Monday, June 4, 2012

Justify My Love


Holy crap, Timothy Olyphant is hot.  Have you seen "Justified"?  I hear it's well written, blah, blah, blah.  I'm a sucker for a cute face and a southern accent.  I never thought I'd like a man in a white Stetson hat. (Is it Stetson?  Isn't that a cologne from the eighties?)   But, turns out, once you turn thirty-five and you're getting a divorce... You get a little less picky.  Plus he doesn't wear it the whole time.  Which I'm happy for.  I don't want his hair to thin.  

He's married by the way.  "Happily" with four kids or some shit.  (Like you can be happy with four kids.  I only had one and it didn't work out.)   Totally kidding.  I'm sure he's happy and having sex all the time.

My point is... my infatuation is purely for fun.  (Unless Mr. Olyphant is reading this, obvs.- Dead serious, Timmy, I'm flexi.)  Totally kidding!  (T- not really.) 

My step-mom had been talking about "Justified" for a while.  I never really watched it though, because I thought it was about the wild west or, something.  And, it didn't seem like my cup of tea.  I thought it was weird she was into it, too.

Then I got an audition for the show.  So, I had to watch it.  And, I became obsessed.  It was a great show.  And I realized why my step-mom liked it so much.  She's getting a divorce, too!  I feel like all of the divorcees that got sucked into "Justified" should send a thank you note to Graham Yost, the creator, thanking him for the gift of Timmy Tuesdays.

Now those of you outside L.A.... Don't get to excited.  My audition was one line- "You mean, we have to buy the book?"  And, no one from the show was even in the room when I "auditioned".  I put "auditioned" in quotes because what I did was not what I would call a proper audition.  Are you surprised?  It's me for christ sakes.

Having said that it was no big deal... In reality, it was a HUGE deal, for me.  Sadly, it was the best audition I had in a while and I went over that line every possible way you could say it.  I was like a parody of an actor in my car for three days.

"YOU mean?  We have to BUY the book?"

"You mean, WE have to buy THE book?"

"You MEAN! We have to buy the BOOOOOK?"
  
Every time in a different southern accent, too.  Twang, Dallas, drunk Austin, standard Dillon.  I love you, Tim Riggins.  (Not Taylor Kitch.  Tim Riggins.  Big difference.)

Basically, I put a lot of effort into this one line.  $120,000 at Loyola Marymount University had prepared me for this audition.  Thank you, Dad.  Happy Father's Day. Your daughter will never be able to pay you back!

Then something amazing happened.  I also got an audition on the same day for a Tylenol Pediatrics commercial.  Score!!! Two in one day!  Great! What time?  Oh.  At the same time.  Three o' fucking clock.  Not to get into pointless details,  but I was unable to change either of the appointments.  And, I was not going to choose!  These were the most auditions I had in a year and they were on the same day and the same time and, fuck you, if I was going to miss one.  Not you, personally.  But, you know what I mean.

I decided to go to the commercial audition two hours early.  I thought I'd pop in and out then have plenty of time to get in the zone for, "You mean, WE HAVE TO BUY THE BOOK?"  I had vocal exercises to do in the car.

So, I get there and there are about three girls in front of me, which isn't too bad.  I sign in, they take my picture, then the hand me a packet.  

"What's this?" I asked.

"Those are your sides," the casting assistant answered.

"Okay, what page are the sides on?"

"They want you to read the whole thing... to camera."

holy fuck balls.

This was ridiculous.  And, more importantly, this is going to take forever!  I have to get to my "Justified" audition on time, because if I don't get on time I won't get this "game changing" part and I'm never going to have Baby Olyphant the fifth.  But, there are only three girls, so I should have plenty of time.  

One and a half hours later, I am on-deck, cursing myself as to why I didn't just leave and come back after my Tim O. audition.  I finally go in and I read the novel they gave me all straight to camera for twenty minutes.  It's pretty uncommon to read straight to camera, except for commercials.  Anything goes in commercials.  But, you definitely ask first before you read straight to camera at any audition.  You're usually reading with the casting director and if you read straight to camera without being asked to, you look like an idiot. Stupid actors.  How hard can it be?

I finally finish "War and Peace" by Tylenol, and rush out to my car.  There, I find a ticket on my windshield, because, you know, I was in there for the past twenty four hours and I only put enough change in for twelve.  But, whatever, my co-starring role on the FX network will pay for a million tickets.  I must get to the audition!

By the time I hit the 405, I am realizing I'm going to be late.  Like late, late.  So, I call my agent to see if she will call Cami Patton's office for me and let them know I am running behind.  Well, the fuckers wouldn't do it and said I had a ten minute window after my appointment, so if I'm not too late, it would be ok.  Seeing as I was able to do my hair in a french braid, while stopped on the freeway.  I was pretty sure ten minutes were not going to be enough.  So, I bravely say, 

"Okay, cool.  I can make it by then.  Thank you soooo much!"

I'm so co-dependent.

Forty minutes late, I arrived at the audition of my career.  As I parked, I debated whether or not to even go in.  But I decided, after all of this madness, I might as well try.  Besides, they could be running totally behind and they won't even notice.  I rushed down the hall and pulled myself together before I opened the door, vowing to myself to not make this a big deal.  Don't even mention it to the CD.  

I opened the door and the room was... empty.  No one was left.  Regardless, I signed in and sat down.  I was not going to make excuses and over-apologize.

A young woman walked into the lobby and I-

Immediately pounced on her.  

"I'm so sorry.  There was traffic, I had another audition and I had to read a Tolstoy novel-" 

"It's okay," she said,  "I'm Chrystal.  Follow me."

"Okay, really?  Okay," as I followed her inside, I was trying to go over my line in my head, but the acetaminophen jargon was stuck in my head from the Tylenol commercial.  Thankfully, when I walked in the casting room, I remembered the line and got it out for the audition.  I thought it went something like this:




video



But, then Chrystal giggled a little to herself and said, "Ok, that was good.  Now say the line to me."

"Huh?" I grunted.  I thought my read was brilliant.  Subtle, yet captivating.

"You read it to camera.  This time read it to me."

"Oh, right!  I was going to ask.  Okay," I nervously blurted out, realizing my blunder.  

What the fuck was I saying, 'I was going to ask'?  NO, I WASN'T.  Because I have been to an audition before in my life and I know you don't read to camera unless asked to.  Effing commercial!!!!

So instead, this is what I looked like:


video




I didn't get the part.  

I mean, I guess they didn't want a crazy red headed bumpkin playing the part of "Real Estate Function Attendant #2".

