A Series of Awkward Auditions

Ok are we sick of post-Oscars coverage yet? Usually I could spend weeeeeks just devouring party pictures and detailed articles about handbag sequin application but this year I'm already feeling exhausted. Somehow, deserved or not, Sunday's ceremony has spawned endless, lengthy diatribes about misogyny and racism and whether or not it breaks comedy rules to apologize for a joke, even if that "joke" involved calling a 9-year-old (the world's most awesome 9-year-old) a see-you-next-Tuesday. And while yes, we probably do need to be having these conversations, sometimes, internet, maybe we could NOT have conversations and just look at pictures of pretty poofy party princess people? I've resorted to alliteration to attempt to express just how over it I truly am. I might need to stop reading Jezebel.

Well! Now that I've gone on an angry rant about angry rants, allow me to turn the conversation to the joys of the Academy Awards, way back in the days of yore when I was but a sweet young thang, dreaming about the future. In my youth, whenever people asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up I always answered that I wanted to be an Academy Award-Winning Actress. Not just actress. Academy Award-Winning Actress. Those first three words were most important. This was my dream career until I was about ... 16. I didn't do any plays or musicals or acting of any kind, because that was clearly unnecessary. I did, however, read an unhealthy amount of People Magazine. My goal never really had much to do with acting. It was all about fame.

Ohhhh how much I've changed!

I did, however, make a few pathetic attempts to get my foot in the door of that whole acting game. I knew that winning an Oscar was going to take some work. I ain't stupid. In 9th Grade I tried out for our high school's Spring Musical: Oliver! The ! is part of the name, just like that stupid band Fun. that I love/hate. But in this instance I was really excited to tell you about Oliver! so the ! is relevant. (Wasn't that sentence impossible to read? Oh Fun.! I love your catchy medleys but why must you punctuate?) I actually don't remember very much about this audition except that I was too tall to be one of the urchins, too terrible at singing to even be in the chorus and had a hard time keeping up with any of the dance steps.

Needless to say: I did not make the cast.

A pal of mine also did not make the list, so we came up with the genius idea to write our own musical that we could star in. It was a story about...wait for it...two awesome girls who try out for a musical and don't make it so they write their own musical...and star in it. Art drawn from life is always the most meaningful, no? We were in this photography class and we used our dark room time to compose our big musical number, which went like this:

We're writing our very own musical,

we hope you enjoy the show.

So sit back, relax, and take off your hats,

Cuz you're gonna like it we know!

At the third line we'd do this super cool move where we sort of dipped, like we were sitting down in a chair, and then took off our imaginary hats with a flourish.

Aaaaand that was it. The entire musical. AMAZING. Geniuses. We gave up after four lines, despite our obvious talent. A loss for the world of culture, to be sure.

But, after failing in 9th Grade, did I quit? Well, yes, I did just admit I abandoned my original musical project, so I guess I was a quitter in certain areas of life, but I did not quit auditioning. Yet. The following year our school did a production of The Wizard of Oz, everyone's favorite musical production starring midgets. I knew I lacked the talent to be Dorothy, or the Tin Man or either of the Witches or really any character whatsoever BUT I saw a way for me to get up on that stage. I would be a flying monkey! I could achieve stardom and attain the power to fly at the same time, killing the two proverbial birds with one star-making stone.

I imagined myself wearing a cute, fluffy outfit with one of those little fez caps, whizzing through the air on invisible strings, like Mary Martin in Peter Pan. Oh, how the audience would LOVE me! Unfortunately our musical theater suffered from a small budget and, perhaps a too large amount of creative vision, so our director decided that instead of flying from harnesses, our monkeys would skate around on rollerblades and convey flight via death-defying sk8r stunts.

Was I a talented roller blader? Um, no. In fact, I find roller blading terrifying. I don't like that you have to lean backwards to break and can't just put your foot down when you start going too fast. Yes, I am afraid of roller blading. I actually had that listed as one of my five personal facts on my OK Cupid profile. Another was that I don't know how fax machines work. It's really weird how that site never really worked out for me, huh? ANYWAY, I did not let this fear stop me. A friend and I foolishly assumed that no one else would really try out for this dumb role, surely the cool skater dudes were much too busy shopping for Vans and listening to Sublime and such to try out for a school musical. They'd be forced to cast us in these prime roles purely out of desperation!

We were mistaken. When we showed up to auditions that fateful afternoon the auditorium was filled, filled!, with skater boiz. Wall to wall, there they were, with their wallet chains and their wide leg pants and their regulation cool guy blades and there we were with our neon pink roller blades rescued from elementary school. Bonus to being an early developing, oversized child monster: shoes you fit into at age 9 still fit when you're 16!

