This is what the t-shirt, worn by a big woman with no bra on the subway read. I’m heading back to Penn Station to return to Long Island and reminiscing over a night of debauchery. Which naturally followed a day of shooting the most amazing video of my life. This is what happened.
We shot the video for the Kickstarter campaign in my old apartment of the Upper West Side of Manhattan in 90 degree heat. By the grace of God, and the help of friends new and old, I managed to get together an incredible group of actors and crew. It was like making a movie!! Even my dog turned in a stellar performance. He wore gold chains and aviator sunglasses without flinching. I swear he was born for the big screen.
The sweat was pouring down my face right as the camera was ready to roll. I sat there wondering if I shoot this web series for real, will I get an actual makeup artist? Will there be someone to make sure I don’t glisten on camera? For now, people will just have to understand.
My friend Bob is cracking me up just by delivering the lines that my Dad usually says. Bob stops to me to say, “Are you sure I should say this? I mean, it’s a little mean.” I assure him that he won’t come off like a total asshole, but he has to sound like my Dad. Bob is someone who’s done a TON of TV like, “Law and Order,” “The Wire,” “General Hospital,” and hundreds of others of TV shows. I can’t even believe I get to act in a scene with him. And Peggy, playing my Mom, is famous for playing the office lush in “9 to 5” with Dolly Parton. The two don’t look anything like my real parents, but they’re so damn good, it’s okay. The crew waits til the end of the scene to crack up.
The whole time I was living through my childhood and now my 2nd childhood, and wondering Why me? I now see the gift in the pain. The humor that gets to be expressed to millions out there who don’t know me. Maybe this is why.
A few of us split off and go to Times Square at dusk to film the flashback sequence that represents the peak of my success when I was happy and in love. I needed to film a shot of me and my then boyfriend, but the actor became unavailable when we ran over in time. I was in the middle of Times Square, applying my own lip gloss and looking like somewhat of a slut, when we suddenly decided we could grab a stranger out of this crowd of tourists and have him play my ex, for just a second. I looked around and saw NO ONE attractive enough to pass. I said, “Don’t worry, it’ll just be Myra solo and happy.” That’s when I looked up past the NYPD on horses and saw a jaw-dropping Indian guy that was way hotter than my ex could have hoped to be. But it looked like he was with his wife and her extended family. “Go for it,” the camera guy says to me. “Unless you want me to go ask him?”
“No,” I say. “The old Myra wouldn’t flinch. She would be drunk on apple martinis and happiness and she would go right up to him.” And so I did. This gorgeous, unassuming Indian guy reluctantly agreed after his friend or cousin pushed him. “Go do it, man.”
In the middle of Times Square, with so many lights it looked like nine o’clock in the morning, not nine o’clock at night, we twirled around each other and smiled. “God, he’s hot,” I thought. As you all know, I have a thing for Indians.
“What’s your name?” I ask him.
He doesn’t find this as funny as I do. Probably a million people say this.
I bid my goodbye to the boyfriend who never was, and we finish shooting my red pumps on the pavement of the most lauded intersection in the world.
(By the way, writers and laureates out there, I know I am switching tenses, which is a big grammatical no-no. But, whatever).
We film the last scenes in the apartment, and then 3 hours over schedule, we are done.
When we finish and load the gear into Dan the amazing cameraman’s van in the downpour of rain, I go to the sink, wash my face off and look at my reflection in the mirror. Holy shit, this is happening.
Since I’m in the city, my friend’s Natasha and Cindy want to go out. We wind up at a club whose name I don’t remember, because I’m four apple martinis deep. Cindy winds up in the bathroom with a guy she met 30 minutes prior on the dance floor, and Natasha is talking to a tall Nubian prince she met outside on line. She asks me if I’m okay. I am more than okay. You could say my friends are bad girls. But they are good bad girls. I stand on the perimeter of the dance floor, happy that my friends are having a great time, but even happier for no particular reason. I think about who I used to be, on the perimeter of a New York dance floor eyeing a certain guy or wondering who would buy my next drink or which outfit would look the coolest in my wardrobe. And I think about who I am now. If spending time with my parents has added anything to their lives. About them getting older and how I’ll take care of them. If I’m a good daughter. If it even matters.
One night it’s filming and debauchery. And the next it’s Starbucks and my laptop. With the one consistent friend that has come to my rescue: the blog and the people out there who relate.
As I’m writing this entry, my phone beeps with a new email alert. Kickstarter says MY VIDEO IS APPROVED! We’re launching on Tuesday! I’m so excited!
And, oh yeah, I’d rather choose New York over heaven.