Lame.

Here's the irony...

I booked the Tylenol commercial and I am extremely grateful for the silver lining.  However,  I had to memorize nine pages of medical jargon that I didn't get to read to camera.  Which meant I couldn't use the teleprompter.  

You try saying, "By contrast, the old packages of infants' acetaminophen say eighty milligrams per zero point eight milliliters and are labeled as concentrated drops," five different ways.  

I was a theatre major. I can barely spell theater.





















Thursday, April 21, 2011

The Chateau Marmont Blacklist and Why I'm Probably On It, Part One

The Chateau Marmont Hotel and I have a long history.  For those of you who don't know, Chateau Marmont is a famous "Old Hollywood" hotel off the Sunset Strip in Hollywood.  It is famous for it's celebrity guests, rockers and actors.  Howard Hughes, Greta Garbo, Lindsey Lohan, and many, many others lived there.  John Belushi died there.  (Sad face here.)  It is appealing to celebrities because of the hotels discretion and tight security.  They even have a "black list".  Allegedly, Britney Spears was kicked out, forever, after smearing her dinner on her face in 2007.  Oh, Brit.  You gotta love her.  I wonder what kind of dinner it was?  I mean, it had to be slightly messy.  You can't kick someone out for rubbing a lamb chop on their face.  That's not much of a statement.  Mac n cheese? Yes, totally understandable.

Now, I didn't smear noodles on my face, but I did do a little-

Well, I don't want to call it stalking, but-

Okay, I was stalking someone.  I was young and-

Who am I kidding?  I'm crazy.  I was stalking Keanu Reeves.

There, I said it.  He was living in the bungalows at the time.

Yes, I was stalking Keanu Reeves.  I loved him.  I still do.  Do you know his name means "a cool breeze over the mountains"?  Yeah, I'm full of that kind of stuff.  I was "obsessed" with Keanu.  (I say "obsessed" in quotes, because I feel it is such a strong word, yet probably the only word to describe me.) I saw all of his movies, I went to his concerts.  Yes, concerts.  He was in a band called "Dogstar", he played bass.  He also had a Norton motorcycle, that was black with red writing.  I told you, I'm full of it.  Still.  To this day.  I hope I don't pass it on to my kid.

This "obsession" was at it's peak in the mid-nineties.  Although, I feel fell in love with him when I saw "Bill & Ted's Bogus Journey", in the theatre, with Katy Keely.  I realized there was gum on my seat after I stood up to leave.  Story of my life.  It didn't faze me though, because I was smitten.  But, yes, the "obsession" was full blown after the release of "Speed".  I was eighteen years old and a sophomore in college.  Prime time to be crazy about a total stranger.

I had posters all over my dorm room, much to my roommates' chagrin.  So, when my nineteenth birthday came up, my friends and roommates knew just what to get me...

A night's stay, with them, at Chateau Marmont.  This way I could take my stalking to a whole new level- illegal.  Totally kidding.  I was just hoping to run in to the guy and he would recognize me from when he looked at me while he was on stage at the Troubadour and he would instantly fall in love with me and we'd get married and my acting career would take off and I would thank him in my Oscar speech but, secretly, I would know that I could have, easily, done it with out him and then-  What?  It could happen.

Unfortunately, none of that was ever able to happen, because he was on tour with his band in Australia at the time.  Sucks for him, because I'm awesome.  But, we made do.  I still saw his bike in the garage.  I tried not to linger too long, I just licked it.  Yes?  I was in love.  No judging.

Being a group of (legal) teenage girls, running around the property, we garnered some attention.  Especially from the cute bellhop, we will call him Ted.  Ted had champagne sent to our room and he made sure we were doing okay.  Constantly.  He called.  He stopped by.  I actually didn't mind.  Ted gave us a lot of info on my boyfriend Keanu.  He told us when he was coming back, where exactly he lived, etc..

After a few hours of drinking and doing each others' hair and makeup, we got bored.  Some of us decided we would go out.  A few girls stayed behind to sleep.  There was just one problem- we were under twenty-one and we needed I.D.'s to get in anywhere around the hotel.  So, we came up with a plan, a story actually.

My friend June, would be the voice.  She was the loudest and bravest of us.  If anyone could convince a doorman to let us in, she could.  She posed as our translator.  We all chose a country to be from and posed as exchange students, who were over twenty one, but didn't have I.D.'s.  It was solid.  A totally solid plan that would work.  My friend Tabitha chose Mexico, so she spoke Spanish at the door.  My friend Debbie chose Sweden, so she spoke what she thought sounded like Swedish.  I chose England, so well, you know.  Not sure why I needed a translator.

After too much begging and a full blown fake argument in three different fake languages, we still didn't get in to the Roxbury.  We started back for the hotel, defeated but invigorated by our efforts.  June and Tabitha we ready for some sleep and walked ahead.  Debbie and I staggeringly walked behind still laughing and shouting fake Swedish at each other.  June and Tab were already across the street, when a black SUV pulled up in front of Debbie and I as we started to cross the street.  They rolled down the passenger window.

"Hey, ladies.  What's going on?" the passenger said.

"Nothing.  It's my birthday!!" I drunkenly retorted.

"Happy Birthday! Where are you guys staying?' he said.

"Um, " I said, starting to realize this could go bad fast, "You know, um..."

"Where?" the driver peeked his head forward.

"Here, the Chateau Marmont,"  I said trying to keep my jaw off the floor after seeing who the driver was.

"What room?" he said.

"4C," I said robotically without thinking.

"You guys want to hang out?"

"Uh... Yeah."

"Ok. We gotta go do this thing, but we will come back in about a half hour.  What's your name?"

"Jennifer."

"Great.  Jennifer in 4C, we'll see you soon."

"Ok. Great. Bye!!!"

The SUV drove off and Debbie and I stood there for a minute in shock.

"Was that-" Debbie started.

"Yes.  That was.  Oh my God! Happy Birthday to me! June! Tabitha!" I screamed, calling after them, "You'll never believe who that was!"

"Who?" Tabitha said, smoking her Parliment Light.

"It was-"

Who do you think it was?  Was it Leo?  Was it Brad?  Or, oh my God...

Keanu????

No.  No it wasn't.

I will finish the conversation with Tabitha:

"Who?" she said.

"It was Chachi in Charge!  Chachi in Charge is coming to hang out with us!! Oh my God!!!"

"Seriously?" Tabitha quipped, "You're excited about that?"

"Uh, yeah, I am.  Holy shit! Chachi in Charge!"  I screamed as I ran past them, "I gotta go tell the rest of the girls and get ready."

