Monday, January 11, 2016

Dear Greg

I keep a "Dear Greg" journal where I write letters to him, to get whatever I'm feeling out on paper. I hadn't written in it in a while, when the one year anniversary of his passing hit I wanted so badly to write something poignant, but I had spent all of my energy on the last song I wrote him which REALLY took it out of me, and it felt like I didn't have any more words to put down.  Finally tonight I was lead back to the journal, and this time I wanted to share what was written.  I think an important epiphany was had... I hate phrases like "moving on" or "getting past it", etc. because they insinuate that I should have to "get over" it which I don't think is the way this works. I'll never be over it. But I will learn to move through, live with it, and have new life experiences. Life is already proving that to me after a year. If you'd told me before he died that he was going to die, I would've told you I'd die too. That I wouldn't be able to last at all. But I've proven that notion wrong, though most days I don't know how... as I tell everyone who asks... "you just do." If you'd asked me the day I got the news, I would've told you it was going to be impossible to get on with life. But eventually... again.... "you just do." It's not always easy... at first it's days and days of "this is impossible. I can do nothing." Then there are moments of clarity and "okay" peppered in. Those "okay" moments start to come more frequently and stick around longer... eventually okay turns back to normal (ish), and after much time passes, your good moments outweigh the bad moments. The bad ones still come, and they still hurt, but it's a more manageable pain most of the time. You learn to live with it. And that's where I'm at. But tonight, new realizations and feelings came out and that is what I wanted to document here.
I don't know why I feel compelled to share my grief. I just know it helps me, makes me feel less alone in this awfulness. And who knows, maybe someone else who has to go through something similar (which I wouldn't wish on my WORST enemy) can draw some sort of comfort from my ramblings. I've certainly drawn comfort from reading of others' experiences.


Dear Greg,
It has been almost 13 months since we lost you. You birthday (11-14) was hard. My birthday (11-18) was hard. The one year anniversary of your death (12-18) and the days leading up to it, were some of my worst yet. In a way, a year later I was no longer in shock, no longer numb to what had happened... the reality of the nightmare being completely true had set in.  So all of the super heartache and actual PHYSICAL pain and sickness were felt FULLY by the time the one year rolled around. The way I thought I should've felt right after it happened, took almost a year to be felt. For weeks, I couldn't breath. Not kidding. I went to two different doctors insisting that something MUST be wrong with my lungs. They took X-rays, ran tests, put me on a slough of different antibiotics and meds, diagnosing all sorts of possibilities. None of the meds made any difference, because I didn't have any sort of sickness they could cure. My heart was broken, and causing my lungs to have to work overtime and therefore make me short of breath. I was in a constant state of super anxiety that was barely recognizable sometimes. I couldn't always sense it or feel it in my head but it overtook my body and was affecting me for weeks. I'm still not 100% convinced I haven't magically developed asthma, because it still happens sometimes. Anyway that's not the point. The point is- I miss you. Over a year has passed since I last heard your voice (alive), and I miss it. And you. People have grieved and mourned, offered their condolences, some of them have checked in here and there, and now a year has passed and they have moved on with their lives, as they should. Me... I'm doing the best I can. I live every single day to the best of my ability... some are harder than others but I am trying to seize every opportunity I can to do great things and SO much of it, I do for you. I want to make you proud. Still. I try to live every day giving myself the advice that I think you'd give me if I could call you as I so desperately long to. I'm fortunate enough that our almost 4 years of conversations gave me enough insight into how you thought and spoke that if I concentrate real hard, I can hear the things I think you'd say. But God do I miss your calming voice, your jokes, your words of encouragement, your "I love you's". All the time.
           I was just going through Michelle and Joe's wedding photos. The wedding you should've been at with me, instead of just your picture on a memorial table.  When I got to the first look part of the album- I started to tear up. The looks on both of their faces- breathtaking- how HAPPY they looked. How very deeply in love. How lucky they are. I couldn't help it, to the empty room I'm in I opened my mouth and said "God, I want that." Then out of the corner of my eye I caught a glimpse of the picture of you (of us) that I have on my nightstand next to me and my heart broke all over again. I started to cry and added "I wish it could have been with you." The myriad of things that got in the way and made that ending an impossibility-- don't matter. It doesn't mean that deep down in my heart I didn't dream about it, long for it.  I'd be lying if I denied that.
         Here is where I'm stuck though. It's a new year. This year i'm working hard, trying to learn about manifesting the things that I want for myself.  There are two biggies that I've come up with. One, which you were my biggest support system for, Broadway- obviously.  The other, which I'm having more trouble with- is love. I am torn. Obviously I WANT what Michelle and Joe have.  I want those breathtaking first look pictures. I want to look at a man that way and have him looking back at me feeling equally as blessed and in love. That man can't be you because you are gone. But I still feel bad moving forward. I know I need to and I know someday I will... but I don't know how.  Because it seems like the true test- the task at hand- the only WAY to find love again, would be to find a way to release your hold on my heart. And that feels a lot like having to LET GO of you, and just writing those words makes my chest tighten all over again.  How do I do this?  How do I move on without you?  I watched a gut wrenching documentary tonight in which someone said "Grief is loves unwillingness to let go."  Truer words, never spoken.
        I am still grieving.  I don't know how to let go of this love. Those words sound WRONG. So what do I do? What would you tell me?  I know you always wanted me to be happy. You always wanted me just for yourself, too. But you're not here to be with me anymore.  So what would you have me do? How can I move forward into looking for the kind of love I know you always wished you could provide before things got hard... but simultaneously honor you and your legacy, our story and the love you left behind?  I guess I'm writing you to ask for guidance. I wouldn't be having these thoughts and feelings if they weren't being planted in my head by the Universe, my Higher Power, and maybe even you.  Can you be there for me, through whatever new partner I eventually find when the time comes?  I hope so.  Even though your death SHATTERED my heart into a million pieces, your part in my life made it grow twice as big from the day I met you til the day you left... and eventually when it is done healing, that is what I'll have to give... and we'll both owe you for it.
                                                             I miss you. I love you.

