The Nightmare Before Christmas

 

Dad
Dad (Chuckles)

It’s Halloween. Which pretty much means absolutely nothing to me. It just so happens that today is that day. I drive to North Hollywood for my show a little early, as I always do, to hang out at the coffee shop, Republic of Pie, with my cast mate (my girl) Maggie. I always like to get there early for a couple reasons. One, traffic. You just never know how long it’s going to take you to get somewhere, and I have too much anxiety to worry about being late. I’d rather just get there super early and hang out, Two, I get work done in coffee shops. I will sit and write and do things that I would not have the motivation to do in my apartment. Or, Maggie and I can just talk about boys. Because that’s what we do.

I stop at the CVS down the street to get make-up remover and eye liner. As soon as I pay for my stuff in the self-check out line that tells me eight times to place my items in the bagging area after I have already done that, I realize it. Fuck me. Where are my keys.

No.

They’re in the fucking ignition. I know it. I walk to my car. And yes. There they are. The car is not running, but yea, definitely locked. My driver window is rolled down a tiny crack. Seriously, kill me.

I don’t know what to do. How bad is it, that the first person I always think to call, is my Mom. Like, she can’t do anything for me from New Jersey. But I need her to comfort me. I call, and she doesn’t answer. It’s about 8pm on the east coast, so maybe she’s in bed already. Who knows.

Who next? Yup. Kelly. My best friend. Who also lives in New Jersey. She answers with a jovial, “Happy Halloween!” I locked my keys in my car. “Lindsay.” I knowwwwwww. “Where are you?” Sitting in a CVS parking lot in fucking North Hollywood. “I did that once. And I called the cops and they came and unlocked it for me.” Seriously?? You didn’t have to pay anything? “No. But. I told them I’m a social worker and I was outside of my client’s house in Camden.” OK Kel, I don’t think that’s going to work for me then. She tries to help me with solutions and I realize that I need to take action instead of trying to find comfort from my best friend.

So I call Anna Rose. She also answers with, “Happy Halloween!” I hate my life. I tell her the deal. Like, I know it’s a crazy thing to ask. It’s 5pm on a Friday night – rush hour – and it’s Halloween. Can you go to my apartment, get my spare key, and drive to North Hollywood? I would not expect anyone to do that. But AR is the only one I can ask. (I text Mazza, too. I know Natalie is at work.) AR feels super bad but she has friends visiting and they’re driving to Orange County and again, I know, it’s a ridiculous thing to ask. So then AR researches all these different places I can call near me (which she doesn’t have to do) and texts me the numbers of three different places. Telling me they’re like 20 bucks and that I should haggle and negotiate and all that stuff that I’m terrible at.

I call the number and get through. The guy says a technician will call me shortly. He does, and I ask how much it will cost. Of course, he says he won’t know until he gets here.

Awesome.

I’m freezing, because for some reason, it’s been dark and dreary all day (which is kind of refreshing, honestly) and I left my jacket in my car – which I’m locked out of – so I go back into the CVS and sit just inside the sliding doors like a pathetic human being.

Then my Dad is calling me. “Hi Lynn.” Hi Dad. “How are you?” I locked my keys in the car. “Oh no.” And I’m sitting inside the CVS… and now I start laughing. Like I want to laugh and cry but talking to my Dad makes me go straight to funny. And I start laughing. I’m sitting in the CVS in North Hollywood and I’m so loud right now and it’s just ridiculous. My Dad laughs when he hears me laugh. “It’s like a movie!” Yup, my life is a movie. And I have my show. My Dad gasps. “Oh God. Is someone coming?” Yea, someone is on their way now. “And it’s going to cost 100 bucks to just unlock your car.” I groan. Oh my Godddd I hate my life. But I keep laughing.

“Mom’s not doing OK.” Wait, what?? “She’s just started getting sick. Flu-like symptoms. That’s why she had me call you.” Oh, OK. Jesus, Dad. Lead with that. Now my phone is ringing. I quickly hang up with my Dad to take the call. Technician guy is on his way.

I go out to my car to wait. Maggie is now meeting me here. She brings me a latte and a hug. I want to cry. I am so broke. And then I have to make these stupid fucking mistakes. Like seriously, get your shit together, Lindsay.

