2015: The Year in Review

12.31.2015


Poor blog.

Ms. Blog got no love in 2015. The coming of the Ziggy threw the world as I knew it into utter chaos and I am just now recovering from that crazy chick's arrival. (Eight months in...)

I loved putting this year in review together. I laughed at just how home-bodied I've become. Almost every darn picture was taken in my home because that's where I've been holding up like the cute little mama hermit that I am.

Having a baby... I seriously go dumb trying to think how I can summarize such a thing. It's impossible. I can dabble in the details: This year was all about survival. Pure, unequivocal hang-on-to-your-big-girl-panties-folks! survival mode.

It's like I entered this mom machine. It tumbled me around; knocked the living shit out of me a couple of times (had me crying in showers and cars and shat...) and then spit me out as this crazy being who googled everything and couldn't stop taking pictures of the alien creature she popped out of her hoo hoo.

I've survived on 2-3 hours of sleep some days. I've been pooped on both literally and figuratively. So much newness...battles to get back to the old me just to realize that I'll never get her back. I'm this new entity; this brand new Tish that I'm slowly growing to understand. It may be cliche, but I don't give a rat's arse. It's the truth.

Sometimes I look in the mirror and cuss out loud; surprised at the woman I see. She knows how to keep a baby alive (a task I swear I once thought was beyond my grasp.) She has a weird new patience and a crazy amount of love and adoration for her daughter. She surprises the heck out of me.

When I was pregnant I was all dreams and theory...how I'd mother and parent. I laugh at that woman now. I have no time to philosophize and dream. I am what I am. I've learned to stop planning...stop controlling and just let her life and my new life unfold. Woody Allen isn't my favorite cup of tea, but I love his quote, "If you want to make God laugh, tell him about your plans."

God was laughing mighty hard at the old me.

I think I may start a vlog in the new year... a place where I can help other mamas out there who experienced the fear, loneliness and panic that I felt when I became a mom. It's a work in progress...just like me. I just know that having someone out there who gets it is necessary for that wonderful buzz word I keep mentioning. That's "survival" in case you too are working on three hours of sleep.

So here goes, 2016... I walk freely into the new year without expectation. I'm winging it folks! Let's see how I do.


Movies to See. This is My Kind of New Year's Resolution

12.30.2015

I don't do so nice with resolutions...much too ADHD...the world changes too damn often once you have a baby (you can't resolve to do anything...Mr Universe laughs at people who think they have control...over anything...even bowel movements)

BUT I CAN resolve to see great films when they come out... here are some I've stumbled upon. This better happen. First I see the good films. Then I get inspired. Then I ask how can I get in these great films. That is how 2016 will go.

I really do have a psychic sense...



Okay so here are the films....










(She's on How to Get Away With Murder... I'm a fan.) 



Is it wrong that I feel like I've watched a film after finishing this post? I could spend a day watching trailers and feel accomplished...but I'll see the films. 

Hopefully.

That Mom Life though...


Moms Need Socks and Friendship Times 100

12.20.2015



I found this website and have been devouring the articles with a fervor usually reserved for new Netflix series.

You're welcome.

This one article, On Socks and Friendships, was just delightful. The writing is clever and delightful and leaves you wanting to curl up by a fire and sip some really smart hot cocoa.

"Friendship is the oatmeal sock version of who we are."


The idea of authenticity and truth actually inspired me to write. Me! The person who hasn't touched this blog's login page in a very sad and long time.

I was so pissed at moms after I had Z. Being a mother was sooo much harder than people let on. No one was sharing how much you'd cry. How mad you'd get...how often you'd shake your fist at the Universe. No one prepared me so I vowed I'd be different. I made sure to keep shit real on Instagram. When new moms announced their new arrivals I gave them my number and told them to call me if they ever needed someone to open up to...and when they danced around the same feelings I once had I let loose and shared my dark, frank and blunt truths. I felt my friends' fears easing up. When you learn you're not indeed the lone weirdo mama of the world, forced to walk the planet blind and alone, your spirits lift a bit. The hard stuff is inevitable, but it's sooo much more easier to navigate when you have friends who can give you road maps along the way; help you brace for the bumps...exposing the oatmeal socks if you will. 

So I've been keeping it real and seeking others out who also know how to keep it real...keep it real without being Negative Nancies. 

I recently joined a private facebook page specifically for mamas who are actors. Just when I thought (again) no one could possibly imagine how hard it's been trying to audition and be a mom I find a group of women in the exact same boat. 

There's just something about learning you're not alone that helps you ease up. I grow more confident. I take greater risks and enjoy the process just a bit more. Sharing is caring.

Word to your mother.



No makeup. House a hot mess. Real on crack. 


Miracle for Three Thousand, Alex

12.03.2015
Holy cow chomping on some 'spiritual' grass do I need a miracle...

I didn't realize just how hard we've been struggling to stay afloat until I auditioned for a commercial and got put on 'avail'. It was the first time in months I actually allowed myself to dream and think about what we could do with the money I'd make from that job...We'd take a break from stressing about rent, groceries and child care fees. We'd be able to actually give each other Christmas gifts.

