Monthly Archives: February 2011

Day 7. No Full Length Mirror

Monday, February 28, 2011

My last couple of posts have focused on the melancholy things. The truth is, this has been a lot of things. I have now been here one week and I’ve gotten a lot done, quite a bit really.

One interesting facet to my living situation is that I only have access to a mirror over the bathroom sink in my palatial room, so I can’t see all my clothes on my body at once, it’s hard to get a good impression of my outfit with my shoes. So, I set up my camera on a timer and take a picture of myself.

Here are those pictures:

The other thing that is evident in these pictures is that when Michelle is not around I have a hard time dressing myself. I look like a 5 year old that got to dress himself for school.

Also, I don’t eat very well when Michelle is not around.

Here is an actual breakdown of my diet right now:

-Cheez Its 21%

-Life cereal 12%

-Milano cookies 18%

-Dehydrated banana chips 7%

-Toothpaste accidentally swallowed 3%

-Smoothies 17%

-Pollution 22%

I’ve uploaded two new videos today to YouTube. These are of me doing standup immediately after the last Mystery Hour

and

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Day 6. Fear is Silly

Sunday, February 27, 2011

What is it with fear? I suppose it is something that has to be there, and is ultimately a good thing. Fear of bodily harm is certainly understandable, but what I don’t understand is fear of pride or ego being damaged. Why does my ego or pride need that much protecting? Is it fragile? Why does this make me hesitate to put myself out there? When I thought about moving out here I decided that fear can be a part of my life, but it’s not going to be in control of things. This is a bit of a struggle though for me.

This reminds me of a poem I wrote. This will be the second poem I have put on here, but I don’t want to give the wrong impression, I only have five total.

OPEN PALM

the only thing we have to fear…does not exist

life’s open palm is not a fist

when I fall I fly and when I fly I fall

to a crow the sky is no risk at all

my mother’s son, the fear runs deep

yet in the quiet times I dream of dreams

dreams that ask me not to tell

the fear within, its looming quell     

Today, I got up and Yelped a church. I went to a Presbyterian Church. It was small, which I was not hoping for as I wanted to blend into the background. It is a very open church and very gay friendly. I get a little geeked about diversity, so I loved it. I know that this is somewhat theologically controversial these days but I just get excited that there is a place for people that have mostly felt rejected to feel accepted. From there I rode my bike down to the where all the Oscar hoopla would be happening just to see.

I got home and went to the Getty, which is an art museum and outdoor wonder with great views of the city. Immediately from there, I drove to my friend, Allen’s house, to watch the Oscars. It’s crazy to think that at this time next year, I will be there (seat filler) to accept an award (warmest butt) and give a speech (I’m sorry, Mr. Firth, I’m sure that will come out in the wash).

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Day 5. The Guy Who Knew Things

Saturday, February 26, 2010

Most of my life is on the computer right now, e-mailing and Facebooking contacts, updating resumes, etc. I’m constantly seeking out new people and new information. I feel like a newborn, minus the spitting up, keeping the inability to lift my own head. So, today I was on the computer for awhile and then watched the Missouri State Bears win the MVC championship on ESPN3. Go Bears.

Ross called and we went on a hike to Griffith Park, which is near the Hollywood sign and has a big observatory. It offers a great view of the city. We grabbed some fish tacos on the way back. Then I rode my bike down to The Grove, which is a big outdoor shopping area. Greyson Chance was there signing autographs on posters. There were lines of tweens very excited. I asked a security guard who they were lined up for and he said, “Someone…someone who is very popular with the younger generation.” So I got in line.

I finished up some more hours of online traffic school and called it a night. Well, by ‘called it a night’ I mean that I diddle-daddled on the computer until I fell asleep. I’m not always great about getting to bed without Michelle around. I miss her yelling from the bedroom, ‘Jeff, are you coming to bed?’ followed by, ‘Jeff, you should come to bed,’ then ‘Jeff you’re an adult now.’ To which I would reply, ‘But I don’t wanna!’

There is an interesting reversal for me that I’m sure will become more true later. In my life in Springfield I was the guy who knew what I was doing. I had been doing the things in my life for long enough that I was always the one who knew what was going on and was confident in those things. Now, I’m the guy who knows nothing about Los Angeles or the entertainment industry. I don’t mind being in this place, I think it’s healthy. But, I had a friend call last night asking for advice on hosting an event and I joyfully remembered that I used to be the guy who knew things.

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Day 4. Always Finding A Way

February 25, 2011

Today, there is hope. Tonight, I saw Harland Williams at The Improv, one of LA’s standup clubs. As I was watching the opening acts, I realized, “I can do this. These guys aren’t way above me.” This is not in an egotistical way, just in an excited way. 

I also met with a health insurance agent, we’ll see how that turns out. That is water I don’t like swimming in. The office is in Beverly Hills and it took forever to get there because it’s raining and people here freak out when it’s raining. I haven’t figured out the whole parking thing yet and I ended up pulling into a garage that cost $2 for every fifteen minutes. Yep, that’s the same as putting in 32 quarters in a meter to pay for an hour. When I was leaving there was a guy who worked there standing by the automated machine who put my card in for me. I think that was his only job, just so he could get a tip. He did not get one from the boy from Iowa.

I met with a guy who spends time in Springfield who works as a manager this morning. He’s got some more contacts for me. I put them in my growing spreadsheet. I feel like a reporter who is chasing down a story that involves getting down to the right person who is really in the know. Eventually, I will find them, and they will find me.

