Season 2-Episode 1: Hippie Hopes.

Written live from her cozy, danked out bedroom for the World Wide Web. Welcome ladies and gentleman to a new season of That Hippie is Lit! 

Happy New Year, most importantly Happy Black History Month!

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Don’t forget to be relentless, proud and  apologetically Black this month. It’s important. The Europeans gave us 28 days (sometimes 29) to act up and act up we shall do. At least I know I am. I spent the last long af month, frustrated, anxious and low-key depressed trying to figure out what’s next. I almost lost sight of why I’m living  in L.A. I mean, this is the city I’ve been dreaming of for years how dare I be in constant questioning and confusion.

I’m tired. Tired of making excuses for myself, tired of being tired and lazy, tired of not going hard enough while I sit back and watch my comedy peers on Instagram, climb their way to success. Sidebar, it’s also super strange living in a world where majority of my friends are starting families and I’m just starting my life.

Let’s be honest, I had no focus last year. Hustling PA jobs, working two jobs for the man, co-hosting a podcast, blogging, shooting a pilot, making music. I was everywhere but nowhere at the same time. Yes, in my head I’m Sailor Moon and yes sometimes I exude that energy but even Sailor Moon took time  to make a game plan. She loved saving people, saving the Sailor Scouts, saving Tuxedo Mask. It was her moon given gift to share love and create hope for everyone. My gift is my ability to create art. My ability to speak and have this odd, unique voice that no one has but me. I have something to say with the expectancy that it will bring hope to others. Don’t tell anyone this but as an only child I feel like I’m meant to be alone. When I write stories and share it with others I feel a sense of togetherness and understanding. I guess that means this is what I’m meant to do.

Giving up is not an option, neither is being comfortable with mediocrity.

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So listen, I’m going to take this stand-up comedy thing seriously this year. I know, I know I keep saying it but for real,  I spoke to some L.A. comedy legends over the Christmas break. I met them at this Wig-mas party. (A Party where everyone has to wear wigs) Anyway, they inspired me. These middle-aged white men told me the realist shit when it comes to this comedy game. I soaked it all up and I’m ready to relinquish it to this city.

I don’t know if it’s because I dated all those stand-up comedians in the past, or the rush I get when I’m on stage  while people laugh at my jokes but I’m gonna give it a real shot. Like perform three nights a week shot, like, instead of spending $5 on milkshakes I’ll spend it on open mic’s type shot. Like, gotta take the bus home from the comedy club because the Uber cost too much shot. Because, yes I came out here for comedy writing but out here I can be anyone and do anything I ever thought was impossible. My mind was so closed, thinking it’s comedy writing or death!

I, That Hippie is Lit can be who I want to be, especially while I’m on stage. Plus, I’m way funnier than the comedians I dated in the past and they aren’t doing too bad for themselves.

 

Image result for stand up comic gifSo, come see me on stage one night…Don’t worry, I’ll continue to write stories. I actually want to knockout a couple screenplays this year. Oh and I just got a hosting gig for an open mic at this vibey, vegan- friendly cafe. I’m curating as well so no pressure right?

I’m excited to be here again. The fact that its 85 degrees in February helps. I’m going in to my second year living in Los Angeles with  a couple bruises and a strained neck muscle (long story)

I’m also going into my second year with faith, hope and the desire to work for my dreams. No hold backs.

Stay Tuned.

 

 

 

 

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Episode 11: My Brother’s and Me.

Growing up, life for me was a crystal stair. I’m an only child,  who grew up in a middle class suburb. My life didn’t have tacks in it or splinters,  it had Disney World once a year and mad Christmas gifts; filled with Dream houses galore, the most swagged out barbie clothes and cars,  I had internet and cable in my room at 9 years old (Which probably wasn’t the best idea)  Yo, I was hooked up with everything and the best part was, I didn’t have to share it with anyone.

I’ve always been content with being by myself, taking care of everything on my own. Because, well…who else is gonna do it?

     That all went to shit after I pledged a Sorority during undergrad. Don’t get me wrong, Sorority life was incredible and super crunk af but my life went from never sharing, to seeing a sorority sister with one of my outfits on across the quad. I was prepared for it so   I never complained. However, what I wasn’t prepared for was the plethora of tall, beautiful black men that were about to enter my life and change it forever.

     I met Duncan and Lo in the fall of 2010 at a party my Sorority sisters and I hosted. The party… Litty, obviously.  Shawty Lo songs were bumpin’ in the background as we played unorganized drinking games with Four Loko’s. Connections were made,  flirting was surfacing (thanks to the Four Loko’s)  and I’m pretty sure there was a grown man at the party walking like an Ape the entire night. Duncan nor Lo didn’t really stand out to me. Lo had no facial hair so I thought he was underage. Duncan was overweight, plus the clothes he was wearing that night made his weight even more noticeable. I can’t recall the exact moment I knew I wanted these men to be my Bff’s.

