Wednesday, April 4, 2012

I Hate Young Hollywood

Anne Hathaway, Emma Stone, Channing Tatum, Miley Cyrus, Jessica Biel, Seth Rogen, Robert Pattinson, Emma Roberts, both Hemsworths, Michelle Williams, Sam Worthington, Ashton Kutcher, Blake Lively, Jonah Hill, Andrew Garfield, Lea Michele, and the entire cast of 90210 all have something in common: I hate them.

I used to completely enjoy watching trailers until beloved movies, books, and TV shows from my childhood began being raped by uninspired, idiotic Hollywood producers and bad, nepostistic young "actors." These so-called actors are shamelessly being shoved down our throats and labeled as stars. These people have no talent, no real training or experience in true performance art (i.e. theater) and are barely even good looking. Hollywood is a far cry from the golden age of cinema when not only did you have to have amazing unique talent, charisma and personality, but you also had to be naturally gorgeous. Plus, it was the beginnings of Hollywood so you could not entirely depend on your parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, or siblings to hand you a career.

This particular blog was inspired by a compilation of a lot of bad movies that have come out recently, but most acute was seeing the new "Total Recall" preview. Now, the original "TR" was absolutely terrible, but it's a cult classic and one of my favorite awesomely bad flicks. Do not destroy the beauty and grandeur of an awesomely bad movie! You can't remake perfect awfulness. And you certainly cannot and should not take an awesomely bad movie and 20 years later make another, more serious version of it. That's LAME. The remake stars Colin Farrell (whom I love even though he's been slipping lately), Kate Beckinsale (beautiful but so boring) and Jessica Biel (BLECH, queen of the white primates). I in no way mean to sound harsh with that last comment about Miss Biel. Every person resembles some animal and I think any observant person with a pair of eyes would agree that the animal Jessica Biel most resembles is an ape, albeit a very pretty one. These two actresses are the main reasons why I will not be going to see this movie, despite the fact that I totally would under normal circumstances. Watch the new Total Recall trailer here:

I am not being unduly negative or mean-spirited when I say that I hate these actors. I am sure a couple of them are fine people. I don't hate them personally, I hate them professionally; I hate their movies and what they as "stars" are and will be doing to the future of cinema. They and the people that employ them are ruining my precious childhood memories and destroying the names of several old movies. The "talent" or "art" that these people have to offer is minimal and they should be embarrassed to work in film. I pity them because it is not their faults; some producer or casting director or agent should have stepped in somewhere along the line and stopped them from ever reaching the statuses that they have reached but Hollywood's lifeblood is nepotism so we're all stuck with many of them regardless. The movie industry spends millions of dollars to brainwash us into liking these people by putting the same collection of vapid no-talents in every movie, then nominating them for increasingly meaningless awards. They fool a great many pedestrian movie-goer, but the population of talented (and admittedly jealous) struggling actors out here know better. We don't like our undeserving competition. And here's why:

*Anne Hathaway:
This is NOT Catwoman
She gets a star for being my most hated actress. I quite enjoyed the first "Princess Diaries" movie. She was young, cute, innocent and good at playing the dorky, quasi funny-looking underdog girl...sweet and endearing. Then she got older and insecure and felt the need to unnecessarily flash her boobs in every movie she could, thus rendering her cheap, immature, and classless in my mind. I don't want to see your breasts, I want to see you portray actual human emotions. After that, her ravenous publicity team and agents started selling her as this gorgeous, sexy bombshell when in truth she is little more than a marginally attractive musical theater geek with too many teeth. She stole Emmy Rossum's know, Emmy Rossum, the stunning, multi-talented, and classy version of Anne Hathaway that everyone should know but doesn't because she doesn't flaunt her privates or have a monolithic team supporting her (which was given to Ms. Hathaway by her producer father and Broadway actress mother, of course). Hosting the Academy Awards?! Are you kidding me?! Playing Catwoman?! YOU'VE GOT TO BE JOKING. If droopy-faced Anne Hathaway is Catwoman, then I am the reincarnation of Elvis.

  Emma Stone:

I really want to like Emma because she comes from humble beginnings but she is too much too fast. She's everywhere. Her career is just beginning and I'm already tired of her. On top of that, I don't like seeing the same relatively blah actress over and over and over again basically playing the same blah character. Emma, you're not fooling anyone; just because you have a different hair color in every film does not mean you are actually playing a different character. She is a one note actress and that one note is flat. I know everyone loved "Easy A" (I loathed it...turned it off after 20 minutes of no laughter) and despised "The Help." She did her job in "Crazy, Stupid, Love" but was miscast...she looked ghastly compared to Ryan Gosling; horrible, horrible, horrendous looking couple. I felt sorry for her; an actress never wants to have a co-star that makes her look dead. Sorry, she's going to have to show me something interesting in order to get off my hate list.

