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Archive for the ‘Adventures with Jenko’ Category

Any excuse to dress up.

In Adventures with Jenko on April 15, 2011 at 7:11 am

I will take any excuse I can to dress up.

I don’t mean the, “Oh darling, look at your fabulous cocktail dress” kinda dress-up.

I mean…dressing up like a ho-fo-sho…

Most of what happened on this evening is still talked about 5 years later...the video footage is somewhere...

Going completely wild. Letting your hair down. Being someone else for one frickin’ night. Costume parties are my main thrill in life. In fact, I think the main reason I ever wanted to act, was to play dress-up all the time. Here’s the archival database of all the things I’ve been willing to wear…

"Anything Goes"...circa high school. I was a ham.

Jade. The school nerd. My ONLY film credit. Go imdb "Attack at Zombie High"...the only dancing zombie musical. AWESOME.

Twilight.

White Trash Bash.

it.was.legendary.

Sorority Girl on Glory Daze.

Beer Pong Olympics. Team Scotland.

the monkey and the bush.

The belly dancer parade unit...to promote the "indy fans" documentary

The Viking.

In Adventures with Jenko on April 1, 2011 at 5:55 am

Adventures in housing: Adventure #2.

Today was a weird day.

It was my one conceivable day off of the week, which meant a couple things:

Do laundry. Finalize everything in my room so that its ready when we show the house. Apartment hunt via craigslist.

Most of the day was spent hitting the refresh button on the craigslist apartment postings.

Bullshit.

Refresh.

More bullshit.

Refresh.

even more bullshit.

I’m too poor for Burbank. I’m way too poor for Toluca Lake. I can’t afford the parts of Noho that I’d care to live in. I’m too lazy to drive to Van Nuys.

Suddenly, out of left field, Glendale became an option. I could either suck it up and live super close to work and pay up the ass for it, or I could live a couple exits down the freeway and pay a little less…and I happened upon Glendale.

The first posting in Glendale that I noticed was within my price range…and thank god for google maps. It has saved me hours of driving through crappy parts of town thanks to the “street view” option. So, the apartment had hard-wood floors. Awesome. Garage parking. Even more awesome. Pet friendly. Schweeeeet. Safe looking street.

So I read off the street name to my mom, and she instantly screams “no” which is an unfair reaction. She didn’t even look at the street view.

I said she was being unreasonable.

She said she knew the complex, “The Viking” well.

Turns out, it was the same complex my grandpa had lived in back in the 60’s. He had jumped around to different units throughout the complex, and as it turns out, the unit # that was available was the same unit he had once lived in.

It was unreal.

My grandpa passed away about 14 years ago…but I remember that apartment. I remember going to visit him with my mom when I was a kid, and racing up the stone staircase all the way up to the front door. I remember going from that apartment to the auto repair shop that he owned in Hollywood. I remember that part of town always being a part of my childhood.

Its just strange to me that out of all the places to live…I stumbled upon his place.

Its strange how everything changes.

As a kid, I always thought that Hollywood was a glamorous town filled to the brim with movie stars. It didn’t dawn on the kid-version of myself that I was literally visiting Hollywood every week to see him at work. The kid-version of myself had also assumed that Glendale was Hollywood. Anywhere my grandpa was, I figured it was “hollywood.” Not the “hollywood” you would expect, but I loved it nonetheless.

My mom’s connection to the LA area always surprises me. You can give her any cross-street, and she knows it like the back of her hand. My mom was a figure skater growing up and all through high school…like most athletes and actors living in the area, my mom went to Hollywood Professional School…the alumni includes Betty Grable, Bobby Driscoll, Melanie Griffith…its insane. She used to hang out with Butch Patrick and Maureen McCormick.

And now, here we are…my mom telling me stories about an apartment that was such a significant part of her life…an apartment that might become a significant part of mine.

We’re gonna go look at the place together tomorrow. The neighborhood has changed a lot since he lived there. I have a feeling my mom is about to say farewell to old ghosts…and I’m about to welcome them back.

You say goodbye. I say hello.

In Adventures with Jenko on March 25, 2011 at 8:30 pm

I think its easy to forget the power of saying hello to someone.

The power of holding the elevator for someone.

The power of taking the time to remember someone’s name.

I’m exhausted lately.

Not “i hate my life/what am I doing/routine/bull-shit exhausted.

Its the good kind. The kind where money is going into the bank, and car payments are getting made on time. The kind where I had extra money to upgrade to animal style fries at In N’ Out yesterday, and I felt like the richest frickin’ person on the planet.

But I’m still tired. My body automatically wakes up around 5am at this point…but I need caffeine. And by 9pm, I’m of no use to anyone.

