Monday, September 12, 2011

Visiting Home, Driving in the Rain

The racetrack is dry for the pace lap, and then just after the green flag is waved, indicating the start of the race, there is a wall of rain, a torrential downpour that engulfs the track.  All of the cars around him spin out of control into the fields and he drives through them, as if the rain didn’t fall on him, like he had a magic spell that cleared his path.”

It was a crisp LA morning and I got dropped off at LAX crazy early.  I go through the rigmarole of security and the mindless wasting of time in the terminal while I wait for my flight.  I hit Maccas, grab a cup of coffee then decide I would really like to read a book on my flight, so I pop over to the bookstore and brose around for a good one.  Ugh, I really hate that feeling of not knowing which book to buy that I will love.  I am not a big book review reader, so I rely solely on two very important variables… 1. How does the book feel in my hand and 2. Is the cover cool?...It’s not a science, but an art.  I see this book with yellow (love) and blue cover copy and a Golden Retriever (love x2) on the cover and pick it up…it’s prefect.  In line I am reading the back cover with all the reviews and see someone paralleled it to a book I love, The Alchemist. 
Home Run.  “The Art of Racing In The Rain” by Garth Stein.

I board the plane at 5:30 in the morning wearing jeans, t-shirt and a sweater.  So excited to sink my teeth into this book, I forget where I am, forget the excitement of coming home, forget that sometimes I am not the best “take-off” flier and read.  This book was an enlightening companion.  Originally when I bought it, I wanted something to fill my time with mindless reading on the flight.  What I received was a gift of direction, understanding and a whole mess of advice and character building.  With my inability to put the book down, my flight was over in a snap.  Hello Houston!

I grab my belongings and hit the ramp to walk out into the gate where I was hoping there would be elephants, balloons, a high school band – you’re basic welcome home fanfare.  Nothing.  Oh, makes sense, with the new security measures in place, I am sure none of that could get this far into the airport..and it would all be waiting for me at the baggage claim.  A loud ping and vibrating purse was the source of that little fantasy going up in smoke.  A text message from my friend, “running about 30 minutes late to get you.  Be there soon, then margaritas.” Boo…no parade, no party, no fanfare – but margaritas.  Silver lining.

I grab my bags and walk out to passenger pick-up.  Within in instant, I begin to peel off my sweater and melt.  Ah Houston.  One of my best friends in the world was on her way to get me and I was excited…I read while I waited, wrapped in a blanket of heat and humidity.

After drinks with my friend, we go to hook up at a bar where my brothers always go on Thursdays to play Golden Tee with a bunch of our friends..It was so good to see my brothers, even if they drive me bonkers half the time, and just hanging out with old friends.  I swear I hugged everyone twice and my baby brother for a least ten minutes.  That’s one thing I miss the most about Houston, hugs.  We all sit down for a cold beer and then the questions come…”How’s life in LaLa land?  Have you met a lot of cool people?  Are you going on a lot auditions? Have you gotten an agent? Are you acting in anything?”

“No race has ever been won in the first corner, 
but plenty have been lost there.”

“LA is amazing, I love it there.  The weather is absolutely perfect!  I have met some of the most incredible and talented people and have a bunch of great friends!  (shot in the dark here, none of y’all read my blog?) No, no auditions yet. No, no agent yet either.  I am still attending Improv classes at Second City and my teacher says I’m pretty good at it and I really love it there.  I have that feature film that we’re shooting in Houston in October and November, but no, nothing in LA as far as acting, nothing yet.  It’s just the timing hasn’t been right.” 

I looked at them, hearing my answers and saw the look of question and wonder on their faces.  I can’t say for sure what they were thinking or what they were wanting to say, but in my mind – the gist of it was, “Really?  You aren’t doing anything in LA you set out to do eight months ago?  Nothing inline with your goals or dreams?”  Yeah….I guess when you put it that way, no…Nothing.  Tears well up in my eyes.  What have I been doing out there?  What’s wrong with me that nothing as far as what I want to do with my life, my destiny of being an actor, of creating art in ways that I want to, no forward progress, at all, on my part has been made, why, why?

 “A driver controls the car so completely that he corrects a spin before it happens, 
he anticipates all possibilities.  But we don’t live in an ideal world.  
In our world, surprises sometimes happen, mistakes happen, 
incidents with other drivers happen, and a driver must react.”

In my mind I know why, it’s clear as a bell.  I am too busy trying to keep afloat by doing other stuff to pay the bills and maintain my lifestyle, I don’t have the financial wiggle room, the volumes of time I need to devote myself to actively  hustle for auditions, to look for an agent, or the finances to randomly act.  I wish I did, but I don’t.  When I do have free time, I can do other things that I love to do, my other passions, write and cook.  Because I don’t need anyone to allow me to do so.  No one says, “Hey Caroline, sit down and write on your blog, now – go!”  I just can, anytime I want.  No one says, “Man, I am hungry.  Caroline, go to Trader Joe’s, get some food and create a fabulous meal so we can all enjoy it!”  I just can, and they do!  And I love writing and cooking just as much as when I am acting.  In essence, they are all vehicles of me, my expression, my voice, my art.
But, to everyone in my life, I was very clear on my goals and journey for LA, to be an actor.  And writing and cooking were not communicated as avenues of exploration or desire.  Those that know, know me, know I love to write and cook…but those are just hobbies, time fillers of personal interest.  Or are they?

