4 months!?

Has it really been 4 months since I sat down to type something on this thing?

I guess it has–and it’s no coincidence that that long drought of words coincided with my bout of full-time unemployment.

One would THINK that with all of the time afforded by not having steady work, one would be able to crank out some impressive prose.

Alas, I have found that when one is stressed about such trivialities as rent money and scraping enough together to resist the ever present threat of car repossession, one’s brain isn’t quite ready to dive into writing the Next Great American Novel/Screenplay.

So what’s happened during what I am now dubbing “The Great Silent Period”? Here are some bullet points I’ll hopefully get to over the next few weeks.

  • I found a nanny job–my “unicorn nanny job”, in fact. I won’t be going into detail about the kids or family, but it’s a nanny job with a 48 hour shift starting at 9am on Saturday and ending at 9am on Monday. This schedule is AMAZING for writing and auditioning and I’m already setting myself up to take full advantage of it.
  • I got my first root canal. It was as horrific as you would expect it to be, can’t wait to share the details with you.
  • I took some beginner magic lessons at The Magic Castle and it was awesome.
  • I went to SUNDANCE 2016! It was all sorts of amazing and awesome and I can’t wait to share my experiences with you here.
  • I survived the last few months panic attack free, which is probably the most significant feat of all. I had plenty of opportunity to completely lose my marbles, but I held it together through the grace of mid-day napping and Netflix.
  • I witnessed my first drug deal while apartment hunting.
  • I went in for a nanny interview with a celeb and came out with a PT writer’s assistant position. There won’t be a ton of detail on this one, either, but I will regale you with the tale of our serendipitous meeting because it’s honestly something out of a movie.
  • I finally got the wherewithal to sit my butt down and update this blog. So get ready for some wild stories.


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Shondaland is Set on My Destruction–With an Open letter to Shonda Rhimes, Herself

You read that right–Shonda Rhimes, Shondaland, and everything to do with that Magical Mistress of Television Hits are set on reducing me to a puddle of aspiring actor/writer tears.

You may think me overly dramatic (in this case, probably a “pro” since Shonda and I seem to teem with drama in our writing) but take a minute and hear me out–and if someone can save me, please answer my call.

As an actor in Hollywood, especially one of the ethnic variety, I recognized pretty early on that the breakdowns on the casting sites weren’t calling my name. Viola Davis makes note of this in her most recent acceptance speech for her Emmy win. It held true when I first got here in 2012 and still holds water today.

SO, armed with an English and (undeclared) Theatre degree from a prestigious university, I set about writing several pilots in which a character would expressly fit my age, nationality, acting range, etc. If the parts for women of color didn’t already exist, I would MAKE THEM EXIST.

Inspired by nearly 1/3 of my personal circle of collegiate friends skipping off to law school, I sat down to write a dramedy surrounding a group of students and several teachers. I interviewed an astonishing amount of my friends over email and over the phone. Hours went into my research. Days were spent outlining, writing, drafting, and writing some more. I had just polished what felt like the 6th draft of my show entitled “1L” when “How to Get Away with Murder” was announced.


My first foray into writing a pilot was now worthless. Not to mention that I hadn’t been able to convince the Gate Keepers of Tinstletown to allow me even a toe in the door, let alone a whole foot.

I retuned to celebrity nannying full-time, licking my wounds and working on my next project. I had my first foray into celeb travel nannying by journeying to NYC, I learned to translate preschool-speak into English,  I learned what it means to balance a day-job that’s both emotionally and physically draining and still convince yourself to stop making excuses and CREATE. I battled ferociously with poop, Poop, and more POOP. I created an alter-ego-nanny that highlighted the absurdities of child rearing and childcare, in general, through the Facebook/Twitter/Instagram account of Judgy Nanny.

And then a lightbulb went off.

OMG SHORT AND FEISTY WRITE A PILOT ABOUT NANNYING. Make it about the intricate and delicate balance between working with someone else’s children without posing a threat to their parental instincts. Write it about toeing the line with OCD employers, about teaching little hellions how to be civilized tiny people, about avoiding the nanny cams when you need to change your clothes in a room other than the bathroom! ABOUT BATTLES WITH POOP.