 

I do know for the last seven years they have completely, 100% had my back and they’ve certainly kept me humble.

Moving to a new city is hard. It’s even harder when you don’t know anyone in that new city and you’re frolicking around town pushing 30 trying to make new friends.  But of course, the Universe has a way of doing magical things. So,  in the Winter of 2017 when both Duncan and Lo moved to Los Angeles, I wasn’t surprised.

I knew it was divine…

Because, Duncan is the perfect gentleman, who always opens the door for me, we’ve made it an obligation to see every Kevin Hart show live together, I taught him how to roll a splif, he taught me how to be decent human being. He has this benevolent nature about him that wants you to be around him all the time. He’s an amazing friend.

 

Lo, on the other hand has strong beliefs and opinions, which causes us to bump heads a lot but I can’t deny, he’s a creative genius with a unique sense of humor. I believe in him, his ideas, his actions. He doesn’t allow me to get away with shit, sometimes that annoys me but I have to remember I’m not an only child anymore. These dudes are like, my brothers.

The dynamic of our relationship has changed though. We’re different. We’re adulting, grindin’ hard, we’re starting from the bottom out here. We have a  different  purpose now. We’re here to work, create and evolve. We’re in the midst of producing so many projects and cultivating so many connections it’s bound to make your head spin. I’m so fuckin’ happy I don’t have to do this by myself you have no idea…I’m even happier I get to create with my Bro’s. We might wanna kill each other every now again but we trust one another and that’s super vital for what we want to accomplish. They push me to be better than I believe I can. That’s the type of people you want to be surrounded by. I have the most legit creative crew in Los Angeles now… So trust and believe we’re going to be socially acceptable.

Stay Tuned…

 

*Duncan, Lo and I at Jerrod Carmichael’s screening of his new HBO Stand-up Special. 

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Episode 8: Magical Mystery Ride.

  Exactly one year ago,  I took an uncomfortable Frontier flight to Los Angeles, California for a beyond overdue vacation. 

During that time, I was living in Brooklyn, NY dressed head to toe in the finest winter wear, walking to work in four ft of snow,  living in an apartment where my bedroom felt more like a walk-in closet. Let’s just say it was time for a break.  Not only was it my first vacation solo dolo,  I needed confirmation that Los Angeles- the city I’ve been wanting to live in for years was for me.

Fast forward through  a shitty break-up, mucho insecurities, fears and anxiety, my first web series going to shit, unintentionally living with an untidy IG model, getting fired..(Twice) and no money I can finally say 365 days later. I live in Los Angeles  and…

It. Is. Magic.

All the shit that happened in the past year was worth it. I’m currently sitting at my desk typing this blog post, with a view of LA from the 17th floor that will  make New York City’s skyline look like pooh. Don’t worry NY Tribe, I still find ways to mention Brooklyn every day, I make sure everyone knows where I’m from and I totally use phrases like, “Deadass” and “Yo, B”. I Milly Rock when a YG song plays at a party and I miss the culture of New York, but I must say it again…LA is magic.

In six months I completely started a new life.  New life swag includes schmoozing at Art Shows in DTLA, completely being myself at “Industry” events, jogging through USC’s campus,  rockin’ out at Lady Gaga  concerts with my roommate, Warehouse parties, midnight trips to Runyon Canon, strolling through Leimert Park to hear underground hip hop or the illest drum circle get down, thrifting on Melrose. The marijuana out here is beyond extraordinary. I’ve met some incredible, creative, like minded people thus far, from different backgrounds, different races and managed not to say anything to offend them. Hashtag growth!

I performed my stand-up routine  for the first time. Fellow comics all signing up for their five minutes of open mic fame. I was nervous up until I touched the mic. I had laughs… real…genuine laughs. Laughs that came from the diaphragm.  I dated stand-up comedians before. They never told me I was going to have that feeling. It was comfortable, therapeutic and happened in what seemed like all of 2.5 seconds.

Now, I’ll admit I didn’t allow myself to give LA a chance. I’m a stubborn one, prideful as well, as free as I proclaim to live I get very antsy, I feel unsure sometimes. I couldn’t see the light beyond all the bullshit that kept happening to me. Don’t get it twisted, my life is not all palm trees and Childish Gambino’s. I’m workin’ my ass off out here. Hustlin’ and grndin’ to make sure these dreams come true.

I found my center.

My focus is clear.

My energy has been given to God.

