#9 – Bullies, Babes, and Blow

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If one more kid kills him-herself due to near constant bullying with no one putting a fucking stop to it, or a foot in someone’s ass, well, you know, I’m gonna pull a self-BBQ-monk-on-fire move that will surely send a shocking message to the perpetrators, future bullies, their enabler families, and to the schools who really do nothing to stop the sickness. You want action? I’ll give you action. Being an actor/ filmmaker/former bullied victim myself, I’ll do a series of effectively real looking suicide re-enactment videos–like investigation ID or an oldie but a goodie–a pseudo ‘faces of death’ web series, where I come up with all these really creative ways to kill myself on camera (simulation of course, but my disguises will keep’em guessing), while giving full media credit to the bullies who’ve help push victims into early graves. Names, addresses, college applications, will be on full media display for all the world to see…and I know you know that karma cliche’…it really is a bitch. This will be huge, like the fact I’m ‘faking’ killing myself in protest for what these scum sucking rectal warts have done to their victims…’rectal warts’ is what I will now call blatant bullies, just so there’s no confusion over whether this is also an STD PSA blog entry. It’s not. But use protection regardless. Bullies will be publicly outed to no end, talk about wearing ‘A’ scarlet letter. If you have been guilty (and we must make sure no one is falsely accused) of bullying some poor sensitive soul to their self inflicted death, you deserve no sympathy from me…or anyone on Facebook or Instagram…snapchat too.

I wanted to kill myself starting at 12 years old. Needed desperately to get out from under my own systematic bullied existence–there wasn’t a person, place, or thing I didn’t have to scope out first to make sure valley girl terrorists weren’t’ waiting to jump me around every corner. I’m a valley girl by the way, a real one. Born and raised SFV ( like, the San Fernando Valley?) and keep reading to get the full meaning of the enormity of such a statement. What in the hell? Just trust me.

Anyway, by 13, full blown panic and anxiety had set in, accompanied by spells of such paralyzing fear episodes so severe, I’d almost fainted n’ pissed myself a few times. That along with the smorgasbord of nervous tics I’d developed much to my mom’s total irritation. All this shit…just from the thought of having to face bully girls another day.

And even as a fucking smart, evolved and cognitively aware adult women with kids of her own, I still have to watch I don’t attract these energies in some form—it’s the lesson I must learn in this crazy life: to stop being so damn afraid and awarding rectal warts any power whatsoever (loving this rectal wart reference by the way, so glad I came up with it…but also happy I never had one. Eww).

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(my official ‘valley girl’ stomach tattoo next to the panther that watches out for my feminine mystique)

Fer sure. I’m a very loving, compassionate girl, but I’ve been fucked with growing up valley. A lot. And I can name 2 other girls I still totally talk to regularly, that had it way rougher than I by miles in terms of being bullied almost to death. I don’t think anyone realizes what the mean girls were truly like in Tinseltown, 80’s val style. Unless you were here, and no, the San Fernando valley did not invent mean girl bullies, hardly, but we sure helped put it on the map. Having your ass kicked in Jr. High at my school, meant aiming to get punched in the face by knuckles bearing loads of silver rings–you know, just to cut your meal ticket up a bit. Girls putting ‘rings on’ to go kick other girl’s asses…and for no valid reason most the time, not like kinda decent motives such as “Hey, you fucked my dad!” or “You bitch, I can’t believe you fed my dumb canary to my brothers stupid python n’ at my own goddamn birthday party?! I’m kicking your ass!” Now those could be reason to wanna jump someone. Sadly, most of the motivation behind a good ass kicking had nothing to do with fucking peoples dads or killing their birds, it was vapid nonsense like, “Hey geek, you think you can wear a red and gold shirt? Like, wrong. I’m kicking your ass…and I hate you by the way, even though I don’t know you, wait…what’s your name again?.”

N’ check out this forced accomplice shit some had to live with, like me this one time–I got bullied into handing over one of my cheap, Tijuana, 925 stamped silver rings, so one big scary girl we’ll call ‘Katie’, could go kick another big scary girl’s ass we’ll call ‘Alessandra.’ And just so you get the visual–quite a few of these mean girls in 7th and 8th grade looked 35, slutty as all hell, and tough as nails.

Rings…it was a thing.

The fallout from such bully type violence via a not-so-accurately-portrayed-in-pop-culture 80’s valley girl, rectal wart scenario (yeah, don’t know if that worked either), could translate negatively in one’s future interpersonal relationships if not handled with intense therapy early on; and even then, pure hell awaited you for the most part.

Bullying: Electric chair worthy offense.

I suggest if you have kids, girls especially, watch for it like crazy without being crazy. It can kill, it has, and it is. So just stop it.

My own torment went as planned as far as having abnormal interactions with loved and non loved ones, especially the men in my life. And with myself of course, but the romantic relationships seemed to suffer far worse than my love and trust of female friends, aside from obsessive clingyness, super panicky n’ controlling behavior, n’ being over-the-top demanding of a friend’s allegiance to me. That was unfortunate, but I was under 18 when it was really obnoxious, and shit gets sealed when your under 18. I’m in the clear with girls by now. Still needy AF, though.

Didn’t fair so well with guys, however, negative patterns repeated themselves into my 30’s and even now into my 40s. But on a much milder scale since I’m considered a Jurassic fossil by LA standards n’ I’m pretty self-realized at this point. But It went badly for a long time, and I put myself and my family through gangs of worry, cause for me, a romantic relationship just didn’t sit right without near constant physical, sexual and emotionally threatening behavior. And not every boyfriend, but most. I’ve since corrected this negative pattern, at present, my primary source of interpersonal male to female issues lies mostly in my struggle with being invisible, or like, monumentally blown off. N’ that blows–as had been done to far too many who didn’t deserve one of my specialties. Kidding. But only about the amount, it was low, so don’t freak out. And no, not every guy treated me like a pile of dead ants, but more than I care to admit. It WAS a problem, and one hundred percent my fault for allowing it. And the blowjobs.