Then I didn't get the job and all of that hope and joy and dreaming just vanished.

Man, this Thanksgiving was a hard one for me. I couldn't find the gratitude. We went for a walk and I cried to my husband. I felt sorry for myself and then felt terrible because our baby doesn't understand what's going on...and I wasn't strong or optimistic for Mark. I really wanted to be a light to make the situation better, but I just couldn't kick the pity I was feeling.  (Which for the record made me feel worse. Everyone has rough times and having a Debbie Downer around doesn't help at all.)

I just don't know what to do. Do I give up the dream and move my family out of California so that we can breath? Am I being selfish by keeping us here... punishing my family as I miss job after job?

Being a big kid is HARD, yo!


Suffragette: Movies and Motherhood

11.10.2015
Man I have changed! 

I used to be the girl who watched three films a week...at the theater! Now getting me out of the house is like an act of God. When Z is with me anxiety follows me around like a mean shadow. She's fussy and unpredictable after 4pm so I'd rather stay in. I've made my peace with being a recluse. If it keeps me from twitching in a corner I'm down for just about anything. 

Kind friends have listened to me explain this and have suggested I play without her, but that brings on a whole other set of anxieties... There's the issue of her being exclusively breast fed and me having a limited supply of milk to give her nanny each day (translation: I can't be away from her during her evening feeding hours) and then pumping in public just freaks me out. The boobs fill up and out pops that good ole anxiety shadow to remind me my life is not what it used to be. Basically she may not physically be with me...but homegirl is with me; crawling all over my thoughts and nerves.

Still a friend managed to nudge me enough to get me out on a Monday night for a special screening of the movie, Suffragette. An act of God...and so I trudged over the hill to the land of pretty people who stay up late.

I won't lie. I stressed about it all day, but the minute I arrived at the hotel (where the movie was screening) my worries subsided...because I saw free wine and champagne at the bar...and popcorn...and peanut butter cups. 

That film though...



So Suffragette was amazing. The gist of the film: A woman named Maud finds her inner feminist; sacrificing her professional and personal life in the process. She meets some amazing women who inspire and help her find her voice and the courage to keep going. It's heart wrenching and endearing and inspiring and visually outstanding. I love historical pieces that pack huge relevant and current punches and this story did just that. It was about working class women who helped change the direction of the movement. Maud was a mix of many women's stories from that specific period of time within the movement which leads me to the whole representation part...fiction and fact. 

The writer, Abi Morgan (who attended the screening and stayed for a Q and A) discussed the amount of research and time that went into writing this film. Her and the director put up a case for why there were no people of color. (I just loved that it was the first question the audience asked concerning the film. Go Film Independent alum!) 

Usually the excuses leave me with permanent butt twitches, but I respected their choice to tell the stories of a very specific neighborhood. (Research will shut me up for a brief time.) Yes, it would have been nice to tell the stories of the women color and nobility who the writer was able to find information on; but the film wasn't about the fancy folks preaching from comfortable perches in society. Fair enough...for now. Just don't get me started on the damn shirts used to promote the film. 

Keeping focused... 

The film. I just kept thinking how far we've come, yet not. Let's keep it real. We women are still fighting the equality battle... and while some of the atrocities you'll see in this movie will make you thankful you live in 2015 you'll also be pissed that you live in the year 2015 and STILL have to deal with the same bull shit. That damn glass ceiling...equal pay...civil rights...family law. There were so many moments that made me think of my daughter. Sooo many moments that made me wish she was with me. Nothing like a good feminist flick to make you appreciate yet fear for the tiny girl you've sworn to protect. 

Which brings up another crazy point and the reason I wanted to write this post. My whole life I've watched films and found personal connections to characters. I've always thought of myself and put myself into the situation. This was the first film I watched that left me thinking of my daughter. If she were in those situations... Is this what folks mean when they say having a child is deciding to have your heart go walking outside of your body? I get it now. Lightbulb moment.

I will be purchasing this film when it comes out on DVD. It's one of those great stories that you need to share with all the phenomenal women in your life.

I'm glad I pulled I womaned up and headed out for that event. I swear movies find you at just the right time...much like books. I'm thankful I know more about the movement. The Hollywood on the other hand... I didn't stay at the after party for long. There were some super talented and interesting writers, producers and directors, but for the first time I didn't have networking desperation. I spoke. I ate. I sipped sparkling water and hugged my friend Reena who invited me out and then I reserved my desperation for the exit strategy. I just needed to get home to my girl. Yes, I came home to a crying baby who needed her mama, but I was so thankful she woke so I could hold her and hug all the hopes I have for her into her squishy little body.

I have totally changed.


Trust in God - she will provide. ~ Emmeline Pankhurst



Embracing Gassy. Boom.

11.05.2015


I filmed this commercial a while back and it hits the television world soon. I've never been so happy proud to see myself embracing gas. (And I embrace a LOT of gas.) 

