Saturday, July 26, 2008

The Night I Slept With A Go Go Dancer
Episode Seven

It began with the best of intentions; I was trying to break some old patterns for myself and had decided to try and see if I could find a gay soccer league in the Valley. This was due to the fact that I was tired of trying to meet guys in the same bars and my personal ads weren't cutting it. So I decided that I would put a post up on the community pages of Craig's List to see if anyone out in the World Wide Web knew of such a thing. If not then maybe I could see if enough people were interested enough to try and get something started.

While I was perusing the various other community ads I stumbled across one about how a club event was looking for people who wanted to come and dance for their promotion. It seemed kind of interesting and different so I figured I try and see what I could get out the deal. I guessed it was probably an attempt to stack the club with people to make it look popular—no cover and all you have to do is show up and being there. I just had to show up and dance—something I liked to do.

So I emailed the contact listed and promptly forgot about it. Mostly because it was my last free week before BB went into full swing and there was a bunch of holiday events coming up that weekend so I was busy. The next day I received an email back from a guy named Joe who seemed interested in having me at the club but he wanted a bit more information about me.

Without giving it too much thought, I responded to his email with a photo and a quick bio of myself. It wasn't until I was talking about the story later that I realized that this might not be about stacking the club but maybe something more. I figured I would just wait and see what happened next plus the event was a few days off so I might be at BB and I might not even be able to follow through on the deal.

I spent the next day hanging at Johnny and Kelly's house for the Fourth of July where we drank and eat and soaked our feet in a wade pool. It was a lovely night but when I got home that evening I had a new email from Joe. He explained what type of dancer he was looking for, how the tips would work out and that it was the next night at a local bar. He also told me that I was very cute and exactly the type of person he was looking for. I was a bit startled that I had been offered a job. A go go dancing job.

So before I went to bed I made a couple of calls to various friends for advice because I didn't really know what to think. And the next day as I was out shopping with Kelly and Valeska I finally broken down and told them all about the go go offer even though I wasn't sure what the response would be. I mean I was in my 30's, at best stocky and at worst chubby, and I didn't really need to be a dancer for the cash. Of course they were both all about taking the chance and, between their words of encouragement and Edie's supportive phone call, I was on the fence but leaning towards possibly saying yes to the offer.

The only thing that concerned me was that it was also the birthday of a causal friend of mine and we had all planned to go to a local bar to celebrate. So if I didn't want to follow through on the dancing I could head out to the party but then Valeska and Kelly would know that I had chickened out. For some reason the idea that I could be judged for NOT being a go go dancer seemed to bother me just as much as the idea of dancing.

After Valeska dropped me off at the apartment I went in and reread the details of the gig. Joe basically said that it wasn't meant to be super intense—I could check out the scene for a bit before I decided, I could dance as much as I wanted and there would be someone else dancing as well so I wouldn't be alone. If there was a perfect scenario then this might be the best way to give go go dancing a shot. Instead of making a choice about the matter—I took a nap.

When I woke up I realized that I had little more than an hour to make my decision one way or the other—either off to the birthday party or off to the nightclub. I still didn't know what I wanted to do and spent a good amount of my time weigh the pros and cons while watching 'What Not To Wear' and pretending I had ample time to decide. I was racking my brain on what to do when it occurred to me to try and call Samuel. Out of all the people in my life, I believed that Samuel not only would get my dilemma but would also be the first to really get to the root of my insecurity issues with my body and other gay men. So I took a shot and gave him a call even though it was kind of late on the East Coast.

After a long talk—which involved a myriad of reasons that Samuel knew I would be great not only at the event but great in general—I decided I should just go and try. The worse thing that could happen was that I would either be fired by the promoter or would freak out and just leave. While neither was appealing I figured that I should give it a shot and it would be a great story for down the road.

Without any more internal debate, I quickly showered, shaved and pulled together a bag of things to bring with me. I wasn't quite sure what to wear so I packed a handful of choices along with some hair product and an extra pack of cigarettes. I figured the more options the better as I made my way out the door as quickly as possible. I would arrive at the club close to when the promoter need me there and would figure everything out once I was in the moment.

