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  1. In Turmoil at the Moment

    Saturday, September 29, 2018

    If you read my last blog entry, you know I actually had concern about taking time off from the day job to have an acting job.  Well, after 18 years (first part time, then part time with some amount of benefits, and finally full time with benefits), I was kicked to the curb.  I am glad I chose to take the time for the acting gig.

    Since I am here as a performer (acting and comedy), I don’t want to reveal my age, but losing health benefits now is quite frightening.

    The circumstances of me getting let go is deep and inevitable once I had 
    my third director.  It is book length.  It may appear as a series of columns on my years in adult education. 

    So at the moment I am unemployed.  Haven’t yet received an 
    unemployment check. 

    Once they revealed themselves as a program that would get rid of our 
    counselor who helped so many people in such significant ways, I knew I was next.  I saw what was valued and what wasn’t.  Many laughed when I said I was next.  Many thought I was simply wrong and paranoid.  But what they don’t realize is I grew up under the threat of being put in the foster care system.  My gut knows when I’m going to be tossed. 

    When it happened, staff was shocked, jaws hanging, and some speechless.

    Students are bewildered.  Some are truly heartbroken.  Several refuse to 
    return to that program.  The saddest part is some have given up on school altogether.  It must trigger their PTSD.  The people who made them feel good are gone; the ones they have a hard time with are upgraded.  So much of what goes on in the current government echoes in that program.  Deceit is a big one.  Several people told me to fight it.  I do not want to work with people who don’t want me.  The sad part is the students who, in my mind, I worked for, DO want me.  Some just don’t get it at all even after I tell them I was let go.  They respond with, “So are you coming back to teach?”  Those are the ones who needed a person like me as their teacher and a counselor like the one we had as a person to talk to.

    The Bronx community who benefited from our program lost a lot.

    I personally am in financial fear. 

    I recently played a homeless woman in a short film.  It is scarily 
    convincing.  The director was super thrilled.  I’m a bit creeped out.

    So if you were thinking about coming to Sunday’s Divorced Divas of 
    Comedy show, please do.  I need every dollar I could get.  Thank you.  

  2. A few months ago, a man reached me through an on-line casting website 
    where my subscription had expired months before.  His email began, 
    “Let’s discuss you doing the lead …”

    I was surprised his message got through to me.  Though I could see the 
    listings, I couldn’t apply to anything because I wasn’t paid up for the year.  I wanted to be connected again, but I couldn’t spare the money.  So I really didn’t think anyone could find me through that site anymore.  But he did.

    It was for a sizzle reel to be shown to show runners down the line.  There 
    was no mention of money up front.  I’d have to take off from my job.  It seemed like it would all happen in New Jersey.  I don’t drive.  I hit reply and began my email, “I really appreciate your interest, but I won’t be available for …”  I stopped and asked myself why I was saying no.  I had no other acting gig going on.  I was mainly working my day job and doing stand-up comedy.  I actually missed acting.  I also realized it is much easier to take time off from the job when we weren’t having classes.  I re-read it and realized there’d be a ride to the location from Manhattan.

    I deleted what I wrote and told him the best time to call me.

    Fast forward, I met the director and we went to the NJ location where 
    the producer worked.  We worked on parts and they saw I had what it would take to pull off the role.  They told me I was a blessing and treated me like royalty.  When they took me out to eat, they upped whatever I ordered.  If I said medium, they ordered large.  What was not offered in money was offered in good feelings.

    The following week, we were to work on the shoot with crew and other 
    actors.  I overslept, so they came to get me at my Bronx location.  No one wasted energy on being upset with me though I was kidded about being a diva who expected to get door to door service.  I’ve got a long way to go to be a diva, but I laughed and swore I just fucked up and was up too late the night before.

    The crew and other actors were very pleasant to work with.  It only takes 
    one bitch or bastard to ruin a day, but everyone was cool.  Not a kunt in the crowd.  Can’t say my other days at the day job felt like that.  So though I was working, I felt like I was on vacation.

    One of the scenes involved a young adult son and I having a confrontation.  I knew this was really going to be heartfelt because of the parallels with my real life son.  I had real anxiety.  The actor was amazingly convincing, and as soon as I heard the pain in his angry voice, my eyes filled with tears and poured out.  After his rant, he asked for a hug.  We hugged hard.  I wished it was my son who I was hugging.  My tears ran down my face.  The camera stayed on me up close and very personal. 

    After the director said, “Cut,” I, while crying and a bit of laughing, asked, 
    “Can we eat now?”  Everyone laughed.  I wiped my face, and we all ate pizza with a variety of toppings.

    The producer’s son and other family members gave me so many 
    compliments on my acting.  I awkwardly thanked them.  I didn’t feel it was my acting as much as my reacting to the amazing performance by the one playing my son.  When I told the director that, he said that was what good acting is – letting it all deep inside and truly reacting.  He said I was outstanding, surpassed his expectations, and that it was because I was in the moment.

    I felt there is a God/dess looking out.  I felt therapy was brought to me 
    since I can’t financially afford to go to it.  Additionally, I felt that this was put out into the universe, and I hoped so much my son could feel it -- my solid raw love for him.

    To be continued …

  3. Line-up!

    Sunday, September 2, 2018

    Readers, I have lots to share and wrote a good chunk of it, minimized it 
    without saving it, and then during the rainstorms, had power outages and lost it all.  I got discouraged but will try to recapture it all.

    In the meantime, I wanted to announce what I’m doing in case it appeals to you.

    Thursday, September 6th at 6pm – Leah Yerpe, an artist who 
    photographed and drew me four years ago, is exhibiting at Anna Zorina 
    Gallery  which is free to the public.  Her drawing of me is called “Echo.”  Here’s a sneak peek part of it.

    On Thursday, September 13th at 7pm, I’m on the line-up at Otto’s 
    Shrunken Head, which is a free comedy show. 

    On Friday, September 14th at 6pm, I’ll be sharing poetry at Bob 
    Quatrone’s 4 Horse Poetry Reading at Cornelia Street Café.  Cornelia Street between West 4th and Bleecker Streets. Ten bucks includes a drink.  Great deal.  Lots of thought-provoking and feeling-evoking poetry.  Good people.  Always a worthwhile time.

    On Saturday, September 15th 7-10pm, I’ll be doing comedy at N.A.M.A.’s 
    “She Reads” – 107 West 130th Street.  Come support this long-time cultural institution. 

    And on Sunday, September 30th at 6pm, is my show, The Divorced Divas 
    of Comedy show at Cornelia Street Café.  This show is excellent!  $10 cover and $10 minimum.  The food is excellent as are the drinks.  It’s a win-win.  Mark your calendars.