Monday, February 27, 2012
The Leopard Print Zone
Still haven’t been on the scale. However, there are other means of measuring progress. To wit:
This being Oscar weekend (Yes, it is a big deal in Lala Land. Try getting a hotel room within 50 miles during this weekend), I pulled together a costume for the greatest Oscar party held (Suck it, Vanity Fair. We don’t invite those reality show fame whores). The theme is dress as someone (or something) from a movie released that year (Doesn’t have to be Oscar bait). I’ve had success coming as various inanimate objects (or concepts) that could be successfully worn by a fat woman (225 lbs. 5’7”. Yeah. Fat). I’ve won the contest flat out twice (in 2005 as a wine bottle from “Sideways” and the below picture from 2009. I was Milk. Not Harvey, just Milk).
2011, when I’d just begun the weight loss project, I made a sandwich board and went as “The King’s Speech.” Not as original as you’d think; there was another King’s Speech in a sandwich board. I had a crown, though.
Before I show you the new picture, let me tell you a couple of other things.
If you’re a regular reader of this blog, you know that I recently switched my strength training workouts from the circuit Nautilus machines to free weights. And you know that they’re kicking my ass. (And you’re sick of hearing about it. Tough noogies). In terms of building muscle and getting definition, we’ve shifted from incremental improvement to exponential. Even Dr. Best liked my legs. And my back. And arms.
I got daring enough to wear a “sexy” costume for this year’s party. I saw “Cave of Forgotten Dreams”, a documentary about 35,000 year old cave paintings from Chauvet Cave in France. It was in 3 D at the Arclight (which is the Aston Martin of movie theaters. Reserved seating, no talk/no phone rules enforced, comfy seats and real butter on the popcorn if you eat popcorn. I used to and appreciated this little gem. They have a bar, too. Ahhh). I was blown away and saw it in the theater twice. (I’ve been told that on a standard home setup and in 2 D, it’s kind of boring. On the other hand, if you own the homes I’ve seen in some loan files that have state of the art home theater (even down to a concession stand), you might want to give it a shot. Just invite an art history major.
Rather than the usual covering myself up as much as possible with clothing and heavy makeup (Cinema Secrets in Toluca Lake. My go-to for the good stuff). I got a “Sexy Cavewoman” costume (and purse. The company initially screwed up and sent me a Flavor Flav clock necklace instead. Customer Service and I had a huge laugh over it).
Not only was it skimpy (bending over was out of the question), but it had a “corset” front. I could hear The Great White Belly laughing already. However, I had said I was sexy eligible this year and by God, I was going to do it. The hostess normally wears something in the sexy chick range (Daisy Duke, the girl from Tron. She double-crossed me and came as a Muppet) and there were 3 Black Swans last year, so I figured I was covered.
Sunday came, I shaved my legs, curled my hair, put on my own makeup and started lacing up the corset.
It closed. I could breathe and the Great White Belly was strapped down. I put on the leopard print beret and sneakers (I know, cavewomen didn’t wear leopard print sneakers but I saw the Payless ad, there was 1 pair delivered to the store and they were my size. Destiny. By the way, cavewomen didn’t wear La Mystere bras, either, but no way the girls were going without a support system).
I got an overwhelmingly positive response:
Big difference from the last costumes (2010, I was working for idiots who not only had me working on Sunday, but also overran into Oscar telecast time so I didn’t get to put on a costume. I had ID badges on a lanyard, so I was a production assistant). Big difference from the body under the other costumes.
My point (and I do have one. Title of a book by Ellen DeGeneres) can be summed up with this picture:
I moved out of my comfort zone and found it rewarding. There are a lot of platitudes out there about doing such things; “You have to lose sight of the shore to discover new worlds”, that kind of thing. There’s truth in them, though. I stepped out of my comfortable kind of gender neutral niche that I’ve occupied for well over twenty years. Nobody laughed at me (except when I told the story about the Flavor Flav clock). Nobody told me I had no business wearing such an outfit: just the opposite. I’ve heard “Hot mama”, “sexy” and (well, it’s kind of a stretch) “You look like you’re in your twenties.” I still see more chin and torso than I’d like to have when I’ve lost “enough” weight. But my arms are a LOT more toned than they were. If I’m in a bathing suit or top, the sides of my body have shrunk noticeably; no bra overhang, back fat is significantly reduced and under the bra band is smaller. Progress without my sacred “between the toes” numbers.
I FELT pretty and feminine. I don’t know about sexy because I was worried about my ass hanging out, but…
There’s another old saying about how “You look as good as you feel’ and yesterday, I was feeling pretty damned good. Enough that I was thinking about headshots and classes and auditions and writing stand up material again. My friends were talking about upcoming projects (of which I am not a part. To be honest, I feel left out but that’s because I’ve been out of the area for extended periods, out of “the biz” for extended periods and too much damned mortgage banking. But it pays the bills. I’d like this blog to start paying some bills. Click on the ads, would ya?) and I was remembering the elation I used to feel walking onto a set to do background work or that great sense of anticipation before hitting the stage for a 3 minute stand up set.
Mr. DeMille, I might be ready for my close-up…