Always searching, searching, searching

I once had a drama teacher say to me "Izzy, you'd make the perfect lawyer because you are always searching, searching, searching for the GOLDEN solution."

At the time, I was super pissed off that she would say that to me. First of all, HELLOOOO this was an acting class, and I was going to be the next BIG THING. I wanted to know how to improve my Shakespearean monologue, or stop shitting myself (figuratively but possible literally b/c she had a very intense aura) each time she walked in the room. All I had learned from her so far, it seemed, was:

  1. I looked good in purple business button-ups and should wear them to all my auditions

  2. I needed to tap "into my darkness" but also wore too much black (this felt contradictory) and

  3. that I didn't have the right body shape to wear horizontal striped dresses.

Cool. Very glad I was crying myself to sleep every night before and after class hoping for her approval. Also very glad I was learning so much about acting.

Second of all, WHAT did that mean??? I did not understand it at all! I thought to myself, I am "Izzy Francke" I am known as being spontaneous and silly and hardworking, yes, but in a way that I thought I kept anxieties relatively well hidden from the world. Who was she to say that I am searching for a golden solution? Yes, ok, I was at her office hours relentlessly asking what I could do to improve my monologue performances and grades...but also, wasn't that the purpose of office hours? The whole point of college and class was to work hard, make the teacher like you, and then get an A. RIGHT? WHY did she not want me to PERFORM well!!! In my 21-year-old mind, this was ludicrous. I remember thinking it made zero sense.

Fast forward, I turned 27 yesterday, annnnnd she was right. I am STILL searching, searching, searching (she said it three times and I feel that is wholly accurate) for the golden solution. I want too many things, and at the same time, I want nothing at all unless someone ELSE tells me it's the "right" move. Even now, as I am out of full-time work and applying to jobs and even graduate school, I keep psyching myself out and my internal monologue screams that I have to find THE perfect thing, the immaculate next direction to go in. I over-share in interviews, spewing out my internal monologue and ideal timelines and trying so hard to simultaneously be perfect and make my prospective employers perfect for me. It's exhausting. I feel like the forever student; pacing outside of office hours.

But then, if I can make myself calm down, I think about how I never would've imagined most, if any, of the amazing milestones, friendships and career achievements I've made over the past six years back then. And sitting here now, I can't fathom the things that will happen to me in the NEXT six years.

As another wise woman said to me recently (ok, it was my therapist, who I am SO privileged to work with.) "there are no right answers. And even if there were we'd need an unheard of computer to work out all the variables."

THIS helps me remember to not be so terrified of closing and opening doors, of ageing and answers, and of unsolved  "golden solutions". Maybe you didn't need to read any of this, in which case, thanks for coming anyway! And if you did, I hope it helped unmuddle the recesses of your mind, even if only for a moment -- remember the unheard of computer that doesn’t exist!  Here's to it, to you, to me, to wise women and to 27! :)


Upcoming Performances In June 2016!! The Hollywood Fringe Festival!

Hallo world! I have been somewhat MIA on the blogosphere for awhile, due to actually getting a job! WHAT? MADNESS! I work at BuzzFeed Motion Pictures (at least 'til mid July) and am loving it! However, I thought it was time to pause my Netflix and work binging and tell y'all about some upcoming improv performances I have with my team, The Human Test Subjects at the Hollywood Fringe Festival! 

SHOWTIMES: 

  • June 3rd: Improv with the Human Test Subjects at Three Club Lounge, Hollywood @5:30 pm
  • June 13th: Improv with the Human Test Subjects at Three Club Lounge, Hollywood @5:30 pm
  • June 18th: Improv with the Human Test Subjects at Three Club Lounge, Hollywood @8:30 pm
  • June 21st: Improv with the Human Test Subjects at Three Club Lounge, Hollywood @9:30 pm
  • June 23rd: Improv with the Human Test Subjects at Three Club Lounge, Hollywood @9:30 pm 

GET YOUR TICKETS HERE

Here's a gratuitous photo of us...we cute. 

 

 

 

 

Stop Ghosting: Start Vulturing

With February being the month of "loooove" and all, I feel it's only appropriate that on this month's last day, I post something related to the bizarre nightmare that is dating in 2016...