I had just gotten through Act I last Friday. I was feeling good. I was so certain that my knowledge of children/childrearing and my talents of acting/writing would meld into one big ball of “Television GOLD”.

And then a friend messages me with this link from Deadline Hollywood:

‘Scandal’ Stars Kerry Washington & Katie Lowes To Produce Nanny Dramedy For Shondaland & ABC

Another posts this link to my Facebook from A.V. Club:

Kerry Washington to produce a Shondaland dramedy about nannies

And then a third friend messages me with this article from Variety:

‘Scandal’s’ Kerry Washington & Katie Lowes Producing Shondaland Nanny Dramedy

If y’all could see the chunks of hair I ripped out of my head in frustration, you would kindly advise me that I needed both a haircut and new headshots. I had both a metaphorical heart attack and stroke. I died, re-read the articles, and died some more. My life had turned into a twisted episode of The Truman Show!

So I sat down and wrote this blog. Here’s an open letter to my own personal Television Muse and Goddess:

Dear Shonda, 

STOP SPYING ON ME. I love that you and I are on the same plane of what is hot and what is NOT in Hollywood or what would make for excellent television programming. It boosts my ego and makes me feel a little more confident in my abilities as a writer and an actor in Los Angeles to know that we’re seeing eye to eye. But for the love of Pete, could you please stop producing my ideas before I can even get beyond the parking lot of La La Land? Better yet, how ’bout you and I talk it out over a cup of coffee and with the promise of a free night of babysitting, no matter what. Because this show is basically going to be ABOUT MY LIFE and I really want “in” on it. I would say have YOUR people get in touch with MY people, but I don’t have any people in LA, so here’s my email See that play on words of “Au Pair”–another form of childcarer? YEAH. AGAIN with this show being about my life!


Short and Feisty. 

Photo Credit |

Photo Credit |

For When You Need a Little Perspective

Wake up, ready to start the day. Lay around in bed until 7:30am (wow, that’s late for the person with an infallible internal alarm clock that thinks it’s perfectly acceptable to be up at 6:15am every morning).

Roll out of bed and peer into the empty refrigerator. “I really should put some effort into grocery shopping.”

Grab a juice box, hand delivered by the mailman from an Amazon order. Shopping made easy.

Open up your laptop, pull out your (gifted) iPad, and somehow lose two hours of your life to clicking and scrolling.

On Netflix, sink into a BBC series that you’ve seen a million times. On Facebook, notice several friends have achieved some career/home/life accolades and make sure you feel SO BEHIND.

The facebook encounter will get you in a tizzy, so much so, that you must immediately seek out an edible item made primarily of chocolate to soothe your case of the grumpies. You make it to Starbucks, pay for a chocolate croissant and smush it into your face in the time it takes to inhale three solid breaths.

Then, feel guilty because you’ve started today with sugar and carbs instead of healthy, non-dairy, non-gluten, non-taste-organic, “Los Angeles typical” fare.

Spend too much time in your day fretting over the submissions you’ve made to various entertainment festivals, fellowships, and competitions. It’s not un-like waiting to hear back on college admission. You submit. They take way longer than you thought humanly possible to decide, and either accept or reject you with a short note mentioning how steep the competition was and how everyone can’t make it in.

You putter around, wasting gas, but feel ok about it because it’s improving your overall mental state. Plus, you drive the Prius so can be a tiny smug about sending less emissions to float over our heads in the smog-ridden-valley that we call home.

You recall that this Sunday, you’ll be nannying so that your bosses can head to the Emmy’s and you wish YOU were going–you’re tired of watching the industry from behind the diaper bag. You want to be a PART of it beyond keeping the kids of the actors and agents and producers safe and sound while THEY work.

You brainstorm ideas for a new film project while you drive, but lament the fact that you can’t write anything down because TWO HANDS ON THE WHEELS, PLEASE. And buying a tape recorder to talk into would just feel silly.

