It is too soon for this.


Blog: You should shut up now.


Blog: [pauses for effect] I refuse to speak to you when you're like this.


You can tell I've been around Molly a lot. Here's her rubric for success.
I like it.

Waking up each day and genuinely looking forward to the things you will do.

Today I have 2 auditions, a lunch-and-nap date with my boyfriend, rehearsal, and a friend's birthday.

Not too bad.


thank goodness THAT'S done.

Blog: Let me guess. A dubiously successful audition?

Me: Ha. Yeah. I mean... I've done the pieces better, but ...

Blog: But you could always say that. You could always have done it better. So what now?

Me: Now I try to forget it ever happened. Odds are, I'll never hear anything and I'll never, ever know how I really did.

Blog: How DID you do?

Me: I just don't know! I couldn't read them at all. Maybe I totally sucked it. Maybe I was mediocre. Maybe I was a solid B. I don't know.

Blog: You know what? You did great.

Me: ...You weren't there, Blog.

Blog: You have absolutely nothing to gain by thinking you sucked. So, listen to me. You worked really, really hard on this. You did great. Congratulations.


Me: Thanks, Blog.

Blog: Now go work on your commercial audition for this afternoon.

Me: Right.


This Mortal: Coil

Coil is my last name. If you don't get the joke.
Pause. "Joke."
Have I mentioned, on this blog, that I have a degree in comedy? No, seriously. I do.

I can't wait for this audition to just be done with.

I did my audition pieces 20 times at home today. AGAIN. Taping myself, watching. Scrutinizing. Coming up with insightful things like:
  • I need to increase my urgency throughout.
  • use the parenthetical, but don't lose the structure of the oath
  • goshDAMMIT, my cheeks are huge. Why do I make that weird face? Do I always do that?
Connecting (TRYING to connect) with painful and sad places to make every statement as honest as I possibly can. When have I felt deserted by the person I love most? When have I been falsely accused and unable to defend myself? How much can I connect with that horrible feeling? The email from my dad when he said he didn't care if he never saw me again. Those things. How did I feel, viscerally? What was the feeling in my stomach? Did I want to vomit? Did I feel dead? Was I exhausted? Sick? Numb?

... and NEVER, never feeling like it's good enough.

Oh man.
I'll just put my rubric up here.

Success: Feeling that I have prepared as well as I possibly can for this audition. Giving it everything that I truly have to offer. Speaking the words with beauty and honesty.

Failure: Not preparing. Giving into fear and inaction. Avoiding honest emotion. The auditors looking bored 20 seconds into my first piece and shuffling through my resume. Folding their hands and sighing loudly.
... you know, like my Goodman audition last summer.


Gogol Bordello (Or, I become a college freshman and quote song lyrics to you)

Gogol Bordello has been around for a while, but they are finally starting to get some serious mainstream-alt attention.
Eugene Hutz is [ish] to Gogol Bordello as Perry Farrell was to Jane's Addiction.
Here is some information about Eugene Hutz.
  • survived Chernobyl as a child
  • grew up in various refugee camps across Eastern Europe
  • became a model
  • created "gypsy punk" sound/aesthetic, touring international rock halls and museums.
  • became a rock star
  • is now making movies

This...is a little crazy.
I have survived a nuclear disaster, lived in impoverished refugee camps... AND I am a male supermodel.
I probably cannot pioneer a new genre of music.
OR create mind-blowing, spectacle-based theatrical punk rock shows that will get me gigs at the Tate, the Whitney, and about 7,000 other venues.
Also, I PROBABLY can't become a movie star.
So I will not even try.

Somehow he seemed to not ever think that. Amazing. I am always telling myself that I cannot accomplish SUCH lamer things.

Anyway, I am learning a lot about success lately. A big thing is this:

It takes courage to believe in your own genius.

Anyway, here are the opening words to his latest album.
It's better if you read them the way he yells them, in a very Boratty voice.

If we are here not to do
what you and I want to do
and go forever crazy with it
why the hell we are even here?


also. From the same song:
There were never any Good Old Days.
They are today! They are tomorrow!


one day, honey.

Today after rehearsal, 500 clown badass and heartthrob Molly Brennan told me about a comedienne she had heard telling a story.

This woman had just landed a part in a movie. Not an enormous part, but a part! In a big movie! So she calls her mom and tells her the great news and her mom says, "oh, sweetie. You know... I just know all this hard work is going to pay off for you. Some day."