Now a quick side note—some people who know me might be surprised that anyone would want me to dance in next to nothing on a stage in a club. Not because I am unattractive but because I am a stocky chubby guy more suited to giving tips more than making them. But the event I was going to was a 'bear and cub' party which is the kind of party thrown for the opposite of the usual gay man. This was not a night for metrosexual boys who weigh 110 soaking wet but for the average gay men of all types. Some people would assume this meant fatties who tipped the scales (and it does include that) but this also included stocky guys, built and hairy guys, guys that would be the type that when someone hears they're gay they might pause and go 'really'? More my speed than the usual twinkie fest of gays boys.

Making my way to the club I couldn't believe what I was intending to do. I wasn't so much second guessing myself as much as I was weighing out the entire thing in my head. I was possibly too old. I was possibly not hot enough. I didn't need to do this. I could be on a stage and dancing in my underwear for a bunch of strangers. (Or possibly people I knew from the various club nights out.) I wasn't sure how I would feel about the whole deal afterwards—hell I couldn't figure out how I felt about it beforehand.

As I stood on the curb outside the club, I had one last cigarette and sent out one last text to my various supporters. That being done I finally made my way through the door into the very crowded event. I met with Joe, who was incredibly nice (as was the rest of his team), and made my way upstairs to the dressing room. He encouraged me to take my time, maybe scope out the club before I decided to get myself up on the stage where I would be dancing. I couldn't help but be nervous as I wandered the full club; I checked out who was there to get an idea of what type of men could possibly be watching me. I eventually came to the dance floor itself where my partner in dancing was performing. I don't know what I was expecting but I was definitely thrown off.

Turns out my fellow go go dancer was exactly what you would imagine him to be—he was black and sexy with a great body. I decided to watch him dance for a bit to see how the crowd was reacting to him and was amazed by his performance because it sucked. And when I say sucked I mean he was pretty just doing the shuffling of the feet and not really dancing. I knew I could better than that and my competitive side kicked in. My only concern was that he was dressed in cut off sweatpants and not really wearing anything that revealing. I had only brought revealing clothes.

As Joe came to talk with me, I quickly asked him if there was a dress code I was unaware of and he assured me I could wear whatever I wanted as long as I was not giving it all away. I could feel myself blush as he then told me that he and the other dancer had worked a schedule for the both us—we would be dancing in 30 blocks and mine would be starting in 15 minutes. I made my way through the crowds and headed outside for one last gasp of fresh air before it was time for me to return upstairs to change.

Sitting in the ready room, I took a moment's pause before I changed clothes. My entire life I have struggled with body issues and realized that this moment could be a make or break. I was about to put a huge part of myself out there for show and needed to steady my nerves. What if this was the wrong thing to do? There was a million reasons why I didn't need to do this… A quick breath later and I found myself changing rather quickly into my boxer briefs and tank top—it was just about time for me to relieve the other dancer.

I won't lie and say it was easy to walk through a crowded nightclub wearing next to nothing. Clad in boxer briefs, comfortable (if stylish) sneakers and a black tank top, I had to maneuver my way through throngs of people. I tried to be all smiles and saunter as I heard a chorus of wows and cat calls; these guys would be the ones to give me money and so I had to be playful and friendly, confident and engaging. I found myself almost zoning out as I pushed my way past club goers and headed up to the main stage.

Taking my first steps on the stage, I was unsure of how to start but after a bated moment I felt the music as the songs switched to a Rhianah dance mix. The part of me that loves music and lives to dance began to take over and I almost forgot that I was on stage as my feet, hips, arms and legs all began to match up with the rhythm. It wasn't until an awkward moment involving my boxer briefs that I was fully aware that I was officially a go go boy with the crowd of admirers to prove it.

As the songs drifted in and out of each other I could feel the soreness building in my thighs as the dancing continued. There was a slight burn that crept up my limbs as I kept to the rhythm and I came to realize that I needed to work on my transitions between songs with small shuffling steps to keep myself going. It takes a lot of energy to be a go go dancer but it was kind of amazing to stare across the crowded room as various guys danced with and smiled at me. It made me feel like I was a bit of a star—even if I felt a bit exposed at points.

The first block (half hour) seemed to fly by and soon it was my turn to take a break. I was caked with sweat as I made my way through club and up to the backroom dressing area. I may be dancing in my underwear but I wasn't playing on hanging out in the bar in my boxer briefs between dances. I grabbed a water and my shorts before heading back to the club to try and watch and learn more from my go go partner. I had found my zone and was in it.

