I gotta say, it was a good day. 

If my lovely, jokester father was still with me, he’d appreciate the Ice Cube reference. Like no sixty-something white guy should. But, that’s what made my dad the best. 

Today included some ADR work (additional dialogue recording for the non-film-fancypants) for a great project  I was proud to claim as something to which I made a small contribution. 

ADR can be tough. You are locked in. Can’t change the performance for love or money. Which is tough. Because I’m the guy, without fail, who will unlock a key script secret on the drive home  from the last day on set or the last time across the boards. With a locked video, all you can do, is juzz the audio and hope for the best. Fingers crossed that I gave this project the goods it rightly deserved. 

Some days, it’s just grinding. Punch in. Punch out. Acting as a daily grind like any other. But today, I got this. 

My  son was on set with me during filming and was cast. Because he’s awesome. And I got to see this in the sound booth today. 
I was so proud. Like, tears because I can’t believe I made that beautiful creature, proud. 

I’m so lucky to have shared this with him. Even if we’re never on set together again.  For just a few moments, he lived in my world. Saw what I loved. Saw why I walk away from him sometimes. Maybe he thought it was ridiculous. Maybe he’ll never do this again. I’ll be okay with that.  He got it. For just a moment. And I will cherish this. For ever and always. 

Yeah. I gotta say it was a good day. 

“What Do You Want?”

“What do you want?”

Because I would turn to a cookie to make my decisions.

Because I would turn to a cookie to make my decisions.

There was a point in my life when I would get physically ill and emotionally unhinged just by being asked that question. Yeah. I know.

Acting training will tell you that knowing what your character wants, exactly what they want, in every scene is critical. Finding their unique and immediate want. Better, if it is a need.  But their verb. You must know why they are saying and doing and why. To make this make-believe person step into reality, you have to know. Do you want to provoke anger by touching an intimate weakness so as to elicit violence that you can hold over someone’s head? Do you want to seduce your fellow character to initiate a sexual relationship to fill a personal void or exact revenge? Do you just want to steal the money from the bank to keep your wife from finding out about your gambling debt?

Same thing for the characters you write. To make them full and dimensional, they have to make choices. And there need to be reasons, thought and consideration to those choices. You can’t just put someone on a plane. Has to be a reason. They are trying to get to someone or something. Or trying to get away from the same. If you let your darlings ramble for no reason, your fiction will get out from under your control and that much desired last page will keep getting farther and farther away from your grasp.

Four simple words. What. Do. You. Want.

It’s why my portrayals on stage or on page fail sometimes. Because I haven’t found distinctly what there people want.

It’s also why I fail myself. Especially when I am dealing with other people. And why eventual relationships stall and fail.

I have the most difficult time with the simplest of tasks. Just opening my big mouth and telling someone what I want. I’ve been called on it. On different occasions, and by different people close to me. And those conversation have gone about as well as you might suspect. I can handle writing or performance critique with calm distance. Really wanting to learn how I’m missing the mark and truly wanting to know how I can better craft these people and worlds. But, when that same light is shined on me, not my work, me, it is terrifying. I shrink, then curl, then fall.

Why is it so god damn difficult to simply say what I want? Big stuff, sure. No, I don’t want to quit my job and join the circus. No, I don’t want to adopt five sheep dogs. No, I don’t want an olive in my martini. Sorry. Wish I could on that last one, but I just can’t.

It’s mortifying. I look up in awe at the women I see. Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Filmmaker Miranda July. My inspiring best friend who owns and directs her life and career every day with fearless momentum. And I fail them and myself and the people in my life miserably sometimes with my frozen, anxious ambivalence.

I don’t think it’s fair to blame what’s come before. Childhood and first marriages and wobbly brain confidence. Because that just seems weak. Everyone has their challenges and struggles. Doesn’t excuse abstaining from your life and putting the responsibility to anyone around you. Which I don’t think I do. Which I don’t want to do. But, according to resource and report, it’s exactly what I do. It’s how those who have to deal with me are made to feel. That they are held accountable for me. And I truly, madly, abhor that I do it.

Sometimes, it is your job to pick the restaurant for dinner. To choose the hotel and make the reservations. So,for the love of Artemis,  say you don’t want to go, when you really don’t want to go. It will be okay, self. Pinky Promise.

(Side bar: I don’t dig holidays. Halloween, absolutely. The others, not really. So, no seasonally appropriate diatribe on being grateful. I am, moving on. But, there have been those lately who have encouraged. Who have reminded me that things will be well if I can name my needs and plan and follow them. From calling me out on my needy, choice-less bullshit, to encouraging me to writing about it all, I have heard the notes on the current draft of me. It’s awesome and thank you for daring to be involved in the odd, screwed-up to hell project that is me. I’ll definitely hook you up with a notice in the credits.)

Maybe my move is to change my own narration. Approach my days as my own writer and director. Look deep into the depths and ask,  and then own, good or bad, what I want. And then take the steps to fill my days with following the steps that will get me those wants.

Is that pathetic? Is it naively simplistic? Will it work for even half an hour? Probably not. But, it’s a start of looking and digging. Of being braver? Maybe happier? Maybe stronger? Maybe. Worth a try if it’s what I really want.


