Monday, May 21, 2012

how to deal with having the face of New Jersey

My entire life I've been a generally confident person, if being loud can directly translate to a person's level of confidence. Nothing about me ever pointed toward "wallflower." For instance, take my hair. Large and unavoidable. While currently my hair is blonde and I often try to tame the fro, I grew up with a huge head of brunette curls. So big that this black boy in middle school named Demetrius asked me in sixth grade, 

"You black?" 

To which I responded, "No."

To which he responded, 

"You got a lil' somethin' somethin' in you though."

Oh Demetrius, I do, you wise-beyond-your-years boy. 

So my hair went with my voice which is as loud as my hair is big. 

Google image: "big loud hair." Except this girl has way better boobs than I do and great teeth. Anyway...

My point is that I know I'm a certain kind of girl. There are girls with little wrists and feet, and there are girls like me; who don't know how to be quiet and wear size 9 shoes. To read about my size 9 feet pride, click here.

I know I'm more in the class of girls who are bordering on being obnoxious and usually are obnoxious, but like to think of it as a certain level of charm. I know I'm not afraid to look ridiculous for a laugh and I know things like cooking, decorating, style, and general self-maintenance do not come natural for me. SO WHAT IF I DON'T WASH MY HAIR EVERY DAY? SO WHAT IF I WEAR MEN'S SOCKS AND NEVER MATCH THEM? 

With all this being said, I found myself last week sitting in a room full of actors....

I know, I had the same reaction. Even though I studied acting in school and hope to be able to make money off acting one day, I still get really, REALLY freaked out being in a room full of actors. But I also really, REALLY wanted to take this commercial class I'm currently in. And I love it. It's great. Our teacher is LeGiT~* (see what I did there, went back to middle school typing, love it, aafnmwead)

So the first exercise we did in this class is everyone gets up and we type them. We basically just shout out what we think they are in the commercial world. "Best friend!" "Car commercial!" "Nurse!" Stuff like that. Descriptions based only off our look. A little nerve-wracking, right? This is like every 13 year old girl's worst nightmare. Also 22 year old's. And probably just every person in general.

So I am one of the last to go up because we are doing it by seating. Lots of girls get up and lots of these girls are really cute, which by that I mean every girl is really cute. I'm one of the youngest in my class, or actually maybe the youngest, but you'd never know it. I'll save you the descriptions everyone got and skip to the girl right before me. She gets things like, "Sweet!" "Adorable best friend sorority sister!" "Someone you can trust!" "New bride!" "Pretty college girl!" "Yoga student." We all generally giggle and she sits down. 

Then I get up.

Now to preface this, I tried really hard to look nice y'all. I wore my hair down, did my makeup, even wore a dress. I'm feeling confident. 

I sit down. The class begins.


This is the first thing someone shouts. I sit there, not sure how to react. Immediately I want to cry a little, and then laugh, and then I remember thinking, "I can't wait to put this in my 30 minute scripted single camera  comedy one day that I will write, produce and be in."


Freaking New Jersey.

Of course I'm offended. I brush it off, get a slew of other descriptions which include, "fast food" "sweet" "heartland" "riding a horse" (what da freak? IT LOOKS LIKE I'VE MILKED SOMETHING RECENTLY I GUESS) 

So it's two weeks later, and I'm over being mad about it and now, the more I think of it, the more it makes sense. And you know what? I'm proud. I'm proud because even though little weirdos like Snooki come out of Jersey, so do other things that are much more wonderful. Like, the beach. I'm not talking guido beach, I'm talking the cute, wonderful, old-timey feel of New Jersey's Ocean City and Stone Harbor and Cape May and Wildwood.

Have you ever been to the shops at Cape May? Or how about that sunset at Cape May point? OR riding bikes in Wildwood as the July sun showers you? That feeling that you get from lying in the sun all day, the salty-stickiness of the ocean water clinging to your hair, the crunchy feel of a sun-burnt nose. The wonderful laziness of a summer night, retreating to the beach house with bare feet, getting ice-cream on the boardwalk and holding hands with someone nice and laughing with friends. 


And having a face that reminds people of New Jersey makes sense since I'm from Philly, and I'm proud of being from the East Coast. I'm proud of my Philadelphian blood. And New Jersey is great. It gave me so many wonderful things.

Like tons of family vacations where I never wanted to leave. Walking along the shore with my mom that one time it was just her and I and we decided to sneak away from everything for a few days and go down to the beach together. We collected sea-shells and talked about how one day I'd make it and I'd make sure she finally got the beach house she always wanted. (Mom, I'm still holding onto this and don't plan on letting it go). 

