burning embers at the edges.  There were two people there, a man and a woman, both crying into their sleeves and holding each other.  The man looked up into the sky in tears while his wife wiped her nose.  Then I woke up.

I'm 14, going on a mission trip with my new-found friends.  We got off of the plane, into our hotel, and the next morning arrived at the site we were going to be helping.  As I looked around, I had a strange feeling of familiarity.  This feeling that I had been there before would not stop nagging at me.  Then the pastor and his wife came from their car to greet us.  It was that moment that I realized, it was them that I had seen in my dream 6 years before.

In March of 1997, the Olive Branch Church at Woodforest in Houston, TX burned down.  Whether it was to due with race, atheism, or just a crazy arsonist getting ahold of some matches, I never found out.  What I did know, was that after speaking with the pastor my dream had not only told me about an event that had probably happened that day, but it had told me the future.

"I've been here before," I said.  He was just short of shell-shocked when I explained to him this dream that suddenly came rushing forth to the front of my memory.  I told him I recognized the shape of this brand-new building, and all the bushes, fencing, and sidewalks around it.  I knew who he and his wife were, down to the outfits they had worn in my dream.
"This isn't where our church burned down," he said. "Our church burned down a few miles that way (he pointed) God must have shown you where we were meant to rebuild, because we only bought this land 2 years ago."

It was that day that I decided my faith in God's mere existence, could never be shaken.

I will fully admit that I went through a lot of trial and error just like any other person.  In high school I was boy crazy, and in college I was horribly depressed, drank a lot, and was also boy crazy.  Over the years I've tried to make friends with people that were probably never going to be my friends.  I've felt like I was two different people, drinking 5 nights per week in my sorority house and then teaching a bible study and being vice president of Navigators on my off time.  Some critics may even wonder how I could say I was "really a Christian" when I wasn't always leading the lifestyle that others believed I should, that the bible technically says that I should... 

I did a lot of stupid things when I was constantly searching for approval, and when I was in college I hated myself.  I hated anyone that tried to tell me what to do, and I hated feeling trapped in the middle of nowhere when I just wanted to start my life, have a boyfriend, I wanted girls to stop being bitches, I wanted my peers in the theater program to accept me into their cliquey group, and I wanted to feel like I was good enough; for anyone, really. 

I've had friends that hated gays, and I've had friends that hated God.  There are times when I hear people say hurtful things about someone that barely sinned, and "sinners" that are driven away from ever stepping foot inside a church or a temple or a "whatever" because they are so turned off by extremists and judgment.  I go to a UCC church where we accept everyone, and I am so unbelievably proud to be there every Sunday with others that love and accept and lead what non-church-goers deem a "normal" life since we're not picketing Planned Parenthood and we're just spiritual persons.

What I have now is a much better attitude towards myself, a professional career that I have to hustle and work my ass off for, way better friends and much more solid friendships with a few of those that survived college with me, and an amazing boyfriend.  The path that we walk on can be very crooked and terrifying.  I know that without an unstoppable faith that God was at least holding my hand when I was crying about how miserable I was, threatening to kill myself or fighting an eating disorder, (both due to feeling so unloved) I would not be where I am today.  I kept repeating mistakes and patterns, but I never gave up on the fact that someone/something was looking out for me and continuing to keep me here for a reason.  Now that I stopped being so self-involved, indulgent, and wallowing in my own morbid reflection all the time, I'm finally where I need to be at for at least a "mostly" happy and fulfilling life.

I guess my point is that one day in Texas, that was my moment that kept me going, kept my engine from running out of fuel, right up until today.  It will continue to keep me going through all the shitty times in my life, and I can only hope that other people's journeys even come close to finding that moment.  It was the moment that spoke to me and continued to speak for ten years by saying,

"I'm listening to you, even when you were a child saying prayers in the middle of the night to the moon because you didn't know who else to say prayers to. 
I'm here for you, when your heart is broken to pieces and you feel like that man was your only chance at happiness.
I'm holding you, when your body is being abused from this vicious cycle and you don't think you're beautiful unless you starve.
I'm looking out for you, when you cry out against people that don't accept you and you don't think you'll ever have better friends.
I'm healing you, when you're strong enough to stand on your own two feet I will keep you there.
I'm loving you, so you will always be loved."

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

NYC followed by *dun dun daaahhhh!!* SNOWPOCALYPSE 2013

(This is a long one, but I'm including pictures!)

Last week I went to New York City with my roommate/very close friend.  She had a grad school interview and asked me to tag along for the week.  Since I haven't been working very much lately and I've been in somewhat of a slump with a nannying job dwindling its hours before my eyes, splitting Beantown was an extremely appealing option (as opposed to crying in front of the tv for another week about my nonproductive life.)

