Big Country Blues Trailer

Big Country Blues Trailer
Sarah e Jacobs recognized as OUTSTANDING ACTRESS IN A DRAMA SERIES at LA Webfest! And nominated for BEST ACTRESS IN A DRAMA at ITVFest! Click to watch the trailer!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

A Bone to Prick...I Mean Pick.

I have a bone to pick. Some of you may call this subsequent paragraph a be it. It's been a long time comin'... It begins with a story:

Not the actual painting, but you get the point.

I stood staring at a painting that I'm sure had some major importance. It was painted by Picasso, and I know that that's a big deal. It was interesting, but let's be honest, I wasn't moved to tears (my Dad explains Picasso with a visual: he contorts his arms around his head and pulls one side of his face down, squinting an eye, slanting his mouth, just generally looking deformed. It's actually a pretty damn good rendition of a living Picasso...we're a cultured family...). Anyhow, the exhibit was downstairs in a pretty tight space without much room for movement. A frizzy-haired woman was standing next to me with her hand over her mouth moaning. Hmm-ing. Whatever. Another woman, without an option for an alternate route, tiptoed in front of us to get to the next room and we made eye contact. She whispered an apology, scrunched up her expression into an "eek!" face. I smiled and she smiled. And the frizzy bitch next to me came out with full force behind her words like she was straining to push them from her diaphragm and through her clenched teeth, "YOU DON'T WALK IN FRONT OF SOMEONE WHEN THEY'RE LOOKING AT ART!!!!"  I'm pretty sure my face was one of fear and incredulity at the pretentious nature of her shitty attitude (we all know my face doesn't least not well). And all I could think was this: Stupid bitch, I mean Lady, you missed the art. You were too busy moaning and hmming and hawing, while I was the one that had a connection with another person. As fleeting and mundane as an everyday-apology is, that was the art, my frizzy-haired friend! Not you're false, showy, moaning orgasm of bullshit!

(Do you have any idea how often I want to say this to people???!!! Can you tell I've been running into a bunch of pretentious jerks recently?? :)

I mean, I'm an artist. I think. I love to create and have a knack for expression of all kinds. Exploring emotions, feelings blah blah blah (while my writing for public consumption is  pretty digestible, it's true that every now and again I can get a little out there in my personal stash - not that to be an artist you have to). Now. That being said. I do NOT need to walk around touting, "I'm an artist!" to everyone I meet. I don't need to tell everyone at a party how I'm feeling, or delve into detail about "delicate nuances" on the subway (that guy was a douche). I don't need to use big flowery words whose meaning even I'm a little foggy about only to look at everyone else like THEY are the big idiots for not knowing what I'm talking about.  I just don't need to do that! There comes a point where you say, "I'm an artist" so many times that it just sounds like you're trying to convince yourself that it's true. If you're spending so much time TALKING about being an artist, you're probably missing a whole lot of beautiful moments that you could actually be BEING an artist! Idiots.

...So that was the rant...

Wait. While I'm at it: You'd think that people with such a love for aesthetically pleasing things could dress themselves. Worst dressed group of pretentious people I've ever seen. Artsy bitch at the Frick should know that ruddy orange mom-jeans don't go with...well...anything. And I'm sure Caravaggio would agree.

And now I'm done. Thank you for indulging me. Moving on!

So time speeds up around the Holidays... right? It's gotta be science. Or something.

Overview (then I'll go back and elaborate. Stay with me, folks):
Tour of twenty-something Chinese people (not an English word in sight)
Audition/Callback/Cast in a Show (whoop whoop!)
Wedding in Boston (Blast!)
Host a Focus Group (Tiring...)
Tour of 40-some-odd teens in Soho (Love those kids)
Slop up some hummus for some people (Yup.)
Decorate like a maniac (my busted apt is now dripping in busted decorations)
Throw a Party (cook like a maniac)
Rehearse for Show (love)
Nutrition School things (I'm behind)

Now to elaborate:

So I'm cast in a new show. After the audition, I was unable to go to the callback (scheduling mishap with my 24 hour Boston Wedding Marathon) but the director worked with me and allowed me to meet with him. He explained the company then told me my audition surprised him so he made an exception about missing the callback. I was confused so I asked him to explain. He said, upon seeing me, he was expecting me to sit in my chair and perform my monologue resting on the fact that I look the way I do...And then to his surprise, I didn't do that at all. "You're trained. And refined. You are an actor," I could have hugged him right there (he may say this to everyone, I have no idea, but there's no use BELIEVING that. I will take it at face value and put it in my pocket for the next time my confidence is sub-stellar as I sit in an audition room amongst a million girls that look like me, but are skinnier/prettier/taller/shorter/tanner/younger. That way I win. :)

Now about the show: it's a little performance-arty, but it seems it will maintain a sense of humor at the same time. The first rehearsal was interesting. Many exercises to get us out of our heads and into ourselves. Many more exercises getting the group to think as a unit, rather than as individual players and to get us focusing on reacting in the moment rather than creating a moment. If that makes any sense (how's that for art-y :). We will be performing amongst the audience, which is exciting for me and my love of subtlety and staying honest. We'll see! More to come on this front.

I did a promo handing out hummus samples. Good news: I wasn't outside in the freezing cold. Bad news: I did a promo handing out hummus samples. I started getting fancy, drawing people with tag lines like, "There's Hummus Among Us, Folks!" I only freaked out a couple of people. I also explained to a lovely old man what the "bizarre looking paste" was while he smelled it and looked at it like it was more like a flesh eating disease than a ground chickpea. I honestly blew his mind after he ingested it. He went around the cafeteria telling everyone about the crazy delicacy I was handing out. Pay check completed.

A little busted, A little charming
I busted out my "Christmas Crazy" persona and decorated the apartment with Jack's 99cent decadence. *cue the Mariah Carey Christmas Album* Our tree is a puny little plastic thing and missing two legs. It's shoved in the corner to stay standing and it leans to one side, but dammit, it looks effing cute. It has character. I just keep telling myself Christmas is about baby Jesus and kick ass gifts not extravagance... and size doesn't matter. ;)

I feel I've lost my way a bit with Nutrition School in the past few (how quickly confidence wanes). I held a small focus group of friends (lured with a healthy home-cooked meal) and I found out some helpful but frustrating information. Part of my problem is I've been eating like shit recently, so I'm feeling a little hypocritical (not to mention porky) at the same time. Forgive and move on. I have started work on a new nutrition centered blog. Look out for it in the coming days/months/whoknows. I need to set a deadline. Hard doin's this time of year.

Sorry it took so long to write to you, dear blog. I know sometimes it seems that I neglect you like the forgotten silken tofu in the back of the fridge (remind me to throw that guy out...) But, you are on the forefront of my mind frequently. And I have a very important promise to make you:

I hereby promise, I do solemnly swear, to NEVER be a pretentious prick. About my art or about nutrition. Because no one likes pricks. ...well, you know what I mean...