Channing Tatum:
First off, I simply hate his name. Channing Tatum? What real person has a name like Channing Tatum? It's a clearly made-up, pretentious tongue twister. Tatum Channing? Acceptable. Channing Tatum? Idiotic. Who thinks this wooden neanderthal is good looking? He looks like he's one chromosome away from Down's Syndrome. His acting clearly exemplifies this as well. If I wanted to see meathead jocks performing, I'd watch the NFL. He belongs in a locker room, not a movie. He is a good example of all the dancers, models, athletes, singers, etc., people who are not actors, that still have prolific film careers even when everyone knows they are mediocre actors. The only people who would disagree with this opinion of Channing Tatum are 15-year-old girls with irrational hormones and gay men.

"Check out my abs, bro."
 Miley Cyrus:
I really don't need to go into detail about this. The child looks like DOMO, can't dress to save her life, and has absolutely no talent. Why do I see her everywhere? Isn't Hannah Montana over? Does she have a job? Her father should beat himself.
Miley Cyrus

Jessica Biel:
Another young actress who felt the need to slut it up to shed her good girl image after "7th Heaven." So lame. She certainly has a great figure, but again, when watching what I feel should be the respected artistic medium of cinema, I could seriously care less about seeing an actor or actress nude or semi-nude. It is of least importance to me. I want to see them act. I cannot say I have ever seen Jessica Biel perform with any amount of artistic depth, which makes me question why she is so popular to producers beyond her gams. However, being that she does have a toned bod and minimal talent, she is a perfect candidate for female action stardom, which is what I think Hollywood is grooming her for. However, I can tell that she desires to be a real actor, you know, respected, which is highly unlikely, and it's just irritating when actors don't understand their type and thus act more deserving of the A-list than they truly are which she is repeatedly guilty of.

Seth Rogen:

How did this:
Van Williams, the original Green Hornet
                                                                Turn into this?:

Seth Rogen, the Green Hornet's murderer

Yeah, um, I'm kinda over the fat Jew phenomenon. Seth Rogen is the short, less witty version of Jason Segel. I swear, I'm changing my last name to Cohen because as long as you're Jewish and have a hint of a sense of humor in this town, you are basically guaranteed an illustrious career doing whatever the hell you want. Do not read me the wrong way: I absolutely love Jews, I would almost exclusively date them if they would only date me. However, it does bother me that Hollywood seems to be one huge good 'ole Jewish boy fraternity where as long as you're male, Jewish and claim to do stand-up, you can star in fifteen flicks a year and get any retarded script you write produced. Such is the case with Mr. Rogen. I mean really, "The Green Hornet???" Come on, people. You might as well cast Eddie Murphy as the Green Hornet. That was the nail in the coffin for me. He was semi-charming in "Knocked Up" but once I witnessed them playing favorites with this blubber-voiced screwball casting him as a superhero I was done. Hollywood won't produce a film with a black Cleopatra but they'll waste $120 million to see this loser fart around as a crime fighter. Hate him.

Robert Pattinson:
I am almost sure this hollow-fleshed fairy is actually a vampire because he appears to have no soul. Every interview I see him in not only is he completely fake and scripted, he is one of those actors who accidentally made it big from one role and then feels entitled to his massive success. Just because you win the lottery doesn't mean you deserve to be rich. He is lucky, very lucky and eventually, unless he can put his ability where is ego is, he will fade away. He does not seem to have the kind of face that will age well...very squinty with that tiny mouth and baby teeth. I think I might like him if he played more charactery, supporting roles; drug addicts, pedophiles, homeless youths, etc. If he can find some humanity inside himself, I think this line of characters would be his only key to survival in the business. I simply do not see his weasel face as being suitable as a heartthrob leading man. But then again he doesn't have the talent to do any real character work anyway. In every frame of "Twilight" he looks like he's desperately trying to hold back explosive diarrhea. He'll be gone in 10 years, no doubt. If he's not, I'm moving to Omaha.