My heart is completely open to new people who want to connect on a creative level.  I’m finally doing whatever the hell I want to do. I wore pigtails in my hair the other day, I ate Oreo’s for dinner  for a week straight and I was super ecstatic about it.  My mind is free, my body is free and I’m a fuckin’ Goddess out here. Feels good to say that. Feels even better to feel that. All I had to do was jump. Now I’m here.   Despite all the craziness and unfairness in the world such as Childish Gambino having a baby by another woman. I’m in a mysterious place where magic is happening and I’m along for the ride.

 

Just jump.

 

Stay Tuned.

Episode 5: Ms. Solo Dolo.

   Just when you thought you had it all figured out, life takes you on a Magical Mystery ride you can’t ignore.

          It was only six days ago the man who I believed I was destined to live with for a year in this eccentric city called Los Angeles, looked me in the eye and said,

“I want to live by myself.”

The words struck me like the out of tune chords he plays on his acoustic guitar. What do you mean you want to live by yourself?

We just found a place… it has a pool.. I just posted a blog about you!

“It’s not you its me” he said.

A line I use multiple times to get out of relationships but I didn’t know Karma would come back in this form.

My male roommate wanted to find his own way and go down his own path. Could I really be upset at that? I wanted to, but I didn’t have time.

My new main objective was finding a place to live in less than a week! 

It had only been seven weeks since my move to No Rain, LA and I experienced more curve balls than the three years I lived in Brooklyn.

With a lot of Craigslist filtering, searching, walking, sweating and praying, I finally landed a cozy residential spot with a nook and great natural light for writing. Its a blessing I found this apartment and it’s exactly where I need to be at the moment.

I admit, there was a brief, more like 12-15 hours where I didn’t think…Well, like I said in the previous blog, I’m the person who has to control everything. I want to know what’s going on, what’s next and how I’m getting there.  That’s never going to happen. I have to just trust that every setback, failure and low balance, is all temporary, all to make me a stronger, better, wiser human being.

I had an Epiphany, as I looked out my new rear window,  I didn’t just move to LA to be a comedy writer, or the tacos, weather and weed  I always joke about.  I moved here to start a life that I was afraid to live before. I moved here to prove to myself I can do things that seemed impossible to me before. California is where I want to evolve into who I’m meant to be. When I look up at the palm trees, or when I watch the sunset behind the mountains I feel that.

Some days are frustrating, most days I’m working so long and hard I forget the day of the week. I never however, forget why I live here.  I’ll never stop striving for the better me and I’ll never stop writing.

Now that I’m settled in my peaceful sublet, I wonder what new adventures are in store for me.  Conquering LA on my own won’t be easy, but I have no plans on giving up so I better enjoy the ride and all the twists and turns I will surely experience. Meanwhile,  I still haven’t seen Childish Gambino. I live in LA, he lives in LA I just don’t understand what’s happening at this point.

Stay tuned…

 

Episode 3: Living in LA-4 Weeks Down!

Sacrificing a Friendship for the Love of Writing.

I have a really awesome Best Friend. Like, we get along perfectly. She lifts me up when I’m down, she allows me to see things in a different way, she helps me write, listening to music with her is always an experience.

She’s special.

I admit, sometimes she can put me down, put me straight to sleep. Then again, there are those days when she has me crackin’ the heck up. I’m generally in a good mood when I’m around her. My pettiness is at an all time low because of her, when  I wanna get away from people, my best friend and I plan the perfect smoke bomb, find a cozy spot to ourselves and just BE. It’s the ideal friendship.

So I’m officially ending our friendship today. NOT because I don’t love her or appreciate everything she’s done for me over the past seven years… Honestly, it’s because she’s too damn expensive. Add my BFF with Food, Lyft/Uber, Housing, Metro (because Lyft/Uber adds up), clothes for interviews, daily tacos, Bills, Bills, Bills,   Did I mention my Sorority sisters came out here a couple weeks ago? We turned  LaLa Land  up!

Seriously, Los Angeles is expensive,  I have no stable income yet. What am I doing?

“Living life and let my mama tellin’ I ain’t living right” -Rae Sremmurd.

You know how parents always go so much harder in school or in the workplace, especially over people with no kids? I finally realized (I’m a selfish human being that’s how.) it’s not to annoy the hell out of me, parents have a little person that is way more important than them.

Parents have to feed, bathe, clothe this little person (sometimes adult) Every. Single. Day. Parents go so hard (no pun) to make sure their child  receives the  best in life  and help them evolve so the child  doesn’t become a serial killer. The selflessness, the bravery it takes being a parent. I salute you!