Unless you are a Beastie Boys fan and/or born before 1990, you still may not know to whom I am referring when I say "Chachi in Charge".  It was Scott Baio, who starred in "Happy Days" as Chachi and in "Charles in Charge" as Charles.  Hence, Chachi in Charge.  The Beastie Boys coined the nickname in their song "Hey Ladies".

So, I ran up the stairs to our room, burst in, and shouted out the good news.  And I was greeted with... silence.  No one believed me.  They went in to the whole, "Jen you're drunk.  Who knows who it could have been.  Even if it was him, he's, not coming back." To which, I got very pissed off and wrote a note, taped it to the door and stormed off with Debbie, to the garden patio.

The note said:

Dear Scott,

I am downstairs on the patio.

Jennifer


I'll show them.  So, Debbie and I chain smoked on the patio for about an hour.  Bitching about our friends and how lame they were for not believing us.  We decided what we would say to Scott when he got here.  We decided we would say we were twenty instead of nineteen since that sounded more mature.  Meanwhile, my hope of hanging with Chachi was fading.  Then, my friend Gina, peeked around the corner, still in her pajamas.

"What?" I said curtly.  Still pissed off she didn't believe me and even more pissed that Scott still wasn't here yet.

"You have a visitor," she grinned at me.

Scott and his entourage rounded the corner and so did the rest of the girls from our room.

"Hi!" I beamed at him.  So relieved I hadn't made him up in my mind.  (It wouldn't be the first time.)

"Hey there.  Happy Birthday," he said with his big head and little body.  He kind of looks like a lollipop,  a short lollipop.  But my inner tween still crushed on the "Charles in Charge" in him.

So, Scottie and I chatted for a few and I couldn't help but notice his eyes were all over my friend Debbie.   Naturally.  She was a hot Nicole Eggert look alike.  She was even cast on an episode of "Baywatch Nights", but her part got cut from the episode. :(

So Scottie is making his way closer to Debbie and he asks, "So, how old are you today, Jennifer?"

"Twenty," Debbie and I say simultaneously.

"Twenty?" he repeats.

"Yep," I say confidently.

"All of you are twenty?" he asks.

"No, some of us are nineteen," one of the girls says as I shoot daggers at her with my glare.

"Nineteen?" Chuck says, taken aback.

He stared at us for a second, then pulled his friend to the side for a quick pow wow.  Debbie and I glared at our friends in his absence.  Finally he came back.

"Jennifer, have a wonderful birthday.  It was so nice to meet you," Chuckie said while giving me a goodbye hug.

"Oh, uh, thanks," I pouted, while bending over to hug him.

And that was the last I saw of him.

Until my twenty sixth birthday at The Stinking Rose.  He was at another table talking up another blonde.  Sigh.  I was way too old for him by then.  Twenty six?  I may as well have been collecting Social Security.

No, Baio likes them young.  But, apparently not too young.  Which surprises me, really.  I guess he needs them to be able to drink, so they get over the fact that he is a descendent of the Olmec civilization and (most likely) a relative of Jim Hanna.  Oh, Chachi poo, I miss you.

Unfortunately for Chateau Marmont, that was not the last they saw of me...

Friday, March 25, 2011

I'm Back, Crazy As Ever

Ok, fine... I give in.  Thank you to all of the five's of people who have been missing the blog.  I have to admit, it wasn't just my broken computer that stopped me.  I felt I had gone as far as I could go with the idea of telling embarrassing stories about myself.  I mean, how many times can you get drunk and almost poop your pants?  Not enough, I say, but for some... too much.  So, now I'm going to incorporate other people getting drunk and almost pooping their pants.  Much more entertaining, for me, at least.   I will still have my own stories (God doesn't love me that much, to let me get out of never sticking my foot in my mouth or my foot in something gross and trailing it around a friends', or worse,  a strangers' white carpet).  So, not to worry, there will be plenty of me.  It's just... at the pace I was going (once a week), it got exhausting digging through my subconscious trying to find some incident I buried back there for good reason.  And, believe me, it won't get boring.  I have heard some of the stories, and these peeps have nothing on me.  However, I'm considering writing them in first person, even though they aren't my stories.  I think I might find it easier to write. Wait, first person is the one where I use "I" right?  Or, is it third? No, it's definitely first.  Or third person removed? But, then, what is second?  A group telling a story?  Oh, fuck it, I'm telling the stories as if they happened to me.  Jeez.  Whatever "person" that is.  Got it.  I will denote at the beginning whether or not it is my story.  But, I promise that they will all be REAL STORIES.  I will never make them up.  I may take some creative license, but the facts will all be true.  Ok, enough already.  On to the story.  This one actually did happen to me, and yes, I am this crazy:


As I have stated previously in my blog, I used to be a stand in for Lea Thompson.  It was a great gig and I had a good time.  I didn't realize at the time, how lax they were on those sets, or rather, how lax I was on those sets.  When I would stand in for her, I would always be talking and teasing my buddies, flirting with the electricians. SIDE NOTE- the electrician thing didn't work out for me so well.  I wooed a boy named Conan who had tons of piercings and tattoos, super cute though.  He told me he had Attention Deficit Disorder, which I thought wasn't a problem, until I broke up with him for not paying enough attention to me.  Sigh.

Anywho, back to the story.  My lack of professionalism didn't occur to me until I got called in to do stand in work on a new show called "Raines", starring Jeff Goldblum.  I was only called in to do one episode, for a guest star on the show.  The show was so new, that people wore name tags with their name and title on them, so people could figure out who everyone was.  But, let's be honest, it was to establish who people could treat like crap and who they'd have to kiss ass to.  There is a definite pecking order on set and people live for that stuff.  You would too, if you busted your ass from the bottom to the mid-level.  So, when I arrived on set, I was given a name tag, but I didn't know to put my "title".  I was then directed to the breakfast line to get some chow.  I was there for about thirty seconds when I saw these group of producers (no name tag needed to figure out who they were) and Jeff Goldblum start to cut in the breakfast line.  Despite my hunger, I had no problem with that, I just wanted them to hurry up.  Then Mr. Goldblum looked back at me and did a double take. He whipped around and grabbed hold of my hand (I am not making this up), he pushed back my hair to see my name tag and said, "Jennifer.  Jennifer with the red hair." And then he did that weird Jeff Goldblum thing where he raised his hand above my head and just sort of left it there, almost praising Jesus and staring shiftily into my eyes. You know that weird Jeff Goldblum thing?  So, as he's doing this, I see and feel the producers behind him trying to get his attention to tell him I'm a nobody.  Really, honestly, they were like tugging on his shirt and shaking their heads, "Nooooo".  So, I'm taking all of this in and Jeff says to me, "So, what are you doing for the show?"  I know he wanted me to answer with, "Make-up!" or,"Costumes!" or even, "P.A.!", but I didn't have the heart to tell him that I was just a lowly, one episode stand in. So, I said, "Ummmm," and eventually a producer pulled him away.

