Gordon’s Coupon

I’d like to continue my recent theme of unreasonable love, if I may.IMG_0626 Nobody’s going to stop me because this is a personal blog and, as unreasonable as it may get, still remains significantly more reasonable than the majority of the hankypanky posted online? Cool.

I got this coupon on one of my first grocery excursions in my new apartment in Los Angeles. I kept it. I keep a lot of coupons but for some reason I was hell-bent on keeping this particular coupon around. It expired like 3+ years after I got it and I remember thinking to myself, “Of all the coupons I’ve ever gotten, I’m for sure going to use this one. I’ll keep it in a safe place. I’ve got over 3 years to do something with it. This one… this is the one.”

I think maybe there was a combination of my own independence and enjoyment of creating a new life in LA that I associated with this coupon. I felt like a real LA adult, living in my own place, buying groceries but saving money, planning potential taco nights (with myself). Whatever it was, I’ve had this coupon on the fridge for years and have looked at it off and on since moving in.

And wouldn’t you know it… June 2015 has come and gone. And I did nothing with it.

I didn’t use the dagnabbing coupon.

But I also didn’t throw it away. It remains on my fridge (with the hilarious animal butt magnet my Aunt got me). It’s some sort of weird reminder to me to… I dunno… save money or something?

Or maybe the bigger issue is I just don’t eat all the much fish. I guess I’ve got a lot to learn about myself.

I suggest you do the same.

Or don’t. I really have no way of knowing or following up with you. Unless you want to leave a comment and let me know how it goes. Or, again, don’t. It’s (clearly) not in my nature to be too bossy. At least not online…

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A Year Ago

back in timeA year ago, I got some news that surprised me. Someone tried to tell me I wasn’t good enough for something. Well, the truth was, they did tell me that they didn’t think I was good enough for something. He basically told me I didn’t make the cut.

After I got over the initial shock since I found the assessment completely unfounded, I thought about the deliverer and I thought about the actual outcome of this news and its impact on the rest of my life. I realized that the deliverer wasn’t someone I admired who’s opinion I needed to listen to and the outcome I thought I wanted was absolutely unnecessary to the goals I had in my own life. Another outcome would have allowed me to check off a box that didn’t need checking in order to prove I live up to arbitrary standards of a system that’s becoming more archaic daily.

But rejection is never fun no matter what perspective you can later spin it into. It can bother you. And, despite the fact that I am now more relieved and well-aware that world is not one I want to be a part of, this one still bothered me for a while.

I mean, you want to get in an invite to the party even if you have no intention of attending.

So I was going to write a whole article in response going into detail about all the things I’ve done in the year since this day. But when this day neared, I lost my edge to write a vengeance-filled post bragging about all my accomplishments. First of all, it’s not really my style. And secondly, I just didn’t care enough. The truth is, this mattered so little to me by the time the day came and went, that I just let it go and forgot about it. I was too busy actually doing the things that I love to take time out of my day to focus on telling people that I’m doing the things that I love.

And when I realized I missed my chance for my year-later response, I couldn’t find a shred of me that really cared. It all felt so long ago and my life has been progressively getting better, more fulfilling, and happier since that day.

When the issue comes up, of course I’m candid and honest about how I felt about the whole situation. But the underlying truth of the matter is that I care about it a lot less now that I thought I would. Which, for the most part, is liberating. But a little part of me still wishes I were angry so that I could let their rejection continue to fuel me.

But I’m not angry. While initial frustrations and rejections can make for good tinder for a fire, they ultimately cannot sustain the flames. They can provide a little help making it burn brighter, but they flare up and burn out quickly. It’s the thick logs and constant care that keep a fire burning. For me, those thick logs are my own passion for creativity and storytelling, and the constant care is the diligence and consistency with which I approach turning my passion into a daily, viable reality.

To put it bluntly, I realized that the best way to show ’em up is to show ’em you don’t even need ’em. Cuz you don’t.

Crop Top

crop topI never thought I could pull off a crop top. I mean, look at this guy. I don’t look like him!

Growing up, I was always most self-conscious about my stomach. It’s where I hold most of my weight. It’s the last thing to start toning out when I am getting in shape. I’m not shaped like a tiny slender stomached chick. I’m more athletic (when at my best) so only making major cuts and really going out of my way to work it make a difference.

I’ve gone on about this before.

But as I’ve gotten slowly more confident with my body and pushed the limits of my own shape… I’ve ventured out in my dress too. I’ve actually worn crop tops on occasion.

I feel so naughty for even admitting it! AH!

I’m from Indiana. We don’t wear crop tops there. I certainly never wore them or even considered such a dramatic clothing choice. But I’ve slowly let the land of the people who are more bold and confident with their body and clothing seep into my own thinking. I’m not saying my shirts are that short… but sometimes a little tummy can peek out. And I don’t get self-conscious. And I’m proud of that. Not because I look like a photoshopped fitness model. But because I look good. And I work on it.

But more importantly, I work constantly on being ok with me. So if that means wearing modest crop tops without embarrassment because they make me sort of feel like a rockstar, so be it. Bring on the scissors. I’ve got a tiny sliver of stomach to let peep out.

4 Goods and Bads of Moving to LA

hollywood-sign-mulholland-highwayI wrote this article for Ms. in the Biz.

I’d say more about it, but I think it speaks for itself.

That is all.

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. 

Prince Charming

prince charmingIncredible news, everyone.

