Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Work with my people!

I day played on a TV pilot today! It was a great experience. I admit that I was not used to standing all day, so by the time I got home I felt like someone continuously punched my feet. Kelly and I got to do this with Dave, Rafa and Eric. It was a nice little Unstoppable crew. It was great to work with people that I know. One advantage to getting to set so early was seeing the sun rise on the LA skyline. Work started at 5 a.m.

I checked extras in; there were over 200 on set today, which is why there were 12 additional PA’s. Dealing with extras can be interesting. There are always characters in every group. Same thing goes with crew. There were some people I wanted to avoid and others I met that were really cool. The first location was in a park a little bit outside of the city, in not the best area. It was a Monday and there were people hanging out in the park all day. 

I wonder what they do there all day. Mostly I locked up the set for the day. After lunch we moved a couple blocks down, not the best neighborhood to be in. It was almost 9 p.m. before going home.  I’m really surprised how quickly I was able to get work.  I know that’s not the norm. After such a long day I definitely needed some time to recuperate.  Luckily I’m here for three weeks, so I don’t have to rush around and feel comfortable just relaxing.  Just taking it all in.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

After Much Anticipation...

I decided in January that I was going to take a trip to Los Angeles. It was about time to visit the west coast, specifically this city where I might want to live. This post as well as future ones will be about my 3 week adventure in LA! Here goes....
“I am not checking a bag. Even if I have to wear three layers of clothing!” I say to Josh once he saw the pile of clothes lying by my suitcase, my room a mess.  Packing took a week,  maybe it was that I was over eager and ready to get going. I packed three weeks of stuff into a backpack and small luggage, unpacked it, packed it again and finally after the screech of the last zipper I tossed the luggage into the car.  I did end up wearing my sweater and jacket on the plane, but not multiple layers. I arrive at the airport with a very short period of time to catch my flight. After a lot of hurrying, lines and unpacking/repacking I get to my gate. My flight is booked maxcap and they still haven’t assigned me a seat. Superduper. 
“Oh my God.” My attention is averted to the woman boarding passengers. She has a huge grin on her face. “I watch your show all the time.” I glance over to see a woman who she is talking to, wearing sunglasses so I didn’t really recognize her. Plus with the amount of TV I watch it’s not surprising I couldn’t put a name to her. My first celebrity sighting and I didn’t even get on the plane yet.
I got my seat, one of those with extra leg room, exciting at the time but couldn’t make up for how uncomfortable the seats were. Looking back I should’ve just curled up on the floor. Great plan until the flight attendant came around and said if I can’t fit under the seat I’d have to be checked.  Speaking of that, one thing I didn’t consider: where I was going to put my bags once on the plane. Here goes, I think and hoist my 40 pound luggage over my head struggling to get it on the shelf above my seat. Apparently even with all my chuttarunga practice gravity was tough competition. I thought this was where my journey ended, with the luggage falling on top of me. Death by suitcase. Luckily some guy was nice enough to help me get it up there, and some lady was nice enough to tell me to check it next time. Or maybe it was my conscious; at this point I didn’t even bother to acknowledge that idea.
I fly maybe once every year or couple years; not enough for me to be comfortable with it. After some mantras and gum chewing my nerves calmed. Luckily they had movies to pass the time. I was running from the night, but it caught up with me by the time I reached LA. On the descend I saw endless lights. I finally saw for myself how expansive the LA area is. I walked through the airport, my head held high shoulders thrown back and a grin on my face that I tried to suppress. It was my first time flying alone. I crossed that off my “firsts” list. I exited the airport and saw my first California palm tree! Outside the air was comfortable, warmer than when I left during the afternoon. Ashley picked me up. “So do you feel like going out tonight?” I smile, of course! It was my first night in LA, I didn’t feel tired even though I didn’t sleep on the plane. We went over to her neighbor’s house- Ryan. First thought being that he looked like Justin Timberlake, but wasn’t about to say that. I met his friend Nick and all of us went down to Santa Monica. We ended up in a pub listening to live music.
“So what do you do?” I asked Nick as we were walking to the pub.
“I work as a manager at Burger King.” He answers seriously and shrugs.  
I look at him, not sure if he’s for real and say, “Oh I didn’t realize they had Burger King out here.” Of course I did, they are everywhere. Later he tells me that he doesn’t actually work at Burger King. Really? Thanks. I don’t understand why people do that. After the pub we go to a hotel bar on the roof that is right on the coast. It was awesome, because you could go out on the roof. So we were out looking at the ocean. It was so nice to hear the waves crashing on the shore. Then it started to rain.
After a long day of traveling, and fun night out I crashed on the sofa. It was a liberating day.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

You got a fast car

Fast Car – Tracy Chapman
This is a very powerful song. It’s a classic sung by a famous feminist singer.  This song is so profound; every time I listen to it I get chills. Chapman is an amazing lyricist with true artistic ability. Fast car is a ballad sung from a female’s perspective.
The first words of the song go, “You got a fast car” followed by, “I want a ticket to anywhere.”
These two lines tell the meaning of the song; desire.  The metaphor of the car is really expressing her desire for a different life.   She thinks a man can help her to get it. Wants strongly motivate people and drive their actions. Universally everyone wants love and I think that this is the core of the song. The lack of feeling loved or cared about is a very real problem for a lot of women.  Everyone can relate to wanting things.  What will people, especially women do to feel loved? Women are nurturers, we give love more freely and in exchange we want to receive it. Women will go out of their way and sometimes beyond their comfort zone to feel loved.  Once they do whatever they have to in order to feel loved life might be great, but then like in the song, unhappiness returns. It’s a trap that the woman in the song managed to crawl into and current problems reflect ones from her childhood. Why is this so frequently true? In this fast paced world changing at an amazing rate, I think that more women are realizing that love comes from within.
She speaks from a lower class perspective with problems similar to so many people.  Often when difficult times arise people try to find an escape; something to get their mind off of the difficulty and feelings that inflicts them. All too commonly for women the escape is men.  This is a classic example of a tragic story that plagues the average woman.  The chorus of this song brings hope, and a great example of the power of youth. Your entire life is ahead of you and there are so many options.  This can be a blessing as well as a curse. In the chorus of this song she says that she had a feeling that she belonged and could be someone, to paraphrase. Obviously that is important to her and once she found a man that filled her desires she stuck with him.
Everything that happens in your life is a reflection of your decisions. Most people do not want to be accountable for their choices and choose to blame others for the situations that they are in. Unfortunately no one grows with that attitude. Once you change your perspective and become introspective your world will change dramatically. The problem is accountability for situations. Everyone has difficult times in their life; it’s about how you deal with them that determines how your life will unfold.  Unfortunately for the woman in this song, it does not unfold the way she imagined. She talks about having to quit school to take care of her father, and that is a noble thing to do. Everyone has responsibilities, but the key is not to use them as excuses.  Although this song might seem like a sad tale, it’s really not. It ends with these lines,
You got a fast car 
But is it fast enough so you can fly away 
You gotta make a decision 
You leave tonight or live and die this way
This is an empowering song showing that it’s never too late to take control of your life. It might’ve taken the woman in this song half or more of her life, but it’s a triumph. No one has an easy life. We all face challenges every day. I think that slowly but surely women are realizing the power they possess and taking independence to a whole new level.