A driver must have faith.  In his talent, his judgment, 
the judgment of those around him, physics.  
A driver must have faith in his crew, his car, his tires, his brakes, himself.”

Have I missed huge parts of my personal picture?  Is my scope so narrow I am missing all the signs and direction that are posted on the side of the road like mile markers? Am I so focused on the fact I am not doing anything to become the actor I want to be, I am forgetting who I am?  Am I constantly beating myself down about what I am not doing or what I haven’t done, I discount all the achievements and accomplishments I have?

The driver must accept his fate.  He must accept the fact that mistakes have been made.  Misjudgments.  Poor decisions.  A confluence of circumstances has landed him in this position.  A driver must accept it all and be willing to pay the price for it.  
He must go off-track.”

Coming home to Houston was an amazing experience.  Seeing all my friends, catching up like no time had gone by, hanging out with Charlie – face licks and all, my nephews growing like weeds, Mexican food…all of it was awesome.  But the best part about going home was the opportunity to think, reflect, recharge and do some much needed soul searching.  All very much needed for guidance, direction and understanding. 

“A winner, a champion, will accept his fate.  
He will continue with his wheels in the dirt.  He will do his best to maintain his line and gradually get himself back on track when it is safe to do so.  
Yes, he looses a few places in the race.  Yes, he is at a disadvantage.  But he is still racing.  He is still alive.”

I am barely on my first lap.  I am just getting familiar with the track, the car, the crew, the elements.  I am only on my first lap.  I don’t know what this race is going to entail.  I am not sure the curves, the turns, who is driving behind me or ahead of me.  I have no idea what the road ahead brings….but I have a clear heart, strong mind, undying passions and both hands gripped firmly on the steering wheel. 

Very gently.  
Like there are eggshells on your pedals, 
and you don’t want to break them.  
That’s how you drive in the rain.”

Until next post,

Friday, August 12, 2011

Permanently in Trouble

It’s funny, but the one person that was extremely apprehensive about me moving to Los Angeles was my Mom.  Not because she was worried about me failing miserably or winding up on the streets (perhaps those should have been issues) but more because I think, she thinks, I sometimes make cavalier and not-very-calculated decisions regarding important issues.  (I know, kind of insane, right?)

A few weeks before I left for L.A., My Mom informed me on three things I could not do here. Period. They were:
1.     Date a Director
2.     Get a tattoo
3.     Join a cult

Two of those were obvious….and I know her thought process behind them, but a cult?  That was just bizarre…. Dating a director is basically a no-brainer.  I can’t say I will never ever do that again, but at the moment, I have no plans…we’ll cross that bridge, if and when.  However….I’ve always wanted a tattoo.  I have had Henna tattoos, temporary tattoos and even gone so far as to draw them on me when I was little, always causing my Mom to experience a mild heart attack, but I know, I know, even if she was no longer on this earth, she would rise up out of the grave and kill me if I ever got a tattoo.  No joke.  The fear of the Lord that lady put into me and she didn’t raise a fool.

She’s just old school and very, very Southern.  See, there are three kids in my family.  I am the middle child sandwiched between two very smart, pragmatic, money-saving, vacation-taking, home-owning, law-abiding, bill-paying, voting brothers.  (I’m starting to paint a picture here of the acute parallels.) My older brother is in medicine, he puts people to sleep and my baby brother is in marine engineering, he builds multi-billion dollar ports.  Lots of school, lots of discipline lots of well planned goals.  Me?  Some school, I often get disciplined and have made some goals, in soccer games.  Eh, two out of three ain’t so bad…

To top it all off, I have always had more of a universal, liberal, independent way about me which is highly unusual for a girl from an extremely Southern Republican family.   I was raised with strict Southern values and manners were non-negotiable.  Ladies, such as myself, took cotillion to learn etiquette and how to behave like a proper lady in every social situation, (and oh yeah, the fox-trot).  I wasn’t allowed to chew gum, if I did and for whatever reason I smacked it, it would be removed from my mouth and go on my nose for the entire world to see. (To this day you will never see me chew gum.) Thank-you note writing, Ma’am and Sir saying, lady...and ladies never drank out of bottles, swore, wore white before Easter (or after Labor Day), engaged in any promiscuous activity, got tattoos, pierce their body any place other then an ear or joined cults….A what? 

A couple weeks before my move out west I noticed my mom sitting in the living room looking rather upset.  She was watching Antique Roadshow which is her favorite,  so that couldn’t have been what was upsetting her unless there was something horribly mis-appraised…The dogs were all asleep by her feet, so that wasn’t an issue…and I am right here and not in jail…….so, I ask, “Mom, is everything ok?”  That’s when she turned and looked at me with this horror of sadness and disappointment in her eyes, “Cat, I need to talk to you about something serious.”
Not a fan of conversations that begin with those ten words, and I was stone cold sober, “sit down,” she said, too late to run and get a drink.  Shit.

And the look…y’all know those looks…Like I have gotten a few times before. 

