Friday, April 16, 2010

Green with Envy

jealousy is reflective of a person's feelings or attitudes toward another person, whereas envy expresses a person's feelings or attitudes toward another person's advantages or accomplishments; jealousy pertains to emotional rivalry while envy is resentment of a more fortunate person -

I was a painfully shy kid, constantly worried about what others thought of me so my mom thought it best to put me in drama classes through parks and rec when I was ten or eleven years old to break me out of my shell. She did the right thing. I'm not a shy kid who cares what the world thinks anymore, but I followed the drama thing a little longer than I should have. Probably because I was slightly masochistic. I needed a purpose and I thought theater arts harbored my purpose but it was just a stepping stone.

I was living and working in Hollywood for two months before I started school at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts, AADA. During those two months I worked at the Production Group as a production assistant. That's about the bottom of the barrel as far as jobs in the entertainment industry go. My apartment manager hooked me up with that job and day one the boss told me in so many words that I was in a labor intensive job and that he was hoping for a man to do it but as a favor I could have the job as long as I worked as hard as a man. So, that's what I did. I lifted and carried tables and chairs for craft services (food on set), I ran to the store for specific colored hand towels to appease the talent, I did a lot of cleaning, and running around and a day at the Production Group could last seventeen hours. But it was worth it, I had the opportunity to work on the set of Click (a game show that Ryan Seacrest hosted before he even made it onto a radio show, it was produced by Merv Griffin who I got to meet and talk to once or twice), I also helped in the background of Playboy's Night Calls (picked up a few tips for the bedroom while I was there); I even helped with a show called Dot Com hosted by Mark Hamill who accidentally brushed his teeth with Fixodent instead of toothpaste right before he was supposed to be on set and it was so funny that I asked if I could have the tube of Fixodent and he gave it to me with a note and his signature.

I was having so much fun in Hollywood that when school at AADA started I wasn't exactly enthralled. I was distracted and spent time writing during class instead of listening and I wished I was back in Hollywood instead of in a classroom in Pasadena (the school has since moved to Hollywood, I think). I tried hard, but I didn't fit in there. So, when they didn't accept me back for the second year I was hurt at first, but then realized later it was for the best. However, when I was faced with the fact that I was still struggling and starving in Hollywood and didn't even have a boyfriend or a large group of friends, I panicked and thought I should leave the LA area and find a normal job in a normal city where I could live a more stable life. So, that put me back into a bad relationship with a guy who wanted to live up by Santa Barbara. We ended up settling in Ventura, which was a giant mistake for me.

Sitting around in Ventura knowing that I should be in Hollywood made me feel envious of all the kids who got accepted back to AADA, because at least they knew where they were going to be the next year and what they were going to be doing, unlike me who felt lost. I'm rarely a jealous or envious type of person, but I spent a good six months envying all kinds of people for how comfortable and normal they seemed in their life, compared to me. I wrote a poem about it:

April 08, 1998
Green is the grass - I can see it on your side.
Brown is the dirt that collects on my inside.
Now that I know - black is how I go, from my hair and my eyes and down to my toes.
Black is my flesh as black is your soul.
I crawl to and grasp what little I know about holding on tight
and then being let go.
I walk to, I crawl and run 'till I fall
in a desperate attempt to reach something far,
far out of reach. A hope? A dream?
And just then, when I walked and I crawled and I ran 'till I fell
it is a hole that I have found myself in.
A hole that I dug with the hopes that I might store some water in.
Water for grass that I might grow tall
greener and taller with riches galore,
with no doubt of strength that it will pull me from this hole
that I have put myself in!
Green is the grass - I still see on your side.
Brown is the dirt that's crowding my mind.
I'm down and I'm out and all that I know is -
Green is the grass - but not from this hole!

I made my way back to Hollywood in 1999 and found a job as an executive assistant in a motion graphics company where I ended up meeting my husband through one of my associates. Not every day in my life has been great but I wouldn't change a single step in my path.

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