Some days I feel nostalgia for things I’ve never had. For example, a pen pal in second grade who keeps up the charade of old-school blind friendship for more than ONE flashcard-sized letter. This is coming from a girl who gets overly excited by getting an email from a real human because my ratio of those to casting notices and newsletters is super underwhelming.
Hence, I’ve been largely hanging out in the physical world with the notable exception of online poker because no one is perfect except for my dog, and even she poops on the side of the house sometimes because it brings her great joy.
Here is a short list of what I have been up to:
- Started to run a comedic variety show where I have made a lot of inspiring friends
- Gave up all variations of soda for 8-months, didn’t lose any weight
- Booked a national commercial and several pilots
- Rented a house in the city (with roommates) that bled my finances dry
- Got really into tap dancing
- Moved to my parent’s house
- Ran into Ricky Gervais on my way to a commercial audition, got really jazzed about it. Pulled a butt muscle during the audition, played it off real cool.
- Hollywood is glamorous, y’all
So now I am back in the valley, charming everyone with my valley accent, and working to get myself back on my $$ feet because I am not sure how possible it is to be in your 20s and not work in tech and have a savings account.
- My car did not get egged
- Impulsed bought onesie pajamas with monkeys for feet at Target
- Lots of leftover candy (successful in joy, but not diet)
- Decided which commercial agent to go with and I think she is way cool!
- My commercial acting class didn’t get cancelled, so I did not go to any parties on Halloween (successful in diet)
Anyone do anything interesting? What did you dress up as? What was the coolest costume you saw?
The coolest one I saw involved eight people! It was Snow White and the Seven Dwarves, except the Dwarves were all regular height and snow weight was a little person. How empowered!
Onto my favorite month, November (AKA my birthday month), and one of the few months where I can get away with wearing long sleeve shirts in Los Angeles.
Because G-d threw one my way! I hope that didn’t sound too dirty
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
I’ve been thinking a lot about the role of boredom in our lives, or more specifically, how I should let myself get bored more often. I thought that I am probably at my most bored when I am sitting in LA’s famed traffic. But, I am listening to my iPod on shuffle and getting giddy about how good the music is on it and also getting angry about how much LA drivers suck, and how much my gas mileage sucks, and how sitting down for so long sucks. In my experience, I have found Montreal drivers to be the most offensive, shortly followed by Boston drivers. I hope those sentiments are not too controversial and it should be noted that my list is limited by places I have been. Regardless, I don’t think driving in Lalaland counts as genuine boredom.
I feel like being bored lets your other senses fly because you aren’t distracted by racing thoughts, pointed conversation and impulsive reactions. The last time I was genuinely bored was four-months ago when I went to UCB show alone. I challenged myself to not spend the 30-min wait texting people on my phone, my generation’s go-t0.
Side rant: Some members of my generation seem to think that checking-in places makes your life seem interesting, but I feel like I would have to be next level bored to do that. So in my eyes, that -ish backfires. Also, no one cares that you’re dining at the Olive Garden or that you’re buying socks at Old Navy, unless they too, are next level bored. Go read a book. I will now step off my throne of judgment and step back into our scheduled programming.
I challenged myself to just stand there and wait, alone. It was so uncomfortable, but also totally inspiring. You find the droll parts of conversations you would normally dismiss as boring (or as none of your beeswax), you notice which parts of your ears get cold first and it becomes more and more obvious which part of your feet you stand on. The last part might be less relevant if you are bored while sitting. The whole thing is kind of beautiful, and I would love to try a day alone at Disneyland. If only for the sake of pushing myself into that uncomfortable place, and for the single rider line.
Has anyone else experimented with boredom? I live a pretty fast-paced life as a dream chaser with a day job, but I think I might benefit from some good old fashioned boredom. I think my learnings would be helpful as a writer and maybe as a person who is curious about ancient Egyptians, because even they must have gotten bored, not cared what other people had for dinner and gotten angry at crazy drivers in Montreal.
Hope everyone is having an amazing holiday weekend!
I’m finally caught up on the books I’ve bought, or close enough to it. I’d appreciate it a whole lot if you could recommend me your absolute favorite books/authors. For what it’s worth, my favorite authors are all people with really specific voices and points of view. My three favorites at the moment are Hubert Selby Jr. (by a lot), Paul Auster and I love me some good ol’ Kurt Vonnegut.
Oh, and also, one of my improv teams is an official selection of the LA Improv Festival! My teammates are all super talented and I would be willing to bet good money that at least one or two of them will be household names in the near future. You can buy tickets here: Spaceman’s Promise
I like to think of myself as of a survivor of LAUSD’s low expectations. There is a mandatory and fairly demeaning class they make you take in high school called “Life Skills” where they teach you things like how to apply for jobs at the mall, how to waste tens of thousands of dollars at Devry and how to wash your hands. For the curious, the second semester was “Health” where they showed us a lot of pictures of warty penises and had a lady come in and attempt to preach the power of abstinence. She had a power point presentation that compared her old life as a sexual deviant to how it must feel to be a used thrift store dresser at the end of the line. I was somehow the only person who didn’t take an abstinence ring from her, I guess free things triumph over values for a lot of people.
Life Skills was held in Mr. Wagner’s bungalow, which smelled of canned tuna and decades-old nickels, leaving you to wonder whether he had the same awful lunch everyday or if he was just unfortunate. I sat in the back right hand corner of the room, not necessarily by choice, but by nature of having a last name at the end of the alphabet. The class was filled with the kinds of students who were pregnant by senior year and/or still felt such a crippling pressure when they were asked to read aloud that they shook and stuttered when attempting to read at a 6th grade level. The kid in front of me orchestrated drug deals via text message in full view of the teacher, who didn’t give a fuck. Mr. Wagner is a brooding 6’5″ but was formerly hulking college basketball player whose month of glory consisted of sitting on the bench during a final four game, but never getting to participate in the joy of drenching his coach in lemon lime gatorade.
tweet me up @alltidashley
I had to book a room in a theatre complex for my improv team as none of us have large living rooms/we wanted to be able to yell, sing and jump as much as we wanted – something important to consider when booking space for an improv team, and also something important to consider in general life.
I got to the space a bit early so I could pick up the keys. I opened the lobby door turned the corner and as I hit the stairs I was immediately confronted by walls two inches thick with dust and three inches thick with indie theatre production fliers from the ‘80s. When I got to the top of the stairs, I was unenthusiastically greeted by a fabulous gay man, who clearly also reached his theatrical prime in the ‘80s.
He asked me who I was and I reacted equally unenthusiastically with an “Ashley, we spoke on the phone earlier.” His face lit up, his posture straightened and with a big hand gesture he starts to saying “Ashley! Ashley!”
It’s one of those moments where you wish someone else was there to share in how ridiculous this guy is, but you’re also relieved because that would have been embarrassing as fuck.
I didn’t know how to react, so I flashed him a confused stare since saying “yes, it’s me Ashley, the girl you spoke to on the phone” didn’t seem like the appropriate response.
I knew I was in trouble as soon as I got a stern “don’t you know where that’s from?” A quick brain scan came back with nothing but a debate about whether pretending to know it would get me out of there sooner.
“Gone with the Wind! It’s from Gone with the Wind!” He continued to call me “Ashley!” for the rest of the conversation, which was both terrifying and strangely respectable if only for the commitment.
He then gestured me away and directed me to look for “the marginal looking man with strawberry blond hair, the type of fellow who looks like he hasn’t showered in a few days” in order to get the keys. While totally a dick move, I knew who he was talking about immediately.