charstarlene
HAPPY EASTER

HAPPY EASTER

Jack and Ginny

By Charlene deGuzman

Jack and Ginny fell in love on the L train in the spring of 2009. They will tell you it was love at first sight, I guarantee they will tell you, as if rehearsed numerous times, that it was after 1AM on a Monday night, that Ginny was supposed to transfer to the G train at Metropolitan, but she forgot because she was staring at Jack, who was wearing an orange beanie that she liked and wondered where he got it (because all Ginny wanted was an orange beanie that wasn’t too bright of an orange, and there it was.)  Yes, that actually happened, and yes, Ginny got the courage to ask Jack about his beanie right as he got off at Montrose, and yes, they decided to take the L train back to Bedford to get pad thai because both of them had been “craving it for awhile.” But — what Jack and Ginny will not tell you is that they first made eye contact in the summer of 2008. Though on the same train, it was a much hotter, stickier, sweatier night, and the eye contact lasted for just two seconds and nothing was said.

They saw each other only two other times on that same train in that summer of 2008 — first, when Jack smiled. Now, Jack would never have the confidence to smile at a stranger, ever, except that he was drunk from a work party. And Jack would never get that drunk, ever, except that on that particular night, he hadn’t had dinner because he just paid rent and so, couldn’t. The other time they saw each other, or I guess I should say, Jack saw Ginny (Ginny didn’t see Jack) was when Ginny was straddling and making out with some other guy in a beanie, which is something she would never do, ever, except she was drunk from a work party.

In the Fall of 2008, words were finally spoken. Ginny quietly said “hi” even though she was looking at the ground and on her way out of the train, but she thought it counted. And Jack, who is neither Latino nor spoke any Spanish, said “excuse me, por favor” one crowded night, and ended up repeating it to himself the entire walk home, wondering what on earth would make him feel it was necessary to throw in the “por favor” and hating, just hating, everything that he was.

The tension started to build in the winter of 2008, on that same train, when one week they had seen each other a staggering four nights in a row. The first night, they acted like they didn’t see each other (but they definitely did.) The next night, they both shyly laughed and shook their heads when they met eyes yet again, but neither brought their eyes back, it felt too vulnerable. The next night, Ginny said, “Are you kidding me?” when she discovered gum on the heel of her boot, and though she intended this vocal reaction to be presented to the universe, to the gods, Jack looked up as if she was speaking to him, only him, and Ginny felt it, and knew she was only speaking to him, and had been caught. Jack handed her the wax paper from his half-eaten soft pretzel, Ginny took it and laughed.

Now, it’s that fourth night that got weird, that winter of 2008. Ginny woke up that day knowing she was going to see Jack, just feeling it in her gut that it was time to find out his name. She curled her eyelashes for 10 extra seconds. She put on perfume even though she never put on perfume. And she put on her favorite sweater, the purple one that made her boobs look amazing (not in a sexual way, in a basic aesthetic and symmetrical way.) It wasn’t until she covered herself with her long brown hooded Northface snow jacket that she discovered that none of it mattered. She shrugged her shoulders and went on. She was going to find out his name, that’s all she needed that day.

And there she was, on that L train, taking her mittens off to show off the sparkly paint on her nails, when she looked up, saw Jack with a pretty model-y type, and exclaimed, “Oh, hey!” There’s this weird thing that happens with Ginny’s voice when she isn’t being genuine, you see, Ginny’s voice goes up about three octaves.

“Hey,” Jack said.

“How are you?” Ginny went even higher.

“Great,” Jack said.

“I’m Ginny,” panicked Ginny.

“I’m Jack,” panicked Jack, and the pretty model-y type kept looking down at her phone.

And they didn’t see each other after that. Maybe they were on the same train again, but both kept their eyes to the ground. Winter hit hard, the snow came down. Jack started to wear headphones. Ginny started drawing dead pets in a notebook. It would seem that Jack and Ginny would never see each other again.

But yes, something happened by the end of that winter, it was now 2009. Yes, Ginny saw the beanie, and sure, she got up to ask about it. But little do they know, this Jack and Ginny, that the love was there all along. Little do they know that they had the same New Year’s resolution that year, “to not be so scared,” and little do they know, they had been together on that train all along.

why should i keep living
Anonymous

1. Nobody in the universe, the past, present, and future, is like YOU. You were given a human life experience so you could share this YOU with the world. YOU are a gift, and YOU have a purpose.

2. You are on a journey that is specific to you. You are the star of your own story. Every good story has ups and downs, tragedy, pain, uncertainty, and the allowing and resisting of love. You are the main character, discovering your truth, learning about who you really are, through experiences especially designed for YOU. Keep the story going. Make it a good story. Even this question you wrote to me is part of the story. And so is this answer. HOW EXCITING! You gotta keep going to see what happens next - and whatever happens next can be WHATEVER YOU WANT IT TO BE because you are the writer of your story.


XOXO

Drum-Off was selected for LACMA’s 13th Annual Young Directors Night! Over 160 short films submitted, only 8 selected!

Congratulations, Miles Crawford!

I wrote this thing over at Thought Catalog! 

Do you know all the incredibly bad things that McDonald's do in the world? why do you commercialize them?
Anonymous

I know McDonald’s does some bad things, but after booking two of their commercials, I did them, so I could eat, pay rent, and pay back all the people that have helped me while being a starving artist. Do you know how hard it is to be an artist? Do you know how cool it is to eat?

Speaking of eating, I also know that dairy, eggs, meat, poultry, and seafood, are all the main causes of incurable diseases, but sometimes I eat them anyway.

I know that animal cruelty is a thing that exists, I know products test on animals, I know puppies are being euthanized at shelters as we speak, but I wear a leather jacket, use aerosol hairspray, and I don’t own a pet.

I know that marijuana kills brain cells, but I smoke every day because it keeps me more rational than any expensive chemically-loaded pill could.

I know Los Angeles is one of the most polluted cities in the world, but I drive a car to get me places.

I know that Urban Outfitters, Target, and Exxon support anti-gay politicians, but I’ve paid money to all three.

I could keep going. What “bad” things do you do?

(We’re all doing our best.)

My second McDonald’s commercial is now airing nationally! (FUN FACT: I happened to book a second McD’s commercial randomly. The two are completely unrelated. Weird!)

Thank you for your post. How do you let go, though?
Anonymous

By deciding.

And only you can decide for you, no one else.

You cannot fully let go until you first acknowledge what it is. Look inside yourself and ask yourself what exactly has caused you pain. Say it out loud. Declare it. Vocalize it, allow it to finally be outside of you. “The dragon is always smaller on the outside,” a wise Goddess told me over the weekend.

Thank it for its purpose, and then kindly tell it that it no longer serves you. You know what you know now because of it, and you are grateful you are where you are today because of it. 

And you are ready to let go.

Letting go will set you free. You will no longer be denying yourself from experiencing all the love around you fully. It simply feels GOOD. And why wouldn’t you allow yourself to feel good? It’s the best part about being alive, and only you can do this for yourself. You’ll see.

All you have to do is decide.

photo by boo

photo by boo

where can I see you performing anytime soon?

Hi! I don’t have any shows coming up. I actually retired from my improv and sketch group (but they are amazing and you should keep up with them here, you can also find videos from my old shows with them!) 

I feel like my time exploring comedy, improv, sketch, standup, all of it - is gracefully over. I am now focusing all of my time on making my REAL dreams come true, and becoming the person I REALLY want to be - I want to be a filmmaker, that indie darling with some film festivals and an HBO series under her belt, probably even write a memoir at some point, too…a girl can dream, can’t she? For that’s how things are born!

Work in progress!

(I do perform from time to time though. Any shows will be posted here!)

Write a little bit more on love please. Please please. Even a few lines. I am dying. :(
Anonymous

Some of the most important things I learned about love are

1. You must love yourself.

2. Your happiness depends on you and only you.

3. You’e not dying.

Usually, when you are longing for something, needing something, wanting something, feeling down or angry or hurt or in pain, even if you can’t admit it, all you need is love. And you must love yourself. If you don’t love yourself, you are incapable of receiving and giving and experiencing love to its fullest - that’s just the way it works.

We tend to reach for anything to soothe this feeling - fix it - unaware that the very thing we need - love - is already within us. But we simply don’t allow ourselves to accept it. Most of us are unaware that not only is love within us, it’s all around us, we are loved, and there is love everywhere - but we don’t even see it, because we choose not to. We choose not to feel it. Because some voice within us at some point told us that we are incapable of love, or don’t deserve love, and I’m telling you right now, that is just your ego, protecting you like you’re still a little kid.

But you’re not a little kid anymore. You don’t need the ego to keep you from experiencing freedom and happiness and love. So when you hear that voice next time, tell it that you don’t need its help anymore. You can take care of yourself now. “But thanks.”

This is going to sound crazy, but you - are love. You have been so since before you were born, and will continue to be ‘till after you die. You are love and will be love for eternity. You are love this very second as you are reading this. This is a hard one to understand and see at first, but trust me with this one.

