Monday, July 19, 2010

All I Need to Know I Learned at Renaissance Faire

In light of the upcoming Renaissance faire season (at least for us Northerners), I have taken it upon myself to give back to the faire community. It is a community of givers and people who work tirelessly for themselves; who toil and slave away endless to climb that invisible social ladder that exists in all theatrically-minded microcosms. This community, chock full of inflated creator-types has much to teach the bottom feeders like myself, and I cannot express to them how invaluable I find their hard learned lessons have been. For who knows better about myself and my private dealings more than the mob? Vespasian knew this, which is why he began construction the Coliseum. I hang tenuously on every single word, every single opinion they have to gift me. For in that short span of three months comes the culmination of thousands of peoples' lives from all walks of life who share a single goal: popularity. Like Nero, I am seizing upon the mob's love of theatrics to better myself. However, I am reciprocating. It is to this community I bestow my gratitude and am giving them back what I hold dear in my heart: everything I need to know, I learned at Renaissance faire.

  1. Share everything. Including your personal life, in great hyperbolic detail to everyone and everything. The higher you are on the Great Social Ladder of Renaissance Faire, the more people care.
  2. Play fair. But only when you're being watched closely. Otherwise, sling mud profusely. You'll look like an ape when you do it, but boy! It sure is fun!
  3. Don't hit people. Except when they're down or they're trying to steal your business but fail due to their own ego being twice the size of the actual man.
  4. Put things back where you found them. Except for your personal morality and sense of accountability.
  5. Clean up your own mess, only if you spill your alcohol on someone. Otherwise, your personal mess is for everyone to share in and get involved with!
  6. Don't take things that aren't yours, unless it's married spouses, tankards, opening weekend business, ad space, volunteers and contracted acts.
  7. Say you're sorry when you hurt somebody, but only after faire has been closed for a month.
  8. Wash your hands before you eat… wait, don't wash your hands before you eat. It's not period.
  9. Flush. Wait. Nevermind.
  10. Warm cookies and cold milk are good for you. They cause you to forget you're a rational adult and put you right back in the 7th grade. I mean, we all act like it anyways, right?
  11. Live a balanced life - learn some and think some and draw and paint and sing and dance and play and work every day some. And by "play" I mean slosh around in a vat of jell-o or mud in a bikini a size too small while a real-life cartoon takes pictures of you and posts them for creepers to see. Also, Catholic School Girl Night counts as "dance."
  12. Take a nap every afternoon. In the street. While being paid. Because you can. It sets a great tone for the faire.
  13. When you go out in the world, watch out for traffic, hold hands and stick together. Unless you're trying to climb the Great Social Ladder of Renaissance Faire, in which case you're free to gouge out eyes, slander, insult, berate and lie. Popularity is the key to having fun. Being popular is fun. Fun is cool.
  14. Be aware of wonder. Remember the little seed in the Styrofoam cup: the roots go down and the plant goes up and nobody really knows how or why, but we are all like that. Also, be aware that Styrofoam cups and raccoon tails and cat ears aren't period… and facial piercings, and off-the-shoulder-chemises…
  15. Goldfish and hamsters and white mice and even the little seed in the Styrofoam cup - they all die. So do we. So live it up! Get really really drunk and insult a few patrons!
  16. And then remember the Dick-and-Jane books and the first word you learned - the biggest word of all – "LOOK," is all well and good, but "DICK" is the operative word.

Well, my throngs of adoring groupies, I'm glad you've enjoyed this. Feel free to reprint it for your own benefits. I would be honored, but I would also expect it. I look forward to seeing you all in less than 2 months for our glorious Opening Day at the Renaissance faire! :D

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

How to Survive in Los Angeles

The Greeting:
It is of the utmost importance to make your greeting as loud and attention-getting as humanly possible. The first impression has more to do with how you greet someone then to whom you greet. If they are a good friend, you may forgo the formal greeting and you may commence with slang terminology. Note: Learning slang may or may not be helpful when dealing with Hollywood talent agents. Learn at your own discretion. See Slang, below.

What You Need To Begin:
What follows is a list of recommended staples one would need prior to moving to LA.

