Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Tis the Season

Winter is upon us again. It snowed in Boston; it is raining in Los Angeles. It is cold and cozy and everyone is bundled up. And it is wreaking havoc on my skin. I hate winter skin. It is dry, pasty and makes for an all around unattractive picture. It would be one thing if I had the snowy white skin of Dita Von Teese or the alluring alabaster look of Nicole Kidman. But I don’t. I mean, I might as well be walking around under the world’s largest magnifying glass because this weather just throws any flaw right out there for the world to see. Now, I understand that due to the chill in the air I am mostly covered up when I am out in public. However, I know what is underneath those layers and it does not look good. Plus, no matter how many pieces of clothes I throw on myself, my face is still exposed. I swear summer duped me into thinking I had only a few wrinkles. These days when I look into the mirror I get lost in the maze etched on my face!

Plus, it takes so long to get ready during these months. My shower is filled with scrubs and oils and lotions. Use this once a week. Use this mask twice a week. My days are filled with lathering and scrubbing. It is exhausting. I seriously think I need a separate calendar just for my skin care routine.

It is during this time of year that my vanity is caught in a civil war between needing to be tan and not wanting wrinkles from too much sun. Oh yeah, I guess not wanting skin cancer as well. (If I am being honest though, that really doesn’t come into play. It is more the wrinkly, leathery skin that worries me.) I do not believe in winter tans. I find people who walk around in January with unnaturally brown skin look out of place and foolish. I don’t care if you were just in Jamaica, that is no excuse for having forced color on your face. And spray tans aren’t great either. Getting a light once-over by the sprayer can provide you with a nice glow. But I cannot afford to pay to have that done every week for 4-5 months. And one always runs the risk of going too far and looking orange which is worse than having a real tan in the winter.

So here I am, stuck with this crackly skin and no solution. I welcome any suggestions or tricks that would enable me to look more like Snow White this winter rather than a molting, albino alligator. Until then, I will just keep dousing myself with oils and creams and send out a public warning to avert your eyes, don’t look into the bright white light when hanging out with me or you may go blind!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Tears of a Clown

I had a casting the other day for a print job. In a print audition you basically just stand there while they take a picture, usually a close up, of your face. This causes me much stress. I generally do not like having my picture taken. There are some people who as soon as they see a camera leap into frame, I am not one of them. I don’t have any desire to stare at a still of my face, because simply put, it will do me no good. I often curse the invention of the digital camera. They were certainly merrier days when I had only my imagination to tell me what I looked like in some one else’s picture. I mean we are talking cover of Vogue that was until technology struck. (Insert sad sigh) But I am digressing and aging myself, which brings me back to the point of this story. My audition.

I entered the room with 3 other girls and we stood shoulder to shoulder facing a table that sat 4 people looking at pictures, computer screens and us. There was a girl off to the side, the casting assistant I assumed and the photographer. The photographer stepped up to the girl to my right took her picture, got her profiles and a full body shot. My turn. I breathe and try to remain calm, hoping I come out as pretty as the girl to my left who has a full model book with her. He stares at me getting ready to take my picture and then this happens –

Photographer: “do you have a sister who lives in the valley”?
Me: "I do not."
Photographer: “well you have a twin out there.”
Me: "oh I hope that is a good thing".
Photographer: “oh yeah she is great, every one calls her the cougar.”
Me: "Huh. Oh. Um."
Photographer: “I mean she is not old”
Me: "I guess I will just take that with a grain of salt"
Photographer: “you know she is just - grrrr. Ok smile.”
Camera: click!

Remember, this is in a room full of people and he just told me I have a doppelganger that is called the cougar. Things couldn’t have gone more poorly for me and now I am convinced that the wrinkle that Kris tells me he doesn’t notice is clearly etched into my face like a Grand Canyon. How in the world could anyone expect me to take a good picture after this? Why in the world would anyone want to cast a girl when the photographer just told her she looked like a cougar and not the cuddly kitty kind.

