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Posts Tagged ‘Hollywood’

Flashback Friday! (Show Fun)

posted by BatSheva Vaknin 9:49 AM
Friday, July 27, 2012

Every Friday, I post an oldie but a goodie blog for your enjoyment. To those of you who just started reading The Grownup Girl recently, enjoy the “new” blog! To those of you who have been with me from the start, but have memories like mine, enjoy the “new” blog!

And to those who were with me from the start and who already read this blog and burned it into your memory, word for word, photogenically, I say:

What are you doing wasting your time dilly-dallying on my website? Get out there and find me a book deal!

If you hate to read, just click on the audio link, below.

BatSheva (BatSheva Vaknin) – It’s Show Fun – the BLOG

Remember how I said I only like movies with Happy Endings? (My blog, last week. It’s okay, I’ll wait – go ahead, read it. Seriously. It’s short, just do it. Ok great, back?) Anway, I should have been more specific. I do hate movies that don’t have happy endings. However, just because a movie has a happy ending, doesn’t mean I’ll like it.

Case in point: While You Were Sleeping. This movie had all the elements of a GrownupGirl Fave: Sandra Bullock. By-the-numbers romantic comedy. Sandra Bullock.

But I didn’t get swept away – maybe it’s the fact that I’ve never found Bill Pullman or Peter Gallagher even slightly sexy.

So when I talked to my childhood friend on the phone and told him I didn’t like the movie, I was surprised when he retorted, “Sheva, that movie made 43 million at the box office last weekend.”

Wait – did I mention he was also the movie’s producer?

“I don’t care if the movie made 20 billion,” I continued. “It sucked.”

His furious reply: “It’s not called Show Fun, Sheva. It’s called Show Business.”

Ooooohhhhhh…. He got me there!

Ever heard of the term “failing upwards?” In showbiz, this is when a person produces a terrible movie, then gets promoted. Like, for example, my friend – who had impressed his bosses as an intern by producing an unwatchable comedy feature which lost money, and then promptly got promoted to junior executive status, with an assistant and all.

Maybe there is a good long term reason for allowing someone to fail upwards – in fairness, my friend has gone on to produces MANY amazing & awesome movies, as well as more crappy ones, each of which I’m sure made at least 43 million each weekend at the box office…

Still, it all kind of depresses me. I’m an artist: A writer. A singer. A Capricorn moon. Which all means I’d prefer things to be FAIR.

Of course the entertainment industry doesn’t care what I’d prefer. It exists to be a source of money, an outlet for talent & ambition, and a place for creative suckers like me to get stomped on by those with more connections and less fear.

Still, a girl can always dream, can’t she?

c/xo,

Sheva (BatSheva Vaknin)

...where all your dreams come true! (That is, if your dreams are about people making shitty movies and then making craploads of money off those shitty movies.)

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Flashback Friday! (Who Knew?)

posted by BatSheva Vaknin 12:57 PM
Friday, March 23, 2012

Every Friday, I post an oldie but a goodie blog for your enjoyment. To those of you who just started reading The Grownup Girl recently, enjoy the “new” blog! To those of you who have been with me from the start, but have memories like mine, enjoy the “new” blog!

And to those who were with me from the start and who already read this blog and burned it into your memory, word for word, photogenically, I say:

What are you doing wasting your time dilly-dallying on my website? Get out there and find me a book deal!

If you hate to read, just click on the audio link, below.

BatSheva (BatSheva Vaknin) – Who Knew? – the BLOG

Dear, gentle readers. I can’t believe it is so… but it is. Today – and only today – April 26, 2011 – a mere COUGH –years after I gave up my teenage dream to become a model…

I am thankful I never was given the opportunity.

I spend a small but meaty chunk of my life feeling pissed that I didn’t get certain opportunities. Why aren’t I a world-famous writer by now? Never was given the right opportunity. Why didn’t I make it big as an actress? Never cast in the role that would have been my gateway to the big time. Why didn’t my band ever make it past local gigs at the Knitting Factory and the Gig? The right producer never did my demo. Or the right A&R guy never heard it. OR…

You get the idea.