Its easy to get wrapped up in your own life. Your own problems. Because lets face it, aren’t we all the center of our own universe? We are. Its ok to admit that. But once in awhile, look up. Just look up.

I might not be wearing a cape, but when I hold the elevator for someone at the parking structure at work, you’d think I just saved their day. There’s this parking attendant who works the check-in booth at WB. He’s there every day when I leave. I remember him from my first day of work. I was stressed and not even sure if I had parked in the right place, and I remember him telling me not to be nervous and he could tell it was my first day. He helped me out with parking. Now, I see Tino every day as I leave the lot… he even insists that I call him “T.” Whenever I leave, I take the time to roll down the window, and yell good bye to him. It makes my day to know that someone cares if I had a good day. That someone has taken the time to remember who I am, even though tons of people go through that lot every day. As I leave the lot every day, I actually look forward to seeing him on the way out. Its a small slice of regularity in a world that can be a bully…a world that can hit you when you’re down. But the nice people in this mean world…are the ones who make all the difference.


High Flying Adored.

In Adventures with Jenko on March 22, 2011 at 5:41 am

My day went a little something like this…

Waking up throughout the night going into a coughing fit.

Miraculously woke up at 5am to get ready for work.

Pulled myself out of bed.

Sat in rainy-day/change my mind now its sunny/change my mind again now its rainy traffic.

Got to work.

Got through an 8 hour shift at WB on the following sources of caffeine:

2 coffees, 3 shots of espresso and 1 large iced tea.

Clock out.

Jam to McDonalds….I looked my wheat allergy in the face and said the following words:

Suck it up you punk. Today I’m knocking you in the ground. I already failed and ate a grilled cheese sandwich for lunch, and now I plan on eating a snack wrap and 2 apple pies. You’re gonna feel moody, and irritable…and don’t forget the dose of P.m.s. that you’re dealing with this week. So suck it up. I promise I’ll treat you better tomorrow. Or maybe wednesday.

Then I scarfed down McDonald’s, and sat in more traffic as I made my way from Burbank to Rancho Cucamonga for Evita rehearsal.

On this particular show, I’m on the other side of the table. I’m assistant stage manager on the show, and its a perspective that I love to take once in awhile. To see the show from the outside looking in. And today, when I looked in…mind you, I was exhausted, cold, bloated and feeling utterly guilty because I ate so much shit today and I firmly believe that my metabolism that could give the Flash a run for his money…has stopped.

Despite all of this…

I sat back for a minute, and took in the show. Took in the run-thru of a scene that I was seeing for the first time.

I haven’t seen the stage production of Evita before. 3/4 of the music is new to me…and I saw the movie ages ago, so every moment of this show feels like the first time with me.

Anyway…I sat back, and took in the staging of “High Flying Adored.”

And came close to tears.

There are moments in life when you’re exhausted. Moments when you don’t know why the hell you do what you do. Moments when you realize that any sane person would take a vacation or some sort of break. Tonight I sat back and was reminded why I do what I do. Why I don’t take breaks. Why I choose theatre over film/tv. I’ve kept theatre woven into my life since I was a child…and tonight I was reminded why.

It still moves me.

It still takes me away from my reality, and makes me feel something when I think that I don’t have the energy to feel.

To the cast of Evita, you will make people feel again. Everything you are doing is beautiful.

So now its your turn…sit back…close your eyes…and listen to the song that almost made me blubber like a frickin’ child. I’m going to end my day by eating a plate full of chicken nuggets. Go shove it metobolism…I don’t care if you stop completely. I don’t care if I looked like ass in my jeggings today.

Anyway.

Listen.

imagination.

In Adventures with Jenko on March 18, 2011 at 6:27 am

I was always one of those kids who let their imagination run wild.

Most of this madness was encouraged by my grandmother. She always told me to listen to a song. Sing a song. Write something. Play an instrument. Act out a scene. Do something. Anything.

So I did.

As a kid, I believed in just about everything.

I believed that I had magical powers.

I believed that I could control the speed of the wind by placing my arms over my head.

I believed that I was a circus acrobat, and I would hang upside down from a balance beam in my grandma’s backyard while blasting the musical genius of John Philip Sousa. I believed that I was an acrobat so much so, that one day…I just decided to release my legs while hanging upside down. I actually trusted that I could plummet head first to the ground and be ok.

I believed that if I threw mud at a brick wall, that that meant that it would magically turn into chocolate chip cookies.

I believed that I could control the speed of the car while my mom was driving…simply by pulling on the passenger door handle.