147 East 9th – Chapter 1



Because there’s something to be said for brave. And jumping. And working. And failing but learning. And making it through to come back another day.

Here is the first look at my current favorite Dark Yarn Production, my short story. ‘147 East 9th’

First installment – first draft.

Little horror. Little thriller. Little funny.

Little smirk from me.


Chapter 1

She was moving in slow motion, steps and half-frames and she watched, in fractions of centimeters, the door frame scrape the skin from the knuckle of her middle finger. She saw, but didn’t feel, the blood surface above the skin. First in tiny, segmented pixel dots until they multiplied and then assembled into a line of red that crept to her wrist. Every time she turned her cheap key copy in the lock of her boyfriend’s apartment, she banged her knuckles. Every time. But she had never been in this much of a hurry. But moving so slowly. The key fell from the lock and crashed on the welcome mat. A drop of blood fell on silver and gold when she scooped them up and jammed the key back into the lock. Through the window she could still see him. Shawn. Slumped in his chair. Wrong. Crooked and stiff. Like he was immovable. Not drunk. Not sleeping. Like he was trapped in his own locked body. Finally the door gave way and she pushed her way inside to him.
Her mind went blank. They had only been dating a few months, but seemed a lifetime. It had come on hard and fast between them. She thought she had played it cool, making him wait until the third date to sleep with him. Only to come flying into his bed seven hours and twenty minutes later. By the end of the second month, she’d met his mother and had a key to his place. But right know, she realized knew nothing about this man.
“Shawn. Shawn!” she yelled. He didn’t flinch. She dropped to her knees in front of him. His neck was extended back, his eyes not just looking to the ceiling but past it. His arms were fully extended, fingers gripped on the chair. She shook him. HIs body moved in one steel piece, not in any fleshy segments. His phone was on the floor by her knees. The screen was black. Dead. She ran to her bag, searching. She gave up and turned it upside down, crawling into the pile of purse debris.
“SHIT!” she screamed, skidding change and mints and a tampon across the floor as she flailed her arm. Somehow her wrist crashed down to her hip and she felt her own phone, jutting out of her back pocket. It took her four tries with as many deletes, but she finally dialed 911, and someone on the other end of the phone started talking.
She didn’t remember saying anything in response to the words she heard. The phone was somewhere near her and she tried to listen. To the strange voice. To hear for a heartbeat. She stopped listening and tried feeling. Breathing. Shuddering. Anything. More words. Where was she? His apartment. Where was his apartment? She left him to run back to the front door. She couldn’t remember his apartment number. No, she didn’t know if he was epileptic. No, she didn’t know if he was diabetic. Or allergic to cilantro. No. she didn’t think he took drugs. Did she know? No. She just knew it looked like he was dying in front of her.
A voice called out. She leaned in to Shawn. He was immobile. His mouth was rigid, lips separated, back teeth clenched. The voice wasn’t his.
“Ma’am? You have to stay on the phone with me, okay? ” It was her phone. In her hand.
“Yes, yes, It’s Shawn.”
“Okay, ma’am. What is wrong with him?”
“I don’t know. He’s breathing. I think. But he’s just lying there. He’s not moving.”
“Okay. We’ll get him help. But first, what’s your name ma’am?”
“Who am I talking to? What’s your name, ma’am?”
She stared at Shawn, he hadn’t moved. Maybe he wasn’t breathing. “I don’t think he’s breathing. I looked closer and I don’t think he’s breathing. Oh my God.”
“Where are you?”
She jhad ust looked and she still couldn’t remember. She had walked, taken a cab and usually the R train more times than she remembered in the last weeks of her life. And she couldn’t remember his address. Where was she? She was just at the door. She scanned the room. There was mail on counter, spilling onto the stove. Half of it spilled to the floor when she reached. She hit her knees and pulled out a bill. Shawn Crown. 147 E. 9th Street.
“Shawn Crown. 147 East ninth street,” she almost screamed into the phone.
The voice interrupted her own cracking voice. “Okay, ma’am, I need you to check and see if he’s breathing. Can you get close to him? Is it safe?”
She stared at him. Safe. “Yes, he’s breathing.”
“Is he conscious? Can he hear you?”
“I don’t know,” she said.
The voice wouldn’t stop. “Is he taking any medication? Does he have a cardiac history? Does he have seizures? Illegal drugs? Has he been drinking?”
“Didn’t we just do this?” Maybe they hadn’t. Maybe she just thought they had. “I don’t know,” she said, her voice had finished cracking and started breaking.
“That’s fine. Just stay there with him. I’ll be on the phone until the ambulance arrives.”
Then the chair twitched and creaked. She put down the phone. Or dropped it. She grabbed onto the leather, needing to get closer to him but afraid to touch him.
Bent in the cushions, Shawn’s joints flexed and with a few subtle motions, he turned human again. His shoulder lowered and his head maintained its own support. His eyes had never been closed, but they had never seen. He blinked and looked at her .
