Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Yankee Doodle Went To Town....

This past weekend, Anthony and I, along with our friends Phil and Ivanna, went to Chicago for some baseball, hot dogs and Shenanigans. I absolutely fell in love with the city and am currently trying to convince Anthony that we need to move there. Even though he hates the cold weather, he loved the hot dogs so I think I have a 50/50 chance. Yeah right Erin, keep dreaming! On our first night in the city, we went to The Green Mill, a bar know for its Jazz and Mobster ties. Perfect! We had a few drinks in our hotel room first, then took an Uber to the bar (our driver's name was 'Campendi' or something but we thought we would call him Camp Pendleton). We scored a booth by the door and immediately noticed the sign on the table that read, 'No Talking!' Confused as to whether that meant during the performance or at all, we called our waitress over and whispered her our question. "So, can we not talk to each other at all?" She laughed and told us that we just weren't able to talk during the performance. Duh! And let me tell you, people were not afraid to 'Ssshh' you at this place if you broke the rules! (Clearly I am familiar with 'Ssshh-ing' - see my prior blog cleverly titled 'Ssssssshhhhhhh!') Another fun/uncomfortable thing about this place was that the bathrooms were literally on the stage, so if you had to pee, you had to walk to the front of the room, scoot by the bassist and do your business. Once inside the two stalled restroom, we noticed that the doors to the stalls were not made for anyone over 5'0" and would only safely shield you if you were a little person.
While Ivanna and I were in there relieving ourselves (since we unfortunately broke the seal), we saw a girl walk in who also needed to pee. And yes, we saw her walk in since the doors were so short and it immediately got awkward because the bathroom was the size of a shoe box. She was wearing a white hat with a giant feather in it, so I naturally called her 'Yankee Doodle' and tried not to maker eye contact with her as we switched positions so she could go in my stall and I could wash my hands. She was a chatterbox though and wanted Ivanna and I to know all about her life as she peed, so we felt the need to stay in the tiny bathroom with her because we are too nice. The people in the bar/the band must have thought we were going #2 because we were in the bathroom for so long! When 'Yankee Doodle' came out of the stall (still nonstop talking) she was struggling to put the feather back in her hat (I wonder if she called it macaroni?) so we offered to help. It was as if we had tried to steal the hat because she actually got mad at us and eventually stuck it back in HER WAY and walked out! Well, you know what Ms. Doodle? We both know that you didn't wash your hands and we told Anthony and Phil- so there! And next time you decide to ride into town and lose your feather, don't expect us to help you! 

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Keep Those Checks Coming

My sister Grace informed me this week that she was finally selling her Ford Focus and upgrading to an SUV. My first question to her was, "do you think Ryan Tedder from One Republic will continue to send you residual checks?" You are probably wondering what the hell that has to do with anything but Grace knew exactly what I was talking about and died laughing. I will give you the back story on that crazy tangent she and I went on one day...
I'm not sure if it was just her Focus or all Focuses (or is it Foci?) manufactured but the blinker on that car was ridiculously loud. Like loud to the point that I would be on the phone with her and I could hear it more than her voice. We would have to crank up the radio not to hear it when she was making a turn. It was one of those things we would always laugh about when we were in her car together. One day we were listening to "Apologize" by One Republic when I distinctly heard a familiar sound on the track. We played that part of the song again and there it was- Grace's blinker was featured in the song! I swear it was exactly the same sound, which made us laugh so hard we almost peed our pants. Every time we heard that song (which seemed like every second when it was at the top of the charts) I told her that she should start collecting some residuals from Ryan Tedder (the lead singer of the band). 

One day when I was feeling incredibly creative and bored at work, I drafted up a letter from Ryan Tedder thanking Grace for the use of her car's blinker in the track and apologized ("It's too late to apologize...") for not paying her the residuals that were due since the song aired. I put it on 'One Republic' letterhead and signed it from Mr. Tedder himself. Then, not to deny my sister of the money she deserved, I got out my checkbook, made a copy of a blank check, then whited out all of my info and my account number and filled in Ryan Tedder's info. I made the check payable to 'Grace Demchak' for an obscene amount and folded it up with the letter. I had always read that any residual check received usually came in a green envelope, so I went to the store and finally found a green envelope after looking in the card section for about an hour. I didn't want her to suspect it was from me (like she wouldn't know) so I had my co-worker write Grace's name and address on the front and some random address in LA as the return address for Ryan Tedder. After I mailed the thing, I sat by my phone for days waiting for Grace's call. When she finally received it, I didn't say a word when I answered the phone- we both just died laughing and started to sing the song. Now if only I could put as much effort into writing my book as I did into that gag letter........

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Throw Your Hands In The Air If You Just Don’t Care

A few weeks ago, Laura, the temp at my office had me sign her time card for her. Immediately, when I reached for the pen, she gasped and said, “Wow, you have beautiful hands! You should be a hand model!” I smiled and smugly said, “That’s not the first time I have heard that! I may actually have to do something about this….” My friend Mary used to tell me all the time that I should be a hand model, to which I would just say, ‘thanks.’ But maybe these people were onto something. Maybe I had my calling right in front of me this whole time!