“Ghosting” seems to be the hot dating topic of the moment. Everyone is analyzing the lack of communication and the millennial generation’s ability to start seeing someone then completely vanish on them, without so much as a text to explain. As alarming and (let’s face it) true as this is, there is another dating dilemma fast on the rise…something my friend Macon and I refer to as “Vulturing”.  

“Vulturing” is when you and someone you might be interested in are circling each other (like vultures) dropping hints at taking the sexual up a notch in the relationship...but no one is pulling the trigger and making the first move. You're having fun flirting, but it's also really hard to figure out where (and if) the thing is going anywhere. 

Essentially, you are vultures who still have an insatiable appetite but have lost the ability to use your teeth and take a bite. Romantic, isn’t it?

Now that we're clear on what vulturing is...how do you know you’re being a “vulture”? Or better yet, how do you know someone is “vulturing” you?

Behold! A list of common occurrences and situations associated with this phenomenon:

1.     Each time you hang out, the flirtatious touching increases. This could be arm touching while laughing, the under the table/bar knee and leg-touch linger or the "saucy handsy hug" Assuming you are not in middle school, you know the difference between an accidental boob graze between friends and a deliberately placed hand on knee.

2.      There is excessive complimenting. You and the other person go to extreme lengths to ensure that the other knows that they are special, whether it be complimenting each other’s looks and/or personality and building them up when they’re feeling down. This isn’t just a casual compliment exchanged between friends, this is consistent and genuine. And when you think about it, it makes you simultaneously blush and laugh.

3.     You hang out fairly regularly, and each time you do, the time frame seems to increase. Also, if you’re hanging out with a group, it seems to become a guaranteed thing that the two of you will spend the entire time talking almost exclusively to each other and direct 80% of your attention to each other. This whole "group outing" thing is clearly a beard. 

4.     The goodbye’s get longer. This is a good one – are you sitting around at the end of the evening saying goodbye multiple times and then not actually leaving? Does it seem like a kiss is on the verge of happening…but then just doesn't

5.     Sexual tension has been acknowledged. It’s blatantly been vocally acknowledged by one of you and/or others. Ohhh yeahhh, something is there and you’re both fully aware!

Vulturing is equal parts frustrating and exciting. While it’s fun to flirt and let the tension linger, we’re not used to it. We live in an age of instant gratification where we are encouraged to boldly and bravely go for things...or more realistically, “have that sloppy drunken hookup!” I think that's why "vulturing" is especially fun for people in their 20's, because it gives us an out and doesn't force anyone to fully commit to any one thing (um, yes please). It's a step up from flirting, with the added bonus of knowing the person actually enjoys your presence! Plus, there is no ignoring or avoiding of the other person involved...making it a much more human and compassionate option than ghosting! 

However, I have to make this post motivational somehow...otherwise it's not worthy of being posted on a blog. It's gotta be "Elite Daily" approved somehow! So, with that in mind, what do you really have to lose? Maybe you’re tired of circling and you want to just see how the prey tastes? Horrible imagery, but you know what I mean. If you're tired of the incessant and meaningless flirting, upgrade your vulture-status. Go on, take a bite!

PS: (...not endorsing biting anyone...unless you're both consensually into that). 

That Time I Went Hiking In A Dress...And Other Lessons In Acknowledging The Parts Of Me I Don't Like.

For me, the month of December can feel a little bit stagnant.

I think it’s because it arrives so suddenly; hurled off the back of November like an insane two year old yielding candy canes and throwing snow balls. December is a time of joy and festivity and merriment (code for: drinking a shitton) with friends and family and it can be hard for me to motivate myself to pursue my career goals. It feels like I’m strapped to Santa’s sleigh and flying towards 2016 in a fit of fun but with no clue where I am going to land or how I’m going to pick myself up successfully once I get there.

This can lead me to feel panicky and upset. I have a tendency, like so many of us, to want to push myself constantly and to beat myself up when I am not doing things right. Hmm. That phrase, "doing things right" - let’s discuss. It is not until this year that I have truly realized the depths of my control freak ways. This week, in acting class, I was told that I tend to get in my own way because I want so badly to do the scene the "right way" and control the outcome. This reminded of a college acting professor who told me once “Izzy, you would make a great lawyer, because you’re always searching,searching, searching for the golden solution!” Those words have stuck with me so vividly and they have a huge influence over the way I see myself. I've spent years running away from those words and that opinion of me, and trying to give off the vibe that I am carefree and unafraid of messing up. It’s painful for me to admit that I want to get things right, and that I have a compulsive tendency to want other people to like the choices I have made or the way in which I have chosen to approach a problem. I crave potato chips, beer and being right.  

