The other day at Trader Joe’s I saw a woman in a daze holding a baby. I noticed her shirt was down and her breastfeeding bra was sticking out.
I remembered those days. The agonizing first two months when it felt like my boobs were being cut by razor blades. But still I persisted and ended up cherishing (yea, really cherishing) the year I breast fed Roan. I remembered driving to auditions and pumping off the excess milk when I was engorged with my little yellow Medela hand pump.
Literally DRIVING in Hollywood traffic pumping my breast.
I guess that’s why it’s such a rush to be involved in the “topless scene” in the current show at the Groundlings.
It’s a hilarious scene written by Edi and Allison— and I don’t want to give it away in case you’re planning to come and see it. In a nutshell we’re UGLY, animal like and almost completely topless save for football stickers. It’s not sexy.
Here I am, waiting to go on.
I’ll be honest. It’s a rush, as a mother who breastfed, to perform nearly topless in front of hundreds of people. Women can do anything.
At Roan’s school Open House last week the kid’s projects were displayed around the classroom. I found myself looking at the little paragraphs the kids had written on “teamwork.”
Some of the children had written about how their families were teams or how they worked together with their soccer team.
Roan’s said, in a nutshell, “I work as a team with Gryphon to chase (Insert Little Australian Girl’s name here.) It’s such a great feeling when we capture her.”
This week for one reason or another- I sat in on all three of Roan’s after school activities.
Sometimes I get hired with the Groundlings to do events. We either teach to large groups (we’ve done lawyers, people from Yoplait Yogurt, Nike, the list goes on…) or perform at special parties and events. (Like when we did the E Harmony’s Christmas Party and that white haired man, the owner of E Harmony I guess, sat front and center with his wife not understanding a single word but laughing along.)
Sometimes these events are really nerve wracking because they take place in odd halls or auditoriums with people who are say, eating dinner and walking back and forth to a buffet. But other times they are intimate interesting affairs. And we get paid really well. (Performing at the actual Groundlings Theater we do for free… )
SO… last month was the Jewish Holiday of Purim and the Wilshire
Last night I felt honored and nervous to perform for a special cause.
Our good friend Guy Stevenson had just had open heart surgery.
Looking pretty darn good I must say.
I was asked to be part of a stellar cast.
I found myself quite nervous although I am friends with these actors I wasn’t sure I could perform on the level they do. However it is said nothing is better for your own growth than to push yourself and surround yourself with people more talented than yourself. So with that in mind I forged ahead and had an inspiring and hilarious night.
Getting to see Maya, Kristen, Jim, Michael, Mitch, Jeremy and Stephanie perform live. Getting to perform with them- was something I’ll not forget anytime soon. And knowing we raised almost $4000 for Guy is the icing on the cake.
I’m performing a lot this month.
I’ll be performing original sketch and improv in the Groundling’s Latest MainStage Show
It’s a really tight hilarious show with a fabulous cast pictured below. I’ll be playing an Irish lass doing some song and dance. A sweet Latina enthralled by “50 Shades of Grey.” One of my old favorite characters, “Tamsin” who is a “facially challenged” but optimistic English girl and my folk singing character will help soothe a baby on a plane. And on frequent Friday performances you will see me and the amazing Edi Patterson as barmaids wearing very very very very little. You must see it to believe it.
This show runs every Friday and Saturday. Two times a night. 8 & 10pm
Wednesday, Feb. 20 at 10pm I’ll be performing in a special BENEFIT SHOW for Guy Stevenson. A very special actor who recently underwent open heart surgery. He’s healing nicely and we’d like to get some $$ flowing his way now! The show includes Kristen Wiig, Stephanie Courtney, Michael McDonald and other stellar performers.
Tuesday March 5 is another special benefit show to benefit none other than Roan’s own elementary school. This fantastic public school has been able to make up for LAUSD’s EVERY cut by raising it’s own funds. Our PTA has funded music, art, gardening and a long lost of other great programs for our wonderful and small student body.
If you love live original theater call 323-934-4747 for tickets to any of these great shows.
We do sell out the theater every weekend. Last weekend the amazing JJ Abrams was in the audience. What a thrill. The same man who entertained ME with years of his show LOST (and who is directing the newest Star Wars!) Wanted to be entertained by US on a Saturday night.
Our newly remodeled theater is often filled with LA’s finest. So do be a part of the fun, creativity and hilarity that is a night at the Groundlings Theater.
Steve and I don’t really go ga ga over Valentines day. Which is ironic because our whole relationship started, 18 years ago, back at UCSB, when he left a secret admirer letter and strange Indonesian box of a striped wolf howling at the moon on top of it- on my doorstep.
This year he simply placed the box on our table with flowers for me.
(still can’t figure out Tumblr’s new photo system…argh!)
But we kinda don’t do much for V day anymore. Because Valentines day is just another holiday that makes people feel bad and makes you spend $ on potential junk.
Which is fine.
This year Steve had plans to take my dad for his birthday to the Lakers game.
I had plans to cook a meal for my good girlfriend who just moved back to LA after being in NYC the past 7 years.
