Ever since I saw a 13-year-old Scarlett Johansson in The Horse Whisperer, I wanted to be an actress. I wanted to do what she did, the way she did it, for the money she did it for.
Cut to my post-college move to New York City. I took a storytelling class as a way to bring more “real emotion” to my acting. After the class show someone told me that my 7th grade camping trip story was “very relatable” and I should turn it into a one-woman show. But there was one minor problem: my life was too happy. My parents were loving and still blissfully happy together. Both sets of grandparents were still alive. I had protective older siblings. Good grades. A bucolic, small-town childhood. Never even an inappropriate glance from an adult. I had lived a good life, which could only mean a boring show with absolutely no delicious drama to share with my audience.
What I didn’t expect was that moving to New York City would be all the pain I ever needed for a groundbreaking one-woman performance.
First came the psychotic roommate: I thought I knew what crazy was when I went to Oberlin, but it turns out that I had no idea. Shania once bought a large container of apple juice and then NEVER drank it. Then she would sing during all hours of the afternoon with no consideration that I was still sleeping.The first beat of my show details how I escaped and vowed to eternally flag that maniac on Craigslist.
Then there were my INSANE bosses. One wouldn’t let us make personal calls. Another one wouldn’t let us eat at our desks. A third wouldn’t let us leave early. You couldn’t have paid me enough to leave that sweatshop before I had enough second-beat material, though.
And then there were the bedbugs. I don’t really want to talk about that.
Then came the dating scene in NYC. The first guy seemed nice at first. Then dumped me by text message and spelled my name wrong. End of Act 1!
After my pre-Obamacare drunken shower spill, I was $45,000 in debt. My life is a movie!Never commute at rush hour in this godforsaken city, especially on crutches! YOWZA! After 2008 – no jobs. Living in Bushwick with 11 roommates. Share room with an NYU student who may have stolen my underwear. Or maybe eaten it. Fin.
Here’s a postcard. I hope you can come!