Thursday, June 18, 2015


Today I stood at that same doorway that we walked through in August… the one you entered to officially start your new life. I turned that same door handle that your key got stuck in, breaking in half… forcing us to be late to dinner because we had to grab a new one.  Holding my breath I walked in, like it was a place that I was used to, like I’d been there hundreds of times instead of just a handful. I flicked the light on in your bedroom- what used to be your bedroom. I stood in the empty space, bulldozed over by that “new apartment smell”, the same one I’d grown accustomed to on my couple of visits to see you. The room was smaller than I remembered, cold and empty, but I could picture the bed. The humidifier on the floor by the door. The dresser we worked for hours building, the last night I ever spent with you there. I walked into the bathroom and caught my reflection in the mirror. The same mirror I had belted “The Little Mermaid” into while blow-drying my hair one of our first nights there. A mirror I pictured you looking into daily as you got ready for work. I still remember your “mirror face” that you never saw me catching you make when you fixed yourself up. I opened the tiny drawers where I’d carefully unpacked your toiletries… empty now but also emitting their own specific smell that seemed so familiar, in spite of how long it had been since I’d been there.  I made my way slowly down the hall, dreading the short walk. Knowing what was coming. First, that big empty space, the space that was a beautiful and jam-packed living room the last time I was there, but the trip before had been the same empty, cold, concrete space I was in now. The floor where I’d laid with you the first night, watching movies on your computer, one of the only possessions we had when we moved you there in August. The floor where I’d collapsed when I’d gotten the call that my cat had died. Where you held me as I screamed and sobbed. That same, cold, empty room. 

