Phone Phoney

There is something very jarring about receiving a phone call from an unknown number, extra terrifying if it just says “Out of Area” because you don’t even get a zip code to hypothesize about. It’s like a knock on your door from a burly dude wearing a mask , except that you’re armed with an “end call” button instead of a hair straightener heated up to 470 degrees.

I have been a lifetime phone phobic and also a phoneyphobic, but that’s not a tale for the now. I guess I like to have face-to-face conversations with people.

If you are a “typical” American, I imagine most calls from new-2-you phone numbers are from the dry cleaner, the credit card company or telemarketers. As an actor who is a believer in buying hand wash OK clothes, my calls are a bit different. It could be a call saying I booked something, that a CD called my agent to say that I suck (hope this never happens) or it could be my vet saying my cat’s check-up was great. Actors are people with cats, too.

An unknown number can be a game-changer, and that’s a little bit terrifying, but probably not as terrifying as my home defense system. Note to self: get a baseball bat.

Sometimes You’re the Douchebag

Sometimes You're the Douchebag

Happy Holidays from Venice!

Two weeks ago there was a street festival in Venice sponsored by GQ on one of our main drags that GQ magazine dubbed “the coolest block in America.”

I don’t consider myself more judgmental than the American norm, but I just needed to see all the coiffed hair, smell cologne to help my figure out what France smells like and gawk at shoes that cost way more than my Christmas shopping budget.

Well, we went, and everyone was nice and we had a ton of fun. So maybe I am a douchebro for being judgmental? If I judge myself for being a douchebro for being judgmental, does it cancel out?

Anyways, my December resolution is to be less judgmental. But being “observational” is totally OK. I also reserve the right to judge evil people because, not cool.

Still not sure what France smells like. Bread?

Comedy Devil

There is one thing about comedy that makes my skin itch. Neutrality. Like khaki pants and dry turkey sandwiches, I just gotta ask why.

This could be my Berkeley brainwash, but I think the mass rewards of formula and structure lead to a lot of mass boring (i.e. almost every buddy cop comedy, except for the one with Jimmy Fallon and Queen Latifah because what). I would say that all the people who have had the largest impact on me as a writer and performer are very unapologetic about the lens in which they view the world. I find that so refreshing, inspiring and captivating. Hubert Selby Jr., Lucille Ball, a scientologist wanting to give me a stress test. All fascinating. May we never settle!

Things Learned from Reality Singing Competitions

  • What people from other states look like
  • How bad my sense of geography really is — I think this is a general Californian problem, or a specific Los Angeles Unified School District Problem.
  • If your parents are priests, you are going to blow my mind
  • No one on The X-Factor is even vaguely cool, but everyone on The Voice is way cooler than me. Is there a singing show for averagely cool people? What about averagely cool people that can only kind of sing?
  • You can come back 10 years later and be on a reality show about losing weight (Ruben Studdard)
  • I know how to spell Ruben Studdard without looking it up
  • America, we have seemingly infinite talent, but also seemingly infinite distalent
  • If your child/roommate/love interest/ potential love interest (PLI) can’t sing, PLEASE TELL THEM BEFORE IT’S TOO LATE
  • I love judging people, even though I pretty much can’t sing well at all

Not on Writing, but on Being a Writer

Self-identity nouns should be given great weight. Like more weight than those things our grandparents used to keep papers from flying away on a desk of whichever mid-century school of design was their preference.

One of my generation’s most gratuitous self-identity nouns is “foodie.” I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen the following Twitter bios:

Writer, Dog-Lover, Foodie

Packers Fan, Aspiring Cellist, Foodie

Stripper, Pop Star, Foodie

Died last Tuesday, Foodie

You know that really intense almost physical reaction you have to seeing a cute kitten or puppy? The opposite of that

I feel like one needs to reach a certain level of commitment and experience to something before using it as a self-identity word. I’m not saying you need to publish a best-selling novel or land an internship at an easy beach-read mag like The Economist, but if writing is what your soul breathes, you are a writer.