I’m already embarrassed to be sharing with you what a whiny complainer I can be. I KNOW – intellectually, at least – that we make our own opportunities, that life gives us only what we NEED and what we are SUPPOSED TO GET, in order to help us grow, transform, & ultimately –yes, I’ll say it – have the OPPORTUNITY to be as happy & fulfilled as we can be.

But. Intellect ain’t exactly gut-knowing, now is it?

At age fifteen, after years of dreaming of being a “famous model/actor/singer,” I made my mother take me to a ‘walk in’ at Ford in New York. The woman was nice, and told me she needed to see pictures of me. I never sent her pictures of me, and I spent years feeling bitter that my mother wasn’t a proper “stage mother” and didn’t take control over my (as of yet nonexistent) career, submit the photos for me, and never give up until her baby was a STAR! (Wait – am I confusing her with Gypsy?) There was always a piece of me that resented her role in my never having “made it”, and I equally was pissed at myself for never having really “gone for it” (thanks to a crushing insecurity that made me incapable of taking criticism).

Today, I watched the TV pilot for my boss’s new Sony TV-produced reality TV show, that, if all goes well, will air on a big network in the fall. It’s about the modeling industry – a really gritty & semi-redemptive look at what goes on behind the scenes. My job in his company doesn’t put me in the limelight of the TV show – I’m in charge of developing a wellness program for the models & interested public, and I’m in charge of the company’s interactive magazine-style website. (www.NetworkTalentCommunity.com if you must know, and YES we will figure out a way at some point to shorten the URL – for now just bookmark it, for God’s sake! And sign up while you’re at it – it’s free & I’ve got to get my numbers up.)

[EDITOR'S NOTE: RESIGNED FROM THIS JOB LAST MONTH. BUT THAT IS ANOTHER BLOG'S SUBJECT!]

Anyway, after seeing the TV show today for the second time, it dawned on me. Thank God I never sent in those pictures. Thank God my mother never forced me into the modeling or entertainment industry any farther than I begged to go. First of all, I wasn’t interested in fashion. I loved to write! Second, I was – as I said before – insecure. More than that – vulnerable. To people’s criticisms of me, to men’s sexual attraction to me, and to people’s opinions of me in general.

I would have been eaten alive.

I still had many rough patches growing up and in my early adult life. Rough relationships, rough emotional dips, rough financial situations. Life, in other words.

And here I am, today, stronger for it all. Happier for it. Better for it.

Who knew?

c/xo,

Sheva (BatSheva Vaknin)

My one and only "real" modeling gig. Yeah, I was a bad ass. In my own mind. Okay, no I wasn't.

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RANT

posted by BatSheva Vaknin 12:07 PM
Tuesday, March 20, 2012

So, Smashed, that new TV show? RRRRRRRRRR

When it was first publicized, I was excited and intrigued. Amazing cast (I mean, hello, ANJELICA HUSTON, anyone!?), a musical (I seem to be one of the only ones who doesn’t like Glee even though I tried… but I do love me a good musical), the girl from that sitcom with the gay roommate (can you tell I’m writing this late at night & too lazy to use Google?), and Steven Spielberg exec producing?

Oh yes, I DVR’d the crap out of that show.

And then I watched it.

Meh.

Couldn’t make it past the first 15 minutes or so. Just seemed kind of boring, and lame, and… whatever.

Cut to: a week later, I’m at the gym on the elliptical with Hulu Plus ready to roll on my iPhone but no more unwatched episodes of Grey’s Anatomy or Gossip Girl. What to do?

Hulu Plus’ home screen suggested Smash (go, NBC advertisers!), and I bit. I finished the episode I had begun a week earlier. And, lo and behold…

I got hooked.

Next episode was even juicier, and my husband was instantly hooked too – he had fallen head over heels for Katharine McPhee back during Idol, so this felt like he was watching his first-born fly, all growed up. And I had to concur – Kat McPhee is flawless in the show.

But on the other hand…

There’s that writing partner guy, what’s his name, the piano player, whose chin kind of melts into his long neck. I like him but he reminds me of a poor boy’s version of my more-than-excellent Yale roommate and once-best-friend, Derek, who is 5 times the looker, piano player, and person than the Smash guy will ever be!