And then there it was… the spot. The place of my nightmares. Thank God I hadn’t seen it myself, but I knew where it was. Slowly, tears flowing freely I made my way to that spot and sat down on the floor. I sat in that spot and immediately and ironically felt as if my heart had stopped. … There I lay in the place where I know you took your last breath. I looked up at the ceiling to see whatever it was that you may or may not have seen before closing your eyes one final time. Concrete ceiling, all that damned concrete. There I lay in the same spot as you, and I wept. I wept for all I lost the day I lost you. A love. A support system. A best friend. A listening ear, a shoulder to cry on. My voice of reason. The man that made me laugh, made me smile, made me feel like everything was going to be okay. It’s not okay, none of this is okay. I wept for all that could have been but now will never be. I wept for the brand new start that you were making, for all of the excitement you had for this new life. I wept for whatever potential our relationship might have had if circumstances had been different. I wept for the students who will never get to know you. The friends who never got to say goodbye. For your family, who are the most lovely people I’ve met in a long time, who lost their precious baby.  I wept for you, because you deserved better than this for an ending. Because you were alone, and that breaks my heart. I wept for myself, because I always knew my life would never be the same after meeting you, but I didn’t expect that this would be the reason why. I wept because I am sorry. Because so much went unsaid. Because I hardly kissed you goodbye the last time I saw you.  Because I never ever expected to come back to this apartment for this purpose.  I wept because we will never be there together again. Because we will never be anywhere together again. I wept because this apartment was only about an hour from where I’m currently performing, and you should’ve been at opening. You would’ve been at opening. I wept because you’ll miss the rest of the openings from here on out.  I wept because it’s just not the same without you. I wept because I miss you, so terribly. I wept for the massive hole left on this planet without you in it, and for the even bigger hole that lies permanently in my heart. I laid there, and I wept, and I wished in vain that I could bring you back. That this was all just a terrible, horrible dream. But it’s not. I live in a nightmare wherein one of the most important people in my life is gone forever… as evidenced by the spotless, empty, cold concrete apartment that just months earlier had been occupied by the vibrancy of his new life. I lay quietly crying in that spot for a few minutes, trying not to picture too closely, willing myself to come to some sort of acceptance or understanding that this is real…an impossible task. And then finally… I pulled myself up from that spot.  Forced myself to put one foot in front of the other, the way you would tell me to.  I stood facing that corner, talking out loud to nothing, saying the 800,000th “I love you”, and slowly turned off the lights and walked to the door. I closed my eyes tightly, willing myself to lock in every single memory we had in this space, took in one final deep breath of that specific apartment smell, and said goodbye to the place where you went away from me.

Sunday, January 4, 2015


It's been 17 days since I unexpectedly lost the love of my life.  It's been one week since I saw him for the last time... laying peacefully in a beautiful silver-gray casket, looking the same as he did when he used to lie next to me at night. A week since I last got to run my hand through his hair and tell him goodbye, making sure to send tears with him.  A week since my first time speaking at a funeral.

This was my eulogy.

My name is Erica, and I was Greg's.
I  haven’t been to many funerals, and I’ve never spoken at one before.
I’ve been lucky enough that up until now, the most tragic loss I’ve suffered was 4 months ago when my cat died suddenly and unexpectedly while I was here in Michigan, moving Greg in. I remember he held me as I lay in a heap on his empty apartment floor just after receiving the news. And here I had thought- this is the worst loss I could experience.  No.  This--- of all the people in all the world, there is no greater loss for me than Greg Reuter.

I met Greg almost 4 years ago. It was clear right away that he was going to play a very special role in my life.  We were immediately drawn to each other, and over the years we formed a bond unlike anything I’ve ever shared with another person.

Greg easily and quickly became my mentor, my best friend, and eventually the love of my life. More so than all of that, he was my rock, Keeping me grounded in a world that is often too overwhelming for me.

For years, Greg was my everything.  We spoke every single day and there was absolutely nothing I couldn’t tell him. I’ve lost count of the amount of times and different ways that Greg has been there for me. I worked hard to do the same for him.

I am so blessed to have shared the love with Greg that I did. I was truly enamored with him, and got to see sides of him no one else did. But through our many ups and downs one thing was always certain- my heart was his, and I loved him so much. No one has ever made me feel more beautiful or cherished than Greg. He loved me in the unconditional way I had always hoped for.
He was so gentle and comforting when life called for it- he had this light touch, I called it his super touch, that he would rub my back with when I was upset and instantly, everything would be better. THAT is what Greg did- he made Everything BETTER.

Perhaps one of the biggest impacts Greg made on my life, was through his belief in me. It’s a tough business we’re in, and I was star struck by Greg from the start. 8 Broadway Shows?!  It was astounding.
  Here was this man with so much success and experience, what business did I have associating myself with him?  And yet- for whatever reason, Greg became laser-focus fixated on my ability, and obsessed with bringing out the best in me. Over and over he expressed his belief in me- he was so fervent in his expression.  He wasn’t the first person to tell me that he thought I could succeed---
But he was the first person to FINALLY make me BELIEVE IT.