1. A cell phone (two if you plan on using one as a "business line.")
2. Some kind of addiction. Cigarettes are preferable mainly because everyone smokes; if you opt for a drug of some kind, crack cocaine is the only way to go.
3. Some kind of complex, but "little man" syndrome is not recommended. Tom Cruise called that one in the '80's and you want some kind of originality.
4. The presumption that you are prettier /better / more talented than the current Hollywood elite.
5. Some type of network where mindless bodies are readily available for miscellaneous reasons (see The Friendship.)

The Friendship:
Throughout the duration of a friendship, formed purely for selfish reasons, call only when you need an entourage to make an entrance. Drunken groupies make you look like a stud. Form networks of other Struggling Actor/Model/Singers so you can rely on each other in times of desperation. The friendship should only be continued in the light of dismal failure (wherein you both bemoan the life that is a Struggling Actor/Model/Singer). The friendship should be discontinued only after prominent success or if the said friend attempts to kill your career. Attempts at killing you will only give you an edge over the others, and thus should be overlooked as a favor done for you.

A Ride:
Never be seen using the Metro. If you need transport, use the Metro or Orange Line only in the cover of darkness and even then, Bono-type sunglasses and a do-rag are recommended. If you can, mooch off of someone else in your network who owns/steals cars. (Reality Note: Grand theft auto does exist in the real world-- it is not just a video game. If you're riding in a stolen car, be wary of speeding and loud gangster rap. Cops run plates. Minimize attention to self by listening to smooth jazz.) But failing all these and you are reduced to walk everywhere, walk in style. Ladies, do not remove your stilettos. You look cooler when you arrive in heels. Cool is fun.

Don't eat. When you eat, it implies you're human and weight gain/aging. That isn't cool-- skinny is. Besides, with the diet regime of coffee and cigarettes, who needs food? But if you must eat, vegan is the stylish way to go (think Pam Anderson. She's cool.)

Women, the less the better, unless you're a recent transplant and have yet to get on the Cigarette and Coffee diet plan (See Food, above.) Men, as long as you're tan and buff, pretty much anything goes. Except mesh. And flannel. Designer clothing is a must. Save up all your money to buy Chanel or Prada or Gucci, and then to look cool, wear all three designers at the same time. You'll bring to mind Paris Hilton. And that's cool. Don't worry about rent (see The Friendship) because with network friends, you can mooch a couch or and air mattress for a few months. Keep in mind: couch hopping is acceptable only in the Valley. But no one wants to let a network friend borrow their favorite pair of Jimmy Choo's. Don't even ask.

A word for newcomers to the Los Angeles region: you will find a Starbucks within a half-mile radius of your domicile. Find the location nearest you. Go everyday (Tip: along with spending money for designer clothes and your cell phone bill, section off a chunk of your money solely for coffee.) Go twice a day. The sooner you've got the day and night shift of the Starbucks calling you by your name/drink, the sooner you can bring a date or your entourage. Having others know you by a first name basis builds up your reputation. Plus, it makes you look cool when you play it nonchalantly in front of prospective one-nighters. A one-nighter is someone you plan on sleeping with only once in a drunken flurry. Men should do this frequently. Ladies, if you must do this, be discreet unless you idolize Tila Tequila.

In this town of informality dressed up in Italian silk suits, you need to know both ways of speaking. Taking speech classes will help you rid yourself of any annoying regional dialect you may have from the continental states or an accent if you are from anywhere else besides Canada. However, Australian and English accents are acceptable, but only if you're able to do a decent American accent on command. But in order to communicate effectively with today's youth, find a few useful slang words and pepper your lexicon with them. A few good ones to try out to your dog or plant:
1. "Holla" (basic definition: What's up, attractive fe/male? I want to talk to you but the only coherent thing I could think of was "holla". Please think that I am cool.) "Holla" is to be said outside of context only if something really cool happens and cool seems so ubiquitously said.
2. "Bone out". To "bone out" means to get your ass in gear and scram, which should be used while in a car and you need to leave quickly.  
3. "Home-girl/home-boy". Referring to someone you consider being so close to you, they could live at home with you and you wouldn't mind all too much. The exact translation was lost years ago.
4. "Ill / Sick / Tight." Before the 2000's, each of those words had their own respective definition. Now, they've all been reduced to a singular meaning: "Cool."

Of Religion and Politics:
If you are a conservative, you have two options. 1) Do not let anyone know. Conservatives can survive in LA if no one knows you're one. 2) Switch sides. Liberals have more fun anyway. And fun is cool. A few things you can say in public to gain favor: "Bush sucked." "This country's going to hell." "Big oil sucks." Repeat as needed. And if you belong to any of the Western religions, find an Eastern one that seems similar to yours. Then switch. Western religions are so last century.

