Friday, April 23, 2010

Route 66 is Gone, and So Is My Bank Account. A True American Story

Friends, Romans, Countrymen! Lend me your ear!

Are we all met? Very good. Mummy is here with her flask filled and she has adventures to share.

But before we get off into our normal Friday Fuckery, I'd like to send happy born day wishes to my favourite dead white man. Mr. William Shakespeare. As a scribe and storyteller, I know the importance and also the bullshit that is Shakespeare.  We've had a tumultuous relationship over the years.  At first he was like that cute boy on the varsity squad that everyone fawned over, but very few were allowed in his circle. During my college years I mustered up the courage to bat my eyelashes at him, and in turn he bid me audience and seduced me with lovely sonnets.  Upon graduating conservatory he finally gave it to me full throttle and I did my first professional production of A Midsummer Nights Dream at the Court Theatre.  Shakespeare, that cool upperclassman had made me his bottom bitch.

Back in those days I was a giant. I felt free. I was energetic, open to new ideas, and often felt invincible.  I was happy to wake up at 6am to hop on the Red Line El and travel all the way up north to perform for children in schools, hop back on the el and take dance classes, sip on some tea, then go find an audition to crash.  It was the life of an actor. We all scoured over Perform Ink magazine for audition notices, hung out at Act One Bookstore, did staged readings for a bucket of chicken, and could drink in bars for hours with a 20 dollar bill! Ahhh life was swell.

My career had started on a high note.  I was at a regional theatre, doing Shakespeare. Inspite of the bullshit that I had to deal with in school. Being the minority in a conservatory where whites are the majority can be annoying at best. I'm not saying that anyone was burning crosses on my dorm lawn or any kind of bullshit like that, but I did have to deal with a few so-called small minded teachers...and even classmates. So that fact that I was able to book such a major show, felt amazing.

But everyone experiences assholes while training, so that's no big deal. Adversity gives you thick skin.  I didn't let that bullshit stop me. But, that was back then.  Now it's many years later, I live in Los Angeles with a career that's slow as molasses.  After a visit to SAG today, I discover in order to clear my Station 12 status--well actually to be re-instated as a union actor it can take $1,200.  That's right.  For those of you who may be wondering, SAG (the Screen Actors Guild) is a union that protects professional actors.  You have bi-annual fees based on how much you make.  Some times you pay $60 dollars....sometimes you pay $600.  Paying these fees don't guarantee a role...but you cannot step foot on a set without paying them.  See, being an actor ain't so glamorous.  It costs a shit load of money. And you'd better have you knee pads ready, cuz every now and again you gotta gnaw on cock to stay afloat.

Being an actor is like being CEO of a small business. You have to take care of every aspect of the business.  But like most small business in America, it's fragile and easy to fail.

In the midst of this shit storm, I'd like to report that I have a beautiful little home to seek refuge.  Not so. In a matter of weeks, I have to find a new place to live, because the landlord has raised the rent.  I offered her a blow job to try to keep a roof over my head, but she got all weird about it. Pfff. Women.

So if you see me twirling a sign on the street corner, don't feel sorry for me. If you see a really bad pole dancer in ballet point shoes incorporating View Points into her strip tease, you'll know its me.
I might feel like a piece of shit, but I am going to fight tooth and nail to afloat.

I'll try not to bore you with too much tragedy. Besides, I've got to sharpen my oyster knife and pour the champagne. Because trouble don't last always.

When, in disgrace with fortune and men's eyes,
I all alone beweep my outcast state
And trouble deaf heaven with my bootless cries
And look upon myself and curse my fate,
Wishing me like to one more rich in hope,
Featured like him, like him with friends possess'd,
Desiring this man's art and that man's scope,
With what I most enjoy contented least;
Yet in these thoughts myself almost despising,
Haply I think on thee, and then my state,
Like to the lark at break of day arising
From sullen earth, sings hymns at heaven's gate;
For thy sweet love remember'd such wealth brings
That then I scorn to change my state with kings.

William Shakespeare Sonnet 29

ciao fuckers!


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