I’m Still Here

Kurt and I have a collection of framed pictures and posters waiting to be hung in our place in L.A. because neither of us have the interior decorating gene, and because many of them are related to my career and I have, over the years, come to see them as reminders of what I haven’t accomplished rather than for what they actually are which are reminders of my actual successes.

In July of 2012, sitting poolside at my apartment building in Koreatown-adjacent, I got a call from a staffing agency with a potential job. After the call, I opened Twitter and without thinking too much about it I tweeted:

The Tweet went viralish. At the time, it seemed like it was everywhere. In reality, it got retweeted fewer than 1000 times, but back in 2012, that felt like a lot. And tbf, people did screenshot and share it on other platforms a lot. There was a reddit thread (for what that’s worth) of hundreds of comments about it, mostly having to do with the state of the economy, probably because most dudes on reddit are the kind of dudes who don’t think women can be funny, so they probably thought I was actually making a comment on state of joblessness in the U.S.

For the most part, the tweet attracted some very positive attention for me. I had taken some time off acting, and I think the tweet served to remind people that I was still alive and kicking. My Twitter following doubled overnight. I was approached by a literary manager who said she wanted to rep me for a memoir. A Broadway director told me he would love to work with me. I got to work writing a new show.

The show I wrote, “Fuck Off, I Love You,” which had its premiere at Joe’s Pub on Monday, September 17th, 2012 (Insider’s tip: Don’t schedule a show in NYC on Rosh Hashanah. It turns out a lot of Jews find this holiday more important than watching me sing “Banana Split for my Baby.” Go figure.), included a poster-sized version blowup of the tweet heard round the world (or, more like, “heard round the ten block radius that makes up the theater district in NYC.”).

A little side note here: I had forgotten how quickly I wrote that show. Honestly, writing, picking songs and having them arranged, and rehearsing a show in six weeks is a feat I forgot I was capable of. Kudos, me!

About a month later I found out I was pregnant. Very pregnant. Almost 11 weeks. My director and I decided to do the show again, this time using it as a platform to announce the pregnancy. We did the show on a Monday night in mid-November, 2012, just after Hurricane Sandy had ripped through New York (Insider tip: If a hurricane happens a few days before you’re scheduled to do a one-night only show, cancel it. Turns out people who have no power due to a weather “event” don’t want to watch me sing “Banana Split for my Baby.” Go figure.).

Notice I am blaming disappointing audience numbers on circumstances beyond my control rather than on the possibility that people just didn’t want to come see my show, or that my marketing budget was zero dollars. I am choosing to blame outside circumstances for a reason.

Not long after I did the breast milk tweet, some douchebag on Facebook reposted it along with a comment that I needed to stop complaining, and “shut up,” and package my breast milk, “bitch.” I know. SUPER charming. He probably gets laid a TON. I reposted his post and invited people to tear him a new one. They did, and he sent me a sniveling apology and said he was directing a community theater production of TSG somewhere. I didn’t reply because duh. But cool anecdote, bro. Who cares? Also, good luck directing a show about a little girl with PTSD who has become hardened and learned to shut down as a response to shitty people and death. Seems like you have a good handle on complicated women and their complicated feelings.

Then, on Oscar night a few months later, another Facebook douchebag tagged me in a post in which he said something about how Quvenzhan√© Wallis should ask me what it’s like to be a footnote in history. He tagged me. He went out of his way to make sure I saw him insult me and a nine-year-old girl together. Classy.

A couple years after that someone very close to me (family) told me I would never achieve my dreams as an actor. To my face. And apropos of nothing. I won’t say who the person because I don’t want the weight of having publicly shamed them hanging over me at every family gathering. Though it will be in my memoir… Sorry about, NAME REDACTED.

I’m ashamed to say that those comments, along with a handful others, blew me back. I am a deep believer in the idea that one bad review cancels out 99 raves. I know it isn’t logical. I know it’s impossible to please everyone. But over the years, I have somehow managed to let the few naysayers drown out the tangible proof of my talent and success. I’m not proud that I have let these people become the trolls in my head, but they got under my skin.

