I’m No Fun

The number one problem in my life right now, I shit thee not, is that I am not having enough fun.

Here is proof:

  1. I can’t stop cleaning my apartment: there’s always something to clean
  2. I keep a food journal
  3. I keep a journal for lists
  4. Today when I walked into a tree I yelled at the tree
  5. When someone tells a joke I cannot hear it and I continue with my serious thoughts
  6. I am actively trying to have more fun
  7. I am writing a blog post about having fun
  8. I only read cookbooks now
  9. I keep listening to the soundtrack from the movie “The Hours” over and over
  10. Everyone keeps telling me to have more fun

Normally this wouldn’t matter, but I am an actor and yeah, much of the time, having fun is part of my job.

I started this blog way back in 2012 as a way of taking care of my depression. It was an outlet. In the nearly 5 years I’ve been maintaining it, it has gone through many phases. Tracking moods, documenting experiences, telling silly stories, writing reviews, and most recently: Updates on my acting career, which has proved to be the most boring thing I’ve written about… what??

My acting teacher, Anthony Abeson, has been trying to infuse us with more fun. “Wild Theatricality,” he calls it, because somehow, it’s been lost.

“Are we nuts? Broke AND not having fun?” He recently Tweeted.

I, like many actors, am worried about doing things “right.” Which is, you guessed it, NO FUN.

However, this isn’t my actor website. This is my personal blog. So it doesn’t have to be organized or professional or have a fucking logo or anything. It just has to be a place where I can dump my brain out for a bit and sort things through.

And sometimes I just find the craziest things in there!!

Podcast, commercial reel, and cheese

Today feels like one of those, well I’ll just go to bed early tonight and start all over tomorrow kind of days.

I think it’s because I had homemade queso last night. That’s the kind of food that hurts even worse when you see what goes into it. Lactose intolerance is real, you guys, and I feel like I ate a slowly deflating beach ball, still covered in sand.

Better news: I have become certified to use BRIC’s brand new podcasting recording studio, so I will start recording this week! I am very excited to collaborate with my hilarious friend and classmate Racheal Kimeau. We’re probably going to talk a lot about having low self esteem. You’re gonna hate it, I just know.

Have I shared my new commercial reel with you yet?

xoxo

 

full of joy and happiness

When I moved to New York City, I Instagrammed a screen capture of a note my sister left on my phone. It says:

“Dear Tory, I hope you have a wonderful life in New York full of joy and happiness. I believe you will be famous one day and maybe even cast in a television show. When you are, I hope you don’t forget about your little sister stuck in Iowa. Love, Keely.”

My caption is as follows:

“I just found this sweet note on my phone from my #sister. I neglected to tell Keely that the dream is really just to do enough industrials to pay off my student loans.”

This was June 18, 2013. (Before she had Instagram).

A few things:

First of all, and most importantly, I have got to up my caption game you guys. It’s the same reason I’m bad at Twitter.

The bar is now so much higher than doing industrials it isn’t even funny that I wrote that. In fact, I did do a tv show! 2 of them! Confidence is key.

Also, my sister is no longer stuck in Iowa. SHE LIVES IN MAUI. MAUI IS IN HAWAII. The other day I saw that she is actually in vacation on A DIFFERENT ISLAND IN HAWAII. Sometimes I pretend I am on vacation when I am in Williamsburg, because you can get close to water. Williamsburg < Hawaii.

I am so grateful for my support system. You can be a dentist, or a school counselor, or a police officer, or a guy who writes fortunes for cookies, but no matter what: your support system gets you through it all. And I am very #lucky #blessed #fortunatecookie.

By the way my sister is a nurse, which is not an easy career, Maui or no. Whenever I want to whine and say “this is harrrrrrrrd,” I think about how Keely is a tough bitch* and a life saver. Even if she’s just sneaking a darling little note into someone’s phone.

*This is a title she gave herself when we asked why she didn’t want to get gassed up before getting her wisdom teeth pulled. So, yeah confidence is key.

 

Tory Flack and the Case of The Lazy Blogger

God! I feel like I have to start out every post with an apology! But you’re not my boss.

So, I’m sorry Tory, that you continuously let yourself down by not making yourself known on the Internet every 32 seconds. BRB checking my Facebook.

34 likes, phew.

I am listening to a comedy podcast right now, which is why this blog post is so funny.