However, I’m happy to report things have absolutely gone up hill since those days, like, phew! Was really worried for a while there, too. All up hill as far as my blurry, 40 something eyes can squint. Up. Hill.  And I’m feeling excellent about where I’m at with the guys in my life! Oh yeah, I got guy’s in my life, I need men as friends regardless of what Harry says, he’s wrong. I like ex-boyfriends too, now that’s a real special bond where you can feel close enough to disclose your feelings and not censor yourself. I hate censorship. Way too intense for that boring pastime. And yes they’re JUST friends, the guys in my sphere, but it’s different than what I have with girlfriends. My girlfriends are my heart and soul and support system we women can never get from the opposite sex, but my dudes are my protectors, counter-point partners, and ego boosters when I need. It’s just a different vibration. Nothing wrong with vibrating.

And in terms of my marriage n’ stuff, well, no physical or emotional berating in any way shape or form, put that crap where it belonged, in a dingy n’ let it set sail in a Venice beach harbor jetty. I like Venice, it’s a freaky place, like my mind.

Now I only struggle with being totally invisible. Said that earlier. It’s really annoying having to remind my husband I’m still around, like in the house next to him? He’s just super independent and I totally respect that, I mean being needed is so overrated.

But it’s lookin’ good, I’m feeling it, I really am. I am…love is a hard one though, for all of us…just go to the movies or pick up a Nicholas Sparks or John Green novel. I have only fallen for people who don’t love me back for most of my existence, the way I love them that is, and or want to be loved. And that’s my cross to bear in this life. And of course, so is this whole self love, acceptance, respect, basic hygiene when depressed, feeding myself correctly and staying off of drugs, thing.

And that’s a lesson right there.

I really don’t want to love anyone too much ever again either, just my kids. They can’t, well, they can, of course they can, destroy you, but it’s a different pain…they can’t hurt you the way the outside can and I’m not explaining myself correctly, but that’s the rub right? “Being born naked in a sandpaper world.” When you suffer depression and anxiety and feel things so so deeply it cuts you–you cut you.

I’d kill to be a sociopath, it’s really the way to go. And I’m working on it. Feeling anything is just dumb, or like my favorite quote “like watching a one legged man in an ass kicking contest.” Which yes, is funny as fuck and a real crowd pleaser, but also sad, pathetic, and totally irrelevant.

People will always disappoint you, and it’s not their fault, it’s yours for putting such emphasis outside yourself–and that’s even if these people have the best intentions. Probably why I collect animals, like my useless rabbits, nothing bad can come out of a conversation with a rabbit. Look, we are all doing the best we can, life IS hard, but beautiful too, so go smell the roses or someone’s panties. I do.

But fuck it, not everyone can be as intuitive and observant as I–n’ I feel really bad for the out-of-touch, I really do…a shame they’re way more successful in life than me. Hmmmm. Whatever. I’m gettin’ that ‘sandpaper’ quote tattooed on my arm next. Real good idea…Walk around pointing to it when I see a potential emotional ninja karate chopping his-her way towards me. Smart move and super obvious. I love the obvious, I’ve told you. I think? I dunno, my brain is having weird sexual exploitation fantasies as I type this, so I’m kinda distracted. Boy, that sociopath thing is sounding fuckin’ money right now.

Let’s push on. It got weird.

At least I’m no longer being actively bullied…only by my kids of course, but that’s this whole ‘non spanking’ generational thing. Not that I ever did spank, in fact, I can’t punish or ground for shit, my kids just laugh at me if I try to take things away too, like if they fail a bunch of classes or get caught ditching or take the car without a license or permission.   Pretty much get told to go fuck myself without actually being told, “Hey mom, go fuck yourself.” It’s an issue.

However, my children are just the two best, most genuinely kind, ridiculously gifted, and yes, beautiful to a fault, funny, and caring little rays of universal light I’ve ever met, and or created, I did something right…you bet. Oh, and of course these two are well aware the effects bullying has had on their mom, her friends, and people in their own lives–they’ve been taught to stand up and fight for the vulnerable. My daughter actually has had a bully target on her back for a quite some time, n’ I hate it for her. Well she did, the bully bullseye on her back, we’ve had to work on it, and she’s dealt with depression and low self esteem due to it’s evilness. She’s come out the other side thankfully. But you have no idea how hard it’s been to restrain myself from the one’s who’ve gone after her. Good God, it’s been a challenge.

She’s incredibly more compassionate now for the experience on one hand, my kid, she really is. I mean this girl’s just the loveliest teen human I’ve ever met, and being a singer/songwriter, her lyrics cover this pain and suffering and overcoming the darkness with such depth and soul and vocal, guitar and phrasing chops, well you’ll be seeing her around soon enough. She’s just the best…when she’s not being super moody…

Most real bullies don’t take responsibility for the sorrow they sew, it’s a narcissistic approach, ends up somehow being justified by ‘their own pain’. And this is painful to think critically about, you know? Some pretty bad shit went down in the homes of bullies we grew up with, still doesn’t get them off the hook, however.