With Greg by my side, cheering me on, I finally (after 4 years of struggling) started to find success.  Every accomplishment I’ve had these past 4 years has been because of Greg Reuter. And he was there for every single one of them, to hold me tight and say “I told you so.”
Aside from my parents, I’ve never had anyone express such pride for me. No one on Earth has ever made me feel as valuable as Greg did.
He dedicated his last few years to helping me succeed, he was the biggest champion for me, and I simply would not be where I am or who I am today without him.

For every success there were of course dozens of failures.  And through each one, Greg was there to pick me back up. I called him on at LEAST a monthly basis to cry about wanting to quit. The last time I did so was 2 weeks ago.
And for the thousandth time he repeated his mantra: “I will not let you give up. I know you’ve got what it takes. We are going to make this happen for you. I BELIEVE IN YOU.” No one has ever said those 4 words more or made me believe them like he did.

And now, I HAVE to go on and do it for him.  I honestly don’t know how to do it without him, but I cannot give up until I prove him right. And I KNOW he is going to still be there every step of the way. If I know Greg, and the way he always wanted to be by my side, I have to believe that he has found his way to be here now. His influence on me will continue, and he will be in every note of every song that I sing and in everything I do, now and forever. I will continue spending my life working to make him proud.

He was the light of my life, and my world is darker without him. But I am so grateful to have shared part of my life with him, his love is one of the greatest blessings I’ve ever received. I am better for it, and I will cherish what we had forever.

I promise you babe… I will keep going for you.  Everything from here on out is for you. Thank you for touching my life, for showing me real love, for believing in me and for making me better. I love you and miss you forever. 

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Little Wooden Box

                                  Little Wooden Box
                                           by Erica Lustig

When I would lay with you at night, I’d count all of your parts
and I’d tell you how I loved each one with all my soul and heart.
How I loved your little perfect nose, tiny, pink and wet.
How I loved your long long whiskers and that face I can’t forget.
How I loved your kitten toes, some were pink and some were black.
How I loved your gorgeous yellow eyes, which always loved me back.
How I loved your big fat belly, warm and coated with soft fur.
How I loved your silly meow and loved it best when you would purr.
How I loved to hold your tiny paws and scratch behind your ears,
How you only got more handsome and more regal through the years.
How I loved your broken tail, slightly crooked at it’s end
How I loved to wrap my arms around my best furry friend.
I would kiss each part before I told you how I loved you so
you would curl up in my arms at night and stay there til I woke.
Now all of those parts I used to love and point out with such joy
have been turned into a pile of ashes, all I loved destroyed.
That heart which used to beat so strong, now it doesn’t exist.
Each tiny perfect part of you I’ll never again kiss.
And the tears I cried into your fur, they’re mixed up in the ash,
Along with 10 full years of love that went by in a flash.
If I could have you back again I’d reset all the clocks
but instead I have to hold you in a little wooden box.
This box holds a collection of the most amazing parts
And along with every bit of you, a dear piece of my heart.
R.I.P Onyx

Saturday, August 30, 2014


           After a freak and unfortunate series of unexpected events at the vet while I was away, my cat has been dead for 2 weeks as of yesterday. People keep asking me how I'm doing. "Hanging in there" I say- because there really is no proper response to such a question. How am I doing? How would anyone be doing when their world has been shaken in this way? When the small, loving, innocent creature that became so much a part of my life that I cannot remember a day without him was here gazing up at me with his beautiful, vibrant, adoring and alive eyes one day and then a few days later, no longer existed in the world? There is nothing else to do but "hang in there"... I hang around waiting for a day when my apartment won't feel so empty and lonely. Some moments I feel as though I'm physically being hung... Like invisible hands or rope are wrapped around my neck and everything is closing in and it's hard to breath. These moments come from nowhere. And I'm stuck hanging in that moment, waiting for the wave to pass. I can imagine how ridiculous I might sound to some. I myself may have rolled my eyes at such prolonged sorrow before having gone through it myself. He was a cat after all. But that "just a cat"- oh he was my whole life. Some days I took it completely for-granted and for each of those days I have shed hundreds of tears and probably will continue to for a long while. That cat- he was simultaneously best friend, son, therapist, dependent, brother, baby and  love of my life.  
           I never knew what it was like to have a cat before Onyx. Growing up I had always wanted one but my father greatly disliked cats. "You can have a cat when you don't live in my house" he would say when I would beg to take home one of my neighbors kittens. So, that's  precisely what I did. The very first place I got on my own, my first order of business was to go out and get myself that kitten I'd always wanted. But at that time it wasn't just "oh I want a pet". I was in dire need of companionship. Onyx came into my life at one of the lowest and most desperate points I have suffered thus far. I had an incredibly hard first year and a half of college. With the pain, depression and hardship I faced during that time, I fell into a deep and dark place in my mind. That dark place lead me to behaviors that I do not talk about to this day but that will always stay with me. Those behaviors lead to the inevitable loss of the dearest and only friends that I had at that time (justified loss, I was at fault). It also cost me my home at the University as I became a liability for them and suddenly I was faced with a choice- quit school or move out into an apartment by myself and stick through it in spite of all I was going through. Somehow in that moment of choice I was granted the strength to choose to stay- and away I went into my very first (and only) apartment by myself. The biggest problem with this was- I was terribly codependent at that point in my life. Like, couldn't go to the snack machine without a buddy codependent. How would I ever handle living on my own? It was unfathomable. And thus, a companion was required. Straight to the local ASPCA I marched, and home with me came the tiniest, squirreliest little tuxedo kitten. I had wanted a girl and thought I had one all picked out but because of a mix-up I wound up with this little boy- what would become one of the happiest mistakes of my life.        

