I walk into my apartment today after work and suddenly EVERYTHING HAS CHANGED. My roommate found a table and chairs laying out and grabbed it and cleaned it up a bit and brought it upstairs and I’m currently sitting in a chair of normal height and I have an actual place to put my laptop and honestly it’s amazing. The table needs a little TLC, but I’ll work with it and it’s just glorious and suddenly the day has instantly changed. It’s great.
I often say I love to cook. And I guess I do, but there’s also not a day in my life that I wish I could eat out for every single meal of the day. Why would you not want that? In driving home tonight, I had an absolute dilemma of whether or not to stop and get food for dinner or to eat what I already had at home. Ugh, I settled for making what I had at home because I’m broke. This means, however, that my dinner consisted of frozen tamales and ramen, you know, THE MOST BALANCED MEAL YOU COULD THINK OF. My new financial goal is just to be able to eat at whatever restaurant I want, whenever I want.
I had my sketch writing class today and the weirdest thing happened. It actually wasn’t that weird, but it was just how it happened that was super weird. A woman swung the door open wide in the middle of our class, made eye contact with all twelve of us, then proceeded to take her time and say “Oh, I must be in the wrong room.” Something about her doe eyes, the length of her sentence, and the general length of her stay struck a chord with me. She left the room and I instantly said, “That woman changed my life, I am forever changed.” It was true. Something about her confidence in opening that door, the amount of time it took her to figure out that she was not in the correct room, and the formality of her sentence just made me laugh. The last twenty minutes of class were literally all twelve of us riffing on what we think her life story was–how old she is, why she was in the building at that particular time, how we could find her again. It’s honestly one of the funniest things that has happened to me in quite some time. And the funny part is that nothing really happened at all. Even in retelling this story, I realize that there is something about being in a room full of writers (or at least a room full of people who care enough about writing jokes to pay for a class in it) and experiencing something like that. It changed my life. Ugh, I’m still laughing.
Tell us about your favorite childhood meal — the one that was always a treat, that meant “celebration,” or that comforted you and has deep roots in your memory.
I just recently told someone this story and am now realizing this is the perfect place to share it again. When I was younger, I had two working parents. I think it was in second grade that my mom went part-time and she was home after school. My dad has always been the cook in the family, but when my mom started being home after school, I just assumed she would start to do a little more of the cooking. My mom will agree with me on this, but she’s never been too keen on cooking. She made good things, it’s not she was burning everything or that anything was inedible, but she doesn’t enjoy cooking. I think this was around then, but she had a brilliant idea to start something called the “Dinner Draft”. I think it was an effort to make the meal planning a little bit easier and also make my brother and I feel like we had a say in what we’d be eating during the week.
So, basically, we would write down ideas for dinner and then one place we wanted to go out for dinner that weekend and we would draw from a hat. (This is at least how I remember it, it could be totally, completely wrong.) I think my parents got to write down five ideas and my brother and I each got two votes for the hat. Well, this all sounds like a great idea in theory, but gave my brother and I the opportunity to suggest waffles and corn dogs for dinner at least once a week. There weren’t really requirements for the food, so we took full advantage. Also, we would always suggest going to Fun World for dinner–Fun World was an arcade pretty much with frozen pizza available for purchase. We were too smart for our own good and in generally we destroyed the Dinner Draft. Oh, well, it was fun.
I always wake up with the intention of writing something impressive and cool for this blog and then the day goes on and I’m at a loss. I really need to try to write in the morning, because I feel like I’m probably more eloquent in the morning. Maybe I’ll try it tomorrow. I’m going to bed now, though, sorry, I just deserve some sleep.
1. Write sketches.
2. Stop complaining about things.
3. Complain about things that bother you.
4. Eat your bananas before they get too ripe.
5. Buy a single chair so you have somewhere to sit.
6. Take pride in your email etiquette.
7. Make sure your friends know they are loved.
8. Make sure your friends know you show your love through endless torture.
9. Maybe sing a little sometimes.
10. FREAK OUT ABOUT SCANDAL.
I CAN’T GO ON, I’M FREAKING OUT ABOUT SCANDAL TOMORROW.