No matter how many times I tell people, I don't WANT to be famous, I don't WANT to be a movie star... every time I book a big job or do something I'm proud of, it's 'well, maybe that will lead somewhere for you!'

No, see, this is where I want to be.

'RIGHT! Just focus on the present! But don't give up! You never know...'

No. no. See, I don't want to live in Los Angeles. I hate LA and I hate New York. I would never want to deal with being famous. And I've never wanted to be rich because I have some serious guilt issues about money. I like being a normal person and having a normal life while being able to work in the field I truly LOVE and THAT I AM GOOD AT.

'Mm hm. But maybe you'll finally Make It!'

Yeah. Sure. Maybe.
Maybe some day all YOUR work will pay off, and you'll get a REAL job.
At a REAL law firm.


it IS getting warmer.

thanks, dude on the south side, for doing this to your dog. It totally made my day.


T Minus 6 Days

Work on monologues. Finally feel good about monologues. Go to monologue coaching session. Feel terrible about monologues. Marvel at your ability to previously feel so good about something that was clearly so crappy.

Set goal to run monologues at least 20 times every day until audition.

Go ahead and set a goal to drink at least 8 glasses of water a day while you're at it.

Try to use that constant nauseous feeling as an effective weight loss tool, because, what the hell.



Bring on the beautiful hookers and very, very good cocaine, friends, because I have made it.

I ...
just had ...
a voice-over session ...

where I acted opposite...



Yes. THAT Sue Scott.
Quit waving your WBEZ member card around, I know you're excited. I am too.

Me and Sue Scott. Working on our comedic timing together. Yup. Me and ol' Sue. Oh, that Sue.

This is like a thousand times better than that time I played Terry Bradshaw's hair stylist for a SuperCuts radio commercial.


Things I Will Say Today With Deep Sincerity

1. No, don't stop - really! [PRODUCT NAME] packs fresh great taste in a portable wax package, so you don't have to stop!

2. [or] if I do not yet, and ever did,
and ever will (though he do shake me off
to beggarly divorcement) love him dearly,
comfort forswear me.

... and that's not even counting tonight's Barrel of Monkeys rehearsal, written exclusively by 4th graders and directed by 500 Clown Badass & Heartthrob Molly Brennan.
Look out.


let's put it this way: hey now, you WERE an allstar. at one point.

Do you like Smashmouth? Probably you do not.

Have you heard their songs? Once or twice? Possibly far, FAR TOO MANY times, especially when that "Hey Now, You're An All Star" single became the Summer Theme of 1999?

Oh yes you have. These guys have had several Big Hit Singles. I imagine they, at several points, have looked at each other and thought, 'holy shit. Our song is that annoying song you cannot escape. We have fucking MADE IT.'
And then they partook of beautiful hookers and very, very good cocaine.

Nevertheless, they are currently the boingboing laughingstock du jour thanks to the isolated lead vocal track from Days Like These.

I was listening to this, reading the post about it, and wondering how the lead singer feels.

Miserable and unimaginably humiliated? Does he still have access to beautiful hookers and very very good cocaine and therefore could care less? Or is all that money going/gone and he is realizing that being a rock star, even one who Made It, is not a life-long career move?

If this website had a 'dubious success' theme song, I would bring in a soft, melodic version of it now.

ill-advised and perfect

Saturday night led to friends beer and surprise more friends to (happy groan) YES I WILL TAKE ANOTHER BEER! to oh wow even I can tell I must not drive home led to a long walk on a warm night with a good friend.

Rarely but occasionally, the bad ideas can lead to good things.

I will now return to today's task of running my monologue no fewer than 20 times before switching gears to prepare for rehearsal tonight.


Return to Funemployment

When I made the debatably moronic (but ultimately correct) choice to leave my job at Jellyvision a while ago, I was ... how do you say... VERY excited.

Freelance living beckoned me back to its loving, undemanding arms. Voiceovers were pouring in, savings account was beefed up, there were some great theater projects on the horizon, and the door was open to come back and freelance. Most of all, it felt right.

And so began 'I'm not unemployed... I'm FUNemployed!' Maybe thanks to Arnie. Maybe me. Jellyvision probably technically owns it, along with all my terrible terrible jokes.

Today is my last day at DayJobCorp.