After my truck-made breakfast, I was lead over to the set of a house, where I met another stand in named... I don't remember, but he thought he was very important.  For, he had been a stand in for Ewan McGregor in the runaway hit "The Island".  Played his double and such.  He practically spewed all of this information out while introducing himself.  It's no wonder I don't remember his name.  He took his job very seriously, as I guess I should have.  After the real actors did their rehearsal, fake Ewan and I took our positions on the set and the crew started working.  If I haven't made it clear what a stand in is yet, they are the people who stand in for the actors on a set while the production crew lights it.  This way the actors can go relax and prepare for their scene.  If you've seen "Love, Actually", you'll know what stand in's are.  Oh, wait, wait!  Those actors are stand in's on a porn set, I don't do that.  But as a stand in, you are sometimes put in some uncomfortable positions, made even more uncomfortable if you don't know your fellow stand in very well.  This one time I was standing in for Lea, I had to lie in bed with Billy Moses for a while (he smells good).  Dreamy.  Anyways, this position wasn't that bad, but we did have to stand about a foot apart and face each other for about forty-five minutes.  Naturally, I struck up a conversation when we got into position.  I mean, this guys introduction of himself took longer than the set up of this shot.  But, he barely responded.  I continued on my banter and clever jokes and you could see the sweat start to form on his brow.

"What's wrong?" I asked.

"Shhh!" he retorted.

"Huh?" I grunted.

"No talking!" he whisper shrieked.

"Why?  We're not supposed to talk while they set up? But we're practically kissing.  We're just supposed to stare at each other?"

"Yes."

"That's-"

"Shhhhahhhh!"

Which is pretty intense of a sound when you are a foot away, so I shut up.  And I stared at this dude in silence for forty-five minutes.

When the real actors came in, we were excused and fake Ewan showed me to our holding pen.  There was an older woman in there who was about four feet tall.  She was apparently the stand in for the child actor in this episode.  She was very sweet, but when I tried to start up a conversation with her, she also shut me down.  But then I heard the bell to alert us of filming, and her lock down made more sense.  This fake Ewan dude, though, he was a case.  And I started to realize... If I can't talk between takes or during them, when can I talk?  I have way too many insecurities to not be blabbing.  That is how I get out the crazy thoughts.  If I have to keep everything inside, bad things happen.  I go into Jen world and frankly, this child stand in lady was too short to ride that crazy train.

Finally, we broke for lunch.  I was so relieved.  Now I could blab.  I could talk about:

How my shoe felt tight on one foot.  Is that salt or diabetes?
How I think that that one electrician may have gone to my high school or, I slept with him after a St. Patty's Day Parade in San Francisco, or both.
Whether or not a fajita is technically a fancy make-it-yourself taco.

And,

Did Jeff Goldblum think I was a younger Geena Davis?  Is that why he is in love with me?

You know important stuff.

I ran to the lunch line, until I remembered there was a pecking order in the lunch line as well.  Crew first, actors second, then stand in's, then extras.  Today, there were no extras, so we were the last to get our lunch.   My veggie burger in tow,  I finally set my tray down at the stand in table ready to explode.   Fake Ewan was doing some blabbing himself.  He was very concerned about his big check coming from "The Island".  He should make thirty grand, or so.  I was trying to butt in with my fajita topic, but I was never able to get a word in edgewise.  Before I knew it, I heard,

"We're back!"

"Nooooooooooo!"  my personalities screamed inside my head.

Back on set, fake Ewan and I watched the actors rehearse and my delusions of adoration from Jeff Goldblum faded, as he purposefully ignored and kept his distance, once he realized my work title.  But, I bet, he's so hurt by Geena, he can't bear to look at me.  It's hard Goldblum, I know it's hard.

Man, I need to talk to someone.

The scene we were waiting on, required the actor, who I was standing in for, to cry.  The actor didn't do it during the rehearsal and the director was being a real dick about it.  He made her get eye drops (so she would cry on cue), even though she kept insisting she could do it for the take.  The real actors cleared the set and fake Ewan and I took our place.  He was seated behind me on a bed as I sat at a desk looking at a prop computer.  The camera was set in front of my face for a closeup.

Then my mind started wandering.  I hadn't spoken for so long and it was very dark on set.  Everything became very surreal.  My imagination started up.  I was thinking about the actor who didn't cry during rehearsal.  I was thinking how much pressure that would be to have to do that.  Could I do that?  Could I cry on cue?  Let me try.  I squeezed and contorted my face, trying to get a single drop out.  I thought of the story in the episode, a kidnapped child.  I thought of my cat, Beeper, getting run over.  I tried to think of everything and anything that would make me cry.  Jeff Goldblum never being able to love me, because I am too reminiscent of a young Geena Davis.  All the while, I am hanging my head, fake sobbing all in the name of getting a tear out.  Goddamn it!! Tear UP!!

And it comes, one single tear at the corner of my eye.  I did it!  I am a real actor!

The director yells, "First team up!"

I snap out of my sob-fest and am jolted back in to reality.  My tear creeps back up in my eye, before I can dramatically wipe it away.  But it still counts!  The real actor is standing next to me waiting to take her seat.

"Poor child," I think, "She has to bring it, now.  That's hard.  I pray she can live up to my performance, or they might replace her for me."

I exit it the set and see the director standing at video village.  He sees me and whispers something to a passing P.A..  I'm sure he's debating whether or not to put me in the show.  He's seen the potential.  The P.A. looks back at me in response and nods his head.

As I confidently pass the four video screens, I see the real actors face on the screen.  It is definitely a close up.  Any movement she makes or thought in her head is illuminated on screen.  Hmmm, I wonder if it was on me that close while I was standing in?  I mean, surely, not the whole time.  Not when I was going through my catharsis of trying to cry, contorting my face and gyrating my head trying to get a tear out?  No, I'm sure the camera wasn't even on me then.  And, surely no one saw it.  Except maybe the director... Oh, and the four producers who are approaching with coffee and smirking at me.

"Are you ok?" one of them asks.

