a change of plans.

Life is simply a series of changes in plans. I hold true to this statement as I thought I wanted to pursue theatre and only theatre as a lifelong profession. I thought that to be my only passion and absolutely nothing could stop me from pursuing, what I deemed, the pinnacle of my profession.

My second year of college I had a professor of the theatre arts program call me into his office. At that time I was a communications major who had done shows within the theatre department. The professor/one of the heads of the theatre department said these words which then rang in my ears for years, “What else are you going to do with your life other than theatre? What else do you enjoy?” Apparently, I was an easy sell because I immediately changed my major.

The pinnacle for me used to be that of simply working full time in the performing arts and nothing else. I had a stretch of 8 or so years where I made that a reality. I toured, I worked regionally, and I travelled all while never having a home base. I was a hippy who never joined a union and never reaped the benefit of a savings account or health insurance.

Years of traveling and pursuing/achieving that very fulfillment began to turn into something of a bit of a void in my life. I began feeling that touring and traveling throughout the country to be an annoyance. There was always the feeling of pressure and desperation in the pursuit of new work as a contract ended, which always happens. I never want to feel that again.

Then suddenly my motives of being a performer had changed. I desired the opportunity to live and work in New York. I had aspirations of joining the actor’s union and performing on Broadway. I had always sublet apartments in New York in the past as a means of auditioning or simply visiting friends between contracts in the past but had never thought of leasing my very own place with my best friends in Manhattan.

It all became a reality and at first I felt such joy and freedom. Upon moving there I gained approval of casting directors who called me in repeatedly, I had an agent, I auditioned and got into an actual new musical for the New York Musical Theatre Festival, and I got into the tail end of a tour that allowed me to perform internationally and work with some big wigs in the directing and choreography world. I was living my dream.

Then came winter… I know it sounds ridiculous but anytime winter hit in New York my mood instantly changed. Apparently, I am simply a victim of circumstances and those circumstances are presented to me in the form of slush, snow, and negative degree weather.

I am a product of Southern California for God’s sake!

This seasonal depression was a constant cycle for me that would continue to deteriorate and chip away chunks of my soul each year never to be recovered. It was in these circumstances that I would constantly be reminded of how far away I was from my actual family. I had some great support from friends… who constantly left to work at theatres somewhere else besides New York.

I stopped auditioning, the drive left me. I stopped pursuing classes and furthering my education in my “passion”. I realized suddenly that I had NO savings whatsoever and that I was all alone.

I was then driven to pursue full time work to feel financially stable. I was working full time in the restaurant industry. I was a server at various restaurants, I even found myself being a supervisory role at one restaurant with benefits.

I found myself becoming a career server of some sorts with no time or energy to actually fulfill what I had thought my dreams of living in New York were. This began to make me a spiteful person on the inside which then exploded out in instances involving cars almost hitting me in crosswalks, pedestrians standing in my way as I was walking, or simply not being treated well by customers.

In short, I was unhappy, far from home, and unable to actually make connections with other humans due to the fact that I was depressed. I found solace in happy hours and sitting in my room and watching netflix.

This seasonal depression would then find itself to spill into all seasons and I found myself in a toxic state.

One evening I called my wonderful friend, Cheyenne, who I didn’t visit often enough because I decided the trip from Manhattan to Astoria to be too long a trek for me (In my mind it was a treacherous walk and train ride that would take a fortnight). That night I broke down on the phone with her, I found it hard to breath. I self diagnosed myself with a panic attack. I didn’t know what I was doing anymore, my self worth was deteriorating. This was not the real me!

The next day I had an instant change of heart. I needed to leave. It wasn’t a feeling of running away. It was a feeling of finding positivity and discovering that there is so much more to me than what I had filled my depressed brain with.

So, here I am, typing this blog entry after almost finishing online real estate courses and closing a show in Florida. I purchased my very own energy efficient Prius and will be en route to San Diego this September. I am not saying that my passion has changed. I still have passion in the arts but I also have passion in my own mental well being.

Saying I am excited for this new chapter in my life would be an understatement.

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Insomnia in a list.

I can’t seem to fall asleep for the following reasons:

A.) I’m pissed that I got an 8% tip from a disgruntled guest who’s anger and action upon anger is not justified whatsoever. He wanted a $47 bottle of wine which I discovered we were out of and found a similar bottle for $53. Rather than tell him the price out right I told him that it was still within the range of his last bottle. I still hold true to that statement. He obliged and I poured… he enjoyed. Then the bill came after his, what I thought to be, enjoyable experience. Apparently all joy sank when he discovered his bottle was six dollars more than his originally conceived but not attainable bottle. After signing his check and giving me an 8% tip he took the time to describe why he tipped me so low by circling the bottle of wine on the itemized receipt with a note that said “this is not the same price range”. Seems to me he has no joy and is simply an ass with too much money to spend and a bullying attitude towards the help.

