my big news

We just got back from a long weekend trip to New Orleans with family which was fantastic. We were celebrating my stepdad’s 50th birthday and I’d like to think we did so in style. I’d never been to New Orleans before and I can’t believe I hadn’t been – it was incredible. I loved the weather, the vibe, the flowing daiquiris, the amazing live music and the whole culture. We stayed in a big, old stunning vacation home and I’ll share pictures soon. All in all, it was a great trip and the perfect indulgent refresher from crazy city life.

Then, yesterday, I gave my two weeks notice to my boss at the music law firm. (On a Sunday because he left for a week-long business trip to London last night.)

When I started this job I didn’t expect to stay here for a very long time, but I also wasn’t sure what was in store. Maybe I’d get used to the comfortable salary and the free metrocard and stick around for a year or more. But it seems that wasn’t in the cards.

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i’ll be patient

I have been on the brink of sneezing for the last two days. It’s torturous. Every once in a blue moon, I will sneeze, but as soon as it’s over, I immediately have to sneeze again and it stays like that for the next couple hours.

Been busy, been sick, looking forward to spring. My days consist of sleeping, commuting and working with some evening obligation most weeknights. But tonight Kevin and I went to see a show, something I bought tickets for in February, and we had a lovely time together. Mike Birbiglia is a favorite comedian of ours and neither of us had ever seen him live – it was a great show. We braved hail on the way home but it was worth it.

Some big changes are coming to my life pretty soon. I’m not exactly sure what direction they’ll take yet, but changes nonetheless and I’m excited and grateful.

pretty dresses and dry mouths

We got some great news last week! Harvard Sailing Team’s “Boys Will Be Girls” video has been nominated for Best Viral Original in the The Comedy Awards. This is really exciting for us, especially because the other videos nominated are unbelievably funny and star some of our favorite comedians. I mean, Chris’ face in this collage from their website is next to Jim Carrey’s face?! WHAT!

This is the debut year for The Comedy Awards. They were created by MTV Networks and Comedy Central, and the board that chose the nominees is comprised of some amazing comedians and heavy hitters in the entertainment industry. Conan O’Brien, Billy Crystal, Stephen Colbert, Chris Rock, Lily Tomlin, Whoopi Goldberg…just to name a few…oof, I just got a little nauseous. Just knowing that even one person from that list might have seen our video is humbling and makes my mouth dry.

The awards show will air on Comedy Central on Sunday, April 10, and according to the website, it will also be simulcast on a bunch of other networks like VH1 and Nick at Nite. Nick at Nite! Twelve year old me just lost consciousness.

The one catch is, we don’t get to GO to the actual awards show unless we WIN. Getting to go to the event, accept an award, and wear pretty dresses would be incredible exposure for us, and would probably also one be of the more exciting evenings of our young lives. But all that aside, it’s obviously an incredible honor for us just to be nominated.

The Comedy Awards says that the winner will be selected by a group of  “professionals from the comedy community-including producers, writers, performers, directors and stand-ups.”

BUT the online-only category winners will ALSO be decided by votes from their fans.

We’d love your vote!

And this is one of those where you can vote once a day (ugh) so…maybe if you’re my mom or my cousin, you’ll vote once a day! 🙂 I’m not holding my breath that we’ll win – the other videos in the category are brilliant – but maybe we’ll have a shot!

Thanks so much in advance for your vote and support.

talent. luck. discipline.

The hardest part about the career game I’m playing right now – the one where I have this day job that doesn’t exactly do it for me so that I can support the dream career I’m working toward in the meantime – is the waiting.

Sometimes I feel like I’m over here treading water from 9-5 while I figure out the rest of it. And sometimes I wonder how long that’s gonna take.

I know it’s different every time I post – I like the day job, I hate the day job, I can live with it, it’s really healthy for me, I want to kill myself. And as inconsistent as that might be for you who are witnessing this journey, it feels just as inconsistent for me. I really do hate the job one day and feel grateful for it the next. It supports me financially and affords me the opportunity to keep pursuing my goals, but not without a serious drain on my mental and emotional state.

I guess that’s called a catch 22.

Lorne Michaels’ was recently on “Master Class” on the OWN Network (yes!) and he said something that has since been running through my mind. He said that the three things required to make it in this comedy world are talent, luck and discipline. And then he added that even when you have all three you’re not guaranteed to succeed, but you have to have all three to even have the option.

Heartwarming and terrifying all at once. Of course there are exceptions to his rule, but he’s right. Talent and luck are obvious, and anyone I know personally who has been successful as an actor, writer, comedian, etc. worked very hard to get there.

Lying in bed last night, a list of my own popped into my mind. Not necessarily a list of things one needs in order to be successful, but traits that I personally need to keep cultivating to stay sane.

Patience, trust, optimism and discipline.

Maybe not it’s not the humblest move to selectively edit wisdom from the guy who created Saturday Night Live, but you won’t tell him, right?

The thing is, sometimes I wonder WHAT THE EFF I’m doing. I’m 30 years old and I’m still playing dress up, playing make-it-up, putting on little performances, little skitties, writing stories and giggling with my friends. I never grew out of it. And I want to make a CAREER out of that? Because I am who, again? Someone special? Or just another one of the people in the sea that is this industry, fighting to earn a paycheck.