Standing on the edge of the dance floor I watched as he worked the crowd much better than I had with the flirtation aspect of the dance. He would smile and play along—lean in and out of the guys reach—play with the line between dancing and seduction. I could feel myself taking notes as I came back on to the stage. I found myself pulling a slight stripper move—I did a quick twist that resulted in my shorts coming down and off me in a flash. One of the guys in the audience rewarded me with a few bucks for my effort and I felt myself slip back into the steps and spins but with more of an awareness of the guys watching me. I used my moves and my smile to get in close and away as I towered over the club goers—just a bit close to the edge of both stage and clothing as I continue my turn on the block.

The night seemed to end too soon as the lights went up to more blocks later. I was tired and sweaty but also happy and giddy as I stepped of the stage, pulling out singles from various parts of my body. One of my bigger tippers came up to me—which was a bit weird—to talk. As I stood by the fan he asked me about how hard it must be to be a go go boy and without any thought I said the following:

'It's easy once you let your hangs up go.'

And it did feel easy as I stood drinking my water and adjusting my clothes. I couldn't even remember how scared I was to come up on the stage or how hard it was to even make my way through the crowd in next to nothing. There was a point somewhere in the dance where I just let all my preconceived notions of myself just drift away. I became the type of guy confident enough to dance the night away for the entertainment of others. It was really more about myself in that moment than anything though and hard to explain. I smiled and patted the admirer on the arm as I made my way back upstairs to pack up.

Finally making my way home in the chill of night, flushed and sweaty, I couldn't help but pleased with myself. I had taken all these words that I often heard in my head and proved them wrong. I had gone from feeling fat and unattractive to being the type of man confident enough to just put himself out there and damn the world in the process. It made me think less about body issues and more about the type of person I was in general.

So many times in life we use words to give us meaning; not just the negative words but the more dangerous and less obvious ones. We use words to articulate not only description but also definition—not just how we are but who we are. Doctor, lawyer, Indian chief—married, single, loved—sibling, friend. Somehow we become attached to these simple little inventions that we use them as a way to box ourselves in just as much as to give us dimension. We decide not only things we are to be but use those same things to decide who we can't be as well. A college educated guy with a solid career who can support himself isn't the type to become a go go dancer. He doesn't need to dance in his underwear; he shouldn't want to have to do that for money, he should know better and do better.

But as I thought about it I wondered why we chain ourselves into certain ways of being. If I wanted to dance, why shouldn't I dance? A very smart person told me once that 'the universe always says yes—we are the ones who say no' and I continually find that to be true the more I try and do. I can be a millions things—we can all be a million things—as long as we choose them ourselves.

And as I climbed into bed that night I had another first. I was spending the night with a sexy little go go dancer from the local night club. And that hot little number was me.
My Eyes Are Green and Feeling Mean
Episode Six

Okay—I’m about to be unfair. I am well aware of this but it is also how I feel in the moment, enough so that I am turning to my words, which means something. I guess the last month or so has really surprised me with my lack of skills in the romance department.

I guess I should explain myself a bit better. It’s just that I have either been in situations or had chances to be in situations where I did nothing at all—I just become shut down and immovable. The truth is I am rather shy when it comes to strangers which I think surprises most people because once you are in I am totally different. Add to this the fact that I don’t have any gay friends—exes and lesbians don’t count—which makes it very hard to meet other gay men single or otherwise.

Throw into this mix that I am currently living with a dating machine and it just leaves me feeling rather ugly and incapable. I mean—the newest roommate has been a slew of dates and other romantic intrigues and yet I can’t even seem to strike up a conversation much less a date to strike out with. And I know that this is mostly my fault—you can’t meet people if you don’t put yourself in positions to actually be around possible new love interests. And its getting to the point that I don’t even want to hear about any other singles stories since I feel so unattractive and out of the loop.

And I know this isn’t fair. That if I want to make any forward movement in my love life I have to get out there but that’s hard to do alone. I mean—I look into finding gay activity groups but there’s not any that do things I like, I go to clubs alone which is not good when you’re shy but I don’t really have anyone else to go with (This is not a plea for tons of comments about how all my girls will gay out for me) and I’m not confident enough to just run into someone out and about for a chat up.