One time in particular over the holidays when I was staying at my Mom’s house, I had just returned home from Walgreen’s where I bought this awesome new razor, the Vibe.  It ran on batteries and had this pulsating head that commanded a smoother shave to your legs.  Boy howdy was I excited about that and I couldn’t wait to get home to shower.  I got home and no one was there.  Cool.  Let’s try this new puppy out!  I jump in the shower, lather up and start vibrating my way to silkier legs.  When all of the sudden the bathroom door flies open and I hear my 14 year-old cousin Tommy walk in…
“I’M IN HERE!” I shout from behind the linen curtain….but due to the fact I was startled, frazzled and all sorts of discombobulated with flashbacks of a John Hughes movie, I drop my Vibe.
Have you ever heard a vibrating razor in the bottom of a bathtub before?  No? 
It’s loud. 
“Sorry C!”  My cousin’s cracking voice screams out.
“Knock next time Tommy!  I am taking a shower!” Damn….and then I could have sworn I heard him say in a much lower voice, “next time lock the door.”  Punk.
I pick up my razor and finish my shower.  Jump out, dry off, silky, silk!  Love it!

I get dressed and go out into the living room to say hi to the family.  They are all pretty quiet… “Hey!” I see my Aunt first, Tommy’s Mom.  She looks at me and gives me this long wink and a thumbs up.  Wink?....Thumbs up??……………. I look at my Mom, that’s when she turned and looked at me with this horror of sadness and disappointment in her eyes, “Cat, please make sure you lock the bathroom door, especially when we have company staying with us.”……………………Oh, for Christ’s sake……..
It was a razor!!!!  Ugh, n e v e r m i n d…..

Back to my story. 

So I ask, “Okay Mom, what’s up?” not really wanting to know.
“Well, I was watching this show on the Discovery channel,”  (f-ing cable) “and I am very worried about you moving to Los Angeles and I want to talk to you about something.”

All these crazy ideas of what the show was about just started flooding through my brain - Earthquakes, horrible smog and gas levels of the air, (I don’t know, sounds scary,) high cost of living, crime and gang issues, over crowding in prisons, plastic surgeries gone amuck, no tex-mex restaurants….
“Well it was a disturbing expose on cults, and I am very worried.” 
“Colts - like wild horses?” 
“Cults as in the groups of people that live together.”
“Like those people that wore all black, Nike sneakers and waited for the comet to come and take them to another land, drink the Kool-aid, Branch Davidians, multiple spouses - cults?”
“Didn’t most of that happen in Texas and like Utah or something?”
“This show was specific about California and how many people out there get sucked into cults.”
“In California?”
“In California.”
“And I think you might get sucked in.”
It’s hard for me to wrap my brain around this conversation, but I’m intrigued, so I’ll try.
“Sucked in?”
“Well, I know you’re into stuff like that.”
“Because I am married to a man 40 years my senior, have 15 kids and do peyote all day?”
“I know you’re into your horoscope.”
“Mom, sends me an email daily…”
“You’ve had your palm read and fortune told.”
“At street festivals and on vacations…”
“I just don’t want you to get involved with the wrong kind of people.”
“Mom, I appreciate your concern, but I have a feeling cults and people recruiting me to join one are nothing for you to worry about.”

What freaking show did she watch and how to I block that station?  I don’t think she was convinced…. and I had a feeling there wasn’t much I could do or say to ease her worry…but I tried..”Mom, I promise you, I will not join a cult.  The closet thing would be perhaps a bulk-shopping club membership - but no cults.”  She didn’t laugh.  Ugh. 

Great.      The bottom line is this, the whole cult business is something she need not worry about at all.  I am not a fan of commitment or routine, let alone linear thinking and to me, those are fundamental components of a cult.  (To me.)  So for sure, a cult is something I will never, ever get involved in.  Case rested. 

Which brings me back to number 3, “Don’t get a tattoo.”  
Dum Dum Dummmmmmmmm!

Mid-June -
I woke up around 11 on Saturday morning after a fun-filled night of Tiki-Ti island drinks and listening to a DJ friend spin at Malo in the Silverlake area of LA... I badly needed some chips, queso and salsa.  Which, in Houston, would be on any given corner, but not so much here in LA.  I needed a plan….Queso, queso, queso….. Ah...there is a cool little indoor/outdoor chill bar called Cabo Cantina on the Sunset Strip and they have a slammin “buy-one/get-one” drink special all the time and decent queso…so I will head there.  I literally get out of bed, brush my teeth and roll.  I am just going to grab some food and a couple beers and come back home.  (i.e. no need to shower…) I pop into a quickie mart to grab a magazine and make my way to my happy place.

I grab a corner table, order a Sol and some stuff to nosh on and start into my magazine…A couple beers later, I am still pretending to be reading my magazine but really I am people watching and trying to figure out everyone in the bar’s story, God bless sunglasses! This couple walks in and sit at the table next to me.  They seem nice enough and after a few beers, well, I was in the mood to talk...somehow we start chatting…they have lived in LA for the last 5 months, he was a traveling nurse she was a sign-language teacher, both from the Midwest. 