Emma Roberts:
She has the same crooked face as her father, although I can admit that she's much more attractive. More remains to be seen. I find it disappointing that the most interesting actor in the Roberts family is in fact Eric, yet his violently overrated, horse-faced sister has been being rammed up our butts for the past 20+ years. Emma Roberts' introduction to Hollywood is based purely and solely on nepotism, something that I simply can't respect. I am not saying she has no talent, as I don't think she's done enough to prove that one way or the other, but because her family, i.e. Julia, has an infamous history of sucking yet being lauded as brilliant, I cannot help but assume that she is probably worthless as a true artist.

Please not another bass-mouthed Roberts female
The Hemsworths (Chris and Liam):
Which one is which? The gay younger one I think is that one that dates Miley, so he's clearly on my hate-list just by association and I think it's Chris who played Thor. It annoyed me to no end that they had to dye this man's hair blond in order for him to play a Norse god. Really? There were no qualified, hot young natural blond actors who could've played Thor?? And he was terrible. Furthermore, I don't know what the hell is wrong with Natalie Portman these days (Thor AND No Strings Attached?) but she was not supposed to be in that movie and her agents should have told her that. Sweetheart, you are A-list, have been since you were 12 and should not be miscegenating with miscreants like Ashton Kutcher and Chris Hemsworth. I am almost convinced that Chris Hemsworth and Channing Tatum are the same person. Might as well be, they both suck the same.

*Note: My current crush, Alexander Skaarsgard would have been a superb Thor but because he is my very talented and intelligent crush, naturally he is too good for such fodder and obviously knows that a movie like "Thor" is beneath him.

Michelle Williams:

She is clearly just as dumbfounded as I am that she was cast as Marilyn
I have hated this girl ever since she walked on-screen in "Dawson's Creek." I don't know what it is about her, but the sound of her voice grates my nerves. It's like her lips get stuck in her teeth or something and she insists on continuing that airy, little girl voice routine. She seems to always be playing a character, even in real life, on the red carpet and in interviews. The character is this quiet, shy, deep, bohemian type that's soft spoken and talks to butterflies. B.S. Her baby daddy was a depressed drug addict, so I highly doubt she is all cotton balls and fairy dust. (Btw, I loved Heath Ledger, it's always the good ones that die while we're stuck forever with the losers) And what's with every single role she plays she's nominated for an Oscar? It's like Hollywood wants to wrongfully bestow her with all the accolades that Heath deserved but wasn't able to claim. They take pity on her. Michelle Williams is not Heath Ledger and does not and will never possess the talent that he did nor does she deserve any sort of special treatment because she had his child. Stop trying to make her out to be some great legendary actress. She's not. She's BORING just like the secondhand stores she shops at. She has absolutely no charisma or charm. In every film she is monotone and sleepy. And don't even get me started on "My Week with Marilyn." I don't know who has been lying to this girl, but she looks absolutely nothing like the incomparable Marilyn Monroe. Not with that nose she doesn't. Nor does she possess an iota of her allure. Michelle Williams should not have played Marilyn Monroe for one very basic but major reason: Michelle Williams is not sexy. A woman who is not sexy cannot play the biggest sex symbol of all time. Period. The movie did not work for this very reason and nominating this person for an Academy Award for such a performance is insulting the audience's intelligence. Oh and also, Hollywood just needs to stop making films about Marilyn Monroe altogether. No one will ever be "good enough" to play her because she is simply too much of an icon to emulate. Especially not Michelle Williams.

Sam Worthington:
"Man on a Ledge." Does this sound like a riveting blockbuster droves will race to go see? Absolutely not. This film title is just as boring as every Sam Worthington performance I have ever had the misfortune of watching, which is probably why the producers made the enlightened decision to cast him in this bomb. Ever since "Avatar" my poor eyes have not been able to escape Sam. They are forcing us to accept this Aussie as the next big action hero. No, thank you. No matter how many Clash, Smash, Wrath of the Titans movies you make, I am not going to be a fan of this short, fat-headed, freckled-faced cadaver. Please go back to Australia and make bad Aussie theater based on the life and times of Steve Irwin.

Ashton Kutcher:
Yesterday it was announced that Mr. Kutcher was cast to play the late founder of Apple, Steve Jobs. Yes, the applauded star of "That 70's Show," "Dude, Where's My Car," and the classic, "The Butterfly Effect," is going to portray the most important technology intellectual of the last century. Nevermind that he looks absolutely nothing like him and let's completely ignore the fact that he sucks. Steve Jobs is spinning in his grave. I had never even watched one single episode of "Two and a Half Men" and I knew that casting Kutcher was a horrible choice. Replacing Charlie Sheen with Ashton Kutcher? Why don't you replace the kid on the show with a pet rock too while you're at it. Replacing anyone with Ashton Kutcher is a bad idea unless it's Justin Beiber on "Punk'd." The only thing that Kutcher is good for are fart jokes, beer pong, and playing pranks on celebrities. Poor Demi for being silly enough to marry this buffoon. I do have to say, he is model hot, if he hit on me I would certainly bat a lash or two, but as far as being an admirable artist...give me a break. He's eye candy. That vacant, dufus grin of his is enough to render him useless in anything but late night comedies. He should've gone away after "That 70's Show" but he bought himself a few years and some cool points by marrying Hollywood royalty. Smart one, Kutcher.

