5 Years Here and I’m Feeling…OLD.

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I’m coming at you a month late with this one, but I have been in LA 5 years.

FIVE YEARS, PEOPLE.

And now when I tell new people I meet that I’ve been here for FIVE YEARS, the first comment is always “WOW, that’s such a long time,” and then I fall to the ground and curl up in the fetal position.

Because no starving artist miles away from their intended destination likes to be reminded of JUST how much time they’ve been at it.

I’m still working on embracing the “big 5” and I think writing out this blog and seeing my progress will help…right? RIGHT?!

Let me take a little second to drop the link to the summary of YEAR 4 for a little comparison. See where the Short and Feisty one was a year ago before sinking your teeth into this one.

Without anymore preamble, let’s jump right in to this year, shall we?

Things I HAVE accomplished:

  • Worked my first personal assistant job on a big budget studio feature.
    • Survived said job with very little (physical) scarring–I came home in one piece, and I’m counting that.
    • Made a ton of new friends with the other assistants/crew members on the project.
  • I PAID OFF MY CAR LOAN.
    • I am officially debt free and it feels MAGNIFICENT.
  • I’m still in the same apartment, though I didn’t live in it for 6 months of this year. I’m beating my previous record, anyway!
  • I only had one truly severe panic attack within this past year–
    • It happened on a plane, in the lavatory of all places, and I thought I was going to die, but PROGRESS.
  • I wrote the first three episodes of a web series, made a pitch video, and it’s currently being considered for a competition. Keep your fingers crossed for me!
  • I’ve started the perilous task of getting rid of half of my belongings by the end of the year. I’ve collected so much stuff over the last 5 years and I’m sure I don’t use at least half of it, so it gotsta go.
  • I visited: England, Scotland, Greece, and New Zealand this year. I also spent time in Hawaii, almost all of those destinations through work.
  • I SIGNED WITH A TALENT AGENT.
    • This is BY FAR the best news of the entire year because it is the BIGGEST THING that makes me feel like I’ve actively made progress in my acting career. I’ve convinced someone that I have what it takes, now I just need to get out on some auditions to prove them right.

Things I’ve learned:

On Work:

  • Gain as much experience as you can in whatever industry your interested in, but never forget what your ultimate goal is.
    • Make decisions that best serve that goal. You may be tempted to veer off into another path for a number of reasons (usually more money for survival) but don’t do it. Eyes on the prize.
  • Never depend on others to get you where you need to be. Honestly, the only person you can count on is YOURSELF. That probably sounds more harsh than I mean it to, but it’ll keep you from being disappointed when others don’t pull for you.
  • I learned this next nugget of knowledge from a producer and it’s honestly what keeps me going out here in LaLaLand: BE. PATIENT. Shit doesn’t happen overnight, y’all.
  • Still working on finding that work/life balance. I’ll get it right someday.
  • Never stop hustling. Ever.
    • Work as many jobs as you can. Only buy things that’ll genuinely be useful and make you happy. Write those web series. Submit yourself to auditions. Hustle.

 

On Hollywood and The Grind:

  • Leap.
    • The net may or may not catch you, but if you’re stuck between a rock and a hard place, LEAP. It somehow paid off well for me this time around. And the next time I take a leap, I’ll have a wider view on which to base my decision.
  • Trust sparingly.
    • Probably my biggest industry takeaway of the last year. There’s no harm in being skeptical of others, especially when you don’t know their motives.
  • Trust your instincts.
    • Unless your instincts are buttholes and lead you astray. But then again, if your instincts told you one thing and new information is making you change your mind, that’s ok, too. Don’t be mad, just change your perception and make better decisions next time.
  • Assistants are hard ass workers and being a part of that small group really taught me the most on my adventures.
    • You can tell how a person truly is by the way they treat their assistants.
  • When working as an assistant, your principal’s life becomes your life.
    • You have to make a concerted effort to pull yourself away from the inbox often or you’ll go bananas.
  • Costume, Hair, and Makeup have the most fun on a set because they’re the most fun/nicest people.
  • It’s ok to have days that’ll make you feel like running away to a remote island where you and the sheep are the only residents.
    • Breathe through those days, minute by minute, and the next day will most likely be better. Or maybe the next day will suck even more. But the day after that holds hope and hope is what you’ll live on in LA/NY.
  • You set the tone for how you want others to treat you.
    • Go in to any new relationship sending the signals for how they should behave with you and speak to you. If they’re not getting the signals, that’s not your fault. Keep sending them.
  • The industry is trying to right their wrongs with their lack of intersectionality. Trying in a very slow way, but I’ll be here when they decide to speed that shit up.