“Ayn zawjati? Mayar. Ayn zawjati?” He saw her. The girlfriend with the light brown hair standing in front of her. He may as well been looking through a microscope at a petri dish of scabies. He studied, curious and searching, but found nothing of what he thought he wound find.
“Shawn,” she asked. Because now, she really didn’t know. She heard knocking and the open door catch on the hall runner as the door was pushed to the limits of its hinges. She watched a man and a woman in baby blue shirts and navy cargo pants kneel beside Shawn. She stepped back, out of the room. Their black boots had left sprinkles of dirt on the floor. She’d have to sweep that later. Shawn hated when people wore shoes in the house.
The ambulance crew loaded him onto the tiny collapsing wheelchair, belting him in like a toddler in a booster seat. He didn’t say anything else, but kept his eyes open, staring around the room as if he had never been there before. The two in blue who were fully upright, rattled words and observations back and forth, talking to each other as if no one else was in the room. They were jolting him out the door before one of them mentioned over their shoulder, that she could follow them if she wanted.
And then it was silent. Her purse lay on the floor empty, with its inside bits strewn for yards. A plastic mint container had been crushed under a boot or a wheel and white powder dotted the floor like rained-out sidewalk chalk. Something on the chair where Shawn had been trapped when she found him was wet. Her first and only thought was that she had to clean it.
She went into the kitchen and looked under the sink. Nothing expect an empty mouse trap. The peanut butter on the foot plate was hardened into a plastic knob. On the sink there was a bottle of dish liquid. She grabbed that and a handful of napkins from the top of the refrigerator. She turned on the faucet and ran everything in her hands under the water. Fully dripping, she then ran back into the living room.
Turning over the dish liquid, she covered the wet spot on the chair then dropped to her knee. Circling with the napkins, she managed to turn it from a wet spot to a white, nubby, frothy spot, speckled with bits of paper. She turned over the napkins, to see if any color had come away with her rubbing. There was nothing. Just soap and wet. Without thinking, she smelled it. Soap and wet and something else. But she had no idea what. She dropped the napkins and stood.He was on his way to the hospital. She had no idea which one.
Had to get outside. Get to the street. Find markers. Living in the city. Look up. Look around. Figure out where she was and then maybe where he was. She had no idea. Might as well have been a decade ago, when she moved here from Florida. Phone. Where was her phone? She looked down and her hands were empty. She ran back inside and saw it, sitting on the wet cleaning attempt. She swiped it across her jeans. She looked up again. Nothing. She typed, reduced to googling nearest hospitals like a common Pennsylvania bus tourist.
St. Mary’s. Closest. Probably where they took him. She could get there. Taxi. She could get a taxi. She remembered how to do that. She thought. And then she did. And made it all the way out of the lower east side and toward, whatever neighborhood was next. St. Mary’s. But he wasn’t there.
Walking up and down the sidewalk in front of that hospital, she realized she could have called. Either the hospital, or even the ambulance crew. But she has no idea what ambulance service it was. And she didn’t think it was protocol to call 911 back and ask. So, where the hell was he? Then she felt the pressure of a pair of hands and the warm, wet rolling down her back.
“Sorry. I’m sorry,” the boy’s voice said. She turned and saw two college-aged kids standing behind her. The girl of the pair had no shoes, bloody hands and was leaning forward at the waist, puking onto the sidewalk. Her mind slowly informed her what had just happened to the back of her shirt. She started gagging.
“Yeah, she’s…sorry,” the boy of the pair said. He straightened his partner, to a more or less upright position, and walked her inside.
All her brain was good for at the moment was to tell her that she needed to get home, shower and try this whole thing again.She did not do medical and fluids and, no. Home. Taxi. She could do that. Then find him.
It took longer than her brain had initially told her. Her keys were not in her purse. They must still have been sprawled somewhere on Shawn’s floor. She waited for fifteen minutes to get the super out his door and up the two flights of stairs.
She flung off her shirt and threw it in the kitchen sink, on top of the cereal bowl. She yelped when the spoon spun out and hit the stainless steel. Then it was quiet. Pristine quiet. Why was she standing in the sink in just her bra? Yes. Shawn. Hospital. Vomit. Blood. Shower.
Tepid shower. Hot shower was not in the cards. She let the water run, and run, hoping that the water temperature would somehow circle around from lukewarm to cold and back to hot. It didn’t. And then she couldn’t find her clothes. And then there was a knock at the door. She turned to water off, listening to the quiet. This time, she heard a key turning in the deadbolt. Then she heard the door opening. Then she ran. Right into him. And screamed.
“Carolyn!” Shawn held her at arm’s length.
“Oh my God,” she sank down to her knees and he held her up, his hands slipping against her wet, naked skin.