Monday, November 21, 2011

Lessons From the Street

What do you get when you add a top hat, a freezing cold whipping wind, and Times Square teeming with tourists?
Give up?
The answer is my own personal hell.
...Also known as my most recent promo job. It's a wonder the girls and I stay any sort of sane. Seriously, you can't understand it until you live it. I stood there watching the sea of fanny packs float by. The bad haircuts, the frat boys spitting dip-laced saliva into bottles (Seriously??? People do that in public?! Ew.), the Midwestern faces broad with awe and wonder that looked up... instead of in front of them...where I WAS STANDING. “If one more person runs into me I'm gonna strangle them with their own Hello Kitty backpack-purse.” (I actually said this semi out-loud. It was an accident. Not very professional. Even for a girl in a top hat. A police officer was walking by and looked at me in shock. “Was that you?!” he said like he couldn't believe that something so menacing came from such a small person. “I have no idea what you're talking about, Officer.” I said with an entirely too big smile. He walked away with a belly laugh that reminded me that things are funny in life and if I ever want to experience them again, I should avoid the urge to run in front of a double-decker tour bus.)
I stood there with my thoughts, bouncing up and down in attempt to stay warm for four hours- contemplating my situation. Why am I here? What is the lesson? (it seems I tend to get introspective and philosophical when being tortured.) And, I came up with this: I can't anymore. The lesson was: This is the last straw. The final outdoor promo shift. You heard it here folks. I will not be lured by the money, the short hours, the awesome girls I work with. I will not. I WILL NOT! ...okay now I'm slightly convincing myself. But for realz. I must move on. For God's Sake! ...and my own. Done. Deal.
My Mom came into town today (Yay! Annual pre-Thanksgiving girls trip). Over coffee, with Bryant Park and all of its holiday glory in the background, we got into a conversation about this torture...I mean job and what's next for me. She's been trying to get me to stop the madness for quite some time. I told her my decision, and my subsequent guilt about making it (stay with me). “The girls are so awesome! I'm no better than they are! I'm not too good for it...” “It's not ABOUT that.” she said. “You have to make the decision for yourself. You have to decide your own place in the world.” And she's right. Dammit, my place in the world is not a NYC street corner!! ...So to speak. The job zaps my energy. Depletes my self-esteem and straight up fucks with my peanut-sized head. I can't keep doing something that affects me so negatively. Don't get me wrong- I'm grateful for the work, the people, the lessons (I am forever changed by this job and the lessons. It taught me so much about how to treat people, about empathy, about work ethic, about life, and about how to avoid a homeless man that relentlessly proposes to me).
We then got to talking about my nutrition schooling and what I'm going to do with it. My Mom's been wanting to lose weight, but has had so many health problems that it's been hard for her. She can't walk super well, so exercise is tricky. She wants to go go go, her body just has other plans. So I've been helping her out with product lists, recipes and food swaps, creative exercise ideas, etc. We sat there on the edge of the park yesterday and she told me, very seriously, about how helpful I'd been to her recently. She's lost 5 lbs in 3 weeks. She feels great and is super motivated.
And I wanted to cry.
It was so amazing to hear. I got such a sense of satisfaction from those few sentences. So, really, I know what's next. I just need to get out there and do it. Trust that I'm able and knowledgeable and helpful. Start my business and leave the bullshit behind. Spend my energy on that and my acting career. While it's true that in my time on the street I've become very good at dodging loogie's hocked by oblivious passersby and averting run-ins with talkative crazies (I've become very nimble from these days on the sidewalk and my agility is now something to envy), the street corner is, simply put, not my place in the world.
Moving On!
In the past days I've been to LA, met a whole slew of peeps, done some readings, done some shopping tours, met with a well connected rehearsal studio owner about my acting career (who said I need to start making some things happen 'cuz I've got the look and I'm good. SO nice to hear from someone in the biz. Now to implement some of his suggestions...), I've been on some dates, managed a slight social life, and developed a new love for bootcamp style workouts-IN. SANE! I have a fairly competitive spirit when it comes to physical challenges...okay so maybe not “fairly competitive”. I'm kind of a beast. :-/ Turns out I do not like it when someone is running ahead of me. There's one bootcamp, run by a former Marine, that I've fallen in love with. I spend the hour wiping sweat and snot from my face (I look so pretty), huffing and puffing, pushing myself to the point of near cookie tossing while tourists take pictures and watch us like we're part of the reptile room at the Central Park Zoo. It's awesome.
Now to spend the Holidays with the fam. Cooking healthy foods (I'm thinking chocolate brownies made from chickpeas...Can't wait for the looks I get for those), playing cards, snuggling puppies, watching movies and enjoying my time away from the mess of NYC life. Love it.
Happy Thanksgiving everyone! I hope you all have a million reasons to be thankful.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Eighty-Sixing Sweet Sixteen

He pushed through the swarm of candy colored teenagers like a newborn escaping the womb (...ew. Sorry for that...). I gestured grandly to grab the attention of the 23 adolescent eyes that bounded all over the sights of the busy Soho street and said, “And here is Lombardi's Pizza! It's where the slice of pizza originated in the Great Depression...Oh! Excuse ME, sir!” I muttered as the man scoffed and gently but defiantly used his patched elbow to nudge me out of his damn way. Just as one teenager came to my defense with, “Well that guy is RUDE!” I turned and made direct eye contact with the pushy, but ever so regal, smart looking, blazer clad Gabriel Byrne. “Ha!” I said aloud (which was a win for me, because my first instinct was to blurt, “Oh! I love 'In Treatment!' ...smooth...). Gabriel caused dissent amongst my group and they chattered about how mean people are in NY. How everyone has an attitude. “Girls,” I said, “that was actually a very famous actor.” “O.M.G!” “No Way!” “I totally thought he looked familiar!” “NY is so cool!”...How quickly the teenaged lynch mob changed their tune.
Good God, I don't miss being 16. I'm still baffled by the fact that I'm not actually that age anymore and beyond that a full twelve years have passed since I was, but still. Don't miss it. I know this because I spend A LOT of time with the teenage set. I've been dubbed, "The Teen Queen" from one of my tour bosses. I give a teen tour like nobody's business. Somehow I connect with their effed up way of thinking. Their logic that seems to be a few holes short of a round.  I dress up the awkward teens that haven't figured out their bodies yet (or have and I must delicately steer them away from certain articles of clothing to avoid their looking like victims of human trafficking), while I give out boyfriend advice and hear about the dire drama between supposed friends. It's funny that I get along so well with them now, because I had no tolerance for the bullshit when I was actually a part of it. I was so over the BS back in the day that my senior superlative was "Most Likely Never to be Seen Again After Highschool." -Seriously. It just wasn't my jam. ...WTF, I have to ask to go to the bathroom? Who cares your boyfriend did a freshman, he's gross anyway. Umm, you're telling me I can't wear pants on Homecoming Court? (yeah yeah...laugh it up. Homecoming Court.)
Homecoming. No pants allowed. Ridiculous.

Anyhow, with a fair amount of eye rolling and sarcastic sighing, I made it. And here I am. In Brooklyn. Making something like a life. My parents came up to visit this past weekend. Clearly, they knew me when I was a sassy 16, so it's something to be able to bring them into my world here in the city and show them my life. They haven't yet witnessed the Brooklyn experience that I've been living for the past year (1 year on Halloween, exactly). They know the people I talk about as characters from my story, the streets I walk as the abstract backdrop of my nutty life, and they hear those city sounds through the phone as I walk to the train and recount to them the day's utter ridiculous.

M and D on the streets of Brooklyn
But for a hot minute this past week they were a part of what I have going on. They came to see me in a staged reading of a kick ass new play and they were able to feel the energy in the theater first hand. Meet the people I've been rehearsing with and see me do what I love and what I do best- perform. The next day we ran into some of my fellow promo girls working an event in the Meatpacking District. I'm so close with these girls- Lord knows we've been through some shit together. I'm even in one friend's upcoming wedding, so I loved introducing the girls that keep me sane under such insane circumstances to my family. Me and the 'rents went out to eat, had cocktails, walked around, went hipster scoping (a favorite pastime), shopped the flea market, walked the highline, got snowed in (in OCTOBER. Really, NY!?) and ate dips and drank hot toddies while watching GA football. All around an awesome trip. It was great bringing them into my life up here and showing them not just HOW I run around like a nutcase, but they got to see me onstage again and get a glimpse of WHY I do it.

The day they arrived I also had my second session with MichaelRoderick (the help-Sarah-be less crazy-and-pull-her-shit-together guy. If you'll remember-the first session bordered on nervous breakdown, so I was a bit apprehensive going in to number two, but...). He's helping me figure out what to do with this nutrition schooling once it's said and done. And when I actually find the time and sit down to contemplate the various routes I can take with it, I really do get excited about the prospects. But my main concern is that I'm just adding and adding and adding to the maddening variety in my daily life. But what I love about Michael is that he's part business consultant, part psych ward manager. On one hand he's helping me marry my two loves of performing and nutrition to create a symbiotic relationship between the two, and on the other he's helping me to not lose my God damned mind in the process. He talks me down from my ledge and helps me figure out how to break down the heaping pile of hard to swallow responsibilities into manageable little nuggets. At the end of this second session I had a very clear list of things I need to do to build my business and my network. I left feeling energized and ready to start building on my ideas. I can't wait to be able to say, “look what I've made!”

Blowing out the candles and making a wish for a Big-Girl life

A lot of this excitement stems from feeling like I don't have much to show for my recently celebrated 28 years- A slew of random jobs (passing out apples on Staten Island at 7am, anyone?? Because that happened last week), next to no money (complete with mega-anxiety), an apartment full of beat up Ikea crap, and a slightly bitter but luckily still fairly optimistic attitude. And that's about it. My friends are getting promotions at work, big girl apartments and real deal furniture. I may not be 16 anymore, but the look of my life doesn't necessarily reflect that.

But, when my parents were here I realized that that's not necessarily true. I really had so much to show them and a network of people for them to meet (many of whom we just ran into throughout the city). At the end of the trip my Mom hugged me and said, “I am so proud of you.” I wanted to say, “For Realz?!” in a high pitched voice full of disbelief. But, I guess I have come a long way from that defiant and cynical 16 year old. Sure, I want more (like that big-girl apartment with a rug and a cookware set and not a single futon in sight...). But that's what keeps a fire under my tush. And I feel like things are coming together. Like I'm right at the edge of something really good. I'm not quite sure what it is, yet and I'm not all together positive when it's coming, but it's coming. Until then, I'm going to try to lay off the self doubt and keep working. And, like my Dad said at an after dinner stop at the winery here in BK, “You'll figure it out. I'm not worried. Somehow you always do.”