Whatever. I love saying ‘whatever’ even when it’s not warranted and makes absolutely no sense. Who cares? I do…I think. I’d make a great addition to the ‘upside down’ at this point. Thank god for shows like ‘Stranger Things’ where being a misfit is total money.  I accept being a misfit. I am a misfit. I’m a totally bad ass looking misfit at this juncture, and that’s no accident. Like my look n’ stuff, I mean. I’m a punk at heart, cause I love punk rock, but my tattoos, arched eyebrows, penetrating stare, big boobs, deep voice and no nonsense attitude are my amour, I mean armor. And don’t like, go blabbing about it now, either. But it’s all surface, my tough girl act. I’m as sensitive and sweetly natured as a fruit roll.

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(Giving credit to this amazing “Snow white lines” EP…to whoever. #CreativeGoals)

Growing up can really blow...Just like my mom’s old Malibu cocaine dealer with a really funny name I can’t remember. My sister and I went with her this one time–and man, you wouldn’t believe this super bitchen beach house this bizarrely small man with the funny name I can’t remember, lived in. So she could party. Cause she was sad. Funny thing was, this really ‘small’ big-ass dealer, used to double as a Beverly Hills hair dresser. N’ that wasn’t uncommon in Los Angeles in those days. In fact, who else could get away undetected as easily as someone who had droves of legit clients coming and going all  day long? A Beverly Hills hairdresser, that’s who.

Yeah, so my little sister and I go with mom to buy blow from the scary small, hair dressing cocaine dealer, and they do a bunch of lines together, mom and the drug midget. I did some homework. Then my sister, who was like, oh I dunno, 10 at the time, gets all philosophical (if that’s even possible for a 10 yr old), and starts freaking out on our mother, that mom doesn’t love her anymore. It was our mother’s fault, not my sister’s, mother always took sides…anyway, the argument went from, “you like Kelly better than me don’t you?” to “You do, just admit it, she’s your favorite!” to “You LOVE Kelly more???!!!???” And mom being so goddamn high, was kinda like, “Well, yeah.”

Holy fuckin’ shit-balls. Let’s just say, even the drug dealer couldn’t deal anymore, made a peanut butter sandwich and went to bed. Very strange 80’s night. A school night no less.

Back to bully’s.

And I’m gonna go out on a limb and say something even more shocking about bullying: I don’t give a rat’s ass if you’re a bully who’s only repeating the cycle of violence you as a child experienced yourself—not an excuse, assholes. Too many resources available for you online, free counseling n’ crisis centers n’ shit, medications, support groups, schools who DO care, and outreach programs, only a click or iPhone call or text away. You got too many things available to you if you feel compelled to harm someone, destroy their self worth and personal security, and unless you are seriously diagnosed with a pathology as in a personality disorder, where you actually do not know right from wrong, well…that still doesn’t get you off the hook, fuckface. So from me to to you, all the bullies out there, from a victim of chronic non stop harassment as a kid herself, this valley-punk-new wave-girl has a message for ya’: “fuck you, fer sure, like totally.”

 

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(Keep reading for the source of my “fuck you like totally” reference as well. You’ll get a bang outta it if you’re over 40, or a cool edgy teen like my insanely talented singer/songwriter musician daughter.)

The 80’s…The ‘Me’ Generation

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(Me on the left, a cutie I have on my Insta in middle, and my BFF, Paula, still is, on Right)

The San Fernando Valley in the 80’s…the most gloriously kick-ass-bitchen-rad-tubular-like ohmigawd! Place to grow up… but treacherous as fuck emotionally. The tie in to my opening monologue is this: an egregiously bulled kid in the 80’s (regardless of any decade actually) becomes 1 of 2 things as they develop…or at least 7 or 8 in a mosh pit of all things once good now fucked. These include: Being hyper sensitive, neurotic, depressed, antisocial, obnoxious, galacticly aware of other’s feelings, suicidal, homicidal, a cutter, a drug addict, socially retarded, painfully afraid, (which could equal unparalleled paranoia) ‘tic’ inclined, a chronic masturbator (self soothing technique), and most importantly–breathtakingly compassionate, which is a good thing, or a BULLY THEMSELVES—perpetuating the psychological theory that the abused go on to be a abusers themselves…big one’s.

I’m a kid of the LA valley girl/new wave/punk scene circa 1980, so I know what the hell I’m talking about—Even if that sounds somewhat counter-intuitive—albeit—stupid even. You hear valley girl, you either think the movie Valley Girl, as in Randy (Nicholas Cage) and Julie (Deborah Foreman) as totally star crossed lovers caught between one’s dedication to the Hollywood punk rock scene (Randy) and the other’s Sherman oaks galleria shopping up a shit-storm bad habit (Julie)—or the pop culture hit song ‘Valley Girl’ by Moon Unit Zappa and satirical rock star dad Frank. Look, what I’m saying is, I was totally fucking obsessed with both the song and the movie, I mean, a cross section of us all kinda talked like An-dre-ah Wilson, the central Encino val from the track Moon so perfectly roasted (with emphasis on certain syllables to give a generic name like ‘Andrea’ an exotic new sound). I’m telling you, this song was such a hit with us girls at Walter Reed Jr. High in Studio City—I even stole the best lines from the song n’ ran around telling everyone to “bag their face’s” n’ tried to claim the phrase as totally mine first. I was kinda an idiot.

And c’mon?! As far as the goddamn movie? Valley Girl?—I mean, Who the hell didn’t wanna bang a hot punker guy like Randy from Hollywood High—all too edgy n’ ready ta’ roll a lusty “fuck you,” no respectable val girl would utter let alone give a handy to.

The flick was way bitchen n’ super rad but totally unrealistic. Every val bird I ever shot a sideways, wet’n’ wild, turquoise eye-shadowed glance at, cussed so epidemically, me included, like, we all could of mass produced giant dicks out our dirty mouths; just like Orks born of shit-pits in Mordor.

