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Tuesday, April 4, 2017

The 2-Rule Hollywood Handbook



I've said I would do it for a while.
Anytime someone has asked for advice on what I've learned in LA, I've given them two absolutes.
I said I would one day write a book and it would just be two chapters long.
After all the threats, it's finally real.
In full black and white with helpful illustrations.
You can read it here:

The 2-Rule Hollywood Handbook

Tell your friends and enemies and whoever.

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

I Was There: Refugees and the Summer All My Hair Almost Fell Out

Do you know that the Social Security offices close at noon on Wednesdays?
I do. I know that because I was there three times this summer.
THREE TIMES. THAT'S A NIGHTMARE ON ANY LEVEL.

Three times I drove two Iranian refugees to apply for social security cards.
They left Iran because, as a Muslim 16 year old girl and a Christian 20-something man, this brother and sister had futures that were already dark.

They paid illegal smugglers a lot of money to get them out of their country.
They spent 3 years being moved from detainment camp to detainment camp.
They woke up to learn they were being deported to Los Angeles, California, a place where they had no friends or family.
Their immigration agency picked them up at the airport, dropped them off at a motel and said good luck.

I was very scared to ask them the biggest question in my mind.
Were they sad because they'd lost their family in a bombing?
Had they seen their closest friends killed?
That was the picture of the Middle East I'd seen on the internet.
The answer was no. Their family was still alive and living in Iran.
They just had either no power or no desire to give these two a right to live freely.
That answer turned out to be sadder than I had anticipated.

No one to defend them.
No one to stand up for them.
No one to speak on their behalf.
They ran from their homes because, as young as they were, there was no life there for them.

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

This Republican Will Not Be Voting for Trump

When I turned 18, I registered as a Democrat.
It was the only way I could vote in the primaries at the time, being from a small town that usually had one Republican candidate and multiple Democratic candidates.

Fast forward to the primaries this year.
At some point, I discovered, I registered myself as a Republican.
I am a female comedian living in Los Angeles and I am a Republican.
This is probably the funniest joke you've ever heard me tell.

But I will not be voting for the Republican candidate this year.
I will not be voting for this particular Republican candidate any year that he runs ever until eternity ends and the sun gets swallowed up by a black hole or alien space ship. Never ever.

I will not be voting for him, because...

Saturday, November 28, 2015

The Waiting


I have spent a lot of time waiting.
Waiting on money.
Waiting on jobs.
Waiting on this car wash I'm in line for.
Waiting for anything and everything.

I also know myself well enough to know that waiting has been a stalling technique for me.
When I am scared, when I'm doubtful, I can find something to wait on.

I have a comedy partner who takes a lot of blame for my waiting.
"I have to talk to Erin first..."
"I have to see what Erin's doing..."
"We'll see when Erin is free..."
I don't even think about it half the time- me stalling, me waiting.
Erin hasn't asked me to wait, let the record show.
That is all me.

Today I had coffee with someone and we talked about the gap between where they are now and where they want to be. The gap always feels huge, especially when you're the person standing at the edge. But then we talked about all the things they could be doing today, right now, to leap to the other side. We talked about making a plan and how any voice that even slightly sounds like it's going to ask you to pull the e-brake has to be cut off. And I'm not talking voices of wisdom that alert you to an upcoming and avoidable death. I'm talking about the voices that start sentences with the word "before".

"Before you start writing, you have to..."
"Before you apply for that job, you should..."
"Before you try, this..."

The "before" voice has to go.
Because that time just ends up going toward the waiting.

Thursday, July 9, 2015

The Small Things

I get to do a lot of cool things.
My vocabulary includes words like "shows" (plural), "UCB" (that's crazy, right?), "friends" (mine are all good looking and nice), and "work from home" (no explanation needed).
I am aware of how good things are, so hang in there with me as I get a little complain-y for a moment.

This is a stage of life where everything feels really overwhelming for me.
The word "show" to some people equals nothing but pure excitement.
To me, it is excitement, for sure, but it also means work. It means two days of Erin and I trying to squeeze an hour in to write a new script based on new songs for a show we're doing in a little over two weeks. And it's exactly the kind of work I want to be doing, but it's still work.

And that's just one project. There are scripts for web series. There's a music video. There's a sketch packet. There are short films we're developing to MAYBE one day be a full-length film. There are TV shows. There's a musical. There's a kids book. There are a lot of things. And I love them all. I'm excited that I'm in a place where they all have real potential of being real things.

Again I say, I get to do a lot of cool things. But they are cool things that take a lot of work and somedays I wonder if my little heart has the strength to do it all, you know? None of it's guaranteed. I could work and work and work and still have nothing to show for it.

********

The other day it was Erin McGown's birthday.
She hates that her birthday is the 4th of July but I love it because it means I get to see so many of my favorite people as we celebrate her and then America in a week of nonstop parties.

