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Aug, 2009

My Wild Weekend

I just want to say that it REALLY irritates me that these blog interfaces make your text go crazy when you paste into them… this isn’t supposed to be quadruple spaced, but… I’m too lazy and tired to fix it. Read on…

Most people know what a party animal I am… YEAH RIGHT! I recently had some child-free time to myself and you won’t believe what kind of madcap adventures ensued…

I was in complete disbelief, looking at my calendar last week. Was it true? Could it be?! I was going to have a full three days of an empty house to myself?!! GET OUT OF HERE! My boyfriend went to the Midwest for some work and it was my daughter’s and nanny’s turn to go over to my ex’s house. For the first time in I-don’t-know-when, I was going to be alone in my own house! Just the dog and me. Immediately, I started making plans:

Change the tv channel to something other than Noggin and PBS

Watch a DVD that is not “Free To Be You And Me” or “Elmo’s Potty Time”

Sleep in the middle of the bed with all of the covers to myself

Spend quality time with the dog before she kills me in my sleep

Work out

Read an entire magazine on the toilet with the bathroom door open. Wide open.

Take long showers (eco system be damned)

Catch up on writing

Party with my childless, single friends at night

Sleep in late in the mornings.

I had a LOT of plans for the weekend! Wednesday night, the man headed down to LAX and Thursday afternoon, the baby and nanny rolled out to daddy’s house. Let the craziness begin! My motto was, “What happens in Sherman Oaks, stays in Sherman Oaks!” WOO-HOO!

Except nothing really happened. Well, some of it happened, but not nearly with the gusto I had fantasized about. While I did manage to get out for a few meals with friends and drinks a couple times, I amazed myself at how absolutely lame I was all by myself:

Friday Morning: My first opportunity to sleep in was squelched by my boyfriend’s alarm which didn’t get turned off from the morning before. It went off at 6am and there I was… awake.

Friday Night: performed stand up set at Hollywood Improv and ended up going to a karaoke bar with a comedian friend and his neighbors. I had one beer, didn’t sing a song and was yawning the whole time. Was home by midnight. Checked emails and went to bed.

Saturday Morning: Remembered to turn off alarm, but woke up at 7am, on the dot, out of habit. This is when my 2 yr old gets up. DAMN! I was up!

Saturday Day: Paid bills, went to post office, did two loads of laundry

Saturday Night: Had a friend over for a beer and dip in the pool then off to meet more friends for overpriced drinks. This was the big night!

Sunday Morning: Slept all the way until 8:30am!! This is big people! Then felt nostalgic for the days when 8:30 used to be early and I could sleep until 10 or 11 with no problem. Sigh.

Sunday Day: Folded and put away laundry, dusted, vacuumed, did paper/busy work

I don’t really think I need to detail any more of this exciting weekend. You get the idea – I was lame!! Had I forgotten how to have fun? Do I not know how to party anymore? Apparently, I just live to do laundry and pay bills and the funny thing is, I’m ok with that.

I’m very lucky that I have a career that is my life’s passion. I’m a comedian and I get to hang out in clubs and colleges and bars all over the country and get paid to make people laugh. I’m surrounded by interesting and talented people and I get to express myself freely, on a regular basis. It’s pretty sweet. At the end of the day though, I don’t mind being a homebody and I think it’s what keeps me sane in this totally insane industry.

Becoming a mom in this industry has been beyond challenging. Comedy is heavily male dominated and a life on the road doesn’t really lend itself easily to breast feeding and bath times. As a female comedian, I have been asked these two questions, repeatedly, since having my daughter:

1) So you’re not really doing comedy anymore then, are you?

2) Oh you are? So, I guess you just take the baby on the road with you then, huh?

I guarantee you, no male comedian who has fathered a child has been asked these questions. Especially #2. I won’t lie. Being a traveling comedian, single-mom of a pre-school aged child is a crazy juggling act I wouldn’t wish on my worst enemy, but I wouldn’t have it any other way. It’s my calling but it’s also my job and like any single mom (or dad) or any parent who works, it is what I do for my child and myself. Furthermore, I’m so grateful to have work in this economy.

So I embrace my lame-o homebody status when I’m at home. Even when it’s just me. I don’t mind coming home from a club and folding little tiny clothes and washing sippy cups. Somehow, it’s all getting done and while I can’t say I like the night life and I like to boogie, I can say that I DO like my life.

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Jun, 2009

The Summer Struggle

I have been living in L.A. since the fall of 2001 and I have been very lucky, worked very hard and so many amazing people have helped me along the way. I am one of a small percentage of people who is making some kind of living at this nutty thing called show business. But people often think that just because someone makes it onto national television or a film or two that they’ve got it made in the shade. This just isn’t the case. Even very famous people still have to hustle for work – especially nowadays. Los Angeles is a very expensive place to live and promoting oneself in this industry is not cheap either. Add single parent to the job description and it’s enough to break the bank


There are so many things I love about summer here in Southern California: jumping in the pool and stripping down at the beach, The Hollywood Bowl, eating dinner and having drinks on restaurant patios, dressing down and chilling out. Nice! But this is also the crappiest time of the year in my profession. 

The entertainment industry typically slows down a bit during the summer and on top of that, I make most of my living performing at colleges and universities. Schools kind of shut down during the summer so summer is my time of financial SUCK and I dread it every year. 

Last summer and this summer have and will be particularly dreadful though because they are my first summers as a single mom. Motherhood as a struggling artist in La La Land is expensive and even with child support, it’s enough to make you want to rob a bank every now and then. And now, the banks don’t even have any money, so… what’s a comedian with a toddler to do?

In the past, at least I knew how to struggle. This is a hard time for the entire country and it’s interesting to me to see so many people having to come to grips with job insecurity, loss of benefits, loss of employment, decrease in salaries, having to dip into savings and more. This is how I have lived, on and off, for my entire adult life and I wouldn’t have it any other way. An artist’s life is not for most, but I’ve never suffered too much because I’ve usually never had much to lose in the first place. My mantra has always been, “Do what you love and the money will come.” It always has and about five years ago, I started making a full time living as a performer. This is more than most performers in Los Angeles ever get to claim. 

I’ve been blessed with a true calling, a thick skin and a love of frugality. Sure money stresses all of us out at times, but I guess I became a pro at not having any for so many years, that I learned not to stress too hard about it… except during the summers. I’ve made it through every year, but throwing a child into the mix took being “stressed about money” to a whole new level. 

Summer of 2008 was a nightmare. I had just gotten the nerve to leave my ex in the spring, my baby was about to turn one and I had no work, no home, no bed, no couch, no crib, no dishes… you get the picture. It was bad.  

Babies really do need to eat and have diapers and pediatrician appointments and clothes and car seats and and and and and. Further more, since I’m a single mom who travels for a living, with no family near by, I need a live-in nanny which means I need a 3rd bedroom, a second bathroom and, well, to pay a live-in nanny.  There are actually two people who depend on me to bring home the bacon and it DOES stress me out. It’s a lot of pressure and some days I feel like throwing in the towel and getting a “real” job. Then I remember I have no marketable skills, outside of comedy and acting, whatsoever, and I’m too old and have too many stretch marks to be a stripper, so… back to the mic I go.

If I had a dollar for every time I’ve been told my life story would make a great sit com or movie, I wouldn’t still be trying to land one. Hollywood is experiencing horrible financial woes right now and the big break is even harder to come by these days, but I’m going to keep chasing the dream. My biggest fan is 2 years old and she’s counting on me.

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