Monday, May 14, 2012

Take it Off

When I first moved to Los Angeles I took an acting class that I like to call the Porn Acting Class.  While I appreciate the lessons I learned about my classmates’ personal grooming habits (including the recommendation for an excellent waxer who I still use to this day), it’s not entirely clear how simulating sex with one of my classmates was supposed to make me a better actor.  I know how to fake an orgasm.  What I don’t know is how to fake cry.

I had no idea what I was getting into when I signed up for the class.  The only thing I knew is that the teacher had worked with lots of famous people, so naturally, I assumed I would be the next movie star birthed from this class.  I handed over my $800 for four weeks of classes and proceeded to dream of the career in motion pictures I was embarking on.  In hindsight, the fact that the class cost more than my rent probably should’ve dissuaded me, but I knew how to sign my name on a Visa receipt, which is how mature, adult women destined for greatness pay for everything. 

At first, I was totally into the class.  My fellow students seemed to be really talented and passionate about their art.  I didn’t love that the class was two nights a week, but I figured I had to sacrifice some of my drinking time if I wanted to be successful.   But then two of my female classmates performed a scene from Bound.  It started off fine, but all of the sudden they were both naked and pretending to go down on each other.  I looked around at my fellow classmates.  Did no one else think this was strange?  Apparently, they were jaded Hollywood actors who had seen it all before.  And I do mean all.  When the scene ended everyone applauded and the two actresses calmly put on bathrobes and proceeded to sit down in front of the teacher to receive feedback.  I don’t remember if they received a good review or not.  I was too traumatized by the fact that I’d paid $800 to see something I could’ve watched on Cinemax for free (thanks to my introductory cable package). 

Over the following months I saw blow-jobs, anal sex, a scene about strippers where twelve of my classmates stood around naked and smoked cigarettes, and one truly unforgettable scene that included bondage.   Initially, I assumed that my classmates had an exhibitionist streak about them, but then the teacher assigned me a scene from Nine ½ Weeks.  For those of you who have never seen the aforementioned film, it stars Mickey Rourke (when he was still attractive) and Kim Basinger, and it mostly involves them having sex with produce.  Needless to say, there isn’t a lot of dialogue.  Unsure of how this was supposed to deepen my acting abilities, I asked the teacher to please elucidate exactly why he wanted me to perform the famous striptease scene.  I explained that I did that kind of stuff all the time for the random strangers I picked up at bars, but I didn’t feel comfortable doing it in front of people I actually knew.  I also pointed out that this was acting class, and that Crazy Girls was just a few miles up the road.  Apparently, he didn’t appreciate my questioning his intentions, so he told me I was impertinent and untalented and that I was no longer welcome in his class.  And then he had one of his favorite actresses (read: did a lot of naked scenes) escort me to the door.

I guess, in the end, I wasn’t passionate enough about my art to take off my clothes just because some old, horny dude told me it would make me a better actress.  What can I say, I believe if you’re going to take your clothes off in front of more than one person, you should at least be getting dollar bills thrown at you.  

Thursday, May 3, 2012

What's in a Name?

I, apparently, have some special affinity for last names that no one can pronounce.  I already changed my name once, years ago, the minute I turned eighteen and was legally able to ditch the name of my ne’er do well Father.  After growing up with a last name that, despite being spelled R-U-D-D, was constantly mispronounced “rude”, I swore that I would never again be saddled with a name that rhymed with anything offensive or that people couldn’t pronounce right.  When I came up with Lane, I knew that was my name.  It was easy to spell, no one would mangle it, and there wasn’t some other bitch in SAG using the name “Anna Lane”.  It was my name wet dream and I have no regrets about it.  I do, however, regret the tattoo of a butterfly I got on my ass later that same year. 

When I started dating my Husband and discovered that if he were to make an “honest woman” of me, I’d once again be stuck with some crappy last name, I hesitated.  Sure, I loved the guy, but was I willing to spend my life named after a part of my va-jay-jay?

That’s right, the Hubby’s last name is spelled H-E-Y-M-A-N, but most people look at it and somehow get the word “hymen”.  I hope that his ancestors are appreciative of this close adherence to the pronunciation of a made-up last name given to them by some clerk at Ellis Island who obviously had no knowledge of the female anatomy.  I’m sure the clerk’s wife, however, was extremely unappreciative of her clueless husband.

While for the most part I do think I make a pretty good showing in the wife department, on the issue of changing my name I really can’t be swayed.  Because if I were, as my Mother likes to say, a really good wife, I would be walking around town being addressed as “Mrs. Hymen”.  While I always dreamed of marrying a Nice Jewish Boy, I was hoping for one with a last name more along the lines of Greenberg or Katz (I was also kind of hoping he would be a doctor, but no luck on either of these, unfortunately).

Thankfully, the Hubby is a modern man who happens to be unconcerned with his wife’s last name.  I suppose he figures that as long as I take my meds and I’m not sleeping around, whatever last name I use is the least of his problems.  Or maybe it’s that he still hasn’t quite lived down the humiliation of being called “Hymen” for most of his formative years.  I always tell him to look on the bright said; his first name could’ve been Seymour.  

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