So what do you want to know about? I wrapped on that Schick commercial last month, and now am just waiting for it to pop up online so I can watch it over and over again and re-live the magic. Oh! A couple weeks ago the episode I filmed of “I Love You… But I Lied” aired. I haven’t watched it yet, I’m nervous. But you can watch it right here.

Unless you don’t have a cable provider to log you in. I’m sorry, it’s not me, it’s you.

This weekend I am taking a clown workshop with Christopher Bayes! The one and only. And later this month I will begin filming a fantasy/sci-fi webseries. My character is a badass, there is a magic(k) fight! So I can’t wait to get started on that.

Meanwhile, I have been modeling for people and doing sketch and improv at the Annoyance. Lastly, I am writing a detective novel. There are 3 clues in this blog!

Stay tuned.

-Sunglasses.

 

 

 

Willpower

Before I left for Iowa for the holidays I discovered Discipline. It started with Willpower, who is a cousin of Discipline, I believe on the paternal side.

I catered a private holiday party somewhere in the Union Square area. There were desserts, trays and trays and trays of desserts. Ginger snap ice cream sandwiches, Bite-mallows, mini fried apple pies, peppermint soliders. I remember all these desserts in detail. The way the light hit the chocolate glaze of the Bite-mallow, how the ginger snap cookies favored melting toward the left. The crispy flakes left behind by the apple pie.

My Midwestern woman instincts went into full gear and I mercilessly hounded the guests into a sugar coma. “OMG you haven’t tried the peppermint soliders! Everyone is talking about them!” “Sir, I saw you eyeing the ice cream sandwiches. I saved one for you.”

You see, I had to do it. I had to get them to eat all the dessert, because it was a long walk from the party upstairs to the make-shift kitchen in the den, and during that walk, temptation sprouted from those trays like emails from a listerv you swear you’ve unsubscribed from over and over again.

“No.” I told the dessert. “First of all, I feel like I’m getting a cold, so it’s really important to keep this poison out of my body.”

Pretty soon King Dessert fell from his throne. As the night went on, and I managed to get by without mindlessly popping mini fried apple pies with farmhouse cheddar into my mouth like a whale, yawning, and passing through a school of fish, my confidence rose to new levels. I unabashedly checked my phone in front of the boss. I let someone catch me looking at myself in a mirror. I convinced a party guest to buy me a sensible car.

And that confidence stayed with me for a full two weeks. I didn’t need sugar! So I gave up alcohol too. Pretty soon I was jumping out of bed in the morning and praising the day without the aid of coffee. I would have been checking things off my to-do list like mad, but I didn’t need to make a list because I was just DOING productive things without thinking. I smiled a lot. Struck up conversations with strangers, and friends too. You see I’m a textbook introvert, and I don’t really like conversations because they make me tired.

That willpower turned into discipline. And I was saying No to things that didn’t make me feel good, and Yes to things that did.

Then the holidays hit full force and I went back to Iowa, and I moved into the third week of my menstrual cycle, so I had to step out of my mind and body and let a demon live there for a bit.

Now, here I am back in NYC. Trying to find routine again. It’s okay, I’ll get there. I now know what its like to not feel so tired for once in my life, and that it all stems from willpower, discipline and eating things in moderation.

 

 

 

 

Ham Pants, Penis Palm

When I started auditioning my arms would go numb all the way up to my shoulders, and my hands would cramp into steady fists. I would leave the audition room and find someone to unfold them so that I could go to McDonalds and hold the McFlurry I was inevitably going to cry into. This happened for a few years before it got worse, and then got a bit better.

I have terrible anxiety, mostly at night. The kind that sends a wave through my body and shoots me out of bed when it reaches the top. I’m nervous all the time, but afraid to show it, and I feel like sometimes I come across as an overconfident bubble. I daydream about moving to my very own cave, as long as Seamless will deliver, and my therapist has said more than once: “I’m curious as to why a person who tries so hard to be invisible chose to be an actor.”

I’ve bombed so many auditions that I’ve conditioned myself to treat them like job interviews and do them “correctly.” Being poised, however, is reallllllly boring, and it’s just not who I am. I once pooped in a garbage can in someone’s dorm room because the girls bathroom was locked and I was too shy to ask for a key. Don’t worry, I was alone! Now the Internet knows my biggest secret and I am free at last.