I read this article that introverts are more likely than extroverts to only identify as one thing. So this could be my personality dictating my opinion (OMG BRAIN, FREE WILL), but I think in order to be brilliant at anything you have to be pretty aggressive about it, leaving little time for being considerably above average at anything else. This means that maybe we can only truly have one self-identity noun that is skill-based at a time. That means that maybe we shouldn’t waste it on “foodie” unless your soul craves good food above all else.

As a side note, I appreciate good food. It’s just not my word.

The First Time

You just discovered music a few years ago and you’re trying to figure out your type before you make any regrettable decisions. Which band is special enough? Will it be memorable? I hope I don’t walk out with PBR on my brand new white Adidas. There is something pure about your first concert and the associated questions you ask yourself before making a decision.

The summer between 7th and 8th grade, I went with my best friend and her family to drop off her older sister off at art camp. Her older sister was super cool (spoiler alert: she now dates a bald politician). She had a purple room when I had to beg my parents for years to paint mine light yellow. She had magazines I had never heard of haphazardly tossed onto shelves that were not necessary straight or symmetrical. My room had American Girl books on a fancy wood shelf/desk combo that matched my sleigh bed and my nightstands. She drove a used car named Manuel because everything in it was manual. I would carefully plot what three songs I would listen to on my Zune during the morning carpool.

But above all, she played the cello. Twelve year-old me thought that was rad, college graduate me is decidedly less sure about that opinion. When your sibling isn’t necessarily the coolest, sometimes you gotta live vicariously through your best friend’s sibling.

On the ride there, my best friend and I were talking about how excited we were to see Weezer the following month and how cool and experienced we would sound when we got to high school. Concerts? Yeah, we got to them all the time. Maybe we would even be able to give advice about them.

We arrived at the camp and looked around in awe and jealousy. There was a family dinner after everyone settled in to thank the parents for their help and to serve as a goodbye. The dinner consisted mostly of the art campers trying their hardest  to avoid eating dinner with their families, like most solid goodbyes.

The evening culminated with a surprise concert of a mediocre four piece jazz band. I spent the whole time thinking, noooooooo — does this count? I never expected my first time to be at art camp. Is having Kool-Aid on my shoes somehow worse than cheap beer? Will I be rewarded for sitting through this with dessert?

I am still not sure if that first time counted, but at minimum it was memorable

I got a bone!

Because G-d threw one my way! I hope that didn’t sound too dirty :/

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I’ve been keeping busy lately. I started studying Stanislavski and I love it, I booked and shot my first TV Pilot and one of my  biggest comedic influences started following me on Twitter (!!). But now I am feeling all this pressure to tweet well, but I could have worse problems — like starvation or a flat tire on the way to a job interview or sneezing during a make out scene or something. Above is a picture with way bad lighting of me and the pilot’s lead. She’s rad! I’ve also started reading some plays by Steve Martin and they are terrific. I would love love love to put one on someday. Now time to keep on working. Happy July 4th everyone! Try to do one thing this week that is out of your comfort zone (but in a positive way, mooning people ain’t cute)

Also, anyone have any good July 4th recipes? My mom’s birthday is the 5th, so I want to make something special

Hugs///

At

Common Stories Told

I just couldn’t get any sleep last night

I couldn’t go to the wake yesterday, I was just too tired

Tell everyone I broke up with her

Don’t tell anyone I pulled a Jimmy Fallon and broke. Greg’s facial expressions slay me.

Don’t look at me, I didn’t do it, it was already like that before I came

Don’t look at me, I didn’t do it, it was already like that before I Camembert

I think I failed that test

Life would be different if visions about vision tests were consequential

I just don’t know what I’m doing with my life

I just don’t know what the neighbor girl’s voodoo doll is doing with my life, but I hope they are both following me on Twitter

I love her

That was really just a shout out to my mom

You were in my dream last night

You were in my forearm last night

What’s your sign?

STOP