Monday, August 19, 2013

On Being In Love

Oh hey. Hi. Hello.

Remember me? Yeah, me neither.

The last time I wrote in this blog was literally over a year ago. I just passed my second year in L.A., and it feels like no time has passed at all, and like I've been here forever, all at the same time. Living in a place for two years is like, okay you live here now. L.A. is my home. And I fucking love it here.

If you were to catch me three weeks ago, I'd be telling you all about how much I hate everything. I mean, I don't really hate everything. Honestly I don't really hate anything, except Katy Perry. And most social mores. But other than that, I just find that taking on a dark sardonic tone about most things makes  me funnier. Perhaps it's not the most genuine expression of how I feel all the time... But then again, maybe it is.

Three weeks ago I would have told you that I was really content. Not happy, just really glad to be in my place: busy desk job, cheap rent, single, lots of wine. I had just recovered from a terrible bout of feeling sorry for myself because I was lonely, but it was pretty much all gone by the time I decided I am all-powerful because I can create my own family in this day and age, and one day when all my friends are married with kids, I can be Whitney with kid, and then once the kid gets a little bit older it is pretty much obligated to keep me company. And that idea made me smile. It's almost like legal indentured servitude. You can buy companionship with a couple thousand dollars out of a test tube, or with a cheap bottle of tequila and your best gay friend. What's not to love about that idea?

Anyway, that was three weeks ago. The following week everything changed at the drop of a hat, which with me, is pretty much standard. Maybe it's like that with most people, because being content isn't what fate has in store for us, I think. So I found myself with another job offer, and (unrelatedly) wishing I had a more permanent boyfriend, someone who is just required to go to the grocery store with me and also sneak into Disneyland and also see drive-in movies and listen to sappy country music with me. (Instead I did all of these things with my bestie roommate, which was pretty fun still but I think he was also probably wishing his long-distance girlfriend were there.)

So, tomorrow is my last day at my first job that I had that I liked a lot, and also that I didn't get fired from or didn't leave because I felt like I was going to get fired. (I really am a good employee, just ask the place I left, because they practically begged me to stay, and also I hope no one from my old job or my new one reads this.)

So why leave? Well, a lot of it has to do with the roommate mentioned above, who reminded (...and convinced... and maybe ) me that the job I have now is great, but it's not where I want to be. I've gained a lot of experience (as a receptionist) and learned a TON (about finances), but this other job is in THE BUSINESS. That's right I'mma say it again: THE BUSINESS. 

Do I really know what I want to do in said business (oh - I forgot not everyone is floating around in LA LA Land, I'm talking about the Entertainment Business)...? No not really. I mean really I want to be Tina Fey. But I'm also starting to realize that my personal experiences aren't necessarily going to make me just like her, and thats really sad okay. I guess. Because I'm on the journey. I'm on the JOURNEY!! As I'm writing this post, I'm even discovering shit about myself. Like how I talk a lot about myself. And also how I didn't really have an idea about what to write about when I started, but look, I've written SO. MUCH!  And also how I came up with the title for the post before I started writing it, and I haven't really talked about how I'm in love.

So here it is, the confession: I am head over heels in love with ideas. Because they're part of the journey. And I've always been so focused on the destination, but seriously, who knows what's going to happen? I LOVE the way living in the moment makes me feel. It's scary. It's exciting. It's a little bit of imagination rolled into a lot of trusting yourself to jump. It's all the things I love, it's stars and ferris wheels, it's standing on stage.

Is this post similar to one I've written before? I don't even remember or care because I'm living so much in the moment right now.

Okay but sarcasm aside. I'm trying this new thing where I write in here more. Really, I want to be a writer, so I'm trying to read and write more because I hardly ever do. And also as part of my new career path and my present state of being, I'm gonna stop worrying so much about making an extraordinary discovery each time I write a post. Because, well two things, one I sort of made one here anyway and I wasn't even trying, and two, I don't write when I'm trying to say something relevant or interesting. So the next blog post you might see from me might be about pooping. It might. Honestly I've sort of always wanted to write a blog post about pooping so I'm going to do it.

Live in the moment.

...Where did I put my phone?

               ... Shit I left them in the last moment, so now I can't remember.

Next post: how to live in the moment while also not forgetting everything you ever did.

Or maybe, pooping: and why we don't talk about it.



Saturday, June 16, 2012

the real whitney jane

 or, Almost Not-Really Not-Even-Close-to-Being Famous

I haven't done a damn thing to jumpstart my acting career.

I spend more time sitting around wondering why not - which is otherwise known as making excuses.

- I'm still getting used to LA.
- I don't have any money.
- I don't know who I am.