Sidetracking here: Why in the world isn’t Derek one of the world’s premier film directors yet? He directed a film over 10 years ago that was one of the best movies I’d ever seen. Since then? No directing gigs, to my knowledge. Yet another reason to hate Hollywood: Derek should be directing and starring in Smash, not the other Yahoo.

Speaking of whom, that Yahoo’s personal assistant guy in Smash is also THE dumbest. First of all, we’re supposed to believe that girl in the shower in his apartment is his girlfriend and he’s NOT gay? I mean, WHAT? Secondly, he’s just really stupid and annoying and such an obvious “villain” in the show. It’s just weird. AND, where did his random Real Estate friend come from in last week’s episode? I mean, huh? What in the world was Anjelica doing, having drinks with them?? I thought Spielberg was behind this, not my 5 year old!

But the icing on the cake is the stupidest storyline – SPOILER ALERT! (for anyone who isn’t watching the series yet but may rent it at some future unspecified date) – the rekindled affair between that chick from the sitcom and the guy playing DiMaggio.

I mean, COME ON!

First of all, he’s not at all good looking. He’s annoying. As is she, granted, but her husband in the show is cuter, more interesting and nicer than that married guy she’s trysting with, not to mention they have a kid together and supposedly want to adopt another.

Speaking of which, did anyone BELIEVE that ridiculous scene where she was stupid enough to kiss the DiMaggio guy outside her kid’s bedroom window? Oh, her son saw them? Really? DUHHHHHH….

Whew! Thanks for letting me vent, dear readers.

Help me, Anjelica Huston, you’re my only hope! Okay, well, you too, Kat.

Until the next episode…

c/xo,

Sheva (BatSheva Vaknin)

Here's who should REALLY be the star of Smash. And directing it. And ruling Hollywood. Someday...

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Flashback Friday! (Adventures in Hollywoodland)

posted by BatSheva Vaknin 3:20 AM
Friday, February 24, 2012

Every Friday, I post an oldie but a goodie blog for your enjoyment. To those of you who just started reading The Grownup Girl recently, enjoy the “new” blog! To those of you who have been with me from the start, but have memories like mine, enjoy the “new” blog!

And to those who were with me from the start and who already read this blog and burned it into your memory, word for word, photogenically, I say:

What are you doing wasting your time dilly-dallying on my website? Get out there and find me a book deal!


If you hate to read, just click on the audio link, below.

BatSheva (BatSheva Vaknin) – Adventures in Hollywoodland – the BLOG

I had some really excellent jobs after I graduated at the top of my class from Yale. There was my summer in DC, bartending. There was that waitressing gig where my boss thought he was Johnny Rotten. There was that very first job I held in LA, working as an assistant for a big executive at Atlantic Records, a young, hot, ex-ICM agent who liked to scream and throw things and who fired me four months into it for crying on the job.

And then there was the time I worked as an assistant for “Albert.” Albert (not his real name) was a creepy ex-Freudian therapist-turned producer. The ONLY reason Albert had gotten a job as the “Producer” in this pretty high level management company where he had just been hired before he hired me, was because his best friend was the head of a studio, and the managers were getting old and I guess that made them exceptionally naïve.

Albert talked in a low, fake soothing voice, just like you would imagine a creepy therapist would sound. He was bloated, with blotchy white skin and womanly fingers. He would make me sit across from him most days, “rolling calls.” I was instructed to listen to each call on mute, so I would sit there sometimes for hours, listening to him drone on, unable to take my eyes off his bloated, pasty cheeks and his smooth, tapered fingers.

Albert had no idea what the fuck he was doing. He would use the company’s hard-earned cash to option obscure stories that he thought somehow could get made into smash hit movies. He would talk all day to other slimeballs about nothing interesting, and the rest of the time he would try to impress me with disgusting stories of him frequenting the Monkey Bar or some other gross place where he would go with his more powerful friends to try and pick up chicks.

After a while, it became clear that Albert was going nowhere fast. With his blessing, I started interviewing with other companies. Albert agreed to help me give me a great recommendation if I found a better option, so when I interviewed with a producer who knew Albert, I was happy to have him call Albert to check my references.