As I got older…I’d like to say that my imagination toned it down a bit…but I think it got worse…

As an adult, I sometimes believe that credit cards are refillable gift cards. Maxing out a credit card doesn’t make me nervous…it just makes me look forward to the monthly payment, so that I’ve added more to the balance that I get to spend.

I don’t know if I believe in “God.”…

however

I do believe that there is something out there watching over me…and in my case…its a woodland tree fairy who lives on a little perch in a forest. And trust me, she does a damn good job of watching out for me. And by the way, she has the best damn fairy weave you’ve ever seen.

Snap.

I’m absolutely mortified to share this tid bit…but here we go…

When I was 19 or 20, I was dating this guy I was completely head over heels for. We dated a little bit, but bottom-line…he wasn’t interested.

26-year old me would’ve been ok with that info.

20-year old me however…was a hot mess…I actually remember having this internal monologue the moment he told me that he didn’t want to date me anymore:

Alright, Erika. Its ok. You got this. If you cry your face off at this very moment, he’ll feel sorry for you. And if he feels sorry enough for you, he’ll realize that he’s crazy about you, and he’ll give you a bear hug and you guys will get together…And it’ll happen the way it does in the movies. Ready. Set. Cry.”

I wish I could tell you I was kidding.

But I wasn’t.

Those are the thoughts I had…and at that moment, I cried like the biggest pansy you’ve ever met.

I remember him looking at me and trying not to laugh.

I hit pathetic.

Completely.

Adult me also believes that I can cry my way out of speeding tickets.

Not true.

Adult me believes that if I scream at a bad driver on the freeway with my windows pulled up, that he’ll clearly be able to hear me…take it in…and instantly become a better driver.

Adult me believes that people are good….so when I meet a genuine asshole, it completely throws me off.

Adult me believes that sleep fixes everything that is wrong in the world.

Adult me believes that if something doesn’t work out with me and a guy, that it has everything to do with the fact that I wasn’t persistent enough……This is honestly something that I need to work on….I think I scare people off.

Adult me believes that I have super powers. Adult me believes that I can make mistakes, and somehow pull it together in the end. Adult me believes that I’m an idiot sometimes. That I’m silly. That I’m loud. That I’m broken. That I’m confusing. That I’m scattered. That I’m A.D.D.

That I’m ok.

And no matter what.

No matter how silly the things are that I tend to believe in….

no matter how silly the things that I choose to do…

One thing hasn’t changed…I believe in myself.

Cause I said i would…

In Adventures with Jenko on March 14, 2011 at 3:34 am

I said I’d write about something every day…and today I have nothing to write about..

But out of strictly being fearful that I won’t stay in the habit of writing something, I’m going to write nonsense instead.

Today was a really weird day. I woke up completely exhausted, and stayed delirious the entire day. I attempted to re-pack the remaining boxes in the garage…and came across my darth vader action figure.

It made me giddy. I haven’t seen the damn thing in 2 1/2 years…pretty much since I moved back home.

I marched inside the house and threw on my star wars shirt.

I had to commemorate the day…somehow.

Drove to the theatre, and did a final matinee for The Man Who Came to Dinner...and for the first time in a LONG time…I wasn’t sad to see the show end.

It was a fantastic experience, and definitely a fun show to perform…but I’m ready to take on some new things….

I’m itching to move out of my parents house…and I don’t know if I haven’t been motivated enough, or if I was waiting for just the right opportunity…but I’m ready to leave…

My parents are putting the house on the market in 2 weeks, and I’m ready to move-on. Ready to try something new. Ready to risk a little more. Ready to have a social life outside of Rancho. I feel like I’ve put certain aspects of my life on hold for the past 2 1/2 years, while I dove into aspects I haven’t tried before…I feel like I’m at a point where I’ve had my fun and I got what I could out of this experience…but its time for a change.

And I can’t wait.

And I’m grateful that my new journey begins tomorrow.

nonsense.

In Adventures with Jenko on March 6, 2011 at 6:24 pm

I haven’t posted in a couple days…so I figure I’ll do it now…however I don’t have a whole lot to say…so lets go.

My voice hasn’t decided if it wants to give out or stick around for a little bit. I don’t quite yet sound like a chain-smoker, so I consider that a good sign. I split my other finger open again during the show last night. I am now acutely aware that I am never meant to play characters who must shut doors in a timely fashion.

I had a glass of fruit punch for breakfast, because it was a lot easier and faster to cook than eggs.

I’ve thrown my wheat-free diet out the window, and I blamed it on tech-week.

I should’ve just blamed it on laziness. I think I’ve totaled a couple jumbo jacks, cinnamon rolls, and at least an egg mcmufffin this week.

Nonsense.