But I need to figure out some type of plan or I have only myself to blame. And I need to not be jealous but it’s hard. I guess I just really want to be kissed as of late. And I’m not normally this guy
The Emotional Six Pack
Episode Five

Now every romantic lead in a sitcom needs a friendly ear, and since my dating life is on its way to becoming one I figured—using my friends—I should break down the kind of backup one needs when hitting the dating world.

The Slut. This friend has done everything twice and has told everyone about it at least once when they shouldn’t have. They almost never go home alone, they always have that one medical scare that makes you realize you’re not that bad off and they clear out the deadweight because they end up with one person in the bar that’s looking for a fun lay. But they never really judge you because whatever you did is never ‘that bad’ compared to them, they totally know what that ‘thing’ is that you think you want to try sexually and always know where’s there a free clinic and are willing to drive because its just one of things that you have to do as a sexual responsible adult.

The Informer. The informer is probably the greatest asset all around when it comes to dating. They know what club/bar/party to go, they know what you should wear and when to wear it, and they always have the latest song that you should ‘know’ for when you go out dancing. They are a crash course in the ins and outs of hitting the single scene successfully. They are also quite good at getting information—they will (after five minutes) find out for you everything you wanted to know about the cute guy at the end of the bar and are glad to be of service.

The Barometer. The barometer is probably the odd one in the group—not just in category but in purpose. They, at various times, can make you look thinner, smarter about the subject at hand, more cultured about a scene which sounds mean but is totally true. Sometimes they’re that one friend that doesn’t belong out with you; like the token single girl who comes out with you to the hottest gay club in West Hollywood just to dance. What’s good about this friend is that you can tell if the person who you are chatting up is a good one because if that guy talks to the barometer then you know the guy you want is nice.

The Coupled. They constantly give you proper perspective when in the dating scene. They have advice on what makes a relationship work because they’re in the trenches and can always break a guy down without any of that ‘you meeting guys and I’m not’ jealousy getting in the way. (Although you are at points secretly jealous of the fact that they have an awesome partner and they are secretly jealous that because you’re single you can run off to Vegas ‘just because’ without having to be responsible for someone else. They also remind why you are out there dating—to have a happy ending like theirs.

The Go Getter. This friend is the one who makes the night happen. He always has a story because they take chances which always seem to end with ‘and then Brad Pitt showed up!’ They are the first to suggest tequila shots, push you towards the really hot girl you’re too scared to talk to and end up leading the gang as you dance your way across the tables. They see no barriers, only things you haven’t succeeded at yet and when you hang with them it’s like being with the coolest, funniest, and dangerous person in the room. They know how to set it off and keep it going.

The Observer. This friend is always paying attention and knows enough about human behavior and body language to tell you more about something than you would have ever guessed. They are usually quiet but always aware of what’s going on and what it all means--the first to notice the guy’s wedding ring or that hot girl has been at every guy’s table scoring free drinks. They know when you have too much to drink to realize the kind of guy you’re talking to or that the hot guy is staring at the Slut’s happy trail while talking you to thus meaning you’re wasting your time. And they’re always a good listener with an outsider’s viewpoint.

The best thing about having a group of friends like this is that together they give you a complete picture of what you’re doing, how you’re doing it and what to do next. They’re honest and funny and supportive without judging or dismissing the process because they’ve been there right with you. And while the roles can change a lot (like when you go to the S & M themed club and the barometer knows more about spanking then the rest of you combined) there’s something comforting in having those roles being filled.
Ashes to Ashes
Episode Four

So I recently had a bad break up. I was heavily involved with a man named Samuel who for all intensive purposes should have never been my boyfriend. Now of course there is the standard mourning period post break up: get drunk, eat ice cream, watch 'Beautiful Thing', get mad, go out and dance with strangers, and talk it to death with the nearest and dearest. And then you finally wake up one morning and you just don't care anymore. It happens.

Now, during the break up I had fallen of the radar socially, so in my new improved state of mind I hit the social whirl with a fierceness that boarded on impossible to maintain. Everything was a reason to be dressed up, pleasant and funny with smiles and witty conversations. In the spirit of this I hit the beach for an 'end of the summer' bonfire to welcome back an old friend to Los Angeles. Because it was a bonfire on the beach I was all dressed up in what I call my 'Karate Kid' chic look--tan and white sweater with tousled hair and A&F shorts while everyone else was in 'walk the dog' clothes. It was nice to be out by the ocean even if there were too many planes flying overhead.