Imagine my shock when the call came, and I stayed on the call, on mute as I always did, and I heard Albert slander me – tell lie after lie about my work ethic, my abilities, my accomplishments.

Like an angel, my cousin called me on the other line at exactly that moment, and she gave me the solid advice not to quit, but to stay and let him fire me if he dared, so I could at least be eligible for unemployment.

“How could you do that?” I confronted him. “You told me you would give me a recommendation. How could you lie like that?”

“You weren’t supposed to listen into that call,” was the best he could come up with.

I kept accusing him of lying about me, which he couldn’t deal with, and he did wind up firing me. I heard he got fired a while later, having spent the company’s entire coffers without a single production to show for it.

But hey… that’s show biz!

c/xo,

Sheva (BatSheva Vaknin)

Would YOU trust this guy to make the next Titanic? Me neither.

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Flashback Friday! (Facebook Junky – a dramatic narration)

posted by BatSheva Vaknin 12:14 PM
Friday, February 10, 2012

Every Friday, I post an oldie but a goodie blog for your enjoyment. To those of you who just started reading The Grownup Girl recently, enjoy the “new” blog! To those of you who have been with me from the start, but have memories like mine, enjoy the “new” blog!

And to those who were with me from the start and who already read this blog and burned it into your memory, word for word, photogenically, I say:

What are you doing wasting your time dilly-dallying on my website? Get out there and find me a book deal!

If you hate to read, just click on the audio link, below.

BatSheva (BatSheva Vaknin) – Facebook Junky – the BLOG

LIGHTS UP

ON SHEVI (my new name, Christened by a well-intentioned friend who thinks BatSheva (BatSheva Vaknin) is way too complicated, never mind, when pronounced, my “new name” sounds like my parent’s old station wagon…)

SHEVI IS PALE-FACED AND POUNDING AWAY AT HER KEYBOARD.

It’s a little like cocaine.

You start. It feels a little dirty, a little exciting, a little like something everyone else except you has tried.

You go a little, then you stop, thinking ‘this isn’t for you, how do people get into this, the only people who like this must have no life, if anyone has time to really get into this for hours, they must REALLY have no life or else a pathetic one…’

Then-

It happens. You get hooked. (Or, you get outraged that your husband just started a week ago & already has more Friends than you do.) You start Friending everyone and their mother (literally) and you can’t stop and now it’s past 2 in the morning & your kids get up at 6am or whatever but you don’t care because now you’re looking at someone’s photos and you see MORE people you haven’t seen or thought about in decades and now you are Friending them too even though you never said one red word to them back in the day when you had a crush on them in high school and you realize you are Friending more guys than girls but you can’t help it and now HOLY FUCK is that a picture of that disgusting guitar-playing asshole who gave you a nasty disease when you were in college – TURN BACK! – but you can’t, and you realize how disgusting you are and how in the hell did this all get started and why can’t you stop and Jesus what will all these people think of you tomorrow when they see your ‘invitation’ for them to Friend you and how embarrassing that your best friend from high school has Friends you guys used to hang out with together, but she won’t accept your invitation what the FUCK did you ever do to her anyway, that bitch, and now you should be asleep but you’re wide awake and you’re going to get more Friends than these other people if you have to stay here all night and-

How in the world does my best friend from French Woods Camp when I was 14 years old, know my friend from Yale? And how weird is that that I knew that friend from Yale back when I was 10 years old, at a different camp, Camp Seafarer?

And how did that hot guy I used to crush on get so fat?

And do these people accepting my Friend requests even know who I am?

And who are these creepy random people asking me to be their Friends?

And – whoa – Tudor is DEAD? When did he die? I haven’t seen him since the last time I got drunk at Renees Bar in Santa Monica, back in the nineties… God, that’s right, that whole crew of us used to go there every Thursday night, let me see if they’re on Facebook too…

BLACKOUT

Good God this photo of Renee's Courtyard Cafe brings back memories (of blackouts, among other things). Used to go there every Thursday night...