For those of you who have ever followed this blog in any capacity, you know that I make up relationships in my head with men I see regularly at the gym. (Click here and here and here for some samples.)

For those of you who have never read this blog before, I’ll clarify. Yes, I’m a friggin weirdo.

Anyway, I have big news. I saw the most perfect human being you could ever see. And he was at the gym. And he was beautiful.

He wore all black. He looked like a male model. And this is LA, so he probably is a male model. If I were a creepy old man with a “modeling” business and business card, I totally would have approached him to model for me.

Who am I kidding. If I had my business cards on me, I would have approached him to model for me anyway.

Of course I didn’t talk to him. That’s not how these things go. Instead, I stared silently from a distance.

I actually lucked out. He chose a spot in the gym that was near where one of the stretching mats is. I stretched for much, much longer than I normally do because I could steal looks at him.

He was beautiful. I know if I see him again it’ll totally be meant to be and true love and we’ll ride off to a magical castle together and live happily ever after forever and ever.

 

 

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.

 

FroYo Friend

Last weekend an old man and I had the same idea.froyo

Slow down there, buddy. Keep it G-rated.

I went to the gym and was lifting my tookus off. I have to go really hard on the days I do go because I’ve been so busy lately, I can only get there 3-4 days per week. So I have to make each workout count.

While I was there, a trainer with an older man came by and was looking for a weight. I knew the weight was hidden behind the rack because I saw it and I giggled about it earlier. I pretended the weight was scared of everyone and was playing an epic game of hide and seek.

DON’T YOU JUDGE ME. I LIFT WHILE HUNGRY AND MY MIND GOES A LITTLE WACKY.

Anyway, I ratted the weight out and told the trainer where it was. He said thank you. The guy he was training didn’t look happy with me. I guess he was enjoying his rest time.

I didn’t think more about it- except I did realize the trainer was exactly like a popular stand up showcase producer in town so then I giggled more to myself picturing this comedian in his suit at the weight room trying to get people to come to his shows while lifting weights. So I giggled some more and finished up my workout.

WHAT DID I TELL YOU ABOUT JUDGING ME!@?

…like I was saying, I finished my workout then worked for a while at home. Then I decided to treat myself to a relaxing walk and some delicious frozen yogurt (aka FroYo for the SoCal doucheys).

I go to my usual joint, get my usual three sample cups (one more than customary because I’m a rebel), and start my usual sampling of all the flavors before I get the same flavor and put so many toppings on it, it doesn’t even matter.

And who do I see?! The old man who was working with the trainer earlier in the morning! He had the same idea I did for the day! Go to the gym then eat all (and more) of it back with froyo later in the day!

It’s a small, small world. Filled with fat, fat people.

Just Delegate It

just-do-it-1I’m good at a lot of things. I’m excellent at creativity. I have a comedic mind. I love writing. I’m organized. I’m great at talking to people. I like turning ideas into reality. I’m pretty great at blogging consistently. And, I’ve just discovered in writing this, I’m also adept at finding things I’m good about that I can write about in blog posts.

But we all have our weaknesses. I’ve realized as I’ve become stronger at my strengths, and worked on turning some of my weaknesses into strengths, that you just can’t do everything.

I also realized this when I literally ran out of time consistently to do everything I want to do.

So what do you do to still be productive?

Delegate.

I can be a bit of a Type-A. So I’m not good with delegation. I just want to get it done and I want it done right. And oftentimes, people don’t do it right. Or I feel like in the time it took me to explain how it should be done, I could have just done it myself.

But what I’ve realized is you have to let people help you. There’s a huge strength in admitting you’re not good at something and letting someone help out.

When I was shooting my web series, The Other Client List, people asked me if I was directing, too. I was like, “Hell no I don’t know how to do that.” And as a result, we found a wonderful and magical director, Erik Boccio, who got together an amazing production team and helped us make this idea a reality. He’s an expert. He made every shot look amazing, brought out the best in our performances, and kept us moving along through the script.

When we were midway through filming, we started thinking about an editor. I had no idea who I was going to get or how. I started thinking I may just have to teach myself to edit it. Luckily, I reached out and somehow lucked into an amazing editor in Glen Montgomery. There is no way I could have done an ounce of magic he’s doing with our series. He’s an expert. He’s freaking amazing.

Glen mentioned we need to think of sound. Somehow we lucked into finding more talent willing to help out with this project in the incredible musician Rick Wright of Subtidal Studios. I cannot do what he does. He’s so talented. It’s his field. It’s what he’s good at.

There’s tons more people on board with this team who are making it a reality. And this is only one project. And a few examples of the incredible work going into this project.

My point is this- I can’t do it all. There’s no way. Adding people to the project only strengthens it. I admitted I need help. And the help came-a-runnin’. And I’m so grateful for it. And have learned a valuable lesson.

Step away from the project, Briana. Let the experts do their jobs.

 

Episode 63: Los Angeles – Show Notes!

Another Femoir: The Podcast is up and ready for your listening pleasure!LA skyline

This time, we’re talking about the lovely city I currently call home… LA!

I mention some of the amazing entertainment places I get to frequent in this amazing city:

The Groundlings

UCB Theater

The Hollywood Improv

The Second City Hollywood

The Comedy Store

And here is a website that exists because of the intense traffic in LA.

And here is a website that exists because of the intense ticketing procedures in these parts.

And here is an awesome site with just a sliver of what this city has to offer.

Hope you enjoy the podcast. You can always subscribe for free on iTunes.

Tell me about your city! I want to hear about it!