I told my manager that I’m working on letting my personality shine a bit more when I audition, instead of freezing up and putting on my good girl face. She told me about a mutual friend of ours who is working on something similar. So a few weeks ago, before he went into his audition, he stopped by the bathroom and nestled a slice of ham into his underwear. Ya know. Around the boy parts. I mean… how can you take anything seriously when your scrotum is using deli meat as a hammock?

He booked the job.

Today I found myself battling my nerves before a meeting with a casting director and I remembered that story. I searched through my bag, but there was nothing that would fit into my pants comfortably. So I snatched a red pen and drew a penis on my hand. Because I am a 12 year old. It’s not a great illustration. It looks like a nail with a cartoon dog mouth, but it gave me a chuckle.

Tomorrow I have a callback for a very dramatic role. The character is “poised” and “elegant,” but I, Tory Flack, will have a penis on the inside of my hand, which will not be cramped in terror.

#firsttake

I once ate a photograph of myself.

At a marching band competition. Where Zach Elster and myself took home a “Best Drum Major” award. And when I accepted the award I was wearing a knee brace over my all-white marching band uniform. Because I tore my ACL. At band camp. We get it! Stop trying to one-up everything.

The POINT is, in 2002, insecurity had me in a chokehold and Brittni Sullivan tried to show a BOY my school picture from LAST YEAR. Before I had braces. And I thought braided pigtails were sexy. And I was wearing my dad’s Zildjian t-shirt. And Groucho Marx’ eyebrows were reincarnated onto my face. Okay, okay! Seriously, stop trying to steal my thunder.

Back to my point. That picture haunted me. Because in the year after it was taken, the braces were on their way to correcting my overbite and my Marx eyebrows died and turned into a cat, which I think was the goal before getting sidetracked by my face. Also, want to lose 15 pounds of after-school hot dog fat? Get yourself some knee surgery. Between the physical therapy and the vicodin puking, you will achieve the body that magazines refer to as “skinny fat”- and that’s good enough!

Anyway, I’ve always been a late bloomer. As well as a control freak / perfectionist / Standard Virgo / terrified of everyone. So for someone to be able to see this photograph of me instead of what was real and sitting in front of them, (a skinny fat girl in a white marching band uniform, still in braided pigtails) was unacceptable and embarrassing.

Thus, I wrestled the photo from Brittni’s hands, shoved it into my mouth and climbed to the top of the bleachers, where I chewed and swallowed it. It was wallet sized.

If you’re a female who is 9 months to 65 years old, which is the age you retire from caring, you’re going to obsess about your looks. If you are talented enough, you can turn it into a comedy bit and laugh about it with everyone and then go back to obsessing alone in an empty bathtub.

One way to obsess about what you look like, is to analyze photos of yourself and feel frustrated with your lack of control. My generation-ish and all my foremothers mostly dealt with film. Which means if we didn’t like it, we could rip it up- which is the ultimate form of exercising control over your looks. Also, there’s always peace of mind knowing that the picture of you wearing your headgear that your sister took when you weren’t looking exists only in a box in an attic somewhere. *

No. If you don’t like the selfie you took in the bathroom, where the light somehow perfectly washes out your skin so you look like you have a flat, white face with no nose and giant baby doll eyes, you can just keep trying until your arm gets tired, or you get the best possible Facebook profile pic. Or, you accept mediocrity and learn how to use Photoshop. How in the world are you supposed to toughen up if you can just delete your way to perfection?

“But, Tory!” You say, even though I repeatedly asked you to either address me as “Star Killer” or stop talking. “Because of digital photography, we are able to share those embarrassing photos with the Internet, and all laugh about it together! This story would be way better if you showed us a copy of the picture that you ate, instead of just describing it!”

I get that. But, it’s in a box in an attic in Waterloo, Iowa. Where it will stay for a long time because nobody has the energy to look for it. And because I am more powerful than the Internet.

Somebody call me when using the first take of your selfie becomes a hashtag trend, so I can kick myself for not starting an empowering movement.

 

*My mom doesn’t scrapbook or organize things like your mom probably does. But my mom can kick your mom’s ass. Back in the 90s, someone took a photo of my mom and she threw their camera in the trash and told them she was in the Witness Protection Program. Yes, much of my self-deprecating humor comes directly from this remarkable woman. I am now not being sarcastic when I tell you that my mom is a superhero and no matter how much she hates her hair, she still looks like Geena Davis. I will leave you with this picture of her. She is the one in the middle.

mom