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Dude, Where’s My Car?

posted by BatSheva Vaknin 11:31 AM
Wednesday, February 1, 2012

The other evening I had a meeting with my husband and a computer whiz who we were interviewing to see if he could help boost my husband’s business via his online web traffic. (My husband is a general contractor but 100% of his work comes through word of mouth… even though I helped him build a beautiful website with a testimonial video and gorgeous photos of his work.)

It was one of those weird days when everyone was running behind. The babysitter was late and my husband was late, so I wound up welcoming Mr. Whiz Kid into my home as I simultaneously looked after my three rambunctious kids.  Mr. Whiz Kid brought his girlfriend, too – we’ll just call her WKGF (Whiz Kid’s Girlfriend).

Oh, and by the way, WKGF? Stoned out of her mind.

It was strange. Opening the door, expecting to greet a young professional (Whiz Kid) who claims with good authority (and good references) that he can drive our web traffic and social media standing up 1000% in less than a month, and instead, greeting a female version of Harold and Kumar meets Jeff Spicoli. [In Mr. Whiz Kid’s defense, he was probably stoned too, but I would never have known – his eyes were clear and his manner courteous and direct.]

WKGF? Not so much. Her eyes were flaming red. It was palpable – the effort she put into keeping them open – so much so, that I kept wanting to reach over and put a motherly hand on her arm, and offer her our couch to go lie down on and perhaps some Pirates Booty to quell those munchies, while her boyfriend did business.

But another part of the motherly part of me wanted to… um, how can I put this delicately? Strangle her. Yes, that’s the word I was looking for. How dare she come to a business meeting stoned out of her mind? How dare she smile and train her glazed, 80′s digital clock  eyes on my innocent kids? And how dare he – Whiz Kid – think it was okay to bring her along?

The meeting was odd and strange and practically incomprehensible. My husband finally showed up and we negotiated a small starting fee for Whiz Kid to see if he can do for us what he apparently does for his other clients.

I don’t regret giving him my business. After all, business is business. I just wish he had thought to leave Little Bo Peep back in the meadow…

c/xo,

Sheva (BatSheva Vaknin)

Obviously, these guys just got caught in the cross-hairs of WKGF's laser beam eyeballs.

My Kingdom for a Thicker Skin

posted by BatSheva Vaknin 12:17 PM
Tuesday, January 31, 2012

I hate conflict.

Which, in a word, completely sucks.

OK, I know! “Completely sucks” is two words; you are right!

See – I hate conflict so much that I anticipate it and try to defuse it before it even happens.

It’s no accident that I – a singer, writer and performer – spent about 8 years of my professional life overseeing the Customer Care departments for major corporations.  It was my job to make sure everyone was nice to everyone, that all conflicts would get resolved and result in the greatest possible benefit for all involved.

Similarly, it’s no accident that despite my passion and talent and hard work I have poured into my creative endeavors, I have yet to reap any real professional (read: financial) success from them. Why?

I hate conflict, weren’t you listening?

(*sorry- was that too abrasive?*)

The older I get and the more I care about making money, I realize IT IS IMPOSSIBLE TO MAKE MONEY WITHOUT CONFLICT. Whether it’s the contract negotiation process, the inter-office relationships, the client and/or lawyer disputes that arise in the independent contracting business… conflict is everywhere. The more famous a person gets, the more people ‘out there’ want to take that person down. How could a girl afraid of conflict survive out there in the real world?

It appears to me that the people who have the distinct advantage are the ones who are not just not afraid of conflict… they love and EMBRACE conflict.

You know those people? (Or maybe you ARE one of those people?) You know, the ones who gets all excited and high at the prospect of a fight; those people to whom the word “NO” rolls off the tongue easier than any other syllable. (I was raised in the improve comedy world of “yes, and” where everyone involved agrees to agree, no matter how absurd the premise.)

O, my kingdom for a hierarchical society based on the principles of improv!

But in the meantime… I think I have no choice but to toughen my skin.

Sighhhhhhhh…….

c/xo,

Sheva (BatSheva Vaknin)

Improv comedians always agree. Standup comedians are notorious fight-pickers. Yet another reason it makes NO SENSE for me to do standup...

