This was taken at the peepshow early in 2013. The name of this yoga pose is Sirsasana A, or headstand, in English.
I first did this move/pose on the pole at the strip club I worked at previous to the peepshow. Once I was upside-down, I’d use the sharp heels of my shoes to drag my fishnet stockings down my legs (right foot took down left stocking, left foot/right stocking). It was the only thing I did at the stripclub that came close to being special (or at least it felt special to me, no one else did it). It seems like nothing, compared to the ridicu-mazing things I’ve seen done on the pole, but this was the move that got me hired at the peepshow. The manager was so impressed with it that he didn’t even notice that I forgot to take off my top. I was so nervous, that I forgot to strip during my audition to be a stripper. Yoga to the rescue. Again. And not for the last time, unbeknownst to me.
Yoga has been with me for a long time, and tonight I took my RYT-200 certification exam (Registered Yoga Teacher, 200 hours). I feel pretty conflicted about the whole thing. Please don’t confuse what I say in this blog with me being unhappy about completing a super-intense training program, I’m the opposite. I’m proud of myself for completing it, and happy to give my mother something to be proud of me for, after so long without anything that didn’t require explaining/justifying/qualifying/searching for the goodness. I also understand the nature of change, and grief, and how difficult it is. I am currently in the upset resistance phase, not the content acceptance one.
I love yoga, both for body and mind benefits, and am looking forward to teaching, but I have a backup plan now, which I never wanted. It means something terribly shameful to me, it says that I’m aware and accepting of the very real possibility that things won’t work out the way I want in my chosen profession, largely due to my own fear of failure/success, I’m sure. I’m having trouble with that. I’ve always taken solace in my potential as a comic, or the illusion of it. Now I’m stagnant from fear of rejection, the fear that all the bookers who didn’t think I was good enough in 1999 still won’t. I’m better, but they won’t see it, because I’ve changed, I’ve grown, but they haven’t. I guess I felt like having to hustle at shitty throwaway side jobs would somehow help me get my “comedy career” (yep, it’s sunk to the low point of using quotation marks) back on track by creating enough discomfort to dislodge me from the fear-paralysis, into action. It worked once while I was waitressing in Kansas City, but it hasn’t worked with stripping, and I can list a million reasons why, most of which would make you roll your eyes right out of your head.
For me, there’s a certain amount of fantasy involved in “making it” (after being discovered at a Woolworth’s soda counter after taking a time-machine back to 1957, I must assume, bc I have no other leads on being seen by anyone who could/would help me) and having the triumphant “you can do it, too!” tale to tell of stripper-to-success, of making terrible decisions from the heart, not the head, leading to horrible outcomes and still turning it all around to end up on top, beloved, smiling and paying my bills fully and on-time. Contrived to inspire, that’s me. A life made difficult for the story, perhaps.
I look at this photo, and I remember how happy I was that day. I remember how oddly content I was at the peepshow, the first year (though I’d have protested that statement at the time). It was easy, it was distracting, it was a security blanket, but like the ones that the Pilgrims gave the Indians. Functional for wrapping up in to keep warm, but full of sickness that is contagious as fuck. That’s the blanket I’ve used as my fort for a lifetime, which is frustrating, because my logical brain knows better. Unfortunately, my fantastical brain, that romantic daydream imagination space found inside the fort, always feels like a less confrontational place to hang-out. It really grew out of control, like killer ivy in a horror movie that hasn’t been made yet. It developed big muscles from all the exercise it got. It grew much more dominant than the cold, minimalist prison-cell-esque room where logic lives. That big asshole imagination of mine was impressionable and grew up big and strong and delusional from watching too many movies with victorious music during the credits. It imprinted on my soul the belief that fictional happy endings are possible in reality. That breakdancing really can save the rec center. That Samantha could really end up kissing Jake over a birthday cake, that Blaine would actually find Andie special/unique/unforgettable enough to stand up to his rich teenage dickhole social group for her love. It’s always about Molly Ringwald or breakdancing with me, I can’t explain it, sorry, just another character flaw…
One of my favorite quotes ever is from Oscar Wilde, “We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars.”. Those stars are mermaids, luring my boat onto the rocks with songs of being important, significant, recognized for contributing something that will outlast my corporeal body. I made an effort to do more than look, to make something impactful out of it, to share my human experience, and all my effort sits in hard drives collecting dust, while I try to avoid doing the same, because what I have in unique ideas, I lack in tangible resources. When I first moved to LA, my friend Tim told me that success comes when you’ve given up on it. He said that “Flo” from the Progressive commercials had her car packed to move back to wherever she came from, and at that moment of letting go of her dream, she got the part.
Not much disgusts me with myself more than my own inability to kill the little bean in my head that believes in these fairy tales, in happy endings. It’s what we all want, I think, it’s just that “happy” is such a subjective word. Personally, I want my motherfucking fantastical happy ending, not just an acceptable one patched together from all these goddamned silver linings.And to quote Shakespeare, like assholes always do, “Aye, there’s the rub”