After Laura gave me the email address of the body arts agency that her friend worked for and confident that I had something going, I asked Anthony if he would help me take pictures of my hands. Believe me, I felt like the biggest loser having him snap pictures of my hands, holding wine glasses, lemons, iPads and whatever else we had laying around the house. Then I composed my email to the lady who ran the agency, attached my pictures and pressed send.  A few days passed until I received what seemed like a generic response of “Great, thanks. We will let you know when we have our next casting call.” Bummed, I put my hand modeling dreams on the back burner and decided that if it was going to happen, it was going to happen and there was nothing I could do to change the course of my destiny. But just in case, I was very careful with my hands. I felt like David Ducovny in ‘Zoolander’ or George Costanza in the episode of ‘Seinfeld’ trying not to touch anything with my hands or ruin my nail polish or cuticles while I was doing everyday tasks.
Then, the next day I got an invitation to a private casting call at the agency. They wanted to see my hands! Again, I felt like the biggest loser. They gave me all the instructions for the casting call- what nail polish to wear, how to present my hands, what to wear, etc. Wow, I thought, this may be it! As I planned to go to that casting call in October, I received another email from the president of the agency asking me to come in earlier so she could look at my hands. Was this really happening? The hilarious thought of me walking onto a movie set dressed in sweatpants and gloves with absolutely no makeup on crossed my mind and I immediately thought I found my dream job. Could you imagine? I would die!

Before my casting, I went to my nail salon to get a manicure and pedicure in the suggested ‘Mademoiselle’ color by Essie, for the big day. Here is where the craziness begins...I went to the salon after work so I was wearing a dress, tights and boots. After my pedicure, I asked the salon if they had any of those paper thin temporary flip flops that I could wear to my car and then home. They gave me a pair of bright yellow ones and I walked out of the salon to my car. When I parked my car at my garage I contemplated putting my boots back on or walking the two blocks on the streets on Downtown LA with those flimsy flops on. Of course I chose the easy way out and walked in the bright yellow paper flops. I got about 100 feet from the front door of my apartment when the left flip flop completely broke off my foot. Great! Anthony would kill me if he knew I was hobbling half barefoot on the dirty streets of LA. Just as my flip flop broke, a homeless man asked me to spare some change and I looked down at my barefoot, looked back at him and nodded. Just like truck drivers and/or motorcyclists nod at each other when they pass as if to say, "Hey brother, we are in the same boat here!" That's how I felt. Knowing that this wasn't the first time this shoeless thing has happened to me (refer to my blog titled, 'Shoeless in Los Angeles') made me laugh.

After washing my foot like crazy, I headed to the address listed in the casting email to a house off Coldwater Canyon. Thinking I was going to get murdered, Anthony asked me for this lady's number and address and told me to text him when I got there. What can I say- we watch way to much 'Dateline.' Of course when I got to the house and parked, my cell had crappy service so even though I texted Anthony, I was convinced that he wouldn't get it and he would soon think I was dead. When I walked through the gate to the house, I saw a few other people sitting by the pool in the backyard filling out paperwork. I met Linda, the president of the agency who come to find out was one of the biggest leg models in the industry. Everything seemed legit, so I sat down next to two other potential hand models and a hair model to fill out my paperwork. One question on the form was 'what are your special talents?' Great! I hated those types of questions that test your self esteem. Linda told me to write anything I could do with my hands so I started writing 'dealing cards', 'throwing softballs', 'slicing vegetables', etc. That's what they wanted, right? Because I had been unfortunately been scratched by my cat, Stella when I was in Maine (she is still bitter about me giving up my parental rights and handing her over to my parents), I asked Linda what I should do about the scratches on my hand. She told me to go in her house in the bathroom down the hall past the guest room next to the gym to get some foundation. Huh? Okay...I walked in her house and started roaming around trying to find this elusive bathroom but soon found myself in her master bedroom going through her drawers. Was I in the right place? I felt as though she was going to come around the corner and think I was robbing her and call the cops. Feeling defeated, I walked down the hall and spotted a workout room with an adjacent bathroom. Bingo! I opened the medicine cabinet and found a few bottles of foundation, covered up my scratches and walked back outside.

By this time there were a few other people who had joined our group- another hand model, a back model, an abs model and a body double. After another hour or waiting, it was finally my turn to go into the studio/garage to get my photos taken. I walked in with my slate in hand and said hello to the photographer who gave me directions on how Linda wanted the hand models to pose. Awkwardly holding my hands in positions that I would never normally do, he snapped his shots and told me he was done. That was it? I said goodbye to Linda and the other potentials and walked out to my car. Now all I have to do is wait to see if my hands have what it takes to make it in this business.