I went to Ralphs and while there I decided to get Roan a funny Spongebob Valentine card. I also saw a very stereotypical “From Wife to Husband” card that actually made me laugh, (“I steal the covers, spend too much $ etc… cliche but true). Then I spotted the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit issue hot off the presses and thought maybe Steve would enjoy that.
I went to the check out aisle and put my Valentine’s booty down along with a big bag of Brachs candy hearts. My favorite. For their chalky consistency.
Then I realized the checker was not only MAD but also only had one hand. His other hand was an intricate prosthetic to the wrist but the hand consisted of two shiny metal pincers held together with a big screw.
He wore a leather jacket and was mumbling “Ugh Valentines Day” under his breath.
I sort of admired his willingness to express his hatred of the holiday, in front of customers, while having to handle Valentine’s products.
He seemed disgusted to even look at the stuff and wasn’t afraid to show it.
With his good hand he passed the Valentines stuff over the sensor and with his metal talons he sort of hit the side of the counter in anger.
Then he SLAMMED the Valentine’s stuff down in a pile and asked, angrily if I wanted a bag for my “junk.”
Poor guy. Not only did he have only one hand but he also HATED VALENTINES DAY.
I get it, a lot of people hate Valentines Day. It’s a stupid holiday if you’re single. It just makes you feel bad. And it also probably really sucks to have only one hand.
But I’d never seen someone express their frustration with it so openly!
“I don’t need a bag.” I said. And walked out.
In my car I began to eat one candy heart after another until I was almost sick.
At home I decided to make Steve two home made cards. One was a picture of him sitting on the Throne from “Game of Thrones” (his favorite show) Saying “In my version of the story YOU’D be king.”
The other was a naked photo of Lena Dunham. If you watch her brilliant show, “GIRLS” on HBO you’ll know she is naked almost all the time and has the cutest potato-shaped body. In fact I should write a post just about her because I love her so much. And I love that she shows her body so much. (because she looks like most women do as opposed to Sports Illustrated Swimsuit models.)
I intended to give him the Lena Dunham card with the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit magazine saying “My gift to you is to have as much charm and wit as Lena Dunham and the body of a Swimsuit Model—” (But then I thought about the bag of candy hearts I had just eaten and added:) “or maybe the other way around.”
Then I took my other Valentine, My dog Ned, to the park and walked around with him in the sunshine. I thought about the supermarket checker with the one hand and how angry he was. I wanted to tell him, “Don’t worry, it’s just Valentines day, it’s stupid and if you really want love, you can rescue a little pound dog and have so much love in your life you won’t know what to do with it!” Or to say, “It’s ok you only have one hand! There are superheros with only one hand!”
After that I picked Roan up from school. He had a bag of Valentines that the kids had exchanged. A few moments later he threw up in the car about 5 times. He had eaten ALL the chocolate he was apparently given by a certain little girl. My car was covered in Valentine’s Barf.
I spent some time scraping the foul vomit off my car and went about preparing dinner for my girlfriend.
She arrived and once Roan was asleep the two of us had a wonderful night like old times. “See,” I wanted to say to the angry one handed checker at Ralphs, “You don’t need romantic love on Valentine’s day, you just need to find something to be happy about. Whether it’s a friend or a dog… And finding those things is up to you.”
And I imagined him realizing this was true and giving me a thumbs up. But he used his metal prong to do it.
While I’m away doing my shows Steve and Roan have “boys nights.” These consist of the usual stuff. Pizza & their favorite TV shows and Roan’s favorite thing… wrestling. You know, wrestling like bear cubs. He can’t get enough of it.
When I came home tonight at almost 1 am I was surprised to see Steve still awake. I was glad he was and he told me tonight Roan made up a new wrestling game he called, “HURT McDONALDS.”
In Hurt McDonalds you can get a “Slappy Meal”, “Slam Burger”, “Big Smack” or you can get “French Fried” where your fingers are used, a “Shake” — (“you want a shake with that?” And he gets shaken) “Chicken Nuggets” which are a bunch of little hits.
I guess this could sound like some sort of horrible abusive thing but it was so hilarious to Steve and I that Roan had come up with all these little plays on words. And that he loves being wrestled.
Ironically I myself was slapped tonight too.
It was in the middle of an improv- the heat of an improv- and my character was slapped. I, the actor, was so shocked to be slapped (for real) that… I peed.
This is so embarrassing and If I were sane I wouldn’t share this but it’s what happened.
And I’m in good company. Most of my favorite female colleagues have peed on that stage at one point or another. And after having an 11 pound baby sitting on my bladder while pregnant (albiet 6 years ago) l… my bladder just couldn’t handle the shock of being slapped without letting a little (ok, a lot) of pee out.
Later in the night I found myself to be so tired and my brain so filled with notes, lines, blocking… that I started to get slap happy with some of my cast mates. Laughing HARD for the stupidest of reasons.
And THAT’S the ultimate Happy Meal.
Truly the craziest few weeks right now. So much rewriting, writing, wigging, wigging out, costuming, things getting cut, new things in the show, memorization. But there’s always a moment for a little silliness.
And that happened yesterday when I was waiting in the hallway of Roan’s school - for Roan to finish the first day of Drama Maniacs.
(they wouldn’t let me watch!!)
So there’s two HOT dads at Roan’s school.