“I’m sorry. I’m sorry,” he said, settling next to her.
“What are you doing here? I was trying to get to the hospital. I didn’t know where you were. I didn’t know where they took you. And I went to the wrong place. And I didn’t know if you had epilepsy or did drugs-“
“I’m so sorry,” he said. “You should never have seen that.”
“I thought you were dead.”
“I’m sure. Shit. I’m sorry.”
“Why aren’t you in the hospital? I mean, what the hell?”
He knelt on the floor in front of her. “I didn’t stay. Honey, I am, I can’t tell you how sorry I am that you had to walk in on that.”
“Shut the hell up with I’m sorry,” she said. “Just tell me what happened?”
Shawn blew all the air out of his lungs and ran his hand through his hair. “All right. First, I don’t have epilepsy and I don’t do drugs. What you saw was, okay, I wish I had a better answer for you. But I don’t know.”
“So why the hell wouldn’t you stay in the hospital?”
“Because there’s nothing wrong.”
“How can you say there’s…” She looked down in her lap.
“Are you okay?”
“I don’t have any clothes on.”
“I know,” he said.
“Don’t step out of my sight,” she said. She stood and motioned him in front of her, toward the bedroom. Inside the room, she pointed to the bed and he sat as instructed. She reached into a laundry basket and pulled on an oversized New York Yankees t-shirt. She sat next to him on the bed. He ran his hand over her hair.
“I’m sorry,” he said. He leaned in and kissed her. She kissed him back. He slid his hand along her thigh, under the hem of the t-shirt. She stood up and took his hand.
“Not the bedroom,” she said and led him out of the room.
They sat across from each other at the dining room table. She held up her hands. “You need to say something.”
“What if I don’t want to? Ok, Lynnie? What if this is my shit and I don’t want to say something? I get that we’re together. And I get that means that I don’t leave the toilet seat up and that I can’t bring home girls from bars-“
“Unless I’m here and she’s really cute.”
“Fuck. I’m serious. Just because we’re doing this doesn’t mean that I have to let you into every single corner of my world.”
Carolyn went silent.
“Maybe I thought this was something else. Something it wasn’t. I guess I was wrong.” She stood up. He countered.
“No. You don’t get to do that. I was just in an ambulance and you were trying to come find me in hospital. At least I hope you were. I’m not exactly as the peak of health. I feel like someone threw me into a cement mixer. It’s fine and I’ll be okay. But you don’t get to turn this into a pity party for you. It can’t be some “my boyfriend doesn’t open up” bullshit gripe session. Because that’s not what this is. Now, I’m sorry if I scared you. But, you don’t need to know about this.”
“You won’t tell me anything?”
“There’s nothing to tell. I’ve had these, whatever, things, since I was about fourteen. I had the tests. They’re not seizures. I’ve seen lots of doctors, they don’t know what it is. That’s it. Doesn’t happen a lot. But every once in a while, I fall asleep and I have a bad dream. While I’m there, I see horrible things. My body goes completely mad, and then, after a while, I wake up. The end.”
“Your accent just got stronger,” she said.
“I know.”
“So, it’s a really bad nightmare? Like a night terror?” she asked.
“Maybe. Not that simple.”
“Have you seen-
“A shrink? Sure. Two handfuls. And a priest. And a Buddhist monk. And two different reiki body workers. And an Ayurvedic healer who was obscenely weird but she had this really awesome lavender oil. I still have some.”
“It sounds awful,” she said.
“Absolutely not. The lavender is brilliant,” he said.
“What’s your issue? Since we’re sharing. What’s in your medicine cabinet? Since we’re sharing.”
“Nothing,” she said.
“Rubbish. You have nothing at all in your cabinet? And you don’t have to tell me? Not my business. But you see where I’m headed.”
“Probiotic. Which I never remember. Sometimes I take this hair supplement. But I usually forget that too. I don’t take anything on purpose.”
“I take a lot. Every day. I always remember.”
“I don’t-“
“Yeah. You don’t know what to say. That’s why I didn’t want to talk about it. This bloody thing, it takes over everything. It’s why I had to move from the country to London. And then here.”
“I thought you liked the city?” she asked.
“It’s fine,” he said.
“So, what do I do? If it happens again, do I call the ambulance? Is there a pill or a smelling salt or something I need to make happen?”
“You’re sticking around for when it happens again?”
“I am. I’ve got more fight than you’d imagine.”
“I know. That’s why I bought you that awful drink in the first place.”
“Okay,” she said, “Gin is not an awful drink.”
“Awful. Just bloody awful”, he said. He closed his eyes and reached for her hand. By the time he took his next breath, he was sound asleep. She nudged his gently. He moaned without opening his eyes. Taking him by the shoulder, she guided him to his feet and then step-by-step, got him back to her bedroom. She tried to pull back her covers, but he slumped onto the bed before she could. The corner was nudged under his neck and head like a sad, flat little pillow. She quoted low and lugged his long legs up onto the bed. He mumbled. Then shivered. She folded the other half, her half of the comforter over him. He mumbled again. She stared. Not taking her eyes off him, she back up to the corner, kicked a laundry basket of of the way, and sat. He breathed. She watched.


