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!

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.