Little tiny baby steps to a career in acting. Now if I could just get the callback I've been waiting for all week. 

Fingers crossed,

Tish (AKA The Queen of Gas)

Immune to Luck and Frolicking in the Fears

10.28.2015
Z and I have a new routine: she gets fussy around a certain time every day so we go on a three mile walk around the hood and all becomes right with the world. Except lately sleep hasn't come so easy to the kid and thus for me. I'm physically and mentally exhausted. Couple that with some good old fashioned audition disappointment and you've got some depressed ass mama on your hands.

I swear I thought I had this last audition. The lines came super easy. I had energy. My face decided to be nice and not explode in raging hormonal acne. I was happy. I felt alive. Then I waited all that night for my obvious callback, but no one called.

(I swear waiting for your agent to call is the worst kind of wait. It's worse than ten thousand rounds of waiting for a guy to call after a first date.)

So yeah... I've been feeling mighty defeated. And scared! Don't forget the fear! Crippling fear that I won't be able to provide for my daughter doing what I love and have always wanted to do in this world. Fear that we'll rent for the rest of our lives. Fear that I'll be sitting in the same desk chair dealing with the same damn problems.

Dude! I need serious magic. I'm pretty sure I'm immune to luck. The mom readers may relate to this next bit. I get serious anxiety when I look on my social media accounts and see nothing but baby pics. My kid is the only thing I have going on in my life right now. That is scary.

This post's timing I swear. Let's discuss the things that terrify us most the week of Halloween. Skip the slasher films. A dead end job chills me to my bone.



This is a typical day (via Snapchat) in the life of me, the actor. I kept this one because I just knew I'd get the part and want to save the moments leading up to the win. Ho hum...




Poetic Farts: How Amy Brenneman Became My Shero

10.21.2015



It's been so long since I've written anything resembling a coherent thought I kind of forgot if I could write at all...which is why it's ironic as hell that I ended up at a gathering for Hollywood writers.  

To be perfectly honest I didn't know it was a meeting for writers talking about writing. I thought it was a Hollywood screenwriter bringing in Amy Brenneman (an actor I LOVE) to talk all things Hollywood. 

Bit of background info: I've had this weird stalkerish relationship with my acting dreams for months now. I've loved my dream, but without knowing it...without being in it. I've just moped about; wondering if it'll ever happen; staring at it creepily from my couch. I have sucked at being an actor in pursuit. I hate going to auditions because I have to pump all the dang time and I have my kid to think about...I can't be away for long periods of time (like an hour and a half...otherwise my boobs explode. It's super fun.) I'm basically tied to my house and my neighborhood...I wear an invisible baby tracker that keeps me tethered to Z. I know it's worth it because I've chosen to take care of my kid via the boob, but I still get bummed that acting has taken such a considerable back seat. 

Which brings me back to Amy. So I'm just minding my business in my coffee shop when I see this flyer for a speaker series featuring her and since I've loved her work for years and years I signed up without even really reading what she'd be gabbing about. Blind love...it has its moments.

It would be in my neighborhood...it would expose me to some Hollywood magic hopefully. SIGN ME UP! 

Mark came home early from work. I fed the kid and off I went praying she'd sleep the whole time I was gone. 

I arrived at the coffee shop and the folks were running a half hour behind. I swear my knockers filled up with half a gallon of milk in just the seconds it took me to figure out I wouldn't be home by the time I specified. That is why my life is one big broken dream right now. I can't even focus or enjoy anything outside of feeding my kid. Not even Amy Brenneman. No one tells you this when you decide to start nursing. 

Luckily when Amy and Peter began talking they brought the awesome. She was plopping out so many inspirational nuggets my head starting spinning. She briefly discussed how writing took a backseat when she needed to raise her family...she spoke candidly about vultures who had screwed her in the business...she talked about her process. She shared the good good, y'all. 

I found myself forgetting all things boob and laughing at the great shit coming out of her mouth. Like for instance a team of writers took partial credit for her Judging Amy idea so she now "can't even fart without running to get it registered." (I snort laughed when she said that...and also when she said fuck over and over again. God! I love a woman who cusses! Homegirl went to Harvard. Smart women cuss.)

I left the coffee shop with a spark of hope that someday it could happen...I could actually make something of myself in Hollywood. This woman has enjoyed a rather idyllic career in the industry and she doesn't seem to be stopping anytime soon. I just have to remember the sage advice she shared: 

  • Collect with abandon and then prune
  • Be comfortable in your own bones
  • Register your damn work or leave a digital trail that proves your work
  • Write like a poet...(I asked her how she found brain power during the early years of motherhood. She said she wrote like a poet...bits and pieces of thoughts that years later would find their way into larger ideas. 
I may not be a writer, but I'm definitely a collaborator and frankly; the industry sucks ASS right now so if I'm not wiggling my way into the business based off of work I've created for myself I may never get in. 

So what now? Well, I go back to mama life...and commercial auditions... and I write like a mother fucking poet. We'll see where this newfound approach takes me. 





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