Michelle is still having a tough time, as she should, but she’s a trooper. Here is a poem I wrote her for Christmas. It is more meant to be performed, but you get the idea. I performed at my last So There I Was…Storytelling show.

Move

The space between the you and the me is dying

And I don’t want to save it

Our hands, pressed tight, together, bold and thriving

And I can’t help but crave it

You whisper, ‘Go and pursue,

And yearn, and be true.’

Heart screamin’, ‘Stay and be here

And hold to me near.’

But, our dreams were never our own

You were once one too

400 miles of basements alone

Brought me to you

And you are more than I could ask for

And more than you should be

Yet, somehow, someway

You’re still here with me

And one day, we’ll be old

Our pursuits put to rest

And we’ll lay in our bed

And be still chest to chest

The source of my warmth,

As you are now today

Who we are…

Who we’ll be…

Always finding a way

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Day 3. All In

February 24, 2011

Fyi…On another window I’m taking online traffic school from a red light ticket that I got out here when I was visiting in October. It’s as bad as you imagine.

I’ve been realizing that I can’t have one foot in LA and one in Springfield and pull this off. This may seem obvious, but I tend to only process things while going through them, and I have only started processing this concept now, when it is upon me. I was consumed with final shows and getting everything done in Springfield up until the point I left, then I was consumed with the road trip out here, and so far out here, it’s mostly felt like I’m visiting.

But the truth is, I’m out here to really give it a shot, and somehow that is only now becoming experientially apparent to me now. I have to go all in. Admittedly, this is difficult when Michelle is 1,700 miles away (Thank you to the iPhone 4 for face chatting, although it’s not quite the same). But, the great thing about Michelle is that she is encouraging me along the way, plus she’s extra pretty. I guess I’m ramping up to all in.

I went to Starbucks today, which was crazy busy. I overheard two guys writing a screenplay. Actually, I’m fairly certain that the whole place heard them. “And then you’ll be left fighting the demons” was my favorite line. Plus, there are just a lot of well dressed attractive people. I also went on a bike ride with my friend, Ross, for what turned out to be 18 miles. It was actually really good to see around some of the city and realize that I can get places by bike. It was very freeing, because up until this point I’ve been very concerned with parking and not knowing the rules and paying a fortune for it. So the bike ride felt like hope a little bit.

Tomorrow I’m going to meet with a contact I made in Springfield for coffee (smoothie) and go to watch stand up in the evening. Saturday I’m going to be able to hopefully watch the taping of the season finale of one of my favorite sitcoms.

Thing’s I’ve learned about myself so far:

-I’m great at spotting celebrities. However, I think every thin person with big sunglasses and a baseball cap is a celebrity.

-I let doubt play too big of a role in my mind.

-I like security when I don’t have it and crave adventure when I do.

-I can keep a room clean for two days.

-I don’t like proving myself. I prefer it when people know me already.

I’ll update this list as I go. Back to traffic school. Only 6 hours left.

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Day 2. I’ll Make My Bed

February  23, 2011

I’m getting up in the mornings and making the bed. You can ask my wife, this is a good thing. It is a skill I have developed the last few years to please her. I’m doing it now so that I feel that I’m getting up and getting on with my day since most days are open ended and could result in me being especially slothful.

Today I went for a run, sort of. When I run in new places I usually end up exploring and becoming fascinated/distracted by something. I had a dinner meeting with a connection from Springfield in Santa Monica, so I went early and hung out at the beach and in a coffee shop. One of my first big city moments was when I saw that each parking spot in the parking garage had a camera on it. Cool. 

Dinner was cool, I got to hang out with a couple of nice guys. The Springfield connection is a producer, mostly of documentaries. I love documentaries, but tried to play it cool. The other has a wife who designs chic wallpaper and he is a wine expert. I love talking to people who do unique things, so I was in my element. It is yet to be determined if I was dorky or not. I think I probably was.

Today I had my fair share of “What am I doing here?” moments, but I’m trying to embrace the wide open opportunities. I’ll start by making my bed.

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Day 1: Jeff Open Door

February 23, 2010

When I was growing I played sports. I can remember that for the first practice of each year, or anytime I was on a new team I would absolutely dread it. The drive up to the practice was torturous for me. I would always wonder why I even wanted to play. In the end I was always glad I did it though, even though my 1990 Red Sox only won 3 games. That is how today felt. I’ve shown up to baseball practice on the first day and I’m the one wearing jeans.

My friend, Ross, and I went to Canter’s for lunch. It is a classic, old fashioned diner specializing in pastrami sandwiches. It was good, and they gave pickles to chew on like a Mexican restaurant gives chips and salsa. I think everything is just going to be more expensive here. As a result, my thin build will get even thinner.

We did walk by a store with a sign out front, which may have been there only for me. Or, maybe the store was just named Jeff. I’m going with the former.

After that, Ross took me driving around L.A. I love the diversity. All white is boring, and this is not that. I talked to Michelle, and she seemed to be doing better, plus her sister, Jenn, is in town to keep her company. Hurray for twin sisters.

Tomorrow I am going to Santa Monica. I will hang out on the beach and then meet a producer connection. Plus, my original L.A. connection from my first flight out here in October has set up something fun for me on Saturday.

There is just so much up in the air right now. I’ve never had so many things floating up there undecided. It turns out I had liked the comfort and security. I had gotten used to it. But, anxiety is nothing more than assuming that things aren’t going to work out. I choose to assume that things will work out. Might as well, they’re going to be up in the air anyway. Besides, I’m opening this door.

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