Now to quell the anxiety in the meantime...

Friday, October 21, 2011

When Drowning in the BS, Remember to Giggle Through the Gurgle

Sweatpants? Check. Ginger tea? Check. Anxiety ridden heart flutter and accompanying lip munching? Check annnnd.... check.
Armed with the password for the protected videos on the Big Country Blues website, I snuggled up with my laptop and my nervous energy to watch the unreleased web series that I filmed a year ago. As you know, the series has been doing incredibly well at film festivals, and from the people that have seen it, it has gotten great reviews (yay!). After bugging the shit out of the director (he loves me for it :) because I need to get a reel in the works, I was given the go ahead to watch the episodes.
Usually when I watch myself onscreen I want to throw up. You know how you feel when you hear your voice back on an answering machine? -it's like that, but times a gabillion. However, I must say, this time I didn't feel the need to yack all over the screen. I don't know why. Of course a few of those, “Why did I say that line THAT way?” and “Why didn't I make THAT connection?” and “WT mother F, Sarah? THAT should have been stronger!” thoughts did pop into my head. ...Buuut, that can't be helped.
Anyhow, while watching it made me super pumped for it to be released into the world, it also brought up some very interesting feelings. It was one year ago, mid filming between NY and Nashville, that my life fell to shreds on the floor of a midtown apartment building. I lost a very important relationship and found myself in many complicated others, I had to pack up my life and find a new apartment, I left NYC to take a break from life while I attended a ridiculous number of weddings, and truth be told, I was drinking a little too much (all of this was chronicled and can be read in a three part series entitled, “When The Shit Hits the Fan” “Shit/Fan, Part Two” and “The Last of the Shit...and the Fan”) . But amid it all, I was blessed with that webseries. Surrounded by talented people, doing the job I know I was meant to do. Looking back, I was going through some major shit, just drowning in it (enjoy that visual?), but really I couldn't have been happier. I was working on a project I felt passionate about. Every day since then has been a search for that feeling. All this reminiscence was a nice reminder of why I run around this town like a crazy person- Which happens to be a nice segue into...
... Last week. I got an unusual call from my promotional boss asking if I was available to give a bus tour. About beauty and innovation in NYC. To a whole gaggle of magazine editors. Wearing a belted cardigan (gross). Working off of a script. For TWELVE HOURS! “What the shit, Boss?!” was my initial response. ...But turns out I can be swayed for a price. And turns out she knew that price...
And so, after my 10 page PowerPoint brief about what clothing/makeup was appropriate and familiarizing myself with the cheese-ball script- I boarded that bus looking like a librarian (and not the sexy kind) with the fear bubbling in my gut. I spent what ended up being the next 10.5 hours trying desperately to entertain a bus load of captive, jet lagged foreigners. I worked off the script. Ahem- “We hope you were able to rest and recharge in your sleep chambers last night. Now, are you ready to experience the city with new eyes, ears, minds, and hearts as we embark on a day of sight-sensing? Just buckle your seatbelts and get ready as we see, hear, smell, taste, and feel how true beauty and innovation collide!” Are you effing kidding me with that?! No. They weren't.
In between the douche-bag monologues, I jazzed it up a bit- talked about Soho, moved up through Chelsea. Threw some terrible, terrible jokes in there. Blabbered some bullshit about The Gugenheim. Then, I went into extensive detail about the “32 foot glass cube that is devoid of any steel structure” at the Apple flagship. I went on and on about the damn glass cube and its status as a landmark in the city, designed by Bohlin Cywinski Jackson Architecture (script), yada yada yada... and as we inched down 5th avenue and the store came closer and closer to our sight line... we saw that landmark giant cube...made of SCAFFOLDING AND PARTICLE BOARD!! The whole structure was covered! I started cracking up. Over the microphone. I couldn't help it! I had droned on and on about the “beauty and innovation” of the damn thing and then it looked like a treehouse my brother and I built in the backyard when we were twelve. I was lucky that everyone else thought it was as funny as I did. At the end of the day I was completely beat, just done. But I think that in the end it went fairly well. I got huge “thank you's” and even got invited to India to hang with one of the editors as they filed off the bus for dinner. Mission accomplished. ...I mean paycheck accomplished.
The rest of the days have been filled with auditions, nutrition school lectures, finance figuring (FML), a session with my delightful health coach, tours with lovely people, my first test for school (passed that business), rehearsals for the upcoming readings and drinking and eating too much to celebrate my 28 years of life. I spent my birthday day with a great workout, got my nails did, got a massage (!) -my first ever (it was ten minutes, but whatevs. Baby steps), baked some cookies... and then spent the night surrounded by family and friends. Ending the night shaking my ass and scrubbin' the ground at an all out dance party. All in all- a pretty good birthday.
I think 28 will be a good year. I've been through a lot this past one, now that I look back. I'm grateful to be able to think of everything as an experience, a story to tell. Lord knows it's helped when I was breaking up with my boyfriend, and covered in wood chips from a giant closet demolition in my living room, and standing in the numbing cold handing out flyers to ass holes, and giving upbeat tours in the absolute drenching rain, and handing out samples of the new falafel sandwich (get excited!), and wearing a slutty dress with a fake tattoo on my back... I could go on...
But I have so much good stuff happening and so many good people to share it with. And, holy hell, life is funny!! It reminds me of an experience from a while back that I almost forgot about-a conversation with a very profound cab driver. I got in the car very frazzled and clearly a bit messy, told him where I was going and said thank you. He asked how my day was, and after a deep breath I said, “To be honest, my day kinda blows!” I proceeded to laugh. Hard. He turned around and said very seriously in heavily accented English, “Don't lose that laughter.” “Oh, sir, I may have a good cry later,” I said with a smile. “No, no. That's okay, my dear. But you laugh again ten minutes later.”
Two things: Cab drivers are clearly sages in disguise, AND, it's not always easy to remember, but there's always something to laugh about.
...It's more than okay if it's ten minutes later.
Just don't. Forget. To laugh.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

When Words Don't Work and the Truth Hurts

Him - "Ok. Now write down how much money you would like to make next year."
Me - "No."
Him - "Just pick a number."
Me - "No."
Him, with an "it's no big deal" sing-song voice - "Just an arbitrary number. Any number."
Me, with a defiant "Absolutely not. Ask me again and I'll pop you" voice – "Umm...No."

I had just started my first session with, Michael Roderick, the saint that will be helping me get my life in order in the coming months (he's a consultant and the creator of Solving For X Workshops. More on these sessions in the coming weeks). This was the first exchange we shared, post a little L train commiseration banter. 5 minutes in and my fear and anxiety shocked even me. At the mere mention of my financial situation I started to sweat like a 5 dollah hooker in church. I peeled off my sticking sweater and uncoiled my scarf. Twisted my hair into a knot, so as to reduce the claustrophobic feeling that the walls of the mockingly quaint coffee shop were closing in on me.

My anxiety came from a variety of factors. For one, I'm a words girl. My 1300 SAT score was from a verbal majority, I do math problems in the air with my fingers, and I've been known to say the words, “carry the one” out loud while doing them. Numbers bug me out. And numbers with a $ sign in front freak me out even more. If I come up with a number and write that shiz down, that number will be staring me in the face. As bold and bright and alarming as a gas gauge on empty. And no matter how low or high I go, each direction comes with its own set of stresses. The feelings of inadequacy, overwhelming dread, responsibility and inability flooded over my quickly overheating body. I switched into panic mode.

He was very patient with me. As I sat there trying to breath deeply and avoid a total meltdown, he picked a number for me. I stared at the ink willing myself not to cry. It's interesting. My financial situation is what it is because of my dedication to and need for a performing career. Sure, I've had opportunities to get a 9-5er, benefits, the whole nine. But I wouldn't have been able to pursue what I love. And the anxiety that comes with that is way worse. So, aside from having a second passion for the subject of nutrition, I started school with the hopes of a more stable source of income. A more “normal” life. Now the thought of actually achieving that - the what, the when, the who, the how much- sends my heart into a Tasmanian devil-like whirlwind. Somehow I've become comfortable with the financial fight. Wondering when my next job will come, waiting for the meager paychecks, feeling guilty for buying a new top at some shithole store downtown for $19.99. It might sound weird, but It's simply what I'm used to.