And so I combat that - I always wanna be the fun, cool girl. The smart, interesting one who has her shit together but is effortless. Occasionally, I think I do achieve both - but only very occasionally. I think I get closest when I actually admit to my flaws and own up to the fact that I suffer from a "need to be in control of the situation - but not appear to be in control of the situation". An example being that I recently wore a dress on a hike with a guy I was casually seeing because it freaked me out that we were a) going on a day date and b) doing physical activity and c) I wanted to still look cute. 

Of course I looked like an insecure weirdo. Or at best just a weirdo. But when I later took the time to acknowledge to myself the reason why I wore the dress and then turn it into a funny story to laugh about with friends, it helped me to turn that decision into a "kooky moment that highlights the truest version of myself." I can point to that to showcase the fact that I can be the organized, has her shit together woman AND the totally ridiculous girl who has the stupid audacity to wear a dress and accidentally flash her thong to the hikers behind with every gust of wind and worries way to much about how a dude thinks she looks. 

What I am trying to say, is that sometimes the best way to overcome our flaws is to accept that they are inherently there. OOF. Now THAT is a whole new level of tough. I spend so much time running away from my control issues or my judgments and trying to bury them, that it makes it more impossible for them to go away and they become MORE noticeable to others. This is because my method of trying to get rid of them has been to push them down so severely and do my very best NOT to acknowledge them -  so they're actually coming up two fold.

Recently, a wise teacher told me, that if I just learned to accept that those things are a part of me and not going away then I could make peace with them. And so, I am going to use this leftover 2015 time to revel with buds (most of us are in the “industry” so it’s technically networking, right??) and to let my introspectiveness push me to acknowledge the parts of me I don't like. To sit with them and celebrate the discomfort they bring! 

 I think it's also the perfect time of year to reflect, and to realize that sometimes the greatest opportunities come to you when you least expect them -- in random experiences or small moments of wisdom with a stranger. That is not to say that we should enter 2016 without goals and intentions - those are fundamental to the human spirit and keep us reaching. However, in the wise words of Hank Fortener, a pastor at Mosaic Church, “we spend our lives waiting for the big entree, anticipating and expecting, but in reality life is a series of small plates -- some of which you ordered and eagerly devour, and others which arrive unexpectedly -- and push you to try a new cuisine or discover a new concoction!”

Yay for food metaphors! But also, yay for the moments in which you were just "doing you" this year and great things happened. Yay for recognizing the parts of you that you don't love but trying to respect them. Let them live a little! Maybe, you'll discover you're capable of even more than you ever imagined. Yay for every "small plate" you ate this year...and for all the small plates to come. Think of it this way - you can eat more (metaphorically speaking) without realizing it! 

 

Let Me See Ya Girl...

With all of the buzz about Jennifer Lawrence's letter last week; sexism, gender inequality and the wage gap have been weighing heavy on my mind. I support J-Law and agree wholeheartedly with the case she's making - and the statistics back it up across multiple industries (check out this McKinsey report, yo). In line with this theme, I want to address something that I feel rarely gets discussed when we analyze sexism. 

Over the past year of living in Los Angeles, I have fallen deeply, irrevocably in love with....Country Music. It's that windows down, screaming the lyrics, laughing-cos-I-don't-care-if-I-embarrass-myself-because-I-feel-so-completely-whole-and-true-right-now kind of love. 

And we're not talking old school Dolly Parton country -- that stuff is respectable. No, I'm talking "Florida Georgia Line feat. Nelly" style country. Sam Hunt. Cole Swindell. Kelsey Ballerini. Dierks Bentley. POP Country. It's so bad that I requested to listen to it while shooting new headshots yesterday, but when the Make Up Artist audibly groaned, I had to laugh and say: "just kidding - JUST kidding!... Let's go with 'Louis Armstrong and Ella FitzGerald'...I'm a classy gal!"