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Flashback Friday! (Nobody Walks in L.A.)

posted by BatSheva Vaknin 12:14 PM
Friday, January 27, 2012

Every Friday, I post an oldie but a goodie blog for your enjoyment. To those of you who just started reading The Grownup Girl recently, enjoy the “new” blog! To those of you who have been with me from the start, but have memories like mine, enjoy the “new” blog!

And to those who were with me from the start and who already read this blog and burned it into your memory, word for word, photogenically, I say:

What are you doing wasting your time dilly-dallying on my website? Get out there and find me a book deal!

If you hate to read, just click on the audio link, below.

BatSheva (BatSheva Vaknin) – Nobody Walks in LA – the BLOG

So I was walking down the street the other day and bumped into a friend who was walking the opposite direction…

Cack cack cack cack cack! (my bad imitation of someone laughing)

Just kidding. We ran into each other at the Starbucks 6 blocks from my house.

From whence I had driven, of course.

It’s not that NO one walks in LA. Obviously, some people do walk… mostly, to their cars from their house or from their cars into their place of work. Or to the bus stop, for those who can’t afford a car. Or… on 3rd Street Promenade, the blocked off street of Santa Monica where cars aren’t allowed to drive. Or, Hollywood Blvd. If you’re a tourist, a drug addict, a hooker, a Scientologist or some guy who likes to dress up like the Hulk.

You know what no one in LA also doesn’t do? (Work that double negative out in your head. I’ll give you a second.) No one stays up late. Correction: people stay up late here. But if they do, they are in their own houses, or their friend’s house.

Bars close here at 2am. On a WEEKEND. That’s the same time bars close in New Haven, CT, and they don’t even sell alcohol there on a Sunday. In (mostly) boring DC where I grew up at least bars stayed open until 3 on weekends, which always seemed super early in comparison to its nearby and much cooler cousin, New York. When I first moved out to LA I was sure this glamorous town full of party-hopping celebrities and rock stars would be a totally happening scene, all night long. But the town is eerily quiet, come 2:30am.

Move closer to my neighborhood, which is Beverly Hills-ish, and it’s downright spooky at that hour. Tumbleweeds are practically blowing down the streets. We went out Saturday night and tried to get a latte after hours. After getting turned away from two different ‘hip’ places (no, not because we were in jeans – because those places had already closed by midnight) – we finally had to make the choice between Nic’s which is actually one bar that I like in Beverly Hills, and a random café across the street, which we wound up choosing because it was more casual and we didn’t feel like drinking.

That café? Was the Twilight Zone.

The waiter cracked bad joke after bad joke, continued jabbering on about himself way after his expiration date, and the one dish he and the owner swore up and down was the place’s best – the cannoli – was disgusting and we sent it back. Everything we ordered – the coffee, the “croissants,” and the desserts – were either barely edible or not edible at all (the cannoli). Every other person inside the place was about 20-25 years younger than us, which is crazy because who lets their 3 year old toddler out that late without a chaperone?

The worst part is that I’m sure I’ll go there again & again, now that I’ve discovered it. Why? They’re open until 4am. I’d like to patronize them just to help them stay in business, just so that at least there continues to be SOMEPLACE other than iHop open after 2am in my neighborhood. So, everyone who lives in or around Beverly Hills: Go patronize that café that’s open across from Nic’s. Yeah, the one with the fire.

Hell, next time, I may even walk there.

c/xo,

Sheva (BatSheva Vaknin)

The walk-in Vodka Bar @ Nic's in Beverly Hills. AKA where we SHOULD have gone.

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Livin’ La Vida Loca

posted by BatSheva Vaknin 12:26 PM
Tuesday, January 24, 2012

I mentioned waitressing at Vida in my last blog so I figured I’d better bang out the stories before my excellent memory kicked in again and another six months passed before I remembered to do it. I’m not sure what possessed me – a Yale grad – to try waitressing, but at the time I had a notion I could be An Actress, so I probably decided it would be a good job to have, working at nights and all, while I was running around on auditions and shooting commercials, TV shows and films in the meantime.

Sorry, guys. I was laughing so hard I choked.

Ahem.

Needless to say, my Acting Career didn’t quite pan out as I had hoped. Maybe someday I’ll post my “acting reel” up here so you can laugh along with me.