While in the city, it was FREEZING but we made the most of it.  The Metropolitan ended up being a beautiful option for my friend to take some new headshots of me (funded most graciously by my dad -- happy birthday to me, eh?).  They turned out beautifully, an example below and some more of the shots can be seen on my actor page

We had a very "New York" sorta evening, where I met some of her oldest and dearest friends at a bar uptown.  Then some of us ended up at a late night diner eating things that were bad for us and having life discussions.  Of course we all had to tell my friend how amazing she was going to be at her grad school interview the next day, because of course she most certainly did.  It's funny how many times you can be told something by a bajillion people, but in the end you still have to go through with it before you believe any of them to be right.

After my scholarly friend had to shoot back to Boston, I stayed an extra day on my own.  I did all the cute things I used to do when I lived there:  Chinatown shopping for cheap jewelry, Little Italy for yummy pasta,

Union Square for the farmer's market... what? yuck!

I even managed to squeeze in a 5 minute set at the Broadway Comedy Club.  I hope to go back to some more comedy clubs the next time I'm in town.  In my wild and crazy dreams some casting director will actually like one of my crazy stories about creepy guys at the gym and ask me to audition for a pilot... yes I realize how wild and crazy that idea is, but it happens.

To wrap everything up for the day, I googled "discount Mary Poppins tickets, Broadway" and instantly found a coupon.  Instead of $140+ tickets, I paid $83.00 including the fee to sit FRONT ROW!!  I laughed, I cried, and then at the end I was clapping, laughing, and crying simultaneously.  I cannot begin to explain how much I loved this version of one of my favorite childhood films, especially the little kids who were so amazing that I would believe someone if they told me the kids were actually robots with great vocal trainers.  The costumes, the details, the effects... nothing could have made me happier that I spent that dough on seeing a show a month before it exits the New Amsterdam and makes room for some other new thing.  Memories make it worth every penny.
That evening, I had a late dinner with my uncle and his lovely girlfriend and they let me crash on their couch before I had to depart the next morning.  I had already received a very worried phonecall from my grandmother saying,
"India! There's going to be 18 inches of snow! Are you still in New York?! When are you coming back? ... Ok, get home safe. Love you."
Needless to say, I was slightly alarmed that I could conceivably become stuck in New York.  Not that it's a horrible thing to happen, but to be fair I had spent far too much moolah as it was already.

The little Italian greyhounds at my uncle's apartment looked like a baby greyhound mixed with ferret mixed with weasel mixed with hairless cat mixed with effing adorableThat's probably the only good way to describe them outside of these pictures:

I headed back to Boston with an excited feeling in my stomach. I was very exhausted and yet very satisfied and happy with my fulfilling week. My handsome boyfriend had already told me that we would go to a comedy club that evening and then go get snowed in together.  It seemed like a perfect thing to come home to, and I guess I was right since the next three days happened something like this:

Day 1
We woke up after sleeping in rather late, until about 11 or so.  The snow was falling pretty decent, but not too bad to be unable to leave the house.  My sister had gone to CT to get snowed in with her boyfriend, and my roommate hadn't had a chance to go to the store for supplies before the storm had started.  So naturally, during a snowstorm like the three New Englanders that we are, we went out to the grocery store. I can't tell you how ridiculous the scene was upon entering the parking lot and thereafter.
The lines were so long that they wrapped around the aisles, but luckily for us it didn't take too long.  I took the groceries as my boyfriend took a place in line, and then through some miscommunication about a trip to the liquor store, I had misplaced my friend/roommate.  This shouldn't seem like a hard problem to solve in 2013, right?  No, it could be remedied by a simple phonecall.  However, I had left my cellphone on the charger and then my roommate's phone had died!

Suddenly, I found myself wandering around the store and yelling her name.  This was something I hadn't done since I was lost in a grocery mart at age 12, maybe younger.  I was frantically thinking about where else she could possibly have gone, and how it was ever even possible for people to locate each other when there was no such thing as a cordless phone, let alone one you could take in your pocket.  Of course my boyfriend thought of the only simple solution I could not have thought of but should've remembered from childhood:   Go wait at the car, it's the only constant in the scenario.

Eventually, she did make it back to the car, although she was very cold and tired because we somehow walked right past her waiting for us at the entrance.  I was just glad we found each other and didn't lose a member in the storm since we had a lot of wine that required drinking and cookies that required baking.  It was finally time to hunker down back at the apartment.

Friday night
Even though we were tired and a little cabin fevered, I tried to get us all to muster up the energy for getting off the couch and stepping in front of a camera.  Recording a Youtube video is a great way to forget that you can't go anywhere.  Ethyl and Evelyn, for those of you that are consistent viewers of my channel, had a Valentine's Day adventure fighting over the one man that responded to their invitation to the house.  I haven't laughed so much during a shoot in a very long time. (I will edit this to include a link to the video once I get it on youtube!)