The guy shows up. $159. No. I’m really going to cry. I can’t do this. No. “If you have cash I can help you out.” I don’t. Maggie is quick to say she can take money out. “If you pay cash it will only be 150.” So if I pay cash, you’re giving me $9 off?? “Well no, it’s really supposed to be $214 but … blah blah blah. Go fuck yourself. In no way, do I want to do this, but I have 45 minutes until I need to be at the theater. I don’t have time to fuck around. Fuck me.

Obviously, I do it. Somehow, Maggie goes across the street to take money out from her own bank account. Which I still don’t understand why she did that. I was just such a mess that I couldn’t fathom doing it that I think she was just like, OK, this needs to happen. Which is really nice. So now I owe Maggie and I promise her I’ll bring it tomorrow.

So basically, my brunch shift tomorrow morning will hopefully pay for this. I’ve been so stressed out with money that I seriously want to punch myself in the face. This did not need to happen. This is one of those dumb things that I do that I feel like people expect me to do and I just feel like a total idiot.

I finally get into my car and put on my jacket. Maggie is surely trying to make me feel better. “I like your jacket.” I should sell it. We drive to the theater. She knocks on my window and I open the passenger side door. “I like your bag.” I should sell it.

Now we have our play. I am so not in the mood to be around people. Welp, get over it. The show must go on.

Drinking Buddies

photo 4
Post show drinks with Shana and Maggie

It’s weird how people are with how they spend their money. Like, everyone has those things that they NEED to spend money on, as if they are paying bills or student loans or something. But these are the things that you definitely do not need to spend money on.

I’d like to think I’m somewhat smart with how I spend my money. But the fact that I just put ‘somewhat’ before ‘smart’ leads me to think that I’m probably not. Here are the things I DON’T spend money on: my hair, nails, skin products, make-up. These things can get extremely pricey for us girls. But I have never felt like putting in the time and energy for any of it. Good thing, too. Leaves room for my expensive taste and alcoholism. And coffee (fucking pumpkin lattes are killing me).

As soon as I started making money for myself, which happened at age 13 working at the snack bar at Greenfields Swim Club, then “babysitting” for the Eckley family…I put babysitting in quotes because it was Lauren, who was a mere four years younger than me, and her two very small brothers, who she basically cared for as I looked on. Most of my time “babysitting” was watching Lauren put the boys to bed and then hanging out in her bedroom listening to Outkast and talking about high school and boys. It was basically an almost-sleepover with a girl who was way too mature for her age and me who was scared of actually having to do something if anything went horribly awry.

But anyway, once I started making money for myself, the first thing I spent money on was clothes. And maybe concerts. But clothes were SO important. When I was in middle school, I was on a two week cycle with what I wore. And I can remember most of the outfits. I’d recycle my wide-leg overalls by wearing a sweatshirt over top and pretending they were actually jeans. I also had these amazing straight leg white jeans (which were actually not amazing because everything was flared at that point) that I paired with my “cool” shirt, which was a short-sleeved striped black, white, purple, and green top. Which I obviously paired with my black sambas, also known as indoor soccer shoes. If there was anything I could do to achieve any kind of “cool” status, it was by wearing cool clothes, which I did not have.

At some point, my Mom had to finally just let me do my thing. I have this problem with always telling the truth. Even when people really don’t care. But I would tell my Mom what I would spend my money on and how much I would spend. And I know she thought I spent too much, always, but I would just look at her and be like, “but Mom, I HAD to have it. I am obsessed with it. I love it.” And she would just shake her head and say, “OK, Lynn.” And that’s how I am. I feel like there are actually things that once I see them, I can’t live without them. And I never regret buying them.

As an adult, I am still that way with clothes. And shoes. I don’t go shopping often, but when I do; don’t get me wrong, I love bargain shopping and finding sales, but if I try something on that just feels right, I most likely don’t care how much it costs. I’m buying it.

And then there’s food and alcohol. I can’t buy the cheap stuff anymore. For food, I’d like to think it’s because of health reasons. I shouldn’t have to explain, but EW, I am not buying any meat that is not organic. That is gross. Which leads me to alcohol (perfect segway). First of all, I drink too much. Second of all, I just can’t drink the cheap stuff anymore. The red wine has to be decent, the beer pretty much has to be craft, and the whiskey has to be at least Jameson. I don’t do ‘well drinks.’

