My phone felt sticky when I clicked the bright red circle to stop my video. See that? I said video and not “tape.” As if I’m fooling anyone with these more-than-three- decades bags under my eyes. Yeah, three. We’ll go with three. Not four. Not yet. But back to the sticky. That was peanut butter. When you’re a mom, whose kid is somehow not allergic to the stuff, you get it everywhere. At least I do. That where I was right before I was making my video. I was making lunch. Not for me. That’s funny. But for my young man. The second grader who has my heart. His lunch for tomorrow. And it was a bitching lunch. I owned that shit. Cookie cutter so his sandwich was a pumpkin. I used chocolate chips and a sole Craisin to make it a Jack-O-Latern. Yeah. Come at me, Pinterest moms. I’ll be asleep. Leave a message. But that was only my second job of the day.
The first jobs, mom and day job, let’s be real, are my love and money jobs. In that order. That’s how it goes. Then’s there’s my third gig. Writer/Actor/Fool. Sometimes done more for hate than for love. And money? Good one. I’m not an actor. But I write. I act. That’s about as comfortable as I get saying it most days. And that’s where the peanut butter come into play. I was self-taping ( sorry, I’m not getting past that) an audition. In my room. With sides taped to the wall and a dresser. Phone propped against a ceramic pumpkin. It’s Industrial Light and Magical time in here, I tell you.
It was a Tuesday. It’s what you do. Made a peanut butter sandwich for his lunch and ran upstairs to tape a video audition that had a pending deadline. Below the screen, I was still wearing the charming blue scrub pants I had worn to work, and had been in since six that morning. (Note: neither being a mom or a hobbyist but eager actor/writer pays the bills. But I may have filed out the paperwork incorrectly. Maybe more on that later.) And after the expected, in my world, YouTube and Dropbox fumbling and swearing, the file was off in the virtual mail. The kid eventually also was off to bed. I had done it all in one day. So I finally had to write and tell everyone about it.
Acting is hard. Mama-ing is hard. Doing them both is really, really fucking hard. Lots of things make it hard. Being a divorced (divoced, not single – because those women are saints in a world where I can’t be bothered to even try to believe.) Trying not to fail at both all the time is likely impossible. It takes a tribe. I have a precious few wonderful people. But that doesn’t make a tribe and that doesn’t make it happen. And that’s ultimately on me.
That’s where Dark Yarn productions happens. It started as a joke. What I would name a production company, if I ever had one. Because I like the dark stuff. Words, art, wine, all of it. Dark. I love the imagery of spinning wool into yarn, and then twisting and hooking that into a creation literal or literary that enfolds and shrouds. If I was putting my flag in the sand, that’s what it would be. Well, I don’t have one. But, I like the name and it’s sticking. Once upon an almost two years ago, this space was created to offer out my writing work (Ha.) To signal boost my acting projects (okay, there have actually been some of those lately. Good ones. Ask me about the time my old boobs and I were really excited to play a stripper/hooker/sexworker. I’m serious. It was awesome. ) In a weird moment of profound delusion, it was made to showcase films I would write and direct (HHHAAAA! Seriously, I’ve had a kid and I’m not young. Do that again and I’ll pee at least a little. Filmmaker, maybe someday. But, as we say to the gods of hormones and mental illness, not today.) Because I giggle at puns, it could legitimately display my actual dark yarns, because this wily nerd can knit and crochet. Knitty hat and fingerless gloves and eighteen foot scarf and matching blanket at home? Hipster, please. You want it in black or grey? But in painful truth, maybe this serves as a little but of a goodbye to what I thought I wanted or needed to be in my usual needy and sloppy way. Maybe I needed to do one of my irrational and perpetual apologies to the ones who told me I should, that I have the capacity. Or just say sorries and laters to myself that I haven’t gotten there. At least not yet. But who knows? These girls today, they got the vote and they’re running around outside the kitchen. In pants, of all the blessed things. I may get behind the camera one day. But without fail or surrender, my acting, writing and being a mom presses forward today. And tomorrow. And tomorrow. And tomorrow.
My hope is that maybe Dark Yarn can exist as something else. A place to tell my tale of it. The daily going out behind the page, backstage, hitting my mark for camera and getting home in time to go over spelling words. (Yes, I know ‘doze’ and ‘rose’ rhyme. No. I don’t know why there is a ‘z’ in one and an ’s’ in another. Just learn your lines, kid.) The stories of trying to memorize my own sides at his karate class. Of running out of a theater still in costume because a young man chose that night to get strep throat and a bilateral ear infection. The drama game is strong with that young one. Of getting the part. Of not getting the part. Of not getting the next part. Or the next. Of turning down the dream role because sometimes being at home for bedtime is more important than being backstage. And how absolutely shitty you feel, no matter what you choose to neglect and short change some days. Read along if you like. We’ll start with easy stuff. I’ll tell you if I nailed the submission that cost me peanut butter to my phone and got cast. I’ll put up some writing and we’ll see what sticks and what slides quickly back into the recesses of my mind ooze from whence it ought not have travelled. Film, theatre, playwriting, screenwriting, the odd short story, and that one nasty, sneaky novel draft. More spelling words. Maybe eventually I’ll get to important things like what a basic white bitch like me can possibly contribute to intersectional feminism in film and, in a meta-sense, life. If that gets too heavy, we can go back to the funny. Like trying to being a mom, and a writer and an actor. And a girlfriend.
And after that one, I need to go change my scrub pants.