B.) I’m pissed that this scenario is playing in my head over and over which is causing me to stay awake.

C.) I’m pissed that I’m still awake and have to work an early brunch shift followed by a dinner shift then only to wake up and work a brunch shift again.

D.) I get even more pissed that I seem to only define myself as a server as of late.

E.) I am also pissed and somewhat shocked that I seem to have misplaced my confidence somewhere. I used to have much more of it. If found please return to the corner of 180th and Fort Washington Ave.

F.) I keep thinking about the fact that I’m turning 34 in two weeks. Yes… It’s just a number but it sounds a lot larger than 33. I’m a year older than Jesus lived… you know… the Lord and Savior.

G.) I keep hearing the fact that Mercury is in retrograde and that’s why things seem out of sorts… Wtf kind of excuse is that for fucked up shit? Suck it up! This is just life! Don’t blame that poor planet moving backwards on how your life is going. Am I right?! Suck it up! I serve bullshit upper west side people! You can suck it!

H.) I somehow watched all seven episodes of “Big Little Lies” on HBO and already miss that story. It was so twisted. What next?

I.) I cannot get a callback for a single commercial for the life of me. I danced in both normal and slow motion in a fucking pizza costume yesterday and didn’t even get a callback… I killed it… in a pizza costume. No callback… again.

That’s all I have. Mayhaps slumber can be more than an imaginative thought now. Goodnight.

inhale and exhale

I had a quintessential New York moment a few weeks ago. ‘Twas a moment I wasn’t the proudest of but it happened. It involved me (a wee little lad with a loud voice) and a very aggravated middle aged man in a car.

I was crossing the street via the designated crosswalk, the way any pedestrian legally should in our country rather than the way most New Yorkers do while looking down at their smart phones. I actually waited for the light to give me the go ahead. The moment I did a portly middle aged man in a black sedan/metal killing machine on wheels decided he would take a left turn and forgoe any rules involving said crosswalk and take down any pedestrian that was in his way. I literally had to run back the way I came from to dodge this man’s rash decision to take a left turn to avoid death. As I ran towards safety the man had the audacity to honk his horn in anger. That’s when I could literally feel my blood begin to boil. I felt my inner hulk ready to burst out of my olive complected skin. I ran to his car and without any hesitation decided to kick it.

What happened next was something seen and heard from everyone on the intersection of 181 and Fort Washington including the patrons in the diner I was facing. In the following dialogue I plan on substituting a nasty four letter word with frisée (a green vegetable which is of the chickory family) for my younger and Mormon readers.

The man (the portly, middle aged man) immediately opened his car door and was trying to step out but was trapped by his seatbelt (safety first) and said the following, “Frisée you you mother friséeing piece of shit!”

I immediately turned around and showed him what real projection sounded like (theatrically trained) by screaming the following, “No! Frisée you you mother friséeing piece of shit! You’re a mother friséer! I’m the friséeing pedestrian!”

He then began to unbuckle his seatbelt and was trying to stand up and continued screaming “frisée you! Frisée you!”

I wasn’t about to let him have the last mother friséeing word! I pointed at him before he got the seatbelt unbuckled and screamed one last time “No! FRISÉE YOU!!!!!!” then briskly walked away before he could run after me.

I have never heard the intersection of 181 and Fort Washington so silent then at that moment I screamed at a middle aged man in a black sedan. It’s literally the intersection and corner where Lin Manuel’s IN THE HEIGHTS is set.

I’ve actually felt on edge since this scenario played out. I unleashed some pent up anger that can only be formulated in a claustrophobic city such as New York. It’s the city where dreams are born and shat on. I still have a love/hate relationship with this city.

The next day I looked into plane tickets for a brief cali getaway to see family. I need to breathe for a moment and eat carne asada burritos so I’m going next week. I never want to have a quintessential New York experience like that again.

I prefer witnessing them.

A little pick me up.

I recently served Des McAnuff. When I tell that story to co workers and friends they don’t see the significance that little moment I had with a Tony award winning director was but to me it was huge! I had a moment with Des Freaking McAnuff!

I served him Chardonnay and upon greeting he asked my name. He called me by name the entire night after asking about my California tattoo. He asked where I was from and I told him that I was born and raised in San Diego. He said, “Small world! I lived in San Diego for years.” I responded, “What did you do in San Diego?” He replied, “I used to be the artistic director of La Jolla Playhouse.” I then said in a bit of a high pitch while pouring water, “Oh! I am serving Des McAnuff!”

Des and I were becoming chummy. The stars were aligning. Sure he was sitting with a date but every time I came to refill water it was just me and Des.

