It’s 11:00 on a Friday night. I’m home alone. I’m wearing socks, shoes, jeans, a t-shirt, a heavy blue hoodie sweatshirt and a scarf. I’m still freezing.
I’ve been sick for three days, and I just did my show.
Despite the good review in today’s LA Times, we had a very small house. The smallest I think this show has ever seen. I’m finding it’s very hard to get Los Angeles to care about coming out to see a show. I know it takes a lot to get me to go out, and when a show’s running for seven weeks, nobody gives a shit about the second weekend. I understand. I know why it’s empty out there. But that doesn’t help anything. I feel like a failure.
And everybody’s ready to give the pep talk and explain things and tell us why it’s fine, but I know that we have to make a certain amount of money or the people who paid to rent the stage are going to lose money in our show.
And I’m sick, which makes it even more frustrating. My voice isn’t completely there, and it’s hard to talk to a group of people when your voice is weak. It’s hard to sing. It’s hard to feel confident when you’re congested.
And then I found out we had a reviewer in the audience tonight. I wonder what she thought of it all.
I’m feeling sorry for myself, which is what we do when we’re sick, and I’m feeling incredibly over-worked. I’m supposed to be writing this pilot script and I’m so frustrated with it that I want to quit writing it. But I’ve never quit writing something I told myself I was going to do, so it makes me even angrier with myself for wanting to quit. I’m angry for not quitting, and I’m angry for doing it. I’m sure it’s also all because I’m sick.
So, I’m sitting in a cold room (the heater doesn’t work down in the office, for some reason), and I’m shivering pathetically over my iBook and I’m wondering why I didn’t bother eating dinner and I’m waiting for the Advil to kick in so my throat stops feeling like it’s on fire and my fingers feel like they’ve got some life in them and Lord, I’ve become the actress I hate.
I’ve become the whiny, pathetic, excuses-making, mopey, grumpy, blaming her period for her anger actress. And I’m the grumpy, unsatisfied, apathetic, weary, bratty director. I’m also the weepy, insecure, hunchy, bitchy writer. I never wanted to be any of those girls and tonight here i am, all three of those horrible women.
The show is fine. It’s funny. (“Four Paws!”) I figure even on an off night it’s still a consistently funny show. And those twenty people who came to see it tonight, they don’t know that I normally sing better than I did tonight, and they don’t know that when the house is full people laugh much louder than they did tonight. And I’m probably going to just hunker down and write the pilot because I don’t like quitting things. I’ll do the recap, I’ll get the anime script finished, I’ll write my acknowledgments page for my book and I’ll write the damn pilot. I’ll even do another show tomorrow. What else are weekends for? I’d be miserable if I wasn’t this busy. I’d be scared I was never going to work again. And I’m taking medicine, so I’ll probably feel much better tomorrow. At least this time my doctor believed me and gave me real medicine, and not Cipro, since I asked him nicely to give me cheap, generic drugs because I am a struggling actress/writer/artist.
I am a whiny artist! I am embracing my pathetic side tonight.
Last night it got so bad that I had to watch the DVD commentary of Say Anything. It’s very funny. They’re like, “Here’s where John Cusack is funny. He’s amazing. Brilliant. He came up with that bit right there. And Cameron, he’s awesome, he’s had this amazing life full of rich experiences, and he is such a good writer. And Lily Taylor’s the coolest thing on two legs.”
And then there’s this silence, and someone will go, “Oh, Ione. Look how pretty you are.”
And you can tell that Cusack hasn’t watched the thing in a good fifteen years, but Ione knows every line, every nuance, every part. She keeps going, “I love it when you do that!” and she’s saying the lines with the film. I love it. I love that lispy girl.
I am a self-absorbed writer!
I am sick! My throat hurts! Give me love and validation! Feed me the praise and soothing touches that I need to keep going, to have the strength to be funny! Watch me! Watch me! Watch me!
It’s all so sad, I know. I want y’all to come here and see this cool chick who’s got it all together, who is this person that Evany has described. Who is that girl? I’d love to be as cool as Evany makes me seem. Everybody should get described through Evany’s eyes.
But no. I’m wearing a scarf. Indoors. Like I’m a frail model who can’t eat a salad without shivering.
I was so sick that last night I saw Chicago again because it was the only thing that made sense. Watch for: the shot of Renee singing “Nowadays” with Catherine Zeta-Jones, wearing the fur, where she had lipstick smeared all over her front teeth. Why did they keep that shot? She’s trying to wipe it off with her upper lip, sexily, and it cracks me up. I’m like, “Right there! That’s how I know I could have done this part. You kept that in, where she fucked up!”
I was so sick last night that when we were late to see the movie, instead of seeing something else Jessica and I bought baby clothes for our friends’ baby. Is that pathetic? I was so sick that I had to touch tiny socks and coo.
I am a pained artist! I have the chills, sweats and a bit of a fever! I am alone on a Friday night, writing in my web journal! Today I sent a postcard to Judd Apatow asking him to come to my show and tried to make it look like maybe he knew who I was so that he’d come and see the show! Ditto Bob Odenkirk! I am shameless! I am my own worst nightmare!
And what do I get in return? I haven’t eaten all day. I’m cold. I have no email. I can’t sleep.
I updated my journal. Oh, it’s all so sad at the bottom.
You guys, my show can’t bomb. Do you understand? I refuse to be a loser. I can’t get all these reviews and have everyone love everything and then nobody comes to see it. It’s just like writing screenplays, then. Everyone loves the script, everybody reads it, they tell you you’re great, but then nothing happens. Nobody steps up and gives you money, or hires you, or asks to work with you. Everyone loves you from far away.
Los Angeles keeps you at arm’s length. That’s why it’s always so sunny — if you’re squinting into the glare, they can get away from you easier.
I am a Hollywood cliche! I just spent ten minutes trying to figure out the code to put the accent over the “e” in cliche! I work in Notepad and code by hand. I’m so rusty!
I’m an unemployed web designer! Nobody will ever hire me again! I don’t even remember how to code things anymore because what I do for a living isn’t needed by anyone anymore!
I am a failed dot com.
Go ahead and be smug. Laugh it up. Enjoy this moment. Kick me while I’m down. That’s fine. I understand. That’s what’s supposed to happen.
I am an over-reacting moron!
Oh, my goodness. Look at me. This is sad. This is not my finest hour, what you’re witnessing here.
But more importantly, is this my lowest point? Have I hit bottom? Sick and in a freezing basement whining on my website about poor attendance and having too much work to do? Because I’m pretty sure it is.
But more importantly than that, do you think Judd Apatow’s gonna come see the show?