This is my life. It really is. When I got home and told Kris what happened to me he laughed and said, “I love your stories.” Well, great, I am glad I can provide some joyfulness into your life b/c now I will be staring in the mirror emphatically looking for signs that I am shriveling up!
I am not sure how these things happen to me but they do. Constantly. I have to believe that these things happen to me for a reason. I tell myself over and over - well what great stories I will have to tell when I am on The Letterman Show or giving an interview to Vanity Fair. These stories will show my fans how likeable and approachable I am. I can easily be in the “just like us” section of Us Weekly! Or maybe it is just training because I am destined to be the sidekick, the comic relief on an Emmy winning half hour comedy that airs on HBO. Yes! That must be it, I am sure of it. Well, now that I have worked through this go ahead people have a laugh at my expense bc in the end it will be me laughing all the way up to the stage to accept my Golden Globe. (yes, just keep telling yourself this Kate)

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Don't Cry for me Argentina (and everywhere else)

I was having a shit day today and I am not sure how it happened. I went to bed last night in a relatively gleeful mood and I woke up feeling like life was trying to kill me. I tried every preventative method to overcome these gloomy feelings but none of my go to tricks helped. I pedaled as fast as my legs could go on the bike at the gym, but instead of pushing the emotions out, they came flooding up and I had to quickly hightail it out of there before I started crying on the shoulder of the man biking next to me. (lucky bastard has no idea how close he came). I came home and worked on some acting projects hoping that being productive would make me feel empowered as opposed to helpless. Did not work. I even went through magazines trying to piece together looks that I want for my fall wardrobe knowing that clothes always make me feel better. However, my will to be a fashion icon was trumped, heavily, by my will of despair. Finally I just gave in and started to cry.

Now I am hesitant to admit this b/c my last post seemed to have left the impression that I am a bit of a loon. I mean, fine I will admit that maybe saying I had become, albeit briefly, a paranoid schizophrenic might have had something to do with those sentiments being hurled in my direction. But this cry was different. This cry led me to a revelation. Two things happened that led me to this revelation. The first was this; as I was walking/crying to the bathroom Jeff Buckley began to play and I was immediately overcome with a recognizable feeling. The second was; the reason I was heading to the bathroom was to get my braces to put in my mouth. Jeff Buckley, braces, Jeff Buckley, braces, recognizable feeling…Oh shit. I am still my teenage-self, crying and wearing braces. I am stuck in a perpetual puberty!

I am in my thirties and once a month I go to the dentist to get a new set of braces. While, yes, this time my teeth aren’t covered in metal I still can’t bite into an apple for about 3 days each month. And I have a lisp. Also, I am still using music to enable my emotional addictions.

The worse thing is that this revelation didn’t stop me. As soon as Jeff Buckley ended I manually chose the next song to play – “The Flame” by Cheap Trick. And I cried some more and it felt good! And then I kept going – “You are so Beautiful” by Joe Cocker, “Romeo and Juliet” by Dire Straits, “Thinking about You” by Radiohead, the list went on and on and so did my crying. It was like a drug and I did not want to stop.
I remember when I was younger, my friends and I would make tapes of sad songs, we called them chill tapes. Then we would lie down and cry as we listened to our chill tape, each sad song playing over our tape recorder. It was the best feeling. And to be honest, it still is.

I have to say, as I admit to the occurrences of this afternoon, I am not totally horrified. The braces part isn’t great but I enjoyed feeling like that girl again. I am glad I haven’t lost that part of myself. I hope there is a little bit of that teen-age girl in each of us because there is something about that time in my life that was magical, painful and really beautiful. And I don’t want to forget that. God, as I write this, remembering, my eyes are starting to well up again. Cue the music.

Monday, October 19, 2009

A Glitch in the Matrix

A few weeks ago a friend was telling me about some feedback he got from an audition that was not to his liking. In an effort to cheer him up I told him a story about a true event that, ultimately, was almost my downfall. Some months ago I noticed in the breakdowns a casting that read as follows:

Lexi DiRienzo, caucasian female, mid 20's, Italian, long dark brown hair, brown eyes, tall, slim and pretty.

I am confused. DiRienzo? Did I just read a casting for myself? Naturally I was curious. I submitted myself for the part and was indeed called in to audition for the role of Lexi DiRienzo. I went to the audition and while I was sitting in the waiting room going over my sides a guy I had worked with years ago walked by. "Kate!" he said. "Wow, Rodney it has been a long time, how are you?" I replied. We exchanged pleasantries. I told him I was here for an audition. He told me "yeah I wrote this script and I based the character Lexi on you!" Huh? So into the room I go and audition for the horror film with me playing Lexi who is based on me.