*Note: I would've loved to have seen Christian Slater replace Charlie Sheen on "Two and Half Men" since they both have that drunken loser factor going for them, but hey, what do I know...

Jonah Hill:
Jonah Hill used to be my favorite fatty Jew, back when he was actually fat. He pissed me off when he actually accepted that Oscar nomination for "Moneyball." If I were him I would've been embarrassed. Yes, "Moneyball" was a good movie. Yes, he was OK in it. I can't say good because it is not hard for a fat, privileged kid to play a fat, privileged kid. Not impressed. I understand that he wanted to get in better shape for his health, which is a beautiful thing, but I now have no idea where his place is in this industry. We needed a funny fatty and he filled that void. Now he's just this ex-fat, awkward, loose-skinned dork that looks like he belongs in a tax-preparer's office, not having me pay $14 to watch his melting face on a fifty-foot big screen. He's not a leading man, he's not a character actor, he's not the lovable fat guy...who is he then? Unemployed. But he can always fall back on his trust fund (being Jewish) so I'm sure next year he'll be winning an Oscar for some Apatow-produced, Woody Allen-inspired film he wrote.

Andrew Garfield:
Andrew Garfield, British actor
I liked this person in "The Social Network" and was looking forward to him playing supporting or character parts and watching how he'd develop as an actor. Then Hollywood took the retarded leap of making him Spiderman which automatically makes me hate him. Tobey Maguire was a perfectly wonderful Spiderman and I was not prepared to see anyone else play Spiderman for at least 20 years. The fact that 5 years after the 3 installments (three!) of the Maguire "Spiderman" movies they are already rehashing the character just pisses me off. Really? Could you gouge any more money out of us from this franchise? My God, you people have no shame. And this kid looks like a rat, not a spider. I hate his face, of course they're going to try and make him some sort of hearthrob (yuck) and of course, naturally if it's a superhero flick it is required to have a hateable actress as the lead love interest, in this case, the inescapable Emma Stone, who is going to be just as pale and forgettable as Kirsten Dunst was in the original films. I already hate this actor and these movies and they haven't even come out yet. Now that he's playing Spiderman, he probably won't ever be able to realize his true calling: playing Splinter in the new "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles" movies.

Lea Michele:

If she tried any harder she'd pop a blood vessel
This vain little rodent is the perfect example of why I have a strong aversion to musical theater people. Always sing-songy, always posing, always over-enunciating, always happy, always ON. The world is their stage and all the people in it are merely the back-up chorus to their leading numbers. She's always acting cutesy when she's clearly a fame hungry prima donna. She stinks up every red carpet with her shameless over-posing; squinting her beady eyes and pouting her duck lips in an attempt to look sexy. It never works. I tend not to trust people whose upper lip is too close to their nose and she is no exception. Although I can say that she was well cast for "Glee," I hate the show and her, which is appropriate, since for the most part I hate musical theater, even though I greatly enjoy theater and singing. I truly hope she goes back to Broadway after "Glee" ends because I do not want to see her impish little limbs in any major motion pictures. We already have a short, cute Anne Frank type and she's more talented: Natalie Portman.

Now I know all my criticism may sound really mean, but you shouldn't feel bad for laughing and I shouldn't feel bad for being true to my nature. I'm a wacktress; therefore I'm a lover and a hater. We wacktresses love, admire, and cherish all people for their unique humanity and yet hate them worse than disease when they leave us a bad tip. And we are certainly all bitter about any famous people we view as not being better than us who in fact, as far as their business success go, actually are. Hence, we must bring them down to our levels and dog them like the big agents that come into our restaurants do us, who instead of discover our burgeoning talent, yell at us for not getting their salads right.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Turning Old

So I just turned old three days ago. Yeah, yeah, I'm still young and in my 20's but gat diggity do the years go by fast. Too fast. I was sixteen yesterday, today I'm shopping for girdles. I feel like I just got to LA but yet I feel like a weathered veteran too. I've definitely reached the point of being a "middle-aged young person" in this business as I'd like to say, because most of young Hollywood started in the biz as kids or teens and break big by their early 20's. I started a little later than that...

