Let’s dance and get shit done, Bitches.

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Alicia Badge LOFBSome of us feel that we don’t say yes enough. I feel that people say yes too often. There’s always been a thin line between what is considered a brilliant idea and what is considered a ‘what the fuck did you just do to that table’ moment. Saying yes can be a nerve wracking experience, but with just enough alcohol and Aerosmith playing in the background, all your dreams can come crumbling down.
The most regretful yes that can be made, while drunk, is a tattoo. Now don’t get me wrong, I love tattoos. They’re a great form of expression. It’s just that I’ve seen too many butterfly and infinity tattoos to think that it’s a good idea.

Below I’ve drawn a list of the worst tattoos one could get.

Let’s start with the stick and pokes, or as parents know it as, jail tattoos. This form of tattoo consist of a dirty clothes pin that your friend found under their bed, ink out of a broken pen, a dirty eraser from algebra class, and some questionable string. Basically your friend, who’s never taken an art class, stabs you repeatedly with a dirty needle he just used on himself the other day. Sounds super fun, right? Stick and pokes always look like preschool art. If it looks good, you’re doing it wrong.

sticknpoke

Here you can see the tattoo that shows your old favorite band. You loved this band. They were your bread and butter, that is until you went to Cancun and slept with a girl who was in love with Devin Lima. If you haven’t seen Devin Lima’s face in a while, you should:

lfotat

The “I got too high. Someone save me all of the pop tart crust. It’s my fave.” tattoo:

alien

The “I was a 90′s kid, but didn’t realize Rosie would eventually stop hosting Slime Time.” tattoo:

rosie

The “I love dicks. No seriously, I love dicks so much. I gotta have my dick.” tattoo. Take note that you should never have a dick tattooed on your body. I don’t care what the situation is. You could be held captive and the only way out is to get the dick tattoo. Don’t do it! Sit in your corner and continue eating bread crumbs because it’s not worth having a dick tattooed on your body:

pimpstick

My favorite tattoo of them all. The “I’m very white, but I feel other cultures pain.” tattoo. Never get a Native American Chief tattooed on you if you have absolutely zero native blood in you. If you drink cheap beer and own a bicycle, that gives you even more reason to not have a Native American tattooed on you. I’m Native and I don’t even have a tattoo for it! Would you have the balls to get Malcolm X tattooed on your chest? No! Do everyone a favor and have some respect…and stop drinking cheap beer!

choctaw

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LOFB - NoaAn improv teacher took me aside one day, after a particularly hard class. I was really down on myself about my performance, and I’m not exactly great about masking my emotions. I was being an asshole to myself and others. I needed to be called out–and he did it.

“Why are you so frustrated? You showed up today, you said yes. That’s all you can ask of yourself.”
“No, it’s not. I have to be perfect at it–I have to get it right.” 
“In improv, there is no right or wrong. Noa, we’re making all of this up as we go.”
 “But it’s…it’s not right. I’m trying to make this the best show ever, every time.”
“Oh, wow–that’s the worst because that is impossible. You’ll have some good shows and some bad shows and a lot of middle-of-the-road shows. You’ll be on fire and you’ll fuck everything up. The only thing you can do is support your teammates and have fun with them. When you chill the fuck out, you’ll actually enjoy doing this.”
     “I…I can’t chill out.”
     “Yes you can. Just say fuck it when you walk on stage. Tell your fear to go fuck itself. Tell your perfection to go fuck itself. I mean, what’s the worst that could happen–you have a bad show? Join the club. Fuck it, Noa.”
 “You say that like it’s easy.”
“You say yes to your scene partners, right?”
 “Yeah.”
“Saying ‘Fuck It’ is saying yes to yourself.”

I tried it, the very next class. Fuck it, I told myself. Just go out there and try some shit and support and see what happens. Just give in to the moment.

That class was the first time I ever had fun in improv–and it was so much fun. It was the first time I felt myself relax, the first time I realized I knew what to do (classes, right?) and that if I’d get out of my own way, I could do it, and do it well enough. I could support, I could go with the scenes, and I could actually truly have a lot of fun.

Fuck it, right? What’s the worst that could happen?

Fuck It - Noa

I still get in my head like this from time to time–I get perfectionist and frustrated and (infuriatingly) shitty about my own improv and that attitude leaks into others. I stop having fun. I stop being good. I start getting really down. Then I say fuck it, try again, and hey look at that I’m not terrible after all.

We’re gonna fail a lot in life. It’s just inevitable. We fail in little ways every day, we fail in big ways in others. We fail ourselves and others and our jobs and our dreams. We don’t often do it on purpose, it’s just the law of averages–you can’t be the best all the time.

It’s really hard to not get down on yourself, to rabbit hole the ever living hell out of failure and self-flagellation, and you get worse and worse and fail more and more.

That–that is when you say fuck it. That is when you throw expectations out the window and try again, clear eyed and giving no fucks about anything. You just try again.

You may surprise yourself. You’re better than you think you are.

I mean, fuck it, right? What’s the worst that could happen?

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There is nothing that makes me more angry than people denigrating creative people and creative pursuits.

My sister has a doctoral degree–she’s a veterinarian. She does real, good, work saving the lives of animals and by extension, their families.

Last week I wrote a sonnet about AC/DC, and it was pretty good.

There is a clear discrepancy between what we do. One of us saves lives, the other writes dick jokes and stories about ghosts and superheroes. We get, from outsiders, some flack about the differences between us in all areas: the pay, the honor, the prestige, the ridiculousness.

Yet, my sister has never once judged what I do. She thinks what I do is just as important as what she does, albeit in a very different way.

Saying Yes to creative professions is really really hard. You are subject to so much criticism (good, bad, and trolling) and failure and pick-it-all-back-up-again-and-try-a-new-way. But when you do say yes, when you work hard and try and give it all you’ve got, it can be so beautiful.

Don’t take it from me, though. Take it from these guys.

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LOFB - Jen

These last few weeks have been difficult for me.  I knew that my contract at the university was about to expire, but even so, I held out hope that a last minute grant or donation would keep us afloat and that I would continue the job that I loved so dearly.  Sadly, that hope was in vain and I am now funemployed and fabuluxe.

My job was not so much what I did, but who I was.  I had the joy of knowing that my career made a significant difference in the lives of children with autism and I was honored to hear daily from parents and educators “Jason can read now!”  and “Mara said ‘Mommy’!”  The thought that I’ll no longer see these children or work with their parents makes me feel like I’ve been kicked in the chest and the idea that I will wake up tomorrow and the day after that and the day after that with nowhere to go and nothing to do weighs heavily on my heart and mind.  I’ve always taken care of people.  It’s what I do.  I am the caregiver in my family, the one my friends turn to in  times of need, and my chosen career  has been that of caregiver and “fixer”.  But now I have to reassess.  Now I have to start thinking about myself and where I go from here.  Now I have to stop seeking gratification and self-determination through the eyes of others and seek it within myself.  Now I have to say “yes” to me.

I am (of course) actively seeking employment in my field. . .*

*The short people have grown oddly attached to food and shelter and I’d hate to cut them off at this point!

Read The Rest Here!

Saying Yes Jen

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