As I was making s'mores with a handful of my girls, I was surprised to see a random friend of ours, Nicky, show up at the fire pit. Nicky is someone we have known since college; he works in the industry like most of us but is usually too busy to come to most social outings. I felt a bit weird seeing him because like me, he was the only other gay man present at the event. It didn't help that he was also my 'good on paper' or GOP.

Most everyone at some point in their life has ‘GOP’—that person with whom you have so much in common between interests and goals and just the general things that seem key to building a strong relationship but there is just one thing off. This is not to be confused with ‘the one that got away’ which is somebody you had dated and had a great relationship with but something got in the way of a long term match. The ‘GOP’ is never really someone you date but seems like you should date, want to date or would make sense for your date.

Now Nicky and I have had this relationship of sorts off and on. We shared the same friends, worked in various aspects of the same industry, both wanted families and loved to explore, travel and being artistic. We had a brief involvement for the better part of a year—not dating but casual hook ups that lead to awkward moments with little chance of a full romantic follow through. We hadn’t, since the last series of hook ups, spent any time together but had a series of unexpected run ins at various functions.

What makes this annoying to me is that one some level I always believed that Nicky and I could be a viable couple if we gave it a shot. I never really told him because he was always so quiet and removed after our little hook ups that it seemed to be point less to do so. And what was even more annoying is that whenever I seemed to be lonely or down Nicky would just appear and we would have these moments of intensity where it was obvious to most of our fiends that we are still very attracted to each other but not willing to try and do anything about it.

That’s where my head was at as I laid out on the blanket by the fire, just trying to pretend that I wasn’t attracted to Nicky, because there’s no point to chasing a GOP. It will never work no matter how many mixed moments we have. Because even though he chose to share my blanket at the fire pit, even though we talked about my break up and how he thought I was attractive enough to get another relationship right away, that even though he played with my hair….

For a second I wondered where it could have gone—if we were just different enough to make it work. But as the fire died out and we packed up to head home I realized the fact that there’s a GOP means there still has to be a Mr. Right. And that’s what I’m after; not another pit stop along the way. And the fact he thought I looked good means I still have it.

And that I need to work that look more often to find someone is better than ‘good on paper’.
Selling Your Self Hot?
Episode Three

So I have been slowly making steps and plans to getting back into the dating scene. I’ve been going out to bars and getting used to being around guys again—though I have yet to dance with myself much less anyone else. But everything is a process and it’s about the steps so I feel like I’m doing fine thus far.

That being said, I’ve also been trying to get myself datable in other ways. I’ve been slowly going back into working out—a combination of kickboxing DV for a half an hour three times a week and starting to run two other nights a week. It’s been a bit hard since I have not been running for awhile but I have been surprised but how much I am loving it again. Add to that me cutting back on smoking and working on a better diet with a lot more veggies and less dairy and its looking good if hard sometimes.

The next big step has been pulling together personal ads with various on-line sites. I like on-line sites because it’s like being constantly dressed up and with a witty if earnest introduction of sorts. But it’s always hard to pull an ad together; to try and figure out the best of your self while being honest and truthful.

And it’s not just the weight/height/age stuff which can be a bit hard to put to paper but trying to figure out how to best explain your personality. You start to question every word you use and every option you’re giving. Am I sincere? Charming? Adventurous? Would my friends say the same thing? Should I have them write the ad for me?

And then you have to talk about what you like and are into without being trite or too common. Everyone likes walks on the beach and cuddling and slow dancing so you have to really sit down and think about how you are and what makes you a good catch. Should I mention that I like to do interior design or is that too gay? With sports information can I check off the hockey box even though I just like to go and watch it? It’s rather hard to do.

Then once you feel like you have nailed yourself (Looks, personality, interests) down to a paragraph or two it comes time to try narrow down what you are looking for. A list is like that is hard—beyond trying to be open and not shallow in the looks department—because it’s hard to know what creates romantic possibility, not even thinking about a long term relationship might entail from a partner.

Do I want someone who speaks his mind? Should I close myself off to divorced men? Men with kids? Men who work part time or are still in school? Do I want someone who is spontaneous? Someone who is driven? Likes to travel or stay home? Needles to say it’s been a rather daunting process.