But back to Vida… it was owned & run by this punk rock chef whose hair was generally either bright pink or neon orange or something in between, and whose awesome food was pretty nearly matched by his awesome temper (he punched out one of my fellow waiters on New Year’s Eve, which especially sucked because it was during the first shift so we were short the whole night) and his awesome managerial skills (that same night he “pooled” all our tips and when he divided them a couple days later and handed me mine, I was short over two hundred dollars).

I was a terrible waitress, mostly because I cared too much what people thought of me. I REALLY cared too much that no one ever left decent tips. (Readers, once again, let me use this platform to help my brothers and sisters in the service fields out there – SPEND AN EXTRA DOLLAR OR TWO AND TIP 20% WHEN YOU EAT OUT. Nuff said.)

I also am way too much of a leo to be a good waitress, which in non-astrological speak means that I inherently feel I should be the one being waited upon. The world just doesn’t feel right to me when I’m the one doing the waiting on others.

I’ll give you exactly two seconds to feel bad for my husband.

Done?

Let’s move on.

There were some fun aspects to working at Vida, like meeting (and waiting on) lots of celebrities and rock stars. Pee Wee Herman is the main one who sticks in my memory. And the hostess at the time was this tragic, ethereal beauty who had a daughter, Clara, with Flea (of Red Hot Chili Peppers). She was really cool (the mom; can’t remember her name offhand).

She asked me to babysit once, and I did. I babysat Clara at Flea’s house (mostly I remember Clara had TONS of energy; I was exhausted after just a couple hours with her) and I politely declined when Flea asked me afterwards to come on board as Clara’s full time nanny.

So if nothing else, Vida was worth the stories I got out of working there. Plus, working as a waitress over the holidays was fun in a Poor-Me-I’m-Such-A-Victim-Having-To-Work-On-Christmas-Eve-And-New-Year’s-Eve experience, too.

Good times…

c/xo,

Sheva (BatSheva Vaknin)

If I had played my cards right that could have been ME inside that Flea/Anthony/Clara sandwich.

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GHB Guy

posted by BatSheva Vaknin 1:03 PM
Monday, January 23, 2012

Years ago, when I was reading the police report of my broken wrist to fellow party-goers (I know there is all kinds of wrong about what I just said, but for now, let’s leave it for a future blog) – one of my captivated audience members was a tall guy whom I thought was gay until he tried to make out with me.  I kissed him a little but wouldn’t let him do anything more – which came as a huge relief later, when I found out not only had he given me GHB (commonly known as “the date rape drug”), but also that he was married.

[WAIT – I forgot to say, if you are my parents or my kids and you are reading this...? This is just a joke – GOT YA! APRIL FOOL’S!! Now please close your browser and pretend this never happened, K?]

Coast clear? Back to the story… A few months later, I ran into GHB Guy at Vida, a restaurant I had just been hired by as a waitress. (A blog’s worth of stories about this place – including the one about how I wound up babysitting Red Hot Chili Pepper Flea’s daughter, Clara – making a mental note…) Anyway, GHB Guy came in to Vida with his wife. It was my FIRST night training as a waitress, & first thing, I was assigned to their table, of course. GHB Guy and I just sort of grinned politely at each other, and that was it.

Awkward!

Cut to: six months later, when I bumped into GHB Guy one evening, while we were both walking down Fairfax Blvd. (an EXTREMELY rare occurrence in LA, by the way, to run into someone “while walking”). GHB Guy looked like his was lit from within with a fire and passion – and when I asked, he told me he was on his way to study Kabbalah. I didn’t know what that meant but it sounded cool. (It would be another 6 years, give or take, before I discovered Kabbalah myself.)

A year later, I ran into him again at a small live show – a friend of mine’s band was playing. I told GHB Guy I didn’t drink anymore. He told me he didn’t either. He also was divorced. We may have clinked ginger ale glasses. I don’t think we said much else.

Oh yeah – the only other time I saw GHB Guy after that was on TV; he was accepting an Academy Award.

Now that’s LA.

c/xo,
Sheva (BatSheva Vaknin)

GHB - a little slice of heaven. And, uh... date rape. And... an Oscar?

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