Somebody once told me that looking for a job, is a full time job. I didn’t really understand that comment at the time, because I’ve basically landed every interview, or shall I say every interview up to that point had landed me the job. I did not know what they spoke of. Then things changed, and I don’t fucking know what. Well maybe subconsciously I do, maybe even a little consciously. I know what I want out of my life, I know what I want to be when I grow up. And “normal” jobs simply piss me the fuck off in such a way that I pray that I break an arm or a finger at the very least, every single morning, so I don’t have to fucking go into work. It’s been this way for years. So why do I stay at jobs that mean literally nothing to me? Well in the words of Kat Von D, it’s not fucking rocket surgery. Mama gots bills. My bills don’t give a flying shit brick if I am happy at work or doing something that means anything to anybody. And doesn’t that just lead me to contemplate my entire existence and what in the actual fuck is the meaning of life? This may be the sleep deprivation dictating my every thought, but I think it’s on to something, sick of something and goddamn tired of it all.
A teacher once told me I gave the right answer when asked what I wanted to be when I grew up. I replied, “I want to be me, and I am a writer.” Six year old little Jess had no comprehension as to how powerful a statement that was. My teacher addressed the class in saying that we were what we say we were and not to wait until we are grown ups to be what we were born to be. Well that bitch didn’t get paid enough either and adult Jess must wonder if teaching was what she was born to do or if a steady college path and a career choice were the polite way of saying, I should have majored in something that paid more. Now adult Jess catches herself waking up saying, “I am a millionaire, which cause do I choose to support today?” Turns out that teacher was full of poo. I don’t know what I was born to be anymore, because all signs seem to point to a struggling member of the lower class. If that’s all I was born to be and all the impact I am meant to have on the world, then philosophical ponderings of existence and pep talks can shove it up their pompous fucking asses. I was born to do a million things, and that list has evolved over the years. I sure as shit was born to push paper and crunch numbers all day in the anonymous setting of an office while the world passes me by. That is some bullshit right there.
Someone once told me that if when I wake up I feel like a writer and when I can’t fall asleep it’s because I have another idea that needs to be put to paper, then yes, yes indeed, I am a writer, blood born. And then there is a writer is often given false credit for saying, “There is nothing to writing, all you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed.” There are several incarnations of this particular saying, but y’all get the gist. It wasn’t until high school when my drama teacher showed me that if I wasn’t happy with the parts that were available to me, I should create my own. And I did, and so it began. My love of theater and my passion for writing began to meld. Listen, this old lady figures, hell, if nobody is gonna cast me, I’ll write my own shit and cast my own damn self to do play whatever the hell role I damn well please. Here’s the problem with that, I haven’t been able to focus on writing lately. Here are my excuses, and trust me, I know they are excuses. I know I’m supposed to grab my own destiny by the balls, but only 50% of me likes touching balls. Much like only 50% of people who know me will understand that reference to my sexuality. I digress:
- I’m poor, therefore I have to work.
- I work between 40-60 hours a week, not a lot of time for writing.
- I doubt myself round abouts 99.9% of the time.
- I wonder if my shit is good enough to go anywhere.
- I want to collaborate and make something special.
- My perspective on the world is so dark right now, I don’t know what will come out creatively.
Now, this has only happened to me a few times in the past. The weight shifts. The creative sparks can’t be contained. Ambition takes the reins. This happened to me last week, I shit y’all not. I went to see a musical, I know I know, surprise surprise. This one was different. It was a show we went to see on a complete whim and one we knew literally nothing, nada, zilch on. It was in LA which I love the town but don’t get there as often anymore, for several reasons such as, 405, 5, 101. Going in all I knew was that the show was titled, “We Are the Tigers.” When we arrived at the theater, we were looking at the wall of actors credited in the production. A wonderful woman by the name of Katie DeShan was set to fill in for the lead. After several moments of trying to figure out where we knew her from, it dawned on us, fucking “Tarzan” which was another beautiful 3D Theatricals production. The truly awesome thing though, was that the night before, we had seen a production of “Rent” at the La Mirada Theater for the Performing Arts. Now in that production, there were two actors by the names of Devin Archer and Lawrence Cummings who were also in “Tarzan.” It’s a small world after all! Anywho, our interests were piqued and we got a bit excited to see the show, now that we had a point of reference and had thoroughly enjoyed Katie in the role of Jane. Alright, break a leg Katie!
Cut to the actual show. We. Fucking. Loved. It. Every single cast member was like a glove (said in my Jim Carrey voice) to their role. I don’t want to diminish or downplay any of the actors, but I did fall head over for one in particular. The character made me laugh incredibly hard and we are still quoting several of her lines. I know comedic talent when I see it, and this chick has it goin on. Okay take for example, some of the lines that we are still quoting:
Are you girlfriends?
Are you here?
Not funny right? Because I’m assuming in your head you read those pretty blatantly. Those two lines had us in stitches, this bitch’s delivery and timing was spot fucking on! Her name we later learned was Gabi Hankins. I did what any sane person in today’s society would do at intermission, I fucking stalked the cast on social media. I learned things such as, Rebekah M. Allen was responsible for the super witty and smart show. Cut to the 2nd act, we just couldn’t get enough and I whispered to the bestie, “You know what really sucks about this show?” He of course asked what. I responded with, “It’s almost fucking over and there’s no cast album to listen to on the ride home.” So again, we behaved like any normal theater obsessed duo of misfits would, and listened to things such as “Violet,” “If/Then,” “Shrek,” and “Rent” on the car ride home, while intermittently discussing the brilliance that we had just witnessed.
Why am I sharing this? BECAUSE. I have been writing again. Something about that little show lit a fire under my plump padded ass. Maybe I’ve even started a would be play with Gabi in mind. I literally made a command decision in my life that night, I must work with her in my lifetime. Let it be written. I also want to spread the message about this little show because I personally feel it has substantial potential, LEGIT. Aside from the laughter and the fun I had during the show, I unexpectedly teared up during two songs! WHAT!?! (Said in my minion voice by the way.) I wasn’t expecting that, but the voices on these girls you guys, don’t. A lot of times what happens when I see a show, and I know I’m gonna sound like an asshole and I mean no disrespect, but a lot of times what happens is I’ll be watching a performance, and people like Shoshana Bean, or Jessie Mueller, or Adele Dazeem, or Sutton Foster, or Jenn Colella, or Brian D’Arcy James, or Josh Henry will pop into my little head. NOT ONE SINGLE TIME did that happen in this case, these actors own those roles with such humility. I was in a way, transported to my high school drama class, everything felt organic and exploratory. This cast had chemistry and I think had fun, the reasons I loved my drama geeks in the first place back in the day.
If you live in or near the LA area, I strongly strongly recommend getting your ass down to Hudson Backstage Theater, “We Are the Tigers” is playing through November 8, I promise you won’t be sorry, and if you are, we need to have a discussion about that. Click below for the 411.