Some days later I get a phone call from Rodney telling me how wonderful it was to see me and how great I did. It came down to me and another girl and they decided to go with another girl. They thought about writing another part for me but then there would be two similar characters. But hey we need to get together to catch up so lets talk soon.
I'm sorry what??? Some other girl is playing me??? Wait, you mean I didn't even get cast as myself? Fuck.

This event plummeted me into a dark downward spiral. How could I not be good enough to even play myself? I mean if I can't play myself then who can I play? Am I not who I thought I was? Who am I anyways? These thoughts bounced around my brain for a good long depressing month. It really fucked me up. I really started to believe that this is not what I am supposed to be doing. But then again. was I on the right path and this was just an obstacle to overcome and I would come out better for it? Or maybe I was just bad and no one has been honest? Or maybe this was a moment to realize life was not always about me. Or maybe…I mean these thoughts never ended. Acting was turning me into a schizophrenic and not the good kind where your head is filled with all sorts of playful characters that talk to you. No, I of course I got paranoid schizophrenia. I seriously did not know what to do. I spent my days crying then finding resolve, crying then finding resolve, just as a good paranoid schizophrenic should do. I cried b/c I was quitting acting. I cried b/c I would suddenly decide that quitting was not the right decision. I cried b/c I wanted Rodney’s movie to fall apart, I wanted so desperately for the girl who was playing me to be horrible and then the whole movie goes to shit. I cried b/c I was never going to achieve my dream. I cried b/c I couldn’t make a decision and I felt so lost. I just cried, cried, cried. And then my face started to hurt. After a month of crying my face became chafed and dried out from the tears. My eyes were raw and pained. I looked in the mirror and saw a puffy yet worn face. Eyes that were weighed down by bags staring back at me. Red splotchy skin. Then suddenly as if sent from the Heavens above my vanity kicked in and I realized I need to get it together or else I was going to look like a weathered old lady. So I sat at my computer and began to write and I felt better. Immediately better. I hadn’t written in so long and had forgotten how freeing it is for me. I was cured of my paranoid schizophrenia and I created loosely scripted.

So really I guess I need to thank Rodney and Lexi because without them I may not have started this blog. This blog that has given me so much solace over the past few months. It has been a therapist and a voice of reason. This blog made me realize there are some shit actors out there who work. Even if I can’t play myself I can for sure play some one else and that is more fun anyways. While it surely wasn’t always the case I can now honestly say I hope Rodney’s movie came out great, was everything he wanted it to be and that Lexi, who was not played by me, well I hope they killed the bitch off!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

With Such Grace

The other day I found a gray hair. Now this is not the first gray hair I have found, no the first one I found was on the eve of my 30th birthday. Talk about messing with my head. (No pun intended) I haven’t had many, like almost barely any for which I have been eternally grateful. But this gray hair was different. It was different bc it taunted me, it mocked me and basically just laughed in my horrified face. I saw it on my head and I proceeded to try and pluck it out. Only every time I went for it it slipped away and I ended pulling out a perfectly good chestnut brown hair. I stood in the mirror, tweezers in hand, and tried over and over again to pull it out. My arms were getting tired, my stomach in knots but there was no way I was going to let this ugly gray hair squat on my head. Finally, after a half hour of pulling out innocent brown hairs I finally got it. Phew! I could relax. Or so I thought. Two days later looking in the mirror there was that gross gray hair! What the…!!!

I spent another half hour trying to get it out, determined to get this little fucker. I finally grabbed the hair out of my head, flushed it down the toilet and combed thru my head to make sure there were no remnants of gray. What should have been a moment of victory, a la Rocky beating Clubber Lane, it wasn’t. Instead I began to worry. This hair was really in there and probably had many evil little hair friends and I was going to wake up any day with a head full of gray hair. I was starting to feel like I was doomed to old ladydome any minute and to be honest I just can’t take it. I simply cannot take the stress of wondering when I am going to start to drop. Trying to convince myself that it is a laugh line bc I am just so happy or it has just been the summer heat that has made my pores look so big. I should watch TV expressionless so my face doesn’t freeze in a furrowed position or I have to train myself to sleep on my back so my pillow doesn’t pull my face down. It is all just too much for me. I don’t know what I am going to do when my face is not my face anymore. I mean I am no Giselle but I want to keep what I’ve got!!