I didn't know how to be with a cat in the beginning as this was my first experience. I'd be lying if I said i remembered much of the start. It was over 10 years ago and I wasn't in my right mind. But I remember little things. He was active. He would play with and try to eat people's hair. He slept in bed with me. He was adorable. Soon we settled into life together and he made my pain of being alone and having to make all new friends that much more bearable. No matter what I went through, I always had that love to come home to, and it was always enough to keep me going. That was just the first time he saved my life. Throughout the following 10 years, whenever great pain struck my heart and I found myself on the ground in a heap, sobbing, he was there. Countless number of times I sobbed into his fur. Eventually it became his one pet peeve- he was rarely violent except for when he heard loud crying. One time I sat in my bed crying over a boy.... loudly... And he hopped up, walked over to me slowly, and bit my face. As if to say- "enough already." I punished him big time, I was so angry. And hurt. But hey, he took my mind off that boy for a minute!
 In spite of that though, he still let me cry a lot. He was always there, he had no choice. But whenever I was down I could hold him in my arms and he would purr and nuzzle me. We would sit in silence and love each other and his love would seep in and plug up the holes in my heart. He had a magic for that that no one else does. So many men came in and out of my life but I would hold him through each broken heart and say "you're the only boy that matters, the only one that will never leave me".   
And then, he did. Not by his choice I know. Everything dies. But just as I was off saying goodbye to one more love and expecting to come home to my most important boy who I knew would carry me through it... Everything changed forever. 

         So now I sit here, the most massive hole I think I've ever felt in my heart- and no fur to cry into. No inquisitive little boy hopping up to keep me company. Nothing to hold in my arms as I fall asleep at night. (The song I sang for him in my solo show- "why won't you cuddle", was actually a huge lie. He cuddled me every single night I spent with him for the last few years.)  I hit the last few steps of the stairwell outside my door and pause, waiting to hear his expectant meow. He always knew my footsteps on the stairs and would start the greetings long before I walked in. But it is silent. I turn the key and open the door waiting to see that funny face so thrilled to see me, and it isn't there. I sit on the couch and can't help glancing over at his favorite spots- nothing. I replay the last time I saw him in my mind- sitting on the edge of the orange couch, just watching me leave again. I had been gone from him so long (I imagine 4 weeks feels like an eternity for a cat.) and here I was, in and out again, another suitcase in hand. Thank God the first thing I did when I got home that night was hold him. But I can't remember if I actually went over and kissed him goodbye before walking out. I know I said "see you in a few days". I couldn't WAIT to get back and FINALLY spend some real time with him again. It was only 4 days, I could've never imagined that I wouldn't get to. But we don't get a say in these things. He is not on that spot on the couch anymore. He is not in my bed with me as he always would be when I was here. He doesn't follow me into the bathroom to lick the condensation off of the shower. Doesn't beg to drink from the kitchen sink. I look and I look but he is nowhere to be found. And I am left feeling empty, and broken.... A piece of me gone forever. 
        That boy, that gift that kept on giving... Brought so much joy and love into my life. Helped me through so many rough spots. Loved me unconditionally in the way that only a pet can. He gave me a reason to be happy and excited to get home every day, alone or not. Because I was never alone so long as he was there. I miss him in a way I can't really put into words, a way that shakes me to my core. I don't know when it will stop hurting. I'm secretly fearful of him fading away into distant memory. But for now it is fresh and I think about him every day, wherever he may be. I will continue to honor his memory and keep hanging in there, because I have no choice. But my life is forever changed without that sweet little boy. Last week I said my final goodbye and sobbed into his fur one last time, and those tears will make it into the urn I collect next week that holds what is left of him. And with those remains and those tears, will also be the piece of my heart that he has held since the first day I held him.