Ok, bad Lord of the rings analogy aside, we as Hollywood and not so Hollywood kids, had to face some facts in all reality…like, this is ‘real time with Kelly Walsh’ right now—Randy stood for what any girl would want; an anti-hero of cataclysmic authenticity, rocking no hang ups in his spellbinding confession of heartbreak n’ love. This of course was due to Julie turning her ‘Contempo Casuals’ back on him, as he wails painfully to the effect of: “I fucking love you Julie!!! Get it?! It’s your fuckin’ friends, isn’t it? You’re choosing your valley friends over loving me, aren’t’ you? Fuck Julie!”….She says nothing, but you can see the pain etched on her super squeaky clean valley girl face. Yes. It’s true–she loves Randy, goddammit she does, but the valley is just too totally rad to leave behind. Of course I’m gettin’ to the best line ever written in cinematic history, and it comes straight from the punkers mouth as he realizes valley girl Julie ain’t budging on true love over popped Izod collars: As Randy turns in his creepers (or some punk rock kick) to leave, he stops himself, turns back, and yells amazingly  ‘So fuck you, fer sure, like totally.” Never a better line written.

Alas, This movie got so much wrong, but the through line proves sustainable: you can’t choose who you are going to fall in love with—unless they have a bad blond bowl haircut like Tommy, the dorky val dude Julie chose over Randy, and or they say things like, “ She’s totally freaking out, what other val dude can touch me?”

Christ, Nothing like Randy and Julie from ‘Valley girl’ the movie ever happened to this valley girl in real life and I’m the real deal. Well was. Got no action in Hollywood or pacoima or any fuckin’ place–my love life was a total bust. Only thing I could ever hang my Micky Mouse ears on, was constant, non stop, kick your ass bulling wherever I went. Kinda kills the mood for romance anyway, so maybe not having a guy wanna finger me wasn’t so bad. But don’t get me wrong, I lusted so hard after so many guys, well, I’m not gonna disclose too much about my time alone in the bathtub with the hot facet water, but when I start releasing pages here and there from my semi-autobiographical coming of age 80’s novel, you’ll get so much straight forward, uncensored sex stuff your head will fall off.

So fer sure, I gave up on myself early on as far as sex or like, even a ‘hello’ from a dude —n’ I got used to the notion that due to the bullying and mean girl culture I grew up in, where the more physically violent a chick was, the more kinda popular she’d be; that growing up “valley” was totally awesome, but polymorphously dangerous, too.

…I get asked all these really goofy mystical questions with such awe n’ wonderment, you know, like what it was like being an LA native n’ stuff? I even kinda have an attitude about it, I need to get over it too, I got nothing to be all uppity about. It’s funny for me, though. I get, “What was life really like in Los Angeles California…Hollywood!?” That’s a geeky one. Foreigners from like, Texas or Florida, east coast imports as well, ask me this shit all the time. Hilarious. It’s such a weird question too, I don’t know any other life, do you? I mean, from wherever you hail from, your upbringing was your upbringing even if it was hillbillies n’ moonshine like people from Texas. Face it, everyone in LA, not originally born here, is looking for fame and fortune in entertainment in some fashion, n’ it’s a big deal to be originated from such a star studded place. I get it. We are a town of permanent out-of-towners.

My dad was kinda famous. Don’t know if you knew that. Still is. He’s a cult movie icon in many respects n’ I just love the shit outta it. That was fun growing up, but non of the teen mean girls who’d promised to have a couple of guys follow me home, then rape me, got the memo, so that didn’t matter non.

He wrote and produced this cult classic, Robert Altman directed film called “California Split” starring Elliott Gould, George Segal. Great iconic talents lending themselves and their expertise to such an awesomely written and directed piece of film-making magic. Real film-making, when story and character development meant something, not just quick edits, super hero nonsense, CGI and explosions.

Dad did good.

But our car still got repo’d in the middle of the night, mid 80’s style. So that kinda sucked. My mom even chased our leased brown and tan monte-carlo down the street at 4 o’ clock in the morning, screaming ‘YOU MOTHERFUCKER!’ at the top of her lungs in her underwear. Scared the shit outta the whole North Hollywood neighborhood. Man, That was a scene and a half, so was the next day when we actually went to collect the car back from the repo lot, and mom sucker punched the bag-man in the stomach bringing the jack-off to his knees. Those were good times, I really miss that wonderfully goofy gal.

She died 9 years ago, my mom…n’ I’m still here…and that’s a good thing. Still totally n’ fer surely fucked up over it, though. And that’s the rub.

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(Me, on left, again, as I morphed into my New Wave phase…and yes, that’s Hesher chick in middle)

Dedicated to 12 yr old Gabbie Green, who recently took her own life via hanging at the hands of ‘schoolyard’ bullies, as well as their new cowardly medium: Cyber-bullying. I Dedicate this blog to all children who have fallen victim to this cancer, in fact

#8 – F.U. To Chronic Fear, Mom & The Woman’s Movement, and My Sexy Story

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BEING SCARED TO DEATH AND DOIN’ IT ANYWAY

This blog is absolutely, one hundred and ninety-two percent, (I’m totally serious right now, too–really, what else do I have to lose but everything?) going to cover the items listed in it’s irritatingly long title, but first, I must get a few things out of the way, on a most dire issue, one that is a through-line for everything else to be covered here in this blog. Fear. Yep. Chronic, debilitating paralyzing fear. It must be dealt with head on. I’m just one of the many who’ve made the “I’m scared sh*tless, but doin’ it anyway” base-jump without a parachute. I’m looking fear in the eye and not only squaring things up with whatever ails me, which is a lot, got lots of fear, but my biggest fear is fear of what other people think of me…especially upon sharing my mental health struggles with the world. And you know? What I deal with sucks, but it’s not that big a deal guys, people suffer all over the place from things you never heard of, so let’s just drop our preconceived, Mesozoic era notions, grow up, get healthy, reinvest in our minds, be there for others, kick fear in the head, n’ you know, like move on already. You ain’t seen nothin’ yet. Or maybe you have, I just like the foreboding sound of that.

