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. 

Dating… the inner ring of hell

She probably got a dick pic
Being that I’m in my mid 30’s and finding myself single again I’m once again in the hell filled dating pool of L.A. Dating in your 30s is like dumpster diving for dinner… yet you’re part of the dumpster trash too. We are all the scraps… most of us trying to get over heart break while we fight through the rivers of hell to give it one more chance at the behest of our friends.   

Let me make something clear… I never want to be in a serious relationship ever again. I have joined the ranks of women who have found joy in being single. Why date then? It’s simple… my friends in relationships make me and it usually involves food. I’m always down for food… or whiskey.

Daily I get calls or texts telling me they found someone I need to meet. That they are perfect for me. I politely remind them I really don’t want to date. They send me a picture… usually a headshot… of a 30 or 40 something blonde woman (sooooo many blondes in Hollywood… even the latinos are going blonde… thankfully I’m over my aversion to blondes… except Latino blondes) or metro guy (probably actually gay) they worked with on a show or met through a friend. Something in my heart twitches with some and for some reason I agree to an evening out with a stranger.  

We exchange headshots… look at each others Instagram… talk on the phone once or twice… then we make plans to meet. This is when anxiety takes hold. It’s the same anxiety that grips me once an audition pops up or I agree to stage time. 

Do I shave my legs? (Don’t give me that shit that a ladies legs are always shaved… I can guarantee at least half of you turn into furry beasts) Do I wear make up? Is my hair going to cooperate? (Probably not… let’s be honest). What the hell do I wear?! Bra or no bra?! Is there enough time to go get waxed?The 3 hours before I leave the house are either spent running around like crazy or giving in to the inevitable betrayal of life and laying in bed watching the clock like a countdown to my execution. 

Finally it’s time… I always arrive first. I’m always on time since I’m from the east coast and being LA everyone else is late. I sit. I have no qualms about ordering a drink so I do. Eventually they show up. We do the awkward stand up, shake, hug thing. Neither of us looks like our headshots and they never look like their filtered Instagram photos. That’s just the way life goes.  

We eat awkwardly. It’s Hollywood though so usually we just push food around our plates as we suck down white wine. I mean… when your on a diet there are priorities to your caloric intake.  

Conversation is made. They are usually working on some big movie, tv show or project. Then there’s me… uh I took an oxy and sat at Disneyland harassing some entertainers I know… but I do some stand up and writing to keep from killing myself (I don’t say the killing myself part… that’s CLEARLY 3rd date material). Then I have to explain both my chronic illness,  my bizzare circle of Disney friends and why I see so many cover bands in dive bars. I also have to promise not to use them for stand up or writing material… oops.  I feel like I should have a disclaimer or something. Eventually the conversation moves on from my bombshells into something more pleasant.  

The uneaten food is packaged to go (we both know it will either be tossed or eaten by room mates while we devote more calories to booze). It’s time to say good bye. It’s awkward hug and kiss time. It’s awkward walk to the valet time. It’s awkward make plans for a second date time. I usually tell them I need to check my schedule… then wait till the 3rd text or call to make another date. Not playing hard to get. I just hate dating that much. Eventually I end up back in my car texting something cynical and depressive to a best friend (okay there’s the occasional “holy hell I love her/him” but that’s only till we get to the 3rd date… then it’s back to flipping tables).

 I would rather sit on a friend’s sofa drinking wine and talking shit on the world than go out with someone I don’t know.  On that note I will probably never get asked out again… that’s fine. Dating is one casket I would love to seal.  

I’m told I’m just still angry over my shitty marriage… that I’m in a mourning stage. Honestly I just really enjoy being single after my disastrous marriage. I’m happy with my close friendships and if I want sex I don’t have to deal with a relationship for that. (Sorry mom)  I’m an adult and it’s 2017. That’s another blog post though, lol.

So into the fires of what is the LA dating pool. Stay tuned for my adventures in dating.  

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.