alt=a man relaxes on a commuter train.

Finding Thomas the Stank Engine

Getting back into the acting world is something I’ve been hesitant to do for a long time. After getting vaccinated, and moving to NYC, and finally joining SAG (the Screen Actor’s Guild), I finally feel like I’m ready to jump back into it. Performing has been a part of my story for so long, and I’m finally in a place where I can do it again.

I hadn’t been on stage since I was in college back in 2019, so I may have gotten a little rusty. Rusty, not only in a "am I good at being on a TV set and having people tell me what to do" sense, but in a bowel sense. Looking back, I have no idea how I got through theatre before. I would show up on an empty stomach, fight through a single granola bar and a bottle of water, remember my lines, and use my anxiety and adrenaline to recite lines in front of an audience. It was something so second nature to me.

I have to rebuild my bowel ritual

What used to be a 15-20 minute commute to a theatre is now over an hour commute, by car, to whatever filming location a NYC project has to offer. Whether it’s Brooklyn or Manhattan, I’ve gotta be able to get there and not ruin my pants. I don’t have the luxury of being able to go before I leave the house, now that I usually leave at or before 5 AM. I have to either hold it or hope that I can find somewhere during my drive.

The train has bathrooms!

Hallelujah! I had no idea that trains had pretty respectable facilities, especially that early in the day. I mean what better place to deal with my shame than the clutches of Thomas himself! It was a miracle, after waking up at the crack of dawn, to find a toilet, before I even found a seat, on a Long Island Rail Road car. Not only was the bathroom SO spacious, but the movement of the car and sound of the tracks made for a nice noise-canceling soundscape!

It made my life so much easier knowing that I had a mode of transit that was reliable AND comparable to driving myself. Plus, I don’t have to worry about parking or going in my pants.

See, my father went out of his way, bless him, and bought me a portable… um… a portable toilet. There is nothing, more devastating than the idea of having to use the bathroom in my car, while on my way to set. Though I’d imagine that going in my pants would be a worse outlook.

Thank goodness for masks

The fear and anxiety of having to drive me, before using the restroom, was debilitating. It was enough for me to panic and nearly stop leaving my house for good. But, after going on the train, I can safely say that I feel more refreshed and capable of achieving my dreams than ever. It’s scary figuring out a new and unknown system after relying on solitude for so long, but I let fear control too much of my life. I may never overcome it, but I can surely do my cope with it day by day. Just one step at a time.

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