Over the years I managed to convince myself that the reason I won a Tony was because people were amazed that an 11-year-old could walk and talk at the same time. My show posters became reminders of how long it had been since I was on Broadway, rather than what they actually are: Reminders that I was on Broadway. A couple years after “Fuck Off: I Love You”, Kurt had the poster-sized blow up of the tweet framed. And there it sits, collecting dust with the other posters, because I have let it become a symbol of my failure, rather than a mark of success. Instead of feeling pride in the joke itself, as a stand alone thing, I am reminded of the small audience turn out. Instead of pride, I am reminded that I haven’t gotten a book deal yet. My Tony Award seems to whisper, “Yeah, but what have you done lately?”

Even when people congratulate me on doing a great job raising Monty, I find a way to chalk it up to luck of the draw rather than on my intentional hard work.

Tomorrow I am putting those posters up in my hallway. And every time I walk by them I’m going to be reminded of my talent, my work, and my success. The next time someone asks me what it’s like to be a footnote in the history books, I’ll ask him what it’s like to not even have made it into the history books. I have worked. I have succeeded. I continue to work and succeed. And if that doesn’t mean I’ve already achieved my dreams, I don’t know what does.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , | 4 Comments

Once Upon an Irishman with Knives Out

Excuse me, I know I’m VERY late to this party, but I only just watched the Golden Globes and didn’t even know what and who was nominated (except that there were zero women directors nominated) for reasons that I think will become very clear in this post, but can I just say real quick, Knives Out? KNIVES OUT?! Knives fucking Out.

Look. I love a good murder mystery. I love a GOOD murder mystery. This was an okay murder mystery with a MASSIVE plot hole that is so egregious it erases any cleverness that might have been squeezed out of this tired fucking script. Spoiler alert. If the housekeeper had bothered to tell the police she saw Chris Evans rooting through his father’s nurse’s medical bag, there would have been literally zero mystery. Case solved.

I can get on board with genetically engineered dinosaurs running around an island. I can (not really) get on board with Leia FLOATING THROUGH ACTUAL SPACE USING THE FORCE (come on). I can even get on board with people believing Ryan Reynolds is attractive. But the housekeeper not telling the police she saw the man she literally hates rooting through his father’s meds moments before said father dies? That’s too far. TOO FAR.

And I know, I KNOW, that I have a habit of yelling at the screen things like, “Take the fucking weapon with you!” and that the movie would literally end if the heroine didn’t insist on leaving the weapon NEXT TO the “dead” bad guy after “killing him,” but the leap in logic taken in Knives Out is somehow worse. I’m sure they could have figured out a way to have the housekeeper divulge this MASSIVE PIECE of information and still maintain the “mystery” of the murder mystery.

And let me tell you, I would watch Daniel Craig cut his own toenails. I would gladly listen to Daniel Craig do one of the worst Southern accents I have ever heard (and I’ve seen Forest Gump). I want to fold Daniel Craig up into a tiny cube, like origami, and put him up my vagina and keep him there and take him out once in a while to look at him. But Best Actor? BEST ACTOR? Is the Hollywood Foreign Press HIGH? Don’t answer that. I know they are. Best actor. Come the fuck on.

AND DON’T GET ME STARTED ON JOAQUIN PHOENIX. Get your fucking shit together, dude. Enough already. You are a toilet stain. Your performance in Gladiator deserved a massive thumbs down. The kind of thumbs down that SHOULD HAVE had you fed to the fucking CGI tiger from that OSCAR AWARD WINNING BEST PICTURE (Seriously. Go back and watch that movie. I haven’t seen Cats, but I’m willing to bet it’s better, stone cold sober, than Gladiator.). Joaquin, you’re right, Hollywood keeps giving you chances and you keep acting like…you. You are the EPITOME of straight white male privilege. Go take several laps and come back when you can act like a fucking grownup. You shit heel. (Full disclosure: I haven’t seen The Joker, and it looks terrific, and I’m sure his performance is great. That doesn’t negate any of what I just said. Annie Hall is a great movie, Woody Alan is a cretin.).

Daniel Craig’s performance in Knives Out can be summed up by him going, “I say, I say, I say… Boy, I say, you’re all about as smart as a fart in the wind!” and doing a mildly funny thing while listening to Abba or some shit on a walkman. Come on.

The biggest travesty of Knives Out, the real crime committed here by The Hollywood Foreign Press is that Us is a FAR superior movie on so many levels and kind of has the same sociopolitical message (Us vs. Them. And before you come at me about how I misunderstood Us, let me tell you, I researched a lot* about it. *Read a few articles and watched a few interviews. AND, Jordan Peele and I dated when we were, like, 14, so I THINK I know what I’m talking about), but tells it in a far scarier, more compelling, more poetic way.