Anyway, my personal lack of taste aside, as I continue to listen to this music and find myself knowing a disturbing number of the lyrics...I am starting to realize the alarming sexism in many of them. I realize that this probably won't surprise many of you - after all this is a genre that prides itself on reinforcing gender stereotypes and "family values" with each unabashed twang and yeehaw! However, what got me thinking was the fact that we spend so much time as a society focusing on the explicit misogyny in rap music, yet I never see an angry tweet or interesting Broadly article about the sexism in popular country...and I'm wondering why? I know I ain't the only one cluttering up my home and car listening to it, so isn't it worthy of our scrutiny, time and agony?! 

I am, of course, being partially facetious. Not all country is like this - but it's a size-able chunk. I'm genuinely concerned about the sheer number of country songs where men describe women as "pretty thang" or tell us to "shake it for me!" (but, Sir, what if I want to shake it for my friend Melanie?! or just for myself?) or "girl you tearin' that dance floor up, lemme see ya do it in the bed of my truck" - Dude, what about the fact that I am a good dancer makes you think I wanna lie down in the bed of your truck humping on top of dried deer blood from your last hunt? (ok, that was stereotyping on my end...but hopefully you get my point). 

And it's not just an obsession with women's physicality that's inherent in the lyrics. There is an overwhelming need to tell young men that they have to find a trophy wife who makes them wanna stop wielding their weiner at every blonde in cowboy boots they see and redirect its attention to making babies. Once those babies have safely popped out, then the men should go back to drinkin', huntin' and providin' (in that order) and the women should sit on the porch smilin' at their brood with joy (not before making a homecooked dinner and some sweet tea though, duh).

There are songs that describe things as "A Girl and Boy Thing" where we're told that "boys hate dumb tea parties, girls won't climb a tree, she'll start wearing make-up, he'll start noticin' her curves...that's how it's supposed to be" Um, I'm pretty sure I spent most of my childhood in a tree...any other ladies out there? Plus, there are many songs like "All-American Girl" where the father really wants a baby boy and is first disappointed to have a girl but then falls so in love with her because she's SO sweet and adorably cute looking that he's actually happy and says he'd ask for a girl child if asked again. I'M SORRY - I didn't know that 2015 America was actually just one child policy era China!?! My bad.   

There's nothing wrong with wanting and enjoying being a sexy woman or man and wanting and loving sex or enjoying certain activities that we associate with being "feminine" or "masculine". What I take issue with, is the fact that rap music and other aspects of our society are so incredibly scrutinized while plenty of country allows for the intense objectification of women and the need for them to be either:

1) the young, hot girl that's an easy lay or a tease

AND

2) the perfect, wholesome wife whose sole purpose is to re-affirm her husband's masculinity and make him proud by birthing and raising awesome babies

Both of these are valid and real components of being a woman...however, they are not the ONLY parts of being a woman that have value and substance. Nor are you any less of a woman if you don't express interest in being either of these two options. Nor are they the only things that deserve to be sung about. 

I believe it is dangerous to analyze every aspect of our society, yet not bat an eyelid at country songs that reinforce narrow ideas of what it means to be a woman or man, and more importantly, downplay the amazing multi-faceted people that women are! How's that for one hell of an Amen? - that's right, Brantley Gilbert, I'm lookin' at you . 

 

 

"Meal Prep" is an urban legend...

Recently, a woman was shocked to hear that I don't really cook and I've never made fried chicken. Her next question was "do you have a boyfriend?" and when I responded with, "not at the moment" she remarked, " You don't cook -that's why you don't." Awe, sexism at its cutest. 

Fun fact: When I signed the lease to my apartment it had no fridge in it...it wasn't until my roommate moved in that he pointed out that we didn't have a fridge and bought us one. (This fridge is not our fridge.)

Fun fact: When I signed the lease to my apartment it had no fridge in it...it wasn't until my roommate moved in that he pointed out that we didn't have a fridge and bought us one. (This fridge is not our fridge.)

Eating and preparing food has become increasingly fast and fleeting,  which makes many people furious. They long for the time when people (specifically women) had 6 hours to cook a gorgeous gourmet meal for their families every night and relished in the ritual of making a home cooked dinner...

Interestingly, many of the people longing for those days are twenty somethings who've never nurtured anything except a truly amazing succulent plant. However, they'll go to great pains to know where their food comes from, spend hours searching online for the perfect vegan-paleo-chocolate cake recipe and spend Sundays doing meal-prep. How quaint. 

Then, there's the rest of us. The "NO cooking" types. We are a dying breed -- the millennials who don't particularly care how our coffee was brewed or whether our kale received a deep-tissue massage. For me, the worst part of cooking is the intense preparation time that goes into it.