These are the thoughts that keep my up at night. I always thought I would grow old gracefully but it is clear that is not the case. And I REALLY do not want to have a face lift, I have seen Meg Ryan and it is not pretty. So now what? How am I going to get over this hurdle? The fact of the matter is that no matter how good the genes, your face at 50 is not your face at 30. It makes me want to die. So this is what I have been thinking about and thinking about and then I remembered this story:

A little over a year ago my younger brother was moving in with his girlfriend. Now any one who has lived with some one knows, no matter how long you have been together, how well you know each other, there is always an adjustment period that takes place. Conflicts will arise, some bickering will occur and there is usually one big struggle that you have with your soon to be roommate, which in retrospect, always ends up being over something trivial. For my brother and his girlfriend that was the bathroom towels. She wanted pretty, matching (clean) hand towels, which meant that the ones my brother had previously had in the bathroom had to go. He was not pleased. He wanted his towels in there. She was not backing down, his towels had to go. In her mind (and in many of our minds) why would some one choose a gross ratty hand towel over something that was aesthetically pleasing to the eye and to the touch? This battle waged on for a while frustrating both sides of the linens aisle. One day when we were helping them move a piece of furniture my brother and husband were riding in the moving van together and my brother was venting to Kris about his girlfriend taking over everything. My sage of a husband gave the best advice he could; “The sooner you accept it, the easier it will be.”

“The sooner you accept it, the easier it will be.” This piece of advice, this one sentence allowed my brother to transition into the next stage of his relationship with ease. Whenever his girlfriend suggests a new decorative idea, he just says to himself “the sooner you accept it, the easier it will be.” I can almost see the words scrolling across my husband’s head whenever I offer up any brilliant decision on our lives. My brother’s girlfriend, who works in hospital as a therapist, tells her patients when they ask why they have to be in the hospital, “the sooner you accept it, the easier it will be.” I have decided that this is going to be my motto.

This piece of advice that was meant for one guy moving in with his girlfriend from another guy living with his wife will hopefully allow me to grow old gracefully. It is not going to be easy and I am sure I will have to be reminded on occasion. But I am not going to let that gray hair wrap itself around my neck like a noose. By accepting that we all age will enable me to hold my head high the first time I have to book an appointment to have my hair colored. It will allow me to look back on old photos of my young face with pride. I will feel rested from an amazing night sleep in the fetal position, face squashed against the pillow. I will laugh more knowing that some simple restylane injection around my mouth will plump away those despicable…oh dear. Well I said it wouldn’t be easy.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

The Runner Up Is...

I went to a casting workshop a few weeks ago. I was really looking forward to it as this casting director casts some big shows. These workshops are great b/c you get yourself in front of a CD and can often get called in to audition. It is a class of actors, the CD comes in gives us a scene and we get about 15 minutes to work on it before we have to put it up in front of the class.
Once you put your scene up the CD will usually give you an adjustment or a couple comments and then you sit and watch the other actors. However, this casting director told us he is going to assign the same scene to groups of people and then the class will talk about how each actor did and decide who would get the part.
Lovely. I am instantaneously flung back into the mental state of my 7th grade self. Which, if you were to have had the opportunity to glimpse in, you would have noticed it was an ugly mess. Come on, Kate pull yourself together. I decided right away to get a grip, I am a good actor and just needed to focus on my scene and all will go swimmingly. I went outside and worked on my character, which was a 17-year-old girl, (though that is neither here nor there) and was ready to wow the crowd.
Now let me just say, that the girl who went before me was a pretty, petite girl with long flowing red hair and sparkly blues eyes. The girl who went after me was South African and probably a model. We all do our scene and then the casting director asks the class what they thought. One guy says he thought the 3rd girl had a lot of energy. And she did, as I did get to see her scene. But then the casting director asks this “well who’s face do you remember the most?” What?!?! Why would you ask that question when we are supposed to be focusing on the acting? I sat there and listened to each person say the 3rd girl, the South African model-looking bitch (fine, I am sure she is a nice person). The casting director agrees and says “there is something about her milky white skin and almond shaped eyes that really draws you in.” Then he says “but there is also something about the 1st girl and her red hair that really stands out.” Waiting. Waiting. I am sure something pretty about me is coming next………… “Ok on to the next scene.”

