Sunday, October 01, 2006

Ah misery... my lovely lovely friend, so dramatic, glamourous and beautiful in my minds eye. In actuality misery is more like a heaviness that drags on your features, your walking pace and your self-esteem. Fun every once in awhile but when it becomes habitual- burdensome. And truly, feeling sorry for myself has gotten me nowhere in the past. Nowhere I wanted to be... So I won't. Not tonight anyway.

Besides. There are lovely things in my life. Wonderful things going on- even if not happening as I planned. The going is slow acting wise and I'll admit that has more to do with the fact that I have been juggling around with my paying jobs more than I should. But I have two good auditions this week to prep for, a class I love and friends in the theater that awe and inspire me. Soon I will be 26- but I don't need to have my IRA this year. It would be nice to start it but we'll see... Boys... er... confuse me... so I won't even go into that. I really have little to be miserable about. The seasons are changing over, Halloween is coming and I am going to have a badass costume this year; maybe I'll be a vampire airline stewardess or a zombie ballerina?

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

NEW JOB- and lots of work; memorizing menu descriptions, wines, service skills, dealing with about 18 additional steps in my normal table waiting and reminding myself to upsell without being pushy.

My last day at the Roast one of the newer servers worked the busiest, most stressful and hectic days you can work there: BRUNCH or Brunch Hell as I like to call it. Throughout the day she was tossed back and forth by customers, management and bussers. At the end of it all she counted up her money and found that she had only made $70. Somewhere along the way she had lost $80-$100. I remember having been in her shoes before years ago when I lost $100 at a night club I worked at- but I didn't know what to say- just that I was sorry- that things would get better and that yes it did suck. I reflected to myself that I was lucky that I no longer was reduced to tears from waiting on tables though I spent my first 3 months at the Roast crying everyday.

Flash forward not even a week and here I am at my new job; thats right, in tears, while two waiters comfort me, "it's a lot to learn, don't worry, it will get better- we were there too." I appreciate their support. And I realize that I can get pretty cocky sometimes. Nope. I haven't seen it all. I don't know all there is to know and there's a rough road ahead with a lot of things I won't expect. I gotta keep my chin up. I gotta keep going forward and I can't let it all get the better of me and I have to work hard and take what comes.

Sunday, August 27, 2006

Restaurants in NYC in the month of August

So my first week at my new job is plodding along. So far I am making the slave, new girl wages- 12 hour shifts yielding $20-$60. Which is admittedly depressing. I know that ultimately these things will change and over time they will even out just so long as I impress the management with my skills. Everyone there who has worked there for any significant amount of time makes up to $400 a shift so I am going to be mellow, patient and just look for opportunities to improve my sales make extra cash. In the mean time- I need to make rent... this is going to be a major scrape for cash. Hopefully I will be needed tonight at Gotham Comedy Club as they are my only other source of income... NYC... hmmm...

Otherwise, meaning aside from the actual money I am making; My new restaurant seems to be populated with some very cool people; mostly actors, honestly. Every straight man there is unavailable, of course, but everyone seems fun and funny. There is a lot of gossip and moaning and groaning like at every restaurant I've been. One of the senior servers suggested I hang back and observe well before I threw myself into the mix of things. I have a feeling that when dealing with the managers there is a very specific way to approach them. Yesterday I came in at 10 AM for my Brunch shift. I turned over the upstairs, setting it for Brunch- waited around and helped the downstairs waiters while we tried to have our meeting. Then I waited around, got no customers and was cut at 12:30. A little miffed I asked my fellow waiters what I should do and they suggested I talk to management about compensation. So I did, even though I didn't want to be a bother and I am kinda afraid of all of them. I now have $20 towards my next dining experience within the restaurant and its affiliated restaurants. The restaurant industry is pretty nasty and cheap in the dry late summer months. Not so many people visit NYC this time of year and the locals are vacationing. Its a bad time of year for restaurants and waiters. Next year I want to be on vacation this time of year. Maybe I will travel to Scotland to see the Fringe festival- or hang out in Iceland and sip expensive cherry sodas. But next year- I want to be outta here for these godawful restaurant days.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

quitting...

I have come to a point where I have to admit. One of my fatal flaws: amongst everything else, of course, is that I am a quitter. Well- I never really quit. I waffle about quitting. I threaten to quit and then I am coerced back into the mix sans quitting, but rarely fully committed. As I prepare to train at a new job this week I have to remember that it is my instinct to quit when the going gets tough. But that I have toughed things out in the past and made it. When I think about acting I often get the same feeling: I want to quit because its too hard, I am not good enough, I am too fat, nobody knows who the hell I am, etc. Yet I know in my heart of hearts that it is not time to quit and that I will assuredly get nowhere if I don't try. It just isn't all going to happen right now.

Friday, August 04, 2006

Do you ever spend an entire day feeling sorry for yourself? I am sure most people rarely do. And you keep trying to be positive and let go of your angst and every time you get above the grime and melancholy in your head and actually see everyone else, you see something that reminds you of your misery and you just suck right back down into yourself.