At the end of our session he assured me that my anxiety was normal and even recounted a story about some anonymous girl that he worked with before that felt similarly. I'm pretty sure the story isn't true and the girl doesn't exist, but he was just trying to make me feel better (And a part of me wants to believe it because, well, A little delusion never killed anyone). I have lots of totally terrifying homework to do before our next session having to do with figuring out certain details of my current financials and setting goals for my future (I feel the knot tighten in my sternum as I type). They're tasks I should have done months ago, maybe even years. Pretty amazing that for a girl that venerates honesty as much as I do, I think the real reason I've put it off is that I'm afraid of the truth. The simple math that you can't argue with. I can't use those words that are my forte to talk my way out of the concrete fact of numbers with a $ in front.

In other news, tour season seems to be picking up. I've spent a number of hours with tourists in the recent days, and it's always nice to hang with some peeps whose "normal" doesn't consist of watching a homeless man masturbate on the corner and an angry commuter beat the shit out of a car in the crosswalk (both scenarios I've witnessed in the past week). I've had some rehearsals for a couple pretty kick-ass readings I have coming up of new plays. Plays that I believe in and characters that I feel honored to get to know. It's a nice feeling.

I've also had the privilege to spend some time with old friends. The kind of friends that get together after months apart and it's as if not a milisecond has passed. The kind of friends that know bits of your past that even you have forgotten over the years. And the kind of friends that make fun of you relentlessly for bringing low calorie vegan cookies and silken tofu fruit dip to a dinner party. But in the end love you for all your oddities and weirdness. I love those friends. I'm one lucky girl to have so many.

In the coming days I hope to drown out the sound of my fingertips plunking away on that ever so honest calculator with the sound of clinking glasses. The kind that contain drinks that make your face purse and your body dance on tables like that hooker from a few paragraphs up. Yup, many celebrations coming up in the near future and I'm sure posts to elaborate on how mixed my attitude is about such celebrations. I'm another year older over here- where the hell does the time go?!

Much like how you can't argue with an equation, turns out you can't argue a whole helluva lot with time either. It ain't stoppin for nothing. Not even my big old, sometimes inappropriate and usually loud mouth.

An early birthday toast:

Let's raise our glasses to staying fully focused, fiscally responsible and so young at heart the boys think you may be illegal.

Here here.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

I'm a Whore for a Metaphor

There's something about this time of year that propels me through the days with a sense of excitement. And thank goodness because I've been pretty overwhelmed with all the things on my plate right now- beginning to think my eyes may have been too big for my stomach at that all-you-can-eat buffet (What? We all know how I love terrible metaphors... That's 1).

I spend all summer in a sluggish state, dealing with my struggling body and trying to maintain my energy. But the second that crispness enters the air, I can feel the seasonal shift in my bones. Seriously, I would marry the onset of Autumn and consummate the crap out of the union if the NY state senate would pass that law.

But, it is true that in the past weeks I've had a hard time managing my time. I constantly wonder if I should be working on something else. ...Then the time I spent asking myself that question would have been better spent on the task... then I feel guilty for wasting time, in turn I waste more time feeling guilty... and that's when I try to resist the urge to sit on my kitchen floor and eat that jar of almond butter I love so much honey-bear style.

Not good for my mental health, not good for my productivity, not good for the size of my ass... And Lord knows I can't afford new jeans to accommodate said ass right now, so I need to change some things - (stay with me on this):

Maybe I've been thinking about things all wrong. I've been thinking about compartmentalizing but what if I merge? What if I think about things in terms of achieving a long term goal, not a short term task. It's a shift in thinking that will take some work, but the more I dwell in the "collective realm" and the less I let my mind shatter my life into a million little disjointed pieces, the less I should be like a 4 year old trying to put together an 8 and up puzzle... right? (That's 2)

Example: My room looked like the leftovers of Irene in Vermont ...just dryer (okay, so some of these are more like analogies, but whatever). However, I had so many other things to do that I put off getting the mess in order- the show, school, emails, mailings, the gym, work, scheduling... But my own personal FEMA worthy disaster area was always in the back of my mind sucking the ever living energy from me. And, by Monday I went bananas. Completely crazy. I honestly thought my roommate would find me sitting on my bed, draped in my clothing, eating papers and bills, and rocking myself numb.

No thought, just action. Went into major purge mode. Trash bags full of BS out the door! Took Monday and was going to take Tuesday, too but a job came up and a meeting and a reading... but WEDNESDAY I continued with the overhaul and when I get back on Friday (currently on Long Island celebrating Rosh Hashana. Shana Tova, my friends), I'm going to finish the mess. And I should, because it's for the greater good. I will be able to do everything else better once it's in order and I won't have to spend another minute worrying about it ...or the reactions of my parents if they were to see me hog-tied in the looney bin.

In conclusion, I gotta merge my shit! Amalgamate! Amass! (prepare for number 3) My life doesn't "match," but I gotta find a way to make it "go." I got to get the hell out of the low end Separates and dance my way into Designer Suiting. ...Okay fine. Lets be honest, Bridge Suiting...

So, that plate I filled at the buffet is one complete meal,
My puzzle is one age-appropriate cityscape,
and, it'll take some work, but I gotta drop the so-so skirt/top combo and focus on one fabulous dress.

How's that for speaking metaphorically?

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Questioning the Kool-Aid and Kicking the Kilter With a Little Kumbaya

I lived through last weekend! I was able to do it all, shuffling my little booted feet around this town with the quickness! The nutrition school conference was my home base, and I popped in and out fairly seamlessly missing minimal "must-sees". I darted from nutrition geek to thespian to dancer to student to friend without missing a beat (well except for that moment I was trying to return an email as I got out of a cab and got my foot caught in my handbag strap. I have no idea how I did that and the cabbie said it was graceful... but, I'm pretty sure I missed that beat).

The conference was an experience. We all know, for me, honesty is generally favored. So...honestly, I have mixed reviews. Saturday there was a whole lot of Kool-Aid being passed around. And I've just never been one to blindly drink the Kool-Aid. I smell it, ask what's in it, what flavor, when it was made, what will it do for me, wait until someone else tastes it and doesn't die...then MAYBE I'll subscribe to a sip. It's just my nature. So day one of the conference was a lot of me sitting in a chair with one eyebrow raised (and those that know me personally, know that I mean this literally :). Sunday, however, instead of TALKING about being inspired and motivated I actually WAS inspired. The day was full of fantastic information about breakthroughs in nutrition and weight loss. About reversing the obesity epidemic and shutting down cancer and curing diabetes. LOVED IT! It really was a fantastic reminder of my passion for this whole nutrition shabang and I left Sunday with a renewed vigor to spread the nourishing news.

I also auditioned for Sleep No More on Saturday (a show here in the city I am DYING to see. Theater's so damn expensive we actors can't afford it). We did some movement improv exercises. It was held in the actual space where the show takes place and were to move about the "dining room" like we were gathering information from the room with our bodies. We were then to interpret the information, develop an opinion about it and react as such. Guess I gathered the wrong info because I was cut after the first round. But I had a blast! Unfortunately I didn't get a chance to perform that classical monologue I learned and practiced while on a bench in the projects across the street (during which, I was continuously interrupted by an old woman that wanted to cook me "the best fuckin' beans and rice I ever ate" and dodging a group of little boys that broke out into a very intense war with water bottle machine guns. It took some resolve not to ditch the audition and join the resistance).

Also got some new pics taken. Through a friend a photographer was offering a great deal and I thought it beneficial to take advantage. So... Sunday, at the tail end of Deepak Chopra's talk, I busted a move and ran downtown to have my pictures taken (a funny microcosm of my life when I go from taking in all of Deepak Chopra's zen energy and brilliance to hightailing it outta there like a mad woman. I laughed to myself). Now, I just have to review the pics and figure out what to do with them. Here are a couple samples:

Feel free to tell me what you think. I'm a terrible judge of my own pictures. Particularly when I'm acutely aware of what went into them: conference center all day, make up in the cab, whopping 20 min to shoot before tacking the name tag ­on and morphing back into a student.

In the days since my schizophrenic weekend I have tech-ed and dress rehearsed the new show. I also tried to control my freak-out-mode that results from being incredibly under-rehearsed.

Which brings me to last night. Opening Night. My first scene was a cluster f*ck (pardon the expression) of jumped lines, missing lines, zig zagging through the script. The scene has tons of irritatingly similar text messages being sent back and forth, human sound's difficult not having had the proper rehearsal time. And so, it was hot mess. But we lived through it. And, oh well, there's always tomorrow.

One other scene I was struggling with came together for me at dress rehearsal when I asked the new director what I was doing wrong and he looked at me and said, "I mean, your shit's not Hamlet." Holy hell! It clicked! I got it. Chill out and bring back the levity. I went home and worked on it and, last night, it GREATLY improved my performance and the scene as a whole. So, while I effed up the first, the second went pretty well and the third (the one in which we switched roles last week) went well, also. So two outta three ain't bad. least, at this point, that's what I keep telling myself when my mind starts dwelling on the one I screwed up.