Carly and Brent, (they okayed me outing them on here, so it’s all good,) my new friends!  So we’re sitting there drinking, sharing stories and lies I suppose, you know, good times, just enjoying the afternoon.  No plans, no cares, just random encounters and new friends…ingredients for a chill afternoon.  This, by the way is one of the best features of living in a city like Los Angeles…you never know who you’ll meet and where the day will take you….

So we start getting into this deep conversation about life and taking chances, I tell them my story about moving to LA to pursue my passion and about the adventures I have had so far.  How I live each day in the moment, one day at a time….without worry for tomorrow or regret of the past.  How I can only control who I am, my actions and can’t worry about what other people think or do, regardless of the situation.

While Carly and I are getting deep into it, Brent is playing with his “Sol” beer label…He successfully peels it off the bottle and places it around his finger like a tattoo and says, “Hey, look at my tattoo!”  It was funnier at the time.  And I follow that up with, “Uh, I have always wanted a tattoo…but my Mom would freaking kill me if I ever got one.”  Carly said to me, “well, do you know what you would get?” And of course I did because I have been wanting one forever…
“I do actually…especially now, after being in LA for 6 months, I would get the word ‘strength’ written in Hebrew on my right wrist.”
“Are you Jewish?”
Carly laughs, “well then why Hebrew?”
Hebrew, to me, is the original language of the Universe; it’s a pure, simple, beautiful language and it’s different. 
Carly said, “Okay, cool…then why the word strength.”
What’s with the interrogation Barbara Walters?  Just kidding…But I hadn’t given it much thought and when she asked what I would get, the word ‘strength’ just sort of popped out…
In my heart and mind, I earned it.

I’m not doing anything monumental out here.  I am not saving lives or helping people.  I am just trying to be and live the best life, as the best person, doing what I know in my heart I do best.  There were so many times when I just didn’t think I would make it.  So many times when I was alone, scared and hopeless and I knew, all it would take was a plane ride back to Houston and everything would change.  I would have friends, family and familiar places.  But I know, and it’s true, each day it gets easier, each day it gets better, each day I get stronger. 

So in a way, it was a reminder, no matter what, never give up.  And it would remind me of what I have been through so far in my life, and that I will always have it as I continue my journey.

They found it interesting or at least I was convincing or confused them enough to agree it was a cool idea for a tattoo.  So Brent says, “Let’s do it.  I’ll drive.” And I was like, nooo nonononononono…And Carly goes, “Really Miss ‘I live each day in the moment, one day at a time….without worry for tomorrow or regret of the past.  How I can only control who I am, my actions and can’t worry about what other people think or do, regardless of the situation.’”

WHAT?  Did she really just take what I had said moments earlier and use them to make a point?

Man, she’s good….

So we went, and I did it....
I see it every day and I smile.
It reminds me of that day, my purpose and Los Angeles.  I did it for me.  No regrets. 

I just hope my Mom is still okay with the whole “two out of three ain’t so bad…”

Until next post,
- Caroline

Friday, July 15, 2011

Six Month check-up, check-in and check my LA friends out!

Six months in LA and I am still here….A lot has happened and a lot hasn’t….but it’s all been adventurous and I would like to give you the low down…. so howdy y’all, welcome aboard and strap yourselves in  - let’s do this…

I wish I could say some fantastic stuff has happened to me in the acting realm, as I write from my veranda over looking the waves in my Malibu home.  What’s that, why yes I have an agent and a couple of book deals, countless guest spots and oh yeah, a feature film with Ryan Gossling…..SNAP.  How awesome would that be…but not yet.  I would love to report in and say those amazing things…but I can’t.  

Honestly, for what I “came out here for” and to “pursue my dream” or whatever, the timing hasn’t felt right.  Until the timing is inline with my journey, I am not going to force it.  No it’s not an excuse, it’s just honestly how I feel.  I am not in any hurry…sometimes to a fault for those of you who have waited on me for anything, but I am not in a hurry to “make it big” or go home.  Rome wasn’t built in a day.  If it was, I would call the head of construction and beg him to be my agent.  However, it’s not bad.  In my heart, I know and believe it will all happen in due time.  I have patience, I have faith and it will.

Here’s the deal, and take it for whatever it’s worth.  An actor, to me, or how I conduct myself when I am “acting” is by not pretending to be someone or something I am not.  It is morphing into the character and becoming what that person was written to be, authentically.  In order to achieve this, the actor must, with all intent and purpose, do so with peace, confidence and a lackadaisical attitude.  You cannot be desperate for a part because, there will be holes, doubts and second-guessing, and everyone in the room, can see it.   Not good.

And I’m just not there yet.  Since being here, I haven’t felt solid enough to achieve this process… I have some issues…(really?  You’re not funny.)   I am not 100% moved yet…I still have my stuff and my dog in Houston and since I was informed that the Loz Thai house didn’t have the space for dogs, I needed to locate an alternative living situation.  (Which I have, the Wilcox mansion. Fancy huh?  More on that in a future post.)  I am trying to find alternative sources of income that will allow me to audition out of love and passion and not to pay a water bill or rent check.  And once all these ducks are in a row, the timing will be perfect and I will be on my game. (Read - all unicorns and wine…or as I like to call it, “the good life”)

But there has been some good, no, some fantastic stuff that’s happened to me.  Fantastic in the Universal sense.  Fantastic in the fact I have had some amazing opportunities come into my life and that I have grabbed on to and seized!