 

On Love:

  • Crickets in this department this year.
    • Refer to last year’s post if you need some wisdom on that front, because all I learned this year is that I’m getting more comfortable with the idea of being a spinster.

 

On Life: 

  • You know you have good friends when they’ll listen to you groan, complain, and outright panic over the phone and over texts and they don’t tell you to STFU.
    • I am seriously lucky in this department.
  • You very genuinely do NOT have to take other people’s shit.
    • You might feel like you absolutely need to, in order to further your goals. Chances are, though, if it involves getting beat down that much…probably not the right path for you.
  • You can always work a little bit harder, put in a little bit more effort, and reach a little further. But don’t beat yourself up if you don’t feel that way everyday.
  • I NEED TO BLOG MORE.
    • I’ve gone to some absolutely astounding places over the last year and I didn’t document it as well as I should have. I need to work on that.

 

Biggest Takeaway of 2017:

I may not be living what I consider to be my BEST life, but I certainly am living an INTERESTING life and I need to remember that.

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That’s me! On a mountain top in the Southern Alps of New Zealand.

 

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Harry Potter and the Harassment on the Underground

I’ve been on radio silence for the last few months as my life has been completely devoured by my new-ish job as a Hollywood personal assistant (still love it, though). England is everything I had hoped it would be, my … Continue reading

Oh, Hey 29! Good to See Ya!

I’m breaking my long radio silence on the occasion of my 29th birthday.

The last time I found myself jotting notes on these pages, the world was crumbling after the election of–ugh, I’m not going to even go there. It’s my birthday AND HE WON’T BRING ME DOWN.

Lots has changed for me since then. Namely, I’ve relocated to another country, albeit temporarily, and I’m the happiest I’ve ever been in, quite possibly, my entire life. That’s not hyperbole or exaggeration. I am so sublimely happy working as a personal/writer’s assistant to a really cool actor that thinks I’m the bees knees (sucker!). The feeling is entirely mutual. It’s a literal love fest every day of this job. I’m sure it’s sickening to hear about, but just be glad you’re not witnessing it in person. You’d probably barf in three different colors.

Naturally, as a result of this euphoria, my anxiety and panic disorder has me catastrophizing anything and everything. You name it, I see the danger in it.

Eating gummy bears? I’m going to choke and die.

Boss does a really simple stunt. Boss will be injured and it’s all my fault for not swooping in and magically being the savior.

Showering? My, but these floors are slippery.

But I’m trying my best to put my irrational fears to bed and just live a little. Working on a movie set has been an education, to say the least. There are a million different acronyms, a million faces to put with a million names, and a million snacks to eat at Craft Services.

I considered writing more in depth about this life-changing experience, but going into detail may violate the well written, iron-clad Non Disclosure Agreement I’ve signed. If I do anything to fuck this job up, I WILL NEVER RECOVER.

Yep, 2017 has already been good to me, there is absolutely no denying it.

But I must say, 2016 was a roundhouse kick to the face so I am in no doubt that I deserve the positive changes that have been heaped into my lap. That may sound conceited/vain/entitled, but if you could’ve seen me last year…

HOOOO–WEE!