And that time when I couldn't find Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire anywhere and it was summer and I was with my family walking around in Cape May, desperately searching each store. And then there, in a store with birdcages and garden gems, I found it - a lone, random, out-of-place book display with a dozen copies of the Goblet of Fire. I remember sitting on the beach, devouring page after page of a book that was part of a series that quite literally, changed my life.

New Jersey reminds me of my grandpop. He passed away when I was in 8th grade, but he is one of the most important people in my life. I remember all the times my Grandmom and Grandpa packed my cousins, sisters and I up in their van and we trekked to the Jersey shore. How my Grandpop, Angelo Marchesani (a true South Philly Italian musician) would sit on his lawn chair wearing corduroy pants and an old letterman like jacket, big glasses and newsie hat to match and watch the ocean waves crash into one another. No matter how hot it was, he always wore this outfit. New Jersey reminds me of him.

New Jersey reminds me of my high school boyfriend and how great high school relationships can be. New Jersey reminds me of my friends, lying next to Laura and Jeane and realizing how rare it is to find people you can be your truest self around. 

Listen, New Jersey is great. Somehow this turned into a love letter to Jersey. But it's almost June and summer is coming and I'm so far from everyone I love. And I'm feeling a little nostalgic and homesick for the familiarity of the summer I know. California you're glamorous and wonderful and strange in your own way, but you're not the Jersey Shore. You're not Rita's Waterice, you're not Wawa coffee in the morning, you're not two-hour drives from Philly to the beach, you're not everything wonderful and special about the East Coast. 

So you know what? Having a face that reminds someone of New's not really so bad at all. 

....I couldn't resist.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Frequently Asked Questions That No One Ever Asks Me Part II

Here are some more frequently asked questions that no one ever asks me....ENJOY!!!!!!!!

* * * 
F.A.Q.   T.N.O.E.A.M. P. II.

You're so good at being unable to control giggling in awkward situations. What's your secret?

The key is having the opposite of self-control and the maturity of a ten year old! So when you have to speak in front of a lot of people and all of a sudden you can't stop laughing, just indulge in it! You'll be the coolest gal around. AND THAT'S A PROMISE!

How do you find time to tweet as much as you do?

It's super easy and takes a certain level of social detachment, but I believe with the right amount of social networking addiction, anyone can do it! I like to tweet all the time. I feel that tweeting what's happening instead of actually experiencing what's happening gives me an elevated sense of humanity. I also like saying phrases like "elevated sense of humanity" to mask the fact that I don't really know what that means. 

You're always so scatterbrained and frantic! How do you manage to get, well, in general?

 I like to think of my nervous ticks as "endearing" rather than just "end" "dearing" which I would interpret to mean so strange they would end a dear's life. Like, isn't it SO cute when I drop all my belongings because all of a sudden my hands stopped working? Or how just ADORABLE is it when I spaz because I think a bee is in my unusually large hair? See?!?! It's just so great.

Sometimes you just eat so much for a girl!!!


Celebrity you want to spoon with?


What's your advice for young girls like you, who spend way too much time listening to the Newsies Broadway soundtrack while grappling with the reality that in fact, they'll never be Beyonce?

I'd say never is a strong word! There's nothing wrong with jamming out to some badass harmonies. And you know what? Sure, I'm not Beyonce but I am working on my hair flip and dance moves and pretty soon no one will know the difference between Beyonce and myself. Not even Jay-Z. Watch out Hove, I'm comin' for ya.

One Direction or Justin Bieber?

How can you ask such a cruel question.

Best way to make people think you care about the real news and not gossip websites?

Good question! Make sure you follow things like Drudge Report, NY Times, Huff Post, Politico on twitter and retweet something every once in awhile. Voila! You might as well have minored in Political Science for all anybody knows. Bwhahaha.

One last parting question. When you're having a bad day, what's your go-to pick me up?

I just remind myself I'm not responsible for the Twilight franchise and I feel SO much better. Also, emotionally eating is great and super mentally healthy, probably, I think.

* * * 

For Frequently Asked Questions That No One Ever Asks Me Part I, ch-ch-check it out:

Monday, May 14, 2012

things i would love right now

This Kitten.

I really think having a kitten would solve a lot of my issues Having a bad day at work? Wouldn't matter because I'd know this little lovebug was waiting to cuddle with me at home. In a bad mood because I passed that horrid Wells Fargo logo as I drove home? Wouldn't matter because the minute I looked into those big, adorable eyes all traces of cringe-worthy red and yellow and that Godforsaken carriage would be erased out of my mind. 

SIDE NOTE: Have you seen the Wells Fargo logo? What idiot sat there in an office and said, "Yes. Exactly. We should definitely have this branded for our company." Ugh. So gross! 

