Monthly Archives: May 2013

39. James Prepares His Going-Home Speech


There are a few things to expect if you are moving out to New York to follow your dreams of becoming an actOR. For example, whenever you come home people will ask you, “So, have you done any shows lately?” That’s the first thing to expect. The second thing you should expect will be your sudden impulse to make your life sound super cool. Like this:

“No, but I smiled at Fred Armisen the other day and then he looked back at me like he saw dried blood between my teeth.”


“No, but my neighbor got murdered so that reeeeeeally sucks for me.”

“No, but I waited on the executive producers of this hit reality show and they yelled at me and some of their spit went in my mouth.”

“No, but I cater for this company and they only hire pretty guys so I’m, like, pretty and stuff.”

“No, but the other day this stranger told me I was handsome and then kept walking.”

“No, but I accidentally sat on this girl on the subway and she called me a ‘tall, skinny motherfucker’ but she also called me ‘skinny.”

“No, but I walked out of my apartment the other day in shorty shorts and someone said, ‘LEGS!'”


I get all nervous, because when someone asks something as simple as, “How’s New York?”, I automatically hear, “How successful are you?” When people ask how New York is,I feel like they want to hear about how awesome it is. And how fun it is. And how fulfilling it is to follow your dreams. I feel the need to say, “New York is super awesome! Every day is a success! And the only reason I’m not currently cast in a show is because all the casting directors fought over me and it ended in a bloody massacre with zero survivors. Gr! Doesn’t that suck?” But what I really want to say is the truth:

“New York City is my abusive boyfriend to whom I’m addicted.”

“I was released from my show, because I am too tall to play the role of myself.”

“The other day I totally embarrassed myself in an audition, because I didn’t have a suitable additional song when asked.”

“Everyone in NYC is so gorgeous it makes me wanna stuff my underwear just so I feel more confident.”

“The other day I was waiting tables, and I got so desperate for food that I ate cake out of the garbage.”

“One day while waiting tables, I started crying because I couldn’t find any clean forks…. FORKS, FOR FUCK’S SAKE!”

“I go to the bathroom to talk to myself in the mirror when I’m feeling shitty.”

“When I get up in the middle of the night to pee, I turn on the light in my room because I watch too many scary movies.”

“The other day at an audition, I ran into a guy who I was seeing that randomly stopped responding to my calls and texts. And then I HAD TO MAKE AWKWARD CONVO IN THE ELEVATOR WITH HIM.”

(True stories. All around.)

This time when I came home, I was on the plane thinking about what my plan of attack was gonna be. How am I going to make my life sound super flawless and totally sin-tacular?! What will my angle be? But after much deliberation, I decided to be honest without making people wanna cry for me Argentina. When asked about New York, I was vulnerable and truthful: “It’s hard. It’s really, really hard and really, really expensive. Don’t get me wrong, I have a lot of fun. But it’s hard. I have a good network of friends who have become my family, and I love them to death. I’ve realized how important it is to come home to people who make you want to come home at the end of the night. Because being away from Waunakee, my HOME home, it’s easy to feel lost. My apartment isn’t the physical symbol of home like my house in Waunakee. But coming to my apartment at the end of the day to people who are excited to see me and vice versa, that feels like home. And my friends have become my home. So blah! It’s hard work but I love it for the most part. And I’m not giving up.”

And you know, the phrase I’ve heard most since being home is:

“James, I’m proud of you.”

I’ve heard: “James, it’s not easy but you’re still sticking it out. You’ve been out here for almost two years, and you’re still going. It’s really hard in a city like New York not to be dragged down into the dumps. So good for you. I just want you to know I’m proud of you.”

I’ve been feeling pretty lost lately. But you know, I feel like when I look at my life since moving to New York, I think, ‘Well, James, keep going and maybe you’ll eventually accomplish something worth being proud of.” But the people I love are already proud. It really warmed my heart, and it gave me the inspirational fuel I needed to keep going. Because I should be proud of myself. I moved out to New York one-and-a-half years ago. I can now afford groceries. I’ve booked 5 jobs so far in my field. I have a nice apartment. I have an amazing group of friends. I’m finally catching fire with certain casting directors; they’re remembering me by name. I’m still auditioning. I’m taking dance class and voice lessons. I’m taking care of my body. I still care about being  a kind person. And I try really hard not to sit on people when the bus suddenly jerks forward while I’m trying to plant myself in a seat.

Oh, and I’m not giving up.

And then all the really cool things about my life in New York come to mind:

I can wear the gayest outfit in New York and not give two shits.

I can go wherever I want whenever I want.

I get to pursue my dreams.

I get to ride the subway with Vanessa Bayer.

I have a manager who believes in me.

I have an acting coach who believes in me.

I have a voice teacher who believes in me.

I have friends who believe in me.

And I have a million people in Wisconsin rooting for me.


Bitch, I’m still fighting and working and serving up body-ody-ody, Jesus. And I is not giving up. And that is something to be very proud of, James.


“Kendrick have a DREAM!”
~”Backseat Freestyle” by Kendrick Lamar





38. James Waits Tables and Flashes Nipple


Y’all. I haven’t flashed a nipple….yet. BUT I WOULD. Cuz I work hard for the money.

So let me just rewind a little bit.

I haven’t blogged in awhile. And I’ve been feeling super lost lately. But tonight, I helped this young lady carry her two heavy suitcases up two flights of stairs today and I thought, ‘This is me.’ So I’m trying to get back to me. I’m gonna start blogging every day again. Perhaps this blog project will end when I am successful artistically. Until then, I will be blogging about my life and my trials and tribulations, Jesus, until I get there. So what I’m trying to say is: this blog may be a little rickety. Like a dick pulled out of a dirty butthole, I’m a little rusty. So please bear with me.

Back to the hot mess that is my life:

I’m not telling you what restaurant I work at. But I will tell you it is in New York City. It is near Times Square. We get lots of tourists. We get lots of foreigners who pretend to not be able to read and pretend to not know about tipping.

Ok. So. If you’ve never waited tables, you better THANK GOD. But. You also be a nice fucking person. Because if you HAVE waited tables, then you have dealt with the rudest of bitches, and you know how awful people can be. You know that people can make you feel like less than a person. If you’ve waited tables ever, this is me giving you a long-distance hug. Or a long-distance blow-job. Whatever would be more comforting for you. If you plan on waiting tables in NYC: this is the blog for you. If you never plan on waiting tables but you constantly hear how waiting tables helps you be a more appreciate person: this is the blog for you.

First: tips for people who want to make tips.

1) When there is a party of at least 6: ADD THE FUCKING GRATUITY. For most restaurants, when there is a party of 6 or more, you can add gratuity to the bill automatically. I say: ADD IT. I don’t care if you think the table is gonna tip you more than the automatic gratuity (also known as “auto-grat”). ADD IT. Cuz I have been fucked (in the bad way) by tables that I trusted. You’re not waiting tables to make friends; it’s business. So be a good businessperson. And make dat paper. You gotta take care of you. Add the grat.
2) Don’t take it too seriously. It’s just food. And your table is just a table of crabby bitches that you’ll never see again. Don’t run. Don’t pull a James and cry in the kitchen when you can’t find clean glassware. Take a deep breath, find the object that most resembles a cup, and deliver it to your table with the sexiest, toothiest smile you’ve got, baby. It’s just a job. And if you get fired, you’ll just get another one that makes you less suicidal.
3) Be nice. To everyone. The nicer you are to the bartender, the faster your drinks get made. The nicer you are to the food runners, the faster your food gets delivered. The nicer you are to the busser, the cleaner your tables are. The nicer you are to the host, the better your section is maintained. The nicer you are to the manager, the more accommodating they are to your fucked-up schedule. The nicer you are to your table, THE MORE YOU CAN MAKE IT RAIN AT THE END OF THE NIGHT. It’s money.
4) Do what it takes to make that paper. Flirt. Just flirt. I don’t care how nasty your table is. I get foul people all the time. And they flirt. But girl, it’s MONEYSSSSSSS. No, I don’t want to suck your dick. I don’t even want to smell it. But I will pretend that I do because I know you’re gonna leave me a bigger tip. Do what it takes y’all. It’s business. Waiting tables can be soul-sucking. But you can also make really good money. Is it worth it? It’s up to you. But in the meantime  put your dignity in a box and play the game. And pull out a nipple. Or a ball. Whatever makes your table wet.
5) Make your table feel special. Try to accommodate their special requests. And when you do, make it know that you went out of your way. Say something like, “I’m not supposed to do this but…. here you go.” Or, “Don’t tell on me! Sh!” They love it. They love feeling special. And they might even leave you a few extra dollars.
6) Look pretty. It may not be right. But it’s business.
7) Ask for help. If you are slammed, ask another server for help. My manager’s have helped me before when I have suddenly exclaimed, “I’M DROWNING,” in the middle of a brunch shift. Ask the host not to seat you until you catch up and get out of the weeds.
8) Don’t steal from the tip pool. You may think it’s your money. But you’re fucking over everyone else. Cuz you may be keeping “your money” but you’re still getting all the money that the other servers are bringing in. You’re stealing from their pockets.