Well. Today was poor me day. "Poor me, why me why why?"

It is so odd that I can sit in misery and feel like I am the unluckiest person on earth when I am not in debt, making a living in the big apple, in good health, sober, reasonably attractive and appealing. Yet sometimes all I can think of is what I don't have. All I see is what everyone else has. I pine for a waist as thin as the model's at table 12. I want the grace and wisdom of my coworker Anna. I want the career successes of my actor friend. I want the generosity of spirit I see in others. I am so busy counting all the things I don't have. I have no idea what I do have. Man. I need to know these things.

I have an active imagination.
A desire to grow.
the courage to continue to challenge myself and apply myself to my goals.
My health
Citizenship
Good Friends
An appreciation for the arts
A College education
Good eyesight
Endurance
Parents that love me and inspire me
A whole family of different and inspiring individuals
Friends all over the country
Electricity (didn't have it two weeks ago)
AC
the ability to laugh at myself
passion
creativity
drive
the universe
amazing friends
amazing friends
amazing stories
a vivid imagination combined with a decent memory

Thursday, July 27, 2006

This Tori Amos song is running in my head right now; the main lyric that keeps repeating to me is , "Nothing here to fear, I'm just sitting around doing nothing when there is work to be done..."

Yep. Well- it calms me to think of Tori Amos, prolific song writer and busy mother, rock artist and touring diva sitting around doing nothing. Even if it was probably briefly.

I intended on going to the gym, and a meeting today. But I opted for coffee and the internet instead. I don't like French Roast- the shifts eat up my entire day. What other time do I have to workout, go to meetings, prepare for auditions and shows. I have three things to prep for: my class next Tuesday- it comes around a lot faster than you would think. A scene in which a writer confronts a deathrow convicted murderer and asks permission to broadcast his execution live. DRAMA! I have an audition tomorrow- I need to read the plays and pick a scene to audition with prior to my audition. (Hello 10am in Manhattan!) I have a play reading tomorrow night that I need to prep for. It is good. I like having stuff to do. It just seems to always happen not at all and then all at once. Hmmm... kinda like in the restaurant industry. I knew my experience waiting tables would come in handy later on!

Of course as soon as I am very busy I feel the need to write all of my friends, update my blog and start artsy craftsy projects. Now is the time to begin new projects? Ha ha.

Anyway- trying to breathe, live and make time for all the things I want to do- and not forget to be of service to others. Ok- honestly that is an afterthought. But I have to make it a priority. That's what we're on this planet to do- help out our fellows- and I often forget that.

Friday, July 21, 2006

The nature of Power

In case you didn't catch the weekly news out and about; various parts of Queens, North Brooklyn and East Bronx are experiencing Brownouts this week. "Hmmm..." you might think to yourself, "Do I know anyone who lives in Queens?" Why YES! And yes in fact I am completely powerless. No really- not just in the figurative sense. There is no electricity in my house. I am scared of my freezer and I long for air conditioning.

So what does that mean. Well- all the butcheries, bakeries, coffee houses and supermarkets are either closed or running on power generators that cost them an insane amount. A bunch of us Astorians lack refridgeration, air conditioning, alarm clocks, cell phone reception and internet connection. All our bars, restaurants, health clubs and laundromats are closed.

This all began on Tuesday. About the same time my sponsor suggested I go back to step three and consider turning my power back over to god. Suddenly I am in my dark appartment without the option of zoning out on tv, working on the computer, listening to music or calling a friend. I was powerless. And I couldn't stand it. So I did a novel thing. (For me anyway) I walked out my appartment door armed with only my keys and $5 and my cell phone with its power cord. I was going to search Astoria for a working power outlet.

I found Waltz, miraculously unharmed by the outage about fifteen blocks from my house- a coffee shop and live music venue with open mike night commencing. I pulled up a chair and sat next to my charging phone and met a couple of fantastic musicians, a comedy writer and saw some amazing performances. I remembered that this is what I really came to NYC for. Oh yeah. Not just to be an actress and to work my life away as a waitress- but to meet cool people and listen to awesome music and to be part of the scene. Weird. And huh? There's a scene in Astoria. And I have been missing out on it because I have been obsessively working, working out, watching tv and trying to block out the world. Apparently this higher power of mine didn't want me to sit alone in my appartment on Tuesday night. Because as I started to sit down to do what I usually do it occured to me how lonely I was; sitting and staring at the empty screen of my tv and my laptop; and how in reality there isn't that much difference between staring at a tv that is on vs a tv that is off. Your body is performing the same action. You are still alone. The tv may distract you from those facts but the facts remain the same.

Anyway- some noteworthy musicians I heard on Tuesday night:

Lynn Sher: pianist and vocalist- jazzy/sultry/20's hot chick with badass boots.
Jayson ? : guitarist and vocalist recording in Jersey