I never want to sound like one of those neurotic actresses obsessed with age and weight (which I am) but I certainly would like to hide this psychosis like a bottle of Jack in the back of a linen closet. I'm well aware that in the real world (everywhere except for Los Angeles) I am still a budding young person, fully immersed in the best time of my life. I still look younger than my age. I am not yet 30. That apocalypse is still a few years off, thank Christ.

Two people called me on my birthday. Two. My best girlfriend from childhood and my ex-boyfriend. Mind you, I have hundreds of people ("friends") saved in my phone, two roommates, a brother, a sister, seven aunts, three uncles, a grandmother, nieces and nephews, dozens of get the picture. Nothing makes you feel more like an old loser than only two people calling to wish you Happy Birthday while having to get your next shift covered at the restaurant you work at so you can spend more time with your aging parents in the middle of nowhere. But refreshingly, it still felt like the best place to be on earth.

I spent the last week in Bloomington, IL (home of State Farm Insurance headquarters, Illinois State University, and birthplace of white trash), where my parents live. It's two hours outside of Chicago so being there is kind of like being trapped in that little steel closet with Jodie Foster in "Panic Room." I love spending time with my parents, they're hilarious, but there's just simply nothing to do down there except get fat or pregnant. I decided I wanted to finally go shooting at a shooting range, since I knew for sure there had to be plenty of shooting ranges in a place where there are more roosters than people.

So my dad took my mom and I shooting. We went out to KKK land to some remote farm with a painted sign nailed to a tree which read "Darnell's Shootin' Range." I was a little afraid for my life but splashed a smile on my face to wash the fear off. We were greeted by two sturdy English bulldogs and several expected wide-eyed, confused gapes, but the staff was quite friendly. We shot my dad's revolver and it was so much fun! I'm a horrible shot, but I've made a new New Year's resolution (yeah, I know) to become an absolute marksman by Dec. 21, 2012 (the end of the we know it). Since you know, every old lady needs to know how to shoot.

Happy Birthday to me.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

I Hate People With Gluten Allergies

Don't get your wheatgrass in a twist, I don't actually hate anyone. I am actually full of Christ-like love for all mankind but goodness do they make it hard. Hate is just a perfect word for blogs and the blazing sensation I get for people when I'm at work.

This is a continuation of my blog "I Don't Care About Your Stupid Diet."

Gluten. Everybody and their dog is allergic to gluten. Where did this come from? Did gluten not exist before 2008? I respect that scientists and doctors learn new information everyday but you would think that the gluten epidemic would have been discovered ages ago. "Does this have any gluten in it? If I have gluten I just might die." I'm sorry, but if gluten is something that could kill you not only would you already be dead (since I know you just found out you have a "gluten allergy" last year), I would also put the burden on you to know what foods have gluten in them before you put them in your mouth. I have no idea.

Ok, fine, I have an idea. Now. I had a general idea what gluten was before the massive, never-ending stampede of sensitive digestive tracts started plowing into my restaurant, but I certainly wasn’t aware of every single food product that has gluten in it. IT'S JUST NOT MY JOB. I get paid minimum wage (in some states below minimum wage) to generally know the recipes of menu items and serve them to people. I should not be required to study nutritional therapy for celiac and Crohn’s disease patients. I'm sorry. Maybe I would care more if people cared more about tipping…

I really just hate people with gluten allergies. And I’m not just being mean, I have viable reasons. They are always attitudinal (because everything worth eating has gluten in it) and they not only expect you to know all about their health condition i.e. personal problem, they also demand you worship them for it as if they were a bald, prescient 7-year-old with leukemia. You have weak intestines, that’s all. Your body is not being ravaged by a malevolent, debilitating cancer or disfiguring virus…you just can’t eat bread and other goodies. You get a little sympathy but certainly no martyrdom. Chill out, be nice and don’t bite my head off when I’m not sure if something has gluten in it. I’m also not sure if my head has gluten in it either so beware.

The gluten-free movement has forged way too much space for any idiot, hypochondriac, or Manchausen suspect to get a tummy ache and diagnose themselves with gluten intolerance. Now my tables are being clogged with every Tom, Dick, and Mary that has a little gas insisting it is my ordained duty to be their gluten police.