I then told him that the tuna crudo was seared when, in fact, it was raw. I told him it was seared! I was paralyzed the moment I said that it was prepared the exact opposite way it is actually prepared.

Any normal person/server would immediately realize what was uttered from their mouth and correct what they had said so that their guest wouldn’t find a surprise the moment their dish hit the table. Then the guest will begin to psychoanalyze the entire exchange they had with their server and wonder why their server would tell them a bold faced lie.

Alternate scenario: I COULD have returned to their table and said “Sorry for interrupting but remember when I told you the tuna was seared? Well, it’s prepared the exact opposite of seared, it’s raw.” I would have given a quick apology then moved on with the meal.

Not me! I said the tuna crudo was seared and for some idiotic reason didn’t correct myself. I brushed it off. I was serving Des Freaking Mcanuff!

Side note: I am not a horrible server. I am actually a good server. I have some highly noted Yelp and Open Table reviews that can attest to my bold statement.

So, I brushed it off and was unable to tell him that the tuna was the exact opposite of seared. After their soup appetizers the moment of truth came. I delivered his plate which was clearly not seared. I then returned with the pepper mill and asked if I could offer them any. I made a short return after peppering their food to ask how their meal was. They both said it was great. At that point the cat was out of the bag, he knew at that point the tuna was in no way how I described it. He knew and I knew… oh, we both knew.

We shared a look and brushed it aside. He still enjoyed his night and his tuna. As I dropped his check I let him and his date know that the second round of drinks were on me because, “You’re Des McAnuff.”

Anyway, I understand that he is just a human but he is also an inspiration. He has made San Diego a Broadway of the west coast. He has directed countless musicals which have inspired so many people and he is a pursuer of excellence. I find that to be a notable encounter at the least. I had a one on one interaction with someone I deem to be great.

I look forward to a final callback I have in which I enter the room sing my song, read my sides, then the moment of realization occurs. Des drops his pen, points at me, I point at him in solidarity, and he says, “you’re the waiter at the Australian restaurant who told me the tuna was seared when in fact it was raw!” I’ll then put both hands in the air and exclaim, “Guilty!”

Two weeks later I’ll get a call from my agent saying I got in a Des McAnuff production.

Isn’t New York exciting and aren’t we all destined for greatness? Yes, I think so. I was just happy to have that interaction a couple of nights ago to remind me where I am and what I am trying to achieve while here.

I also do not regret getting my California tattoo, Mom!

Thank you Des!

Thank you… idiots.

A few evenings ago I had a nightmare that I was having a tender slow dance with our current xenophobic, vainglorious, celebrity president Donald Trump. I then woke up rubbed my tired eyes and realized that I am still in some sort of living nightmare.

I am typically one to abstain from posting about anything political but what is currently happening around me is something of epic proportions. We are living in an extremely historical moment in time. So brava to us… we are living history. Where is this leading to? Who the hell knows?

Saturday night I was working a 12 hour shift at my restaurant. The night previous sleep was something that just wasn’t coming naturally to me so I was already in a bit of a delirious and tired state from lack of rem cycles. As I was serving that afternoon I took a moment to glance at my phone to see all of my news updates with an executive order banning muslim countries re entry into our country. I then saw friends posting on social media talking about protesting in JFK. Hours later another server came to join me for the evening portion of the shift and continued telling me how crazy everything is and how society is fighting back for human rights.

It was just all too much for me to take in at my 12th hour working in the restaurant. I felt the walls closing in, I began hearing terrifying circus music, and everyone around me looked as though they were growing and I was shrinking. I had to leave. I finally just told my coworker, “I gotta go”. I went home and immediately found myself asleep in my covers, away from the madness which is life.

I have decided to keep contact with those who voted for, pardon me while I hold in vomit, Donald Trump via social media because I am one who typically tries to take in both sides. At first I was intrigued by their arguments against liberals and their defense for THEIR current president. The intrigue has now turned into complete disgust.

So… Thank you for voting for the man who is now draining our own tax dollars to build a fucking wall across America. Thank you for voting for the man who appointed Steve Bannon as the head of our national security, you know… the man who was the executive chair of a news source for white supremacists. Thank you for voting for the man who detained some of the finest students, doctors, and various other educated civilians of muslim countries and deny them entry into our country which was built on immigration. Thank you for voting for a man who wants to completely ignore the EPA  and scientists and begin a massive pipeline in the middle of our country which will more than likely spill causing massive destruction. Thank you for voting for a man who appointed a hated, homophobic VP who will be a horrible choice as president when Trump is impeached.

So yeah… keep on defending every idiotic action he has made this past week/his first week as President of the USA. We are in a nightmare.

Thank you for the nightmare.

By,

Danny Boman

(a not so political analyst)

Nor’easter

Nor’easter is upon us here in the great city of New York and along with it a rainstorm seems to be permeating throughout my body, mind, and soul.

