Wednesday, March 11, 2009

On the road again... geographically & professionally

Thursday, February 26, 2009

I was a white girl in a white jacket on the E train to Queens. I was going to catch the Air Train to JFK. Just once I’d like to get on the subway and not see a hot steamy pile of throw up on the floor, and have to shuffle off to Buffalo to avoid stepping in it. Now I’m on the plane headed to Oakland, California to visit my friend. I’m flying JetBlue and I’m about to start my fourth hour of
Law & Order: SVU. Life is good.

A few weeks ago I started teaching Pilates... It’s crazy because I don’t know what I’m doing. I started training in October, and I hear myself explaining and instructing but I have no idea if I’m making it up or not. Why do people assume that I know more than I do? I don’t. Trust me. I’m teaching both at a studio in Brooklyn as well as a gym on the upper east side.

I gave one client a private session in her upper west side apartment last week because she said she had her own reformer (Pilates piece of equipment). The reformer was from 1994, and she bought it off of the TV. It looked like a Medieval torture machine; metal against metal, frayed and knotted ropes and a foot bar that was a steel pipe. Oh, goody. When she pulled it out, the look on my face said it all. It was a piece of shit and I didn’t want to work on it.

When she asked me what I thought. I said that her reformer was like the Bronx and the ones that I work on in the studio are like Aruba. What? It just came out. I didn’t even know this woman and here I am talking to her like she was my best friend. She said, “Well, the Bronx isn’t so bad.” I choked on the foot that was lodged in my throat. “Oh, no, yeah, right. I know. My family is from the Bronx.” What a great first impression. I see a bright future ahead.
And the insults continue.

I called another client a load, indirectly of course, while she was laying down on the reformer. I was explaining the springs on the machine, in relation to their resistance, and said, “This is a load.” I was referring to the machine not her. Of course she HAD to be a wee overweight. As it was coming out of my mouth I knew I was going to have to tap dance my way out of it. But the more I talked, the more I sounded like an idiot. I eventually dropped it.

During the session, I said something (one sentence max) in a British accent, just for fun. Sometimes I forget where I am or what I’m doing and act too familiar too soon. We chatted after the session and she said, “You know what it’s like to be creative, being an actress and all.” Huh? How the hell did she know? For a split second I felt like a celebrity. I was sure, or rather hoped, that she’d seen my short film online or my 30 seconds of air time on the Sci-Fi pilot, UFO Hunters. “How did you know that I was a ‘performer’. I still can’t own the title Actor. She said,”Because you did a British accent.” Not for nothing but can’t everyone do a British accent? Whatev.

Another client was a sweet 71 year old woman. I am in no position to work on an overweight, (larger than the load lady) 71 year old. Who the hell do I think I am. I was scared. I stood by the reformer and held my breath as I watched her crawl onto the machine. I didn’t know if she would fit. I kept thinking, what am I going to say if she doesn’t fit and her thighs and waist are hanging off of the sides of the machine? This wasn’t covered in my classes. But she did fit and every time I gave her words of encouragement, she’d say, “God bless you.” Meanwhile, anytime I did something like drop a strap or miscalculate the amount of springs to use, I was all, “Oh, dear lord”, or “Oh, my God.” It’s not quite taking the lord’s name in vain, like if I’d said, “Jesus fucking Christ”, which I sadly enough I often do, but I still felt like I was dissing her religious beliefs.

I knew it was bound to happen but no one can really prepare you for it. And it’s not something that’s covered in class either. One of my client’s had some kind of hoo-hoo odor going on. The thing is, Pilates includes a lot of laying down, and for some movements, legs are spread eagle. It was a first, and I’m hoping it’ll be the last. Clients are also either barefoot, or wearing socks. I’m seeing some of the gnarliest feet this side of the Mississippi. And ladies, please, if you wear work out pants that show your legs, have some compassion and shave. Save the nature girl routine or the European shit for someone else. I saw a woman in one of the group classes at the studio and I thought my eyes were playing tricks on me. She had the longest, darkest and fullest armpit hair I had ever seen... and that includes the chimps in the zoo. And while we’re on the subject. I’d prefer it if women spot check before they come see me and pluck that one stray black chin hair... or put it in a scrunchy. I don’t need to be training Foo Man Chu. How can you not see that?

Not only do I have a fear of hurting someone but what happens if I train a male client and they get hard? I’m not tooting my own horn, it’s just that I touch when I work with a client, and, well, what do I do? Do I ignore the hard on? Do I look at the hard on and chuckle knowingly? Or do I run screaming from the room?

Switching gears... good time for a bathroom break.
It’s almost been a year since I’ve cut my hair. I want to see how long it gets but right now the ends feel like the Scarecrow’s ass. I sit at my desk and cut the split ends when I’m supposed to be writing, or studying and space out. I’m thinking that if I keep it up, I’ll eventually give myself a haircut.

I saw a woman in the subway the other day that was dressed to the nine’s. It was an odd visual. If you can afford a Louis Vuitton bag, a Burberry coat and scarf, Chanel ballet flats, bling bling on your fingers and in your ears, and you’re pregnant, why in the name of all things good and holy, are you taking the subway? I have to, but you. I find it hard to believe that you take the subway because you can’t get enough of the march of the city rats and the sweet aroma of eau de ass.

I went to a party at a restaurant Saturday night and met a couple of women writers. One of the women is a sometime dancer/performer and freelance journalist. How come she gets to have both? Hate her. She’s also a published author. Hate her even more. She wrote a book about relationships. I dislike those advice books. Most of the time the women who write them are either in dysfunctional relationships or not in any relationship at all, and I’m supposed to take their advice? The fact is, nobody knows anything about relationships, the opposite sex or what movies will be a hit at the box office. I told one of the women writers that I was working on a nonfiction humor memoir and she asked me what the title was.

“Right now it’s called, An American Broad, Abroad.” She said she liked it, shaking her bobble head approvingly. Another party guest joined us and the topic of book titles came up and bobble head took it upon herself to blurt out my title as, “A Broad Abroad.”
To which I replied, “No, that’s not it. It’s An American Broad Abroad.
She continued, “Oh, but A Broad Abroad is so much snappier and catchier.”
I sneered at her.
“Okay, whatever. That one works too.”
Who the fuck asked you. Then I made the mistake of asking her if she’d ever been in a book club. I’m always interested to hear how other writer’s work. She literally turned her nose up and rolled her eyes.
“Wow, you didn’t have to turn your nose up.”
“Really, I didn’t think I turned my nose up.”
“Well, when you’re head tilts back and I can see your brain through your nostrils, I’m kind of thinking that your nose is turned up.”
The conversation, if you can call it that, ended with an annoying giggle. Hers, not mine.
Six straight hours of SVU. Not a record but respectable.

No comments: