Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Difference between stars and sycophants

At 5 hours of sleep, my alarm clock rings and my heart is racing. When my feet hit the floor, there are already numerous things I must accomplish in order to obtain my long term goal. Immediately, I am in a New York state of mind. I rush up the hill, and try not to step in dog poo or run over osteoporosis-ridden biddies or strollers. I swiftly go in to the deli, as if my rhythm were a dance. I grab my cup of coffee (as if I were doing so from my pantry), and neatly grab the stack of coins (pre-counted for the precise amount) and drop it on the counter. “Thank you werry much!” she says, as she is used to this routine and is actually grateful I’m not taking up more of her time.

I walk past the couple who hand out Metro and AMNY. Sometimes, if it is placed in front of me just so, and there’s no one in front of me, nor a politician waiting to shake my hand that I need to avoid, I’ll grab one to read on the subway. I run down the stairs, out of breath after the 5 block sprint, and slip my metrocard out of my pocket. In hand, I swipe it with the adequate wrist action, so that I don’t have see those condescending green letters blinking “Please swipe again”. I swiftly make my way to the part of the platform that I need to get to, in order to avoid the inevitable wait that it will take if I’m in a different car and have to make my way through the crowd. I enjoy the violin playing the theme from the GODFATHER on the platform. I drop money in the case, just as my door opens.

When the door opens, I step in and jockey my position in front of the door. The race has begun. I adjust my hair and make-up in the reflection of the windows, and manage to stand clear of the closing doors, and try not to take the “move Bitch!” comment from an angry passenger that is just entering the train, personally. I look at the digitally displayed time. “Shoot!” There’s never enough time, it seems. The doors open and I run, like a scene out of CHARIOTS OF FIRE, up the stairs, then down the stairs, then up the escalator and out the door. I find the number of the building I am looking for. “Breathe. Stay focused.” I walk through the door, and grab the sides on the table. “Nice to see you again,” the cute receptionist chirps. I walk into the main room when called. “Hi! Please stand on the X. Slate your name”, the casting director says.

Today, I’m reading for a feature film. I try not to care who is staring in it, or if I will be surprised and meet the producer today. I stay in the moment and breathe. “Can we see you do something different?” I smile and then rip out a scream and collapse to the ground. “That’s great!” she says. I give back the sides, grab my jacket and run out the door. I run from appointment to store, to appointment to meeting to fellowship, to a café where I have coffee with someone who is counting days. I breathe.

I run to the opposite side of town, as I am making edits to a script I am writing which I will discuss later with my co-writer. I go to the comedy club, ready to perform. Chris Rock is performing new material. 45 minutes of hilarious stuff. I remind myself that he has been working at this for a really long time, and I am well on my way. “Don’t compare, don’t despair!” I breathe. The show is great. The crowd goes wild. Joy and laughter are the pervading consciousness of the room. I meet up with producers and developers after the show, and I pitch ideas. There is interest and an opportunity to pursue these contacts further.

I thank them, run out the door and meet up with my co-writer. He is 45 minutes late. He does not call. He told me he has written a script, but upon examination, I realize it is just 3 sketch ideas scrawled on a scrap of paper. I breathe. There is a manila envelope I grab out of my bag and I pull out 8 typed pages that I just stapled on my way out of a casting director’s office. I hand him the script, and I launch in to my schpiel. I am dealing with someone with the intellectual capacity of a squirrel. This is the second meeting we have had, third serious discussion about this project and 14th hour of my life that has decayed on this project. He criticizes the ideas, and offers no solutions. He has done none of the preparation he has promised. He asks me to introduce him to my agent.

With this, I conclude this portion of my day, and hastily put my notes back in my bag and politely walk away. I breathe. As I push the doors open of the café, I wearily walk to the corner and hail a cab. The temperature has dropped, my left shoe has gouged a blister on my Achilles heel. My back is throbbing, and as I try to adjust my posture, hot tears roll down my face. Internally, I am a seething caldron of rage. Instinctively, I know that this is another dead-end. I throw my head back, and exhale. The cabby asks, “Miss, is this your stop?” I nod, swing my legs out of the opened door, hand him the crisp bills and say, “Keep the change.” I shut the door, look for my keys and go inside. When I open my door, I prepare for bed, and the rage has subsided. I transmute that pain and shrug, saying to myself, “fodder for my art.”

See, there are some people who pick up fashion magazines, read gossip columns and watch gossip t.v. shows in order to reach “fame”. Then there are others who are just really trying to do a great job, who so passionately are trying to change the way people think about the world, that every minute of their lives is dedicated to making this happen. Those are the people everyone else follows.


posted by Rumi @ 4/04/2007 05:29:00 PM |


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