So yeah, back to fear. Oh goody. Fear stops us all, some more than others n’ if you’re one of the brave game changers sick of sitting in silence in fear’s dungeon-like waiting room, well my hats off (not clothes) to you. It’s a bad room, the fear-purgatory vault, very ugly, no HGTV show could spiff up this fakakta place, we just gotta accept it’s there, move bravely through and out to we find another room…one with a view (another fav flick).

I’m, as well as so many, checkin’ out being courageous, yes courageousness (not the Indiana Jones or Tomb Raider kind, the real life living kind–way scarier and more treacherous by far), this ain’t easy ya’ know–to put yourself out there, knowing you will be judged by all, mainly the ‘educated’ folk who seem to continuously prove they know far less than the ‘ignorance is bliss’ group. The ignorance crew just doesn’t expect too much from anyone or anything I’ve come to notice, they kinda take you for what you are and don’t over think. Very interesting. However, do not misconstrue me; I prefer education, in fact everyone needs a college degree, even if your 98 years old, willing, wanting and able, go back to school by all means! But don’t emulate the peeps who believe being well read, traveled, educated, and accomplished gives them carte blanche insight into your plight. No one can be you. No one can live your life. No one can see through your exact lens. Yet we all suffer fear, and I find the most fearful are always the most critical and hyper actively eager to scare the pants off you, so watch for these emotional vampires (and yes I have compassion for them too, they’re frightened AF).

So, it’s not for everyone, going ‘public or ‘vocal’ with whatever has gotten out of control in life, or scares you…but it’s important, vital even–without those who are vocal, change would not occur, and no change = no growth = no growth = stagnation, and that equals more fear and subjugation of all, and that dear readers = the decline of the western civilization (and no, I’m not referring to the totally bitchen 80’s documentary on the early punk scene). Again, don’t fear me or what my message is here–not everyone who’s ever suffered with any kind of ailment, situation, victimization, discrimination, has to go public with it or write about it, or handle it the way I (not famous) or others (famous) are, however, with that said, for your own sanity (I use sanity here, for my vocal topic is high functioning Depression and all it’s fun friends) you must do something for your own well being in your own way. Baby steps are always a good place to start, no one’s asking you to run naked down the street screaming “I’m scared to death and not gonna take it anymore!” Well not yet anyway.

 

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(mom 3rd from left, Liz Taylor look a like)

MOM & THE WOMEN’S MOVEMENT

The women’s movement of today has at last given me a glimpse of what the women’s movement of the 60’ and 70’s was about, only now I get the concepts, then it was all style over substance really—being a roughly 7 or 8 year old dyslexic west coast introvert, I synthesized most my info via a furiously divorced mother on the run from her old, out of control life in LA, to the age of non acquiescence in central park. And yes, it made me a nervous wreck. Being a staunchly easy going (lazy), dreamy (weird) California kid where dad was always the fun, patient (just the best dad you could ask for) guy with trips to Disneyland and Busch Gardens (yes, Anheiser Beer had its very own kids amusement park, with rides, in the San Fernando Valley) n’ who flirted with the idea life on a ranch someday would be ours, well man, leaving Los Angeles was a hard sell for a too fast paced, dirty transit, and verbally angry city. New York: I hated it the moment I crossed one of those big fancy bridges (despite the majestic ‘light-bright’ skyline). Plus, the whole thing was set up for failure from the start–our east side apartment (I’d only lived in a house) wouldn’t consider my 13 California cats (we were allowed a fish) suitable housemates.

New York in 1977,  Mom was all up in it. The ex-Broadway showgirl was east coast thru and thru, swore up n’ down she’d channel her hostile energy back in a place that really embraced such female tenacity (toughness) instead of being offended by her strong opinions (LA thought she was a total bitch). I knew she was furious over the gender disparity in Hollywood being a beautiful actress n’ having to put up with creepy producers n’ stuff, but I still didn’t know why the words ‘male chauvinist pig’ came up so often.

Anyway, as far as feminism went, going to New York to explore it’s non legal, women’s lib jurisprudence, was total money as far as mom was concerned–I just had to synthesize my new surroundings which consisted primarily of groups of semi outraged (but super smart) ladies astride crocheted blankets, in a dog dung infested park packed to the gills with steel drums, plumes of reefer, n’ droves of tanners with their weird silver reflector thingies propped under chins in hopes of perfecting the perfect George Hamilton bronze. New York, at that time in my young life, just traumatized the damn pants off me.

So, the revolution as far as I could tell, was really the stripping away of this vacuous female existence, for mom anyway–where being a valley housewife, ‘was supposed to be’ the greatest thing ever—where living only for your man and kids and the perfect (food pyramid) meal was reason to got to ‘Farrel’s Ice Cream Parlor’ and get a banana split cauldron brought to you on a stretcher.  Lest not forget, if you were fortunate or unfortunate to work (mom was still an actress but had dumb little day jobs here and there…”dumb” is a very big word with me in this blog, jus’ is), the ol’ boss chasing the sexy secretary around the desk was not only acceptable, but expected (she ended up marrying one of her dumb part-time bosses actually), n’ depending on what the ol’ guy looked like, that could be either really really good or really really…well, my step dad wasn’t too bad–till he ended up moving out and selling our house years later while I was away for the weekend. Not bitter at all though.