Another reason I don’t like gluten free allergics is because 90% of them are faking it. Yep, that’s right. I live in Los Angeles where everyone’s number one goal is be thinner. Therefore a diet that consists of not eating bread, cookies, cakes, pasta, fried food, chips, beer, etc., is perfect for the general LA population of rabid skinny jeans aspirants. These flagrant counterfeiters pretend like they’re suffering victims of a relatively painful disorder and bark demands for their own gluten-free menus only to fit into their whorish club attire better. Some of these cons fake it to treat their low self esteems and low intelligence quotients in effort to feel important and clever. "I have a gluten allergy. Name every single thing on your menu with gluten in it and then I'm going to debate you so I can feel superior and prove just how stupid you are."

I served one of these people the other day, a woman; we'll call her "Bitch," who yelled at me because I wasn't sure whether there were "traces" of barley in what she wanted to order. The manager had no idea either. How should we know if there are "traces" of barley? We know barley is not in the recipe but cannot guarantee there are no traces. She wouldn't take "cannot guarantee" for an answer and instead of simply ordering something else, proceeded to have a temper tantrum, vehemently expecting us to call the food distributors or someone, anyone to find the answer at eight o'clock at night. Called us stupid and unqualified. Verbatim. Bitch was HEINOUS.

There was a man who desperately wanted to order an item that had wheat in it. It was pre-prepared so it could not be made gluten free. Horns literally grew out of this man's forehead. I saw the Anti-Christ in the flesh. He growled,  

"What the hell do you mean you can't make it gluten-free? What kind of place is this? You don't cater to all the millions of people that are gluten-free?!" 

"Beside the fact that we don't actually serve millions of people, sir, we actually do cater to gluten-free guests. We care deeply about the dietary needs of all of our guests; it is just that this particular item cannot be made gluten-free; it is pre-made."

"I got it gluten-free last time."

"No, I'm so sorry, but you didn't, sir. Unfortunately, you are mistaken since that item cannot be made gluten-free. I am very sorry for any confusion," 

I hate it when people tell a bold-faced lie and claim they got something last time when there is no possibility that could ever happen. He asked for the manager who repeated the same information, cursed him out, and then ordered the item anyway. He slopped the meal down like it was his last meal before mounting the monumental task of destroying the world. Gluten allergy my foot. 

I can tell an honest person with a real gluten allergy because they know what the heck they're doing. They don't act hoity-toity and don't ask stupid questions. They don't wear their allergy like one of those sad backless hospital gowns. It's not an artifice for sympathy, individualism, or a ploy for self-gratification; it's merely a personal circumstance they live with. No pretense, attitude or assumptions. I am happy to help people with genuine questions and concerns that don't treat me like an incompetent when I can't alleviate their private struggle by knowing the ins and outs of their condition or don't have any options for them to eat. Those are the people I can't stand and who deserve a nice gorging at The Olive Garden...

Sunday, February 12, 2012

I Don't Care about Your Stupid Diet

Alright, maybe it sounds harsh, but it's true. Unless someone has a truly life-threatening allergy, I could care less about the intricacies of puerile hypochondriacs' latest fad diets that make them feel like individuals instead of the hackneyed sheep they really are. It is not my job to know and understand your new special Hollywood-inspired diet. That is your job. My job is to serve you food.

Clearly, it is my job to know the primary ingredients of menu items where I work and try my best not to kill people with allergic reactions. And I really do a great job. However, I do not know every single last morsel and trace remnant included in every single item on the entire menu; I'm not a chef nor did I father the menu. No one in the restaurant has those answers; even the managers only know the basic recipes, not the exact ingredients of every recipe item (and you should know all, yes, ALL restaurants use processed products somewhere along the line, usually even when they say they don't.) Therefore, if you are worried about whether or not a miniscule amount of some random food product is in your food, assume that it is and either don't order that item or protect yourself and cook at home.

I'm tired of smug stiff necks getting mad at me because I don't have a good answer when they bring up their medical condition that requires a special diet. "I have IBS. What items on the menu are OK for me to have?" What do I look like? Your nutritionist? You better ask your doctor or spouse because I have no idea, nor do I care to learn.

In no way do I wish to seem bitter or insensitive. I genuinely do want to cater to my guest's needs, as long as they understand reasonable limitations and don't get rude or condescending when I answer as one who has never seen their medical records. I have superb knowledge of my menu, not medical pedagogy. Here's one: "I don't eat nightshades. Are there any nightshades in this or do you prepare this dish in a pan that is shared with nightshades? I avoid them because they are known to cause decreased I.Q." You're joking. About .3% of the population knows what a nightshade is. Why on earth would you assume I'm one of them? (Even though I am...?) Clearly, a nightshade or two has crept into your diet at some point.

