By herself. All alone. Pink pants, stressed shirt. She’s stylish, self conscious. Lips colored with faint fig chapstick, eyeliner lines thin, makeup at a minimum. Red wires wrap her torso, she’s encased in music that’s turned down low. Below the Saturday streets, she waits for the train to take her where her eyes go. She looks up and through the tunnel into the great beyond. Great abyss, great darkness interrupted intermittent with flashing, florescent neon colored lights. Saturday night. Train’s faint light finally in sight. Doors open. Out and in out and in. Stop. And go Stop. And go. But the girl sits. By herself. All alone. Two seats to her one self. She doesn’t look down, she doesn’t look sad. She looks interesting. She looks like she has something to say. But she sits on the outskirts with the window seat beside her empty. There’s no one to talk to. So her mouth is closed as her body encloses that seat empty. She looks beyond it. Beyond her window reflection. Black tunnel, black backdrop, blackness reflected back on those burning bright eyes.
It’s a chill Saturday morning in sf. My first Saturday off in a long time. I’m calling up everyone to hang out, friends, roommates, even family to just give me some company because I reasonably think that they’d be available. It’s SATURDAY! Jeez louise! Wrong. It’s finals week, so my sister has school stuff. My roommate has deadlines, my cousin’s at a wedding, and my friends are seeing their family or families of their lovers. -_- Super lame.
And that’s why I find myself starting this blog. Being part time waiter and part time aspiring superstar, I find a lot of free time. I work mostly weeknights in a corporate restaurant to leave time for auditions in the daytime. Weekends I devote to working in the restaurant for making up for the bad auditions I’ve had. Which are many and a no bueno. Auditions are hard to come by in SF, and if I fuck one over, it only forces me to work more hours in the restaurant to make up the money that I woulda coulda shoulda from a gig. In any case, I tried to pick up a shift today, but none were available. Thus I went looking for friends, but none were available, and so it leads me back to this blog.
Well let’s make the best of it. So I’m reading this book called “waiter rant” by Steve Dublanica. It’s about this guy’s personal experience of being a waiter. He never saw himself as a waiter but somehow he ended up doing it for hella years. Anyways, in one part of the book, he describes the kind of people that have become waiters. There are many kinds of people but the no surprise category and the one that mostly speaks to me is the “endless procession of models, painters, writers, and actors – who struggle to make ends meet as they chase their American Idol dreams.” <—— that’s me! OMG! The author makes a better point when he says this:
All this talk about waiters and acting reminds me of that old joke.
“My son’s an actor in New York.”
“Really? What restaurant?”
That underscores the bitter reality many artists who wait tables struggle with on a daily basis. When asked what they “do,” they usually reply, “I’m an actor,” or “I’m a writer.” For the first couple of years that’s okay, but after several years working in the restaurant biz, if the bulk of your income still comes from waiting tables, you’re a waiter (123).
So with the bulk of my income coming from waiting tables, I’m a waiter. And the thing is, it’s true. As much as I aspire to be an actor, as much as it is my dream to be a superstar, my present now is that I’m a waiter. When people ask me what do I do, I tell them I wait at this restaurant and that they should all come and visit me! Actually, I went to this social gathering for people in the media and film business in the bay area a couple of months ago. Everyone was either a producer, director, writer, actor, etc. So when people came up to me asking me what I was and expecting one of the above answers, I said I’m a waitress. I wasn’t comfortable saying I was an actress. I had never gotten paid for a gig, I’m not union, and I’m barely starting out. But I guess what makes me kind of proud to be a waiter is that it reminds me that I’m in the position to go for my dream. I’m making it possible to go on auditions, to meet new people, to help out on low pay/no pay projects. When I’m actually doing something that I care about, not making money on those projects doesn’t really matter. And I guess it reminds me of that quote from Whoopi Goldberg’s character in sister act 2 to Lauryn Hill’s character,
“If you wake up in the mornin’ and you can’t think of anything but singin’ first .. then you’re supposed to be a singer. girl.”
I wake up in the morning thinking about acting, about movies, emotions, characters. I go to sleep reading IMDB, Wikipedia on actors, Rottentomatoes, etc. I’m supposed to be an actor, and I know it too. I’ve actually known for a while since I was in middle school. But for the last year, I’ve finally conjured enough courage to pursue it. Why not you know? For so many years, I was in denial. Protecting myself under the safe zone of school, I did the college route. I chose a major I didn’t care about. Actually I chose a major that was the most eclectic so that I could find a class that sparked my interest more than acting. Ironically the classes I loved most were my acting classes and I only did those as a hobby. I never could shake the nagging feeling. After graduation, realizing I didn’t want a job with the major I didn’t care about, I moved to Spain. Hahah what the hell am I doing in Spain?? DOODE! IT’S SPAIN! I taught English to grade school Spanish kids and got paid for it, whilst getting a BS major in Spanish (that’s a whole different adventure/blog). Anyways, did that for a year and realized that I was holding myself back. I wasn’t happy, I wasn’t satisfied, I was restless. Anxious, to get my ass out of Spain and do something about my dream.
And then lo and behold, the universe spoke to me via Facebook (FB’s everywhere). A friend of mine had posted a quote on her status and it said, “it’s the possibility of having a dream come true that makes life interesting.” maybe I only see what I want to see, but damn, it beat all the friggin Farmville updates on the feed. That quote sparked my want to live to pursue the dream. (It also sparked me to read the book that that quote came from: the alchemist by Paolo Coelho, it’s a must read, changed my life). I came back to the U.S., got headshots, sent them out to nearby agencies (I’m from the bay area so I sent them all out to SF), and got rejected from all of them, well except one. One of them was a one-woman show. She never responded to my cover letter and headshot, so I called her up. She apologized for not getting back to me, she was busy, but she was interested. We met at a cafe in SF where she fed me delicious almond croissants and we hit it off. She said Asians were in (I’m Asian) and I fist pumped to myself. That was 10 months ago. She sent me on auditions for print ads all over SF for the last 10 months, and I finally booked a gig, my first one through her last week. It took 10 months, but what a way to finish off 2010 huh 😀