Now most of you who have known me must often think – “this is an ironic career choice for Kate”. And yes I have often wondered that too, given that I spent most of my formative years 5ft 9, 90lbs soaking wet with a perm and braces. Pretty as a picture. So I will take a brief moment to defend my choice of careers. As a kid I had always dreamed of being someone else, looking like someone else. I used to try and take on other people’s characteristics. Usually to no avail, like the time I tried to have a smile like Farrah Fawcett. Big and toothy. Lets be honest, not everyone can or should pull that off and that became quite evident when I opened my 6th grade yearbook, dying to see how amazing I was going to look with my new shiny smile, instead saw a psychotic loon staring back at me. It still gives me nightmares knowing that that picture is out there. Or the time in elementary school when I watched a girl cry b/c she got a bouncy ball smashed into her eye. She looked so pretty and angelic as her bottom lip curled under while tears streamed down her face. I too wanted to look like an angel crying! However, it is not easy to remember a new cry once you are crying so what I would do is catch myself mid-cry and then curl my bottom lip. I had more than a few people ask me what was wrong with my face.
Despite those and many other missteps in my character transformations, I didn’t stop or want to stop. Acting allows you to be someone else, something that everyone has wanted to do at some time or another. And yet, here was this casting director doing IT to me again at thirty blah blah years old, talking about how pretty the other girl is. There is a difference this time around though, a big one. During my years of feeling like an outcast I developed a gift, a great gift, one that I will be eternally grateful for. A sense of humor. And a pretty great one at that. Now I may not have vibrant red hair, or the ability to hypnotize people with my fancy South African accent, but I will make you laugh. And I don’t have to be the pretty girl, I will play the weird girl, b/c I have learned that they are the most interesting anyways.

Friday, August 21, 2009

The Dreaded -Itis

I recently took a trip to the doctor’s office to have my hip looked at, as it has been causing me much discomfort in the past month. I normally don’t fret about injuries or ailments but this one caused much distress. There is something about having a hip injury that just screams “YOU’RE AN OLD LADY!” My friends all got a good laugh when I told them I have been having hip problems. I even chuckled along with them b/c that is the kind of good sport I am. But when Dr. Henderson told me it either was, that my hip joint rolled out of its socket or I had a bursa, things really began to hit home for me. Not b/c either of these diagnosis were life threatening, simply the fact they screamed “YOU’RE AN OLD LADY!” I mean come on!

This was very disheartening as I tried to decide which diagnosis I would rather have; the loose hip joint or bursitis? Even though saying “my hip fell out of its socket” could be more like something that comes out of your grandmother’s mouth, I kind of hoped for that one. Because as I said bursitis out loud it struck me that anything that ends in –itis equals you’re old. I could just picture myself sitting on a rocker talking about how my bursitis is acting up again and that image just made me sick to my stomach. So I headed off to the radiology department with my fingers crossed that it was simply my hip dangling from its joint.

As I sat in the waiting room in my lovely hospital gown I quickly realized I was the youngest person there by a good 40 years. While you may think that would have made me feel better being so youthful compared to my fellow patients, it certainly did not. I came to the realization that I must be aging at break-neck speed. I am my own reverse Benjamin Button. I looked around at my fellow Cocooners and thought - bursitis, colitis, gastroenteritis, gastritis, sigh….the list goes on and on. By the time I walked in to get the actual x-ray I was literally begging the gods to give me a diagnosis of anything but the dreaded itis.

And when I needed his sympathy the most, my husband gave me some advice that only my sweet, sensitive husband can – getting old is like a car crash, the more you tighten up the more it hurts. (I swear there needs to be a book Daily Wisdoms by Kris) A couple things happened after he said that, first I laughed, which I have to say is the gift that Kris is best at giving. It made me feel better and I realized it is true. I am missing out on my present life worrying about my future life. I want to enjoy this trip across the universe and not be a stress ball constantly looking back in the rear view mirror. So when Dr. Henderson called me 2 days ago and told me my hip joint looked great and it that it was in fact bursitis I thanked her, hung up and said to Kris “well I’ve got the bursitis.”

Friday, August 14, 2009

Going Down the Hill

I’ve realized what my problem is – I am having a mid-life crisis, I just know it. Part of me feels relieved, hoping that I go through it now and then when I am in my forties it will be smooth sailing. But then the other part of me is horrified that I am in my early thirties and having a mid-life crisis, worried that means I am going to have a mental breakdown in my forties. It really isn’t a win-win for me I guess.

