Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Standing up

Oh Boy!

Going back to stand-up after a couple months off is pretty terrifying, but I pushed myself to do it last night and I'm so glad I did. I tried out almost all new material and it was a huge turnout for the Comedy Masala open mic (brand new) at Home Club. The club was packed wall to wall which didn't help my nerves at all. I had some friends there, though, which made it feel a little more cozy.

I want to get back to feeling comfortable with stand-up again for when I am back in LA. I feel like it's a good way to show, "Hey, I'm a chick and I'm funny. You should put me in a sitcom, where I belong!" That, and I love making people laugh whenever possible so it's a win/win. My friends Giancarlo and Chris are helping me get some decent footage so that I can possibly put a good stand up reel together. Hopefully I can post that soon so you all can see it!

I was, as usual out here, the only female comic and I guess it can be a blessing and a curse. Last night it definitely made me feel a bit intimidated, especially since the comics were really strong. This "open mic" didn't feel like an open mic. It felt more like an actual show because of the turn out and that made me start to think, "Shoot, should I just go back to the material I know works, or forge ahead with this new stuff?" I went with the new stuff because I felt it was pretty funny and I think a lot of it worked. I am growing, but I definitely have a LONG way to go before I would actually say, "Yeah, I'm a stand-up comic," and not make a million excuses as to why I'm not REALLY a comic.

There was only one guy I felt so badly for. It was his first time getting up ever and he was an Australian bloke whose set was just basically him explaining why Singaporeans are stupid. I'm no expert, but I would imagine that being completely racist towards the majority of the people in your audience is not going to get you a lot of laughs . . . and it didn't. The poor guy was booed off the stage and I was just cringing for him. Needless to say his first time doing stand-up will be memorable for him.

I hope you guys who are in Singapore can come out October 19th to the open mic again, as it will probably be the last time I am able to do it before returning to the U.S. HOWEVER, I plan on hitting up the open mics in Orlando while I'm there to warm up for LA as well so I'd love the support!

It's 11pm and I'm EXHAUSTED. It's my day off but I ran around all day doing errands and then a student film exercise at NYU Tisch Asia which, although I was thrown in last minute, ended up being a lot of fun and will hopefully have a good moment or two to add to my acting reel as well!

Thanks for following along with my blog! This one is more of just an update but I hope to have a nice meaty story for you all soon! By the way--finding a flattering picture while you are doing stand-up is damn near impossible! So, forgive these gems.

Good night!

Monday, October 4, 2010

Bug Eyes

Lately I look in the mirror and I find all of my flaws so quickly. Maybe it’s because half of my day I have to look in the mirror and be concerned that my makeup is flawless because I’m a “face character”. I have never spent so much time looking at my face as I have this year, and at the same time I haven’t been through so much stress and climate change so that has been a bad combination on my self-esteem. Don’t get me wrong, I know I am an attractive girl. I am happy with what I was given because I see so much of the people I love from my family in my face, so how could I not embrace that? But, like almost everyone, some days, you look in the mirror and you see all the things that you don’t like.

Tonight, as I was getting ready for bed I couldn’t stop looking at my eyes in the mirror. Oh, how they have been a blessing and a curse! My entire childhood I was ridiculed for having big eyes. “Bug eyes” is still ingrained in my heart as this hurtful, embarrassing torment. Even though I would look at my mom’s big beautiful hazel eyes, and the big beautiful round eyes of my Aunts, it just didn’t look right on my face. I felt like an alien. I hated it. I felt like if I just didn’t have these big eyes, I’d be pretty. At the same time, as a stage actress they have been such a blessing! You can see how I feel on my face all the way to the back row of the house! But, up close and personal I have always been incredibly insecure about my eyes.

Then, at 17 years old, my high school sweetheart Brion came along. At first, he’d call me Bug because of my eyes, but it was coming from a sweet place. I didn’t understand this, at the time, of course because of all of the previous torment. I remember getting so mad at him, saying, “Stop calling me that! I hate it!” and he’d say, “But you’re my little bug! I love your big round eyes!”

He was mister popular, party guy. I was president of drama club. I don’t know how or why it happened but he was smitten and so was I. He’d drag me to the cool kid parties and I’d feel humiliated because I felt like all the popular kids would look at me like, “Why is Brion bringing this DORK to the party? What is he thinking?”

And my eyes have always completely given me away! I’d get in trouble in school for “rolling” my eyes when a teacher was a jerk. I’ve never been able to hide when I’m hurt behind these huge windows into my heart. No matter how hard I’ve tried, these eyes give me away every time.

Brion would hold my hand and be by my side the entire time and even go so far as to say to people, “Isn’t she so beautiful? She’s so beautiful!” I would want to crawl in a hole and die. In my mind, everyone wanted to say, “NO! She’s a freak! What are you thinking?!” But, he never cared what anyone else thought. Ever.