The audition was simple. Start at the top of the main auditorium aisle, skate down the slight incline and when you reach the bottom, do a trick! Some boys did flips. Some jumped all the way up on to the stage. NONE of them were wearing their wrist guards. Did their mothers not lecture the on the dangers of roller blading? My friend and I contemplated just running for the hills, but we'd come too far to quit. Our names were on the sign up sheet! We would try out for this musical, and we would look great doing it.

We decided to do the audition together. We lined up at the top of the auditorium, skated warily down the aisle, and when we reached the bottom of the incline we did not jump or flip or leap up on the stage. We just slowly turned and skated out of the auditorium, and out of the school and never looked back.

I know this is going to come as a surprise to you but we were not cast as flying monkeys in that or any other musical performance. Probably for the best. If my memory serves, one of the monkey skaters broke his leg on stage on opening night. Ouch. I did help with set design that year which, so at least I got in one solid season of being a Theater Kid.

And thus, my acting dreams ended. I still secretly want to win an Academy Award, but now instead of for acting, it is for the revolutionary and amazing romantic comedy I always pretend I'm going to write. If it is anything like my attempt at musical theater, they will probably have to just cancel the Oscars all together and come up with a whole new award ceremony just for me and my greatness.

I promise I'll thank you all!

muppets of oz

Unfortch I do not have any photos from these special times, so here is a gratuitous stock photo of the Muppets Wizard of Oz which apparently starred the always great Ashanti in the role of Dorothy Gale. HOW have I never seen this production?!

One Awkward Relationship Milestone

Ack, I’ve been gone so long! On top of work and "The Wire," I just moved into a new apartment so I’ve been a little helter skelter of late. But now I’m back with a bang! Or at the very least, an audible toot. This past Saturday I moved from Manhattan to Brooklyn, such a hipster now, and all went surprisingly smoothly. I hired movers, which meant I got to laze around eating cheese while other people did all the work. It was glorious. Plus, my gentleman friend B was up for the weekend to help, which meant we got to spend so much time doing nauseating coupley nonsense like shopping for linens at Target and building shelves and organizing my shoe collection. It was que romantique. And amid the domestic bliss we celebrated a major relationship milestone: I farted in front of him for the very first time.

I know I shouldn’t be embarrassed, everyone does it (except Kate Middleton!) but ughhhhhhhh mortifying! As we all know and love, I’m not shy about discussing bowel problems and make frequent reference to my own debilitating digestive issues, but as much as I gleefully enjoy toilet humor, I prefer to keep my own toilet humours to myself. Especially in front of the one person I want to think of me as a perfect ladylike angel from heaven. Or at least someone he wants to bone on the regular.

Ok, it might not technically been the first time, but it was at least the first time neither of us was pretending to be asleep. I swear to God I could go days at a time without so much as a twitch of the intestines until I’m laying little spoon and suddenly it’s like all the Indian food I’ve eaten in my entire life has just kicked in. All the ladies know what I’m talking about, right ladies?!? (Ladies? No, just me? Someone please tell me this is a normal thing?) So there may or may not have been at least one other time where something escaped and then I just laid there pretending to be asleep, praying he was also sleeping or at least had the decency enough to pretend as well and never mention it again. So far, he has, but now I’m telling the whole internet and I’m sure he’s reading this so the jig is very, very up.

So after 6 months of sleepless nights and Bean-o, I finally broke the seal. We were rearranging my new bedroom, I was in the hallway, surveying from the outside in and he was standing just a few feet away inside the room.

“Hmm, let me think,” I said, pausing to observe our handiwork.

As I pondered the position of my bedside table he gazed lovingly back at me, eagerly awaiting my keen home decor insight and then a puff of air escaped my body and obliterated our tender silence. It was very small and did NOT smell but oh, there was no denying it, no passing the blame, no pretending it didn’t happen. He was looking right at me. Just staring at me, waiting for me to speak and instead, my hiney did the talking. We then stood, staring at each other, for a full hour and a half (at least!) while I considered my next move and he tried not to laugh at me. I should have taken the opportunity to bust out a Steve Urkel style “did IIIII doooo thaaaat?” but I couldn’t think quick enough. I must have tooted out all of my creative energy.

Kill me.

So blah, blah, it all ended fine, of course. B apparently found the whole situation to be adorable, but now I’m obviously panicking that the magic is gone. A friend of mine, who’s been in a relationship for years, told me that the magic stays until you pee in front of each other, so there’s always that to look forward to!?! I’m certainly making this more mortifying by telling the whole internet but you know what, someone had to do it! I mean, maybe (hopefully?!) there are millions of women laying awake right now fearful to break wind in front of their significant others who will read this and become emboldened and confident with their bodies and all things their bodies emit? I can be the change the world needs. I am the Mahatma Ghandi of female flatulence.

Ladies, get farting!

Gentlemen, you’re welcome!