Every Struggling Actor/Model/Singer needs one. If you don't have the money to afford one right from the get go, forego the Starbucks and save your money to get one. In the meantime, a temporary solution is to have someone back home like a sibling labeled "Agent" in your contact list on your cell phone. Then when they call and "Agent" pops up on Call-ID have them pose as your agent. No one with you will know the difference. And then when you've saved up the money to get a real agent, casually let it drop that you've switched agents because the last one didn't do anything for you except call you. You'll seem cool. 

Get one. In LA, there are lots of local clubs and bars to frequent, especially on the Westside. Learn all of the restaurants and little cafes open after midnight. The more obscure the place, the cooler you'll seem to fellow entourage members. Here is a recommended sequence of events, which should transpire almost every night: After that quad-shot of espresso (see Starbucks, above), shower and dress with extreme care (when complimented, off-handedly mention that you just threw something on. You'll seem cool because of your natural flair for chic.) After you're ready, call your network friends, and find a place to get shit faced. Stay out until Last Call or security has to forcibly remove you. Either way works for going out with panache.

Failing All of the Above:
If it happens that you do not achieve your goals, you have one choice. Go home. You stay at the risk of being sucked into the world of Adult Entertainment or being a waiter for the rest of your days. Good luck!


Thursday, July 8, 2010

Celebrities, or, Why I’m Awesome

These days, you see pictures of movie stars and other various celebrities plastered everywhere—like a rash you can't get rid of. It's itchy and has weird bumps and you don't know what the hell is going on but you know you're uncomfortable and you just want it to GO AWAY so you can get some sleep! >.>

But what is more annoying than just the itchy bumps and interrupted sleep caused by mere photos of spoiled people? When the spoiled people try to tell everyone else who isn't famous how they are "just like us!" As if. I read all the time in interviews with celebrities how "we feed our kids ourselves!" Or: "we clean up after ourselves!" Or, my favorite: "we get our own groceries and make our own dinners!" And they spew that with such enthusiasm! I think they're expecting applause after uttering those rehearsed lines. Hello… this isn't the Awards Show of You and you aren't getting a stupid trophy for wiping your own ass.

It's almost as if they're retarded, or 2 years old, and they have to announce to everyone how they can do mundane things and expecting us to all exclaim in unison: Aw! Good job! Who wants a cookie? Oh. Wait. They can't eat cookies. Their contracts specifically state: No carbs or refined sugar until they hit 30. Expiration date, you know. Social networking sites do not help matters at all. Sites like Twitter and Facebook are yet another forum on which those brain-dead monkeys can self-postulate and peacock. Joy of joys. -_-

I wish I got a cookie for doing what I was supposed to do with my own two hands. Hell, I'd collect those cookies and sell them to schools so I can at least make some money DOING WHAT NORMAL PEOPLE DO EVERY GODDAMN DAY. I love how the stupid-rich movie stars try to glean every scrap of attention from everything. They shouldn't be called "celebrities," they should be called "opportunists." Srsly.

Conversely, I could become completely lazy and dependent on the external reinforcement of others, and refuse to move or feed myself unless I'm guaranteed a standing ovation. Let the games begin. People who do things so mind-numbingly stupid or lazy or socially irresponsible that it hurts: kind of like Octo-Mom, or the woman who is actively trying to weigh 1000 pounds.

But I think what really bothers me most about those people is their complete delusion. They really think everyone just gobbles this shit up like it's the greatest way to spend an afternoon watching other people feign normality. Incredulously, they believe what they have to say is important. I like to think of it as the Bono Complex. Pure narcissism is like pure cocaine. Shit hits hard, roughs you up and leaves you feeling more used than Vietnamese hookers after 1975. Too soon?

One day, I'd like to become the most famous Geek Girl EVAR. And when I do, I can assure you all that I will be the most lazy, self-promoting, selfish creature on the planet. I'll lock myself away and become a hermit, playing World of Warcraft for days on end—and I'll emerge only to work the Renaissance Faire or to do something so blindingly retarded that my royalties income will be secure for another year.

It's the American Way. Manifest Destiny! Onwards to Oregon!

Aw, shit. I just died of dysentery. Press space bar to start over… /fail