I gotta find my center, again. This show has me completely off kilter. I feel very out of sorts and I don't like it. I feel like I've been grasping for something to save me from myself, and well, we all know nothing will. Gotta get all Hug-a-Tree/Kumbaya with some relaxation and turn my attention back inward. Stay focused.

Gosh...all that kinda sounds like I not only sipped the Kool-Aid, but funneled that shiz at a granola themed frat party. But... hell, whatever works!

Friday, September 16, 2011

Anyone For a Pep Talk?

Amendment to my last post:

So... I let stress, self doubt and the overwhelming knot in my chest get the best of me for a hot minute. BUT, I have come around!

I can control what I can control, and I can't control other shit. So, I will do the best I can with what I got and am lucky to have, and kick the crap out of all the great opportunities that are coming at me.

Pull it together, Sarah. Shut the eff up and get down to business. I'm souped up on antibiotics, healthy and nutritious food, Zicam chews, cough drops and stupid amounts of tea (this regimen has rendered me a little gassy and I smell like menthol, but dammit, who cares?!).

Do. It. (...and preferably well.)

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Riddle: What Has Twelve Chins and Makes Out With Chicks?

Who's freaking out? Who's on the verge of a mental meltdown, sounds like a big hunk of man, has a few extra chins thanks to glands the size of tennis balls, might lose her mind in a sea of memorization, may flip out and shave her head, and body checked a smelly hipster this morning for not respecting her mother effing space? ...Give up? (you can't see me, but two thumbs are pointing 180 degrees from the comp screen at "this girl")

I'll come back to this, but I want to catch you up on last week when my sanity was much more intact:

I had an agent audition through the Actor's Green Room with 10 agents. I was warned that the they don't say much and that it's a pretty awkward few minutes you're in there. So equipped with that knowledge I tried to go in with as much energy and care free attitude as I could muster.

Turns out- people don't lie. That shit was awkward. But I read well and stayed true to myself (it was a scene from Ugly Betty originally done by Jaime-Lynn Sigler).
At the end we get comment forms from each agent as feedback. Some of my comments included:
"Great work, Very precise intention" (ok!)
"Nice read, connected to the role" (Thanks!)
"Your headshot makes you look pale, but you're tanner" (...?)
"You're a great listener" (oo! Good one!)
"Nice flirting" (Duh. ;)
"Good job, Very natural quality to your work" (Well, Thank you.)

I'll take 'em! Now to follow up and hope they see what I already know: that I'm a delight and I can make them disgusting amounts of money. :)

I also had a friend's bachelorette party (Naked Boys Singing? We were right up front... Where do I look? What do I do? They were very...Naked), catered a Fashion's Night Out throwdown that made me swear off heels for the next few months, dropped it like it was hot at a theater fundraiser, and helped a dear friend find the absolute perfect wedding dress. :) Not bad.

Anyhow, back to me LOSING MY MIND! So,we're in the middle of rehearsals for our upcoming show. It's a series of short plays in which I play a whole slew of characters and my actions range from making out with two girls and a boy to playing house furniture (Yup, you read that correctly). It opens Thursday (one week from today. One week and 4 hours from this moment that I'm typing, to be exact). I don't really know what to say about this process except that I'm concerned. Too much to do, not enough time or people to do it and we -the actors- have been left to fend for ourselves. No outside set of eyes to tell us what works and what doesn't. That is, up until last night. We met with our (last min addition) associate director and finally got some feedback. Thank baby Jesus. We did some character work and we heard a lot of: "great instincts, there's just a lot of work to do." Not news, Dude. Not. News. The question becomes: when do we do this work?

The cherry on top of last night came as we rehearsed the last scene of the night. It went something like this:
-we sat in our spots and began our read
-halfway through the director stopped us
-said, "it's not you guys, but I'm bored out of my fucking mind." (not such a good thing to hear)
-"Pass your scripts to the person to your left. Read as that character."
-We did so.
-"Much better. This is the new casting."

I started cracking up. Oh, no problem. Switch characters the week before we open. Sure! I mean, he was right, but add it to the list! I went home and decided I had two choices. I could let my stress get the best of me- cry and sit on my ass shoveling almond butter into my mouth with my fingers...or I can dance it out. I decided when in doubt, Dance. It was late so I put on my headphones and jumped around like an idiot. And while my sanity and my shrinking ass thanked me for shunning self pity and mega-calories, my respiratory system wasn't so appreciative. I started hacking up a lung like a smoker swimming laps BECAUSE...

On top of everything, I've been fighting off the flu for a few days now. Woo woo! Had 102 fever and my body was aching so bad I felt like the Central Park Jogger (:-/ I know. Not the most tasteful joke I've ever written...) But, I'm trying desperately to kick the crap out of the mess inside my body with a little help from the Zicam chews I've been popping like Skittles, but it's a slow road to recovery.

Which brings me to this weekend: Friday night rehearsal, Nutrition School Conference all day Sat and Sun, A kick-ass audition opportunity that came up mid-day Saturday (leaving the conference for a hot min to attend) and a sweet headshot deal that I couldn't pass up Sunday during my Lunch break from the convention. Are. You. Kidding. Me?? Did I mention I'm losing my mind? In the meantime I'm memorizing and working on my scenes, prepping for the audition-gotta learn a new monologue, catching up with Nutrition School, sending out a mailing and potentially booking a flight to LA (!! more on this to come!).

So, to sum it all up... If you don't hear from me for a while, no biggie. Not to worry. Just assume I've either thrown myself out the window or my head exploded into a million crazy little pieces.

(Oh. And the answer to the Riddle is Me.)

Monday, August 29, 2011

Was That a Hurricane or Did a Pigeon Just Shit on My Head?

Seriously? Seriously? An earthquake AND a hurricane? Seriously?!!

Let's start at square one (and by "square" I mean "natural disaster"). I was grocery shopping for some fresh produce in a health food store in my hood. I took the time to squeeze each stone fruit and inspect each leafy green. I found the cereal I wanted. Then the cashier says to me in broken spanglish, "No internet. No card." I got kinda pissy because I had no cash and she's talking up a storm to the lady behind me completely unconcerned with my waste of time. "You feel?" she asked as she gyrated her whole body like a floppy banana peel. "Uh...I'm sorry?" I answered, completely confused and slightly creeped out. She said something to me in Spanish (LOTS of people think I speak Spanish. I don't. Well, un poquito). "I... don't speak Spanish." "Earthquake! Earthquake!" The woman behind me piped up energetically. "You feel?!" "Nope. Nope, ladies. I did not feel an earthquake." Nuts. I walked away, leaving behind my perfectly chosen produce and rolling my eyes at the crazy ladies squawking behind me.

I went to another grocery to re-shop and as I was checking out the woman says to me, "how crazy was that earthquake?" "What?! Really?! Those bitches weren't crazy...?" (I said the second part under my breath). I was still skeptical until I got a text from my mom in GA. 2 reactions to this: 1. Confirmed the whole earthquake thing 2. There's an earthquake and my Mom sends a TEXT?! ...I mean, yeah, I didn't FEEL it...but still.

So a few days later I go to see my friend in a Fringe Festival show (big theater fest here in town) and guess who is sitting right in front? The casting director that I met with just a few weeks before! Hello! Sign! (cough*call me in for an audition*cough) Anyhow, as I'm taking my seat next to the CD, two old women create quite a fuss as they are trying to get up the stairs to their seats and one topples over on the other! They fall DOWN the stairs, tumbling to a hard thud on the ground one on top of the other, moaning like cows in heat ( cows go into heat? Hmm...). The audience screamed and instinct set in for me and one other girl. We rushed over to the ladies and tried to get them to stay put while someone called an ambulance. I stayed there getting their names (Blanca and Ros) and ages (Ros said 55...pretty sure she's been 55 for 20 years). They were something else! Blanca was in a ton of pain the other just WAS a pain. "I'm not going to the hospital with you, Blanca! I'm not goin'. You are alone." Cool it, Ros! I think Blanca broke her hip for God's sakes.

In the middle of the madness another crazy on the other side of the theater started yelling into a phone and sobbing hysterically. It was MADNESS! In the end both ladies went to the hospital and we watched the show without further interruption. But WTF?! Remind me not to spend my whole life in this town. It's great for a while, but I've never met a super-sane old lady that's been here forever. I'm pretty sure this town turns a girl bananas after a while. I'm sure as hell feelin on my way.

