If you really want to read Anna Karennina, I wouldn't say right now. I read Anna Karennina when I was in thenth grade but it took me from the beginning of the tenth to halfway through the eleventh. It's a great book but its a long one and it takes time, especially because of the language conventions of Russian Lit. It did for me at least. Sometimes I read the book after the film and compare the effectiveness of each afterward. Regardless, Cheers! -Audrey
Thank you, Audrey!
I’m trying to read Girls Like Us (a biography of Carole King, Joni Mitchell and Carly Simon) right now, but I’m having trouble getting into it. Probably because it jumps around each of the women’s biography so it’s tough to remember who’s mother is who and what year each of them got their heart broken for the first time.
I might download it on my space book* and just see if I feel like reading it this summer.
“She is a famous beauty. She is nine months old. [Model] Baptiste [Giaconi] gave her to me for Christmas to watch for two weeks when he was away but then I refused to give her back. I thought she was too cute. She is like a kept woman. She has a strong personality. She has lunch and dinner with me on the table, with her own food. She doesn’t touch my food. She doesn’t want to eat on the floor. She sleeps under a pillow and she even knows how to use an iPad. She has two personal maids, for both night and day. She is beyond spoiled.”—Karl Lagerfeld on his kitten, Choupette
Look, if I could go back in time and yell at my mother for one thing, it would be for convincing me that it was okay for me at nine years old to dress up with a feather headband and call myself “Dancing Moon” in a room full of other socially awkward white kids—especially since before we started Indian Guides, I literally asked her, “Are you sure this is okay?”
I would not yell at her for putting me with a group of other socially awkward (and welcoming) boys and girls, though. She thought she was doing the right thing.
This piece is just how it really sucked that growing up in my home town there was either the sexism of the Boys and Girls Scouts or the offensive racial stereotyping of the YMCA Indian Guides to choose from. I preferred the group where being a girl wasn’t what defined me. That’s all.
Acting like “your date is the one who has to impress you” seems like a solid way to avoid second dates.
I don’t know. We live in a culture where every single bit of advertisement shilled at women whether it’s for cellulite cream or self-betterment is filtered through the attitude that we have to win and keep a mate, and we’re a failure if we can’t do that. I’m in no way suggesting that any woman should put on airs, but it should be equal effort.
I can’t tell you how many guys I’ve met and how few have actually put in any effort. Not like “I’m the greatest dude ever!”, but “Hey, I like you. Here’s my deal. I’m not going to lie to you. I’m going to listen and be polite and treat you as though you are valuable.”
I’m just saying that if the media and culture tells young women to bust their asses to be the best versions of themselves to impress a mate, then they should be on the watch for someone who appreciates that and will put a little effort in themselves. Young women should be taught to value themselves as complete people outside the dating scene.
Again, if you read the piece it’s for the type of girl who freaks herself out to the point of self-hatred before a date. So, I think remembering it’s a two-way street is good advice.
Thanks for reading! Have a nice day!
P.S. Insecurity NEVER works in seduction. Cockiness isn’t attractive, either, you’re not wrong. But CONFIDENCE…that’ll get you some. That’ll get you everything.
Last summer I did the Annoyance Intensive with Mick Napier, Mark Sutton, Rebecca Sohn, Rich Sohn and Susan Messing. Of all the improv, sketch, acting, writing, and stand up “learning” experiences I’ve had, it was the most enriching and fundamentally life-changing. Mostly because all five of those instructors know their shit and will be honest with you in a constructive way that very few other coaches, teachers and teammates ever will be. Also, they are all so different in their approach it really hammers home the idea that you’re supposed to be different from other performers on stage and that’s okay.
Anyway, the first session of the Intensive is with Mick and he structures it like a Second City audition. You’re all on a back line and he calls out names at random and you have to improv off of nothing. He generally needs to see you initiate one scene and accept the initiation in one scene and he can tell—like a Sherlock Holmes of improv—precisely what your strengths and weaknesses are and what psychological stuff is holding you back.