In April, this little ole’ blog right here went global by being syndicated on the Evolved World website! (Not too shabby)

Two months ago I did a little presentation for a big film, The Reality of Truth. From there, call it my charm, good work or low rates, the team really liked what I did for them and they allowed me to pitch some ideas for the film’s website.  Well, they awarded me the account and from there I pitched more viral, media, strategic and tactical ideas…and won the entire campaign.  So no, it’s not acting or being published, but damn, this is kind of cool…I will be spearheading the entire marketing campaign for this amazing feat of a pioneering journey into what mankind considers a way to become one with the universe.  A quest in seeking the reality of truth.  Go ahead and say it, “YOU CAN’T HANDLE THE TRUTH!” Haaaaa…

Anyway, we’re getting it all rolling now.  The facebook fan page is up and running, so go ahead and “Like” it for me…then in the coming days the website will go live, our twitter and other social media outlets will come online and we’ll be off and running.  Shooting has already begun in places all over the globe, so it’s quite an exciting project!  In addition, I will be blogging simultaneously so you can have a first-hand account of how this film is getting made.  (Kind of cool…) 

AND........ I am writing sketches that people want to produce!  I pitched three the other day to the head of an online variety show and he wants them all produced!!  He was like, do it, script them out and send them to me…  HA!  I was like, wait, what?  I’ve never written a sketch script in my life…and yet I did and he loved it.  (Little ole me.)

But, the BEST PART about the last six months is that I have met the most amazing people and have had some amazing experiences.  Some crazy and some scary, some bizarre and some totally cool, but all in all - amazing!  If, and come on it’s a huge “if” but I can honestly say, if this is it…if this is all I get…I am cool with it and I am so thankful….Because it’s been awesome.

I have never in my life been surrounded by such amazing and talented energy.  I have laughed myself into muscle pulls, I have danced until I thought my legs were broken I have read until I thought my eyes would pop out out of my head and roll all over the life has been enriched every day. 

Friends, I never, ever, in a million years thought possible.  And they are here.  Here hustling, fighting, singing, dancing, writing, painting…doing it.  "Pursing their dreams” and making it happen by living, doing and sharing their gifts every day.  Gifts of their talents and character to not back down, to never give up and be a model for those of us that want to achieve the same greatness.

I have posted some of their websites on the side of my blog page.  Please take some time to meet and experience the gifts from some of my LA friends….Like them, follow them, enjoy their talents.  Trust me, every one of the people are solid go-getters who in my eyes have already “made it.”

And let me end with this…

Someone asked me the other day if LA was the place where I wanted to die.  (I guess that was his way of asking if this was going to be permanent…) but when I heard those words, all I could do was say ‘no.’ Because it isn’t. 

LA is not the place where I want to die.  It is the place where I want to live.  And it’s pretty spectacular. If these last six months are a precursor of what’s to come, this has been the best decision I have ever made.  What an amazing wonderful exploratory journey this has been so far and I really don’t see any end in site.  

Until next post,

Friday, June 17, 2011

On your mark! Get set! will come! (what?)

This morning I was talking with my editor,,,,,, I mean armchair editor,,,,,, I mean judgmental baby brother, and he said he needed more.  To be exact he said either write more on my blog , more often, or he was going to quit reading.  Baby brothers right?  So I said to him, “well, I doubt you would abandon me like that.  Rude.”  And he said, “watch me.”  (Mind you this is the same baby brother that one Thanksgiving sold me on the idea of when asked at the table after grace what we were thankful for, both saying, ‘I’m not thankful for jack-shit’ because it would get a huge laugh..well, I did and he didn’t and I spent the rest of the day in my room, without turkey….) so I wouldn’t put it past him…It hit home, and I don’t want to lose him as a reader or anyone for that matter due to lack of content, so I figured I would write a little something something today.  But I did have to explain to him that my blog is Ketch Up with Caroline, not Konstant Contact with Caroline.  Brothers.

Not that I haven’t had some wacky adventures over these past few weeks, because believe me, it’s been quite exciting…. Last week there was a pigeon massacre outside my apartment to the point where the cops were called in and I was questioned because I guess it’s pretty public knowledge I hate birds.  Little pigeon bodies laying all over the street…..that was bad, but the little outlines of their bodies when they were removed was -  just sad…I was cleared, air-tight alibi.  (slow wink.)

As I am sitting in my office (Starbucks) writing, the 305 has been without water, which always makes for a good time.   Apparently a “huge” pipe broke and they “are working on it.”  Both floors of our parking garage are flooded and I am debating taking a bath in the Starbucks’ bathroom sink.  (I am just kidding Mom)

I went on my first audition, no word back yet…Enjoyed a little midnight run through Watts in my cowboy boots and Prada trench coat....on accident....I had my phone stolen...and to top it all off, two weeks ago someone got a-hold of my social security number and bank account information and cleared me out.  Suckers……

But….In all honesty, I think I have writers block..or something….I guess it’s more I don’t feel like I am where I should be…. not in body, because I know LA is my home and this is where I belong, and believe me when I say it, I love it here.  But, more in spirit and life….like the world is spinning and I am running all around like I am on fire, screaming and waving my hands like I am trying to be rescued off a deserted island and everyone else is just swimming along with huge smiles on their faces, some even waving to me.  I am frantic thinking what, wait, help, hello – anyone?

