Why ladies?!

I was explaining to an old friend that one of closest and dearest friends was opening a huge show that will most likely end up on broadway.   “You sound really happy for her… Aren’t you jealous of her?  That’s your childhood dream.” My old friend asked.  My old friend has been a struggling Broadway actor for years. She’s one of those that will be struggling till the day she dies but she’s doing what she loves. We met when we performed “Julius Caesar” together WAY back in the day, lost touch, then regained touch through the miracle of Facebook and rekindled a superficial relationship. 

I thought about the question… I thought hard.  “No.” I replied, “not at all… I’m proud of her.”  It’s the truth.  I never thought to be jealous.  My close friend has been preparing for this literally her entire life… so why would I be jealous?  Just this one project has been a 2+ year journey for her.   I’m proud as hell… I’m screaming from the rafters to anyone who will listen about how happy I am for her.   

My old friend then said “you’re not a normal woman I guess.”  Not a normal woman… wait… so because we were both born with vaginas I’m not supposed to support her?  I really started thinking.  I thought back to when I was a kid riding horses competitively… it made sense now.  We were all friends until we got to the same level and started competing with each other.  It made sense now.  Jealousy and competition reigned. I just thought they hated me… 

Why as women do we get this way with each other?  We are all spouting “woman power” until say a friend starts excelling in something then jealousy takes over.  Aren’t we all in this together?  If we are all in it together why does female rivalry exist?
Doing a little late night internet research I came across a plethora of articles about the subject.   Some blame hormones, some blame upbringing, while others blame our caveman ancestors.  Are women inherently jealous of each other?  Is it part of our brain structure?  Is it something some women can’t help?  Reading this information makes me wonder how we ever came together to win our right to vote.  

This newly gained information really enlightened things for me.  Maybe I was only made fun of as a school girl because I was tall and skinny.   Maybethe reason people gossip and lie as adults is because they are jealous of something.  Oddly enough this makes me feel better… no idea why but I will take it.  

How can we overcome this jealousy and rivalry?  It’s all “yeah female power” till jealousy or rivalry hit.  We women need to work together… we need to stick up for each other… we need to support each other.   We need to stand together for our basic rights and that starts with supporting each other’s accomplishments.   We have a president who talks about “grabbing women by the pussy” yet we are ostrisizing, hating, and making fellow women’s lives miserable out of petty jealousy?!  

Ladies… who gives a shit about the petty stuff.  Support your female friends.   Love them for the sisters they are.  Stop creating drama… we have enough all ready.  Stand together in love and celebrate each other.  
I am proud beyond words about my friend’s success… as I am with any friend’s success.   I will support my friends with my last breath.   I will promote her because I believe in her ability with all my heart.  Good, deep, platonic friendships are rare…  don’t let jealousy and pettiness ruin them.  

My friend Stephanie Wall as “Michele” (in the pink) *obviously NOT my picture… stole it from one of the many adds popping up on social media*

The bathroom talk that changed my life…

Not my picture! Found on internet.

“What’s the worst that will happen if you fail?” This was the question posed to me during a conversation with Mary Lynn Rajskub… and it has left me changed in every aspect of my life.

 It happened during a bathroom conversation in which I divulged I was trying to get over some stage fright I had acquired after a few rough shows. You see I have a HUGE fear of failure. I don’t know why. I just always have.  It’s only gotten worse over the last couple years.   Every human hates failure… I was letting mine cripple me on stage.  

After my conversation with Mary, total fan girl moment for me since I really look up to her but I held my shit together, I got to thinking…. What is really the worst thing that would happen should I fail?

In my daily life money making career I work in veterinary medicine. I perform anesthesia (among other things), a life or death procedure, and have the capacity to make mistakes that could easily kill. Yet I do it with complete confidence.  I mean… I will get nervous during a super critical moment but I KNOW I’m good at it.  I’m completely confident in that situation. Present me with an anesthetic emergency of any kind and I will calmly and confidently work to correct it.  Stand up is different… it’s an art that takes hours of practice and not just knowledge.  

 No one will die if I drop a punchline. The worst thing I guess is some people may judge me based on the bad show.  Luckily there’s always people who have seen me do well.  Everyone has bad shows… even the famous people. I’ve seen many famous comics go down in flames. I’m just a rookie… doing this for fun since I can’t live my active lifestyle anymore to challenge myself… even if I was famous a bad set is just a bad set.   Nothing more.  

If I have a bad run of shows the worst that will happen is I may not get asked back. That’s not horrible in the long run as there are many shows going on in multiple clubs and eventually I could prove myself again. Plus everyone knows I’m just learning.  Why put pressure on myself? It’s ironic a fear of failure could be causing me to fail. 

Failure is a part of trying anything. What counts is pushing through… learning from it… and overcoming it.  I took the stage with this new attitude and it truly boosted my performance.  It’s not that I didn’t give a shit anymore… fear of failure just wasn’t at the forefront of my mind any more. 
Anyone in ANY job what SO EVER is gonna have a bad day.  Failure is inevitable. You will go down in flames at some point. I guess it’s all in how you overcome it. If you have a bad show… bad run… bad day… screw up… etc don’t give up.  Learn from it, move on and do better next time.  Failure is a part of life.  Don’t let the fear keep you from success. 

Entertaining is work

Some of my hardworking entertainer friends doing what they do best. 80z Allstars with Stephanie Renee Wall guesting

“This chick makes an absurd amount of money for only a little bit of work.” I overheard this at a show and immediately I wanted to snap. It’s something I hear frequently about comedians, musicians, actors, artists, writers, etc. It’s a common misconception that it’s only that little bit of time on stage that is the work. Most of my friends are involved in the entertainment industry so I see the backside of things.

Let’s discuss this. Yes I’ve seen a comic make $50,000 for a 1hr set at a corporate event (FYI Corporate gigs are where the money is). That one hour set probably took 20 hours of writing, countless nights polishing the material for $0-25 at the local comedy clubs, hours of rehearsing in a mirror, and travel time to the gig. Out of that money she had to pay the opener, midi, and agent/manager.

How about musicians… everyone likes to complain about ticket prices. Your ticket goes to pay for the venue, techs, stage set, equipment rental, crew and talent housing, etc. That show took months of prep and rehearsal that provided no pay.

They have to perform tired, sick, during family crisis, in uncomfortable costumes, in the cold, in the heat, no matter what. Fans hate cancelled shows and most entertainers hate letting down fans. It’s their job and it’s physically and emotionally demanding.

The vast majority of working actors, musicians, comics, etc did not start out making money. Years and years of practice, learning, failure, frustration, time, sacrifice, and perseverance go into “making it”. These people have a passion… a drive if you will. Relationships are even sometimes sacrificed in order to grow a career.

Yeah… look at their Instagrams. They travel, they party, they seem like they have a fun life. It’s work though. The parties are networking… the travel is tiring and hard on your body. The lack of steady paycheck… the knowing you may be busy now but grasping for a job in the future… the pressure to always be “on”.

 

It’s fun for a hot minute but it gets old.
It’s easy to give up and take an easier way rather than be uncomfortable and have a harder moment in life for the chance of “making it”. I watch the talented entertainers that I am blessed enough to call a friend and I am inspired. They inspire me to follow my heart… to keep trying. I see the hard work they put into it. I see the struggles they go through. They definitely earn every dime they make.