No. 11: ❄️🎄🥛
You go home for Christmas after two years in LA. The mountain air hits you like walking into a Dyson purifier, so fresh it’d be sterile if it weren’t earth-tinged by the greenery of pine. You’d love to be making snow angels with your sisters, but right now you’re making small talk with someone’s parents at a holiday party.
“How’s the business going?” they ask.
“Good,” you chirp. It’s not going good.
“Gonna be in any big movies soon?”
Her swinging pom-pom ornaments make you wonder if you should’ve worn an ugly sweater. You thought the dress code was cocktail, albeit Rockies edition—Smartwool stockings under a fleece mini skirt and Ugg boots. You couldn’t wear this outfit back home. Home, you realize. It’s the first time you’ve thought of LA as where you belong instead of here.
“Working on it,” you quip. Anxiety creeps like the kid who saw mommy kissing Santa Claus.
“Well, why don’t you start in TV?” she asks.
You force a smile as though you haven’t been trying to start in TV, as though it’s the first time someone’s suggested this to you, as though maybe this massage therapist can offer a piece of Hollywood advice your two agents, manager, and acting coach can’t.
“Yeah, I’ll give it a whirl!” you say.
“Or you could start in commercials,” her husband says. “Janice, what’s the name of your sister’s niece? The one who was in that commercial for Ford?”
“Oh honey, it wasn’t a commercial for Ford, it was one of those dealership commercials.” Janice laughs toward you as though Howard’s not on the in. Then her face drops with the sobering brilliance of a good idea. “But I should connect you two. She’s been in LA for what, seven or eight years? Honey?” He shrugs and sips nog, chastised. “Her name is—” goes in one ear and out the other— “do you know her? You should be friends! Howard, where does she live? I bet she could help you network!”
Panic forces your eyes to the snowmelted entry rug. They’re only being helpful. Guilt for your annoyance merges with your wish for a black hole, but what on earth do you say? You’re saved by the announcement of a White Elephant exchange and return to your parents’ with a narwhal tea strainer.