There's some sort of mental- physical- EMOTIONAL- blockage. Something is preventing me from taking ACTION. After all, what do ACTors do ? They bloody ACT! And here I am, the picture of inaction, the poster child for sitting around on your ass and beating yourself up for not getting anything done until you're wallowing in such a state of self-abuse and self-hatred that it's all you can do to pick yourself off of the floor of your bedroom and leave the house in baggy sweats and big sunglasses to buy yourself a bottle of two-buck Chuck... (See this blog to know what I'm talking about - you won't regret it.) 

What I've come to realize is that this business pushes you to separate yourself from your self.  

 ... ... What?

But that sentence really does say it all. This is a BUSINESS and YOU are the PRODUCT. 

It's something I've realized all along but have never fully understood - and still don't. In fact, I think that the light bulb that's gone on inside me is actually that I've been too focused on that notion. I've been slaving away at creating my "brand" - putting together my website and social media crap - building an  ONLINE PRESENCE.  But for some reason I've been working hard to keep "WHITNEY JANE LOVEALL" separate from Whitney Loveall... me, the person, versus this "object Whitney" that exists in cyberspace... except, she doesn't really exist.

No really, my online presence is getting me nowhere because the ass of my true self hasn't gotten off of the couch and actually DONE anything. 

The older I've gotten (and I mean in the last two years), I've realized just how much of a perfectionist I am. I want certain things to be perfect, pristine... And all of my fickle nitpicking has truly gotten me nowhere. 

Months ago, possibly before I even moved to LA, I read all of my friend Ben Whitehair's blog posts in his brilliantly insightful blog Playbills vs. Playing Bills. I read them and memorized them, and I even remember an article where Ben gives some great advice to the newbie (or any) Los Angelean actor. I did some research and looked it up again, and I'll quote him now:

As I sit here today, it seems like his short article in its entirety could have been written for me-- no, because of me. I'm even looking around now all shifty-eyed, embarrassed that a year ago I skimmed over this and arrogantly thought to myself, "I dunno, it's not that bad to make sure everything is perfect, after all, you have a certain reputation you want to put out there..." Or even more embarrassingly, "That's just not me." Pshyeah. Riight, says the girl who's been working on her website for over six months now.

I'm obsessed with my "brand" - with my "image" - with all those things that business school people talk about but that I just pretend to know about. I ask myself a thousand rhetorical questions, knowing full-well that there is no predictable answer:

"Do I do comedy? I think I'm funny... but no one else really does. Plus I'll have to take improv classes."
"Do I do drama? Guess I should learn how to cry on cue."
"Should I have long hair? That will make me look younger."
"Should I have short hair? I look better with short hair..."
"Would they cast me as a high schooler? No I'm too tall."
"Would they cast me as a single rom-com twenty-something? No I look too young."
"Will I get TV roles?"
"Will I get film roles?"
"Maybe I should just do commercials..."
"Am I the cute girl-next door? No I'm not pretty enough."
"Am I the bitch best friend? No I'm not cool enough."
"They want me to fit into a category, yet I have to be different enough to stand out." 
"How do I make my headshots/website/twitter/facebook/business cards/post cards/breakdown services coordinate with this image I want to portray?"
"What IS the image I want to portray??" 
"WHO. AM. I?!?!?!?!"

And it all comes down to that.

"Selling" myself as actor-product Whitney Jane Loveall is the same thing as selling the real Whitney Loveall... because after all, in this business we're not really getting cast in roles to act, we're getting cast in roles that most closely resemble our own personalities.  There's too much of an essence about a person to be able to hide it from the camera. On stage, it's easier to become someone you're not. On film, your acting has to be too truthful to fudge it - the camera is a lie detector that can see right through you. And even if that's not the case, an audition doesn't really give you the time to stray too far from your true self. At least, that's my perception right now. As I'm writing this, I'm realizing that maybe my true insecurity is that I'm not a good actor... And that I fear people disagreeing with me, or worse - DISLIKING me.

But regardless, the point of this blog post is two things: one, to get these feelings (cough*insecurities* cough) out in the open. And two, to make a declaration that the separation between church and state Whitney Jane Loveall and good ole Whitney Loveall is no more... I'm blurring the lines. At least a little more. No more "actor" Whitney and "waitress" Whitney - I'm just Whitney. So what if I say fuck and have pictures of college binge drinking on my facebook? That's who I AM. And maybe I'm still figuring out a LOT about myself otherwise, but the things that already are, I'm through trying to change. I can do dramedy! I can be a bitchy girl next door! I can have headshots with long AND short hair because I have extensions like everyone else in LA does, bitchezzz!! And I can own this here blog, (k)no(w) subject, and write it as myself and as my stage-self. Maybe people will (*gasp*) DISAGREE with this route. But if everyone knew how to do it, wouldn't they all be super successful? Besides, I shouldn't have anything to hide-- It's not like I'm famous... yet...

Tuesday, January 17, 2012