In some ways I have been caught off guard by my current state of mind. You see, I’ve always fancied myself this bohemian girl who dances through life. I saw myself carefree and light-hearted. However, it is becoming more and more apparent that I am nothing like that. I am more of a crazy schizophrenic and that really disturbs me. I have been in a relationship with myself for thirty-four years and have just now realized that I am not the person I thought I was. If I could break up with myself I would. I would change the locks, move away, throw all my old stuff out on the front lawn. Unfortunately, I don’t have that option. If only I could buy a fast car in canary yellow that only seats two I am sure all of my problems would be solved. But I can’t afford it so I guess I am stuck with myself. Alas.

In defense of my schizoid-self I haven’t just been wallowing. I have been trying to figure a way out of this mess but it just hasn’t been easy. I have taken up yoga and to be honest I hate it. I am not the flexible type and it is frustrating. But I am sticking with it so keep it to yourself. I have trying affirmations but lets be real, do they really work? And you just feel like an asshole saying them. I am trying to forge a new yet-to-be-determined career and not mourn the lack of my “other” one. I am doing my best to keep myself busy, but progress seems to be moving at a God Damn snail’s pace.

There has been one brief flash of brightness in my otherwise tragic state and it came from the least likely of sources, Heather Graham. Yes, the Heather Graham who played roller-girl and was in that deplorable Eddie Murphy movie that I can’t think what the name of it is. Anyways, I was sitting in the doctor’s office waiting to have my hip checked out, like an old lady, and I was reading a magazine article where Heather Graham was talking about her acting career. She said that it wasn’t about the accomplishments but about the spiritual journey.
Hmmm, maybe I was putting too much pressure on myself to have these major accomplishments and not paying attention to this path that I am on, therefore missing many good moments? Don’t get me wrong the irony is clear to me – it is always the people who have accomplished their goals (the same goals I have been striving for) who seem to make these bold statements. However, what do I have to lose? I mean can it get any worse?
So with Heather Graham as my guru I am going to try harder to appreciate each little, tiny, miniscule step I take, because those seem to be the only ones these days and at least I have my legs to take them.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Duped Again

I have a question for you, a riddle maybe. Let me present it this way.

I find myself to be in a constant struggle. What I am up against I really can’t be sure, but it is a powerful force, one that can’t be reckoned with, that much I do know. It has haunted me for my entire life it seems and each time I think I have moved past it, it comes back with a not so subtle punch in the face. And the thing is I am afraid to ask anyone if it ever goes away. I really have to let myself believe that it will go away or else I am going to lose this tug-o-war and end up face first in the mud puddle that is laden with shit.

Let’s break it down. I mean we all have angst-ridden teenage years. That is inevitable and in retrospect quite enjoyable to a point. There is something amazing about feeling like no one understands you or loving a boy so much you might die. They are not easy to go through but everyone does and looking back as an adult, it gives you a good laugh.
Then once you think you are through that you get the quarter life crisis which NO ONE has told you about. You are in your 20’s, supposedly the most carefree time in your life and you are in a constant state. “Where am I going in life?” “Who am I supposed to be?” “I don’t want to be cookie-cutter.” “ Should I just get a job that pays well or follow a dream?” This was particularly horrible for me, as I like to intensify any feelings by 100, so I was constantly tortured. I felt the incessant push and pull of traditional verse non-conventional. However, I fought through it and I made the choices that I believed were right for me and eventually saw the light at the end of the tunnel. I crawled my way towards that light, the light that blinked “Welcome to the 30’s Where Life is Easier.”

I was not thrilled to enter my 30’s but everyone said it is SO much better than your 20’s. You become a more confident person. You don’t have to struggle to make yourself seem relevant, you just are. I heard this from family members, Oprah, even Carrie Bradshaw.
Yet somehow, in my 30’s, I am still lost in my life. And it is really annoying. Yes, I am confident in that I don’t feel the need to go out of my way to impress guys but I am still struggling. I still feel lost. I still am asking myself why didn’t I just choose the path most taken? And why am I now, not jumping over to it as fast as I can?