Rest in Peace my sweet boy, I love and miss you forever.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

An Actor's Life: A Tale of Madness

An actors life: A Tale of Madness

I want to share the story of my morning. Today is an audition day, one which I'm partaking in mostly out of guilt, which is what a lot of them are for me. When I haven't auditioned in a while I start to panic- what am I doing with my life? I'm pushing 30... I've been in NYC for 7 years now doing this starving artist "thing". Other girls my age have husbands and real jobs with real salaries, some have multiple children. Most seem to have stability. Me? I moonlight as a karaoke hostess on weekends and struggle to keep my cat alive. The only thing that's certain in my life is my unhealthy addiction to carbs and Starbucks, which I shouldn't be wasting what little money I have on. But I am an "actress", or so my unemployment form says... This is what i came to this crazy city to do so I will force myself to go to auditions even when they are for things I KNOW aren't really casting or may not be that right for me, just so I can pat myself on the back later and say "hey good for you, you're doing what you set out to!" and then have an excuse to eat my celebratory Quiznos.
This morning started out much like the others.... I set my alarm for 7:38and off it went. I woke up with a start- "Who? What? Why? When did I get a cat? This can't be right!... Oh yea." It's been ages since I woke up before 9am so it took a minute to get focused but then I was up, putting my sneakers on (I sleep in the next days outfit when I know I have to sign up early. Don't judge, you do it too.) and brushing my teeth. With a yogurt in hand I trek bravely out into Times Square. Side note: I made the brilliant yet sometimes huge pain in the ass move to 8th ave and 43rd street a year ago. Living on the border of Times Square, above a porn shop and next to a strip club no less, has as many downs as you can imagine. But the one major perk is that on audition days, I need to stumble no more than 10 minutes to get to any audition. That makes it all worth it, if you can get past the fact that everyone thinks I'm a stripper when I exit my apartment and there's an occasional police shooting outside my door. But I digress. Here I am, hoofin it to the Actors Equity building. Past the crazies camping out outside of broadway shows hoping for rush tickets, past the people cleaning Times Square, past the Jamaican guys yelling at me about taking a bus tour. I stride into the equity building, card in hand, at 8:05- Just about an hour before "sign up", because this one is expected to get crazy. Once I hit the 16th floor and walk in, I'm greeted by the nice guy that works at Equity (you know the one), asking me if I'm here to dance. Clearly,  he's never met me. No sir I say, I'm here for Encores... And then it dawns on me that something is very not right here. I had expected to see a line snaking through the place all the way to the elevator. I had seen no such line. "Oh that's not here today.... I think... Yea it's at Pearl". Of course it is. Because we as actors have one of the easiest, no brainer jobs in existence. I barely had to take an academic to get a college degree in theatre. There are very few things expected of us simple minded creatures.... We just have to know what we're going to audition for, what we're bringing to sing, what to wear, what time to show up and WHERE TO GO. That's it. And yet as usual, that's just a little too much for poor little ol' me. It was just a matter of checking my schedule because I wrote it down but c'mon, that would've been too easy and make for a far less exciting story.
So now, your brainless heroine must frantically rush from one studio to another. Off I go back into the throngs of people in Times Square, and I'm on a mad dash to Pearl Studios, 11 blocks away. It's now 8:15, which is when I wanted to be happily settled in line. I get myself back to 8th avenue which, in the 30s, doubles as the pits of hell. Weaving in and out of people headed to work/taking pictures of buildings/looking for their next crack fix... I try and get my breath moving like that of a runner (considering I don't run unless something is chasing me, this is an impossible task). I imagine the line at Pearl getting impossibly long and I curse myself for making this mistake. Around 40th street I glance to my left and notice another young woman. Must be an actress. She's clutching an iced coffee, walking very briskly, and she's double bagging it. (Carrying two tote bags, not grocery shopping.) Yes, no doubt you are an actress and you are headed to the same place as me. I rev my engine, and we start to race. She picks up pace and is walking impossibly fast and I imagine her getting into line and some omnipotent being cutting me off right after and saying "audition closed." I quicken my pace. We are bobbing and weaving through the crowd, neck and neck with each other. My shoe comes untied. "Fuck it" I think. I can't miss this. I frantically stumble-power-walk down 8th avenue with this woman right on my heels, sheer determination powering me forward. At 36th street, just before our destination has been reached, she turns left. Clearly, not on her way to the audition. Clearly just a normal 30 something, on her way to work where she probably has unlimited breakfast options and pictures of an attractive husband taped up in her cubicle waiting for her. I shake my head. I just walked (ran) 5 blocks with my SHOE UNTIED. This is when I come to the realization- I AM BECOMING ONE OF THOSE CRAZY ACTORS. The ones that I'm usually sitting back making fun of... The girls that carry a headshot and a curling iron with them everywhere they go. Who eyeball you up and down when you enter a holding room and are hesitant to tell you where the end of the line is. These creatures that I have marveled at for years... I have just exhibited some of their manic behavior! This business is turning me slightly psychotic! I mean... I'm racing strangers in the streets with my shoes untied!! But as quickly as I come to this realization I also identify what's behind it. It's because as each day passes I feel a little more desperate. Desperate to get a job. To prove myself. To be reminded that I've got whatever it takes to make it in this business (minus dance skills, oops my bad.) It's because with every audition you show up to and find hundreds of people at who are just as eager as you, it starts to feel a little bit impossible that you will succeed over all hundreds of them. Because most of the time, you don't. And it is that hunger, that drive that breeds the desperation which turns us crazy. But I do not want to be crazy. I did a stint with that back in college and it just wasn't fun, I'm not interested. I want to keep my cool. I want to go back to remembering that there is room for everyone somewhere, some time. We can't all win simultaneously but I have had my winning moments before and God willing there will be more in the future when the timing is right. No drag races necessary. I arrive at my audition to find a small and sensible line. I take my place at the end of it, and begin to write this blog. Because I want to remind myself of that time I went a little bit batshit, and how unnecessary it was. Even if the girl in the street HAD been on her way to this audition, there was plenty of room for everyone. We would've sat next to each other and probably started up a conversation. And as it turns out, from the one person behind the table in said audition pretty much ignoring me, I was able to deduce that they definitely weren't really "looking" today. But hey- at least I showed up. Did what I was supposed to do. And that Quiznos was delicious. 