I was a steaming pile of Hot Mess, littered with Epic Fail, and sprinkled with Deep-seated Regrets: relationships (ugh), career prospects–both survival and aspirational–(dismal), basic hygiene (putrid).

It wasn’t looking, or smelling, at all good for Short and Feisty.

And then the actor that I’d been doing PT writing work with for over a year decided to kick things into hyperdrive, offered me a chance to come on board full-time,  and put me on a plane to London with 3 weeks’ notice.

Business Class.

Not. Playing. Around.

And now I’m sitting in my hotel room, about to wander over to set, wondering how I got so lucky. Forgetting the years and years of blood, sweat, and baby poop that got me to this point in time. Forgetting the vastly large amounts of rejection I’ve gotten as a writer and as an actor. Purposefully ignoring the miles and miles of road left to trudge before I get to where I ultimately want to be.

Because now I have that elusive mistress HOPE in my grasp and I’m not letting her go.

Here’s to 29.

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The KKK is Marching in NC and You Don’t Even Know That It’s Partially YOUR Fault

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I keep trying to turn my blog back around–to be happy and cheerful and funny (at least to my own personal standard of funny, your mileage may vary)–but I’m just not there yet. It’s sad to think that this country elected a man that supports and espouses so much hate. That some people can just roll their eyes and be like, “He’s not REEEAALLLY going to be awful, he’s just not PC. He’s actually going to be miles better than Hillary because I hate Hillary and BENGHAZI and EMAILS! I love you, though, but I’m gonna go ahead with the go ahead and vote him in.”

What’s even sadder to see is all of the various hate groups crawling out of the rotten woodwork to do things like hold “Victory Marches” in places like North Carolina.

I posted that link to my social media last night with the caption:

“Grab your hoods, y’all. Your dude won.”

I almost immediately got a response from someone in my acquaintance that voted for Trump. She stated that she was “angry at those comments.” Being the naive little optimist that I am, I thought she was angry that the KKK were marching, that one of the most despicable, hurtful, violent groups in the history of this country is experiencing a furiously growing resurgence.

But no.

She was mad at my caption, said my caption was racist, and said that comments like my caption are what’s tearing America apart because she’s not bad like one of “those people that always brings race into things.”

Oh. LAWD.

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Photo Cred| imgflip.com

So here is my response to this woman (who, anecdotally, is white), and who will remain anonymous here for privacy reasons:

Dear Mrs. X,

I’ve had the privilege of knowing you for almost my entire life. Your sister was an excellent 5th grade teacher and I have many happy childhood memories with your daughter.

But here’s the thing: Your vote did this.

Whether you realize it or not, whether you like it or not, your vote put this man in the highest political position of this Great Nation and, by doing so, you gave everyone license to hate out in the open again.

“Hello pre-Civil Right’s Movement–welcome back!”

And what I don’t think you realized about my caption is that it’s nuanced (I’ll shoulder some of the blame if it wasn’t obvious). I know you’re not a card carrying member of the KKK–remember, I have been the recipient of you’re smile and your joyful greetings. The fact of the matter is you are complicit.

You KNOWINGLY voted for a man that not only accepted, but appreciated the endorsement of not only the the Ku Klux Klan, but also the American Nazi Party. Speaking of the Nazis, do you know what the worst part about Nazi Germany and the murder of over 6,000,000 people was? That their neighbors let it happen by remaining silent.

That their neighbors remained SILENT. Let that sink in, because you didn’t just remain silent, here. You spoke up with your vote and actively put this man in power.

Now, you may think my caption is racist (though, it does not ONCE mention the race of his supporters, you’re assuming I’m only addressing white people), and you may bemoan the fact that “those people are always bringing race into this”. But do you know what the KKK is? THEIR HATE IS ENTIRELY BASED ON RACE AND RELIGION. The color of my skin is SO distasteful to them that they are actively trying to disenfranchise me and millions of others. The fact that certain people don’t recognize Jesus as the Messiah sends them into a tailspin. And GOD HELP THEM if they have to sit next to “a gay” at the Golden Corral.