So, my question for you is this: you have teen-angst, the quarter life crisis but what is it called in your 30’s or am I alone in this fight? And does it ever end? Because I would really like a clue at what is coming at me around the next corner.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

A Well Intentioned Pessimist

Kris said this to me the other day after reading my last post " you know, the universe is you, therefore you are the one sabotaging yourself.” What?!!?! Man did that make me annoyed, I mean the one person who is supposed to be on my side totally throws it in my face like that? He is the one always saying we’re Team Payne. Well, some teammate I got, not really looking out for me if I do say so myself. But even in my fury at my Benedict Arnold “teammate” I knew the truth. He was right. We make our own destiny. But it makes me feel better to blame the universe for the course my destiny has taken, or not taken b/c otherwise I am stuck facing the sad reality that I have somehow chosen this path my life is on. And that is extremely depressing.
After my loving husband’s thoughtful insight and after a hysterical, crying, why-me fit on the front sidewalk of our apartment I went inside that night full of thought.
I had watched Michael J Fox’s “An Incurable Optimist” that night, putting the whole walk of shame home from the mechanic behind me. However, as I watched the show a nagging feeling started to creep through me. I listened to person after person talk about keeping hopeful and feeling happy through hardship. How optimism is simply a way of life for some people no matter what cards are dealt. Wasn’t I like that too? I certainly thought so. I have always considered myself a keep-moving type of gal, a glass half-full girl. I may have a melt down or two but I pick myself up and keep on trucking. But as I sat there on the couch some flashbacks started whizzing through my brain.
For example, I took an optimism test a couple weeks ago and as I read the result proudly –“ you always look at the bright side of life” Kris said “I don’t think you answered some of those questions honestly, you want to think of yourself that way but you are not.” At the time I suggested to him that he didn’t really know me but deep down I knew he was right. Or times I have said I hate being around so and so because they are always so negative – really knowing that I am not all that different and I am certain some of my friends are probably tired of me bitching. Or when I make up random reasons for why I will not get picked for the part – “I am too tall and the men out here are too short” is an often used one.
I have come to the realization and I hate to admit this most of all, is that my husband is right. I am a self-saboteur. I am really not an optimist in the slightest when it comes to my life. I am like a cutter for Christ-sakes, slashing the razor through the skin of my destiny.
Hello, my name is Kate and I am a pessimist. There I said it, another flash of honesty for me. Another embarrassing admission. Damn.
...Though you know, as I sit here thinking, maybe I am not entirely pessimistic, I mean after all I have been trying to force myself into thinking I am a positive person and that has to count for something, right? Pretending to be an optimist is an optimistic way of trying to change your pessimistic attitude. I am simply a well-intentioned pessimist trying to make the best out of life!
See, I am already trying to change my evil ways!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Damn you Michael J. Fox

As I was walking home this morning, gym bag in hand, hot California sun beating down on me, I felt myself sink lower and lower into a dark oblivion. You see this is now the 3rd day I am without wheels in this shit city with no convenient source of public transportation. How did I get here? Well, lets take it back all the way to last Friday shall we?

I was driving home from work, heard my car pop and looked back to see its water had broken all over the road. I pulled over, called AAA and took a trip to the mechanic like the pro I have become at this sport. Come Monday; my mechanic called to say they are waiting for a hose to replace the one that exploded and trying to figure out why the fans don’t work. Come Tuesday; my mechanic calls and says my car is fixed and it will cost $189.00 (breathe a sigh of relief, not too bad). Then my mechanic asks me if I have any enemies or if someone hates me. Excuse me?!?! Apparently a part that I cannot remember was removed from my car and all the wires undone and tucked neatly behind the headlights rendering the fans useless and leading to an overheating car. Huh. “Well, I can’t think of anyone so I will be by in the morning to get my car.”
I get up early with a pep in my step bc today is the day I re-enter the world, a new start to this shit week. Kris drops me off on the way to work, he asks me if he should wait and I say no, you’ll be late. Words I will regret 10 minutes later when they pulled my car around only to discover another leak. Apparently my saboteur had caused my car to overheat so much that another part was damaged. Cut to me walking home in the hot California sun.

As I walked, sweat-stache forming over my lip, I just got more and more depressed. And once the depression balls starts rolling there is no stopping it. Throw in my lack of money, frustrating career, my hip that has been hurting, you name it and I will run with it. Another day stuck at home. It is not like I have so much going on in my life but it is depressing sitting at home, alone, with nothing to look forward to except lunch.