 

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  (mom and Sammy Davis Jr. NO, he never harassed her, it’s just a cool shot)

…n’ this whole sexual harassment Harvey Weinstein fiasco has me in a terrible mood too, just the whole ugliness of what’s gone down, the women who’ve been preyed upon, the old school dudes who thought this type of behavior was just the nature of the Hollywood environment (or perks). I don’t even wanna talk about it, though it needs to be—it’s just so ugly, all of it. I don’t like thinking that people can be as genuinely creepy as their behavior has dictated here, that so much of the ol’ starlet chasing was from an age long ago (like in one of my fav films, I have a few, LA Confidential), and of course, some behaviors infinitely more disturbing than others.

However, we have to be vigilant that in our present quest to level the field and implement true equality, the lines don’t get blurred somehow. The hope, of course, is to make the lines of conduct ‘crystal clear’ and to protect people from basic human affronts, which sexual harassment clearly is. When is normal male to female behavior acceptable and not deemed harassment? Will we all be suspicious of any and all workplace interactions from here on out? I’m already super paranoid, but awesomely easy going as well…talk about an oxymoron. Will all this ‘fallout’ institute a culture where we walk around putting each other “on notice” all day long? I don’t know the answer, maybe yes? No? Not the point? I’m just throwing it out there–yes, I want equal treatment and to feel safe and free from sexual favors for jobs (no duh), but to also NOT live in a fishbowl where one can’t meet someone special at work, maybe fall in love (mutual of course, the unrequited kind sucks), flirt or joke around (innocently, unless you truly do fall in love and run away together, again, mutually, otherwise that would constitute kidnapping), and it not be considered harassment. And I’m married! Maybe we do need to redefine how we relate to one another, that’s evolution in essence. So, yeah, guess I just answered my own question: All gender roles and interactions have to be re-evaluated, re-defined, and then posted on a job site wall just like OSHA does in a factory or something. Oy. Vey.

IMG_5048MY SEXY STORY

I worked as an actress for roughly 12 years, and even though I’d been through your basic run of the mill creep here and there, it wasn’t anything the likes some of these brave women in Media (the brave women not in the media as well), have shared with the world in just the past 12 months. I’d always been kind of proud I’d ‘dodged the bullet’ so to speak, that ol’ grody, $400, diarrhea brown, Jennifer Convertibles, crap leather couch. The casting couch. Originally, I was under the impression the casting couch was a term long buried like the golden age of Hollywood, the one that Marylin Monroe and her sisters alike had to navigate in order to nab a chance at stardom, yeah that couch. The couch she was once quoted to “never have to suck another c—k on again.” A Bed in $10 dollar a night hotel has less mileage than a starlet sofa in 1950.

Okay, the good stuff…you ready for my little story? Onto my nothin’ compared to what we’ve heard from the big names lately audition, where sexual harassment played a part (kinda a funny one), so hold on, the nerve of this jack-ass will ire you or make you laugh, both maybe? But trust me, the spirit behind any sort of harassment to subjugate anyone based on gender is disgraceful and unfunny, so please don’t take my comedic-ness as anything other than me being funny cause I’m depressed so much (anxiety too) I need to lighten it up a bit more.

I’m 22 at the time, ready to “role” (get it), new to professional auditioning, however, I really wasn’t ready; I felt this creepy pressure in the form of “It’s a young beautiful business for, well, the young and beautiful, so you better hit it while young (over 25 too old if not established) or never get in, “never-ever-never-ever…never”. See, spent so many years in theater school getting sorta well, fat, but highly skilled (OK, thick, n’ good enough for a KCET public access show, but who cared about that), working on stage plays having nothing to do with the real world of acting in terms of a film/TV career. I spent years getting thoroughly unprepared, misguided, not to mention emotionally abused, before we were ever to be turned out…burned out.

So I quit theater school with one semester left (after completing what seemed to be fifty million) and hit the pavement. It was a good thing I didn’t have to go too far (traveling made me kinda nervous), I’d lived in North Hollywood most all my life, so my dreams awaited me right over Laurel Canyon.

Found an agent, got silly lookin’ headshots literally the next day, scored two good audition outfits at Marshals (sexy comedy girl, and sexy-model-ninja-assassin-serious…girl) n’ I get this super low-low-low, as in 50 bucks for a 16 hour day (plus a free subway sandwich), not to mention a shoot location almost two hours one way in the middle of nowhere, audition. And a bikini would be required but not provided, for the job…if I booked it. First ever professional theatrical audition.

I was soon deflated. At least the audition itself wasn’t halfway to Fresno, it had the good sense to be right in the heart of things, Sunset blvd. But not the part of Sunset you might of imagined, this was Sunset west of Hollywood High, in a borrowed, broken down insurance office next to a bail-bonds place and by an hourly rate hooker hotel.

Good news was?

It was also across the street from the ‘Rock n’ Roll ‘Ralph’s.’ You know, Ralph’s supermarket! The one on Sunset was super famous for it’s rock-star subculture who frequented the place, n’ If I was lucky, I could have a kick butt audition (one hopefully I did not book cause of the pay, drive, sandwich and dreaded bikini), then run into Guns’ n’ Roses at Ralph’s while buying a post audition Pepsi.  I was pumped.

“Everyone starts somewhere…n’ why does this entry way smell like hobo piss?” I told myself as I climbed the super 70’s rock-wall staircase of the split pea colored ‘tear down’ office building. If the beginning of the joint was that rank, I couldn’t imagine how much worse the rest of it would go. I sure hoped I didn’t have to go the bathroom, a heroin shooting gallery was way more than I could of handled. So you know, Environments really take a toll on me for some reason, it’s kind of a bummer.

Whatever the pee building smelled like, or the potential heroin den I encountered in the john, I had to keep my head on straight; this audition experience was crucial to my development as a professional young actress.

