dear abby.

March 17, 2013

I’m currently trying to ignore the cavities in my mouth caused by today’s diet of birthday cake and peeps. Tis the season?

Every time I meet someone new, it takes me about zero seconds to tell them that I used to work at Sesame Workshop. It was the craziest, most wonderful experience of my college life. It spoiled me for working on any other set in the business because I’ve seen the best, and the only place to go from there is down. I have many fond memories of everything that I was able to do, and I had the entire production team’s Starbucks orders memorized. (One of the executive producers liked a venti coffee with a little extra cup for cream because she didn’t trust the stuff in the fridge, the line producer liked [depending on the drink season] a grande cinnamon dolce latte, and the production manager I think would get a tall iced latte.) The thing that set this apart from any other Starbucks order I’d ever taken (and probably will ever take) in my life is that they always told me I should get something for myself too– because the inconvenience factor was really big. (THERE IS A STARBUCKS ACROSS THE STREET FROM THE STUDIO, AND THE OFFICE.) People who are in the production department, (or, rather– everyone I’d encountered at the entire workshop) are honestly some of the kindest, hardest working, and most dedicated people I’ve ever met in my life.

Aside from my basic tasks as an underling, I also was fortunate enough to be on set for a lot of the filming of season 42&43. Everyone in the cast was really super wonderful. I got to interpretive dance with Caroll Spinney in his dressing room, and admired Joey Mazz’ intense collection of action figures every time I brought corrected scripts to his office. One person I immediately decided I had a huge art-crush on was Leslie Carrara, who puppeteers Abby Cadabby:

My desktop is a mess of silly cat pictures. It took me a few tries to find this one...

My desktop is a mess of silly cat pictures. It took me a few tries to find this one…

Leslie is basically like a Samurai of awesome. Describing her in a succinct, concise way is nearly impossible, not to mention an extreme disservice to her amazingness. I feel like if tomorrow, I woke up and I were suddenly like, twenty years older than I am right now, I’d probably be a less successful (and less awesome) version of her. She wears mismatched socks a lot, journals, and draws on her shoes (a notable pair includes two dragons over the toes, and green glitter accents on the side for wings).

One thing I think is really cool about her is that she really doesn’t draw attention to her creative cacophony of existence in an overly negative, or positive way. She just kind of- does cool shit because it seems cool to her. WHICH IS SO CRAZY WONDERFUL. She gets neat colorful stones, glues googly eyes on them, and calls them “weird rocks.” F%^&ING GREAT, AMIRITE?

Another thing that bears special note, is that she basically is the conductor of the anti-bullying train. Before it was really a big deal, or like, the “in” thing to be all about, you know, basic human decency, she decided to come up with a slogan called “wake up your weird.” She had a really great quote (which I’m sure I’m about to horribly bastardize in some way) from an interview with Muppet Mindset about how the ‘it gets better’ project is doing great things, but that kids who are feeling down about themselves don’t want to be told to wait for better things to happen– they need to be told that they’re fine who they are right now. 

I remember my art crush being super intense because I was like “This woman is a fairy princess. Like, I shouldn’t go up to her unless I have something really important to say.” (Which is totally the dumbest idea ever because she’s super approachable and nice.) So, at the wrap party, I’d gathered this idea that I really wanted to introduce her to Pogo. I kept playing over this bloated scenario in my head of her getting really excited about his music and loving him because he’s excellent and look at me supergreatjobmac bringing two similar minds together…la-de-da. The wrap party was at this huge bar near the studio. She and Carmen Osbahr were sitting together. I’m super finicky about ripping pages out of my journal, so I wrote a little note on the back of this picture:

Again-- lucky this isn't a silly cat picture.

Again– we’re lucky this isn’t a silly cat picture.

It said: I think you’ll like Pogo, because he’s dreamy– just like you are.

AND NOT BECAUSE I’M A WEIRDO WITH LIKE A HUGE ART CRUSH ON SOMEONE OR ANYTHING. Can we deny that this woman probably bleeds rainbows and perfection? What’s that? Crickets?

Anyway, after giving her this, her husband took the picture, folded it in half and put it in his pocket.

Then we all got trashed.

Yay!

Here's an obligatory picture of a silly cat. Just because I mentioned it so much.

Here’s an obligatory picture of a silly cat. Just because I mentioned it so much.

And here’s the Pogo song I sent her to:

Flawless~*~*~

March 7, 2013

Forgive me if this gets horrifically tangential. Lately I’ve been up in the clouds daydreaming about television; and the other day I was meaning to do a freewrite because I’ve been bottling up a bunch of stuff under the guise that whatever “final” (read: recently excreted) product I come up with isn’t good enough. Such is the plague of most people, right? I just want to get lost in superfluous descriptors of different people’s hair instead of being a productive human. Then again, lately that has been my goal AS a productive human, and I can’t even seem to do that. *sigh*

In any case…

The other day I went on a long anticipated / stressed about shoot with my dance teacher. It’s interesting because, having known her for almost ten years; we’ve learned more about each other in the last 6 months than we have in the last 9 years of me taking class from her. It’s strange too– when you build up an idea around someone that you feel like you know. I used to think that she was a completely flawless individual who was, personality wise, a perfectly sculpted human being. After being on this shoot, I realized how damaging the myth of flawlessness is.

We, as a generation, project our idea of people onto them. (Celebrities, mostly– but in my case it’s happened with a few people I know in real life.) They are inescapably in our daydreams as a constructed image of perfection, but when we find out that that they (to our chagrin) are actually *human*, it’s almost like we feel betrayed. What’s interesting is that for some reason we want to shift blame away from our unrealized expectations, rather than the obviousness of the situation.

I’m not saying this as a directly related realization of shooting with my dance teacher– that was amazing. It’s just interesting to slowly find out people’s quirks, and observe whether they’re endearing or annoying. (Or, rather– whether they endear YOU or annoy YOU.) (I don’t mean to speak in such universal declaratives, this is just how I’ve observed the situation.)

It’s interesting to think that you can try and accept someone’s flaws, even if you don’t know what they are. Acknowledging their existence is a freeing thing, because it staves off the disappointment of their inevitable reveal. (You know, unless the person is like, a Nazi or something.)

From now on, I think I’m going to make a conscious effort to limit my hyperbolic referral of people as “FLAW FREE” or “PERFECTION”  or similar terminology. I feel like it does my psyche a disservice.

In other news, I just learned that Valerie Harper has brain cancer.

This has definitely been the saddest news of my month so far 😦

rhoda

dinah.

March 3, 2013

Sleepy summer songs have infiltrated my usually peppy spring brain. I’m excited about daylight savings coming to a close, and I can hear the sound of distant wallet weeping because it’s almost cold coffee weather.

I have a longer post planned about something I’m unsure of how to word properly; but right now it’s 4:30am and all I want to do is slurp the remnants of a once tepid sugary substance out of my “Imagine” mug and sing along quietly with Dinah Washington.

Here’s to it~!