AND THEN not a day later there's hurricane hoopla. Now I'm getting textS from my mother about this. Of course I'd heard about the possibility, but it takes a lot to get NYers concerned about much of anything. But not Moms. If I was underwhelmed with her reaction to the earthquake, she made up for it with natural disaster number two. I'd wake up in the morning to hilarious manic texts about filling the bathtub. Sample text:

"Hurricane prep? Water? Flashlight? Could lose power. Consider going to Jay and Mindy's? Could be couple days without power. Possible."

Verbatim. There were others.

I packed up the hundred dollars of non-perishables, bottled water, light sources and magazines (hurricane's are freakin' expensive) and headed for my friend's apartment in Astoria- An Evac free zone. We spent the day gathering rations and walking around trying to tire out her 2 dachshunds so they didn't crap all over the apartment in the coming days. Then...we waited. And waited. Did I mention that we waited? We sat there sweating our faces off in the humid apartment devoid of a window unit, as per Bloomberg's advice. I ate my weight in Lentil chips with salsa and cheese dip and apple slices (I at least TRIED to mix in a healthy snack or two). I successfully and shockingly avoided the pizza! August fitness challenge: 1 Hurricane: 0 though, there were a few PB and J's to be had. I went over lines. I stuck my head out the window. I developed a crush on Eric reporting from Virginia Beach as I watched him rain soaked and blowing in the wind on the Weather Channel. I read about cravings and healthy fats. I slept. I slept some more.

What the shit, Irene?! Take your damn time, Lady! What a bitch. I mean, is this or isn't this? They were still on TV blowin' around like idiots, they were still saying the worst was yet to come, they were still talking about the destruction that was ahead... But when?! Whennnn?! I spent the night in and out of sleep on a chair in front of the television waiting for the black clouds of doom to descend on our little apartment bunker and knock us back into the dark ages. Needless to say...that didn't happen.

What did happen was we went crazy. We lost our damn minds cooped up, bored senseless, eating crap and waiting on pins and needles. In-Sane. My friend (shout out Elesha!) started yelling out the window at passersby (that's right- PASSERSBY. Some hurricane) telling them to "get in out of the danger! There's danger! Hurricanes are danger!" Most people just laughed at us and asked if we need beer. The next afternoon I was exhausted! Turns out all the preparation and waiting is enough to knock you out. I hopped in a cab and came back to BK to check out the scene. Some branches were down.

For as much as we joke (was that a hurricane or is someone's air conditioner leaking? Hurrican't. Irene's like my 9th grade gf, all talk and no action, Hurri-lame!), we really do owe a big ole' THANK YOU to the southerners for taking that one like a champ. We would not have been able to enjoy the beautiful day today if Irene didn't dwell on North Carolina and become lesbian lovers with Virginia. Not to mention that Vermont is underwater. So Bless you folks because we here in NYC really were the lucky ones, and you guys-not so much.

At some point in the middle of this week of madness I managed to Celebrate a bestie's birthday (shout out Kel), hand out some flyers, rehearse for a reading, get my metabolism tested (SUPER slow for the amount I work out. Great news. 1200 calories a day it is...fml), bartend for the first time (not my forte), have a drunken night of terrible decisions (that I'm still recovering from/dwelling on), and listen to some nutrition lectures.

Holy hell. Life is eventful! There's a lesson here somewhere... You can't go through all this bullshit and not learn something (Sorry, TGIF was my jam as a kid. DJ and Stephanie ALWAYS learned something)... So here goes: Really there are so many big things to worry about in life that dwelling on the small, stupid things just seems self indulgent. Shit happens. Shit happens and we move on. Just like this city after an earthquake and a hurricane.

...I mean a ground shimmy and a rainstorm.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Just a Girl Gettin' All Hot and Bothered

It's that brilliant excitement about life and possibilities that keeps me going (just what I told cute boy- I mean jerk- at the bar a la my last post that never called. But whatevs because he probably has communication problems and halitosis anyhow). I certainly don't live with that excited feeling all day every day, but I do spend the majority of my days working towards it. I'm lucky, really, that I found performing to feed my need. I know that there are people out there that have no idea what it means to have this energy in their body, to feel so inspired that you have to get up and get to work. The feeling like you have to move or you may explode. I'm even luckier that I feel like I've found a second source of this energy. Folks, turns out I'm a big fat tree hugger. Yup, I'm finding that the health and nutrition industry actually suits me quite nicely.

It seems I'm okay with spending a Friday night in sweatpants researching how my Mother can calm her arthritis for her upcoming trip to Paris with diet. And, I'm okay with spending an afternoon reading about what to eat to optimize marathon running for a bestie that's in training or what foods increase fertility for some peeps in my life that are tryin' to get knocked-up. And I surprise myself at the level of pumped I become when an article about new food label designs pops up on my twitter feed. It's getting ridiculous...and I love it.

So, school is going well. I got concerned because of all the questions being thrown at me about how exactly I'm going to structure my business. "I don't know, fool!" I found myself yelling at my Ipod full of lectures. But, I spoke with my health coach who has been through the process and she has calmed my nervous energy and refocused my intentions and I am back on track simply gaining all the info I can (don't I just sound all tree-hugggy and holistic? ;) But in seriousness, I really can't wait to gain all the knowledge to make this whole shebang look like something. I can't wait to simplify my life and boil it down to two things that get me all hot and bothered. Can't. Wait.

Buuuut, In the mean time... I'm doing some, get this, promos! Mostly chips and cafes. Riveting. (...but I guess it's not tampons. Everything's relative.) I've done a bunch of shopping tours- some in the POURING rain, which was just a great time. I love keeping a cheery disposition as I trudge through the town, my clothes weighted down with probable acid rain while I drag along dripping wet tourists and pull "supercute" outfits for them to try on. So fun. (But I guess I'm not sweating my face off. Again- relative.) I've also taken on choreographing the first dance for a couple on their wedding day in the style of 500 Days of Summer. That's actually been a pretty good time spent with good people. I win with that one.

I filmed a scene for a friend's webseries. It happened to be on one of the muggiest days yet in an apartment ram-jammed with people and no air conditioning. Lord only knows what kind of sweaty, swamp-assy disaster we all looked like on camera. I'm sure you're shocked to hear that by the end of that evening I was sure that I was going to pass out. It's hard because not everyone has this reaction to heat like I do (read: freaks that do "hot yoga"). So when I become a bit irritable, request breaks and sit outside trying to calm my boiling blood (a whole other kind of hot and bothered), I'm hyper aware that I'm being the diva in the room and I hate it. I'm also aware that if I don't do that, I may just up and die. Soooo, Give and take, people. Give and take.

I was even able to fit in a little vacay, too, recently! I stayed at a friend's family house in the Hamptons. It was so nice to be out of the city and see a little greenery for a hot minute. Unfortunately my body shuts down for 72 hours every time it gets the hell out of this town...and I was only gone 48. So, needless to say, while I did ENJOY some kickass farmstand peaches, I WAS no peach. Very tired. May have taken a nap. or two. or twelve.

I also had some very successful readings. One in which I got to play the demanding role of a girl in an abusive relationship seen throughout the years of her life. Smart, funny, sassy and fucked up-my kinda girl. ;) During the rehearsal process, I sufficiently freaked the hell out of the girl subletting the room next to mine in my apartment with a monologue of hyper-emotional proportions. Definitely wasn't aware she was home at the time... oops. Ah, well. I mean she still talks to me, just from a further distance. Currently, I'm in rehearsals for a September show of original short plays and for another reading where I play a delicious character that fits the "smart, funny, sassy and fucked up" bill. (trend?) This one includes incest... Can we all just all take a minute and thank God I'm not Method...

Anyhoo, in personal news, I've been dealing with some former roommate bullshit (anyone need a hideous couch, a hideous dresser or a hideous shelf? Yeah, ME EITHER!). I hate people. Now for a subject I rarely divulge: Boys. Boys, at the moment, are of minimal interest to me. Simply too much energy, not enough return on investment. I'm just not one to enjoy the decoding of the text messages. And I find it hard to balance the honesty and the I've stopped trying. And, while I'm being so honest, it really feels nice.

Moving on! I can feel fall around the corner these days and it is freaky. This could be the fastest summer of my life. Hell, this could be the fasted YEAR of my life. I hear time speeds up the older you get. All the more reason to spend it excited about the days that are to come.

And so, my friends, Onward ...and, God willing, upward.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Maintain the Mess with Monumental Amounts of Momentum

I met a guy at a bar. He was a finance guy. In trying to explain my life to him (always a challenge), he looked at me like a caged zoo animal and asked me, "What keeps you going?"

"Umm. Excitement. B Vitamins. ...and a shit load of momentum."