If I am hungry, I am hungry...I simply don't have the patience to troll the internet for the perfect recipe then chop stuff for an hour and sit around waiting for it to simmer perfectly. Umm, hellooo I have auditions, work, acting class, shows, parties and drinks to get to! I can't imagine being a mother...you have to be/feed yourself AND fend for your young! Meanwhile, the other day I was changing from an audition outfit into work attire in my car while parked on a residential street in Burbank. Mid-changing, I had to duck down under the steering wheel to hide my exposed boobs from a father and his baby out on an afternoon stroll...clearly I am not ready to flambé Bananas Foster or sauté a steak. 

Does brewing beer count as "meal prep?" 

Does brewing beer count as "meal prep?" 

Don't get me wrong, though. I have enormous respect for those of you who diligently cook each night or consider yourself foodies. I LOVE food, and (for someone who so rarely cooks) I know quite a lot about it through my years of being fed by the elders Francke. But now they have left me to grow the hell up and fend for myself...and I've determined the following to be true: 

People like me just wanna eat something that's relatively healthy and pretty cheap...and we want to eat it IMMEDIATELY. 

So, what's the solution? Why, it's the 99 Cents Only store!!

I bet you already knew they are a haven for halloween candy enthusiasts and dudes who want to buy really cheap knives...but did you know they also sell groceries? Eggs, fruit, veg and meat and cheese...you name it, they've got it! AND EACH ITEM IS 99 CENTS. I bought a dozen eggs there for $0.99 the other day. 

 

My 99 Cents Only Store TREASURES!!  All of this for a grand total of $14! 

My 99 Cents Only Store TREASURES!!  All of this for a grand total of $14! 

It is truly a modern day miracle. The 99 Cents Only Store validates me and my feelings. It understands that I am on a budget, but I don't want to have to do anything more than press "Time Cook" "1:50" and "Start" on the microwave, in that order. I have been shopping there for four weeks now. I have not died. Conclusion: I am not above it. You are not above it. 

Why did I write this, you ask? Well, beyond wanting to do a PSA for the 99 Cents Only Store (and show off that pic of my loot) the aforementioned woman's remarks got me thinking and I felt like using this opportunity to be open about my lack of joyful cooking experiences during this time in life when I feel like I'm surrounded by wannabe Gordon Ramsey's and Ina Garten's. Maybe one day I'll change, or maybe one day I won't...but somehow, I think my life will continue to feel fulfilled and happy no matter the outcome. Maaaybe. 

Beyond that, I hope this stupid lil post resonates with some of you, and we can form a club where we encourage each other to raise our "Eww, cooking!" flags high and go on weekly sprees at my new fave store!  

 

 

 

 

We Found Love in an Uber-Pool

Pictured: roomies becoming friends! Ah, the magic of ridesharing! 

Pictured: roomies becoming friends! Ah, the magic of ridesharing! 

Those of you who know me (which, let's face it, is my entire readership at the mo') know that I LOVE a good chat in a crowdsourced vehicle. Lyft, Uber, even Sidecar...I am down to get to know your life story! Chatting with the drivers and other passengers reminds me of how amazingly multi-faceted human beings are and (yes, I'm gonna say it) fills me with a rare happiness that stems from hope in humanity and the sweet promise of arriving at a destination. 

Let's dive in: It was Saturday night and I got off work at 10 pm. I was fixin' to skidaddle over to the "Westsiiiiide" for an ole co-workers birthday party. Because my journey promised to cost the entire wage I earned that night, and I was destined to spend a week's worth of income on drinks and drunchies once I got there, I decided on an "Uber-pool" in an attempt to balance out my spendthrift ways. 

Things got off to a rocky start because I decided to order two street tacos when the Uber was 3 minutes away, and they were not in my possession until the driver called me SO I had to engage in what a passerby described as "defensive eating," (aka leaning over a trashcan shoveling whole tacos in my mouth) while the other passenger - a glamorous brazilian woman - stared out the window at me, her eyes narrowed like drawn blinds. 

I spent the beginning of the ride profusely thanking the driver, George, and the other passenger, while George tried increasingly to make the woman laugh by making fun of uber-pool (not sure if those were indirect insults being hurled at me, or he just was genuinely not a fan of the whole concept.) Things were looking bleak...until passenger number three, Sunjeev, stumbled out of a Ramen restaurant and into the Prius, wearing an LL Bean backpack and high-waisted jeans with white tennis shoes -- the telltale signs of an American STEM nerd! 