This whole thing started with peanuts. Peanut allergies were the gateway drug. "Are there any peanuts or is peanut oil used in this?" Ok, fine. I'll know that. I get that. You're allergic to peanuts and if you eat anything with peanuts in it your throat will swell and collapse. Let's make sure that doesn't happen. Shellfish allergy? I got you. Dairy, fish, eggs, and nuts are all allergies I am familiar with and readily capable of adhering to. We servers are trained to know menu items containing these because they are the most common food allergens. But then began the War Against Carbs. "I'm not eating any carbohydrates, what's on the menu that I can have?" I know what a carb is, they're easily avoidable, and since you obviously also know what a carb is, why can't you answer your own question? Then came the soy problem. "There's so much estrogen in soy, it causes ovarian cancer/makes you fat/turns you into a woman. Is there any soy in this?" Really? Do you know how many products have soy or soy derivatives in them? Then it was corn, sugar, and of course, the colossal pandemic, gluten...

 I don't want this particular blog to be too long so I'm going to write an entirely other blog about the most common offenders of my nerves at work: vegans and gluten antagonists. TBC...

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Married Actors are No Fun

So I have the hots for a guy in my acting class. When we do a scene together I quite literally dissolve underneath his gaze. It would be all fine and dandy if he just wasn't MARRIED.

I feel horrible. I feel guilty, dirty, and down right sinful. I've never been attracted to anyone who was married because I find wedding rings to be highly unattractive. When I see a handsome man and get a whiff of a wedding band, he's instantly transformed into asexual brother/father figure. I just don't think of married men that way because A. It's not right B. I have too much respect for marriage (and their wives) C. If I were married I would never want anyone looking at my husband. I might cut a hoe.

But he's dreamy actor dude and he's prompted a moral dilemma in me:

How will I ever be able to have a healthy, happy, highly functional romantic relationship when I'm slobbing on hot actors all day long on set, stage, or in class?? How do people do that?!

It's just not human. Even if you're not particularly attracted to someone initially, after weeks or months immersed in realistically portraying someone's romantic partner, getting intensely intimate, it's only natural to bond. And what if you were attracted to them to begin with? How do you turn off those feelings, then genuinely depict them, then "turn them off" again, then go home to your significant other as if nothing out of the ordinary happened? Just because you're getting paid for it doesn't mean it's not cheating...In my case, the severity of the problem lies in the fact that there is mutual attraction and hence the intimacy exercises in class can be used as a means to act out what is morally corrupt outside of class. Though I would never act on my attraction, nor do I show it or consciously pursue time with him in class, I am aware of our attraction and that tension in itself bothers me.

Is it really possible to be truly faithful as an actor? There's a deep, dark crevice in my conscience that's loudly whispering maybe not....

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

You're Always Someone's Role Model

An actor friend called me asking for advice today. Honored. I was simply honored!

Me? Giving industry advice? I often forget exactly how far I've gotten because I'm too busy being ungrateful and hopelessly unsatisfiable. As an artist, I enjoy being depressed and unsatisfied. I find any excuse to linger in it. I'll be having the best day and when someone asks me how I'm doing I instantly revert to my rote, "Meh, I've had better days..." like some dry old lady. It's pathetic. My acting career has taken me to 35 states and Mexico, bought me my first car, allowed me to have deep spiritual experiences on stage in front of hundreds of admiring eyes, took me to Harvard to study with the faculty of the incredible Moscow Art Theater and put my cute little mug on national television several times a day, every day. And yet I still don't feel like I've done enough. But today I got the best medicine for the aching actor heart; VALIDATION from another human being. You're always further along than someone else in life, and hence, you're kinda always someone's role model.

This friend of mine is battling the graduate school audition circuit right now. Graduate school auditioning is a soul-sucking experience that transforms actors into quivering slabs of meat stuffed with exasperated soliloquies and pedantic personality quirks. When you take it as a no-strings attached dance with destiny, it can be quite fun. When you take it as, 'I'm going to die if I don't get into one of my top five,' you're going to be mortified...and also very likely disappointed. After several auditions with several universities, my friend has received zero callbacks and is feeling angry and weary.

He asked me: At what point do you just stop caring and do good work?

My answer:

You stop caring and do your best work after you release yourself from your expectations and learn to embrace failure.

