Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Chapter Five - Hump Day

(Me, taking out aggression on the gym equipment as usual.)

What is it about Wednesdays that makes me so depressed? They are middle children. They are the cold Spanish rice you didn't really want with your taco plate to begin with. They are endless and traffic takes longer. If you are me, Wednesdays represent the stagnation and lack of definition of your acting career, which, I should say, shows no signs of improving anytime soon.

I just got back from Whole Foods, where I got rice milk. I read something about how soya actually isn't that good for you, and so I'm done with soy milk. I gave up dairy a while ago - which makes my mother nuts. M'ija, you need milk for strong bones. M'ija, you don't want to end up like that esa, como se llama, that washed-out Sally Fieldings.

Sally Field. That's who she meant. And for the record, I would very much like to end up like Sally Field, who, as I recall, has twice won an Academy Award.

Ay, no, m'ija, you can't be like esa flaquita, that Sally Fieldings with her osmosis. Osmosis destroys your spine cells, Maria, it shrinks you up if you don't drink your milk.

Anyway, no Academy Award is on my horizon. My agent called me a little while ago to tell me there's a casting call for a movie out in New Mexico, where they need a Latina to play an illegal immigrant. "But she's different from the normal illegal," my agent assured me.

"Is she drug-running for a cartel?" I asked.


"Okay, call me when you have a real role, like for a lawyer or a doctor or a saint of some kind."

Then again, whenever I show up for those auditions, this is how it usually goes. I tell them I'm there for the main role, and they say I'm "background". It makes me want to punch someone.


I spent the morning at the gym, taking my anger out on the equipment. Todd showed up, after I texted him about where I was. He's buff and handsome, and it was sort of nice to have him spot me. We went for a chai afterwards, and I asked him point blank if he was actually interested in me, or if he was trying to meet Candi's dad, and he was legitimately offended.

"I didn't take you for a cynical, typical LA type," he told me. He looked hurt, and I felt terrible. "I liked you for that very reason."

"Does that mean you don't like me anymore?" I asked him.

That's when he kissed me, for the first time, in front of everyone. I'm pretty sure some people in the Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf knew who he was, but it wasn't like they were snapping photos or anything. Still, I was all tingly and surprised.

"Why did you do that?" I asked when he was done kissing me.

"Because I had to stake my claim before that Chand dude," he told me.

I shook my head. "Chand? He's a friend."

"That's not his goal. Trust me. I know men."

I came home with plans to hook up - and by that I mean simply "go to a movie" - with Todd this coming weekend.

I am here now, at home, trying to relax in the few hours I have free before going to work. I paid Candi the rent today, and she was all "no, I don't want this mutton money," referring to the chow at the Medieval palace, no doubt. I left it in her glove box in her car. She will have no choice. I am not taking handouts from anyone.

For the past hour or so Candi and I have been watching Indian music videos on Youtube. It is very educational. There's this whole world of beautiful brown people out there, playing meaningful, great roles in film, dancing and singing, and most Americans have no idea they exist. I looked up the thing Chand told me about how Bollywood makes more money than Hollywood, and found out it is TRUE! I guess I'm too American to have believed it at first. You know how we roll. We think our country is the biggest, baddest, bestest in the world. Now I'm not so sure.

When I think about the false paradigm we all live in, especially in this town, this sense that some people are more "universal" than others, or that certain skin tones make people more violent etc. - the legacy of colonialism, really - I just get so annoyed I can hardly breathe. Watching the movies and videos coming out of India, I realize that not all the world works this way. I am trapped in this place, in this time, that sees me a certain way, because of the legacy of oppression that came here. It is deep, I know, and you won't get far bringing this up with Candi, or her friends, but it is really true. I don't know if there's anything one person can do to fix it.

Here are a couple of my favorites so far. I'm actually really excited to learn some of these moves, and Candi and I have been trying to imitate them. The songs are catchy, too. I emailed a few links to Chand and asked him to translate the songs for me. I'm dying to know what these people are saying. Chand wrote back and said he wants to see me the same night I have plans with Todd. I'm going to have to figure something out. I'm not good at saying no, unless it's to a shit role. I refuse to do anything in my career to perpetuate the problems that plague me now. I just won't do it.

Anyway, I better head out. I want to bust a few more moves before I shower and get to work. Enjoy the vids. I, for one, enjoy seeing so many healthy, successful, apparently interesting brown people on film, doing normal things. I especially love this first one, because it is in ENGLISH! I could do this! Plus, the guy in the first video is HOT!!!