Half the day is wasted away, so you start to feel guilty about that, too.

Why does it always seem like the walls are falling in and you’re not getting the opportunities you need in order to break into your chosen field?

Why is life so hard?

Why can’t it be easier for YOU in particular?


And then…you get this text message from the other nanny at your new job:

Can you please come to work for me.


I  have to go home, to Guatemala.


They killed my nephew, his wife, their child, and I’m taking the next flight out.

Your body goes numb but you text back that you’re on your way and you jump into your car. You guide your fancy hybrid car onto the street. You lift that over-priced cup of coffee out of the cupholder and note that your belly is full. You turn on the music through your bluetooth feature from your expensive iPhone. You note that, though you live in a city with a history of crime and gangs, it’s possible to walk down the street in your part of town without the threat of getting shot. You note that your family and friends are safe and sound in suburbia or in other big cities–still safer than in 90% of other countries in this world. You listen to the music, realize that you have a wonderful and privileged life, and can’t believe how fitting the first song you hear is:

Would you please take me away from this place
I cannot bear to see the look upon your faces
And if there is some kind of god do you think he’s pleased
When he looks down on us I wonder what he sees
Do you think he’d think the things we do are a waste of time
Maybe he’d think we are getting on just fine
Do you think he’s skint or financially secure
And come election time I wonder who he’d vote for

Ever since he can remember people have died in his good name
Long before that September
Long before hijacking planes
He’s lost the will he can’t decide
He doesn’t know who’s right or wrong
But there’s one thing that he’s sure of this has been going on too long

Do you think he’d drive in his car without insurance
Now is he interesting or do you think he’d bore us
Do you think his favourite type of human is caucasian
Do you reckon he’s ever been done for tax evasion
Do you think he’s any good at remembering people’s names
Do you think he’s ever taken smack or cocaine
I don’t imagine he’s ever been suicidal
His favourite band is Creedence Clearwater Revival

Ever since he can remember people have died in his good name
Long before that September
Long before hijacking planes
He’s lost the will he can’t decide
He doesn’t know who’s right or wrong
But there’s one thing that he’s sure of this has been going on too long

Ever since he can remember people have died in his good name
Long before that September
Long before hijacking planes
He’s lost the will he can’t decide
He doesn’t know who’s right or wrong
But there’s one thing that he’s sure of this has been going on too long

It’s Time for an Update

It’s been a million years (really 2 months) since my last blog post, which calls for some updates.

1) Me reaching my lofty goal of finding an agent by June 1st didn’t quite happen. I did, however have two agent meetings (a feat that I don’t think I would’ve accomplished without having set that goal in the first place). One was an “invited open call”– something I had never even heard of before I stepped into their office. Essentially, it’s like an open casting call for people that’ve reached out to them that fit the demographics they are looking for. You go in, perform a prepared monologue, and do a cold read of another piece and that’s it. Kind of a let down because you don’t actually get to talk to the agents, it’s more like a traditional audition for a show.

THEN, my other meeting was a legit agent meeting with a boutique agency that I didn’t think meshed well with what I’m looking for. In short, the owner was a little too eccentric and we didn’t even discuss my prior experience or projects…the owner made some sports analogies along with providing some personal anecdotes and offered me representation. I know the old adage “beggars can’t be choosers” but it didn’t feel like a good fit!

I’m seriously hoping that I made the right choice in moving on from that one, but I’m beginning to feel my leg rear back to kick myself in the pants.

Hmmm, what else.

2) OH! The short film I shot to get out of my “woe is me” rut last March is almost completely finished. I always wondered why projects took so long in post production and I’ve finally figured it out: if you don’t have a motivated enough producer, shit doesn’t get done.

In this case, that producer was me.

I opted to have the film professionally edited and scored, which added time to the overall production, but not so much that it took that insanely long to finish a 3:30 short.

At least it’s almost done, so put away those judge-y eyes!

