Friday, September 11, 2015

The Value of Pollen

Roughly three years ago, I decided that I no longer have to subject myself to the mercy of devils. 

In case you were wondering, a devil's mercy runs as thin as the second-cousin ghost of a shred of wax paper. 

Thus, people in the industry that I meet or that scurry across my path (or that try to inject themselves into my bloodstream) are thoroughly measured and/or pricked with a device that actively susses out and determines the temperature of hot, red flags - if indeed one or more is present. Pink flags are of less concern - they are everywhere and on everyone - so those are only considered when a situation is suddenly "strength in numbers" and such. They are more... discolorations of the flesh than anything else; harder to distinguish between human flaw and streak of darkness. Though I will say, a Queen of Deceit will know exactly how to paint her roses pink, so it is always wise to carry that bit of salt in your pocket (and in La La, perhaps around your neck - borrow a tiny bottle from Alice and etsy it up for the safety of your soul). 

Ladies and Gents, know the climate of a conversation and you can eventually tell what should and shouldn't be growing in the garden. I've seen enough fake plants in boys' apartments to know a synthetic leaf when I see one. F is for Fake, Orson Welles said.  This is not an attempt, but a lifelong mission to dismiss and eradicate the boll weevils running amuck; to diminish their presence in my field of happiness, health, and thriving creativity. I am telling you - yes, you - to develop some allergies while out in the wild. 

Because there are so many vulnerable little eggs just DYING to hatch in Los Angeles (especially among the Actress variety), the raptors circle oft with tongues quivering and beaks tacking. I am no longer one of these eggs, a thing blind to / not safe from the harshness of the world. I will not take the warmth of ANYTHING in order to cultivate my career. I am already a bird - a full grown Swan to be exact - and I refuse to remain in the crook of a crooked arm, especially if that arm needs deodorant and the cheap cologne just exacerbates the stench. 

I am recalled to the sour, rotten peach breath of a past "mentor" assigned to me at school. As fascinating as his depth of Eastern culture knowledge was, my olfactory strength would collapse faster than Sampson with hair shorn. 

Look, wherever my career may be (and it is in various places via the eyes of myself, my family, high school FB comrades, close friends, fans, and the seeming Sauron of IMDB), I will not accept, much less declare loyalty to, a hand that scatters crumbs before me, as if it is assumed I am starving for any kind of satiation in order to survive.  I survive perfectly well on my own, thank you - and that is NOT without the power to ask people for help because I have learned to wear a fair shade of pride, one that compliments rather than washes out. Do not mistake this for stubbornness, though I have been known to ride that bull here and there; who has not? 

Recently, I had a meeting with a seemingly prominent producer. Oh his praises were sung by a choir I didn't know, but the tune was right familiar - and filled with dissonant promise. But what do you do when in the land of opportunity? You take the meeting. You show up. From there, decide if you stroll, Uber, or marathon-sprint home. He happened to catch me as I was attempting to settle into a rival of my batcave - the beach. But yes, of course, I will stop by your studio before you leave for the day. That won't be a problem and I thank you and I will see you this afternoon.

Leaving a mild trail of sandsmoke, I promptly returned from whence I came to "paint the barn" (as a woman named Charlda used to say).  To my credit, I did not rudely leave the sun and ocean hanging for I laid courteously before them round the better part of an hour, then made way to traffic hell. Also to my credit, I didn't wash my hair so NYEH (tongue sticks out here). The seasoned mentality I have slowly acquired allowed me to somewhat relax and not immediately mar my personal plans for the day. Yes, that's as far as I've gotten in this life - to the "somewhat". But hey, that's a big deal for me, maybe small potatoes for you. I've known for a while I will never live in Venice. 

