Confessions of a Broke-Ass Actor

There was a point last month where I had money. Not a lot, not enough to buy a house or a car or really even an expensive pair of shoes, but I had, in my tiny little corner of the bank, a small stockpile of money that made me happy, because it was mine, and I had earned it and saved responsibly and wisely and now, the fruit of my labors rested comfortably in its little cocoon of safety, and all was right with the world.

Then, predictably, one “shit, I need a dress for a wedding” and one minor car- related disaster later, I am once again relatively broke-ass.

Damn it.

I hate that.

Being broke sucks. I hate the feeling of being nervous about the ability to pay bills (whether on time or not) and the constant thought of “what if something ELSE happens”  nagging at me when I’m trying to sleep.

At the same time, it is a blessing.

Not having money is interesting. I’m not about to start living on the street– but things like “oh, crap, dinner” become interesting. (Please note: I also am not starving to death. Read on). I love cooking, so when money is tight, dinner is way more fun for me– instead of defaulting to “let’s eat out”, I get to go through my beloved process of finding recipes and creating something from scratch. Plus, it’s healthier. Usually.

I also get more “me” time, strangely enough. Since I work a specified number of hours a week, I know how much time I have to do other things during the day. More often than I care to admit, my “outside of work” time is filled with the aforementioned eating out or, more guiltily, – shopping.

Shopping is my dirty habit. I’m sort of a clothes whore, which doesn’t really make sense given my standard uniform of “tank top, jeans and a cardigan”, but the never-ending possibilities of my local thrift stores combined with my love of crafts and DIY projects means that I spend a lot of time bargain hunting for possibilities and projects.

Being broke means that I have to shift my priorities– still on creative things, but things that don’t nessessarily cost money. Writing, art, reading, music– things I often neglect when I’m particularly busy become the simple pleasures of my evening hours.

I also walked to work today since my car was in the shop. It’s not a terrible walk– longish but manageable, and I realized that I enjoyed it. I don’t see it happening on particularly crappy days, but I could see myself walking or biking to work more often– and saving a little money on gas wouldn’t be a terrible thing, either.

Reminding myself that it’s OKAY that I’m broke– that things happen, that life goes on and in 20 years when I’m rich and famous I’ll look back on this and laugh—NOT feeling like a complete failure is difficult, especially because I feel like it’s all my fault. If I were more responsible/smarter/more careful with money, I wouldn’t have this problem.

I’m hoping to find a full-time job pretty soon, and it’s an exciting prospect– having a big kid job with big kid money– but if (when) that happens, the same rules will still apply. What I think I’ve figured out through my many, many periods of being broke is that there are always going to be car emergencies/weddings/doctor’s visits and a million little things that I’ll have to spend money on. I can improve my spending habits and try and be more cognizant of “no, I don’t need another grey sweater”, but the biggest thing is not hating myself. The number in my bank account does not define my worth.

Fresh New (Boozy) Monologue.

In preparation for The Drowsy Chaperone Auditions next semester and just in time for last blast, here’s a 1-minute quickie.

You need only two things to achieve the man of your dreams—a good bra and a good martini.

Now, alone, these two may seem rather inconsequential, but when both are added into the same equation, it’s then that most men find themselves enraptured and you find yourself with a husband, which is, of course, the end goal. if not, i would suggest a better bra and an excellent pair of pumps.
A good martini consists of liberal amounts of gin, a conservative dash of vermouth and a single olive. I, personally, find olives deplorable and a waste of space that might be otherwise occupied, and so thusly omit them. Upon consumption of a few of these, I may omit my bra, but that is another story entirely.

In some cases, vodka may be substituted for gin, but this is only during times of great emergency or on sundays, but depending on where you find yourself on sunday morning, be it church or an unidentified flat on the upper east side, the term emergency may be more loosely interpreted. However, the absence of a good bra should always be considered an emergency, unless it has just been misplaced, in which case, you should remain calm, and fix yourself a drink if necessary.

17 Reasons Why You Should Worship Lord Voldemort as Your Lord and Savior

1. He was the son of a poor man who overcame his humble roots and rose to power.
2. He gathered together a group of people who acted as messengers of his word.
3. He was able to physically manifest himself in inanimate objects.
4. People tend to do crazy things under the influence of his written word.
5. His followers had a secret symbol to identify themselves.
6. He brought a message of change that spoke to people.
7. He believed in being pure…
8. He had an animal shaped ghost following him around.
9. He had conversations with snakes.
10. He came from a royal house.
11. He rose from the motherfucking dead.
12. He smote those who went against his word.
13. He began his rise to power by coming out of water.
14. To this day, some people do not say his real name.
15. he was born at the very end of December.
16. He came to conquer death.
17. He claimed to be equal with God.


Think about it.

Lies, dorm rooms, the media and you

It’s my favorite time of year—back to school. The ads are out, the commercials are playing, and there is fear in the heart of every mother. Today, in the interest of every parent everywhere, I would like to discuss with you the lies the media tells you about what you need for college, and what you will actually need.


Lie #1: Matching everything. Every ad is the same—a beautifully coordinated dorm room with matching sheets, towels, blankets, rugs and accessories. You don’t need them. Trust me. Your towels and sheets will be stained and disgusting by the end of the year no matter how often (or how little) you wash them. Don’t bother getting the pretty

towels or those sheets. Your towels will inevitably end up in a sodden heap on the floor, and your sheets will become wrinkled, if they even stay on your bed at all. Get something basic and something that you don’t mind being having unspeakable acts done to. The same goes for rugs. You will never wash your rug. As much as you swear up and down that you will be responsible and wash your linens, you won’t. You will realize half way through the year that your dwindling supply of quarters could be better spent on food (2 ramen for .25 equals 8 meals for the price of a load of laundry, kids.) rather than on producing cotton-y fresh goodness for that little square of cotton that lives on the floor. Your towels, rugs and sheets will be spilled on, trodden over and generally mistreated for the better part of a year. Just get something cheap and bright and call it a day. Don’t get emotionally attached. I recommend burning at the end of the year.

     Decorative pillows seem like a good idea at the time. But trust me—after the 15th time of tripping over them as you fall into bed, they will be chucked into a corner and there rest for the duration of the year.


Lie #2: Stupid accessories. I don’t know what evil person came up with all of those stupid little desk organizer thingys they sell in various and assorted bright dorm-y colors, but here is my tip: don’t buy them. Baskets, boxes and bags and invaluable to you, but a stand-up book organizer will be used exactly twice: once on the first day of school when you proudly arrange your books on your desk, and then again as a doorstop and/or balancing stand for your PS2. You will not use paperclips or rubber bands enough to warrant little baskets for them in your desk. Instead, get a stapler. And tape. You will never have enough tape. And having a stapler means that you can be the kid who shows up prepared to class, instead of having to frantically search for one 15 minutes before your midterm is due.


Lie #3: An expensive computing/gaming/electronics/sound system. No one in the history of college has ever actually bought the ridiculous array of electronics that some stores try to peddle to innocent newbies. You do not need surround sound in your dorm. Trust me. You might like being able to “really feel like you’re in the movie, dude”, but the beat-down that your next door neighbors will provide about half way through semester one isn’t worth it. Also, buy a durable laptop. You might treat your laptop like it’s a newborn, but that won’t matter when your idiot roommate spills his beverage all over it at 2AM before your final paper is due. Invest in the warranty. It’s worth it.


Stay tuned for the next part of this two-part series. Next week: Dorm Dining and What Not To Wear.