 Day 2
I honestly could not tell you what I would do without my boyfriend.  We got up, made pancakes and coffee, and then proceeded to take the shovels and start on the driveway that looked a little something LIKE THIS:

My roommate has fibromyalgia so we didn't want her shoveling, so she (as frustrated as she was about having to do so) stayed in the house all day.  Although she did end up cleaning the whole apartment, bless her for being so determined.  Anyway, there was at least TWO FEET OF SNOW in the driveway, in the street, and on the front and back porches that we were responsible for shoveling.  We probably shoveled for about 5-6 hours total including a few very short breaks for coffee and switching gloves out.  The street outside of the driveway that we needed to be plowed to be able to leave the house, was not plowed all day. When I was shoveling the front walkway, there was a man that had gotten his car stuck in the middle of the street.

For about 20 minutes or so, the neighbors were digging him out, pushing him forward, then backward, forward, then backward.  , and IT BROKE DOWN!  It would appear we were totally stuck and we weren't leaving anytime soon. All I could think was, "Thank God we went to the grocery store and we have plenty of booze."

If I had to imagine what this storm would have been like without a man in the house to help us shovel, it would include myself (the weakling) and my roommate (the essentially arthritic) shoveling for about two hours before I called my dad crying not having a clue what we were to do.  Needless to say, it was one of those days when I was unbelievably grateful to have the love of my life also be a wonderful human being.

Never fear, dinner was ready by the time we came back upstairs for the last time.  Two cars dug out, cleared porches, but nowhere to go beyond the end of those perfectly dug out areas.  I actually had a lot of fun digging in the snow and getting out in the fresh air all day.  I felt very accomplished and optimistic.  The snow was trapping us, but we still had plenty of warm food to eat and movies to watch.
Of course we had to watch Finding Nemo during Storm Nemo.  I'm fairly certain we weren't the only ones who had thought of it.
When we went to bed after 1am, the roads were still not plowed.  I was a little nervous, but I was still snuggling with my lover for the third night in a row and the cold could do nothing to make that anything less than wonderful. 

Day 3
I couldn't move.  I woke up, and I could barely move a muscle.
Of course, I thought. You fucked up your back, your hands, your hips, your neck, your shoulders, your arms, and even your ribs hurt when you laugh.
I hadn't ached like this since I checked out of band camp at UMass because I played cymbals and marched in the 95 degree heat all week to the point where I was bleeding, sun poisoned, and swollen pretty much everywhere.  This post-shoveling for 5 or 6 hours body was certainly a close second on the pain scale.  Especially my back.

What did we learn? I should always stretch rigorously before ever picking up a shovel again.

About 10:30 am the plow finally came and dug us out of Medford Manor.  As happy as I was to get out of the house, it was a bit of a nice stay-cation with a close friend to laugh with and my boyfriend to snuggle with.  As he put it, "We just passed another test in our relationship this weekend."  He was certainly right.

So there you have it, we got through it but I'm still in a fuck-ton of pain.  Wish me luck as I down this advil and keep on more bedrest.  I hope you fine readers are fairing well and you've regained electricity and are able to leave your homes. Stay safe, stay warm, and enjoy the snow while it lasts because it's going to rain tomorrow.

Like they say.
If you don't like the weather in New England, just wait a minute.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Can't we all just get along?

Yesterday I was on this website called "reddit" for a few hours.  For those of you reading this that don't know what reddit is, it's basically a forum sort of deal where people discuss topics about almost anything.  They have memes, lost of pictures to look through, world news topics, video game discussions, politics, etc.  My favorite part of the site is called, "Ask Me Anything" where people from all sorts of situations, careers, events will post about who they are and you can ask them questions.  Comedians, doctors, people that witnessed an event we all know about -- I don't know, just go check it out if you're curious.

The website is set up in a way that looks fairly low-quality, it's mostly just a simple thread on every page, which is good because to me that says that the content is more important than the look.  The top of the page has tabs where you can click on topics, and I was exploring various things on the site when I realized that one of the main tabs for clicking on the site is just simply:  ATHEISM. 

I looked at that title for a good 30 seconds, pondering if I should click or not.  As a Christian, I have an issue with the topic, because I have not always encountered atheists that were considerate of other people's feelings when they expressed that they believe in a higher power.  I was predicting pictures making fun of religious people and a lot of people praising Richard Dawkins' douchebaggery.  I decided to click it anyway, when I came upon a topic that read:

"Hello reddit, I'm a christian mother and my son just told me he is atheist. I'm not against him but being atheist but It is difficult for me to accept. I thought you guys might be able to at least help me accept this a little or show me some valid reasons for his choice."
 In case anyone wants to read the comments, I left that quote as a link.  