And while we’re on the topic of Us, you want to tell me that Quintin “Bloated, lipless, sack of egomania” Tarentino, who finally managed to make a movie without the N-word in it (I think. You couldn’t pay me to see Once Upon a Time in Hollywood.) deserves ANOTHER award? And Martin Scorsese, for that matter? Martin Scorsese has been making the same movie over and over since the dawn of cinema, with characters who are only a hairs-width less stereotypical than my friend Liz’s impression of all New Yorkers (Elbows bent, fingertips together, bending her wrists back and forth like an old Italian grandma, “Ay yo! I’m gonna miss da layst ferry to Sta’in EYElin!!!”). To paraphrase Jack Palance in City Slickers, “I’ve taken shits more interesting than The Irishman.” (Again, assuming. My time is precious. I’m not wasting eight hours of it to go see The Irishman.)

As long as Hollywood and its bloated sack of old white dudes who decide what happens in it continues to choose regurgitated cud like Once Upon a Time in Hollywood or The Irishman or the infinitely more interesting than those two, yet still needless Knives Out, over Us, I’m going to…continue to be super cranky about it.

And before you get snarky and ask, if you hate what’s being made so much, why don’t you make your own stuff, I will remind you that I am writing my own stuff. I just haven’t figured out how to get the money to make it.

Maybe if I write about old, smug white guys with weapons I’ll get my projects financed.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged | 2 Comments

Happy New Year, Happy New Blog

Hello! Hi! Hi! Hello!

Welcome to my first posting on my new website! I’m currently in the process of migrating everything (including my domain name) to WordPress, so none of the content from my previous site is up here yet.

Come to think of it, maybe I’ll just go ahead and start nice and fresh here, and we can all make a brand new start together. Shall we? That way, I don’t have to put in the hours figuring out how to migrate everything, we can all forget my new years resolutions from 2019 which I posted about and didn’t see to fruition, and we can wipe any knowledge of the relatively sub par posts I made last year.

I will continue to write about gender issues as they pertain to my own evolution. Depression, I’m sure, will be a recurring topic, no matter how high my dose of Cymbalta gets (my psychiatrist seems to be performing a one person study on me about how many milligrams of antidepressants one can ingest before they float off the planet from medicated euphoria). Parenting and my generally bumbling attempts at it. And whatever I can say about Hollywood without sounding like a bitter, rage-filled, psychopath (I’m not sure how anyone could exist for more than five minutes in this industry without losing their minds). Along with whatever nonsense strikes me.

Monty has been on vacation from school since December 21st. Of last year. There’s another seven more days of vacation before he goes back. Honestly, I may not make it. I may stick my head in the oven by Wednesday (spoiler: I will not be committing suicide any time soon. And if I were, I certainly wouldn’t tell you.). I suppose it goes without saying that you should be okay with suicide humor if we’re going to be cyber-pals (meaning, you read my blog and that’s the extent of our relationship, unless I know you IRL, in which case, you already know I joke about killing myself frequently and you’ve either chosen to stick around anyway, or you’ve already run for the hills.)

Anyway, my point was, that Monty has been on vacation from school and will be for another week, and I have found it next to impossible to find time to write because he’s in a phase where he makes noise from the minute he gets up in the morning until the moment he’s asleep. This phase has lasted approximately 1000 years which is weird because he’s only six and a half. And so I’m either trying to keep him entertained, trying to keep myself from going insane, or trying to hide from him by sleeping whenever Kurt is home.

But, here I am writing this post now to say that I’m migrating to a new website host and this is where you should come from now on for all things me-related. If you’re so inclined. I INTEND to post more often this year, as I’m trying to gt a book deal. So, if you have a pressing issue that would be best addressed by me, let me know! I’ll write about it. Maybe. Or maybe I won’t. Like, don’t ask me to write about something ignorant like “toxic femininity” (because that’s not an actual thing), or why abortion should be illegal (because it shouldn’t. Ever.). But if you want me to rank every James Bond theme ever, I will. Or if you want me to tell you why I barely speak to my parents anymore, I will open another bottle of wine and get going.

Yes? Good? Good.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment