I’m writing this from inside a glass box at the Standard Hotel in Hollywood.
The latest and greatest in my long line of random gigs, I’m now one of the “box girls” at the Standard, tasked with being a live component of the art installation behind the reception desk. It’s sorta a modeling gig, sorta performance art. We wear a girl-next-door white tank and undies and do whatever we want. Literally. The concept is passersby in the lobby (ultra beautiful Hollywood types with outfits so cleverly conceived it leaves one breathless) are like voyeurs into our world, so we can sketch, write, talk on the phone, paint our nails. Our directive says we should act like we’re at home, “but no more napping, please.”
I’m reminded of a professor I had who was a zoo enthusiast, who told me zoos in England back in the day had “native people” exhibits where you could watch live aborigines, pygmies and the like in faux habitats. Real people, people. Does this mean I’m on exhibit for the stylish guests of the Standard Hotel, a live example of an L.A. girl? Is that who I’ve become? The art installation behind us ranges from Warhol originals to Yayoi Kusama dots to the current wonder: a panel of indigo plants under hydroponic lights. As I sit here, the violet light hot on my back, I’m wondering if the hydroponic lights will cause me to sprout roots, something I’m trying to do lately.
I’m willing myself to get grounded, get rooted here in Los Angeles. My mind knows its the best thing, but my inner banshee gypsy child is wailing, plotting foreign intrigue and howling at the moon. The past few months have been a blur of transition, figuring out a new life game, shifting the planes of my reality. I know it’s considered bad form to talk about it, but I’m so broke it’s a joke, debt is swallowing me whole, and I know I’m not the only one out there so I don’t mind sharing that. Yet, many amazing moments to report: hearing the laughter and applause at the screening of my short film, “Loop Holes;” my birthday party, a “Koreatown Cabaret” where there was a female rap battle, fire dancers and me doing impromptu spoken word; and most of all: the beautiful clarity and freedom having no money gives you, that all you need is friends and family, and a fat fluff named Chairman Meow, to have your plate be eternally full.
If comfort is a curse to creativity, then my creative pistons are firing in the current anxiety of my life. I’m writing myself out of this corner, eating free Grateful Bowls at Cafe Gratitude (and I am so, so grateful) and working on three feature outlines, a pilot, and getting back to my novel soon, soon.
My wings feel clipped. I’ve literally been put in a standard box. But we’re living the ultimate high-concept film: “Life–No one gets out alive!” So I might as well commit to the glimmer of the career I’ve started and never, ever, ever give up.