A Pot of Tea


I’m curled into a ball on my living room floor. I refuse to open my eyes and if I wasn’t able to feel my heart pounding through my chest I would think I was dead. My doctor told me I must stop coffee for a while, if I want to heal from my candida problem. Today was the first day without and wait… let me check. Yes, I’m alive. I have no choice but to throw my psychopathic emotions and anger about my recent void into writing my film script. It’s either that or stay curled in this ball, and to be honest, my knees hurt.

Not too long ago I made an oath to start taking myself seriously as an actress. No nudity. No B movies. And I’ve decided to start writing my own feature that I’ll star in, of course. I mean, after all isn’t that what Owen Wilson did with Bottle Rocket? What Sylvester Stallone did with Rocky? What Lena Dunham did with Tiny Furniture? And now, look what happened. These people have careers. They’re no longer struggling. They’ve taken themselves out of the maddening plastic hamster ball of auditioning, rolling around aimlessly and almost always into walls, even down staircases sometimes, and have put themselves in the driver’s seat.

I sit at my computer and write. But there’s distraction. My upstairs neighbor has a sneezing problem. I mean, he sneezes every day fifty times in a row. I can hear it with my door closed. I can hear it from the bathroom. I can hear it from the bathroom when the doors are closed. The man must have a critical health condition to sneeze like that every day. Someone just yelled “Shut up!” at that poor man. I try to stay focused and not laugh… but then start thinking about coffee.

I change the subject in fear of a panic attack. So I think about tea. I’m allowed tea. Thank God. I drink five cups in a row.

After finishing the rough draft, my filmmaker boyfriend and I make note cards as a way to help us with the arch of the film, since he’ll be directing. We start from the beginning and make it to the last scene. It takes twelve hours. The cards look like ant trails. I admire them. They wind all around the couch, across the living room and past the fireplace. I could imagine a very tall, chipper woman, the owner of some gallery leaning over to my ear. She’d be wearing a pencil skirt and holding a gold Montblanc pen while raising her thick eyebrows. She’d ask to collect the cards as is and frame them to be put on display in her next exhibit. I would agree, so flattered a stranger considers my movie cards gallery worthy.

I snap out of it and lay back on the leather couch proud of all the hard work. I’d like a treat. Another pot of tea? If I have to…

Alice can be reached at AliceActress@yahoo.com.

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Tales of a Toluca Lake Actress

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