I began to think of my enemies and who would do this to me and I realized I know who it is – it’s the universe. The fucking universe that I try so hard to please and follow its path that it is supposedly leading me on but instead constantly pulls crap like this. I try so hard to be positive and keep my head up, keep going and working on what I want and the universe keeps pulling the rug out from under me and every time it does that, I pick myself up (sure after a few tears) and keep on trucking. But that is not enough, it is not good enough for this mean-spirited universe. It constantly leaves me confused as to which direction I should be headed.
Once I got home I sat on the couch and resolved to stay there all day and mope. That is until a commercial for an upcoming special Michael J. Fox is doing called “Adventures of an Incurable Optimist.” Are you fucking kidding me universe!!! I watched as a man with Parkinson’s traveled the globe to find out what made people optimistic in times of crisis. He interviews the Bhutanese, a cancer survivor (Lance Armstrong), a man with 2 jobs barely getting by trying to make others happy and others who talk about staying positive and enduring. Now, not only is the world is pitted against me but I can’t even wallow in it. Thanks to Michael J. Fox I am now forced to remember all I do have in my life instead of what I don’t have. Argh! I can hear the universe laughing hysterically.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

The Truth Did Not Set Me Free

I have not been able to relax since I posted my first blog and now the whole world knows I am in my 30's. Because I am sure the whole world is reading my blog. I meant it when I said I lied all the time. I lied so much that I would literally forget how old I actually was and now that it is out there, I am anxiety ridden over with whom I should share this bit of honesty. Everyone will know I lied and then I will be thought of a psycho…just great.
These have been my thoughts – “I can’t send this to person A because they will realize I am not 29 and do I really want them to know that?” OR “I can’t ask person B to follow my blog b/c I just told them the other day I was 27 and I will look crazy in the head” AS WELL AS “Crap, if this person finds out I am not 26 they will not think of me for certain roles and my (non-existent) career will be over.”
Now I am sure most of you clear-headed people will ask aloud what is the big deal with being in your 30's and to be honest nothing really. I know it is entirely a mental issue, but I have mental problems so there you go. It is just hard to admit I am this age and grasping at straws.
I wasn’t always like this. Really, I wasn’t. I was a girl who dreamt it and then lived it. I wanted to date a boy; I dated him. I wanted to be a hippie so I shopped at Salvation Army and rolled resin balls. I wanted a certain job; I got it. I wanted to travel the world, so I did (well, a small part of it). I even went to a country that I had no fucking idea even existed. It was lovely. But I had a bigger dream, a life-long dream so I packed up and took the drive thru Kansas for the 2nd time. I came to Hollywood and that’s when my troubles began. Now I cannot claim to have been this self-assured girl who thought she was just the cat’s meow, quite the contrary actually. But what I lacked in mental assuredness I made up for in free spirit and a sense of care-freeness that seems to have gone out the window once I hit 30.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Lies upon lies upon lies

I have a life that I envisioned for myself and I have to say that I am nowhere near living it. Where did I go wrong? What happened to me? I was so sure of where I would be by this age. the dreaded 30's, ARGH. So horrible I can barely write it (but I did so there) I mean I lie most days how old I am. I am an actress for Christ-sakes and I live I in LA – so sue me. What do you expect, nothing less I hope.
Though I can now see where I went wrong, where my life took a turn for the worse. It all started with that lie. My age. I mean I have been lying about my age since I was 25. At 25 I would say 24, only a year back but it was a crucial year. The year between early twenties and mid-twenties, b/c lets be honest you have one good year of mid-twenties and then you are into late twenties and then the dreaded thirty. And I am past that! Again, ARGH!.
I must have had some foresight that I would be living a life of nowhere. Knowing in my 30's I would be nowhere and people would think I am pathetic. I mean I am really just saving them the awkwardness of having to say, ooh, well at least you are following your dream. Am I? I don’t recall my dream being an unemployed actor who barely books any acting job never mind one that pays. I don’t recall my dream-self always frantic about how I am going to pay my bills. I for sure didn't play Motezuma's Revenge on my phone for hours a day. The highlight of my day wasn’t reading I didn’t dream of me dreaming about the life I was meant to live!
My dream was chock full of artistic fulfillment, a great apartment in the city, great friends and a map covered with pins of all the places I traveled. A closet full of killer clothes. I was a style icon!
Fuck, I just stopped writing to play Montezuma's Revenge, it is a good game. Damn. Try it, you’ll see. No wait don’t then you will end up like me and that is just not what you want. I don’t want that responsibility.