Get Your Reps In

female2In many ways, I approach my career athletically. I grew up playing lots of different sports and learned the value in practicing daily for incremental improvements in order to become overall better during game time. I understand that every chance you get to practice even the smallest of moves, you improve your overall performance in the game. I also understand that it’s helpful to take notes of specific games and how you did in them to analyze and see what you do well and what needs improvement.

And I apply a lot of that to my career. Daily. I treat performances as game time. I do the best I can given whatever surroundings conditions I’m playing in and analyze how I did afterwards. I know it’s not the same because in the entrainment world- especially in comedy- so much is arbitrary. But you can find ways to evaluate yourself. And you can understand how different moves help overall performance.

For instance, I consider doing stand up open mics the same as doing cardio at the gym. It’s necessary and can make a big difference in your overall physique. But doing hours and hours of it doesn’t always give you the best outcome for your time investment. You’ll improve, of course, but it’ll be incremental. And I consider writing like lifting weights. The more time I spend writing- whether it’s these blog posts, screenplays, short films, sketches, stand up jokes- the better I become as a comedic brain. In the best case scenario, in a good workout, you can get in both your weight lifting and your cardio sessions. But if you only choose one, you can just choose based on the immediate goals ahead.

Lately, for me, I’ve been lifting more weights and doing more writing. As a result, I’ve sculpted my body more effectively and created a ton more opportunities for performances that feature my strengths and sensibilities I wouldn’t otherwise have. And I’ve been happy with the results on both ends.

But I’m of course itching to find time to get that cardio back in my routine. I like to get those reps in on the mics to stay fresh and connected to the community. Even just one mic a week (or a couple cardio per week) and I can keep from getting too rusty.

So gotta keep the performance and practice routines balanced. Otherwise you get fat and not funny. And that’s just an odd combination.

I don’t mean it. I just needed a way to quickly end this post because things were getting too real. 

Fit for Film

averageI’m shooting a short Western this weekend. I’m very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very (deep breath) very very very very very very very very veeeeeery excited about.

There are gonna be stunts and horses and gunfights and shenanigans. I’m stoked.

I’ve been pushing myself to get in great shape for it so I have the endurance to keep my energy all the way up all weekend long and have the body strength to make my character even more badass and awesome.

Because I don’t want anything about this project to be average. Myself included.

So push it.

I apologize for the use of this cheesy Fitspiration here. It’s too perfect for my current mindset not to use it.

Happy Birthday, TMI!

I’ve been doing shows with a group called TMI Hollywood for almost two years now. Since they started in August of 2012.tmi

Sunday, they celebrate these two years of incredible humor, hard work, and lots of ridiculous sillies.

For two years, they’ve booked a guest host and put up a completely new show every single week based on the celebrity gossip and Hollywood happenings in the past week. It takes an incredible amount of hard work and dedication to run this well-oiled (usually) machine.

I lucked out when I went to that audition and lucked out to snag a spot in that cast. I’ve been even luckier to have stuck with it for the past two years and continue to be a part of the ever-growing and extremely talented community.

If you’re around LA on Sunday, August 10, come check out the show at the Second City Hollywood.

If you’re not, they always stream them live online at the website (and then upload the full show video to YouTube the next day).

And there’s always awesome pictures on their Facebook page and great tweets on their Twitter.

I’m grateful to know them and to get to work and play with them constantly.

Happy birthday, my obnoxious comedy lovers. Here’s to many more!

Podcast Episode 67: Balance – Show Notes

elephant-balanceThe biggest takeaway from this Femoir: The Podcast episode, friends, is that finding balance is a journey not a destination.

I mention my day job. I work at the most fun Law Office in existence. I’m a lucky lady.

I talk about working out. If you read this blog, you know that I do that a lot anyway.

I also mention counting calories. I’ve written about how much I hate it before. I still hate it.

I mention the “All In” previous Femoir podcast, too.

 

Episode 66: Mentors – Show Notes

yodaIn this Femoir: The Podcast episode, we talk about those people who are the Wind Beneath Our Wings. Our mentors.
I’m lucky to have great ones. They’re not Yoda, but they probably smell better than Yoda. Nobody ever talks about how Yoda smells… but it was probably terrible.

Not much to give show notes on this time.

Find yourself a mentor. Be a better person.

Talented Friends

ellen picNot to brag… but I have some really friggin talented friends.

I’m consistently blown away by the sheer level of talent that I’m constantly surrounded by. They’re not Oscar nominees like the people in the picture. But it’s only a matter of time before we all take our own selfie at our own award show we created through on our own terms. Also it’d be nice to go to the Oscars.

I have friends who I can call up and say “I wanna do this thing and I was wondering if you could make it kinda like this weird feeling but also make it not weird,” and they’re like “Yep. Totally understand your language. You got it.” I have other friends who are like, “I wanna do this incredible idea for a fun web series and wondered if you’d wanna hop on the wagon? Here’s the exciting and hilarious outline I came up with,” and I’m like, “Yep. It’s an honor. You got it.”

I know people who cam make rooms of hundreds of people laugh for a solid hour by just telling jokes. I know people who can turn their pain into entertainment and make people far away from them feel connected. I know people who turn their parking tickets into an art project as a reminder that even something negative can be turned into something entertaining. I know people who are creative and hard-working attorneys, who will go to bat all hours of the day for their client no matter what the circumstance. I know people who make a simple event like signing a contract a whole 24-hour party because they know how to get the most out of life.I know people who put their life on the line in military service because they believe in serving something bigger than themselves. I know people who can edit a story to make it even more hilarious than anything that could possibly be written or filmed. I know people who I can share an idea with and will throw out three things that will inspire and invigorate me further.