Got to the office suite, opened the crap door with the half rusted off handle, hoping to see other actresses excitedly awaiting their turn to shine or at least talking smack about each other, n’ to my horror, I was all by myself. No receptionist, no one prettier nor uglier, no one to see myself in, no one to commiserate with. What had my brand new C- level agent sent me on?

After 20 minutes of nothing, as in waiting and no one coming out to talk to me, just me by myself hanging out with the not-so muffled sound of Eastern European type yelling coming from behind the audition door (think Tommy Wiseau), some old familiar depressive symptoms started to creep back in: you know, like my self worth issues, deep feelings of lack, no reason to live…that type of stuff. I finally had to get tough, all tough love, like put an immediate stop to the pity party, and you know, bucked up.

Went back to concentrating on the work, which was a good thing. But then made a very bad mistake– checking my reflection in the half melted, heavily warped, buck fifty full length mirror on the wall of this piss flavored insurance/casting suite.

Kelly Simon gun-196“Oh. My. God. What in the HELL?! My dress! No, ME! It—I, well, did we look THIS bad at home?! Was I blind an hour and a half ago or what?!”

 The image being projected back to me caused insta-panick-naseauam and a horrendous cold sweat to suddenly break, and to make it all the worse, my puffy bangs started to frizz from my own humidity.

“Stop it Kelly, you’re going crazy, jus’ crazy…calm down, you have to. I mean, this is a dumb job you don’t even want and I’m no dummy.” And that worked if you can believe it. I’m actually a really effective self talker when I need to be.

Four minutes later I was feeling infinitely better about myself–I’d done a quick method acting dynamic relaxation, got outta my own way, remembered the ‘soul contract’ talk I’d recently had with my friend Paula (we’d been, still are, talking about this topic for years) about people and situations being consistently offered up in our lives in an effort to teach us lessons not previously learned in prior incarnations (I know, you can exclude that part if you want), and you know, I was ready. I was good.

Bravely ready to re-fresh in the fun house mirror, again. So, I teased out my hair even more to counter the new frizz, which was already David Lee Roth to begin with, n’ my new perspective had me even looking not so bad. I actually kinda liked what I saw, I saw Kelly.

Did some positive mantras, more dynamic self talk to my reflection, or like, lied to it effectively enough, n’ got real focused. “Slow deep breath in for 8, hold for 8, exhale for 8.”

Then BAM!

“YES!! HELLO MISSES! COME EEN! YOU READ NOW, RIGHT? THIS EESE YOU?” The highly unattractive-medium-plump casting /producer/writer/editor n’ kraft service guy boomed. I almost fell out of my white pumps he startled me so bad. Plus he had on some kind of Barry Manilow get-up that jarred my senses even further.

“Oh me? Uhhh, yeah,… No, yes! Totally. It’s me, I’m her, Kelly I mean…oh my god, I’m sorry, such a spaz… I’m ready, yes.” I cheerfully answered him followed with another overzealous gesture, my hand to shake. Ugh, dude—you never shake these people’s hands by the way, they’re all afraid to get sick n’ usually get super mad if you put them in such a situation. He didn’t seem to notice though, just turned and basically ran back into his office and left me to follow.

Once inside, he pointed then grumbled something rude having to do with me standing on the blue tape on the ground. To my horror, once again, it was in front of another image reflecting device, only this form came in an effortlessly cheap looking camcorder.

“Ok misses, you any questions? NO? good…Yes, yes, say you name, you agency, homes phone numbers, you age, the height, the weight, OK?” He hammered into me while I adjusted my tight, spandex, chocolate brown rocker dress.

“Wait, my home number?” I sheepishly asked. “My agents info is right there on–.”

He hated that. Started to freak out like a crack-head with no crack, “I CALL YOU ON WEEKEND WITH NOTES! YES?! NOTES IF I WAAAANNNT YOU BAAAACK–OK?! Now let’s go.” He barked and turned on the camera than took a seat at his dumb looking desk.

“Oh…Ok, I guess, sure.” I whispered looking around the gross office with the hundreds of headshots depicting hot girls in bikinis and cervix exposing cocktail dresses pinned to walls and all over the place—models, all models, not actresses. I started to worry.

I think he picked up on my sudden heart-failure, for he stopped the yelling game n’ instead opted for an overly condescending sing-song’y thing, “Come-out-come-out- wherever-you’s-are’s…let’s be ready little girl, no?” He sang, badly.

Of course I couldn’t believe my ears, or eyes for that matter, but I had to do this, I couldn’t get dropped by my C level agent after my first bad audition. Talk about disastrous for my already teetering self esteem problem.

“Yes, you want me to read directly to camera or with you?” The question outraged the beans outta him, again, I mean, I’d never ever read on tape at that point, what the hell did I know? He started to berate me in broken English.

“OK, OK, I’ll read right to you, I’m soooo sorry– kinda new at this? like the tape recorder n’ stuff…sorry.” I trailed off as embarrassed as I could possibly be.

I was asked to slate my name and do a whole little twirly thing for the camera, you know ‘my profiles’ and before I could even complete one full turn he went right into the first line. And then it was over. Super Fast, just like the 3 guys I dated in theater school. What an incredibly unfulfilled feeling too, but I dared not ask to read again. That was another ‘no, no’ in the acting world (even at the D list level), thankfully I knew that.

He fussed around his desk for a minute, wrote some scribble on my headshot and didn’t look up for a quite sometime it seemed. So I thanked him, and turned to leave.

But he caught me off guard with a total attitude change and called out to me to come back.