Sometimes I just don’t fucking know. 

What am I doing? It feels like I am absolutely spinning in place. An old-ass ballerina doing fouetté turns on busted Capezio pointe shoes. 

Yeah. Dance reference. Just go with it. 

I was on pause for a minute and stopped jumping on here and chatting. Pauses happen when you have a brain that sometimes lies to you. Dirty, filthy, bloody brains. Can’t live with ’em, can’t scoop them out with chopsticks. 

 A minute in the corner is sometimes necessary if you ever plan to come back swinging. Harold Pinter is my cut man. 

Yeah. Dorky playwright and boxing reference. Again, just go with it. 

One of the toughest parts about being an actor is when you’re not acting. And other people are. And you know you should be. But, at least you’re home to make Death Star shaped peanut butter and jellies. And that’s what you keep telling yourself in the dark under the covers. 


As crafty as we get here.

And that’s good. Because when you’re out from under the covers, things like chocolate stouts happen. Which can be a problem.  

This. Was. Beautiful.

But truly. There’s other good things. When you’re a writer, (or someone who writes, I still buckle under the label, too heavy a crown) even if you spend the night with Lego and spelling words, you still have an escape. 

I’ve been pushing at that particular metal hatch. Trying to get words. As many as I can. Usually scratching and clawing for every syllable. Nothing formal. No where to go with it. So, scary as it it, to keep the words from forming a mutiny at my place, I just might go here with them. 

My plan is to post the short story I’m currently battling here. In pieces, as a series. Hopefully. Maybe. Imminent.  Or sometime. Really. Unless, I lose said words battle. But I’m scrappy. 

So, eyes akimbo. 

Dark Yarns coming soon…


It’s a bit of acting advice so often repeated that it’s almost trope territory. Like the girl in the film who shows the guy there’s more to life than work, or the mother who finally accepts her daughters choices. 

Yeah. Tropes. That’s where I got those examples. Plot lines. From movies. Sure. 

Anyway, the eager actor asks a mentor what she can do to become a better artist. She wants tricks, exercises, sense memory and mindful tantric core stretching. Gimme vocal gimmicks and motor shortcuts. 

The unsatisfying answer? Anything but acting. 

Makes paper sense. Learning to play the sitar or speak Arabic is great for resumes. But it’s bigger than that. If you want to be good at pretending things, you need to know things. You need to know how being terribly cold and helplessly lost really feels. You need to have experienced sunset in a new city with a lover’s arms wrapped around you. And then know what it’s like to see that sun rise in another city, completely alone. 

That’s what I need. So, I’m going back. 

I just retuned from a blink-fast NYC trip. It was brilliant. Always, always hurts at least a little to come home. So, back. And this time, I’m bringing my boy. My short-but-growing-taller-daily kid. His inagural trip to the city. I get to be the one there. The unexplicably lucky one who sees his eyes light up brighter than the Rockefeller Center tree when he sees it all for the first time. I get to smile when he wonders up at the Empire State Building. 

And yes, I’ll be the one apologizing and buying ice cream when I get us tangled up and wandering off the wrong subway train. It’s gonna happen. 

But, we need both of those memories and all the feelings that come with them. 

I hope he loves it. I hope it’s magic. I hope the rats are few and the catastrophes the sort that are fixed for under 500 bucks. And I hope he remembers us there together. Because I will. So much. 
Honest time? I’m dragging a bit some (okay, many) days here because it’s a slow work spell for me. A bit of flailing and falling. 

(And some grade A bitch exploding. Just really top notch. Why don’t I have footage like that on my reel? A crime. But, in earnest, the tall young man in my life still deserves a better apology than I offered. I’ll be making amends for a while after that one, I assure you.  I’m sure he has suggestions. Many suggestions.)

This go round, I’m determined to not be an absolutely atrocious nightmare person during the lull. Take time and see things. Watch. Listen. Feel. Cry. Love. Let the juice run down. All of it. 

So back, in truly just a few more days.  Then forward. Then back again. 



Last night, in the city that I adore,  the lights of the Empire State Building went black, out of respect for the horror that happened in Paris.

As of this morning, CNN is reporting that 128 people were killed and 180 others were injured and that terrorists had claimed responsibility for the wreckage. (Source: ; written by: Faith Karimi, Mariano Castillo and Jim Bittermann for CNN, Sat Nov 14, 2015 updated at 7:43 am)

People were crowded into a concert hall for a show.  And an attempt was made to destroy all of it.

What do you possibly say to that?  I don’t have anything.

I just looked up this morning while I was out running to clear some head and heart baggage.



November 14, 2015,  6:51 am

November 14, 2015,
6:51 am

This beautiful city and its magic are  still here.

So, today I’ll be grateful. That I can be here and hug my beloved native NY girl on the lower east side.  That I’m here to crowd on to the subway and into a theatre, and try to forget that it could be gone in a blink. That I have the incredible gift of just sitting here in the city of dreams, drinking gorgeous dark coffee and thumbing through a script. (The one for which I think the director might really want me for the part! So, I’ll re-read it. Again. And, yeah, I know. Only the really hard core among us acting dorks fantasize about spending time reading a script at a table in the Flatiron District.) That I have the incredible privilege to acknowledge such a devastating event and return to a peaceful life.

For the day, my focus is to find the peace and happy. Right here. Right now.

Drink in another day  in the place that I love.

Take another ridiculous picture (or twelve)  for my kid, who will be with me here next time.

Live in hope that we all don’t wreck this world before he gets to love New York City and Paris.

For the day and the tomorrows, healing and light to everyone in Paris.

And to my New York, thank you for being the surviving, thriving, gorgeous city that you are. I am so happy that you are here and that for just another minute,  I am able to love you.





A Pin


I think I took this picture. I was tired.

This was from the gym this morning.  

That’s AM. 

Yeah. I may be working through some insomnia and anxiety issues. 