And that’s not even scratching the surface.

It’s not always easy to constantly reaffirm that choosing this life in LA, this life of entertainment, and this life of project-based long-term investments is worth it. There are tough times financially, physically, and emotionally for sure.

But it’s a whole lot easier by being constantly inspired by the incredible level of warmth and creativity and talent that surround me- both near and far. (Wherever you are...)

As for the people I don’t like who are doing well… whatever. Share some success with the rest of us…assholes.

 

Podcast Episode 65: Happiness Habits – Show Notes

This Femoir: The Podcast episode was apparently sponsored by the letter P. letter pListen and you’ll hear why.

I discuss how this was originally replaced by a more “raw” podcast because of some things I was going through at the time. That podcast episode was the “Emotions” episode. And the best part? I never published it. Probably for the best…

Here are the four basic Happiness Habits I discuss:

  1. 1. Patience
  2. Perspective
  3. Positivity
  4. Practice

I talk about The Magic of Believing and a great Phyllis Diller interview related to it.

And I discuss my latest podcast Metaphysical Comedy.

I also mention the following: Getting “turnt up,” Pollyanna, Renaissance Faires, Tourgasm, Gary Gulman, Larry Bird and free throws, the song “Back At One,” how I play saxophone, and how I used to run a lot.

Podcast Episode 65: All In – Show Notes

pooh bearMany apologies for the delay in this Femoir: The Podcast, friends! This episode, I talk having a personality that only knows how to go “All In” on something.

I talk about my upcoming web series (again), The Other Client List.

I also talk about a girl that makes me giggle like crazy. You can follow her hilarious quips on Twitter.

I talk about studying improvisation everywhere I could. Some places include The Second City Chicago, iO Chicago, The Annoyance Theater, with Gary Austin Workshops, at The People’s Improv Theater and at the Master Improv Retreat, UCB, and The Groundlings. Among other places. Like I said… a lot of friggin improv.

I also try and make reference to this Winnie The Pooh Quote. It’s a good one.

 

Break’s Over

I had an epic day yesterday. I performed on The Groundlings stage in the early afternoon then a few hours later on the UCB stage. It was delightful.double day

A lot of time, energy, and effort went into both shows and I had a blast.

I also went without working out for two weeks because of the amount of time, energy, and effort that went into those shows.

I have to watch myself because I have a tendency to put too much on my plate. When I do that, I let the important me-things like exercise, meditation and journaling fall by the wayside.

Now that my big day yesterday is done (and was a ton of fun), it’s time to start reevaluating and re-grounding. I let myself sleep in but still worked out in my apartment as best I could for 20 minutes this morning. I’m gonna make sure I get in a quick meditation this afternoon. I’m gonna try and get some rest tonight so I can get up tomorrow and start getting back on track.

Of course there are lots of things I always have on the docket, but I gave myself a break to focus on getting through yesterday. Now that yesterday is done…break’s over. Back to work.

Disappointment or Despair?

disappointment (1)I was nominated for an award a couple weeks ago for a project I created. I mentioned to a close friend I was excited about possibly winning because I thought I stood a good chance. They said, in effort to lovingly protect my feelings, “Don’t get your hopes up. I don’t want you to be disappointed.”

And I had a visceral reaction of complete disagreement.

I don’t ever want to lose the ability to hope. Because if I don’t even have hope that I can accomplish something, I’m setting myself up for a life of despair.

Spoiler alert: I didn’t win the thing I was nominated for. And truth is, I wasn’t all that disappointed. The person who won did a spectacular job and I was glad to even be considered. The cash prize attached to winning would have been delightful, but maybe it’s making way for something bigger and better. Who knows!

You never know how these things pan out and I choose to believe they happen for a reason and the universe is always conspiring to create your greatest good. So I don’t know what every small decision will lead to. All I know is I have to trust my gut, do what I think is best, and choose to believe I can achieve something spectacular if I just keep going.

When I was living in Chicago, I got this pretty great audition for an awesome opportunity. I was already considering moving, but I told myself that if I got this really cool thing, I would stay in Chicago and ride this wave out. I didn’t get it. I was a little disappointed. But that set in motion my cross-country move to a city that thrills me, and to a life that I feel very excited and satisfied by that is setting me up for the career success I’ve always wanted.  A minor disappointment turned out to be a major gift in the grand scheme of things.

I’ve got some major stuff coming down the pipeline. On Sunday, I’ll be in show where I’ll be arbitrarily evaluated based on standards I’m not told by people I don’ t know who will decide an outcome I have no control over. Do I want them to like me? Of course I do. Am I hoping to do my best and to live up to their standards? Of course I am. I’m hopeful that I’ll have the outcome I want. I’m going to do everything I can to get that outcome. But if it doesn’t happen, I’ll be disappointed. But that’s ok. Because it’s proof that I cared in the first place.

I’d rather believe in myself and my abilities and look forward to the best possible outcome than to walk around always telling myself that I probably won’t get what I hope for.

Because you never know. So I choose to stay hopeful. And I choose to continue to let myself feel- both the good and the bad. And to remind myself to keep perspective on everything because you never know what’s around the corner.