A surprisingly patient hand waved me over–his head gently shaking with a chuckle from side to side. What was this new found jovial-ness? He was suddenly pleasant as a litter of purring kittens. “Come, come…please, to come here.”

He sensed my uneasiness (good thing too, I was ready to bolt), broke into another big warm smile (I decided to stay) and told me not to worry, just to come to the side of his desk.

“Come, come….” He said purring.

My mind was a blank. Go over to’em, why? I fretted without looking directly in his eyes but just between’em.

His body language indicated he wasn’t gonna wig out or nothing, so I acquiesced– uncomfortably smiled back at him even, n’ I mean, he just sat so damn calmly at his dumb looking desk with it’s fifty thousand water cup stains and bikini model headshots.

And I slowly strode up to the side of the desk, arms wrapped self consciously over my ample boobs, n’ planted myself right where he nodded for me to go then stopped. Yep, my pelvis was fully facing this man who just held my gaze. And he started to laugh, a lot.

What in the hell’s so funny? I mean, did I have a massive booger hanging out my nose? Pepper in my teeth? Was this the moment he was finally gonna fill me in on it? Things really weren’t that hysterical between us from the start, so this was just weird.

“Wow, something’s funny, hope it’s not me.” I said or something like it.

And like it always does in situations regarding this industry, the energy changed as fast a Kauai rain storm—sh&t got real serious. Then he just looked at me. All over. When he was done with that, he slowly leaned his upper body (head attached) towards my squared to him pelvis, his dark brown eyeballs penetrating mine, me starting to sweat truckloads of adrenaline out my pours n’ I felt my teeth even start to chatter slightly (that happens when I’m real deeply nervous, kinda a dead giveaway I’m about to freak out), and I instinctively went to take a step back–but not before he caught me by the hip with a fat handed death grip.

Me: Frozen…like yogurt. I couldn’t move.

Him: Proceeded to ask me goofy questions.

“You good actrees, no? Yes, I think good. Better than good, no? Maybe yes, maybe no?… Haha (insert weird over-the-top-laugh here)…But I haves questions for you here…and I want to know this answer, ok…Ees this you favorite dress? Ees new?! What you like eat, hmmm?.”

“Ummm, uhhhh, I dunno….well…yeah?” I answered back one hundred and fifty percent unsure of myself. He liked my response I could tell, cause he started back with the laughing thing again “hahahahahahahaha”—but for only a few seconds. Then, it happened, the bad part.

As his laughter subsided, his mouth settled into an almost solemn grimace–then he looked mad or something (talk about bipolar) and his hand went from just ‘on’ my hip, slid a few inches down, not all the way to my ass, but right above it–and grabbed even harder if you can believe it, onto a big, giant, squishy handful of flank. My. Big. Fat. Flank—or Muffin top, and squeezed the holy cream cheese outta it.

I yelped, of course I did, who wouldn’t, it kinda hurt, but that didn’t stop him, he mulled me, ‘it’, around between his fingers while making the most ‘thinky confused face you ever saw in your whole entire life. Clearly this part of my body mystified the man to no end.

Frozen, still. Oh. My. God. This ain’t happening…dude.

My first real audition for some ultra low-low-low-extra-low budget flick, had me not only nervous, bummed about the job, upset with place, and now utterly fat shamed and humiliated as well…and most likely sexually harassed, didn’t know. It didn’t stop there, after he grabbed onto my fat flank and kneaded it into baking dough, he spoke about it like it was a cancerous tumor needing immediate removal.

“WHAaaahhhhT IS THEESE?!” SOOOOO alarmed he was, amazing reaction.

“Whattya mean?” I stupidly asked walking into his punch.

“THEESE! THEESE EES SO BIG! I CANNOT BELIEVE! SKINNY LEGS, SKINNY ARMS, BIG FAT THEESE! I CANNOT USE….NO! We can’t use…” He went on with his incredulous blah blah blah, jus’ wouldn’t stop. “KERRY (got my name wrong, too), you GOOD, but theese BAD!”

Scrambling for something to say, or comeback to his deplorable decent rights behavior violation, if there is such a thing. I told him off…nicely of course.

“What’s what? OMG, That’s called runners butt, don’t you know? It’s muscle, like it’s just from running and I teach aerobics? You know…like running n’ stuff….”

Boy did that sound stupid, runners butt. Yes there’s such thing, but I most certainly did not have it.

Didn’t matter, my explanation really seemed to do the trick, or turn him on or something weird. I had to make something up, I was easily 15 pounds overweight from stuffing my pie hole in fat-fat-the-water-rat theater college with these Asian ‘Betsy rolls’ we all used to buy at the Korean bakery up the street. And the fat-shaming bastard must a been all up in it, cause he proceeded to ask me out to dinner. Oh yes he did.

“Wait, what? You want me to go to dinner with YOU? Uhhhh—that’d be a no?” I told him somewhat incredibly amused but sad as hell, I mean, I was real caught off guard by his whole bait n’ switch routine.

“Eh, let’s go! Come come…you just loose theese thing, we have good times.” He said encouragingly.

“Ummm…that’d still be a NO. But thanks.”

As I walked back to my car mulling over whether I still had it in me to run into G & R or Motley Crew at the ‘Rock n’ Roll Ralphs’, I made peace with the way I looked. That low budget creeps ideal of what beauty looked like didn’t interest me at all, didn’t even want the stupid job…till I got in my car, cried my eyes out, then went on to loose 27 pounds to the point I was considered too skinny for everything. Of course that led to a two year battle with anorexia and bulimia, but I recovered. However, never forgot the scar the incident left etched on my soul. Literally. Now I just tattoo over the parts of my body I hate. There are no accidents, no experiences I don’t learn something from, and this one taught me to be a more compassionate person. But less fat and I hate that.

 

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