God, I love creativity. I love music and podcasts and television and movies and everything in between. I feel privileged to be able to pursue something I love so dearly. Others are not that lucky. Others don’t love creativity. I do not fault them for this, but I can’t help but wonder what the difference between us really is. Yesterday, I watched the impassioned speech Emma Watson gave to the United Nations regarding feminism and the need to change the connotation of the word–I will not comment on the subject now. I may at a future date, but I have a lot of feelings on the subject that are personal to me and would seemingly be cheapened by sharing them with the world. She did mention, though, several people in her life that were “inadvertent feminists”. These were people who told her she could do whatever she wanted or supported her in many ways in spite of, and perhaps even because of, her gender.
I have had people like this in my life, though they have been “inadvertent creatives”. These are the people who taught me that I was funny. These are the people who taught me to care about my grammar. These are the people who taught me that anything I wanted to do was attainable–I just had to pick what I wanted to do. This is an immense privilege. I fully realize how spoiled I am in my life. There are dozens and dozens of people who have done this for me, whether or not they know this. Why was I so spoiled, though? Why have I been afforded these opportunities? There are millions of people more deserving than me, and yet, I got this privilege. I take this for granted–I realize that–but I’m a human, and I am flawed, and I am often immature. Please don’t fault me for that. We’re all a little like that sometimes.
I was working last night. I work at a small improv theatre right in the heart of Hollywood–that sentence alone is evidence of the amount of creativity in my life and the lengths to which I will go to seek out that creativity. The group performing that night was full of people who were doing it merely for fun–they are not professionals, though some hope to be, and they even pay just for the opportunity to perform. These people must love creativity to some extent, or they wouldn’t sacrifice their time or money to perform for a very small audience entirely made up of people they, themselves, have invited. I have had endless experiences with being able to display my creativity. It started in fourth grade when I told my mom that I wanted to be a part of a 500 person youth choir. I had never really sung before that–I’m not kidding. This creative streak took me to places I never thought I’d go–I joined a children’s choir and was whisked away to perform at places like Carnegie Hall, St. Peter’s Basilica, and everywhere in between. The percentage of people, let alone children, that get to do this, is so, so miniscule. I, of course, knew it was a really cool thing to be a part of, but I’ve been thinking a lot about just how many experiences like this I’ve had. I went to high school and the first time I auditioned for the small show choir, I got in, and was able to perform dozens of times a year for so many people. The very first time I auditioned for a musical, I got a callback. I didn’t get the part, mind you, but still, I was fourteen years old and that’s dumb that I didn’t have to work that hard at the beginning. I was asked to write for my high school’s parody sketch show my senior year–after months of hard work, I was then asked to direct the production. I auditioned for eight universities for music programs, and I was only admitted to four of eight, but two of those four were the only two schools I was actually considering–they are the top two schools in the country for the program in which I was interested. I went to college and got to perform for incredible people and I got to sing with incredible people and I would never in a million years change the musical experiences I had in college. My sophomore year, I applied to write for my college’s sketch parody show, and I got that position. Junior year, I applied to direct that same production and I got that opportunity. Then, with some people who are even more creative than me, I created and wrote a news parody program for my school. Then, I moved to Los Angeles to pursue a career in comedy writing.
I do not say these things to brag, though, I absolutely know that people will view it as that. Through every single one of those experiences, I got to perform and display my creativity to people who were not just there because I asked them to be there–yes, there were people there because I did ask them to support me–but, there were also tons of people there because they wanted to be there. They supported creativity, and therefore, they supported me.
I will never forget the discomfort in my cheeks that I felt after directing my college’s sketch parody show. I never stopped smiling. We sold out two shows. I brought a new life to a program that had been around for years, but I changed some things and I was immensely proud.
Honestly, how did I get so lucky? And why do some people, like those I witnessed performing last night just because they want to, not get the audience and support I’ve been granted?
A lot of it has to be luck. But, I also can’t discount the hundreds and hundreds of hours I’ve put in to make my creativity better and more relatable.
Look, I don’t have an answer for this, but I suppose this post is just a way to say thank you. And I hope I can support someone as much as I have been supported.