There's no worst feeling than waking up extremely late and having to be in Hollywood in 20 minutes. Getting anywhere in LA in under 30 minutes is damn near impossible, unless you live near everything. Anyway instead of panicking for a really long time, I decided to just lose it and call my boss and inform him I was arriving a little late. I wasn't a little late I was almost 30 minutes late. But the good thing about the job I was doing that day was that my part didn't really matter. Well my point being was that I didn't miss much, thank goody goodness.
The thing about being late is that people remember that you're late. You're the late kid. And I already don't want to make a bad first impression on these people I work with because...I want to work again. I just accepted the fact that I was late and yelled, groaned, complained and cursed at every driver that drove by. Also, it's better to just be honest than come up with a "good," excuse because there isn't one. You can't use traffic because that's already a given. Can't really say your alarm didn't go off because if you think about it, it doesn't matter. You're already late, live with it, get there as soon as you can and as safely as you can.
Meanwhile fast forward to the afternoon and I'm standing waiting for the audience members to arrive. I'm standing next to a security guard named Robert. Robert was very nice and social so we had a good time chatting while killing time til the next showing. After a while of talking we introduce each other's name, said nice to meet you and moved on with our respective jobs. Fast forward to that afternoon and Robert and I are talking to another person and he started it off by saying:
"Oh right! Close enough. Man I ain't never heard of Mara before, that's an interesting name. Myra is like a common name though."
Fast forward about thirty minutes, and the theater supervisor, Molly comes up to me while I'm gathering the line around the Egyptian Theatre. I was doing a good job so Molly thought to compliment me.
"Great job Meira! You doing alright?"
"Um...yep. Yeah I'm good."
WHY IS MY NAME SO HARD TO REMEMBER? Like I understand that sometimes I need to enunciate better but come on! I can't wait for the day when I'm successful and people will hopefully get my name right. I mean at this point, it just feels like a loss of an identity. Not like a full on loss, but like, and I know it sounds weird, but I feel like I'm losing myself. It's like I don't exist.
Anyway. Before I go deeper, I just want to take a moment and again be thankful for all the opportunities and be grateful for all the challenges. I'm the sperm that won, might as well appreciate the life.
So it's 82 degrees in beautiful Los Angeles and I am miserable. I'm all about the sun but I ain't about the heat. Add LA traffic and apartment hunting to the mix and you have my worst afternoon.
What we want: a safe neighborhood where we can easily commute to Hollywood, Burbank, Silverlake, Dtla, etc.
What we want: an affordable place...in LA. So fingers crossed!
As i was making my third or fourth go at finding a parking space I was blocked by pedestrians from making a right turn. I know I'm the worst but pedestrians are annoying when you're driving. (And vice versa). Anyway. There was a man on a wheelchair struggling to cross the street when this other man going the opposite direction stopped. For sure I thought he was about to rob the poor guy but instead he pushed him. Now both of them aren't well off. They're not even middle class. They're both wearing dirty clothes just struggling to go on about life.
But there it was. Kindness. The guy stopped and helped him across the street. I don't know I guess it just made me think. It made me stop being angry at all the traffic and it made me think. It made me a little ashamed. I don't show enough kindness or gratitude and I always complain about the world. It made me think: "shut the fuck up Mara."
When I become financially successful I've dreamed of traveling the world and financially supporting my family. I've also thought about charity but I've always doubted that I will donate a lot. I'm being honest. I want to help but I'm cheap. I want to help.
I feel sorry for the poor. I feel disgusting whenever I go out to the bars and see those people selling flowers getting plowed by drunk people just because they're trying to make a living. I know it's their choice but why does money mean so fucking much in this world.
Maybe I'll be a doctor and give back that way. Maybe I'll grow up and stop being cheap.
The 99-seat debacle has turned LA theater artists into some of the most ferocious, vicious fighters I’ve ever seen. It’s exciting, liberating and comforting. It’s good to know that we’re not going down without a fight. But it’s also very exhausting. It’s starting to feel like we’re the Chihuahuas in a litter full of St. Bernard’s. Let’s face it, theater would die if the law passes and if we had to pay actors minimum wage. We do theater, we like art, which in another language translates to: we’re poor. I can’t say much more about what’s going on with Equity because although it is my business, it is also none of my business. I don’t own a 99-seat theater, I’m my own corporation. My business is myself.
