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!

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...