This doesn’t even include how to pick the right picture that makes me datable and yet still looks like me. Which is very hard in this day of the myspace angle.
Change Clothes and Go

Episode Two

It might seem a bit too 'meeting cute' but the second day of 'Something About Him' I was getting ready to start a new show. One of the things I love about my line of work-reality television-is that every so often I switch shows and end up with a new chance to meet people and for them to meet me. This is exciting because you never know where you'll make a new friend, a new crush, a new mentor--and makes the idea of the first impression a constantly occording event. Which means every so often you have 'first day of school' thoughts and expectations and just like back then you want to put a good foot forward-top to bottom.

Now girls have this issue easy. One of the things about working in telelvision is that everyone-outside of maybe the executives-is pretty casual. This is not a tie and jacket environment unless you want to and most people end up in jeans or stylist pants and t-shirts or polos. But when it comes to the first day most people tend to step it up a notch.

Which is where girls have it easy; all they have to do is throw on a cute skirt, top, and some make-up and there you go and this outfit is usually in pieces that they might end up wearing to work anyways. But I tend to want to put a serious look out there, something somewhat professional looking to make a strong first look. This means pants (not my usual jeans or shorts) and a collared shirt (not a funny t-shirt, polo or crazy top like a cub scout top) with nice shoes (not sneakers, sandals, flip flops or off beat loafers). However this is more just for show than comfort as anyone who knows me knows that I am not very comfortable in 'adult' clothes.

Add to this the fact that I walk everywhere and don't drive and it gets even more messier because I can take anywhere from 20 minutes to an hour to get to a job in the heat and physical activity I can run the risk off looking sloppy. So my first day clotheswise is not very realistic but I do because I feel like I should. So I did and I looked cute and a bit out of place but it makes people notice me in a good way.

But what this also means is that the 2nd day outift is the most imoprtant to seeing the real Rory. The seocnd day's outifit is usually a bit more daring and complicated. And since I have been trying to work on being more daring and confident with myself and my life this particular 2nd Day Outfit was going to be major. I had been searching my closet a lot to see what type of looks I have and what type of looks I want to put out in general. Lax frat boy? Pochonos cutie? Reformed Cub Scout? Angsty punk boy? Sweet and Shy? It's a bit of everything because I'm a bit of everything. It might seem more than a bit shallow but I do believe that very few people look at someone as a possible romance is not because of their wit or smarts when they first meet them. It's clothes. The rest comes later.

The other thing about my dressing up is also how it makes me feel and how it makes others feel about me--if I'm in a cuddly sweater and shorts looking all 'midnight bonfire comfy' is very different than 'all black with club cap and cool shoes looking like I should be in Silverlake' and I tend to take on that vibe of what I'm wearing. My mindset was important for this morning because my first day had left me feeling very down and hectic so going in looking strong and looking cute was important to me.

So after a long debate I picked out the perfect outifit, I won't say which, but I was eager and ready to face the day. I put the top and the accessories in my bag and headed out a bit late that morning on my way to the subway. I was annoyed because I felt like I was running late and it was a sticky feeling morning so I was cranky and on edge.

I barely made it out of my house when the comedy moment happened. As I hit the sidewalk by my neighbors' out back their sprinkers went off. And so I jumped out of the way but right in front of the broken spinker which proceeded to gush water all over me. Just soaked from top to bottom. I got pissed and bitchy and stormed home--it wasn't until I headed back out and past said sprinkers a second time that the humor of the situtation hit and I burst out laughing.

Its always nice to take a moment and realize that I don't need to be serious to make my life good. That laughter should be something I start my day with more. That even though I was a bit of a scrub at work that day--at least thinking of way it happened made me smile. That might be the best thing I can wear wherever I go.
Set the Story in Motion

Episode one.

Tuesday was the first day of my new job—the first day of something new. I have been trying to figure out exactly what type of story I am going for—is it funny or sexy? Does it push the envelope or remind the audience of their own romantic trails and tribulations? I wasn’t sure so I have been trying really hard to imagine what the opening titles would be like.

The opening credits would be a single shot, no cutaways, of me walking through various types of scenarios ala The Spice Girls’ ‘Wannabe’ video. (You can hate the group all you want but that video is pretty damn sweet even with the sound off.) It would totally start with me in pajamas at the computer typing as shot through the window as my phone rings. The camera would follow me through the apartment as I pulled on some jeans and a vintage funny t-shirt (of course) as a grab my backpack and head through the apartment complex.