Or, to make it more true to life, it seems like I am all dressed up and ready to go... I am sitting, waiting at a bus stop in my Sunday’s best  for “my bus” to pull up… I am so ready for it, so excited because it’s my bus!!   As soon as it gets here, it’s all going to start, my life!!!!!!!!  So excited!!!! When it comes, the driver will open the door, I get on and there are balloons and all my favorite music and all my friends and family and Charlie and an awesome guy with tulips in his hand - all there to welcome me to my life!!!  Then…the driver shuts the door and we are on our way!  The first stop is an agent, next stop a guest role on CSI Miami, next stop a starring role on CSI Chicago. (New city, for the new star) next stop, my blog takes off into a tv series, next stop it becomes a movie and from the movie, next stop, I get smaller parts, next stop bigger parts , next stop my Academy Award winning role of a life time!!!  My bus is great!  I am so excited, this is everything I could want, dream, hope for times a billion! 

Eeeeeeeeeeeeee, (hands in fists shaking them up in the air, big smile!) I am so excited for it to come!!!!

So I will wait!!! 

I’m waiting……..

Just sitting here, waiting……..


So….where’s my freaking bus? 

I am ready.

Bring it.

I wait, buses pass.  Nope…not that one.  That one didn’t stop.  Check my watch.  Look down the street, smile, straighten my skirt.  When is it coming?

I see a lot of buses on the road, none are stopping for me.  

Then it clicks.  Well, more like an earthquake erupted through my body and my heart was the epicenter.  I have got this all wrong.  (It makes me tear up.)  I am a freaking idiot.  I look like the girl who got stood-up for prom and my parents are in the other room calling my cousin to see if he can come and save the day by being my date. 

What I am waiting for is never going to come.  I could spend my entire life on this bus stop bench and I could die here waiting.  Missing out on what is on my dream bus because I am on the sidelines, hoping for it to come, wishing it would come, waiting for it to come.  And it is never, ever coming.

It’s not coming because that’s not the way it happens.  (Light bulbs are popping all around. ) It doesn’t happen like that.   It’s not supposed to happen like that…It can’t.

So it hits me hard and then like this epiphany, it comes clear.  Clear because I have, years ago, written about a person’s life is like a bus.  So I know the content very well.  I have expressed it vividly in words and I understand it.  Applying it is what I need to do now. 

I have often said and believe, life is like a bus.  We, each individual alive on this Earth, are “drivers” of our bus.  Our route, well, that would be our life journey/path we decide to take/direction we want to go.  We, as bus drivers, get to determine where we decide to stop along the way and for how long.   We also get to choose who our passengers on the bus (in life) are and if we not longer want them on our bus, we can, hopefully politely, ask them to de-board our bus.  When you really sit back and think about it, it makes sense, unless you’ve never ridden on a bus…if that’s the case, come stay a weekend in LA with me, and you’re be an expert in no time….

So then, if I get that, why am I not acting on it?   I am showing up, but for what?  Am I stitting here waiting for all this “life” to happen meanwhile my life is happening and I am driving around with my lights off, bus empty, aimlessly?

Oh God, I am. For whatever reason, I lost the core concept of life.  A concept I created!!! 

Instead of doing, I am waiting. 

I can wait no longer.

Until next post,

In honor of Father’s day, I dedicate this post to my Godfather, Alfred….to those of you that he had the honor and pleasure to know, you understand what a special person he was to me and my brothers.  Many times in LA I have found myself wishing he was here to talk to me, advise me and set my shit straight.  

I thought it was supposed to get easier with time.  I wonder if by time, they meant eons.  XO


Friday, May 20, 2011

Home again, home again, jiggity gig.

I feel like my life has been pretty uneventful lately…which, for all intent and purpose is a damn good thing.  So I was sitting on the roof of my building this morning thinking I really need to update my blog and let y’all know what’s going on.  But then I was like, as of late, life's been pretty boring…but once I gave it a little more thought…it all started flooding in.  Who am I kidding….

Okay so where to begin…well, I don’t think I have told you all the story about my new apt, which, and I will totally dive into this later, has a magic portal….I know. You’re all like, put down the crack pipe and get on the next plane back to Houston.  No crack, but a lot of imagination and once you experience it, you will want a hit. 
Trust me.

Finding a place to live in LA is a tricky ordeal.  First you must decide what you can afford, then where you want to live, then your ideal housemates (if you need to share) then what amenities you want in your place….factor all that in and then settle on what you can afford.  Who’s kidding who here.  Ideally, I would be in Malibu in a fat pad with glass walls, insane kitchen for hosting dinners, an infinity pool looking over the ocean and a staff, a small staff.  That, will come.  For now, I have champagne taste on a beer budget, which is fine.  I am from Texas, I’m good with beer, for the time being.

So I do what all newcomers do, get an LA Weekly, update my subscription to Craigslist, ask friends about places and start the hunt for my new home.

