KNOWLEDGE TAKING UP A LOT OF SPACE IN MY BRAIN THAT PERHAPS COULD BE USED FOR OTHER THINGS, BUT SINCE IT'S NOT, ANYONE WANT ME TO BE ON THEIR PANEL?
As you may recall from two days ago, when you read Part One ... (You did read Part One, right? It was really important. Like, would you just skip Kristy's Great Idea and go straight to Mary Anne and Too Many Boys? No, you wouldn't. Or: if you wouldn't read any BSC books, how's this: would you skip Genesis and go straight to Numbers? No, you wouldn't. Because Numbers is boring. Why skip the fun stuff, e.g., the creation of the world, for the more tedious stuff, e.g., the Law Concerning the Marriages of Heiresses, weirdo? Yes, I'm still speaking inside this pointless parenthetical statement. What if this whole blog was a parenthetical? I just LOLed to myself thinking about that. Ha. ha. That'd be a clever blog title, "Parenthetical." Someone write that down. Seriously. OK, just checked and it's taken by someone who hasn't updated since August of 2005. Shame on you, parenthetical slacker.)
[I'm gonna be on this panel on Monday for Audacia Ray's new book, which y'all would love, so buy it now, please. I'm quoted in it (totes pseudonym) AND it's good/engaging/relevant. Also, Ray's blog, Waking Vixen, is literally the first blog I ever read regularly: I've witnessed her whole evolution from relatively-unknown to totes-superstar-with-fancy-template, and it's really interesting/fantastic to watch that happen. Yay go her!]
OKAY ON WITH IT.
My heart burst, then broke, when I discovered my new iBook came with "iMovie": I remembered poor ol' aspiring filmmaker me in the mid-90s with my 10,000 VCRs and 30 Video/Audio IN/OUT cords and all this assorted ghetto movie editing title creator/sound mixer/special effect madness I'd created basically out of popsicle sticks. Furthermore, I'd sunk hundreds into Adobe Premiere .005 and extra hard drives to create my 10-minute application tape for NYU Film School, which, for some reason I no longer recall, wouldn't output to video. I had a mental breakdown and decided not to make movies anymore.
Seriously, I made like, 400 movies, often requiring Lewis to don embarrassing costumes for music videos like "Heal the World" and "Roll the Bones." I hope he gets married soon so I can show these masterpieces to his new wife.
For your entertainment--okay--for MY entertainment, please check out a 1997 classic: "Von Gut: Raw and Uncensored." This's an example of what we used to do for fun. It's also an example of how my sense of humor hasn't really evolved since I was 15.
And then there's things like this, that clearly demonstrate:
1. I needed a tripod real bad. Usually I just set up my camera on a random surface and hoped for the best.
2. I cannot dance.
3. Hello: lesbian.
[Yes, I still identify as "bisexual," bi-rights peeps/agent representing my book about bisexuality, don'tcha worry.]
4. Lewis Bernard is The Supreme Soul.
Supervisor: Marie, today your shift goal is $500 in merch, and for credit cards ... just open one credit card today. Do you think you can do that? Just get one person to open a credit card?
Me: [laughing] Um, probs not.
S: Okay, well, let's work on your pitch. Give me your pitch.
Me: Uh-- [as whatevs as possible, not trying at all.] So ... like ... do you want to open a credit card?
Supervisor: Well ... it's better to be a little bit sneakier about it, like when they're in the dressing room, just tell them: [totally getting into it:] Do you have a Banana card? Okay, well, let's get you one because you'll save 10% on all that if you open one today it only takes five minutes, I can even prepare the stuff at the register while you're making your final decisions, we'll get you all set up with that, only takes one minute, okay?
Me: [No intention whatsoever to listen to this advice] Right-o! Good idea, Janet/Kathy/Samantha/Rita/Lucy/Whathaveyou.
My major problem with retail in general is my overall inability to convince anyone to buy something I don't think they should buy, e.g., almost everything except food, and even then: I can talk someone into dessert, but I've never been good at making a table spring for fried mozzarella or some other cardiac-arrest-inducing atrocity. I think credit cards--especially store credit cards--are a really bad idea, and no one should get one.
I was in nearly $30K of credit card debt during my tenure at Banana, how could I ethically recommend another human dip their toes into the pool of misery that was dragging me to the depths of post-college angst?
So, over the course of my employment at Banana, I opened a grand total of zero credit cards. I feel pretty good about that. Obviously I didn't stay on past January, and I felt pretty good about that too.
Seriously. Try me. Anything, anything, anything. This info's completely useless to me now, clearly, but friends who discover I have the golden ticket can't help but rail me for info, which I secretly love, 'cause then I can at least employ my smarts, and make them wonder if I'm crazy.
My Mom was a nutritionist, though she switched in '99 to social work ["I got bored of thinking about food all the time. I didn't even want to eat anymore." --Mom]. Living with a nutritionist when you're in a bizarre unqualified period of body-dysmorphic-disordered-what-have-you is like living with your father the CIA agent while having a schizo-manic episode. Mom had the literature. I am a very good student. I wish I could erase some of that information, though, namely the nutritional content of muffins. That was really disappointing.
Interlochen Arts Academy, my junior year of high school :
My best friend Ryan's doing calf raises on the cement steps of the Picasso dorm, eating Pringles from the can, his carefully gelled hair obscured by an oversized Stussy hoodie: "I'm dropping Theater, becoming an Academics major," he says, popping a chip, and, without a trace of irony, adds: "I can't act anymore. The only joy left in my life is food."
To illustrate, he crunches a whole stack of Pringles. He hands me a chip, I accept, and then he flashes his trademark earnest, wide-eyed stare, the imagine all the people face: "I'm becoming a monk, moving to Africa. Bringing the joy of food to the starving children of Africa."
The truth, of course, was less Ghandi, more Stagedoor: John'd gotten the part he coveted in Blood Wedding, which'd spiraled into this whirling discontent and re-evaluation of life priorities. Ryan was a senior.
His plan'd been to go to a top theater program, do the crazy-competitive-audition thing with other theater majors, but now: "I'll just apply to everyone who sends me a nice pamphlet."
And he does. Dartmouth, Brown, Ithaca, Sarah Lawrence, DePaul, Boston University, whomever. Thirteen applications. We hastily construct essays explaining his drop-out of Interlochen's program but insisting on a desire to pursue theater in a B.A. program. Though I chose to take the year off to focus on my academics, I feel this'll only enhance my understanding of the theatrical arts in an undergraduate setting....
The next year, Ryan's at Sarah Lawrence, I'm a senior, and my boyfriend's the school's best actor [the aforementioned John, natch. My roommate's an actress and both her and John shipping off most weekends to round after round of audition for coveted spots at top schools.
At campus, the student body's obsessed with who's getting into Juilliard or Carnegie Mellon, etc., who's advanced to the next round, who's getting interviews and phone calls and auditions. Obsessed to the point that I'm surprised more people did not jump into the lake when our admission/rejection information arrived. I was glad I wasn't a theater kid, I was stressed out enough about John and Ashley's fate.
Both years: I learn all about it, by proxy. Like, inside-and-out. Admissions stats, audition process, the point. What is the point? Whatevs. Showcases. Are you pretty? Do you know people?
And eventually? John's one of Carnegie Mellon's lucky 20, and now does Shakespeare in Oregon. And Ryan actually did take time off from SLC to go to Africa and re-build communities and feed children.
....and all the men and women merely players....