Brion was my first real boyfriend and we were together for a little over two years. We started to grow apart in our second year of college because we were going to separate schools and had developed totally different lives and worlds. Now, he is married to a beautiful woman and they have two girls and a little boy on the way. I couldn’t be happier for him, and I know he is probably the most incredible husband and dad.

I can say with confidence that every boyfriend I have had has taught me a big lesson and given me something to look for in a mate or avoid in the future. I was such a child when Brion and I first started dating that I didn’t realize how important the way he treated me would impact me over ten years later. I wasn’t jaded yet. I hadn’t been cheated on. I was a trusting, insecure, smitten little girl.

Tonight I found myself looking in the mirror after I washed my face, hair pulled back, analyzing my facial features and all I could think was, “Gees! My eyes are so big! I hate them!” I thought of Brion saying, “But I love your eyes! You’re my little bug!” And I smiled. I thought of the random things that have endeared me to past boyfriends that they might have found to be flaws and how much I adored those endearing “imperfections”. When you are crazy about someone, all those silly little things you hate about yourself, generally become the things that endear the other person to you, because they are YOU. They aren’t perfect or like everyone else. Embracing those things only make you better and happier. From being close friends with some of the most stunningly beautiful women on this planet I can confidently say that no matter how gorgeous a woman is, she can tell you at least three things she finds absolutely disgusting about herself. Frankly, that sucks. As much as I get mad at all my pretty girl friends for talking down about themselves, I have to face the music myself and accept and love the exterior that this soul has been given.

I took a deep breath and tried to look at myself through the blue/green Irish eyes of an innocent 18 year old boy and thought, “Okay, that’s me. I can embrace this. This is how I look. I’m okay with it.”

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Free-writing . . .

I'm trying desperately to write a stand-up set for Tuesday and I'm so distracted. I just found out a friend of mine from college who, last I heard had a brain tumor but was recovering, is not doing well. The cancer came back, aggressively and he is in hospice care. I believe he is 29 years old (give or take a year) and his wife is about to have their first child in five weeks. These are the times you look up, around, anywhere and go, "How does this happen?! How is this fair?!" I have to believe there's a reason, but it's just one of the most tragic scenarios I can imagine, for everyone involved.

On the website that the family started to keep everyone in the loop you can see how much love is pouring out from friends, family, and acquaintances. It's beautiful.

I had some silly things happen at work today and yesterday that got me all in a tizzy and all I have been able to think tonight is how ridiculous it all is. My worst day of work is still a blessing. It's so easy to forget how lucky we are and how even at our lowest point, there is always someone who's got it worse. The important part is the love and respect we have for each other.

I called my mother tonight after I heard the news and, of course, being cut right from the same cloth as her, she cried along with me. Then (as if brain cancer wasn't tragic enough for the two of us to talk about) she told me the story (that I'm sure everyone in the US already knows, but I'm just hearing about) of the gay college student who killed himself after his dorm roommate posted a YouTube video of him having a sexual encounter with another student. The gay student hadn't come out yet and was so distraught that he threw himself off the George Washington Bridge. Yet another heartbreaking story for completely different reasons, but I'm just trying to wrap my head around all of this.

I guess it just all made me think about how quickly and easily we will say something negative about each other or situations that arise instead of taking a breath, having compassion and being grateful. I am completely guilty of it. It's something I try to work on but some days, someone will just hit the right button or you've just had enough and there it is, an entire rant about how shitty everything is or how deplorable someone is.

I was just helping my best friend Kat edit her scholarship submission for the Aveda school. She wants to become and esthetician because she is working on creating a nonprofit charity called Beauty and the Bus to help underprivileged women. Kat and I have been best friends for twelve years now and she is one of the most positive, joyful people I know. I rarely hear her say negative things about people and she always tries to approach difficult situations from a very peaceful and calm angle. Her essay was about love and how if she has lived her life with joy and love then she is happy. She can't guarantee that what she does will make others happy, all she can do is try to share the light of joy. I just admire that and feel like I wish more people were like her, as well as hoping I can be more like her.

There's no one that can answer why these crappy things happen. Tragedy happens every day, somewhere. Amazing, life-changing, beautiful things happen every day too. I guess, in the scheme of things, there is balance.

Sorry, there really is no structure or theme to this blog. It's just some free-writing because my mind is swimming and I want to get some focus. I get so caught up in thoughts sometimes that it's hard to wade through it all and concentrate on one thing. Then I end up doing nothing at all. I figured I'd at least write, as an exercise if nothing else.

Now back to trying to make people laugh on Tuesday. Yeah. That should be a snap.