this has taken over my life:

leo-firstday4

 

Meet Leo. More on him and other things soon. So much to talk about. 🙂

…and the only part of it that is particularly queer is already over!

Holy cow. This month is cruising at high altitude. My lady and I are moving into our own place again, for the first time since we left New York for grad school five years ago. It will be OH SO lovely to not have housemates (not that our housemates are bad, but… you know. Partner time.) We found a little back house right in our neighborhood that can only be described as ‘adorable’. So we immediately went in and painted it clown colors. Because we do not do adorable well. 🙂 Today I will finish that project – my office will be half turquoise and half orange, to offset the lime green living room walls you can see through the office door. No joke. We’re out of our minds.

I taught a one of my web design workshops to the group of acting interns at Claire’s theater (she’s the director of education here) and was reminded how much I love teaching. I hope that it can be a part of my life on a more regular basis some day.

OH! Right. The gayest part. I had my first premiere! ‘Trainers’, the web series I worked on last summer, premiered May 9th at the Fox lot. Although it was a harrowing time getting there (we missed the first screening, boo, so I’m not in any of the ‘all cast’ photos from the red carpet) it was actually not awful to see myself on a movie screen. I still have mixed feelings about the writing of my character, (if any Trainers folks read this, this is NOT a dig, just an invitation to a conversation) but I think I did a decent job given what I had to work with, and if the series gets picked up for real I have a much more interesting storyline down the road. You can watch the whole thing here and on Comediva.

trainers-premiere

 

 

Next weekend we’re flying to Austin for my cousin’s wedding (yay! I’ve never been to Austin! musicandfoodandyumsandweddingfoodandhotels…) It may be the first time I see my parents since the Great Thanksgiving Fight of 2012, but last I heard they were still on the fence about going. Something about needing to save their money to avoid the imminent fascist government takeover blah blah blah…

Alright. Back to packing. In the least metaphorical sense. Next time pics of the claun haus. AND THE NEW PUPPY. Yup. It’s happening.

Butch Wonders had a nice post a few days ago talking about body image and butchness and how that all ties together, and it melded with where my head’s been lately so I wanted to post a few thoughts. I am one of those who can’t separate my physical body from my perception of my own identity (I’ve met quite a few folks who can do this sleight-of-mind thing beautifully, though). It’s why I have moved away from my trans identity – back in the days when I was trying to pass, I realized that I just wouldn’t without hormone treatment, which I’m not into. And thus – I’d rather just deal with being female-bodied and butch than try endlessly to look male-bodied. My own compromise.

Where I get my brain into trouble is with my weight. A few years ago, I lost a lot of weight without really trying – just about 40 pounds. It was amazing, and spurred a whole new revolution in my wardrobe, moving me from oversized plaid shirt and cargo pants into slimmer cut trousers and shirts with vests and ties. Because I gain weight in my chest and stomach, I can’t wear men’s shirts that fit my shoulders unless I’m pretty slim, so it was great to get down to that level and back into clothes that made me feel powerful.

The debacle of the ridiculous musical put me in such a stressed out place that I gained some of this weight back recently, even though I had kept it under control for more than three years. I just defaulted into no exercise/bad eating/bad sleeping/bad stressing and three months later I’m carrying back 15lbs. Fifteen pounds of armor, and of particularly butch armor. My need to protect myself totally took over my body – my need to appear bigger and stronger than I am on a daily basis let itself settle around my belt. And now I’m in that limbo of ‘trying’ to lose weight, which makes me come to terms with how scary it is for me to really be thinner. Because then I have to face my female body in a different way. That my shoulders slope even though I’m pretty broad, and that my chest could crush a small island nation, despite the reduction surgery I had almost 12 years ago. That my eyes are distinctly feminine when my face thins out and makes them fuller. And that if I have my weight under control, then my acting career might actually start to be something more than just a wish and a website and a bunch of student loans.

I’m back on the eating plan with some tweaks to take into account that I’m older and tired-er now. I’m back to my interval training and even started doing some kettlebell swings again – muscle training that I love because it takes like one minute to wear yourself out.

Here’s to the struggle to become the body we want to be. If all goes well in 2 months I’ll be on track again, maybe a bit curvier but also back in my vests and ties and, along with the clothing, back in my self-confidence. Armor-free.

I just realized that when I was in nyc last week I ONLY saw queer friends. The. entire. time.

I suppose the exception could be the friend that I stayed with, who is now dating a man, however since she is my ex-fiancee I think she still counts. She amassed quite a few toasters after we broke up too.

But seriously – I may have even made up for the lack of queer buddies out here in LA for a considerable time. I saw seven queer friends and a play with Alan Cumming (king of the pretty queers, imho), drank too much at a lady bar, and I auditioned to puppet a giant fake animal.

Possibly the gayest trip ever, at least for a trip that didn’t involve anything tropical or a white party.

 

Back in November, I was super excited to hear that I was being considered for a small part I had auditioned for on New Girl.

My character name was nothing less than “Newsboy Hat Lesbian”. Fuckin’ badass. And I auditioned the shit out of those two lines, in a real, true, newsboy hat. Take that, casting.

Needless to say, I didn’t get the part, although it was great to have my agent call and tell me they were considering me.

While I was away on my trip, my gf spent some time looking up the episode that Newsboy Hat Lesbian makes her appearance in, so that I could see who my competition was. They basically cut the entire scene I had auditioned with, which makes me think they picked a non-union actor (no lines + non-union = really cheap for them). When she showed me the clip online, I wasn’t totally surprised, except…

Someone shorter – check. Someone a bit thinner – check. I had half-expected that. The surprising and funny thing was that costuming gave the woman they cast the EXACT outfit I wore to my audition. Not that it’s crazy to see a lesbian in a newsboy cap with a vest and tie, but since I was the only one wearing such an outfit the day of the auditions, I can’t quite let go of the  idea that they cast my outfit and not me.

My industry is nuts.

Anyone who wants to view my competition (hi competition! nice to meet you! we should team up!) can check out the episode from season 2 called “Santa”. She’s got no lines, but you can’t miss her.

A few weeks ago I had a veritable golden week as a character actor – three auditions, two in the same day.

On the first audition of my double-day, I walked into a dark, couch-filled holding area to sign in, and casually looked around. There in the corner sat Julie Goldman, furiously engaged in her phone. When she was called into the audition room, the casting crew immediately cheered. I knew I was screwed. 🙂

I’ve been chasing the same parts as Julie since 2004 in Brooklyn when she threw her hat in for the L Word parody “The D Word” to play the Shane character (Drea), whom I had been seen three times for. (Actually, that one worked out well for me because the woman cast as the love interest of Drea ended up being my partners ex-gf, and we would have had some awkward makeout scenes to contend with. Too soon.)

So it’s both heartening and slightly painful to hear Julie speaking about existing in the same middle ground that I do – are we too butch, or not butch enough? Where is the room for comedy, as opposed to the butch always being a sexual predator? Why, in Julie’s case, does the role always go to the black woman, while in my case it always goes to the heaviest girl in the room, who may or may not be non-Caucasian? Apparently there’s only one kind of diversity in H’wood.

Read up on her thoughts here: http://www.austinchronicle.com/arts/2013-04-26/stuck-in-the-middle/

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