So, my first reaction was a general feeling of sadness.  I felt sad for the mother that it must hurt that her child doesn't hold the same beliefs that she has held almost her entire life.  I felt sad about how her son must have felt that he had to go to his parents and possibly feel as though he would be a disappointment.  I felt sad that this family may fight about this issue for years.

What was surprising to me, were the reactions from other Atheists.  Most of them were pretty nice about it, although there was still a sense of "I know more than you, let me enlighten you away from being enlightened from religion".  Then there were the Atheists that were very condescending, along with other Christians that were equally zealous and lecture-y.  I actually started to cry, reading all the responses and seeing people go back and forth, so far to the right or left or the argument.  The whole idea of Atheists and Christians or Jews or other religious people being at this giant standoff about one of the most important decisions of their lives, (that being whether they believe in God, even though some people don't consider it that important or they just don't care either way) it was truly and severely stressing me out!

Of course I had to leave a reply, although I have no idea if she had read it.  It essentially consisted of, "Hey, coming from another Christian you just have to love your son and don't let him feel any resentment from your end.  He's 16, maybe in another year he'll decide he's Jewish or whatever.  You should encourage him to read some books on other religions and try to approach things as an agnostic and see what he gets out of it.  He hasn't even been to college yet, it's not too late for him to make some sort of other decision.  As long as you're a good mother, he'll still turn out to be a good person.  Praying for your family to have peace during this time of tension and stress."

I have left churches in the past because I wasn't considered, "Christian enough" for them.  About a year ago I was told that because I hadn't been in a bible study every week and sitting in a pew every single Sunday, and making friends with women in the church to "lead me in the right direction", that I was not allowed to participate in the worship band on Sundays and sing.  I know that I've lost friends because I wasn't Christian enough for them.  Even if they wouldn't admit that it's why we lost touch, it was an underlying feeling that was had when we would talk about personal choices and friendships with other people etc., where I just knew that they were semi-judging me.  It even made me consider whether we were really friends in the first place, or I was just a member of the club and they were nice to me until they had me figured out as, "less than" the standard they were taught to follow.

I would never let these circumstances affect my belief in God, Jesus, spirituality, meditation, or any of that.  I swear, I drink with my friends, I have a boyfriend that is not what those friends would call a Christian, but I have been told on many occasions that people still notice something different about me.  People have asked me if I was a Christian without ever knowing if I went to church and I hadn't said a thing, solely based on my attitude and mannerisms, which is very surprising.  Maybe it's a maturity thing, maybe it's God shining a light of general positivity through me, I can't explain what it might be. 

There has to be something to at least the belief in a higher power, even if that only means that there's a scientific connection between feeling balanced spiritually and being a genuinely happy person so it shows to other people.  Is being "enlightened" just a feeling of balance?  Just as people that believe in a Creator and it balances them, I guess people that believe in nothing find balance somehow but I don't really know what that is since it's not usually something that Atheists or Agnostics talk about.

When most people think of "Christians" if they are not one, a lot of the time they think of Republicans, anti-choice picketers, gay-haters and general nonacceptance of non-Christians.  But that's not me.  I go to church with gay people, and I'm a liberal Democrat, but I pray every night before I go to bed.  All this, and a lot of the time I just feel like a bit of a loner when it comes to my personal beliefs.  Sure, my mother and my aunt and a few of my friends are in the same boat as me.  We all just say, "Hey believe what you want, and leave other people alone, let's all have freedom and choice and balance."  But other people don't like that "feel-good-Joel-Osteen-Jesus" approach to life.  They all have to be right.

I'm ashamed of either side most of the time, for being so against each other.  Maybe I should get one of those hippie-style "CoExist" bumper stickers.  I get so upset with Atheists for thinking they have everything figured out, and with zealots of any religion for going against the principles of their beliefs when they don't accept others and they're judgmental.  Heck, I could be wrong with my "let's all just get along and let people do what they want" approach.  Maybe there's nothing out there.  Or maybe being gay is wrong (I highly doubt that one though!)  Am I going to go to hell for just trying to see the bright side of things and bring us all together?

Years ago, when I decided I was a Christian, I still stuck to my guns and I didn't take everything the bible said in the Old Testament as my motto for life.  I still studied Judaism, explored, prayed, meditated, and tried my darndest to keep a connection with God to make sure that I knew He was there for me.  Maybe I'm nuts and it's all in my head, but I've said it before and I'll say it again,

I would rather live the rest of my life believing in something that quite possibly isn't there, than to die and find out that there is.

Stop acting like you know everything, when you probably know nothing.