Voiceovers are not pouring in. Savings account is not beefed up. I'm in a show that pays nary a penny - in fact, the el fare is really adding up AND I'm shelling out some dough next week on coaching so I can try to move to Canada for a year so I can pay rent there and my mortgage here HOW THE HELL IS THAT GONNA WORK?

Still - it very much, 100%, feels right.


The blogger becomes the bloggee

Other people judge my dubious success as a home decorator. Check it out, it's a free-for-all on my dining room on Apartment Therapy, a home design blog for people who like to insist that interior decorating isn't just for bored housewives with extra Pier One giftcards.

Check it here.

Comments so far range from "Whole room seems, like in a hole." (jerk) to "I'll be frank, I totally dig this room as is." (you are awesome.)

too excited to sleep.

Life changes so fast, I just kept thinking. This afternoon.

I've been asked to audition for the conservatory program at the Stratford Shakespeare Festival in Canada.

It's a huge deal. If I got in, I'd move to Canada. For a year. IF. if if if if. That is one tough program to get into, because it is one completely AMAZING festival. It's also the best kind of conservatory: One you get paid to be in. If I got in, I'd become Equity. If if if. I'd have to figure out a way to pay the mortgage here. I'd have to find a way to preserve what will, by then, be my marriage. If if if. I WOULD KICK ASS and learn from incredible actors. I would learn a lot. It would be so, so hard. It would be so wonderful. I would miss my friends, my cat, my boyfriend. I would live breathe eat and sleep Shakespeare, which is sort of what I think heaven is like, except with sundresses and pudding. It would be very lonely. I would probably blog a LOT.


The call took me utterly by surprise. She asked me if I was interested. I said, can I take 24 hours and figure out my life for the next 18 months? She said sure, sure.

I didn't want to say, I need to talk to my boyfriend, because I didn't want to be That Girl. But, I did.

Here is what the Boyfriend said: Wow. This will be hard, but I think you need to do this. Do the audition and we'll take it from there.

I never mean for this blog to be whiny or complaining. If it leans that way, I am sorry. Sometimes I'm afraid of sharing how much I love my life at times. I don't want to gloat.

But you should know; I know that I have a wonderful boyfriend. And that I'm a very very lucky person. I'll be very sad when I blow this audition or don't get cast or whatever, but for right now... how wonderful to be called and asked. How wonderful.


Reflecting Clowns

Going through some corporate sales training materials, I came across a page in the "Games & Activities" section called "Reflecting Clowns."

Now... I, in all my improvising, theater gaming, icebreaking teambuilding trustfalling days, OF WHICH THERE ARE MANY, (FOOLS) have never heard of "Reflecting Clowns" ...but I have no doubt that it would be highly entertaining game, and a lot of fun to see a bunch of Glengarry Glen Ross types play ANYTHING by involving clowns, reflecting, and any combination of the two.

AND - you can tell it's gonna be wacky, because they're using Comic Sans. Comic Sans = all bets are OFF, people! Look OUT!

So I looked up the page that would actually tell me how to play Reflecting Clowns.

Um. THAT's Reflecting Clowns?

You just... write down reflections? On a piece of paper that has things on it that are ... maybe... clownLIKE?


Surely there is a better game to be created. One that deserves the title of Reflecting Clowns.

Please play this game by yourself for a moment.



I've only kept in touch with two friends from high school. One of us is a mechanical engineer (successful), one is a surgeon (successful), and one is an actor (success... ful? ... hm.).

Speaking of The Surgeon.
The Surgeon did these things within four years of graduating from high school:
1. Got his Bachelors and Masters in like Chemistry or Physics or something like that
2. Decided to go into surgery
3. Ran an event promotion company that made him very rich, but more importantly, was secretly videotaped and ended up on the Jerry Springer Show on some sort of shocker program like THIS JUST IN! New Orleans is Rife With Vomiting Young Adults Who Drink Too Much!!!

I got an email from him late last night. First time I've heard from him in a year or so.

lately, i spend a lot of time trying to decide what type of surgery i want to do when i'm done, and where i want to live, etc...as long as you've known me, i've always been working on a set path...well, not so much anymore...

Funny. As a surgeon, success seems crystal clear. I mean, number one,
It's almost as impressive as President of the United States but less corrupt.
Number two,

Some people don't walk away thinking, well, that was alright, but ... frankly, I've had better knee replacements. Or please, a 7th grader could have done that triple bypass ...while others credit you with saving their life.

