bored to death

I booked my first TV gig! The manager who sends me out on occasion and I were shocked. I’ve auditioned for years and never booked anything. But as with any good news, my reaction was distress. Who was going to pick up Baby? How would I survive my day job if I was on set all night? What if I bombed? Husband was psyched for me and encouraged me to enjoy this as much as possible, so I went ahead and did it.

When I got to the studio, I slowly began to panic that my casting was a fluke as I met other cast and crew. All the other actors had much more substantive resumes than I did. And let me clear something up; I didn’t get a mondo-part — I was cast as Friend #2, a teeny part that required crying on cue. It was the lowest part on the totem pole, not even on the cast list or the script character list, and not only that –- I was the second choice for lowest part on the totem pole (I know this, because they hired me late the night before the shoot.) But even the woman playing Friend #1 was no schlub –- she had a yearlong run with her one-woman show at UCB, she had done 30 Rock and Law and Order. Lots of people actually recognized her. My deflating ego was rapidly encroaching negative air capacity, you feel me?

And then I was walked to Hair & Makeup with Sarah Silverman, confirming that I was totally out of my league –- which made me laugh. At this point, I was like, oh dude, just relax, this is such a joke. Silverman, who definitely seems like an odd, though friendly lady, palmed my shoulder instead of shaking my hands, as our group discussed the merits of Neti pots and her concern about having stinky feet for her foot massage scenes. I had nothing to add.

Friend #1 and I reported at 6 p.m., finally got on set to rehearse at 12:24 a.m., and dismissed at 2:10 a.m. We drank coffee and bottles of weird bacteria, fruit juices that were supposed to give you energy and came in flavors like “triology”; ate crafts services (I got made fun of by a crew member for needing a sack for my goodies); drank Mexican Coca Cola; played Rock Band (Friend #1 has a marvelous voice, Friend #2, not so much); finally, I went off to my private dressing room (score) to go work on crying. This was why I booked the job in the first place, and I had some concerns that I’d be able to deliver. For the audition, Husband advised to use whatever I needed to get there. Turns out I find it really hard to cry past midnight. When we actually did get to film, I was able to cry only one of the three times we shot the scene.

Friend #1, really into being an actor, asked if she should get the other cast members to sign her script. She meant the stars, but me, fully committing tocmy bottom feeder role, offered to autograph it myself. Dear Friend #1, Although I was Friend #2, you always made me feel like Friend #1, etc., etc. She laughed but didn’t take me up on my offer. No one would take my autograph.

When I finally got back home, I was relieved. Husband said my reaction is typical whenever I do a little acting; I usually respond, “Okay, well that’s enough of that” like a cranky old man. I am deeply attached to routine, and don’t do well with change, and yet these changes of routine are what let me not get tired of my life. I missed Baby terribly, even though it was only one night.

Now, with a few days distance from the whole thing, it was a cool thing to do once. And although, I think acting for TV/film seems foreign, I do think writers are cool. The writer made up this whole world, and someone built a set and filled with people to have his ideas live and breathe. THAT is sublime. I hope this will motivate me to finish my next novel draft!

school lunches

Part of my nightly routine now is to pack breakfast and lunch for Baby. It’s mostly like the same four meals. These are the things he eats:
* quesadilla with broccoli
* sunflower butter sandwiches with broccoli
* soy nuggets with broccoli
* eggs with broccoli
* ravioli
* whatever I’m eating
Simple. Mostly, it takes boiling or microwaving, which I can handle. Anyway, it reminds me of the lunches my mom used to pack for me — peanut butter, banana, jelly sandwiches, a bottle of pear nectar, and a piece of fruit.

Most days, I threw everything out except the sandwich. The pear nectar, which seemed too weird in the age of Caprice Sun silver pouches, had to go, and nearly every piece of fruit embarrassed me — bananas looked too phallic, peaches looked like bums. Oh, it was endless, that list of things that could make me turn beet red. The only fruit I could actually eat in public were apples. My mom, of course, did not know any of this, because I never told her.

I don’t really have a point. It’s just that there’s no way of knowing, in a way, what exactly your kid is thinking. Baby is still too young to hide too much from me but I wonder how much I will actually divine as he gets older. Maybe he’ll be the only with a liquid drink and all the other kids have capsules, etc., etc., etc.

Rhinebeck, NY

This weekend, we took a teeny, tiny vacation to Rhinebeck, NY, the same quiet town Chelsea Clinton got married it. It smelled good, had a nil downtown scene, and greatly reminded me of the suburbs of New Jersey, but with nice nature trails. We ate well, jogged, read, wrote, slept, and wrestled a lot with Baby.

Baby, or Conan the Destroyer as he likes to go by at home, has entered a stage where he is an adorable…maniac. He also cannot stand diaper changes, which is challenging since Baby and I seem to now be equal in muscle strength. At one point, we went to lunch Husband’s friends at the Culinary Institute of America (they have a campus with restaurants for the public), and I felt like I was in The Sopranos. You know how they cut away from a family having a quiet, civilized dinner in a nice restaurant with a guy getting assassinated in the men’s room with a telephone wire? That was our lunch — Husband with friends, me versus Baby in the bathroom for the diaper change. I swear I had to chase him around the stalls and he tore off the straps of my dress in our tussle. I am so freaking tired.

Still, it’s rude to complain about any kind of vacation, and as short and as demanding as some parts of that trip was, I still feel refreshed and focused for the day job. And you know what else? Now I truly am grateful we traveled to the D.R. when he was a little lump we could pass around like a UPS parcel. There’s no way this restless tyke would stand for that now.