There’s a lot wrong with theater, there’s a lot of horrible theater and I find myself watching a lot of them. It’s gotten to a point that whenever I’m lucky enough to get a comp ticket, I find myself complaining more than appreciating. I mean no disrespect, who doesn’t love a free ticket but sometimes a free ticket ain’t even worth it! It takes a lot to put up a show, and I find that money is everyone’s biggest obstacle. How do we fix this? Bigger theaters get funding from generous donors and corporate sponsors. The little guys and even more so—the independent guys (us, you, me) don’t get any. At least not right away.
And if I’m being honest, and you’re an actor who’s on Equity’s side, you’re an idiot. I mean it. No take-backsies. I mean think about it, none of the little theaters can afford to hire you. There’ll be CTG and the Pantages and several other theaters, but your competition is a LOT steeper. Chances are, you suck and have nothing compared to your rivalries. But don’t feel bad too cause a lot of people suck. My point is you’re going to be competing with people who have got connections, and for the big guys like CTG you’ll be competing with highly acclaimed, celebrities. So really if you feel obligated to be paid minimum wage, have fun staying miserable at your day job for the rest of your life (in LA).
Now let’s be real, I’m 23 and know little, maybe even nothing. I can hardly follow all the arguments on the Facebook groups and all the notifications are starting to get annoying. So let’s be rational and see what we all have in common. First thing’s first is that not everyone is a good actor—in a perfect world this would not be a problem. Second we need enough money to hire someone for each position in a production (lighting, scenic, sound, stage manager, etc)—again in a perfect world this would not be a problem. We would have plays written for the underdogs, the minority, have a diverse cast, and not cast a show based on looks. We would have real people on stage, because that would be great and much more relatable. I’m so sick of seeing ‘basic,’ yes, ‘basic,’ theater. It’s so unoriginal and boring. A lot of the exciting theater I see, the kind that blows my mind and alters my views on life…that magic happens in the 99-seat theaters. Again there’s still a lot of bad, but 99-seat theaters take the risks and sometimes the higher the risk the higher the reward. 99-seat theaters is where I get started, where I can get support, and where I can continue to produce art for the rest of my life. There are SO many more problems to solve in the theatrical world, but killing 99-seat theaters definitely isn’t one. Think of the future, white people in charge, think of what limitations you’re allowing and all the art that’s going to be wasted.
I am so exhausted. I just watched Birdman, and it helped me realize something. We're all put on this Earth for whatever reason(s). Things happen in life for whatever reason(s), and as humans we do our best to live it happily. Some do our best to just survive. Setbacks happen and we try to think of it positively and move on. We say encouraging words to ourselves, to the universe, as a reminder that no matter what happens, life goes on. We learn from our mistakes and we should focus on the present and look forward to the future. We shouldn't dwell on the past because that is unnecessary energy and we shouldn't worry about the future, we should focus on today. As Erwin McManus once said, and I won't quote it cause I don't remember it word for word, he said that we shouldn't worry. We just shouldn't. We should deal with crisis when it happens, but we shouldn't worry about tomorrow, or yesterday because if we think about all the possibilities in the world, how on Earth are we going to get out of bed every morning?
I've recently felt violated and it's hard for me to follow my own advice. And that's the million dollar question: how do we move on? Time? How can we not fear the future? I gotta tell yas, it was hard for me to eat for a whole day cause of this event that had happened. I let that get in the way. I'm going to take Erwin's advice, as well as the advice of my mother, family and friends: take it one step at a time. I'll try not to get too paranoid, cause I don't wanna be trippin.
Sometimes I feel that when a tragedy occurs in life it really just is Act 1 of a rom-com. Sometimes I think that I'd find the one amidst all the craziness going on in life, and that all the 'bad guys' in life really do have a fair story on how they've become bad. I imagine forgiving the bad people in this scenario, which I know has been vague but I'd rather it be, and moving on. But then said person cannot move on because he falls in love with me. We then learn more about each other and fall in love and all troubles go away. The end. Sounds like a fucked up fairytale.
In conclusion we all have that Birdman voice in our heads saying we're all not good enough. Look at yourselves in the mirror and give yourselves a lot of credit because if you're reading this it means you're still alive. That in enough itself is an accomplishment.
I write, you read, we friends.