It's the antithesis of this blog: an objective success. But it still seems to leave room for plenty of self-doubt as to whether or not you've made the right decisions.


My friend at DayJobCorp has a different boss from me.

Her boss is truly insane. Rich-insane. I-am-so-rich-I-can-be-insane insane.

I'm not exactly sure how old my friend is. Upon first glance I would have said early forties, but now I bet I'm about 20 years off. She has a dark scar across her throat and no family.

She has a very long commute to get to this office to get yelled at for laughable things. She shrugs it off with amazing patience. Occasionally she pulls me aside and vents. She says she's getting paid well. I sure hope so.

We talk a lot about kindness.
She really makes me think about it: what it means to be a gentle, kind person. According to her, how there is absolutely no excuse to be anything different.

That scar makes me think she has a right to say that.


so... the word, or the action?

Well said, sir.
Well said.

RE: Yesterday's thundersleet, thundersnow

From: feet

To: stylish but flimsy boots

Cc: brain

Re: Yesterday's thundersleet, thundersnow.

You were a bad choice, boots.
Bad choice.


this baby is about to vomit on my face.

It happened about 30 seconds after Brandon took this picture.

...I guess I'll just let you know when kids start sounding appealing.

failing at sibling.

Email from mom over the weekend:
ps Charles M came in and said he had a sat. radio and heard some news story that said it was produced by H------ Coil. Hmmmmm?
This is how we track her: random updates.

For about ten years she would tell ME where she was, but I wasn't allowed to tell anyone else. It was the condition of her talking to me: she didn't want to have to talk to them.

Sometimes they would ask me anyway, even when they knew I wasn't supposed to tell them. Sometimes I'd be vague, and tell them she was okay. That's mostly what they wanted to know, anyway.
Sometimes I'd just lie.
Sometimes I'd snap at them to leave me alone, then go off and actively hate her for putting me in that position and hate them for asking me.

Two years ago she quit talking to me, too.
So ... at least I don't have to lie about knowing where she is anymore.

I do know that she works for a satellite radio station. I guess I could tell Mom, but what good would it do? Everything I'm finding out about Mom lately makes me more confused than ever about my sister.

How much of it was malicious and how much of it was self-preservation.
How much I care.

wtf II.

Wednesday's forecast:

Heavy, wind-driven snow and intense morning bursts of thundersnow.

Hoooooolllllllllly shit. That sounds AWESOME.
Do NOT disappoint me, Tom Skilling. You really dropped the ball on those suspended ice crystals. This is your chance to make it right.

breaking up

Missed your face…hope you had a good weekend and stayed dry. Please don’t leave me : (

My day job is proving to be a little clingy. I've heard stories about this.


my PSA

I know you're voting tomorrow. And after you proudly punch, mark, or touch for your favorite election star, crap, you have to figure out who deserves to be a judge again or dictate water reclamation and all that stuff.

Here is helpful information so you don't find yourself loopily picking out random names by the time you're at Circuit Judge 74 and you're thinking, maybe we should just have all Latino judges? and you really just want to get your I VOTED! sticker and exit the park district building.

First, there's always http://www.illinoisjudges.net/ with TONS of information.

Second option (easier and quicker), a handy PDF of who is/isn't recommended by the Chicago Bar Association:
Chicago Bar Association Evaluation Results:

Thirdly, the same thing from the Chicago Council of Lawyers
Chicago Council of Lawyers Evaluation Results:

Finally, on another note, if you want to know more about the
candidates' views on arts policy, or the role of the arts, or just
think the arts should be a wider part of the discussion, check out
for more info.

That is all and have a lovely election day.

oh, also.

Suck it, Tom Brady.

Eli Manning: I was on hold for a commercial with your brother, which I never actually booked, but at least he didn't insist my part be played by a pro football player. The lowly commercial actor salutes you[r family].

little girl, big mountains

Colorado. Visiting Brandon's family.

The goal was to get the bad taste out of my mouth when it came to Family by being around someone else's.

Here is what I learned:
every family is messed up in their own way.
not every family just accepts that. Some work for years [and years and years] to understand what happened, forgive all necessary parties, and get over it.

Some people really do that, and it really works. And those people are my new heroes.