A lot of my immediate critique was about character work and sketch comedy. I didn’t even utter a word beyond my name and hometown, but from two scenes he got that I’m someone who prefers to do characters (even though it’s not in vogue) and who prefers sketch to improv.
A lot of that feedback is outlined in this message he just put out in today’s Annoyance Newsletter. I’ve cut and paste it for interested parties:
In these newsletters, I rarely write about improvisation, because it’s little fun to “measure the magic”, but here goes:
Next week is Second City’s general auditions. Over 500 people will be auditioning in 4 days. I will run a great many of these auditions, along with my friend Matthew Hovde. It’s one of the scariest auditions in the world, and it got me thinking about people I’ve known, and what it really takes to make it in comedy in the United States through this particular journey… improvisation. I think I know a couple of things. I thought I’d share some thoughts about what to DO in this often confusing world… This is real, not joke…
It doesn’t matter which school of improvisation you go into first or at the same time or whatever. There are sound reasons for any order or any degree of simultaneity.
Don’t be seduced by being on a team. It seems like it’s enough and you are going along just fine. It’s not really enough, and it’s not a mark of evolution, it just seems like it is.
Character work isn’t bad, particularly if you want to do sketch comedy. Don’t listen to false affirmation that character work or broader acting has a lack of integrity, it is just different. And that’s just true. Character range is a skill set that is not attained by continuously denouncing character range. It’s not something you can magically turn on at, say, a Second City audition. Believe you me.
Write. For absolutely no fucking reason, write.
Make it o.k. with yourself that you admit that you would want to be on the mainstage or on a house team or in an Annoyance show or on television or SNL. It really is o.k. Just don’t be an asshole about it. You won’t be, anyway. It really is o.k.
Do solo work. Find a way to feature yourself.
One person shows are fucking boring. Find a reason they’re not. Do that.
Don’t wait for stuff. It not only drains your power, but actually has you be perceived as less powerful. You will have plenty of time to wait with great stakes for absolutely nothing when you move to Los Angeles. DO things here. Get a group. Create videos, write even more.
Here’s two boring things: Headshots. Resumes. And don’t lie. This has happened: “We put this guy (someone holds up headshot) in the ‘yes’ pile. Anybody remember him? No? O.K.” (headshot goes in ‘maybe’ or ‘no’ pile) Because his headshot didn’t look like him, and his photo ironically worked against him. Look like your headshot, that is what they are for. Look like your headshot. Don’t lie on your resume. Man, you will get caught and you will look like an asshole. And even if you don’t get caught, you are that kind of person.
Talent is everything. Just kidding. How you are to work with is as important. Your character shows up everywhere. Whether you are at S.C. or Playground or Ale House or a class or Corcoran’s or I.O. or Skybox or Annoyance or in the middle of the ocean:
a. everything counts. b. everyone hears about everything. c. everyone talks about everyone all the time.
Your behavior could affect whether you work here or there for the bad or the good.
Take a break occasionally. From it all. For perspective, sanity, life. You and what you bring to the stage will benefit from your actual life experience. My own life has been a series of wonderful hobbies.
Study acting. You won’t, but you ought to. You won’t because you think you are SO fucking funny, and don’t need it. But you do. You really do. I tell people that, and they say “yeah, yeah, but what do I need to DO to get an edge?” I say it. No one does it. It’s such an easy edge.
Twelve, just like the 12 points of the Scout Law.
Oh well, all of this is true. So there. And that, is as simple, as that.
Stop putting up photos of you at some beach with some stupid caption like, “Don’t you wish you were here?” Because my immediate answer would be, “Oh is that a beach? Then no. I don’t wish I was there.”
Unless you are on a special air conditioned beach that is not covered in dirt or the bodies of thousands of other people, then I do not want to go to there.
I hope you enjoy the rest of your vacation.
p.s. I call sun bathing “playing chicken with skin cancer”