Eggs would be a good idea today. Must. cook. eggs.

Whenever I cook eggs, I always think of the Gaston song from “Beauty and the Beast.” Its lame, I realize this. But there’s one lyric where he brags about how many eggs he eats a day…and so yeah.

I slept like a rock. No. Like a boulder last night. Woke up with a fetus of a cold-sore that hasn’t decided if it wants to reach its full potential, or call it quits and abort itself right on my face. My hair looks like hell. The color is bad. Its a weird length. I just want to put my head in a tub of bleach, and blindly put scissors to it and see what happens. I woke up to a stuffy nose which freaked me out, because I never get sick…but when I do, its borderline deathly…a tad exaggerated on my part.

In case you haven’t noticed, I’m groggy. I slept for over 8 hours. And I have nothing of value to tell you at the moment.

Contemplating glass #2 of fruit punch. An odd way to start the day. I feel like I’m 12 years old again..except I’m not sporting the fruit punch mustache. I should be drinking coffee. I leave for the theatre in 2 hours to do our matinee for “The Man Who Came to Dinner.”…coffee would be ideal. Naw, a shot of espresso. Two shots of espresso.

I looked like a homeless person for most of the day yesterday, and I was completely ok with that. I wore my ripped jeans with a bird’s nest on top of my head. It looked like one of those clip-on weaves you buy at the mall in the sales bin at Claire’s because you are desperate for change.

Oh. shit. I’m out of conditioner. Completely forgot. Now, my hair is truly going to look fantastic today.

cheers. If you made it this far, you deserve a gold star.

Berfday.

In Adventures with Jenko on March 3, 2011 at 11:49 pm

Berfday was fantastic.

I actually feel younger…some of this might be attributed to the dangerous dose of espresso I just lovingly downed.

Very. Grateful.

Grateful for the friends in my life who took the time to call me and wish me well. Grateful for the insane amount of love my facebook wall received yesterday…I should have warned the wall….Maybe it would have at least been prepared with a condom or something…Practice Safe Wall, people!

Became acutely aware that my last name is much more popular than my first name…in fact, I was impressed with the amount of people who came up with a play on words with my last name….I didn’t realize until yesterday that I miss just being called “jenko.”

Grateful for the fact that my parents took time out of their insane work schedule (they run a business from home), to take me out to dinner and shoot the breeze with me….when the phone was probably ringing off the hook…

This sounds really stupid, but here it goes. I have this on-going convo with my little brother. I’m an I love you WHORE.

I love saying it. I say it to my family and friends a billion times a day. Even when they drive me mad, I still say it. My brother is not quite a whore in this department. He’ll do little things to show you he cares…aka, picking up takeout food for you on his way home or confiding everything to you because he knows he can tell you. But I even got an “I love you” from the little guy on my bday…and it was rad.

I need to stop calling him little bro…he’s like 22 now….And he’s single, ladies…jump on it!

Don’t hate me, Kurt.

Ended the day doing a run of “The Man Who Came to Dinner.”

P.S…we open on Saturday…please go check out the show…it’s hysterical. And I’m Nurse Preen….so come out and see it…esp. if you’ve never been to the Lewis Family Playhouse..the venue is GORGEOUS. Plus, the show is directed by Kevin Slay, and he’s just fantastic. Tix avail at http://www.lewisfamilyplayhouse.com.

The run is only 2 weeks, so don’t miss it.

P.P.S. Shout out to Miss Jodi for probably one of the coolest cakes I’ve ever received…

FORCE CAKE!

Oh, and one of the highlights of the day….

Getting an updated on my blackberry that Cathy Rigby posted “HAPPY BIRTHDAY” on my FB wall…my life is complete.

Frickin’ Cathy Rigby!!

15 minutes before 26.

In Adventures with Jenko on March 2, 2011 at 7:55 am

It is about 15 minutes until I turn 26.

This year, I have discovered the joy of celebrating the final day before you turn a new age.

My last day of 25 was brilliant.

The weather was sunny. Chilly. everything. I was so excited I wore shorts. I had a job interview at Warner Bros. that didn’t feel like an interview…it felt like a fun chat. I relished in every moment of the day. I talked to random people everywhere I went.

And I ended 25 in a theatre. The same place where 25 began. The same green room, too. My year literally came full circle. And even though I ended 25 in the same exact place where it first began, I realized I’ve come so far since last year.

I never thought that I would believe in the quarter-life crisis….but I honestly think I went through it. I questioned myself. I got busier. I listened to my instincts…went the other direction..then came back again. I made a lot of mistakes. I took the time to fix the important ones. I made really bad choices…followed by some of the best choices I’ve ever made. I stood up for myself. I stood up for what I’m good at…I even stood up for what I’m bad at. It all worked out. In some crazy way, it all actually worked out.