The Ability to Levitate A Little

I dream of levitating a little bit off the ground. It would be so cool. To just hover a quarter inch above the ground, gliding away from creepers and strange coyotes when I'm hiking -- I'd never be scared again! It wouldn't be a big enough thing to notice so I wouldn't become a freak show or something, it would just be so convenient. Sure, I'd probably ending up looking like a human from WALL-E because I wouldn't know how to adequately use my lower limbs anymore, but still. Imagine how impressive and wonderful it'd be to just levitate a little off the ground. 

An English Accent

Wanna bump up the cozy factor in your life by like, A BAZILLION?!! Having an English accent automatically makes you cozier, sweeter and more attractive. I could say things like, "Mum, I think I'll buy myself a new jumper!" Or "Goodness I'm knackered." Or "Did you hear who so-and-so snogged yesterday?!" NEAT!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I wonder how many English people I've made roll their eyes just now? 


Random thought that just popped in my head: I love good eyebrows. 

* * * 

On a different note I am running on four hours of sleep.............................WHICH MAKES ME THINK AS I LISTEN TO 'INTO THE WILD' BY LP THAT JEEZE, AREN'T FIDDLES SO GREAT? I love a good fiddle solo. 


Wednesday, May 2, 2012

into the wild

Sometimes it is so easy to forget where we've come from and only continually look at where we think we're going. There are moments when I need to simply stop, breathe, and be grateful. This past weekend a dear friend of mine, Emily, was in LA and I was lucky enough to spend some time with her! Emily is one of my good friends from NYU. She is a cozy kinda lady. She's the kind of friend you drink tea with or have brunch or watch Woody Allen movies and laugh and she's basically the best. During the time I was able to spend with her we had a really amazing and encouraging conversation. We were talking about how it is really easy to feel discouraged about where your career is going in the film industry. It's easy to see what other people are doing that we graduated with and feel bitter at their success. But then Emily asked me to think about where I was exactly one year ago. And one year ago I was living at home in Philadelphia working at a deli. I had just graduated NYU and was saving every penny I made to move out here to LA where I didn't know anyone, didn't have anything but my faith in God and my dreams. And to think that now I'm here living in Los Angeles. I am slowly buidling somewhat of a home here. It blows my mind every single day.

I don't know why it's so easy to get consistently consumed with the things of this world. And somedays it's like, I really get it. I'm reading my bible everyday, I feel close to God, I'm getting strength from Scripture....and then all it takes is one bad week to knock everything down. One comment from someone that discourages me and it's all I can dwell on. One day when I wake up and hate the way I look and suddenly all I see when I go anywhere are all the pretty, skinny LA girls with their cool clothes and even cooler attitudes and I'm full of jealousy and annoyance at myself. And then I start thinking about finances and power and success and relationships and all my friends with boyfriends and do you see how it just gets to be SO much? WHY IS MY BRAIN LIKE A FREAKING TELEVISION ON CRACK. I can't be the only one that feels like this sometimes.

When I start to feel like this I usually do something that makes me feel good or familiar. So since this was kind of a rough week, the other day I went to one of my favorite coffee shops where they sell the most delicious vegan double chocolate chip cookies. NOW HOLD ON JUST A MINUTE! I know what you're thinking. "NINA! How dare you! VEGAN?!" I knowwwww. I know. But listen. It tastes GOOD. It's nothing to do with the Vegan-ness of it all. Rest assured hometown of Philadelphia, LA health has not broken me yet!

Back to my point.

So I go to this cafe. I get my cookie. I read some Harry Potter & the Chamber of Secrets. And I slowly feel peace. I pray. I sit with God and just let it wash over me that I am alive and blessed and everything will be okay. I think a lot of a bad week has to do with being homesick. I miss the familiarity of my sisters and my mom and my cat and my home. Of late spring back home, of getting Rita's Waterice and walking around Swarthmore and sitting in those over-sized chairs they have on Swarthmore College's campus. Of being with Melanie and Jeane and Laura, best friends that have known me since I didn't even really know myself, when weekends were spent laughing together in Laura's barn, or watching Titanic and crying together. These are friendships I will carry with me forever. Friendships where you don't have to try. The closeness of friends before there were boyfriends and college and people moving away. I love all of these things and remembering where I came from helps me to appreciate where I'm going.

"Years are ridiculously short and minutes can be relentlessly long and failures can seem eternal. I have known it, the mornings that I have struggled to get out of bed, the days when I’ve fumed about all that is wrong in them and me and the world: When we fixate on the worst in something, we render ourselves incapable of fixing anything. But attend to the good in something — and we act towards the best in everything."
--Ann Voskamp

Homegirl speaks truth.