Crushing It: Learning to Love The Grind

Crushing It: Learning to Love The Grind

I am two months shy of two years pursuing being an actor and all I got was this lousy picture of me crushing Jim Rash’s head at the coffee shop by my apartment. Strangely enough, he is sitting at the exact table where, in a moment of absolute grace, my computer received an Americano to the keys. I’ve come a long way since then — I now use a desktop that I cannot take to coffee shops and drop and/or spill things on. You guys, prevention.

This past month since I graduated iO (Formerly known as Improv Olympic), has been intense, and weird and a total beginning of another act in my journey. I had this clarity moment the morning of house team auditions where I ended up at the farmer’s market by my house, which I never go to, and I saw someone with a delicious looking burger, which I never eat. It was one of those places that gives you a sheet and you check off what toppings (condiments? what’s the right word for burger accessories? Burgessories, let’s go with that) and the very Venice, very hippie guy interrupted his conversation with someone about how purple potatoes are the only non-genetically modified potatoes to tell me that they also had Strawberry BBQ Sauce.

My immediate response was “I’ll make my own box, why spend life living in other people’s boxes?”

I got a lol and a right on, but all I was thinking about was how auditioning for a house team was auditioning to be in someone else’s, albeit a great, beautiful and tasty, box. iO is like the caramelized onions of burgessories and I think I am more of the quirky and maybe a little less universally pleasing Strawberry BBQ sauce. I also have red hair, so …

I am sort of in that “what next?” period of my comedic life. I moved out here wanting to be a writer and a performer, like IDK, Jim Rash. Or Mindy Kaling or Lena Dunham. I’d also like to be like Peter O’Toole. Peter O’Toole meets Mindy Kaling. Peter O’Toole meets Mindy Kaling in Venice Beach, CA and they decide to take up contemporary jazz dancing together — the buddy comedy. I’d like to write/act on/for TV, because sitcoms are the short stories of the silver screen.

Eventually, I would like a stranger to take a picture of themselves crushing my head, if only because one of the main points of being an artist is trying to tell as many people as you possibly can that you’re weird. And if I am going to expose my weird in a big way, I want to do it in my own box. It’s uncomfortable to write about wanting big things, but I work really hard, and that’s the best that I can do to get there. My goal for the next year is to finish my 100ish-page work and get more experience with scripted acting in addition to keeping up the auditions. Push forward in an effort to be propelled up.

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25 thoughts on “Crushing It: Learning to Love The Grind

  1. You’ve got spunk, kiddo! I LOVE spunk. Keep on believing! Mostly, keep on keeping on. Congratulations on graduation from the IO – if I had money, I would send you a dozen yellow roses as a surprise gift! Since I dont, just picture them and have a sniff or two. Delicious.
    Please write a sitcom for me one day that is as fabulous as Will and Grace. Who’s your daddy? I can be coerced into consulting for the old lesbian character.

  2. Very well written piece. I too struggle as an actor, musician, writer….wait, I struggle at almost everything except eating, sleeping, and watching TV. There are moments of sunshine breaking through the LA smog/marine layer(hah!), but far and few between. But I stay positive, because at my age even a little “success” is better than the alternative. As W.C. Fields put on his tombstone…”All things considered, I’d rather be in Philadelphia.” PS I too have a blog that I struggle to write…

  3. I would concentrate on being you. All those people you mention are themselves, and have a unique voice. Too often we think our voice needs ‘something’ added to it, and try to be others. the World needs more unique individuals.

  4. I always enjoy reading other writers words, you have a very unigue style and create the perfect visual for your readers/followers. Okay, am I the only one who thinks that strawberry bar b q sauce sounds good? Have an awesome day, yes I said awesome.

  5. Nice write up. One of the most difficult elements in life is to continue the grind, because, well, it is an effing grind. Also, how was the improv training? I just started looking into it myself here in Utah, which is commonly known as the improv state.So many choices!

  6. I have read about many people who had to wait longer than 2 years, keep the faith or hope! I think Harrison Ford finally made it into American Graffiti and laughs that he was the oldest man on the set at the time! Take care, Robin

  7. Love your quote about “one of the main points of being an artist is trying to tell as many people…that you are weird!” Embrace weird. We need more weird!

  8. I would pay good money to see Peter O’Toole does Mindy Kaling. Or vice versa.
    O’Toole swooning over BJ Novak on The Office.
    Kaling belting out The Impossible Dream in Man Of La Mancha.
    That sounds like fantastic stuff. Let me know when that happens.

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