Thursday, May 16, 2013

I Feel Pretty, Kinda

I am not pretty.  I know that and I'm okay with it, although it was a rough road getting here. 

I once dated a guy for a hot minute who told me I was "Reasonably Attractive"  (be still my heart!), which is better than being Butt Ugly, I suppose.   But it probably also explains the extremely short lifespan of that relationship.

Us RAs have always had to deal with the Pretty Girls.  The easiest way is just to give up and don't bother flirting with guys because they're always going to go with a PG, not a RA.  It is has always been a miracle to me that I ever managed to hook up with anyone at all, so I'm never really disappointed.

It didn't help that I grew up in a house with a pretty sister and a beautiful mom.  They'd look at me with this, "What the hell happened with you?" look, and tell me not to feel bad,  that homely girls often grow up to be pretty women. One year (I think it was fourth grade) I was bemoaning my school picture and the homeliness therein, and my mother comfortingly said, "Well, what do you expect when you look like that?"  The Irish aren't big on unconditional love, but they are honest, bless their hearts.

Every cloud has its silver lining, and I think being an RA helped me develop my sense of humor.  It was either develop that or my razor blade skills and I'm not overly fond of blood.  But it's nice when people laugh at you.  That makes me feel pretty.  And now, in the autumn of my life, it's really helping me get gigs and acting makes me feel prettier than pretty, so I think it's a good tradeoff. 

Some of my best friends are PGs, and we laugh and cry and carry on and have a great time.  I love them and can see why guys do, too.  It's just a nice feeling to be comfortable in your own skin.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Settling Down

There was a story on NPR this morning about following your passion/dream.  The point of the story was there was this young man who didn't have a passion for anything and so he didn't know what to do.  That is not the point of my story.

I would like to address the issue of following your dream.  Now, I recognize that when people talk about following your dream, they are usually thinking about people under the age of 173, assuming that people as old as I am can no longer distinguish between dreams and reality anyway.  But our advanced age give us, in addition to hairy ear canals and decrepit skin, some wisdom in this area.  So, if I may...

It can work, but not very often.  (Sorry.  That was rather anti-climatic.)  And this is what it depends on:

1.  If it is remotely possible.  I mean, if your dream is to swim across the Atlantic Ocean in a single breath, without benefit of additional oxygen, that dream will be short-lived.  And so will you.

2.  You *really* want it.  

3.  You *really* want it so much, you are willing to work your ass off for it.

4.  You get unbelievably lucky.

5.  You have a shitload of money.

In my case, I realized at the tender age of 23 that as far as me becoming a working actor:

1.  It wasn't

2.  I did....but,

3.  I wasn't

4.  The only luck I have is bad.  That is what "luck of the Irish" really means.

5.  Hahahahahahahaha!!

So, I settled for being able to do something for a living (not a career, mind you, A Job) that would allow me to have a roof over my head and beer in my belly and pursue my passion on the side. 

A  major advantage to having your passion as your hobby, instead of your livelihood (at least in the case of theatre) is that when it's your hobby and you're not doing a show it's called "a break".  When it's your livelihood and you're not doing a show it's called "panic".  I'm not fond of panic.  Plus, waiting tables wouldn't work for me, because if I stand for more than a half hour I pass out.  That would probably lessen my tips. 

Now, your results may vary in this experience.  But the other variable that oldies like me see in this equation is that life is really, fucking short and getting shorter every day.  And I have known too many people I cared about who were here one minute and then they weren't.  And while it is great to have something to work towards, it really is about the journey, not the destination and since we're on our way down, we might as well enjoy the ride, and what a fucked-up paragrah this has been!!  (And, also, credit to Mr. James Taylor for the way down/enjoy the ride part.)

So,  young'uns, I have no advice for you.  You wouldn't take it if I did.  (Damn, there goes my mother talking out of my mouth again!)  Passions are good, but so is paying rent. You make the call.