But aren’t we all. 

I was up a goodly amount through the night. Lots brewing. I’m leaving for a New York  weekend tomorrow. Which I always love. Except for packing. My choices and suitcase management are always for shit. And they shouldn’t be. To dress for NYC is pretty simple:

  • Grab your favorite black clothes. As many as are willing to be coaxed  into a carry on bag. Then shove in five more pieces. 

I’ll always bring the wrong shoes. Always. And I’ll always forget just the right black piece of whatever. 

Awful, I know. To be so unfortunate to spend weekend traveling. And to a place where you couldn’t possibly find a black piece of fabric to drape on a body. 

But let’s be real. My problem last night and again at awful pre-dawn hours was not really about the packing. It never is. There’s other nepharious energies afoot. I’m still reeling from the scolding I took on parenting, and I’m trying to address what were legitimate critiques of my choices and just do better. That confronted and put to bed, the art front is the problem child now. 

I’ve said no to a few projects lately. Which didn’t feel good. Which felt pretty bleeding crumby. Not that you should say yes to every job that’s presented. That’s how you wind up playing basketball with a reaaallly creepy dude while ad lobbing lines about Larry Bird while shooting on a cement court in the rain. 

Trust me. Not as fun as it sounds. 

I hate letting chances go. Of looking two months ahead and missing something that could have been but never was. 

Students of cognitive-behavioral (wait, what? Who?…Me?) will see this as a symptom of anxiety. Of a person not being able to put a pin in the time-space continuum. Of ruminating wildly and therefore spazzing wildly about what might be hiding behind the curtain. We lose what’s now and what might be. And this is why we light incense and mindfully meditate, kids. 

Yeah. As I’ve shown  this week, I ain’t very good at pinning. I’m more of a “holy freaking shit but what if??!??!” kinda girl. True in packing and acting. 

After letting a producer dangle for longer than it was polite, I let another job go today. On top of the one I turned down just before that. Both good projects. One was fantastical. One was a classic canon piece. Would have loved to have been part of each one. But, stepping backs from both was the right choice.  I can breath for the next two months, and not punch myself nightly for what I’m not doing at home while I’m in a rehearsal room. Not an easy choice. Maybe it should be, if I was a stronger mom or artist. Maybe not. 

But, the gods of light and apertures gave me a little something. The audition from the room that felt really good? 

Call back, bitches. 

That’s probably not the right tone here but I went for it. 

So, I need to get cracking because I’d really like to put in a good showing on this one. Looking at the schedule, there’s not many days ahead to let my brain spin properly out of control. And I want to make sure I build up a nice, full head of anxiety-riddled propulsion to tide me over until then. Wait, what was that I mumbled about mindful something and breathing. Yes. Breathing. Heavy breathing. Running. Wonder if the gym is open…


Just stop. 

Because today, right now, all the gods damn it, I’m putting a pin in it. 

And because tomorrow, I’ll be in New York City.  

Just me and 9th street.

Thumbing the Scales. And crap.

Not the actual scales that one stands on. Because, just no. I’d like to report that I put value on myself for my actions and intentions. But, again, just no.  There’s always going to the that part of me that always feels less because of what I see in the mirror. Brilliant words on a page should mean more than the number on the tag of a dress. Should. Really should. But that might be more about hormones and not acting jobs. For today anyway.

During times when what you want to do is so far away, and nothing is on the horizon, it’s so easy to lose sight of everything. I will forget in an instant every accomplishment, every victory, every progression. But I will manage to trap in steel every insult, every coming-up-short, every universal and encompassing failure. It’s a gift, really. I don’t know how confident people do it.

But I’m trying. I am a planner. Trying to wade though a snarled life like mine, you have to be. For me, that means lists. Lots of beautiful numbered and bulleted lists. That I will lose. And then have to write again. But it helps me sometimes to see, full-frontal and exposed, where I am. Where I need to go.

So, let’s list what happened lately that did not combust into iridescent, sparkly, sticky suck:

On the most important front, there were good mom things today. (Also, Lots of awful things.) But, some things I can legitimately call good without embarrassed,

  • He practiced piano. With less than a 15% eye roll noted.
  • He ate actual food. Asparagus and grilled chicken. That came from my kitchen and not a drive-though window.
  • We shared green gum balls at the bank. Okay, that one might not technically fall into the “good” column. But, it was fun. And that sure as hell should count for something.

And speaking of hell, while getting our irritated drive on during our after-school errands, I mentioned a bothersome wicket that was causing, as a bright blue Tank Engine once said, “confusion and delay”.  He laughed out loud.


Did I? I raced through the tape on the last thirty seconds of our conversation. What the hell did I say? I hope it wan’t about the train. He loved that train as a baby.  I was indifferent. But, I did love it when George Carlin did that narration. And on that note, back to my bad word.

“Oh? What did I say?”


“Mommy, you said the ‘c’ word!”

Silence. Oh. Shit. Silence. There was no way I said the “c” word, right? Right?! I mean sometimes you do, because sometimes you have to, because sometimes there’s just no other bloody choice. But, now? I said it now??

“What…what “c” word did I say, honey?”

CYS? As in the Children and Youth services that will be paying me a visit?

