04. Sang in bars 2-3 times a week when I was twelve.
My dad was a musician. That's where I got my introduction to music. He played talent shows, gong shows and guest nights. Today we call them open mics. He brought me along to give me stage experience. For a while it was fun. And folks thought it was cute to see a 12-year-old jamming to Proud Mary and singing backup harmonies of Eagle's tunes. I got bored. I wanted to sing pop songs and show tunes. You know, kid stuff.
05. Danced with Paula Abdul at her home.
I was working for the company who distributed home videos. They were holding an open casting call for a new Paula dance/workout video. They wanted non-dancers. Real people. To show how "easy" it was. That "anyone" could do it. We were invited to audition.
The audition was in her home studio. We signed up and had to introduce ourselves into a video camera. Then we learned a few moves and "auditioned". There's no way anyone could see me. I was tiny and way in the back. Even when they mixed us up a bit, I ended up closer to the front, way off to the side. And then I had a meeting, and had to leave early.
Still, I made the cut. I have no idea how that was possible. I can't dance. I mean, I can move and keep rhythm. But really, you're looking at two left feet here. All I could think was that they saw my video introduction and thought, "Hey, she's not too much taller than Paula." That's it.
One of my dancer roommates made the cut too. One other didn't. She was pissed. She was a dancer. I wasn't. So, I showed up for the first rehearsal. Sweated with Paula. Laughed with her laughing at me. My ears heard her words but my feet ignored her.
The next day there was a message on the machine, "We have too many dancers and unfortunately there's no room for you. We're sorry."
I was disappointed. But mostly relieved. They said they wanted average people with no dance experience. But that's not what they ended up with. Which makes total sense to me.
I went to the video shoot. It was a long, long, long recording. I was thrilled to be watching (and not sweating). My roommate who was in the video was visibly drained. And she's a dancer!
Fun memories. I think the video is still floating around out there somewhere.
06. Lived on a 10-dollar-a-week food budget for almost a year.
This was off and on for at least a year. I was temping and trying to make ends meet. I ate practically nothing -- oatmeal, apples, cheese sandwiches, tuna. Then I got a long term temp position in the promotions department at a major motion picture studio. I worked 10 hour days. Since we worked through lunch, it was often paid for by the execs. I would eat half at lunch and the rest for dinner. Snacks and drinks were in the break room.
I was living with three other people, paying a ridiculously low rent. But because I was so used to scrounging for food and living on such a tight budget, I didn't notice how much money was in my bank account till I decided to consider moving. I had first, last and deposit ready before I knew where I was headed. Basically, it afforded me to finally move to Venice Beach, where my heart resides.