The rest giggle and the director grunts in anger.  I nod my head and run back to the holding pen.  The mini stand in asked how it went.

"Fine," I say.

"Are you called to go to the zoo shoot tomorrow?" she asked, "Most everyone is."

I said I didn't know yet and prayed that they called me in, so I could be assured no one really just saw what I did back there.  Then the P.A. who conversed with the director came in to our cell.

"Jennifer, you are wrapped for the day," he said with mild pleasure in his voice.

"Oh, that's it?  I thought there were two more scenes?" I pleaded.

"Yeah, but we're good.  You take the rest of the day off and enjoy."

"Are you sure?  I don't mind staying."

"I'm sure."

"Ok, so, am I called tomorrow for the zoo shoot?"

"I'll have to check on that.  You'll hear from us if you're called."

"Ok, thanks."

"Don't cry about it, if you don't.  Have a good day."

And I left.  Needless to say, I didn't get to go to the zoo.  And Jeff never talked to me again.  It hurts too much for him to see me.  I have to believe that.  Or else, it makes me want to cry.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Bad Juju

David Scales had a point.  This was fodder for my blog.  Ugh. 

As I have said in previous weeks, I am in a play right now.  It’s wonderful.  I’m working.  I have no complaints.  However, it does a number to your body, though.  Having that kind of anxiety five times a week and working up to the emotions can really confuse and abuse your insides.  You may know in your mind that you are pretending, but your body doesn’t understand that.  So, if five nights a week I have to break down for whatever theatrical reason, my stomach can’t tell the difference between what I am pretending to be upset about and what I am actually upset about.  Also performing, in general, takes a great deal of physical effort.  Your voice has to reach the back row.  You have to be physically present every moment.  Basically… I’m tired.  But, happily so.  It’s the kind of tired actors thrive from.

So, the other night I hadn’t had much to eat all day and I grabbed some rice cakes and peanut butter on my way out the door to go to the theatre.  I ate them reluctantly in the car (I forgot how gross rice cakes can be, I haven’t had one since ’89).  But, I needed some sort of nourishment.  I arrived at the theatre and started my routine:

-Check my props
-Get water
-Light the bad juju candle
-Put on my makeup
-Etc, etc

The bad juju candle is a candle that my dressing room roommate brought to ward off all of the craziness that ensued during the rehearsal of this show.  Believe me we needed it.

But this night, when I went to light it, it seemed low and we had run out of back ups.  The show was going fine lately, so I didn’t worry about it.  Huh.  I continued with my routine as the rest of the actors started filing in.  We caught each other up on our lives, whatever had happened in the last twelve hours, since we saw each other last.  Then a little smoke came from the bad juju candle as it burned out and one of my roommates, in a panic, asked,

“What does it mean?”

“Nothing,” I said, “The show’s been going fine.”

Just then I heard a slight rumble in my stomach.  Hmm, maybe those rice cakes were actually from 1989.  I should have checked the bag.

Rumble, rumble.

Oh jeez, that is quite painful.

Unaware of my pain, my roommates continued on with their conversation, which usually consisted of a debriefing of the hit Canadian show “Slings & Arrows” (Side note: AMAZING SHOW about the theatre.  You can get it on streaming Netflix) and the lust and lovability of Paul Gross (so dreamy). 

“The first season is ‘Hamlet’,” Niki was saying, “The second is ‘Romeo and Juliet’ and 'The Scottish Play'-"

“What’s 'The Scottish Play'?” Meghan asked.

“Macbeth,” Nikki replies.

SPASM! SPASM!

Oh crap! I think I’m having another baby.

For those of you who don’t know the superstition, it is bad luck to say Macbeth in a theatre.  You may say it within the actual play, but other than that, it is referred to as “The Scottish Play” or “Mackers”, as I learned from “Slings & Arrows”.

Man, my tummy hurts.  I glanced at the clock to see how long until the show started…

Ahhhh, fifteen minutes!  I started to sweat.  If I could just make it to the start of the show, everyone would be out on stage and I could do my business without embarrassment.  My life without embarrassment?  Puhlease!

But, nope.  Can’t wait.  I sprint like a penguin to the bathroom, trying not to bounce too much.  I open the door to the adjacent stage where the bathrooms are and… Jack Sprat!  A cute boy from the other show is leaning on the bathroom door.  I approach him slowly,

“Are you waiting for the bathroom?” I asked through a forced smile.

“No.  Go ahead.  I’m waiting to go on.  It’s all yours,” he says.

Fan-tasssss-tic.

I waddle past him, knowing I can’t turn back and say, “Never mind”, because that would look weird.  Because, my ass clenching walk looks totally normal.

I go in knowing full well that I can’t do what I need to do in there, because, well, he’s standing two feet away and believe me, I know that what is about to happen will reach the back row of his theatre.  So I stand in there for a minute or so, with the toilet taunting me, beckoning me to sit down.  Then, when enough time had gone by to fool him, I flushed the toilet.

Not to my surprise, he was still standing there.  Thank God I took all precautions.  I then waddled back to my dressing room and announced, “I’m in HELL!”  By this point other actors had gathered in our dressing room, which left little room for me to pace and sweat it out.

Finally, “places” were called and I ran back to the bathroom (I am not in the first couple of scenes, so I had a little time).  I won’t go in to detail of what happened, but do you remember that scene from “Along Came Polly”?  Where Ben Stiller couldn’t get anything to go down?  That was me.  I was making deals with Allah, Buddha and God and after four flushes and a deal that all of my organs would be harvested come Sunday, it was all okay.

Finally, I felt better. 

Then the nausea set in.  What?  All this from rice cakes and peanut butter?

“It’s the bad juju,” Niki said, chewing on some dried mango.

“What?” I whispered, trying not to die.

“You have too much bad juju stored up.  You need to get it out.”

“Oh God.  We don’t have anymore candles,” I panicked.

“Just get it out.”

“I need to make it to the second act.”

The second act was where I could justify crying on stage and get it all out.  The first act was all “being in love and sappiness”.  Wah, wah, wah.  If I could make it through that, I would be ok.

And I did.  And by the time it got to my scenes in the second act, I was a mess.  Which was awesome for the show, but I was literally hurled over in to a ball backstage right before I went on.  My friend J.P. was trying to give me some words of encouragement:

“Look, if the theatre gods are with you, you will make it through the scene.  If they are with me, you will puke all over the stage.  Let’s see what happens.  You're on!”

Asshole.  Gotta love him though.