But on the flipside (and drawing from that necessary optimism), I remind myself that there are jobs to be had in this industry, I’ve watched so many of my peers move to the next level, I get to do what I love almost every night of the week, and most importantly, nothing is more exhilarating to me than performing and writing.

Last Friday night, we did an HST show with only half the team because the other half was out of town. We play each other’s parts all the time but I was nervous about one particular sketch. I’d never done it before and it’s kind of intense. But I did it. It went well, people laughed and enjoyed themselves, and felt like a million bucks afterward. It reminded me how capable I am, and that I need to trust myself more often. It also made me feel like I’d just run a mile or eaten a really incredible meal.

I felt filled up. What other information do I really need.

So, I’ll pray for patience, trust, optimism and discipline…and the wisdom to defer to Lorne Michaels’ list too.

the new theater

Our beloved comedy theater, the PIT, where I perform and teach, has moved to a beautiful, huge new space across town.

The old theater was a fantastic space and so much great stuff happened within those walls for me personally and for Harvard Sailing Team. But the new space just raises the stakes. To quote my friend and the artistic director of the PIT, Jeff, the new theater is a “game changer.” For sure.

HST has done two shows there since the space opened (we perform every Friday at 9:30) and they have been two of the most exhilarating, challenging and rewarding shows we’ve done in a while. There’s nothing in the world like the feeling of doing a good comedy show that makes a room full of people laugh hard. It’s a drug.

My improv team The Baldwins also does a show once a week on Saturday nights and those are a blast too. We perform with another critically acclaimed group called Big Black Car. Kev and I are about to head out the door to that show right now! (And then we’ll get some sushi for dinner…and I’m not saying I’m going to drag him shoe shopping too, but I’m not not saying it either.)

The point is, I’m so lucky – we all are – to get to perform in this awesome new theater, which lends some serious respect to the crafts we’re practicing up there. I’m a lucky duckling and this is a period in my life I will probably always remember fondly.

Also, if I may continue to brag about my comedy group, HST won a big-deal award earlier this week which really caught us off guard. It’s called the Nightlife award. The ceremony is in a couple weeks at a renowned venue called Town Hall and we get to perform in the ceremony in front of hundreds of people, many of whom are probably going to be stars, producers and directors, and many of whom we have all idolized for years. So excited! (You can read more about the Nightlife award, past winners and how we’re big theater dorks on the HST blog.)

happy thursday!

We’ve launched a couple new HST videos in the last few weeks. Woot!

“The World Is The Best” is our first music video – a digital version of one of our favorite musical sketches from our live show. We had so much fun shooting this bad boy. Being crammed into an audio booth with your best friends for a few hours in a row is simultaneously miserable and wonderful.

We made this short for Movember,  a global initiative that raises awareness about prostate cancer and encourages people to grow mustaches during the month of November to show their support.

my new job

I’m back in Brooklyn after a great week in Los Angeles. I had a blast on the trip, but I’m glad to be home – I am reminded how much I love New York City.

Today, Kevin made us brunch, then we did some shopping (new shoes!), and walked over the Brooklyn Bridge in the evening. It was perfect.

Los Angeles was an awesome experience for Harvard Sailing Team. We had so much fun together, got a lot done, and things are moving in a great direction right now – we’re definitely pinching ourselves.
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…and the season has changed

There we are at the premiere of our short film “Another Psycho” at the Friar’s Club Film Festival last weekend! We’re standing with the incredibly talented gentlemen who directed, edited and produced our idea into a fantastic little film. The premiere was a blast. I wish I had some better photos but I left my camera battery at home (Boo!! Hisssss!!!). For those who have asked, I’m not yet sure when we can show the movie to everybody, or if it will be online. I’ll definitely let you know.

Other than that, where the hell have I been??

I’ve been working! Still temping at the attorney’s office, which has been busy and exhausting. Today’s actually my last day! (Phewf.) I’ll be working from home for the rest of the week, rehearsing, writing, planning my class, etc.

And then on Saturday I’m going to Los Angeles for a whole week with Harvard Sailing Team! I’ve never been to LA before, if you can believe it. So I’m excited. I’ll get to see some old friends, enjoy the warmer temps, and we will be performing as a team for the first time ever on west coast. Cannot wait.

I am gonna miss Kev and the kitties and the beautiful autumn weather we’re having here in New York, though. I’m loving October so far. It is definitely (and finally) fall here.

So, I have some pretty big and surprising news to share. Major changes are underway. No, I’m not engaged or pregnant. It’s news relating to this professional journey I’ve been on the for the last year! I can’t tell you just yet, though. Sorry. That’s so lame, I know. Soon enough…

I can say that in two weeks it will be one full year since I quit my boring desk job. When I left that office on October 16, 2009, I could not have imagined or anticipated the path that would lay ahead of me. It’s been a year full of excitement, surprise and even frustration and disappointment at times. But all in all, it’s been one of the smartest things I’ve ever done for myself.

Hope you’re all having a happy Monday.