Until now. I booked back-to-back roles in plays. I mean, I still can’t believe this is happening, but it is. And I love it. Believe me. I am loving every second of being a part of a play. But they don’t pay. And they are sooo time consuming. And I just can’t work as much when I’m in them. AND everything is in fucking North Hollywood which is at least 45 minutes from me. And gas is totally cheap.

Again, I’m not complaining. I seriously am loving my life right now. But I sort of laugh, like, how can I afford this? Oh right, I can’t.

So it’s opening weekend of I Want to Kill Lena Dunham. (Side note, I’m a complete mess leading up to the first show, like a total mess. I really don’t know how I’m going to do this every night, and I’m questioning how acting is what I really want to do if it’s causing me this much anxiety. But once I’m on stage and in character, I remember how much fun it is. It’s SO much fun. And also terrifying.) Friday night I leave almost right after because I have work the next morning, but Saturday night, I get to go out after the show with some castmates. We go to Big Wang’s, a bar right up the street, and it’s happy hour 10-1am. Perfect. But, oh, I don’t want beer and I don’t drink well drinks. I’m sorry, I just don’t. But you know what. I think I have to. Yes. I think I have to just calm down with the Jameson and order a well whiskey ginger. That’s where I am right now. Well whiskey for me, please.

I am honestly proud of myself for going the “economical” route. My tab for two drinks is $10.90 and I leave $14 and call it a night. Good job, me.

I know. It’s kind of sad how this is a victory for me. Like, I could have just gone home after the show. OR I could have just not drank when I went out. But let’s be serious. I can’t go out with a bunch of girls who are drinking and just not drink. I’m not that happy with myself as a human being yet.

Happy Christmas

rehearsal
I Want to Kill Lena Dunham with Melissa, Marie, Nikki, and Shauna.

This play is killing me, financially. Don’t misunderstand, I am loving it, but between gas prices and driving to North Hollywood every day and not working at the bar as much as I need to, I’m hurtin’. So, I refuse to submit for any acting roles that pay less than $100 a day. I’m not always so strict about it. I’m down for acting in a grad film or working on any project if I love the role, but right now, it’s not possible. Definitely no more plays. At least for a little while.

My inbox is flooded with the usual 100s of casting notices I receive every day. It can get overwhelming. I go through and delete the ones I know won’t pay. Then I see a notice for theatre. I know, no more plays. But it’s called The Gayest Christmas Pageant Ever. I mean, I can at least click on it.

I do. The role looks fun. The assistant director of a terrible play who takes her job seriously and has no time for people’s shit. Sounds right up my alley. Whatever, I’ll submit for it. Doesn’t hurt to audition. (And I’ve always wanted to act in a Christmas play!)

Don’t you know I get called in? Of course I do. And of course I’m excited. I am to perform a monologue for the audition. It’s actually a Craigslist post. It’s so amazing, you have to read it:

“I have approximately 200 cinder blocks for sale. They are standard 8”by 8” by 16”. They cost you about a buck seventy five if you get them someplace else. I’m asking fifty cents a block. You pick them up and you move them yourself. Please don’t waste my fucking time with endless emails. You want the blocks, come get the blocks and give me 50 cents for each block you take, how fucking hard is that? The next moron who emails me with “I’m building a blah blah blah and I was wondering if…” The answer is NO come get the blocks and build it yourself! These are plain ol’ cinder blocks for fucks sake. What is wrong with you people?? You want the blocks, come get the blocks, and don’t fuck with me.”

How fucking fun is that?? I get to work on it and a couple of my cast mates, Melissa and Marie (they’re so great), even help me with it. I get to the audition and I’m not even gonna lie. I fuckin’ nail it.

And then I get a callback! From the director, Paul. But shit, I have to work that night. And I REALLY need to work. I email Paul and tell him the situation. He actually works at the theatre where I’m having rehearsals right now so he knows I’m there all the time. He emails me back that he will “check.”

The next day, I get another email. “Lindsay, I want you to play the role of Janet. Please read the script and let me know if you are interested.” So I read the script. It’s hilarious. My character is awesome. I can’t wait.

So that’s that. So much for resolve. I’m doing another play. Ha. Sorry Mom and Dad, I won’t be making it home for Christmas this year. Love you!

***The following video is me practicing for my audition for I Want to Kill Lena Dunham…