I never thought I would bear first hand witness of the KKK in 2016. I thought all that junk was something my mother, and uncles, and aunts, and grandparents suffered through in the past. That they fought long and hard so I wouldn’t have to live in a country where people like that are handed a microphone and spoon-fed government support. But now, this reality is my present.

Your vote did this.

But you don’t see it that way.

And therein lies the problem. And that’s the reason for this letter: I took a step back and realized that you simply didn’t know. There are those that did and happily checked that box for Trump. But you didn’t, and I know because I know YOU.

You don’t see that your vote means we will most likely be adding bigoted voices to the Supreme Court who will be hell bent on stripping people of their basic American rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

You don’t see that you had any responsibility in causing the country’s Jewish population, Muslim population, hispanic population, disabled population, black population, it’s myriad of rape victims, etc to begin a new life living in fear. You don’t see that by saying “yes” to Trump, you were saying “do your thing!” to all of these terrorist groups bent on hating other Americans, some of whom you may even have in your own friend group.

 

It’d be easy for me to say I’m not afraid because I don’t live in NC–I don’t live in VA or The South anymore, so I’m not near it. But you know my nephews and nieces. You see them almost every day during the school year. And I’m afraid for them–there’s no hiding that beautiful brown skin AND THEY SHOULDN’T have to. I fear for the children that bear witness to all of these heinous actions and are scared out of their minds. Children that are already being bullied in school.

Hell, my college campus is 30 minutes from you in Southern VA and minority students there are already being bullied:

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So maybe your privilege allows you to live in a little bubble of being “color blind”–race is never “the issue”. I can attest to the fact that my elementary school, where you work, is just like that–its own little Utopia. But outside of that, others are forced to see the full spectrum of color.

And I don’t think that’s a bad thing!

And I know that makes you uncomfortable to even think about–that you had a hand in this nonsensical hate.

And it should.

Maybe it’ll give you an inkling of the discomfort that all of the other Americans being targeted, not because they’ve behaved egregiously, but simply because of being WHO THEY ARE, are feeling.

There’s no undoing the election now, it’s done.

But I’m glad I’ve sown this seed into your conscience.

Now, I just need you to think about what I’m saying. Listen to what others are saying about what’s happening in our lives NOW. Maybe, if you truly listen, you’ll learn. And my most ardent hope is that maybe, just maybe, what I’m saying in this letter will inform your decisions in the future.

Luke 23:34,

Short and Feisty

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Photo Credit | The Daily Show

How Does it Feel?

How does it feel to know that you’re their target demographic?

How does it feel to know that your neighbor doesn’t secretly hate you because of the color of your skin? Because of your heritage? Because of your religion?

How does it feel to know that, even with the shift in power to someone who espouses hateful and vitriolic rhetoric, you’re going to be ok? Your life will go unchanged–you’re safe. You’re part of the fold. Because you’re one of them?

How does it feel to know the American Nazi Party and the KKK isn’t bothered by your presence among these amber waves of grain? That they won’t forcefully attempt to disenfranchise you over the next four years because you weren’t born heavy with melanin and you were raised worshipping one particular Nazarean?

To know that you won’t be mocked because you weren’t born physically different or not as able bodied as them?

How does it feel to NOT feel unwelcome in the country you’ve called home your entire life? That your grandparents, great-grandparents, etc called their land, as well?

To feel your marriage rights are not on the line? To feel your safety isn’t threatened by people who want to do you harm simply because of who you are?

I’d really like to know.

Because right now, all I feel is sad. And sick. But mostly sad.

Yet hopeful that the phrase “We never thought it could happen in America” isn’t something that you’ll be uttering within the next 4 years.

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Photo Credit| ShortandFeisty