Friday, December 21, 2012

The End Of The World

So today was supposed to be the end of the world. And there are some people that are maybe a little bit disappointed that the end didn't actually happen. And many more that are laughing at the "crazies" who we're preparing for this day. Obviously we are all still here, so the so called "end" seems to not have come. But hear me out.... I'm daring to say that the world HAS come to an end. That is- the world, as we've known it, is coming to an end. It didn't all happen today, its been a gradual ending, and in fact it's not completely finished, but I believe that the world as we've known it is ending. This year we have taken strides regarding equality, particularly that concerning gay rights and marriage. There is more acceptance and freedom to love now than there has ever been in my lifetime. Last week we witnessed a God-awful tragedy but as a result there has been talk about gun control and better care for the mentally ill.  We saw people banding together through national disasters this year, supporting and lifting each other in times of need. And did I mention gay marriage? This is huge. The most religious nuts who have spent this year warning everyone of impending doom- they are the ones who's world is ending today. Because I see us continuing to move up up up in the right direction, and it is a direction most of them are against and don't want to see happen. But If that is what the end of the world means- then let the world end. Let us say goodbye to the world as it was and welcome the new world- a world where love trumps hatred, where slowly but surely the message of Peace continues to flourish, where we truly listen to and help each other. Where we can hopefully one day see an end to bullying and perhaps avoid tragedies like the one in Newtown.  I whole heartedly acknowledge the end of the world and say goodbye to the way things have been, and welcome a new, better and more positive world. 
Sending love and peace to everyone this holiday season. Don't forgot to spread love to those around you.