The conversation quickly progressed to "what do you do?" and low and behold, Sunjeev is a data scientist! (A much more compelling profession to dissect than "actor/hostess at a restaurant"). But not just ANY data scientist! He is a data scientist for EHARMONY.COM. 

I don't have any other pics of me in an Uber...but here's a "Car Selfie"

I don't have any other pics of me in an Uber...but here's a "Car Selfie"

This news spurred a unique response in each of us. My eyes bulged with excitement and I yelled out "WHAAT, THAT'S SO COOL!" George, burst into hysterical laughter, but the lovely Brazilian woman, Mariana, replied:

 "I want to personally thank you for your job." 

Something about the intense sincerity in her voice cut George and I off and we all swiveled our heads right at her, like meerkats desperate to know what was on the horizon. Right on cue, Mariana proudly confessed:

"I met my husband on match.com. He was the first date I went on. I signed up for the site, and three hours later he contacted me, two days later we went on our first date, and one year later we got engaged." 

I've never seen a man so validated as Sunjeev was, knowing that his hours of analyzing the numbers behind what people really want beyond specifying a certain height or education level all paid off! There was at least one real life couple that got married because of internet dating. They really should have a show -- we're in LA for Christ's sake!

We spent the rest of the ride discussing the dynamics of their relationship, and of online dating, from the fact that if you have a picture you are nine times more likely to be messaged (this seems so "DUH"...but think about it? People can still put a fake pic up!), to the idea that she and her hubby should be brand ambassadors and in all the match.com commercials...

I have always been a little dubious of facts and figures and formulas...I don't like things that are too cut and dry. They scream boring to me. However, this story has reminded me to look beyond what I view as mere "surface" data and see how it can be married with the crazy, unpredictable, emotional elements of life. Yes, Mariana and her hubby did have to fill out a 180 question survey to start their profiles. BUT Mariana did not even have the time to fill out the survey entirely or complete her profile before her now hubby messaged her! She may never have met him without the internet....but it was their in person connection that fueled the fire of their love. 

This, my friends, is the stuff of dreams!! I feel as though my placement in this Uber was the cosmos telling me to start believing in the internet, and moreover in the bizarreness of love!  Mariana insisted it was the best investment she ever made and had me convinced that if I had seventy dollars to spare, I would have used it to sign up for an intense online dating website during that ride.

True Love. 

True Love. 

While I haven't quite decided how to translate this hopeful experience into my own life, I can tell you that this week I am going on a date with a man I met in a parking garage, a date that's going to be recorded for a podcast, AND my boss caught me "tindering" while at work...so basically, I am really mature and love will find me soon. #justkeepswiping

And the Emmy for Best Server at an After-Party Goes to...

The Emmy's and I have a special bond; I have now had the great honor of being involved with them for two years in a row. Last year I was a "seat-filler" aka a glorified cushion and this year I was a server at one of the after-parties where I was asked to "act like the furniture...furniture that smiles." This bodes well for my career. I feel that I have "chair" down and am working on my "table." #lifeisajourney

That being said, my first foray into catering was mainly fun! I had some laughs with my fellow actor/servers, stole some amazing hors d'ouvres and snuck in a kitchen dance (let's hear it for the sexy Lady DJ!). However, I respect that hearing about the happy, smooth moments is boring, so I am gonna give you what you came for... 

Here's a List of Awkward Stuff I Did: 

Prepping for the event: I started out the night folding napkins into squares. Apparently it was horrendously obvious before I even touched a napkin that I had no clue what I was doing, so a friendly dude named Tim showed me how. Two napkins in, I forgot "Tim's method" but didn't want to be too conspicuous about it. I decided the best way to "be cool, be cool" like real housewife Luann De Lesseps was to sideways glance at Tim while he was folding. Sadly, my peripheral vision failed me...Tim totally noticed. Our dialogue goes as follows: 

Tim: ".....you ok?"

Izzy: "Oh! Sorry...I kinda forgot how to fold correctly, so I was trying to remember without being too obvious...haha" 

Tim: "And you thought the best way to do that was to stare at me creepily?" 

Ouch Tim. "Friendly dude" title revoked. 