Anyway, I made it through the whole show and the second act was my best ever!  Later, I drove home and walked through my front door, straight to my bathroom and puked.  I puked out all of the bad juju.  I’ve never felt sexier.

I still can’t figure out what it was.  It was too quick to be the flu or food poisoning, right?  Maybe it was the bad juju.  I tell you what, I'll kick a chump in the balls if they ever say Mackers in my dressing room again.  And we’ve got those candles lit every night now...

Except before the second act.  I’m hoping to get a little pukey again for my performance.  It’s a sick life, I know.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Namaste

I missed a week and I'm sorry.  I will try not to let it happen again.  But don't worry, the universe provides... I was, once again, humiliated this week.  Here goes:

I love yoga, I really do.  I wish I could actually do yoga, but with a seventeen month old child, I have to get up at 5:30 am to do it.  And, well, I love sleep more.  I really got in to yoga when I was pregnant.  I had an amazing pre-natal/post-natal teacher at my yoga studio (the setting for the infamous "Postpartum" blog).  You really got a great workout in her class and she was totally non-judgmental and really made you feel great.  There was another pre-natal "yoga" teacher at the studio, who didn't teach very much yoga, was very judgmental and well, in my opinion, made you feel like crap.  Unless you believed in her specific philosophy and was a client of hers (she is also a doula).

I am going to piss off a lot of people with this weeks blog, but fuck it.

Let me just state this for the record... I see absolutely nothing wrong with having a doula, a home birth, a hospital birth, a water birth, a clown birth, etc..  I think your "birth plan" should be whatever you want it to be and that's it.  Screw what everyone else says, it's your baby.  If you want to have your baby in a tree with a choir singing songs from "The Sound of Music" while Uncle Jessie from "Full House" delivers your baby... DO IT.  That's awesome.

In short, my opinion of this person does not stem from her belief system.  It stems from her imposing her belief system on others.  Specifically vulnerable, scared first time mothers.

The first time I went to the Doula's class was the second pre-natal yoga class I ever went to.  The first was with the Kick Ass teacher and I was ready for more and very excited about the second.  Right off the bat this woman had a problem with me.  We go around saying how far along we are in our pregnancy, and when it was my turn I said, "I think around 16 weeks?"  The teacher stared at me in disgust.  "You think?" her facial expression said.  Ok, got through that.  Feeling pretty stupid now.  Then she began to give us a talk, which was kind of a bummer because I was looking forward to some child's pose and savasana.  But, I sat patiently and listened.  She was talking about birthing plans and what should be on the plan, etc. etc..  I sat there bored, because no, at sixteen weeks I did not have a birth plan.  It hadn't even really sunk in that I was pregnant yet.  I kept waiting for Ashton Kutcher to jump out and say I was being punked.  Then she turned to me and asked if I had a birth plan.

"No, not yet," I said.

"You don't have a birth plan?" she repeated.

"Um, no."

"You have to have a birth plan!"

I nervously smiled and looked around the room for some support.  There was none out there.  They all had birth plans.  Even the one on the back, who wasn't even pregnant, but was sure she was going to be any minute.

Side note:  I never actually ended up having a birth plan and (shockingly) my baby still found her way out of my vagina.

So, after the second shaming (but not the last!) and a lecture on epidurals and how doctors don't know what they are doing so I shouldn't listen to them.  I think we stretched for a minute or so and I vowed not to go back to the class.  Which sucked, by the way, because there were only three pre-natal classes a week and now I could only go to two.  So, I stayed with my two kick ass classes and I started to make some friends.  One friend, who is still my friend, urged me to go back to Doula's class.  She said she knew she was difficult, but if I could just filter what she says, it really was a great class for focus and breathing.  So, I went.  And it happened again.  I don't even remember what it was about, but I am telling you, this woman had it out for me.  She never, ever remembered my name, but as she said, "She always remembered a face!"  I ended up going a few more times, always leaving fired up and pissed off.  But then I would cool down and I'd want to see my new mommy friends and I'd go again.  I was like a battered wife.

Then I finally had my baby and I didn't have to go!  Yay!  I could just go to pre-natal/post-natal with Kick Ass teacher and relax.  But, of course, the studio added a Mommy & Me class taught by you know who.  All of my friends went, so once again I was duped into going and once again, she didn't know my name but she screamed at me to make sure I didn't smash my baby while doing a roll up.  Look, I know I'm not the best mother, but I promise you, I was not going to kick my baby in the face.  I mean instincts take over in those sorts of situations.

I finally broke the cycle and stopped going.  The final straw was when I found out that she would not let my two friends tell their birth stories in class, because they were not ideal births and the stories would have "scared" the mothers.  Um... News flash:  GIVING BIRTH IS SCARY!!! No matter what!  I think it is designed that way to prevent over population.  And, frankly, those are the stories they need to hear, I say, because my friends' babies are still alive and healthy and happy despite the worst conditions.  That, to me, made me feel that she was a fraud.  That is my opinion.  She also, allegedly, was in cahoots to get the Kick Ass yoga teacher fired, and she succeeded, so I really didn't like her.  Who knew there was so much drama in a yoga studio?  Namaste.

So, now on to the humiliation of the week.

My life is crazy right now, as most mothers' lives are.  If I can sleep an extra twenty minutes, showering loses priority.  Especially now, I am in a show where I am out until 12 am and my baby wakes up on and off from 2 am- 6 am.  I don't really care what I look like going around town.  So, two days ago when I needed to go to Trader Joe's, I waited until my baby woke up, fed her her pasta as fast as I could, put her in the car and prayed I could get what I needed done before she had a meltdown.  Yeah, right.  Twenty minutes in I could tell it was happening, so I cut my losses and got into the check out line.  I'm not even sure if I got everything I needed, but I'm sure I could make tacos without tortillas.  Better to get out before the baby explodes.

So, there we are, in line.  Me and the brewing baby.  Then she starts to grunt and point at the person behind me because she wants whatever the person has.  As I'm turning around I say, smiling,

"Ha, she wants whatever you ha-" I trailed off after seeing who it was.  Doula Bitch with a sample cup of coffee.

She, not seeing me yet, says to my baby, "No, you can't have my coffee, sweetie."

Then she looked at me and, I know, she "remembered my face".  I turned back to my baby and tried to get her to stop pointing at Doula Bitch and I pleaded with her telepathically to be the best, cutest, sweetest baby she normally is.  Then I really looked at my kid.  You know when you don't see something until you see through someone else's eyes?  My kid looked crazy.  Or rather, it looked like the person caring for her was crazy.  She had food all over her.  In her hair, which made it stick straight up like she had figured out the baby proofing socket locks.  Her shirt was covered, there was a noodle stuck to her face and was, that a... a black eye? Oh yes, from Halloween, somehow.  Basically my child looked like a child of neglect and I looked no better with pasta all over my pants and my day old show hair.