As some of you know, I moved to LA in Jan, stayed a month or so with a very good friend from High School, then stayed a week with a very good new friend in Burbank, then lived the high life on the Sunset Strip with a couple guys I grew up with from Texas…It was awesome because I was able to familiarize myself with the lay of the land, got to know where I did and didn’t want to live and was able to focus on getting myself firmly into the pulse of Los Angeles. 

But, in staying with friends for the first three months of my journey, it was a security blanket for me.  In and good and bad way…Good because these all were people I have known before moving to LA, knew for years and made me feel welcome and wanted around them.  So when it was time for the baby bird to leave the Sunset Strip nest, it was hard.  I am sure they guys were ready to get rid of me, but it was another goodbye, another time to grow, another time to go.  It was kind of sad.  And the kicker is I was only moving 3 miles away, but it was the end of a chapter and we all knew it.  As I was getting into the taxi on the night I was leaving with all my stuff (read shoes) and felt that empty feeling in my soul again, but this time, there was excitement and hope right behind it.  As I say goodbye, they ask me to stay, momentary insanity I’m sure, we hug, I tell them how much their kindness and love means to me and shut the door.  It’s a very poetic moment, light drizzle, girl in cab leaving, guy on the curb waving and tell the driver my address.  I look down and think, this is scary.  I am so going to miss those guys.  A couple minutes later I get a text, Miss you already…please come back! 
It’s going to be OK.
New home, here I come!

Before I introduce you to the 305 (my new home), I must share with you how I came to live here….

After checking out a ton of places…one, for example was a home “just north of Hollywood proper” in North Pasadena.  I wasn’t 100% sure of the distance North Pasadena was, but when I spoke to the girl on the phone, she said it wasn’t far…Okay, cool…I will jump on the bus, Google informed me it was just one that would take me door to door…sweet.  I grab a bottle of wine (I hate showing up empty handed) as a “thank you for the consideration” gift and hit the road.  After 2 hours on the bus, with stops, I am beginning to think this place is way too far…but I have come all this way, the gal was super nice, so what did I have to lose. 

I get off the bus in this quaint neighborhood and walk up to the house.  I see like 5 cat bowls…Not too much of a cat fan, but that’s not a deal breaker.  She opens the front door as I am checking out the cat buffet and she says, “we have a lot of strays we like to feed and help out.” 
Strays?  Nervously I laugh and give her the bottle of wine…In my mind, this was a kind gesture….later, I found out, it was a sober living environment.  (Strike 1)  then I am informed house guests are not really recommended (Strike 2) and just so I knew, we’d have weekly meetings to discuss house-issues.  (Strike 3 – I’m out.)

Okay so that was a bust. 

So I turn to the LA Weekly and start skimming the home catches my eye...
In a nutshell the ad said this:
West Hollywood.  Great location.  Beautiful old home with a basement apartment, a dungeon - no windows, but a/c and plenty of space to create, completely furnished.  $1000 a month, or by the week.   Animals OK.
Well here’s why this is right up my alley…

1. I love the West Hollywood area or “WeHo” as the locals call’s fun, hip, safe and very centrally located.  I stayed in WeHo when I first got to LA, so this is great.
2. I love old homes…not antiques, but that’s a whole other blog within itself, old homes have character and charm. 
3. A dungeon suits me just fine..I don’t need windows and plus it will make me want to spend as much time as possible outside, awesome.
4. A/C – hello!
5. Plenty of room to create…as a writer, I need creative space with quiet and this sounds ideal.
6. Completely furnished!  This is fantastic since all my stuff is still in Houston!
7. Right in-line with my $1,000 a month budget.
8. Pets OK!  Charlie is welcome!

I call the number…The owner of the place sounded super cool and said it was still available!  Hold it, cuz I’m on my way!  I am soo excited.  I throw on my backpack, grab my checkbook and hit the streets for the 2 mile walk to my new home.  I believe there was even a bounce in my step.  On my way there, I am picturing how I am going to decorate my new creative space with my art and drafting table and all things that inspire me, and of course - Charlie.

I get to the house and it’s precious, your typical California home complete with a front porch, beautiful mini-rose garden and the sweet sound of wind chimes blowing in the breeze.  Heaven.

Ricky, the owner, answered the door, so sweet and was like, Hi and I was like, Hi!  I said, “I am Caroline Parker, I just spoke to you on the phone!  I am so excited about your creative dungeon!  It sounds perfect for me and I love the fact I can hide out and do my business without anyone knowing!”

I kept talking and talking, going on and on about how excited about this place I was, we go down the steps to the basement and he unlocks the door.  It’s really safe because there was 4 deadbolt locks on there!  No one breaking in here and my Mom will appreciate that.  I am so excited I can hardly wait, we walk in, he flips on the lights…..

What the f………………….

                 Holy shit………………………………it’s a dungeon.

                                     A   D U N G E O N.

Ricky said, “what do you think?  Do you think this will be good space for you to create in?” and he winks at me.  Oh my stars, which I am seeing a ton of at this moment because for whatever reason I was just thrown into a time and space I didn’t even know existed…my entire conversation with him played back in my head, “I don’t need windows, I like it dark, the space will help me create, I love the fact I can do my business without anyone knowing.”  Oh my God….I am an S&M Mistress. 