You gotta have the proper relationship with failure. As an actor, you better have a love affair with failure. I would say that the ability to persevere in the entertainment industry comes from understanding and accepting that 90% of the time you are going to be rejected. You are going to "fail." It is simply how it works. It's cool. That 10% success rate is all you need and everything you hope it will be. You have to LEARN TO LOVE IT. You've really already won: You booked an audition AND you got the chance to do what you love AND every time you do that, you get better.

I never expect to actually book a job. I know that I'm fabulous and should book them all. But I realize that there's hundreds of reasons why I won't book a job that have absolutely nothing to do with my talent. Therefore, when I go into an audition, I see it as just that: an audition; an opportunity to show what I can do and have fun doing it. Hopefully I show them what they need but if not, I always know that I showed them something good because I am confident in my PREPARATION. In the end I don't care whether I will book that job in particular because I know that if it's not that one, it'll just be another one. There's always another audition, another job. No audition is the end all of my career. As long as I went in there and did what I said I was going to do and had fun, I succeeded.

So after a few years of "failing" in Hollywood, I have officially stopped caring. I don't care whether I book this job or that. I don't care whether I was too pale, dark, skinny, fat, short, tall for whatever job. I care whether or not I went into that audition and kicked the teeth out of it; I care whether I truly had fun. Hollywood is a place where you have to find all your strength from within; you have to truly believe in yourself and be loyal to yourself. Be OK with things not going as you planned. Release yourself from the dreams and expectations you have for your life and commit to simply doing what YOU planned to do, not what you planned for other people to do for you. You're not going to get any validation from this industry. You have to learn how to validate yourself. Be your own role model and you'll be someone else's too.

After basically saying all that to my friend, I told him not to give a crap whether or which graduate school he got into; his life would be a success no matter the outcome of the auditions because he'd know how to persist proudly even after "failures."

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

The Fancy Pizza Parlor Part 1

After getting fired from Hollywood Video, my best friend/roommate/boyfriend/psycho ex-boyfriend (never sleep with best friends...) hooked me up with my first real restaurant job. I worked as the phone dispatcher and hostess since I was forbidden to serve tables until I reached my 21st birthday. "Fancy Pizza Parlor" is inherently an oxymoron, but this joint really was quaintly fancy; a cute, dim little Venetian-style alcove tucked in a nook of a casually elegant business hotel/high end office building. I felt like a full-on big shot. Newly nineteen, I took the 45 minute train ride from the North side of Chicago into the heart of downtown, packed next to mid-level lawyers, hungry half-yuppie ad execs, and very often one of the many Red Line celebrities; either the one with the eye-patch and fingerless hand, or my favorite, the blind, raggedy Bible toting black knight complete with gauntlet and chain-mail (but no shoes...sad). The Blind Knight always started with the same announcement through every car in perfect robotic intonation: "Excuse Me. Can. I have your. attention. please. I am blind. And home...less... "

I loved the smell of the train; a dusty, reluctantly human smell, so dry you could peel it like old paint or dead skin; it softly annoyed and comforted me and made me feel at home. Chicago at that time was my utopia. The behemoths of downtown, both flesh and mortar, served as my constant aspirational compass. Battling the indifferent severity of the wind on mornings when the sun stuck frozen under bitter clouds, my goals were cemented for my future: I am going to be magnificently successful. I am going to be filthy rich and one day, I'm going to own this town. I warmed myself with these affirmations as the frostbite crept up my toenails while trying to inconspicuously lose the homeless man following me. "I'm going to own this town," repeated through my brain as I walked into the pizza place, phones ringing off the hook and customers hungrily lining up to be sat at tables and place to-go orders. "Excuse me?! Don't you work here??" a rosacea-faced woman squawked at me. She was shaped like a hamburger. I was still fully adorned in coat, hat, and gloves; very obviously not on the clock. I had fifteen minutes before my shift started so I offered her a barren smile. "I'm so sorry ma'am, but I am not on the clock, someone will be with you shortly," I turned away to take off my winter garb and hang it in the employee closet which inappropriately rested just five feet away from the woman. "I've been waiting here for at least ten minutes and no one has helped me! Can I get some service please? This ridiculous!!" As usual, tumbleweeds littered the dining room and the bar area was a ghost town. Where are my co-workers?? I slowly clocked in (early) and gave her my best high fructose smile. "I am genuinely sorry about this ma'am. I would be happy to take your order and will do everything in my power to not make you wait like this again. What would you like today?" She sighed and unloaded her order on me. I watched her red splotched cheeks jiggle as she spoke and thought over and over, "I'm going to own this town. I'm going to own this town..."