Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Va-Jays are so easy to write about...

One of the few things that I've been doing over this embarrassingly lethargic summer is taking a once-a-week improv class that happens to occur in the basement of the local Planned Parenthood. No, it has nothing to do with improvising sketches about birth control or women's sexual health (although both of those things are pretty cool); that's just where the class takes place. It actually works out quite well to go straight from a pelvic exam into a game of "What Are You Doing?" because they're both such fun and I don't ever have to quit laughing.

Anyways, the culmination of this class is that we "get" to perform at the end, signifying a graduation of sorts from Level One. This performance occurs this Saturday and I'm actually feeling sick with nerves even though it's supposed to be no pressure as we are performing for friends and family. I've even begun having nightmares. Last night, for example, I dreamt that my very-much-not-pregnant-in-real-life mother had a baby and that her labor caused me to miss the warm-up for the show. When I finally made it to the performance venue, everyone was mad at me for being late even though my excuse was impenetrable. The dream ended with me sobbing/screaming "fuck off!" in front of the entire audience before running off stage.

Truth is that this whole "performing for friends and family" business if what's probably making me the most nervous. When you perform badly in front of people you don't know, you can trust that they'll forget how awful you were within a couple days. But with people you do know? How can I be sure that when Rachel and I text each other about Vampire Eric and this week's True Blood, she's not actually thinking about how embarrassed she felt for me when I for some reason decide in a moment of panic that a Hitler impression is all that our performance needs? When my mom and I go out for coffee, will she actually be thinking, "well, at least her hair looked nice under the lights"?

In the end, I had to consider this: Having people you love see you crash and burn sucks. It really does, but does it suck any worse than having no one there to congratulate you when everything goes swimmingly?

I think another thing that's making me freak-the-fuck-out is that it has been a long time since I have been on stage. Sure, I have taken theatre classes and have performed scenes and monologues in an academic setting, but that's a whole different animal. The last time I acted in front of the public was in The Man Who Came to Dinner during my junior year of high school (I was totally the lead, by the way). After that, I sorta gave up acting because, at the jaded age of seventeen, I felt that it wasn't a realistic thing to pursue. Luckily, at twenty two, I'm trying to hop back on the horse that I reluctantly climbed off of five years ago (if that metaphor doesn't prove my gift for theatrics, I don't know what does).

Laying it all out on the internet makes it seem like I'm being all mature and reasonable about understanding and dealing with my performance anxieties (I never claimed that the anxieties themselves were reasonable, just to be clear), but, in the interest of full disclosure, I should tell you how I've actually been dealing with them in the real world:

Step 1: Invite friend/family member.
Step 2: Disinvite friend/family member.
Step 3: Re-invite.
Step 4: Tell them not to expect anything.
Step 5: Repeat steps 1-4.
Step 6: Blame your low expectations on fellow class members to deflect own insecurity.
Step 7: Cry while grotesquely eating freezer-burned yogurt bars.

Well, I hope that you'll send good thoughts my way on Saturday. Worse comes to worse, maybe I can get a free pap smear out of it.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

The blogs that I read are proof enough that I'm not the only one who can hardly wait for the new Mad Men season to start. Now that it's almost here, it's hard to understand how I went so long without checking in with the Sterling-Cooper offices. Are Pete and Don are dealing with their baby mama drama?! Will Joan actually marry Dr. Rapey Raperton? Will the feminist movement propel Peggy into becoming partner? Plus, I need some gosh darn fashion motivation because I can't spend the rest of my life in cut-offs, can I?!

Luckily, for those of us about to combust, the AMC website is offering a way into the Sterling-Cooper universe with MadMenYourself!

See? I can now hobnob with Dick Whitman just like a certain other booty-ful redhead! The more martinis the better!

I reckon that I should probably give a nod to the artist, Dyna Moe. She first came to my attention during Mad Men's last season with her Joan Holloway paper dolls and ability to capture the 1960's advertising world within her art. In case you've never seen them, here are some of my faves:

August 16th, you're so close, yet so far away!