This has been a HUGE mistake.  But I had to think fast or this dude would think I was a freak.  The Dungeon owner.  You know what I mean.  So I just switched into gears and was like, what kind of straps you got in here…and these chains, what’s a…what’s the load capacity?  (I wanted to die.)

I kicked the bed for structural soundness and told him I would need to talk it over with my team (I don’t know) and thanked him very much for his time.  No, no I never called back.  It was a lovely dungeon though, if you’re into that sort of thing.  Hey, I am not here to judge.

Am I ever going to find a home?  

And just like always, the winds, they change……

That weekend I was hanging out with friends when I got a text from a girl I met in my first session at The Second City…
”You still looking for an apt to rent?  I need a roommate.”
“Does it have windows?”
 “I’m in”

Welcome to the 305!  Located on the border of Los Feliz and Thai Town…I have renamed it Loz Thai.  And I love it. 
We have a great apt, two-story, two-bedroom, two-bathroom, one balcony and a roof-top deck with a fantastic view of Griffith observatory and I discovered a magic portal that takes me places I never imagined going.  I shot a little video of it for you...enjoy.
Until next post,

Saturday, April 30, 2011

Hip Hop HOORAY for LA!

Hip,,Hop,,,Hooray for LA? 

What's so hip-hop-hooray-amazing you ask and who is this blogging on Caroline's blog - I know....insane huh?  A good insane though...and the amazing is…Life in LA…that’s what -  and you know, every day I am more and more thrilled I am here…This town is awesome...I am so glad I pushed through the tough times and have finally begun to smile…every day…Hallajuah!  

I think the best part about being here is I am still here.  Trust me, there were many times, more than I care to count, as I am sure you all know too well, I was ready to give up and go back to Houston...But for whatever reason - sheer insanity, ruthless perseverance or silly pride - whatever you want to call it, I sucked it up...Couch surfed, flirted with becoming homeless, swallowed my pride and shared the blackest depths of this journey for all the world to see, because it's real and it's possible.  It's scary as hell, but when the good happens, it's good.  So good it's intoxicating. 

And my God, it feels great to still be here...I have come full circle and appreciate the tiniest of own own coffee own rooftop deck to sip a glass of wine on and breath...and I cherish the support, prayers and love...and on occasion, the tough love (my Mom for example....I told her at one point I was done and wanted to come home, she said, "ok - come on.....but in all honesty, I never would have thought you'd give up this easily."  My baby brother via text, "Well, one of the hardest steps is over. Just going is a huge accomplishment. We are all really proud. It doesn't get easier from here, so work hard, rely on your talents, and follow you passion. Don't come home with out a sitcom or movie deal. You will do fine." Yeah,,,, tough love...)

I believe the first hurdle is over...Now it's time to get down to business and never lose hope or say I am going back.  I am not.  I got this.  I know it...I will never forget these past 4 months.  They have made me a better, stronger person and it will show in my life and my work...I will never forget why I am here or lose who I am. comes some more awesome...So last weekend, I went to this killer party at Diamond Supply Co. on Fairfax, just north of Beverly in West Hollywood. 

Let me set the scene…
My friend and I earlier in the day head out to the Grammy museum (I know, I had no idea either) because I had read in the LA Weekly they had this entire history of hip hop exhibit and my friend, being from Brooklyn and down with hip hop, and I, decided to check it out.   Let me tell you what, I now know what the One/Two’s are, saw Eminem and Tupac’s hand written lyrics, what MC actually means (Master of Ceremonies, not Emcee like I thought...), “peeped” the Hip-Hop-umentary on the Beastie Boys….AND walked away with a cherry bracelet made of guitar strings! 

Yeah, it was beyond fun. 

So after the museum he mentions a hip hop party we should check out…I was like, well, let’s go get a drink (right????) and think about it…I was pretty hip-hopped out and wasn’t really feeling it….We decided on a cool little dive bar near where the party was and he was like, "we really should check out this deal at Diamond Supply Co. after this drink."

My ears perk up, “Did you say Diamonds?  Diamond Supply???”

I am so down with Diamonds, all things bling, I was like – YES!  Let’s go.  Why didn’t you say so!  You know, best friends and all…how could I say no to that…

Well…..There were tons of diamonds at this joint, but none for sale, it's actually a skate board/skate apparel - all things cool shop.....but diamonds indeed were in full force - all dripping off the people that were enjoying the open bar, chatting it up and getting down with the beats being pumped out by THE DJ from Cypress Hill (I KNOW!) and he is THE DJ from Soul Assassins (I DON’T KNOW, BUT HE WAS AWESOME!)


It was, by far, one of the best nights yet in LA…Unexpected goodness.

Unexpected is awesome…That’s what this city is all about and I am madly in love!

I did, I must admit, feel a tiny bit out of place since I am without tattoos, piercings or magical Nike sneakers….

And it didn’t help my friend said I was dressed “way too business casual” for the event…but whatever, I had a blast, met a ton of awesome new friends and, I did get some dope orange and silver kicks the very next day…(and just by the way, I have already had some OG's tell me how fly they are...)

How’s that for business casual son!!

Until next post,

Saturday, April 16, 2011