More soon!

the race + an update

Today was my first full day alone at the temp job. I didn’t finish working until 9:30pm! I went in for a few hours on Sunday too. Boo. Today was a race against the clock, filled with lots of important legal details I was terrified to screw up.

I honestly don’t think these two weeks will be that bad (and ca-ching, ca-ching! the money’s good!), but right now my back is on fire and I’m exhausted.

It’s funny to be revisiting this lifestyle where I can’t fit in a workout, barely have time to eat lunch and feel like my retinas are burned into my head on the hour-long commute home. That stuff, along with the disjointedness of coming home knowing I won’t have time to clean up or do laundry for a week and a half, is some of why I quit my job. I’m not build for the nonstop race, I need time to reset.

In other news…

Harvard Sailing Team‘s new short film will premiere at the Friar’s Club Film Festival this weekend, and we all get to go to the screening! We worked hard on our little movie and had a great time making it, so we’re excited to watch it on the big screen. There’s also an after-party and an awards ceremony. Should be a super-fun weekend.

Jen+Steve, my two person improv team, won our first round at the PIT’s Sketchprov tournament. Winner of the whole event gets $2500. You never know!

My Acting for Sketch & Scripted Comedy class starts October 21. I’m excited and nervous! Eep!

And I’m still doing as much writing as I can, whenever possible.

Fanny & Jane…I haven’t mentioned in a while – huh? Well, as you know, we took a summer hiatus. The unofficial and official answer about what will happen this fall is: we don’t quite know yet. We know we can’t have the same experience we had last season, which was very productive, busy and lucrative, but it was also SO MUCH WORK OH MY GOD. And not in a great way. So stay tuned. Decisions will be made soon.

Oh, and shut the front door, I’m turning 30 in a month and a half. Yeesh.

If time allows I’ll try to do some classic desk-job updates while I’m at work this week! It’ll be like old times. 🙂

ten months + really good stuff

(Photo from HST’s short film shoot: by Eric Michael Pearson.)

It’s been just over 10 months since I quit my job to pursue work that makes me happier.

I cannot say that these last 10 months have been easy. There have definitely been trying, confusing, stressful moments. But what strikes me most is that the time has passed regardless of what I’ve been doing with it. I’ve been able to survive and have had a lot of rich experiences along the way.

I’m so lucky to have received a humbling amount of support from my mother, my boyfriend, my friends, some of my family members – there’s no way I could have lasted these 10 months without them. And even though it hasn’t been perfect or simple, I’m so glad I set out on this journey when I did. I will turn 30 in November and I feel a sense of relief to be far away from my office assistant career and well into a career that inspires me.

Still, the month of July was tight and stressful. Although I was able to take advantage of a bunch of amazing opportunities, including a life-affirming trip to the Just For Laughs festival in Montreal, I was nearly broke for most of the month because I was traveling so much, and it was a worrisome experience. I didn’t know what would happen next.

Kevin, thank God for his faith in me, reminded me regularly during that time that things would work out when they were supposed to, that I had to have faith that the energy I was putting out into the world would come back to me, and that some sign would show me I was on the right path soon enough. He was right. The month of August has been full of good surprises.

First of all, I’ve had a great time writing articles for the Spring site, and I’m going to keep doing so in September. It’s an honor to be part of their mission.

Secondly, I found out last week that I’m going to be teaching an Acting for Sketch Comedians class at the PIT in October! I come from a family of teachers so I’ve always kind of railed against the teaching profession. But this opportunity is a great way to utilize my comedy acting skills and training to help other people – and get paid while doing it! Plus, my mom’s all excited about it.

Things are moving along at a motivating pace with Harvard Sailing Team. We shot our short film this past weekend, which was almost an out-of-body experience – a dream come true for all of us. We worked with an incredibly talented and professional production team and watched our little movie become a reality before our eyes. It was unreal in the best way. And now we move onto the next batch of projects, which are just as exciting – we’re so lucky to get to share it all with each other. What more can you ask for than living out a dream, surrounded by your best friends?

Last, but certainly not least, I found out yesterday, right after I woke up from a nap filled with wild, crazy dreams no less, that I sold an article to one of my favorite websites, The Frisky. On a whim, I pitched them a piece last month, something I’d really poured my heart into. But I never heard back, so I assumed it was a dead-end. Then I got an email from the editor yesterday telling me that she loved the idea and wants a draft before the end of the week! I was elated. Still am. I’ve done a fair amount of freelance writing in the last six months, but it’s been a personal goal of mine to sell an article like this to a site like theirs for a while now. Meeting goals is THE BEST FEELING.

Although I’m definitely sharing these little bits of good news to toot my own horn (because sometimes you gotta), I’m also sharing them to make a point: Making a major life change doesn’t happen overnight, especially if you’re transitioning out of something stable and into something totally unstable and unknown. But I’m starting to realize that the people who succeed in pursuits like these are those who don’t give up easily, and who work their asses off in the meantime. I’m still perfecting the second part – working my ass off – I know I could always be doing more. But I’ve got the don’t-give-up part down pat.

This journey keeps affirming two things for me: Have faith in yourself because only you know what’s right for you. And trust the universe. It will always catch you.