“Silly Mommy. You said”…

*looks around…looks around again… whispers*


I truly snorted.

“Yeah, ya got me , Copper.  I did say the “c’ word. I said crap. I’m sorry.”

He giggled, out of control.

“Mommy! You said it again!”

Yeah. It was good.

With me, person me and not mom me, other stuff is pretty thickly stalled. But, I’m looking for and trying to remember the victories. More lists:

  • Crap. I’m listing it again because that shit was funny.
  • I have 1,688 words of a horror story that I didn’t have a few days ago. It’s not for anyone but me. Better to have words than to not have them.
  • I pulled out a monologue from the bowels of a decade-and-a-half-old desktop computer. It just might be performed in an upcoming show.

For reals.

Photo courtesy of: Long-ass time ago.  I think Cordelia and Wesley used this in Angel's office.

Photo courtesy of:
Long-ass time ago.
I think Cordelia and Wesley used this in Angel’s office.

I was an IT god for finding that things from the depths of my cyber closet. Looking back at the piece,  I was really happy with it when I wrote it all those years ago.  And i’m still okay with it. Looking ahead,  I’d be tickled to hear it onstage one more time. (Note to self: past victory. File that one away accordingly, please.)

  • Oh, and I got a really groovy book about psychic vampires. Pretty convinced I am one. That’s about all for that topic. I like weird books.

So, no. Not doing much right lately.

But, I did say crap.

He he.

Sometimes it’s not the crap, but the laughs we get from it that tip the scales in our direction.

Still Fencing

Yep. As suspected. It did start to suck again today.  Too soon. 

Today’s issue: I’m a polyamorous writer. 

At least that’s how I describe my particular writing kink. (And yes, I’m surely acknowledging that poly does not necessarily or even usually equal kink. It can just be a thing.) 

But I’m open with my writing. I can be wanton and downright slutty. (Again, yes, I know we’re more cautious throwing the “s” word around these days.) I’m trying to paint a picture here. 

I am totally unfaithful with my words. This weekend alone, I bounced between my horror short story and an outline for a new screenplay. My thriller screenplay side-eyed me, sully and unfinished where I left it. And we won’t speak about what the first  draft of my novel thinks about me, from the depths of my external hard drive where I dumped it. All open, sometimes all at the same time. 

I’m glad inanimate works of fiction can’t talk. 

Even this post is a dalliance that is taking me away from real writing work. (No progressives, I’m not saying that blog writing is not “real” writing. Not by any stretch. All  I’m saying is that if you’re smacking around, doing commentary about fiction writing, it behooves you to at least write a few lines of dislogue every now and then.)

I don’t always know why I fence. This side, then that side of a work, then dropping a piece all all together in favor of another one.

Not to make it a rom-com trope, but I think sometimes I’m just looking for love.

I know. Ew. 

My personal life and space is in an uncomfortable place these days. When you try to be a mom, who works to keep things fiscally afloat and you need to keep your art in your life, you will eventually piss off the people in your life. 

By eventually, I mean every day. And by people, I mean all of them. 

Today was the pits. At one point this afternoon, I had the four people closest to me simultaneously sad and angry and resentful. All because of me. They each needed me to be someplace. There were four different places. I couldn’t make it work. For any of them. 

Everyone of them made it a point to tell me, point blank, what a lousy job I was doing at being a human. Their approaches are varied. The girls go more passive-aggressive, the boys stuck with aggressive-aggressive. I feel awful, of course. So, I’d try to do better with the next person. Same damn thing. It hurt. And not a little. 

“Mommy, you just keep making mistakes.”


Courtesy of the kid.

As far as the drawing, I do run. A decent number of weekly miles. And while doing that I fall. A lot. And sometimes, because of that,  I bleed. A lot. Another frequent mistake.  
Mistakes. He said it again. And again. And again. Must have been twelve times in two sentences. So I’m sure I am. 

If you ask four people what it’s doing outside, and they come back with wet hair and say that it’s raining, you are the fool if you dress for sunny skies. I am the mistake here. 

  • Yes. That is one of the more needy, helpless, pathetic things I’ve ever written to describe myself. Not proud. And yes, also incredibly glad that there is no possible dimension in which Gloria Steinem just read that. 

So, I think this is what I’m running from and why I’m running to my writing. Not being or doing enough for everyone. But writing? Something kind and understanding that doesn’t need anything from me. I think I jump between projects to get what I need. (Yes. I know writing is usually far from those things and rarely gives you what you need. But sometimes, you don’t drink what you want, you just order what’s cheap, no?) As the author, I get to be the pickiest suitor in the place. 

 Tough dinner/exposition scene I don’t want to write? 


Ugly break up scene with yelling and name-calling and unloading of hurts swallowed and never hashed out? Okay, I  like what I’m hearing from you, short film script, so you can stick around a while. 

Tens of thousands of words of thick, awful novel first draft? Oh hell no. Seriously. Get out of my damn face. 

You stick close to one piece of writing and eventually it will get sassy and start acting like a selfish little slug. Lying there, making you do all the work. Of course you want to leave. But,  that’s when I need to get better about staying. 

