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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.

addicted

Fruit.

Been eating a ton of it because it’s 0 points on the new Weight Watchers plan. And I’m enjoying it more than ever before.

I’ve been hearing that same sentiment from a lot of people who’ve tried the new WW plan. Being allowed to eat unlimited fruit without having to pay for it with your points bank, especially for those of us who followed the old Weight Watchers plan for years (where most fruits were 2 precious points per serving), is God’s gift to snacking.

I’ve actually never been a huge produce person. As a kid, it was a constant battle and as an adult, I know I’m supposed to eat produce, but ugh. I usually want a piece of bread or cheese instead. I also rarely cook, so unless someone else is preparing my veggies, I’m eating them raw. And fruit just never sounded quite as appealing to me as, say, a cookie.

But that’s all changed now that I can eat as many strawberries as my heart desires without worry. I’m obsessed. Now, at age 30, I’m finally getting nearly as many servings as one’s supposed to have in a day. And weight loss aside, I can totally tell. I feel healthier, I’m generally fuller longer and my skin even looks better. My therapist told me recently, “You’re glowing! I said, “It’s the bananas.”

I’m really into blueberries right now. Like, I’m inhaling almost a container’s worth a day. Can’t get enough.

 

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.)

day by day

First of all, look at these two. My loves.

Secondly, look at this gorgeous blog!! I haven’t been over to visit Michelle’s blog in a while – I read her posts on my blackberry because my job is a little insane sometimes and I seek respite in the bathroom stall with my phone. Yup.

Michelle is the When I Grow Up Coach! And she and her husband Luke have become good friends of Kevin and mine in the last year. I just ventured over to her site on a real computer for the first time in a while (on my brand new Macbook Pro, in fact) and it looks stunning. So proud of her. If you ever want to be inspired, encouraged, motivated or shaken out of your comfort zone, go check her out. She’s a quickly rising star.

It’s a cozy Wednesday night, I’m sick with a head cold and I’m sitting on my couch watching “Miracle Detectives” on the OWN network. I hate to be predictable but this new Oprah channel is definitely up my alley. Kevin’s back is out, the poor dear, and he’s been home dealing with it for the last three days. Otherwise I’ve been slogging away at work, buried in paper.

January. I historically hate this month, but I’m not minding it so far. Day by day, enjoying my darling boyfriend, my sweet cats, and my routine. Waking up earlier has been nice so far and peaceful. I think it will be good for me if I can stick to it. Getting out of bed is hard, but once I do, I’m much happier moving around at a peaceful pace.

I start teaching a new class tomorrow – Intermediate Sketch Writing – and I’m excited about it! Nervous too. And then things will rev up and I’ll be doing 3-4 shows a week, having 2 rehearsals, teaching a class and maybe having a couple meetings.

In essence, I work double shifts. I’d never give up the second job, and right now I’m choosing to do the first job so I can pay for the second. It can’t be this way forever, but it’s not so bad for now.

it’s time for a pot of coffee

I’ve been snuggled up in my house watching Dexter and Weeds for the last 20 hours. It’s been fantastic.

Tonight we’ll venture out to a New Year’s Eve party in Greenpoint with good friends. I’m thinking we’ll cab there and back and really enjoy ourselves.

My only plan for tomorrow is a yoga class. An indulgent, yummy, relaxing one.

Right now I’m off to make a pot of coffee.

I’m having a great holiday break.

 

on this almost new year’s eve

I’m having such a great vacation.

On December 23 after a goofy but delightful pot luck party at work, my 65 year old boss generously drove Kevin and I to the airport in his massive BMW (long story) and then we flew to O’Hare. Then we hopped in a car with my stepdad Tom and my Aunt Lisa and we all drove  down to Quincy to meet with up with the rest of the family at my grandparents’ house.

It was a white Christmas. We shoveled, went sledding, wrapped and opened presents, sat by the fire, ate delicious meals and so many cookies and drank a lot of wine. We chatted and caught up and drove to see a huge holiday lights display and watched movies. I also got to see my dad and his wife and some family from my dad’s side. It was really nice.

Then we spent a few days back up in Crystal Lake, my home town, doing the standard shopping, eating, drinking, vegging out and sleeping. It was very restful.

We missed the NYC Snowmaggedon entirely. Kind of a bummer because I love to be snowed in, but I was glad we didn’t have to travel in it or dig out of it. We got back to Brooklyn late last night and our backyard and frontyard are both still piled high with a couple feet of snow, but temps are warm today. Most of it is supposed to be melted by Sunday.

Today is Kevin and my 4-year anniversary! He gave me a beautiful necklace and earrings which I adore. He outdid himself this holiday season with little gifts and treats for me. I’m a lucky girl.

We got massages this afternoon, which were absolutely heavenly, then went out to dinner at our favorite restaurant in Brooklyn. Now we’re home to veg out and watch some Showtime On Demand. (We spontaneously upgraded our cable package earlier today – a treat for our anniversary!)

I don’t know what to think about 2011. I’m glad it will be a new year. A fresh start.

I start teaching an Intermediate Sketch Class at The PIT next week – should be a fun, rewarding challenge. And I’ll be doing lots of performing during January and February, including some weekend travel to places like Virginia, Ohio and upstate New York to bring the HST live show to colleges. (Can’t wait!)

Aside from hoping to improve a few personal things like how often I practice yoga and how much spinach I eat, I’m mostly hoping 2011 will be the year I start to earn a livable wage for performing, writing and teaching. That would be such an upgrade.

In the meantime, I have a great job that’s more than supporting my lifestyle right now, I’m happy, healthy, have a wonderfully supportive relationship and am enjoying right where I am.

Happy New Year, you guys! May the upcoming year bring you exactly what you wish for.

december

We got our Christmas tree! Obviously, this means it was one of the best evenings of the year.

I’ve had such a lazy, relaxing weekend – I really needed it. My boss is going to China for the next five days, which means I’ll get some more down time coming up, and I’m so grateful. I have been going non-stop, working 12 hour days for weeks.

We went to the grocery store today, finished decorating the house, and made turkey tacos for dinner. I’m ready for a quiet Monday.

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.