Alright. Here are a few pointers for people who go to restaurants:

1) Tip, god damnit. Your server is literally living off your tips. In NYC, the minimum wage for a server is $5/hr. I can’t live off that. You are literally paying their rent. Maybe it’s not fair, but that’s the way it is. And when you don’t tip your server, you’re basically fucking them over. They basically just worked for you for free. And that’s not fair.
2) Here are a list of things that aren’t your server’s fault:
Your drink took too long to make
Your food is cold
You food has a hair in it
Your server has too many tables and doesn’t have enough time for you
There is no more champagne
There are no clean forks
You can’t take boxes home at an All You Can Eat
Your drink isn’t strong enough
Your food is taking too long
You don’t like how your food tastes
It’s not happy hour
Alright. Understood? So. If these are one of the reasons that you don’t tip your server, that’s wrong. Because unless your server sucked, there’s no reason for you to not tip.

3) Be a nice fucking person. Because I can shit in your food. And it’ll still taste delicious. Maybe you had a bad dinner experience. But I’ve been dealing with buttheads like you for 6 hours. So pull it together for like 30 minutes and be nice.
4) Don’t rip up your napkin into a million pieces and then leave it on the table. What the hell y’all? Literally. What the hell. It’s a mess. And I don’t have time to clean up after your strange obsession with shredding your soiled napkin into a million fluttery pieces. Just don’t do it. And if you do do it, clean it up. Eat it. I don’t care. At least you’ll shit it into a toilet in one confined mess.
5) Don’t grab your server. They will turn into the Hulk. Or they will move slower. Either way, you won’t like it…
6) Educate your friends about tipping . I was hanging out with a girl from France and she was about to leave the crappiest tip. I told her that 20% was appropriate. Her response: “TWENTY PERCENT?!?!?!?!?” Yes. Yes. So I’m glad I saved her server that day. TWENTY. If you’re eating in NYC: TWENTY. FUCKING. PERCENT. 15%??? Ok. Remember this: after you tip me, I have to share that money with the bartender, the food runner and the busser. So if you tip me 15%, you’re actually leaving me much, much less. TWENTY. Say it with me: TWEEENTTTTYYYYY. Because lately, I’ve been making about $13/hr waiting tables. That’s ridiculous for a server. Caterers make $20/hr and they don’t do ANYTHING. I should be making $30/hr AT LEAST. So. Pull it together. If you can’t afford twenty percent, don’t go out to eat. I’m sorry, it may hurt your feelings. But it’s business. And if you can’t afford to pay me for my services, go to McDonald’s. Boom. I said it. Drown your sorrows in a McFlurry. You may shit yourself on the way home, but at least you didn’t fuck me.

Alright. I hope you learned a lot. I hope you were touched by this. And if you weren’t, go touch yourself. I hope you giggled. I hope you farted. I hope you’re currently farting.

Fart away, you weird bitches.