Things I Realized While I was in Hibernation

Well hello again!

So I spent some time in hibernation. Partially when I was home in Cleveland, and then when I came back to New York. This was all part of the plan to “figure my life out.”

Unfortunately, I still don’t have all the answers, but I have come to several realizations.

Being alone for long stretches of time is not really my “thing.” I’m a social butterfly; I thrive on human contact and emotion. However, I needed time to clear my head of what everyone else’s opinions were of me, and figure out what my own opinions of myself are.

So here are my thoughts.

1. Being alone sucks at first, but then it gives one clarity

I did NOT like my first few days alone. I felt depressed and low. I wanted to sleep a lot and felt lazy. After about day two, I decided enough was enough.

I started taking walks, connecting with myself. I went to bookstores and coffee shops. I went to parks and people watched. I cleaned my room and purged unnecessary clutter. I worked out and appreciated all the bone and muscle and sinew that made up my body. I cooked myself meals and put leftovers in the fridge for later. I submitted for castings that I never normally would have deemed myself worthy of submitting. I auditioned for a show where I knew I wasn’t the best fit (it was a very technical dance audition), didn’t get a callback, but still felt like I rocked it out. I went to an open mic alone, and soaked up all the unknown talent in the room. I prepped for singing auditions. I re-did my resume (both professional and performance). I watched World Cup soccer with strangers. I wrote a few more chapters of my book. I worked on a new demo. I wrote music. I went to an art exhibit called The Strangers Project and anonymously shared my story on an 8.5 x 11 sheet of paper for this artists collection.

Over this time, I cried a little bit, but I also smiled a lot. I got headaches from thinking too much, but I also started to feel my old feelings of self worth. Which brings me to my next thought…

2. I am worth a lot more than I give myself credit 

The great thing about being alone, is you can completely separate your own thoughts from the thoughts of others, because there is no one else around you but yourself.

I started to realize that most of the negative thoughts that I had about myself, (ie my talent as an actress, my talent as a singer, my weight, my looks, my personality) were not coming from me. In fact, I’m pretty damn sure I like everything about myself at the moment. I was letting people on the outside project their insecurities on to me.

And the moment I was truly aware of how low my self esteem had gotten over the last 6 months, was when I was lucky enough to work with a high-profile actor in a featured roll and no one even thought twice about the fact that I wasn’t a size 0. No one fucking cared. Wanna know why? Because I’m fucking great at what I do. I have a great fucking attitude. And because I’m extremely fucking talented.

3. I’m not apologizing for being talented anymore

We are taught growing up, especially if you happen to be female, to be modest and humble about your strengths. I agree with this to a certain point. I don’t believe we should all walk around thinking we’re better than anyone else, because in the end, we all end up in the ground. However, I’m not going to allow myself to undermine my talent anymore.

I remember after Ro died and I was just getting back to Berklee. I saw a music business job pop up in my Berklee email about a talent buyer position. It was asking for people with “experience” of which I had very little in the actual business. But you know what? I was so confident in my ability to do that job that I went in and impressed the HELL out of my future boss. Did I have the credentials some of these students had? Absolutely not. But then, not only did I get that job, but I ended up working for a woman who became a mentor, a friend, a second mother to me. She told me later after I’d gotten the job, that it was clear from the moment I walked into that interview that I was qualified, even if I didn’t have all the technical “qualifications.”

For a while out here in New York, I was paralyzed with the fear of going to auditions or submitting for things I didn’t think I was “right for, or “skinny enough” for, or “talented enough” for. Fuck that.

I’M TALENTED!

I’m not saying this to try to brag. I’m saying this because I don’t believe it enough of myself.

Last week I went to an audition for Rock of Ages for their open dance call for a cruise line. When they called my group of about 20 people into the room, I could tell everyone was sizing each other up. Not me. I was calm, confident, only concerned with myself. I tuned everyone else out, and focused solely on my performance. When the choreographer taught the dance, I knew it was a bit of a stretch for me since it involved a lot of technique that I simply do not have. I’m a great hip hop dancer, and I pick up choreography quickly, but there were elements like turns and kicks that I was only able to display with mediocrity. When it was my turn to dance in front of the casting director, I threw them my fiercest face, hit every single count with raw energy, and had passion shooting out from my fingertips all the way to my toes. I didn’t get the callback, but I had people come up to me afterward and commend me on standing out in the crowd. I was a little sad about not getting to sing for them, but there was nothing in that audition I could have done better. I left everything on the dance floor, and that was that. Maybe next time they’ll see me in a different light and maybe they won’t. It’s out of my hands, so why stress?