3) I spent the last month nannying for two families at once. Though the financial boom from this decision will certainly help this nearly-starving artist, my productivity in the creative realm hit an all-time rock bottom. Not one blog was written. Not one script was researched or typed. Not one audition was had.

Not to mention I nearly went insane forgoing days off for three weeks. I had a nice little panic attack and cry-fest. Really “cleaned out the emotional system”. Not to mention that it unclogged my stuffy nose.

So maybe I won’t do that again.

In conclusion: I wish there was more to write, more updates to give, and more progress in the acting/writing career realm, but I’ve got nothin’. I’m as disappointed as you are, really, but them’s the breaks.

But I did see this incredibly cheesy quote floating around the Internets this week, and I’m hoping it’s prophetic:


Throwback of Throwbacks!

I recently rediscovered my original “Short and Feisty” blog–the one before I switched over to this shiny new model in December of 2012. It’s been pretty eye opening traveling back in time to discover what 2009 “Me” thought of her world as a college junior. It’s also pretty cringe-worthy when I look back at the awfully written prose (though, it’s nice to see how far I’ve come!).

My life is a bit up in the air right now with lots of transitions and long, long 10 hour days–7 days a week, so I thought it would be fun to share some of my oldies but goodies (with absolutely no editing allowed!).

It’s also been pretty funny to see where I thought my life was headed back then. Take, for instance, this blog from July of 2009. Much has changed in my life since then, but I think I’d still be a tad disappointed to realize I am still wiping butts for money:

“Why I Researched Child Exorcism”–July 22, 2009

As shown in my previous blog, I could very easily don the title of professional babysitter if I wanted to spend the rest of my life cleaning snotty noses and changing dirty diapers. Instead, I’ll hold off on that job description for another 10 years and eventually inherit the title “Mom” and do all of those things without getting paid (gee whiz, my best idea yet!). Most of the kids I babysit are pretty run of the mill as far as entertainment goes. A lot of the older kids just want to be left alone or just want to watch a movie. The younger ones enjoy wholesome games like Leggo building, reading, or coloring. All in all, babysitting is probably the easiest money I have ever made. I am paid to have fun! But babysitting Baby W was like babysitting a resident of the Gotham Asylum.

Everything started off normally. Well, it was a little off kilter in that I was babysitting Baby W at a resort time share instead of his house. His mother was throwing a baby shower at the house and didn’t want Baby W around (which I didn’t understand because he was so calm when I met him :P). So get to the time share and meet Mr. W (which is weird because usually the moms do the baby exchange) who is incredibly nice and gives me the run down of what is going on for the night: Baby W is 3 years old, the baby shower is at the house, they’ll be gone until about 8, the resort has a pool that Baby W might like to swim in, and he needs help going potty because he isn’t yet potty trained. CHECK! I am ready for the night.

Baby W and I successfully swam in the pool and he was unusually quiet for a 3 year old. He couldn’t swim, of course, so it was mostly just me sitting on the pool stairs with him. I wasn’t taking any chances going any further; babies are slippery little suckers and he didn’t have any floaties. We get back to the room and I feed him his dinner according to the “special diet” that his mother has him on (don’t ask me what it is because I couldn’t tell you from just looking at the hamburger helper and assorted Gerber products). Then, I swear one of Satan’s helpers flew in through the glass sliding door and took possession of this child. First, he started screaming as loud as he could in a shriek that would shame a banshee. He wasn’t upset, in fact he laughed hysterically after every squeal. When I told him to stop, he would just get louder. When I tried to distract him with a toy or TV show, he would spit at me-yes, I said spit. He thought that was hilarious and started spitting, literally hocking loogies, on the furniture. I put him in the corner for “time-out” and he thought it was a game. This kid obviously had never been disciplined and immediately reverted to his previous psychotic behavior. I wouldn’t normally worry about the decibel of his voice, but we were at a resort with really paper thin walls and I didn’t want anyone calling social services. Unfortunately, the happy resolution is that when he stopped screaming for thirty seconds, his dad showed up and it was all over. A tidy ending to a messy experience.