But, knowing my history and how my convoluted brain works, I won’t do that. I know the better side of the fence is to strap into a chair and dig in for a thousand words. I’ll be closer to a solution and conclusion on whatever piece I pick. But I probably won’t. I’ll probably wander the house also, picking up handfuls of garbage food with every pass I make. 

But the gods of writing and wizardry took pity today.  My little guy did, late this afternoon, saw my slack, desperate face and said,  “I love you. You know that, right?”

He does. And I do. And I’m sticking on his side of the fence. 

Maybe later I’ll see if any writing wants to come over too. 

But, probably not. My words  don’t seem to like fences. 

Actors Are Weird

Photo by me. The cool kids’ club that I want to join.

“This is so fun. And this cider is so good. And I really love my friends. We’re really good actors. We should make a movie. And I’m so happy he came. He’s a good one, right? I think he’s a good one. And I’m happy.”

 That was the genius opening of the post I considered writing last night. 
It seemed like an idea brimming with creative merit. 

The sort of idea you get after drinking this:  

Vegan tofu hotdog and Arsenal cider at Franktuary.

And then this:


Cider courtesy of Atlas Bottle Works

Luckily, more reasonable heads prevailed and I saved the writing for the next day. 

In my defense, it had been a hell of a day. 

Those of you with any passing acquaintance with anxiety or depression know they can be sneaky bastards. They can keep quiet for days, and when you’re not looking, one can jump out from behind a door, scream ‘blegha blegha bleu’, jump right on your back and stay there for the season. 

That was the cramp-inducing dance that anxiety and I had been doing all day. It interrupted my  treadmill that morning. Well, anxiety and my creaky, busted, broke-ass knee also interrupted my run. But mostly anxiety. When you jump off to check the toaster cord and your recycling, really, it’s not your knee’s fault.  It cornered me in the bathroom at work. 

Anxiety was generally being a slimy bag of grossly adherent donkey vomit. 

It wasn’t the audition. I don’t get weird acting jitters. I had prepped my piece. Did my work and made my choices. I had her. Done this many times for many years. But, when it comes to emotions, head games, traffic and sick kids, it all comes into the room with you to get its time on camera. 

For me, if it’s coming, it better damn well be ready to work. Because it was absolutely character appropriate and something I had already picked for the girl I would play for the next ten minutes, anxiety was going to be infused in this girl. Big, pushed boluses of anxiety. (I looked it up. The plural of bolus is boluses. Boli is the accepted plural for scholarly work. I don’t think we’re there yet.) 

I went with it. Big. She was twitchy, and scattered. There was a fidget and tremulous energy that I pushed to the limit with my first line. My initial hesitant ‘hi’ was replaced with a giant, forward-leaning, up-on-toes and nervous high-pitched ‘HI!!’.

I really didn’t have much choice. Anxiety was there in me as an actor. I could not shut it off. So, I was highlighting it in the character, because on this day, it was going to be in there as a whisper whether I liked it or not. So I made it a scream. Might have been totally wrong based on the sides I had seen. But it felt all kinds of right. 

Didn’t hurt that it turned out to be a really good room. I got to see and give big hugs to a director/friend before I went in. One of my dearest girls was reading before me. More with her and cider later. 

Inside, I had friendlies. Another rad lady friend of mine is on the show’s team and I got to read with her. Love. 

 (Note, films that have ladies in the room as part of the core crew and not just outside collecting head shots, give me warm southern tinglies. Keep that up.) 

I knew the writer from a lifetime ago. And the director is an awesome dude, a skilled director and just generally great because he previously cast me in another film. I had a blast in there. Nights like that make you remember why you keep coming back to this art that can be so cruel. Because sometimes, it curls around you and takes you somewhere where magic lives. 

After that, to say that I had a “little” residual manic energy would be like saying Adele can hit a “few” notes. 

Thus, the tour of pints and the earnest attempt to drink all the things in all the bars in the city. 

Because, also, when you live in a house as the only one of legal voting age, and you get only a a handful of nights off,


you make them count. 

So it was me and my actors. Loud and gesturing and possibly jumping onto chairs and/or the bar. Borderline harassment-level hugging. And kissing. And I’ll call cut there before anyone gets in trouble. 

Best of all, there was planning. Diabolical planning. Of us girls and a script and a project. And it was all delicious. 

Here’s where we ended our night. Hours later. Because actors can draaaank.


Cider courtesy of Hambones.

Maybe it is weird. Maybe it’s not normal in most industries to hang out and drink and love with the person you just tried to beat out for a job. And you’re deluded if you think they weren’t gunning for you. But it’s okay. There are snags. I missed beats in my scene that I kicked myself over. A lot. And I got a vibe that the part I read for might be pre-cast. But, it was still nice to be invited to the party. 

The next day, I was still smiling about it all. Another brief chance to do what I love. Even physically. My morning run was the least painful I’ve had in weeks. And my brain was quiet and content for at least five minutes. 

And I need that. 

Especially because I have to be involved in a meeting this weekend. With my kid. And his dad. In a church. 

See how fast the bloom dies? I’m not precious about my tenuous optimism. It’ll all suck again soon enough. 

Until then, after the night, I think have a new screenplay to start 

Anxious now. But in a good way. 

Actors are weird.