"But I don’t love myself. I hate myself!" you tell me. Do you see how you just did that? You - YOU -  just said that. You, the controller of your mind, the one tenant living in that crazy talkative brain of yours, you, the actual god of your universe, the only god - you just said that. You decide that, you choose that, you think that, so yes - that is what is. But it isn’t true.

This is going to sound crazy, but it just isn’t true. We say we hate ourselves because it’s safer, it’s easier, it protects us from being hurt. We say we hate ourselves so we can spend our lives justifying it, being a victim of it, honing in on any negative thing we can latch onto so we can hang onto it and ride it and point at it and shout to everyone, “See! Do you see?! Life is horrible and I am horrible. I told you!”

And this is going to sound crazy, but whatever you think, is, and you attract more and more. WHATEVER YOU THINK - IS - AND YOU ATTRACT MORE AND MORE.

But what’s cool - and you will see for yourself - when you choose a better thought - like, for example - “I love myself” - even when it still feels like a lie, even if it hurts to say, EVEN by faking it - IT COUNTS - and you will attract more and more of what what even that little statement holds. I am so serious. Try it.

Make this your new focus. No more fixes. You can’t get what you need through a man or a woman or attention or drugs or sex or validation or money or therapy. No more “I just need this” or “if only that.” (WHEN YOU FOCUS ON WHAT YOU DON’T HAVE, WHEN YOU PRAY FOR SOMETHING, THAT IS WHAT YOU VIBE, YOU ARE VIBING SCARCITY, THEREFORE, YOU RECEIVE WHAT YOU VIBE - YOU GET MORE SCARCITY.) These fixes numb your pains for a certain amount of time and then you’re back where you’ve started, probably feeling worse. (I know, dude! I get it! I’ve lived it!) Remember - all you need to do is love yourself, and you’re the only person who can do this for you. You’ve probably been through a bunch of things, there are probably events in your life or relatives or relationships or SOMETHING that has led you to decide you can’t love yourself - I KNOW - trust me, we all have that thing - well, when you’re ready to change, you can do it, you can decide to look at these things and start talking about these things so you can let go of these things and not make them things anymore. And that is what we call HEALING.

As we heal, as we let love in, we are able to feel love more. We get rid of the weight of the darkness we were claiming for so long, and we can feel all the love that is around us, and more importantly, within us.

THIS IS IMPORTANT - ONLY YOU CAN DO THIS FOR YOURSELF.

Your happiness depends on you, and only you.

And this was a big thing for me to learn - YOU ARE NOT DYING. Ever. As horrible as it will ever seem, you are not going to die from it. You just aren’t.

And once you can finally let that go, you can remind yourself:

You are loved.
You have everything you need today.
Nothing is broken, everything is unfolding perfectly.
All is well.
The challenges we go through are how we grow. That’s the way it works, and you WILL get through it and become a better person because of it.
Your job is simply to enjoy THE MOMENT. Make the best of THE MOMENT.

If you’re always making the best of the moment, enjoying the moment, then you are experiencing happiness. Acceptance, forgiveness, gratitude.

LOVE.

Everything is a gift. Even the most painful times in our lives are gifts. 

Everything I’ve experienced in my life has brought me to this moment, right this second, being in a place to be able to say these things, not only to you, but to myself. And as painful as a life I have lived, it is what brought me here, to right now. And I love right now. This is more amazing than I would have ever imagined. Love is so fucking cool.

Everything is a gift. Thank you.

Here are a few songs I liked from 2013!

1. Safe With Me - Sam Smith
2. 36 - kwes
3. Noirse (Pional Remix) - Petite Noir
4. From the Sun - Unknown Mortal Orchestra
5. Life Round Here - James Blake (feat. Chance the Rapper)
6. Home Recording - Mount Kimbie
7. Pay Attention - xxyyxx
8. Carousel (HRDVSION remix) - Le Carousel

LET’S HELP THE PHILIPPINES!

Huge thanks to the sold out audience that came to our YO YOLANDA charity show last night! 

Here is our online charity auction! Learn the banjo with Ed Helms, screenwrite with Ben Garant, play with UCB’s Diamond Lion, and much much more. SUPPORT A GREAT CAUSE!!!

YO YOLANDA CHARITY AUCTION!

I would love it if you joined us for this great night of comedy, music, and charity! Love to The Philippines…let’s help!
Buy your tickets here.

I would love it if you joined us for this great night of comedy, music, and charity! Love to The Philippines…let’s help!

Buy your tickets here.