Fast forward to my sitting in this dude's office, across from him all patience, manners, denim, Crema warmth and full absorbance yet in that panhandler way. I suppose this is because I was expecting fool's gold, if anything. I have come NOT to expect, but experience and observe that experience. Thus, 25 minutes into our banter absolutely nothing has risen topic-wise concerning acting or a path to.  And I am now not unlike a cheetah with Nikes on a treadmill - this conversation could go on forever toward nothing and I would simply be robbed of all energy come endpoint.

But then it happened - the pivotal point of our meeting, the moment I had been waiting for that truly called a spade a spade and erased any hint of rose-color: 

So... are you dating anyone? 

Aaaah. Yes. I see. As the scales were already tipping this way, I see the weight of your belt and it is light and may I say, also gross. I am not Eva Swan here in this office. I am not an actress that has upped her game in the last year so much so that she has surprised herself in the pushing of limitations - mentally, physically, emotionally. I am not, here, who I wish to be; who I am. 

Nonetheless, I remained immune to his inappropriate and contradictory conversation - his Mitt Romney flip-flopping and asinine questioning of my love life. I found myself simply stating truths, not without additionally asserting cocks of the head upon each further and more ridiculous probe:

Are you a virgin? (nervous laughter)

(blink, beat) No. No, I am not. 

Being from the Midwest you must go CRAZY with all the hot guys out here. 

(polite laughter) Um, well, no. There are certainly very attractive and beautiful people here in Los Angeles, but that does not phase me in some unusual way. 

Don't you get lonely at night? - WELL, that's none of my...

Right. Right, no. That IS none of YOUR. 

Trust me, if it came down to having your company as an option, I would 100% choose to be "alone at night".  And Mr. Producer, despite the fact that this meeting is hinged upon the status of my love life - allow me to explain some very real things. I want to write and act for a living. I am not yet in a pair of successful shoes, so I spend my time exploring my own creativity and skills while I sometimes schedule navigation of dating waters.  I want to (and do) value myself - but because of people like you, I have to fight to do so because suddenly you turn on me while we lay intimately in the benefit-of-the-doubt-ditch.  You think I'm afraid; I'm unprotected and vulnerable. The word "incapable" is reflected in the glass of your eye. And guess what, sir?  I'm not those things. I have a grenade that will blow at least one smithereen of you from here to Timbuktu and I will ALWAYS pull the key on those that pathetically prey and betray.

P.S. For the love of God stop dying your hair.

I share this precious memory with you because being targeted under the guise of some industry tarp is all too common in this industry. "Luckily" for me, I'm well-trained in this arena via years of experience. I went into that meeting with this mantra: I do not need anything from this person. You know why? Because I don't. And you don't. This is wonderfully and simply true. If someone wants to work with you, to work FOR you, to do you a favor? So be it. Do it! Do it then! Don't entice me with falsities. Don't blow hot air into the atmosphere when its already 100 degrees in the Valley. Follow up those words with some matching behavior. Someone of authenticity will act out of combined good heart and good mind to propel somebody forward. Rarely does this happen because rare is that person. So please, PLEASE keep your eyes peeled for the claptrap, the riff-raff and the Execs that think with their....well, not their brains. You do not have to pander to them, you do not have to be polite, you do not have to sit/stand there and absorb the blows.  Do not be available for abuse - it is YOUR choice. You. Yours. One person will likely not make you or break you. 

Please, Ladies and Germs, let respect for yourself be the number one rule from now on. You don't have to answer certain questions, you don't have to carry out certain tasks; you only need to be your beautiful, hard-working self. Goodness attracts goodness. Let your light attract and shine upon those of like mind. Know the value of YOU and know that when people don't seem to recognize it, you have every right to inform them. Or to make a fast getaway and get back to your own life. 

Listening to Aerial Ballett, Harry Nilsson. Talk about creativity. Versatility. Genius. Heart. There's a doc on HBO about him I've gotta see. But let me delve a bit more into his repertoire. Love to you on this night and in memory of those fallen on this fateful date. Love to Oliver Sacks too, who is resting on an indigo cloud somewhere. You'd be wise to pick up a book of his.

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