Saturday, March 13, 2010

'Reality' Check

I have never been a huge fan of reality TV. As the millenium turned, I failed to tune in for Survivor, Big Brother and had previously only been an extremely casual viewer of any editions of The Real World. I will admit I give over to a sense of schadenfrued every once in a while when I stumble across an episode of My Super Sweet 16. I always look forward to the inevitable moment when the possibly mob connected Eastern European dad who lives in a Long Island McMansion with his gaudy wife and spoiled daughter utters the classic catchphrase, "Whatever my baby wants, my baby gets! She is Princess!" It's a wild example of the American Dream gone completely haywire.

Aside from random moments like this, I can't get into the format. I need scripted drama. I need writing, lighting, wit and story. I need a real score, a proper soundtrack. I need to be lifted out of the hard lensed world I see around me and transported to another time and place that is mic pack free.

Because my reality intake is so low I rarely recognize any of the reality 'celebs' I frequently interact with at the hotel I work at. Last week it was only after I was done assisting a pouty, pushy, pint size, princess of not-so-Italian descent that I learned she was none other than one of the young stars of a recent reality smash hit. (I'll give you a clue: her name rhymes with cookie).

Cookie busted through a line of weary travelers donning a spray painted, graffiti trucker hat and furiously texting. She informed she was 'checkin' in'. She was so little she could barely see over the desk, not that it mattered to her because her face was glued to her Blackberry Curve. I (begrudgingly) welcomed her and then asked for a photo ID and a credit card. She didn't have one and had no intention of paying for her room. "VH1 is sposed to be payin' fuh dis" she snapped. The little firecracker dropped a few expletives and began texting with even greater gusto.

After several tense moments I was informed as to who she was and I was (begrudgingly) advised by management to just let her in and get a credit card for the incidental deposit. I looked down at her driver's license and noticed her date of birth - 1987. Here I was, a 31 year old, intelligent, talented, hard working individual toiling at the front desk of a hotel assisting a 22 year old child who uses far too many double negatives and whose greatest contribution to the world is getting punched in the face.

At that moment I understood exactly where I stood in the scheme of things, where I fall in the pecking order. The American Dream has gone completely haywire. And that's a reality.

Love Me,


Friday, March 5, 2010


"A heart is not judged by how much you love but by how much you are loved by others."
- The Wizard of Oz (1939)

The New York run of MY AiDS is over. I spent a day in mourning. By "mourning" I mean, lounging around in my PJs eating 5 pounds of Baked Ziti and drinking 3 gallons of Diet Coke while catching up on my DVR list. I tried to process the whole MY AiDS experience while fast forwarding through commercials.

Throughout the whole run I received so many congratulations. I was told I was brave. I was asked if it was a cathartic experience. I was told I should be proud of myself. I was told I should be celebrating. I guess I just haven't processed all of that. I don't know if I am brave. I know I'm fuckin' funny. I know I tell a good story. That's all I really wanted to do. I wanted to share my story so that the audience could laugh about shit that is scary and so that we'd all feel a little less isolated.

To me MY AiDS is very much a story about isolation. It's a story about what happens when you close yourself off from the people who love you and you stop communicating. After I tested HIV positive I decided I could no longer do that. I needed to start sharing my fears, my sadness and my problems with my closest friends.

Not only did this group of friends show me love and support - They encouraged and helped me to PRODUCE MY FUCKING PLAY!!!

Thank you NICK for listening and believing.
Thank you MICHAEL for being fiercely determined.
Thank you LISA for giving me art.
Thank you KIMBERLY for taking me to church.
Thank you JUSTIN for making it all happen.

But mostly I would like to thank these people for saving my life and saving my soul with their love and humor.

I have no clue if doing the show was cathartic. I don't know what I've gained from this experience and I don't know what, if anything, will come of it. But I do know that I will never feel alone again. I can never get too depressed knowing that this group of people is rooting for me. I am so blessed. My heart is so full.

Thank You.

Love you,