Friday, January 3, 2014

Weak Too

Well. Long, long ago. Maybe thousands of years. I moved to New York City. I was wide-eyed. Perpetually bubbly. A starry-eyed, forward-footed optimist. I'm still wide-eyed, but my wide eyes don't seem as wide when they're underscored by the BIGGEST FLAPPIEST DARK DEATH CIRCLES anyone has ever seen. I look like Steve Buscemi.

I'm still starry-eyed too, but it's taking a lot of effort to keep them open. And anyone who's lived with me, or has let me eat all their peach cobbler with a steak knife between sobs, knows that when I'm tired, I have serious trouble keeping up my positive attitude.

That being said, I've decided that misery-week is a form of real New Yorker hazing and my anger, exhaustion and hunger make me legit. 
It's masochistic street cred! =) 

So, I put together a list of ways to assimilate in NYC. 
Disclaimer: I'm not advocating these things. 
I just calls 'em as I sees 'em.

1. Read a book on the subway
Kindle = Bonus points. Men in suits have these. I, personally, spend 40 minutes a day on the moors.

2. Be too thin. Actor? Be thinner than that. 
Sure, be healthy and strong. But first, be thin. I don't see how this is possible in a city built out of bagels and pizza, but, wow. When some of these women wear leggings, they fit like relaxed jeans.

3. Coffee!  
When you search "coffee" on google maps. 

4. Have a Yoga mat sticking out of your bag. 
You would picture lots of trendy 20 something women with Yoga mats, but I've also seen people that look like Dog the Bounty Hunter carrying Yoga mats.

5. Wear black. 

6. Avoid eye-contact at all costs. You're allowed one shared glance with someone normal (relative term), if you're both in the presence of someone crazy (by NYC standards). 
For example, when the homeless man angrily screaming the word-perfect lyrics to "Bonjour" from Beauty and the Beast in the Chambers St. subway station throws himself down on the ground right between you and a yuppie, that might justify brief eye contact with said yuppie.

7. Coffee
My favorite coffee place! Small is an A Cup. Large is a B Cup.

8. Wear Apple iPhone headphones and use them to talk while you walk.
If you can't afford these, wearing white earbuds and talking to yourself works.

9. Oversized scarf                       

11. Coffee

And the BIGGEST, most IMPORTANT rule, that seems to define New York City and New Yorkers:
12. None of these rules really apply. 
Anything goes. 
Except the coffee. For real on the coffee.

This week has truly worn me down. I'm at my internship all day and at Bubba Gump Shrimp all night. When I get home, its around 3 am and there's hardly time for a glass of water before I pass out with my shoes on and then oversleep.

We go together like Peas 'n' Carrots

Bubba Gump is full of FABULOUS characters. It's all actors and designers, writers and generally eccentrics of an artistic disposition. I feel really at home with them. The hope, creativity and humor of struggling actors is more theatrical than most of the actual theatre companies I've worked with.   The downside is that the only restaurant shoes I could find in GIANT-FOOTED-WOMAN SIZE were platform shape-ups. I'm not really sure what they're designed to do, but they really hurt my lower back. I look forward to the day I'm close enough with the guys at Bubba Gump to ask for shoulder rubs.

Unfortunately, there have been a few rough moments.

ME: I want to act. I want to be an actor.
SOMEBODY WHOSE OPINION I RESPECT: Eh... [looks me up and down] You could do comedy.

I'm not a model. I'm an actor. 
We need strength and personality. 
For me, that requires eating.

  I made it here, to the aptly named Remedy Diner, 2 blocks from my apartment, against all odds. I was thoroughly drained, and contemplated an 8:30 bedtime, but dragged myself and my laptop here. It was exactly what I needed. 
Diners are genius. 
Padded booths. Cheeseburgers. What's not to like?

The best thing about tonight isn't my cheeseburger.

And it isn't my old Greek waiter singing "Torn" by Natalie Imbruglia to himself. Because that's awesome.

It's having a few hours to be by myself. No struggling to impress anyone because they produce on Broadway, or because they decide which tables I'll wait on when I start, or because they knew my dad. It's me in a booth. Coming to grips with the fact that New York is not a vacation. It's not the end of my movie. 
Girl arrives in Times Square, Smiles, Credits Roll. 
This is real life. With good days and bad days. With free cinnabons and obnoxious coworkers. And I still love it.

I'm getting it.

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