Which brings me to...Holy hell! Where do I even start?
In summation:

Merry Meeting, the one-act I was rehearsing, opened and closed- some people laughed, some didn't. I auditioned for 10 commercial agents and casting directors- successfully DIDN'T wet myself, successfully DID do a dinosaur impression. Met with a casting director, got great info. Had my first health coaching session with my mentor, ironically...from a McDonalds. I handed out some chips, I handed out some panty liners. Passed out flowers to those getting gay-married down at City Hall (a truly amazing experience). Interviewed prospective roommates and successfully found a normal subletter. Worked out like a crazy person. Met with a commercial print agent. Designed some marketing materials. Met with a fellow Nutrition school student. Rehearsed for a reading. And thank God for those few cocktails I fit in in the middle... (no, seriously. I think I actually said Grace before that delicious pickle back shot on Saturday).

Now to delve into a few details: I decided to attend a "Commercial Night" at The Actor's Green Room (which rocks, btw). Forgot when I scheduled it, however, that my first health coaching session was immediately before (for nutrition school we're assigned a personal health coach to guide us through and help us out) and it was at a non-negotiable time. I got to the neighborhood of the audition and wouldn't you know it-when you need a damn Starbucks they can't be found. I walked and sweated and sweated and walked. Finally I settled into a seat at the Mickey D's to talk to this lady about my health habits (I found the irony in this hilarious. Perfectly in line with the rest of my life). My coach was lovely. We chatted and the 50 minutes flew by.

The audition went well, too! The people were great-Super helpful and supportive. I made new friends in the waiting room. Super laid back atmosphere. Perfect for me to bitch-slap my nerves and put 'em into check. I had one goal for this audition: Stay cool, calm and myself. Just do my thing...and Lord knows I had time to focus, because I was the very last person to go. I entered the room which had two walls lined with various Industry people. Industry people that just wanted to go home after a looooong night. Umm, can ya say intimidating?! Before I even got my name out I was asked to perform the "Sweet Dinosaur Impression" special skill that's on my resume. So, after a short intro, I busted up my face and hissed and jumped around like a flesh eating beast. There ain't no shame in my game- better believe it woke the room right up.

I did well and have since had two meetings from it. One with a Casting Director and one with a Print Agent. Both meetings were good! I was myself. I was collected and fairly charming without being irritating...I think. Now I just have to keep the relationships going and see what happens from here. (p.s. the casting director said he called me in because I seemed so at ease in the audition and that I was very "cool and chill" at the meeting. Funny story, because it was Friday-hottest day of the year. 110 degrees. What he doesn't know is that I spent the 15 minutes prior to the meeting freaking out from heat stroke, hanging with the door man and drying out my clothes over the air conditioning vent. "Do whatcha gotta do, Girl!" the doorman said with absolutely no judgment as I lifted my shirt and reveled in the cold air blasting up my sweaty self. I think I was audibly moaning. Classy, I know. But, I would say, Goal Cool Calm and Collected: Accomplished.)

So, there's a lot going on, so much to think about! I'm winded y'all. I feel like my head does not belong to me anymore. Even when I dedicate my time to one thing my head is somewhere else. I'm officially concerned. I can't seem to pull it together, to get organized. And, I was doing so well with the sleeping, but I can toss that right out the window along with my sanity. I find myself staring wistfully at babies that go by in strollers and NOT because I'm feeling that internal clock ticking. It's because I'm jealous. "There goes another ass hole baby, stretched out, just napping like it's nuthin'." ...This is a problem.

Anyhow! I've connected with a surprisingly normal girl from my holistic nutrition class (she didn't even flinch when I told her I don't like yoga!). We're going to try to meet once a week to keep on track with school. Thank God! And I guess I'll just keep riding on that momentum and do as the very accepting doorman said, “what I gotta do.” ...move my acting career forward with more meetings and events, rehearse for upcoming readings, audition for new things, make money with promotions and shopping tours, try to have a social life (what can I say, that boy at the bar was cute), oh, and work out like a crazy doing that August fitness challenge I signed up for...

...all while trying not to rage and kill any slumbering babies in the process. Amen to that.


p.s. Try saying the title five times fast. It's kinda fun...

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Sometimes it's Just Polite to Swallow

People are bat-shit.

Every once in a while I get in the mind set of a jaded New Yorker and I assume that I can't be rattled. I can't be amazed by human behavior anymore. And then, I'm horrifically shaken back to this crazy world where people are maniacs and do things that should only exist in an SNL skit.

Case in Point: Post shopping tour on Friday I thought I'd stop by the Greenmarket and the Whole Foods - pick up some fresh produce and some tofu for the weekend. The nuts that wander these places are enough to make you giggle a bit. There's the emaciated models holding various bags of lettuce and types of Honest Tea, the smelly hippies that haven't heard the news that women shave their armpits these days and, my personal fave, the organic-crazed mommies that feel entitled to shove people out of the way with their strollers simply because they procreated...

But the real crazy came on the subway platform.

I was starving and decided to munch on some of my (controversial among my friends) veggie pepperoni slices to tide me over. A stalky, stooping, yet fairly well dressed man walked up to the edge and stood to wait for the train beside me. I saw him notice my snack and sort of question it with his brow. In no mood to chat, I adjusted my headphones with exaggeration (It's the polite way of saying "don't talk to me, fool"). He did not get the hint.

He starts, very obviously, pointing at my unusual food choice. I remove my ear buds and say with a hint of bitchy, "Excuse me?" Now, I know what he said was in some form of English, but I have no idea what the exact words were. I guessed that he said something along the lines of "what is that?" So I answered, "Vegetarian Pepperoni. It's for vegetarians." "nmnbmnhmf," he replied in his language. "Vegetarian. No meat. For people that don't like meat." I said upping the bitch factor. AND THEN it was like it happened in rapid speed, but I was watching it in slow motion. The dude clearly said, "I wanna try" ...and put his grubby, fat fingers INTO the bag of veggie pepperonis!! My bag! Of pepperonis! I froze. What's a girl to do? He dug his greedy fingers around trying to grab ahold of those suckers for a solid few seconds, and then shoved three or four into his waiting mouth, tucking the ends in with his fingers making it appear as if the pepperonis were trying to escape.

I was in shock. This happens??!! People do this?! I stood there staring at my poor, violated bag of fake meat. At that point, what do you do? I would have just offered him the whole thing but, to be honest, he didn't seem to like them. I sort of got that impression when he half yacked them out onto the train tracks. Hmm. After all that he didn't even ingest the damn things.

I threw out the bag. I was hungry, but not that hungry.

...In other news, I had a great callback this weekend with very sane people, and I had my first off book rehearsal for the upcoming One Act Festival. My character really comes together for me when I get off book. I think I'm so in my body from all my years of dance that when I free up my physicality I'm really able to play around. Needless to say, the rehearsal went well and (seeing as how my lines were a bit less than perfect) it will only get better!

More rehearsal and a BIG audition tomorrow. I'm sure I'll have lots to say about that.

Until then, stay classy, NY.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Guilty as Charged, This Town is Too Hot to Handle

You know how I know I must REALLY love to act?
I stood outside on Monday... for 7 hours... looking like this:

Yup. I MUST really, really want to make it as an actor.

I was the manager of this event, which has it's perks and pitfalls. Some days you just want to be told what to do, and not deal with people that inevitably suck. Even people I like get fairly pissy when standing on a street corner, dripping sweat, talking to NYers. I don't blame 'em, but damn it folks, we're in it together. Let's make this as pleasant as possible, mmmk?

My Weather Channel app told me that it was a high of 97 degrees that day. And I was in a wig... Answering stupid questions about why I was wearing a wig... Yelling about a certain well-known NYC event I was promoting. F.M.L. It was the kind of NYC-hot (different from "elsewhere-hot," "NYC-hot" is inescapable. Take "elsewhere-hot" and add all the air conditioners pumping out hot air, the walking place to place, the bodies everywhere. INESCAPABLE...), the kind of hot where you feel like you're chewing the air it's so dense. It's like someone snarky wrapped a piping hot, dripping wet blanket around your shoulders and then told you with a smile, "just go on, go about your day." Not. Pretty. Particularly not for me. A bit of medical background for ya: My little body doesn't regulate heat like a normal person's does. No, no. My body violently shuts down, says eff you, and proceeds to make my life a sweaty, miserable living hell. I've been to the hospital twice for dehydration (hallucinating, convulsing, the whole nine...So fun!). Needless to say, not so good.

I'm still recovering from Monday's hot disaster (and I mean that literally). I lost all energy the rest of the week. Even going up subway stairs has been a challenge for me these past few days. The gym was certainly out of the question (completely bizarre for me), laundry seemed like an insurmountable task, and I couldn't focus on anything for more than 5 minutes (which made rehearsal interesting). I was a mess. After tons of water, loads of potassium and a bit of salt, I think I have finally gotten most of my energy back. I've stocked the fridge with coconut water and I successfully made it back to the gym yesterday - thank baby Jesus.