The best way to describe today, was it felt like the first day of summer….the first day of summer when you’re a little kid. When you’ve been in the backyard playing all day, and you have a new scrape on your knee that you’re proud of because you climbed that tree. There’s dirt under your fingernails because you played in the mud…because you can. The sun feels like it stayed out a little bit longer…just for you. And to top it off, at the end of your day, episodes of Batman and Robin…(the kablowee, BAM version) are on the tv waiting for you.

It was the perfect day.

I think I might be slowly shedding my “peter pan complex.” But the youthful side of me is sticking around….g’night world. You are absolutely lovely.

 

Get happy.

In Adventures with Jenko on February 28, 2011 at 4:58 am

I’ve been listening to this song on a daily basis for months on end…

Take a listen for a minute or so…and close your eyes when you do so…then think about what you see…

Here’s what I used to see when I listened to that song.

Blackout on stage. Single spotlight shines down on a chair, with me sitting in it.

My head is buried in my hands.

The music comes up.

There is mascara dripping down my face.

I am alone.

All anger. All hurt. All resides in one place.

It has left my heart and gone to my feet.

I jump up from the chair and tap my way through the number.

All anger in my feet.

Every time the song blares “Get Happy” my feet get more angry.

The intensity, the suffocating, the haze…

It’s all left right there on that stage, as the lyrics literally drain me.

 

Get happy.

After months of feeling myself get lost in a suffocating cloud of depression, I told myself two words.

Get happy.

About 2 weeks ago I sat down with my mom and had one of the toughest conversations I’ve ever had. I told her I was unhappy. I told her that I felt like every day is a battle against myself. And I lose every time. I told her I felt like I was stuck in my head. Scared. Suffocated. Insecure. Unhappy. Drowning in a dark depression where I don’t have a desire to get out of bed in the morning.

And the last thing I told her, was that I wanted to get happy.

That night, I handed her a pair of scissors and told her to hack off a couple inches of my hair. I was desperate to somehow feel different. I changed my diet the next day. I decided to only keep positive people in my life. I decided that I would love myself enough to make better decisions.

I woke up the next morning feeling alive.

Radiant.

Different.

I felt like I could fight myself for the first time.

Two weeks into my new diet, and I feel noticeably different. I talk to people everywhere I go. I feel like I’ve downed a gallon of coffee everyday…without having to touch a glass.

Yesterday felt like a breakthrough day for me…

I was running on under 3 hours sleep, and I woke up ready to take on the day. I arrived at the theatre for a morning rehearsal for “The Man Who Came to Dinner”, and I had a different appreciation for what I was doing. I had a different appreciation for theatre. I felt alive. I felt like I was at home. Following a successful run of the show, I raced home to grab food and make copies of my script. I raced back to the theatre, and had the first table-read for my 3-woman show, “Princes Don’t Live in Cyberland.” Reading the show aloud with the cast for the first time was a completely surreal experience. I wrote the show in under 2 hours, but the stories had been stuck in my head for years. During the read, one of the more difficult segments of the show came up. I say “difficult” because emotionally, it was a hard segment to write. It’s the segment of the show where I relive getting over the death of my grandma. During the read, I burst into tears. Tears started welling up from the others during the read. I walked away from the read giddy. To hear your work read aloud is one of the single most thrilling experiences. It is also one of the most vulnerable experiences. Will people like it? Will it affect people? Will it inspire? I walked away from the read knowing that I had written something that hit home. I walked away knowing that it was a piece that people will connect to. It felt incredible.

I ended the day by driving out to LA to celebrate my birthday…a couple days early…but I figure that my actual birthday falls on a tech rehearsal, and I want my focus to be there..and spend another evening letting my hair down. The co-birthday was fantastic. I was surrounded by people I care about. Happy, energetic and lovable people that you just want to spend time with. It was perfect.

It sounds cheesy, but a part of me feels like I’m finding myself. Another part of me feels like I’m meeting myself for the first time. Meeting a person that I want to be. A person who isn’t holding herself back. A person who has insecurities, but who isn’t afraid to cry in front of people. I feel like for the first time, I want to date guys who are emotionally available. Guys who aren’t as guarded as I was. Guys who are genuine. I feel like I deserve better than what I’ve been looking for.

Yesterday, I listened to “Get Happy” on my way home from rehearsal.

I belted it in the car as usual.

But I didn’t just sing it this time.

I sang it.

I mean really sang it.

I really felt it.

I got happy.

And damn.

It feels incredible.