Just as I'm staring at myself and my baby in disbelief, I swear Doula Bitch put a hex on my kid.  The brewing was now steaming and she did not want to be in the cart.  Okay, I thought, I will hold her, just to stop the meltdown.  Then I will make her giggle and have fun so that Doula Bitch will know I am a good mom and so what if I don't "conform" to society by cleaning off my kid and myself? Yeah, that worked for about seventy-five seconds.  Then she wanted to get down and, see, the problem with that is the Tasmanian Devil issue that happens with my kid and any sort of shelving unit.  So, then we had the back arching tantrum as I'm trying to sign the credit card machine and I look over at Doula Bitch and she's on her phone, no doubt texting her cult on the mismanagement of motherhood she is witnessing.

So, finally my groceries are packed and I can get the hell out of there.  I hold the baby in one arm and push the cart with the other.  I get to the middle of the entrance in the doorway of the sliding doors and I realize the cart is too heavy to push with one hand.  So, I try to put the baby back in the cart.  Screaming and stomping is all I hear and all the rest of TJ's hears also.  Why??? Any other time, okay.  But with Doula Bitch present?  I decide to make a break for it and pull the cart with one finger while holding my kid.  It's fine for two steps, then the cart gets stuck on the door and the whole cart falls over projecting my groceries everywhere.  Beer, bell peppers, avocados smashed, sour cream busted open.  So much for a quiet escape.  Every employee came running.  After hearing the previous screaming, they thought the baby was in the cart when it fell over.  After that I just went numb.  I squatted on the concrete in front of the store, blocking my kid from escaping and let everyone else pick up the mess and replace my smashed items.  I didn't know what else to do.  I wanted to hide.

Several customers both going in and out offered to help and then commented on how cute my kid is, the one with the shit eating grin that caused this chaos.  And then it happened.  Doula Bitch walked out and had to practically step over me to get out the door.  Did she offer to help?  Was she concerned?  Did she feel bad?

Nope.

She just stepped over me, vocalized a "Hmph" and gave me a sidewards glance that inferred "Karma's a bitch."

I was fuming, I was humiliated and absolutely fuming.  So I said, "Fuck You!"

Okay, she was out of ear shot, but I still said it.  What I should have said was, "Thank You! I thought I was running out of stories for my blog and now I have some inspiration! Take that!"

I feel better.

Namaste.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

K-I-S-S-I-N-G!

I am in a show right now at The Odyssey Theatre in Los Angeles.  The show is called "Tales from Hollywood".  I play Helen Schwartz, a jewish writer from New York who falls in love with a Hungarian writer during World War II.  First comes love, then comes kissing.  Or, vice versa.  I always get nervous when I book a role that involves kissing, because my husband is not an actor and doesn't really like strange men pissing all over his territory, so to speak.  Which I understand, not the pissing metaphor, the kissing thing.  I have to be honest, I would not like it if he had my job and he had to kiss some tramp.  Maybe that's because I think I know men and I don't think he could separate acting kissing from kissing.  But, I don't have to worry about it, because he is never going to be an actor.  Never.

Ironically, I have booked more jobs that have required me to kiss someone since I've gotten married than I ever have in my career.  Poor Zak (that's my husband).  The first time I had to kiss an actor after we were married, I was also pregnant and it was for a film.  I told him that there was a kissing scene and he turned bright red with anger.  I told him it was no big deal, etc., etc..  Still, every day when I left for the shoot he would give me this look.  I never told him what day we actually shot it on and I never mentioned it since.  He's never seen the film and neither have I.  The next time I booked a job that involved some smoochy smooch, he had a similar reaction, but then I got fired and he felt bad for me.  This time, with the show at The Odyssey, I didn't get fired (knock on wood) so he had to actually come see the live kissing show.  I originally thought I didn't want him to see it on opening night, because I didn't want to feel the daggers from his eyes while I was doing my thing.  But, I really wanted some love in the audience that night, so he came.  And what did he say after the show?

Nothing.

After all the comments he made every night when I left the house for rehearsal:

"Wear a condom!" he would shout to me out the door.

"What's the fun in that?" I would shout back.

I swear he would barely look at me when I would come home from rehearsals and he would ask me to rinse out my mouth with Listerine.

And then, to have him say nothing.

"You weren't upset about the kissing?" I asked.

"Nope," he quipped.

Then I was a little insulted, "Why not?"

"Because you're my wife."

"What's that supposed to mean?  I'm your property and he's just renting?"

"It would be so much easier if that were true.  You should become my property.  I'm telling you, we wouldn't fight anymore."

But enough about my marriage.

For my high school drama class, we had to film a soap opera.  We were split into groups of about five, or so.  We had to write, direct, act and edit the project ourselves.  My group decided to do a take off of "Pretty Woman".  It was the nineties after all.  So, of course, I begged to play the part of Vivian.  I honestly do not remember anything about the video, except that I had to kiss a boy named Mario.

Who was cute.

And I hadn't kissed a boy since Jeff Hall in fourth grade.

And now I was going to do it on camera for the first time.

Genius.

So, we get to the day of the kissing scene and I'm obviously very nervous, but totally playing it cool.  Totally.  Somebody does a Taco Bell run before we start, but I don't eat any because I'm already nervous enough.  I don't need to have those problems on top of everything else.  Lunch is done and we get ready for the scene.  We are doing a take off of the scene at the breakfast table, where Richard Gere orders Julia Roberts everything on the menu.  So I sit with my bubble butt on the table and Mario sits on the chair at the head of the table looking up at me.  We say our lines and then it is time for the kiss.

So, we kiss.

It's weird.  Different than I thought it would be, but I go with it.

"Stop!" Kristi Barrone yells from behind the camera, "What are you two doing?"

"What? I know.  I'm trying to kiss her, but..." Mario yells back.

"Jen, what's going on?"

"Um, what?  I was just kissing him.  What did I do wrong?" I asked.

"It looked weird.  Try it again."

So we start the scene again and we get stopped again mid-kiss.

"Okay, what's going on?  Jen, don't you know how to kiss?"

Silence, then:

"I totally know how to ki-"

"Oh my god, you guys, that was her first kiss," Kristi interrupted,  "Awwww!"

"Awwwww," echoed the rest of the group.

