I had a recent 30-hour road trip that was a complete shit show from beginning to end. Sometimes I get work as an extra on TV shows and movies. It’s pleasurable because I make money, meet interesting/ridiculous people and get to add to my “acting” resume. I wanted to check out Atlanta since there are so many shows filming there that I love. I finally got booked for a TV show and was available to go. It was only a one-day shoot and not much money, but I decided to try it out. The call time was 3pm so I left my house about 9am since there’s a one-hour time change. First off, my tires were low and I couldn’t get them filled at the gas station. Maybe my hands were just too cold, but it wasn’t working. Screw it. I filled up with gas and went inside to find something fit for human consumption. I decided on an extra large coffee, oatmeal and water. The coffee and oatmeal went in my cup holders. About 10 minutes down the road I noticed my cup holders were running over with coffee. My cup had a hole. I gulped down the coffee, blotted it up with an entire box of tissues stolen from a motel, and realized a loose earring was stuck in the bottom of the cup. Ughhh. In all the commotion I moved the oatmeal and sat it on top of my duffel bag. Now that the coffee was cleaned up I looked over and saw the oatmeal dumped out onto my laptop. Son of a B—–! I pulled over to clean up the oatmeal and thankfully the quilted laptop sleeve kept it safe. I ate a few bites of oatmeal before realizing I didn’t stir it all the way so there were only huge chunks of dried peaches at the bottom. Gross.
Two hours into the drive I was stopped for traffic. It didn’t take too long to get around, but once I got up to the scene of the accident I looked over to see it was an overturned jackknifed SUV pulling an RV. Scary! Even worse, alongside the interstate were a dozen cages filled with PUGS! I’m a huge pug lover and active in pug rescue (yes they need to be rescued, they can’t survive in the wild!), so I hopped on the Facebook and posted on the National Pug Rescue page. All the pug lovers swooped into action to find out where the pugs were going and turned out they were part of a TV show for FOX and on their way home. They’re all okay.
I finally got to the check-in site without a minute to spare. It was 3pm and all I had eaten was half a gas station oatmeal cup. Guess what, there was no craft services table! So hungry. Luckily another extra donated a Cliff bar to my stomach. We filmed our scenes until about 10pm and I decided I was too tired to drive back to Nashville. Another female comic said it would be okay for me to spend the night, and told me about a show where I could still get some stage time. The bar was called “Hole in the Wall” so I looked it up to make sure I wasn’t going to a bad part of town in Atlanta. I saw there was a Trader Joe’s right next door so I felt more than safe. “I’ll be the scariest person there. I guess that’s where people go to drink when Trader Joe’s is out of Almond Butter. What do you mean there’s a two-jar limit?” Yep, those were my jokes. The only problem was I hadn’t planned on spending the night, and the only clothes I had were workout clothes for the filming. I searched in my trunk through a bag of clothes that were meant to be dropped off at Goodwill, but they were all summer clothes. That tell you how long they were in my trunk. No luck, I had to wear my leggings and racer back tank to do standup in front of strangers in a smoky bar.
My friend Elise met up with me. She’s a great comic living in Atlanta and everyone should check her out. She’s opening up for Dave Atelle all weekend at the Atlanta Punchline. I put her address into my GPS and we headed to her house to retire for the evening. I didn’t even think to check the zip code and ended up in the suburbs. All of Atlanta’s streets have the same names, and all related to peach trees. I got her correct address and headed over. She warned me there was a long and scary driveway. It WAS a very long and dark and scary driveway…about a mile long in fact. I pulled up to the house, which turned out to be a mansion. There weren’t any lights on and I texted her, “I’m here”. “No you’re not,” she responded. I had turned in one house too early and had been sitting in front of a stranger’s mansion at midnight with my brights on. No big Deal. I finally made it to her house, got settled on the couch, and spent 30 minutes figuring out how to turn on the TV.
I planned on getting up early, going to IKEA and getting home before rush hour traffic. What actually happened was I overslept to about 11am. I got all showered and packed (still no clean clothes or toothbrush) and headed to IKEA when my phone died. It was plugged into the phone charger but too dead to turn on. To get it to charge faster I tried charging it from my laptop…still nothing. It looked like I was running a Kinko’s/homeless shelter from my car. I navigated my way through the twisty turny woodsy roads with only my keen sense of direction and love of Swedish home goods. Finally my phone came on and I was able to find IKEA, but not until past noon. Way behind schedule. I feasted on meatballs and shopped till I dropped. Finally satisfied, I was ready to get back on the road back home. I was less than a mile away from the interstate when I got pulled over by Atlanta metro police. Apparently I had made a right turn on red when there was a sign prohibiting it. Seriously? There aren’t any drug dealers or rapists that need catchin’? You can just camp out by this “No right turns” sign? Fine. So I got a citation with a court date scheduled for my birthday. Sidebar: I’ve only been to IKEA one other time, and my car was rear-ended on my way out of the parking lot. That place is wonderful but cursed.
Long story longer…I finally made it home just in time to change clothes and head off to host trivia at yet another bar. Why am I telling you all this? Because despite everything, it’s an adventure. Every day pursuing the comedy dream feels like an adventure. Sometimes those adventures cost money and do damage to my personal items, but it’s the path I’ve chosen and the one I intend to stick with. Probably not everyone chasing that comedy dream makes things quite so hard on themselves or is an eternal shit show such as myself, but hey, I always need new material.