4. Sometimes seemingly serendipitous events occur, but they just turn out to be fruits of my labor. 

I got some great news the other day, and had an amazing opportunity thrown my way. (I apologize that I can’t really discuss specifics. The industry and productions deserve all the respect and privacy they ask for, so please respect my vagueness.) When I got the call, I couldn’t believe that I had been chosen, and thought maybe this was a “sign” that I’m on the right path to where I want to be.

While I do believe this event occurred at precisely the right time, this wasn’t serendipity. No, this was my hard work paying off. Had I just sat in my room beside myself, none of this would have happened. I put myself out into this strange world that we call the entertainment industry, and someone finally said, “Yes, Shannon. We believe in you. You are our choice.”

I get told, “no” a lot. It takes a strong stomach to walk away from those “nos” and keep searching for that one “yes.”

AND BOY DID IT FEEL FUCKING GREAT TO GET THAT “YES!”

To be incredibly honest, today was the first day where I thought to myself, “Hey Shan, you might actually be able to make a career out of this,” and actually mean it. Sure it has always been my hope and my dream to sing/act/perform for a living, but I seldom every call it more than just that: a dream.

This is not a dream for me anymore. This is my life, my livelihood. Today when I walked off set, I was so sad that my day was ending, even though I was dehydrated, sweaty and tired from waking up at the crack of dawn. I live and breathe to be in front of an audience. I can’t even go to a concert, a movie, a play without an intense anxiety and want to be up there. I don’t want to be an observer of the arts, I want to be the art. I want to share my talent.

Having said all this, I have not gotten any of these opportunities by knowing someone famous, or having a lot of money, or being the skinniest/prettiest girl at the casting. I’m the underdog. I’m the loud/quirky girl with big hips and a bigger personality. I got down on my knees, dug in the dirt, planted my seed, and slowly watched it grow. I’ve clawed myself to the top of a mountain where I’ve been bruised, cut, knocked down, even knocked out for a while. I’m not at the top of the mountain, but maybe I’ve reached a small peak.

5. Positive thinking is quite the powerful tool 

I let my life be controlled by the negative. My thinking was always, “How long will I be able to do this?” or “Will I ever ‘make it?'” or “Will I ever be skinny or beautiful or perfect enough?” When it should have been, “How can I make sure I will be able to do this for the rest of my life?” or “What is my definition of ‘making it’ that will make me happy and fulfilled?” or “What is unique about me, my personality and my looks that no one else has?”

Every day since I’ve come home from Cleveland, I’ve looked at myself in the mirror and told myself one thing that I like about myself both physically and spiritually. For example, one of the first few days, I wasn’t feeling so hot about my body, but I looked at myself and told “mirror Shan” that I had nice eyebrows and I have the ability to make people laugh. I started small, and pretty soon, every time I caught myself in the mirror, I was screaming inside with happiness about the person I was looking at.

Sure, there were points where I went a few steps backward and stood in the mirror and pinched at my thighs and wondered why I was still single after 2 1/2 years of not dating, but who cares? My life is pretty damn great with my big thighs and no boyfriend to distract me.

6. There are plenty of people who still want to see you fail, but more people want you to succeed

Ro used to always tell me, “Misery loves company.” She was right. If a person is unhappy with themselves, they will project that unhappiness and those insecurities on to you. Plain and simple. Fuck, I’ve been guilty of it. I’ve probably unintentionally projected my negative feelings onto others, and for that I’m sorry.

I hate to quote Mean Girls right now… Awww who am I kidding? I would LOVE to quote mean girls right now: “Calling someone fat won’t make you any skinner. Calling someone stupid doesn’t make you any smarter. Ruining someone’s life won’t make yours any better. The only thing that you can do in life is solve the problem that’s in front of you.”

And with that:

7. THE LIMIT DOES NOT EXIST

I kept putting caps on my dreams because I thought only if I were X, Y or Z that I would be able to “make it.” There is no limit on talent. There is no cap on how many people can function in this industry. There is no rule that says you must “be this tall to ride the entertainment industry ride.” Of course there are shallow, political and shady things that go on, but I don’t need to be a part of them to survive. I’ll be over here, in my hippie clothes, spiky boots, and red lipstick against my pale face, watching everyone else crash and burn, while I’m hunkered down, focused in my bomb shelter.

Thank you Cady Heron! (or shall I say Tina Fey for writing this brilliant piece of pop culture)

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Shan Babe ***DROPPING 1,000 MICS*** OUT!

xoxo

Now THIS is a happy girl!