How embarrassing.  I turned bright red and then Mario looked at me and said proudly,

"I was your first kiss?  That's kind of sweet."

He smiled at me for a minute and I looked around and everyone was smiling at me as if I was their baby and I just took my first poop.  They were so proud.

"Okay, we don't have a lot of time, so let's go again!" Kristi screamed breaking the mood.  She added, "And, Jen, move your mouth when you kiss him, you look like you just sucked a lemon."

So, I moved my mouth when I kissed him and we got the shot.  Then I ran to the left over Taco Bell and gorged.  It was finally over, I could relax.  Everyone was really being really sweet.  They were all older than me, so although they were treating me like I was their little sister, at least they weren't treating me like a freshman.  Cutie pie Mario would even blush every time we made eye contact.  It was nice.

Then the Taco Bell hit me like a ton of bricks.  No, no, no, no, Nooooo!  I ran to the bathroom.  And, well, you know.  We've all had Taco Bell.  I went to open the window and, of course, there was no window.  I went to light a match (which I personally think, just makes it worse), but there were no matches.  Then stupid Matt Anderson bangs at the door for me to hurry up.  I'm fucked.  I had known Matt Anderson since I was six.  He was my best friend's brother's best friend.  He was like my brother.  My obnoxious frat boy, lame ass brother.  He was not going to shut up about this.  The only thing I could do was to get out of there.  So I opened the door.

"Whew!!!" he screamed, "Jen, what the hell?!"

"Shut up!" I mumbled to him.

"Man oh man!" he laughed as he went in a shut the door.

Everyone had stopped and Kristi asked, "What happened?"

"Taco Bell," I whispered.

Once again, I looked around the room and I was no longer the proud, pooping baby.  I was the pitiful, pooping freshman.

"Someone needs to carve out a window in this room! Jesus, what did you eat?"

Fucking Matt Anderson.

And... that is the story of my first kiss.

Typical.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Mad Skills

My husband doesn't think I'm a good driver.  Okay, I don't think I'm a great driver.  I'm fine if I'm alone, but for some reason if anyone else is in the car, I get nervous.  I get distracted and my sense of what the passenger is thinking about my driving gets very acute.  I suddenly realize that I brake too late or didn't check my blind side.  But I swear, when I'm alone I'm an excellent, excellent driver.  Like Rain Man.

The first ticket I ever got was when I was sixteen driving to my Dad's house in Santa Cruz.  I had The Bangles version of "Hazy Shade of Winter" literally blasting out my stereo in my '89 Chevy Beretta (LOVED that car, by the way).  And, unbeknownst to me,  I was in a bit of a high speed chase with the police when I finally looked in my rearview mirror and realized I was being pulled over for doing ninety in a fifty-five.  Apparently they were behind me with their sirens on for over five minutes.  Oops.   So naturally, I went straight up to my Dad when I arrived at his house and told him about the ticket.

Yeah right.

No.  He found out when the ticket was mailed to his house and he could get pissed alone in Santa Cruz while I was in another county.  Hee hee.  That is how teenagers roll.

I'm terrified as a mother.

Then there was the time that I drove Pat Brennan home from school and I ran over a ladder on the freeway.  I saw it lying there and I attempted to aim the ladder between my tires, but at the last minute decided to run over it with just my right side.  Running over a ladder going sixty can make quite a noise and really shred your tires.  Trust me.  But, I was so embarrassed about my goof that I drove him all the way home for over fifteen miles on my rims.  You could tell he was concerned, but I kept saying, "It's fine.  I'll just fill my tires up when I get home."  Meanwhile you could see sparks from his side window, from the rims hitting the pavement.

I was very abusive to my car, even though I loved her.  My friends all had Jeeps and Explorers, so I felt I had to keep up.  I took my Beretta four wheeling on a mud hill by my house.  We got stuck for awhile, but we worked it out.  I used to also drive over the sidewalk of the school parking lot instead of the driveway because it was faster.  Again, I got stuck, but Beretta pulled through once again.

She was a fast car, that one.  Hence, the tickets.  She was a stick shift and she had crazy power steering.  You barely touched the wheel and you were turning a corner.  You had to be very gentle with her.

One day I drove a dreamy young man named Adam Morey home.  Okay, that sentence just creeped me out.  I drove a cute boy home, who was a year younger than me.  Still creepy.  Whatever, you get the gist.  I really liked Adam, which he knew, and he was not interested in me at all, but he was a nice guy, so we were friends.  He never called me a stalker (to my face) when he would see me drive by his house on the way to work.

It really was on my way to work.

It was a short cut.  What?

He was my date for Senior Prom... Because I asked him.

Anyway, on our ride home I was nervous.  First, because he was super cute and I couldn't stop staring at him.  Second, because, as I said before, I get very self conscious while driving.  So, along we go on the freeway and I'm trying to be cool and cute, but really being awkward and spazzy.  And I'm not really looking at the road because I'm staring at his dimples.  When he says, "Look out!"  I look forward and there is some roadkill in the road.  I turn the wheel hard to the left, because I don't want to get into an accident and damage his precious face.  Then I realize I've turned too far left so I over compensate and turn to the right.

Okay, here's where it gets bad.  You know in "Top Gun" when Maverick goes in to a tail spin and can't get out of it and then (SPOILER ALERT) Goose dies?  That is what is happening in the Beretta on the freeway.  Only we aren't spinning, we are swerving side to side uncontrollably.  Every time I go to correct it we serve so hard to the other side, the momentum makes my hand on the wheel swerve to the opposite side.

And I can't stop it.

And it's going on forever.

By this point Adam is getting very freaked out and starts screaming at me to stop it.  What am I doing, you ask?  Well, my reaction is that of any sane person... I'm laughing.  I am laughing uncontrollably.  So hard I am crying.  This poor guy.  Because of the laughter, he thinks I am doing this on purpose, as his head keeps hitting the side window.  Somehow I regain control of the car, but not of myself.  I am still laughing so hard, I can't open my eyes.  And, I keep making weird wheezing and spitting sounds because I'm trying to stop the laughter.  I look out of the corner of my eye and Adam is scared and furious with me and that makes me laugh more.  I try to explain through the laughter that it was an accident, but nothing audible comes out, just a bunch of drool.

We make it back to his house in one piece and I finally get it together to try to say goodbye.  He fumbles out of the car as fast as he can.  I take the hint that I will not get a kiss goodbye, so I yell out the window, "Okay, see you tomorrow!  Pick you up at six for the prom?"

Poor kid.  We did go to the prom together, but he was a gentleman... He drove.