I have to treat my writing exactly as if it were my child. Every day I must mold it, shape it, gain knowledge on how to survive and evolve in this city of Angels. I will not tell a lie. Not having my 9-5 has been difficult. However, I’m also not writing every day. I stopped emailing filmmakers I want to work with, I only apply for jobs online. I did not take advantage of LA’s resources. I’m not taking good care of my child.

” If I sacrifice my best friend for my craft, for LA, for my pockets. Well then, she’ll come back to me. Hopefully by the lb”.-Me.

This month I’ll be taking a closer look at opportunities in my field. “Networking” going to industry mixer’s, reconnecting with the filmmaker I worked with last month. Finding employment will release at least 100% of my tension… Saving it will to. Oh and of course. Writing. Writing. Writing.

No one can block me… From me… But me. I can’t be upset I have no income when I’m not putting forth the effort to make it happen. It all comes down to how bad do I really want this and how hard am I willing to work for it. The universe is automatically going to give you as much as you put out (no pun). Well LA I hope you’re ready because I’m straight out the Force-field this month. I ain’t Julying!

“I think I’m gonna like it here.” – Annie

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P.S. I’ll come back to you Mary Jane.

Episode 2: Don’t Stop Believin’

 Hold on to that feelin’

It’s my two week anniversary in sunny Los Angeles. Still no Childish Gambino sighting however,  I have engulfed a hell of a lot of tacos.

So, I promised myself  I would be real and true while writing this blog… Let me tell you, my first week in LA… I was completely and utterly miserable.  I felt  uncomfortable, homesick,  and a lot of anxiety. Then it clicked.  For the past decade I’ve been completely surrounded by people who looked… well, like me.  I attended a Historically Black College, upon graduating I moved to Crown Heights, Brooklyn. If you’ve never been to Crown Heights, just imagine a 1 mile wide, 2 mile long neighborhood compacted with  Jamaicans, Trinidadians and Haitians. It wasn’t until I walked around my new Koreatown neighborhood that I realized. Damn, I’m Black!

Then,  I had my first Saturday night alone in my gentrified KTown pad. I blame it all on  Snapchat.  One of my favorite social media outlets to partake in. I get an inside look into my friends lives for few seconds or sometimes minutes for the vain ones. While my comrades on the east coast were enjoying day parties, baby showers and weddings.  I was sipping cheap wine, watching Seinfeld and writing “can I PLEASE work with you” emails to my favorite filmmakers. The whole while, wishing I was 3000 miles closer to my friends.

Not to mention,  my 9-5 is gone. Steady hours, steady income. You know I actually looked in my bank account last pay period in hopes my boss maybe forgot to take me off payroll…Guess what?

He did not..

I know what you’re thinking.. stop whining right? I came out here to chase a career I’ve been lusting over for years. After waiting an hour for my good friend to pick me up from the Pacific Ocean Coast (Because of the traffic of course) I  walked along the beach. A four mile walk to be exact.. Did I mention the traffic in LA is horrendous? I  looked out into the Pacific and I just gasped.  I did it. I made it all the way here. Why am I complaining, why am I hiding from this city, why am I not trying to be great?

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Pacific Ocean Coast.

 

I finally had the courage to move and I was spending  my time in my room or on the balcony smoking splifs. This is NOT what I came out here to do. Well the smoking splifs on the balcony, yes.  But you get what I’m tryin’ to say.

After I got home from my walk on the beach I went to bed, woke up and didn’t leave the house for another two days. Mainly because my legs felt like noodles,(it was a really long walk.) The other part was that fear kicking my ass again.

On day 11 I received a response from one of the filmmakers I emailed. The one that has  actually inspired me the most. Her content is authentic and genuine. That woman knows how to engage an audience and tell a story.

She responded with  modesty and appreciation and for the last few days I’ve been a Script Supervisor for her upcoming series.

Two weeks ago, I was watching the very same director’s show on my work computer when I should have been typing and filing. Now,  I’m on her set, doing what I love, what I sought out to do. You know all I had to do was just believe in myself. Have a little confidence in what I want to accomplish. How dare I come out here being a scary cat. This is what I was meant to do.

Is difficult adjusting to another city? Hell yes, I miss the convenience of New York, I miss knowing where I’m going and getting there in the New York minute. I miss the Bodega,  I miss the girls from my old job, my mommy!

Oh, and  I miss the hell out of my friends. My friends however, have been the most supportive, confidence boosters ever. Not only my friends, women I went to college with, my family, ex-boo’s.  They believe wholeheartedly I can do this. They’ve been uplifting me in ways they never have before. If they know I can do it. I can do it.

This journey to becoming a comedy writer WILL NOT be easy. I have a lot of work to put in. I have to keep writing, stay ready, prayed up and focused. Only I can make this dream become a reality. Stay tuned…Keep Believing.