As I open the gate to head out of the park it would suddenly jump to a visual of me—same outfit—walking through the back lot of a studio on my way to work. It would the lead to various different backgrounds and outfits from the back patio of the Super House during a party to the subway to the streets of Studio City to the various bars (Blue Room or Match or Oil Can Harry’s or Golden Gopher and various others) and would totally end with me up the starts and in the front door of my apartment. The last sequence of the opening would be me shutting the door and then the camera pans back to the same window from the first shot as the light goes off.

But the next big part--at least for me—is the theme song. Am I looking for something catchy like a ‘I’ll Be There for You?’ or is more like more haunting like ‘Sex in The City’ or something more off-beat like ‘The Facts of Life’? The opening just sets the stage for the type of stories that are coming so I had to really think about what I am going for… Charming and silly with pratfalls and farcical elements—whimsical and romantic but also kind of edgy and kitschy. With that in mind I limited myself to a handful of songs that I think fit me rather well.

So then I decided to really look back on the songs that have really fit into places in my life. There’s a string of them that really seem to pop up again and again in my internal soundtrack. ‘Make Your Own Music’ by Mama Cass, ‘You’re So Vain’ by Carly Simon, ‘You Make Me Feel Like Dancing’ by Leo Sayer, ‘Somebody Wants to Love You’ by the Partridge Family, ‘Cherry bomb’ by the Runaways…. Just a handful but each not exactly right—some were too much about relationships in general or too independent for an opening about romance.

My first finalist was ’40 boys in 40 Nights’ by The Donnas. Fast and punk and snarky—kind of a mid finger to the world at large, with no apologies for going after what one wants. But after rolling it around in my head a bit I thought it might be a bit too slutty—I mean I am thinking for this as a romantic romp through Los Angeles and friends and bars and parties and the song seems more like a back alley, sex club, dirty boy theme. Discarded.
Then I thought about ‘I Know What Boys Want’ by The Waitresses. It’s very 80’s and dated but really kind of cute and still subversive—the only problem is that it makes me seem like I would be a bit of a snot and bratty more than self aware and jaded but hopeful. The show is about being coy and clever and clueless all at the same time. Discarded

Then it hit me. James Brown. It’s a lesser known but amazing soul song. One that has played a huge part in my life but not so common that it would feel overplayed like some song can be. The lyrics are ridiculous and empowering and out there but they make me laugh and feel awesome and sexy and ready to do anything. It could totally be my motivation when I’m down. The song? ‘Hot Pants’
One-two One-Two-Three uh!
Hot pants- hey hot pants uh! smokin
Hot pants- smokin that-hot pants

Thats where its at a-thats where its at
Take your fine self home
It looks much better than time
My fever keeps growin
Girl youre blowin my mind

Thinkin of loosin that funky feelin dont uh!
Cause you got to use just what you got
To get just what you want-a
Hey hu!
Hot pants! hey! hot pants smokin!
Hot pants make ya sure of yourself -good Lord
You walk like you got the only lovin left hey
So brother- if youre thinkin of loosin that feelin
Then dont- ha
Cause a woman got to use what she got
To get just what she wants hey!
Hey hotpants
A-look a-hot pants wont make ya dance
But as slick as you are-ah! YOU make the pants
Uh! hey brother- do ya like it?
The girl over there with the funky pants on ha!
She can ah! do the chicken all night long
The girl over there with the hot pants on uh!
She can do the Funky Broadway all night long

The girl over there with the hot pants on
Filthy MacNasty all night long
Get down hu! the one over there
With the mini dress ha!
I aint got time- I still dig that mess
Get down! but I like the hot pants
Hey! I like a hot pants

(Short Instrumental)

Ooooh! Bring it home!
One more! Hit me! Aaay!
Bring it home! Bring it home!
Oh uh! Bring it on home
Bring it on home...

It’s totally my anthem whenever I have to boost myself up in a hurry which makes it the perfect theme song. It is the perfect blend of sex and humor and wit and independence that I would imagine myself to have as a character. And it totally works with the type of visual I would use for a show about me—at least how I would like to see me.

I know that it seems over the top to put so much thought into this but it helps me feel awesome and makes me believe that I can be the star of my own life. Which is exactly what the idea is here—to get me into it!