This year she requested birthday yoga.
Our really kind friend Angela has been doing free yoga in the park with us every weekend and, let me tell you, I am not good at yoga. I am short so I can touch my toes but I have a lot of stuff going on. More stuff than is convenient when someone wants you to wrap your leg around the other leg and twist it up to your chin or something like that. It all sounds like that to me.
But I keep going because it makes me feel stronger afterwards.

Guess what? At birthday yoga, I did Crow Pose!!
That's basically where you put your knees in your armpits and then pick your feet up off the ground, balancing only on your hands. I only did it for a second, but picking my feet up off the ground had been impossible literally every other class. Have you ever had your body defy you? Have you ever wanted so badly for your body to cooperate, only for it to act like a toddler and straight up pretend you weren't speaking to it? That was my body every other yoga class til this week.

I have told EVERYONE.
I did Crow Pose! 
In the middle of all the cool things, I am most proud of that.

Last night, we had our entire Dixieland Family Band over to our house.
I made dinner because none of them are from the South and in our script we talk about hash brown casserole and THEY DIDN'T THINK IT WAS A REAL THING.
Well, I come from the land of Cracker Barrel and not only do I know it's real, but I know it's made from Heaven-clouds. But I have never made it myself. I found a recipe on Pinterest.
Pinterest can be a real shot in the dark...
But this hash brown casserole was PERFECT!

Then I lived one of my most favorite evenings:
The people I love happy and eating and talking too loud and more eating.
People reaching over the table and eating off each other's plates.
It's my Heaven.

So here are my small things that mean everything right now:
1. Crow Pose
2. Making my first, real hash brown casserole

I am so proud of both those things. Like, absurdly proud.
Because it's always the small things.
I mean, the big things are cool too. But big things can be so ethereal.
They can be all about timing. They can be about the way the wind is blowing.
They can require your blood, sweat and tears and still give you nothing.

Those small things, though.
Sometimes they're all the effort your little heart can muster after all your blood, sweat and tears are mostly gone. And in the middle of the Silverlake Reservoir on a standard Thursday morning, you put your knees in your armpits after trying 5 weeks in a row and failing to get even one toe off the ground. And finally you do.
Then you throw a party because your little heart did good.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

The Things I Didn't Know

I am the very worst runner. 
Like, THE worst.
I run very slow. I'm noisy.
I feel like I breathe super loud?
Maybe not. Maybe it just sounds like that in my head.

Here's the interesting thing- I don't hate to run and everything in my brain for the past 29 years made me think I did. How would I know? I'd only ever run on a treadmill and if people are honest, NO ONE likes running on a treadmill. I like to run in the middle of the day when it's hot and no one is home. My neighborhood is a ghost town. I can sing (if my lungs can handle it) and there aren't any people walking dogs to avoid.

Why all this?
It's amazing what you don't know you don't know.
I mean, a logical person can imagine that probably there are things they are unaware of.
I don't know your social security number!
(Unless you're my mom or dad, then I definitely do know it.)
But this year, in the seven weeks of 2015 I've lived thus far, my mind is being continually blown by things I didn't know.

-I like to run.
-I have a one track mind. I can multitask like a boss, but if I'm being honest, I can't fully focus if I have something unresolved hanging over my head. It feels like a bag of bricks. If I'm multitasking, that bag of bricks is somewhere close.
-I don't like salmon. I just don't. No matter how you make it, I will hate it. It tastes like aquarium.
-I need like 34i30987 hours of sleep every night. Non-negotiable.
-When you see a sign for the carpool lane, that is where the solid lines change to dashed lines and you can cross in or out of the lane without being scared of getting caught by la policia.
-Maybe football isn't the worst.

The cool thing about having a heartbeat is that there's always a chance to have your entire life changed. It's not too late if you have a pulse and if your lungs are filling up. That's a cool part about being alive and on the days that feel the most monotonous, it is exciting to remember that literally every second has the potential to change all your plans, ideas, everything.

I imagine it's the scary part as well.

But for the purpose of this corner of the internet, let's imagine that it's exciting.

Today, right now, you're about to discover something about you and your world that is going to change everything. You might find out you're the very worst runner, but you'll also discover that you are, in fact, a runner. And that's weird and cool mostly because it is one more thing that can come off the list of things you never thought you'd do or be. You're a runner now.
Maybe that's too much "we talk". It's unfair to assume you're a runner.
But I am for sure a runner.
The worst runner, but a runner nonetheless.

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Best of 2014 in Photos

Here it is. Another year down, another 365 days of collecting my favorite photos and moments.
Babies getting bigger. Shows. Disneyland. All the love.

Some of these you've seen before. Some got lost in the dusty recesses of my photo stream.
Some have been borrowed from you. Sorry/not sorry.
Regardless, they're here now.
Thank you for all of it.