Employee Paperwork: In order to get paid, you have to fill out paperwork. To fill out paperwork correctly, you have to bring a government issued ID.  All was well -- I signed everything and they photocopied my ID. Then, I put my ID in my back pocket...which was partially sewn up, but in classic Izzy thinking I thought "oh never mind that! I'll just shove it half way in there and call it a night!" ...I instantly regretted this statement when I LOST MY ID. Shockingly, when you're running around carrying heavy dishes, your butt cheeks move up and down (thanks cardio barre!) and my ID was launched from my pocket into a pile of dirt outside. I noticed it was missing halfway through the main dinner portion of the party and had to ask my "station captain" if I could abandon my duties to go look for it...great first impression, I think they'll definitely be calling me again. 

Bussing: When we weren't busy running big vats of food from the kitchen to the various buffet stations we were asked to take a tray and "bus" the guests empty drinks and finished food. I don't know about you, but I find it super hard to balance stuff on a tray without things crashing to the ground. This led me to make the executive decision that "smiling furniture" wouldn't drop things repeatedly, and I developed the "Izzy Way to Bus." This involved me walking around without a tray looking at the ground and snatching up random trash/popcorn with my hands. Classy. 

False Confidence: I started out on a team of about 10 station runners. For the first three hours of the party, we were in constant flow -- all of us hitting our stations, then coming right back to the kitchen and grabbing more food. Around 11 pm, I noticed that I was one of the only station runners that was still consistently coming back to the kitchen after making my rounds. I let it get to my head. I was like "God, I'm good! I'm exceptionally fast!! Somebody gimme a raise!!" ...then the head runner guy told me that the kitchen was slowing down so I should be bussing along with the others. OH. Replace exceptional with inefficient, please. 

Sneaking food: Towards the end of the night, I decided that I had bonded enough with my service captain that he wouldn't mind if I just grabbed some food right out of the Chafer with my bare hands...he did mind. He also informed me that, "there is a camera up in that corner...the trick is to grab and nonchalantly walk away. You're definitely getting caught, you straight up danced with that fingerling potato then winked at me..." #winning 

Interacting with the guests: I'm not gonna lie...for the most part I was good at this because I'm "such a people person!" But there were a few hairy moments:  

1. Guest: (in reference to a dessert I was holding) "What is this?"

 Me: "I honestly don't know, but I say try it - looks delicious!" 

2. Me: (while maneuvering a bowl of rice through the heaving crowd) "RICE! BOWL OF RICE!"

3. Me: "It's a lotta MEAT!" (to anyone who would so much as look at the giant plate of raw kebabs I was carrying..)  

..I think they found it all very informative.

In the end, my friends, it was all worth it because a certain someone from Modern Family called me "dangerous!" in a funny, flirty way. We had a moment. And life is made up of magical moments, people! So go forth, and apply to cater a giant event! Armed with this tale of my mishaps you now know "what not to do", and you should be filled with confidence at the knowledge that even I made it through the wilderness unscathed and with a paycheck! 

PS: My ID was later found by another server who insisted my ID pic was way sexier than my real life self. What am I supposed to do with that information, dude?  

                                                                                                   Am I Lizzy Caplan in "Party Down" yet...

                                                                                                  Am I Lizzy Caplan in "Party Down" yet...

Literally, Actually

Just wanted to share a story that highlights the fact that I take things a little too literally. I consider it food for thought for myself and any other rule-followers out there. The title of this post is an homage to my lovely English friend, Laura, who has a tendency to say 'literally, actually" before any statement. Example: "Gigi Hadid is literally, actually SO hot." (this is literally, actually so true.)

Ok, back to the tale. Yesterday, I went to a taping of an episode of the new talk show "The Fablife," which is hosted by smize Goddess Tyra Banks and "what's up chicken butt" model and insta-sensation Chrissy Teigen. I was a paid audience member (woo makin' that gas $!) and will not be appearing as a celeb guest just yet…I'm saving that for my second week "actor life in LA" goal. 

When they notified me of the taping, I had to call a hotline to get the details of where to go, what to wear, confirm my call time etc. The hotline gave VERY specific instructions: 

  • Dress business casual and wear bright, solid colors
  • No open-toed shoes
  • No headresses/wraps
  • No patterned clothing
  • No purses or bags
  • No phones 
  • No reading materials
  • No denim

It also had a stern message about how violating any of these rules would likely get you kicked out of the taping. I take stern messages seriously....