I have a big audition coming up next week (for a slew of commercial agents) and I even considered cancelling it because of my body's inability to function. But thank baby Jebus, again, for bossy family members. My Ma called into question what is really important to me. Conclusion: this audition. Cancel all work outside, pull yourself together and take care of yourself for the next week. Focus on what's really important, i.e. that audition. Duh, Sarah.

It is hard, though. A constant struggle to keep life in balance. I hate turning down work. I feel so guilty. Who the hell knows when I'll get more? Money is necessary, but again, so is being healthy and the work right now is only to get me to where I want to go. So for at least the next couple weeks, I need to slow down. Re-prioritize.

My acting career is obviously HUGE. School has started (Yay! My first assignment is completed!) and that's a major priority. Work. Work is a means to an end. Sure I gotta pay for shit, but not worth the stress when my health is at stake. I'm lucky to have people in my life that know me well enough to know that sometimes I need to be told to take a step back and let go of the guilt (I'm half Catholic, half Jewish. Imagine how hard this is for me. Aside from platelets and plasma, guilt is in my blood).

In other news, I did an awesome table reading of "Scream" in which I played Rose McGowan's genius role, Tatum. That was hilariously entertaining. I thoroughly enjoyed playing out the sounds of getting killed by a very strong garage door. And remember that audition I "bombed"? ...Got a callback on Sunday. Either everyone else really sucked, or I misread my reading. ;) Whatevs. Won't question it.

This weekend is filled with celebrations, auditions and work. All good things. I'm just thankful to be back among the living. Now I just gotta figure out how to stay this way... :-/

Friday, July 8, 2011

Let's ALL Just F*ck the Filter

There's nothing like handing out maxi pads and tampons at 7am on a Friday morning. I shouldn't know that this is true. ...But I do. :-/

I spent the week working promos at a newly opened drugstore-on-crack in the Financial District. Glad to know men in that area are staying chachi- Calling girls, "darlin'" and "sweets" and single-handedly keeping the cologne industry alive and kickin'. Gross. What I wanted to say was,"Sir, I smelled you before you even rounded that corner." But instead every time, it just came out "Sir, can I offer you a free sample?" Damn that professional filter.

I was handing out a plethora of free shit throughout the week. Plenty of men asked me for tampons and maxi pads today, though, before they knew what it was I was offering. One guy reached his hand out for my then unknown bit of free shit and I said with a smile, "This is actually a feminine product, but you're welcome to take a sample for a lady in your life." He jerked his hand away so fast it was like I offered him a free sample of AIDS. Immediately the sarcastic filled words, "I mean it's not like they're used..." popped out of my mouth. Whoops. (So, my filter failed me a bit. Maybe it wasn't the most professional response, but somehow through his gagging I could tell he had a sense of humor on him) The man started convulsing. Ticking uncontrollably. Dry heaving. I think I saw tears form. His friends were full on crying they were laughing so hard. The security guard came over and asked with genuine concern if everything was ok. One of the guys answered through laughter, "This girl..(hehe)... is talking...(snort)... about periods!" Eruption of laughter. The security guard and I stood there. Quiet. Bewildered. Staring at the group of "grown" men lost in hysterics. And I had two thoughts. One: How did I get here? And two: I want to stick a maxi pad to this man's forehead.

I suppressed number 2, but I'm still wracking my brain about 1...

Wednesday was an insane day. Starting with a 7am 6 mile run (fml), then to work in the Financial District, rehearsal in Harlem, a bombed last min audition in midtown (eh, can't win 'em all), an errand in Chelsea, a reading again up in midtown and ending with a killer case of insomnia in Brooklyn. Woo! Just couldn't shake the day. It's the worst when that anxiety settles in your chest and you feel that it's just set up shop for the evening. That's when I bring out the big guns. A man I like to call, Will Shortz (...well he likes to call himself that, too, but you know the tone I was going for...). At some point Will must have done the trick, because I definitely woke up in the am with a giant ink stain on both my forearm and my 1998 Dance Company Tshirt I was rocking. Well done, Sarah.

On a completely unrelated topic- I know this blog is a whole lot of me rambling about MY ridiculous, but I'd love to open it up to whoever the hell YOU are. I write and then I get messages and emails from people and I go, Holy Shit! Someone's actually reading this? Well, that's nuts. But aside from that, I really get great questions and awesome stories and comments from both fellow actors and from non actors. I'd love for some of the things I get written in private to open up a conversation for everyone to take part in. So I'm going to encourage you (whoever you may be) to speak up. Here. On this blog. Write something. Tell me something. Ask things. Answer things. Whatevs...

Like I said- I don't know how the hell we got here, but Lord knows we're all in this hot mess together, ya know?

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Supported in So Many Ways...

"...You are an incredible Actress and we Loved your personality. This was a very difficult decision and we liked you a lot. You had the whole team divided. We know you have a very bright future ahead of you.... And we were honored that you chose to bless us with your presence."

I mean if that isn't the nicest "we decided to go in a different direction" email, I don't know what is. But tally up another "almost" for the month of June. Ah, well. July better watch the eff out, 'cuz I'm coming for it. A little disappointment is good to spark a fuse under your bum. So I will "Use it," as they say.

Monday was a major blast from the past. A reunion with people from my very first acting class in the city 8 or so years ago. The Friday night Scene Study at T. Schreiber Studio was a huge part of my life for about 3 years. I turned 21 while in that class, I had my first breakthrough during a performance, I had my first big fails, too. That class and those people revived me so many times. I wonder if I hadn't found it if I would still be in this city. I was fairly unhappy when I first moved here (which most people, to this day, don't know).

I remember every trip home my Dad would say the same thing on the car ride to the airport. It was one sentence. And he said it only one time every trip, "You know you don't HAVE to go back." And every time I would say, "I know, Dad." with just enough sarcasm. They'd sit in the car outside the ATL airport as I checked my bags curbside then drive away waving. Tears would swell in my eyes. I would hold it together until the skycap would notice my tears as I handed over my GA ID (a connection to the homeland that I still can't give up) and ask if I was okay. Once the guy even came around the counter to give me a hug. Love that skycap.

But thank God I stuck it out! And my sappy point is, that the reunion reminded me of the scope of my support network here in NY. It really is amazing how many people I feel are behind me cheering me on. We were there for each other 8 years ago, and we are still today. It takes time to create the connections and form your safety net. But, one day you wake up and realize that you've done it. And it's vast.

Anyhow, enough with the sappy business worthy of a Sarah McLachlan soundtrack. Moving on. I had my first read through for Merry Meeting, which is the one act that goes up in the Strawberry Festival at the end of the month. I think that once we get on our feet and work out all the physicality it will be something to see. I've been working on the individual physicality for my character, experimenting with movement while going over the lines. It's been interesting finding her. Bubbly and free spirited, super smart and intuitive BUT more than okay with no one suspecting that. It's fun.

Thursday, my work day looked like this:

Oh. You recognize her? Weird.

I was at a Target superstore in Harlem, preparing boxed lunches for 200 kids when I got word that the event I was working was, in fact, a Beyonce appearance. After feeding the kids and getting them hopped up on sugar, we got word that Beyonce was running a bit behind. Turns out "a bit" in Beyonce speak means about 3 hours. Swell. Her "choreographer" came out (pretty sure they found this guy at the bodega down the street). He taught some dance moves to the kids that were mid sugar crash. (At one point he said the girls should take ballet if they want to get a man. ...Seriously. That happened) Finally she came out. Lights up. Screaming. She said three words. Kids cried. She left the stage. ...No singing. No dancing. Just a lot of hair (as the picture above can attest to). But, whatever! Because afterwards I got my Target-shop on!! I got a bunch of new Sports bras, mini Luna bars and two of these lamps:

Score! Nothing gets a girly NYC transplant going like a Super Target. And that. Is. Fact. Combine that success with the paycheck and a day of working with awesome peeps - I win!

Super chill holiday weekend filled with friends, cleaning, organizing and a hint of cooking. Lots of time spent in my hood. This whole Brooklyn thing grows on me by the day.

This week is work and rehearsal. I've also gotta pull myself together because SCHOOL STARTS NEXT WEEK!

Like I said-

Bring it, July. Between my NYC network and my new Target sports bras, I'm feeling all kinds of supported. :)

Well. That mid week post was shot to shit, huh?


Catch ya tomorrow. My brain is fried from Sangria and mexican layer dip.

Hope your weekend was filled with friends and fam. For you peeps celebrating the 4th- I hope, like good Americans, you all ate your weight in grilled once-adorable little animals (Gross. But I'm not judging...) and that you are ending the holiday with all of your extremities in tact. Happy 4th of July.