I currently feel as though I’m battling a panic attack every day. I’m on the verge. I think my blood pressure must be extremely high. It’s been a minute or two since I felt a sense of elation.

I don’t know if it’s this city? Is it the fact that I haven’t been performing as often the past three years as I had the ten years previous? Is it serving tables? Is it feeling, lately, as though reaching the goals and dreams I have are unreachable?

Sometimes I miss being the free spirit I was throughout my 20’s. After college I lived a bit of a nomadic life. I was a gypsy. Somehow I was able to live comfortably in a mobile fashion  while performing from venue to venue, whether it be regional house, dinner theatre, or touring in a bus. I have visited and/or performed in every state except Alaska. Even then, amidst my happiness, I always dreamed of more. So I did what any big American dreamer would do. I moved to New York City. It only took about ten years but I finally made the move to settle.

I have an apartment AND I am actually on the lease. At first I thought this city (which to me was the world) would be my oyster. I got an agent within my first few months of living here. That agent, in turn,  got me a gig doing a musical in Singapore for a month and a half. That was awesome. After that… I found myself only doing two more gigs and working at restaurants. Woo.

Ugh… restaurants. I am not good at ANYTHING else so I have found myself writing down orders and describing what cocktails and food may go well together in hopes for a 20 percent gratuity.I mean no disrespect for those who absolutely pride themselves in their serving career but at times I feel as though I am trying to be something I definitely am not. This “career” has got to be something temporary. I pray to the heavens that it is temporary. I just don’t know what else to do in the meantime.

I need to turn this around.

An optimist would tell me that it’s simple and it’s a matter of thinking positively. That seems to be the hard part for me as of late. Positivity is hard to put into action when negativity seems to be in abundance.

I SHOULD feel ecstatic that I have an agent who gets me in the door of auditions I would never be able to get in myself. I should BUT I begin to feel annoyed that even though the word “perfect” is thrown out in the audition room from the casting director nary a callback is thrown my way.

I’d like to think that I am just in the beginning of my biographical movie, which will not be sold to the Lifetime network after seeing the travesty that was the remake of Beaches. This is the part where I am still living a subservient life, scraping by to make enough for bills and rent only to be thrown my golden chance to share all that I have for the world.

I envision myself in recording studios, nightclubs, and various other venues spreading my talent and humor. I want to be seen doing some schticky comedic thing on TV… Hell… I would be in a Hep C commercial.

I am a funny guy. At least I used to be. Where did my ecstasy go? Maybe I should start doing ecstasy… nah… that’s so high school via 1999.

By the way, Mom, if you’re reading this, which you are because you are my most loyal follower, I am fine. Please don’t worry about me. I made myself a nice fruit smoothie and feel much better after typing it all out. Thanks for always being worried, but no need. We all have emotions.

I’m not a monkey. I am just low in the American caste system.

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I think I got fired from my job today.

I have worked at my current restaurant for about a month now. I was aware of only two owners of the restaurant I currently work for. Today I was thrown for a loop. Apparently we have three owners and today was the day that I met the other owner.

An unexpected triad.

I merely heard tale of this third owner last night while working a dinner shift. I didn’t think twice of it. Then today, after working a party of 15 and cashing out I encountered the third.

For me it was closing time. All receipts were collected and tips were adjusted. I unbuttoned the top button of my collar, which chokes me. I was ready to go to happy hour with a good friend of mine back in my neighborhood. At that moment the doors opened and in walked the owner I was not only aware of but who hired me and another man. Upon his entry (the other man) the first words out of his mouth while looking at me were, “button the top button of your collar, come here”, He then gestured to me. I immediately grew afraid and stiff and mindlessly followed orders. “Let me adjust this button and tie.”, He said then began fiddling with my collar. I then came to my senses and took two steps back. I was humiliated. I hadn’t even met this man who came in with my owner. I stuck my hand out and said harshly, “Hi, My name is Danny, pleasure to meet you”. He then introduced himself, finally, and mention that he was the owner and that I needed to look tidy.

Listen, I completely understand. I want to look tidy and professional. It’s their vision and I want to adhere to it. I am, though, completely turned off to the fact that a simple introduction wasn’t given before his assessment of my appearance. After I allowed him to adjust my collar he then backed up and said “you look good.” I responded coyly, “You look great too!” then walked away.

I think one would call that behavior douchey, am I right? Yup… douchey.

When it all comes down to it, we are all human beings. Treat each other kindly. I am currently a server and scrounging for change as I find myself in a long path to some sort of success but understand that I have will. That will WILL permeate to success and when that success comes I will not treat others poorly, ever. It’s not in my nature.

Before I decide to adjust someone’s collar I will at at the very least introduce myself like a civil human being.

There… I will step off my little soapbox.