I showed up wearing a solid blue business casual dress and left my phone, purse, make-up, and computer in my car. I almost left my car keys tucked on top of the front wheel, so that I would not be bringing too much in with me. I used one hand to carry my license and ticket for the parking garage, and the other for frantically eating an apple/holding a napkin and my lipstick for emergency touch-ups. I had to use my teeth to hold the release they made me sign. 

I get there…and other women are wearing jeans, bright crazy floral patterns, headbands, have giant purses and books, and iPads and Kindles and food. One lady brought a box of pastries?!?! I mean...rules are RULES, people! Amirite? Except, apparently not. It was totally fine. They got in. They got the same $40 I got. But they got to read/insta/text/wear their floral headbands in peace while doing it. 

This experience leads me to question my ways. In the immortal words of The Joker...."Why so serious?" Sometimes, I am genuinely nervous about my affinity for following instructions and what that says about my long-term success. I know it's a silly story, but I do think this experience highlights my need to push past the boundaries more, and not to accept the first no I get as the be-all end-all answer. I am challenging myself this week to apply for jobs which I don't think I meet all the stipulated qualifications for, and to push myself to put myself out there even when I don't think "I'm ready." I WILL WEAR MY OPEN-TOED SHOES, DAMNIT! 

P.S. I blame my primary school where we had to sing "Rules, Glorious, Rules" to the tune of "Food, Glorious, Food" from Oliver Twist...more on that later. 

 

The Most Rational "Irrational" Decision

Welcome to my corner of the interweb! Like so many of the great millennials that have come before me, I have officially decided that my thoughts, opinions and endeavors are worthwhile and entertaining enough to be written down and displayed online for all to see (insert joke about how only my mom will read this here.) Plus, because the world is weird, having a "personal brand" and being obnoxiously in your face with it may actually help my career (say what?!!)

 I figure that this is the time and place to announce that I have officially entered the world of Acting/Comedien-ing/Waitressing/Dog-sitting/Web-series-ing/Crying uncontrollably!!

Pondering life at graduation in May 2014....I'm still pondering (mainly about the whereabouts of those earrings...I really liked them). 

That's right folks, I have quit my 9-6:30 desk job at an innovative, growing start-up that provided me with a beer tap, free lunches and too much one on one time with my computer in order to have more flexibility in my schedule to pursue the (im)possible dream!

Don't get me wrong, I am enormously grateful for all that I learned there, and the knowledge I gained will serve me well for life. But, I was getting comfortable and complacent....which does not bode well to the pursuit of the hustle (thanks for the slogan, Vitamin Water...) So, it was off with me into the invigorating and scary unknown! 

Rather than spend the next few paragraphs justifying my decision to you so I can feel better about myself, I have decided to share with you this comforting tidbit that one of my bosses said to me on my last day: 

"Leaving us is the most rational "irrational" decision you could have made. Most people, will look at what you're doing and think it's completely crazy. But, I really believe it's the only decision you can make right now. You know what you want, and are taking the steps you need to in order to achieve those goals. You absolutely can't be giving 50% of yourself to that and 50% of yourself here. Then nobody wins." 

Those words have stuck with me. They're not quite as profound or uplifting as a Paolo Coelho novel, but they are extremely valuable to me as I embark on this journey. They remind me that I have made this choice with purpose and deliberation. They also remind me that I have made this choice with my heart -- a daunting place that denies logic and reason but somehow points you in the right direction with every tickle in your bones and lurch in your gut. It makes me think...maybe rational and irrational are not actually opposites or enemies but the new Yin and Yang, Yoko and John, Cory and Topanga? I can't be sure yet, but I hope I keep these words in mind and refer to them again when I need a little rejuvenation! And who knows? Maybe you'll find them helpful during your next "life-panic" too. 

Let's raise a glass to rational "irrational" decisions!! Thank you to all of my beautiful family and friends for your unwavering support. Thank you also, to my #haterz for keeping your judgment exclusively "behind my back," as I don't think I'd have the courage or poise to confront ya "Nicki Minaj at the VMA's style" juuust yet.

P.S: I promise the next post will be a "listicle" because they are short and people love them...and I am in the business of giving the people what they want, dahling! 

Please enjoy this totally candid photo of me.