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PS! I am VERY MUCH still raising money for my breast cancer walk in October. Click here to spread the love… bit.ly/shannonavonwalk

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That’s What Friends Are For

Yes, cue the cheesy Dionne Warwick song.

Or how about Kristen Wiig and Rose Byrne’s version in the movies Bridesmaids

Anyway, I just wanted to touch a little on friendship.

Last weekend my best friend from home came to town for a short, two-day visit. She lives in Florida, so our time together is often limited. We literally text/Facebook chat non-stop every day, but it’s just never the same as being together.

I want to think that my relationship with her as being similar to the relationship between Mya Rudolph and Kristen Wiig in the movie Bridesmaids. (In this scenario, I am Kristen Wiig, except for the fact that I did NOT screw up her bachelorette party or wedding planning).

Our conversations usually read similar to those in the brunch scene in the beginning of the movie, although they take place exclusively through phone.

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When I found out she was coming for a visit, I nearly died. I didn’t care if it was only a little blip of time.

So naturally, in the short time we had together, we packed in everything we could into those two days and just went wild.

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Without getting into too much detail, she and I had a crazy 48 hours (if it was even that) and maybe got into a little too much trouble.

However, when the trip was over, I started really reflecting on my friendship with this person, and how it really has shaped who I am as a human being.

My relationship with Ashley is one of true worth. I know this because, although our relationship is extremely strong, there have been moments where I’m SURE both of us have felt like saying…

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… and there was a particular night (the last night of her trip,) where I KNEW she felt like this.

But in the end, we can acknowledge our differences, problems, pettiness, drunkenness, sometimes not togetherness and end up like this…

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I don’t believe we’ve ever NOT made up after getting into an argument. In fact, I don’t feel like we really argue with each other, we mostly just get annoyed, acknowledge that feeling, and move on and continue to be best friends.

So why am I writing this post? To gloat? To prove that my best friend is better than yours?

Absolutely not.

I’m writing this post to tell you that it is so ultimately refreshing for me to have a relationship with someone that never revolves around the petty and the unnecessary. There is no drama between us; no feelings of distain, or jealousy, or judgement (ESPECIALLY judgement.)

And I don’t want to confuse honesty with judgement, or for that matter, tact. There are plenty of times that we’ve been brutally honest with each other, but it never moves into the territory of getting judgmental.

I can tell Ashley the most embarrassing details of my life…giphy

I can complain about being a starving artist…

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I can text her endlessly and have her analyze every move of the man I’m interested in at the moment…

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Or when I’m having a fight with my stomach about whether or not to eat something that’s bad for me…

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Our relationship is mature, and crazy, and honest, and respectful, and I’m so thankful that it exists in my life.

Because I know no matter how fucked up things in my life get, I’ll always have her in my corner. And the same goes for her.

Love you, Ash.

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xoxo

Shannon Allen

Girls, Ladies, Women, Broads, Bitches, Sluts and Whores

If you live in 2014 (which if you’re reading this, you absolutely do, or perhaps you are a zombie??) then you’ve used all of these words in everyday life.

I use these words daily.

Now, I’m not going to sit here and tell you that I don’t believe words have power over us. As much as I would like to believe that the word “bitch” and “slut” and “whore” can become meaningless as long as we choose how we use them, I don’t always believe that’s true.

I’m writing this post in response to the overwhelming flood of opinions about the HBO show, GIRLS, which had a two-episode premier the other night.

My 26-year-old self, loved it, but as I turned to Facebook, I realized everyone did not share my sentiments.

Many viewers saw GIRLS as making women seem “weak,” “unmotivated,” and possessing “shallow” relationships with their friends.

I needed to dig a little deeper to see what this is all about.

And I think it comes down to a few things.

The first being a generational difference.

GIRLS is a show that can appeal to women and men of all generations, HOWEVER, I believe there is a disconnect between millennials and those of generations previous.

According to Wikipedia, “Millennials, or the Millennial Generation, also known as Generation Y, are the demographic cohort following Generation X. There are no precise dates when the generation starts and ends. Commentators use beginning birth years from the early 1980s to the early 2000s.”

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We are known as the “Peter Pan Generation.” Our elders call us “lazy,” “self-centered,” “self-righteous.” We are the generation who flounders. The generation who was promised the world by our parents and teachers, only to graduate high school or college amidst a depression where no jobs were available to us.

So why the hell would anyone expect a show that is supposed to be a real depiction of 20-something girls in New York City to be anything different than just that?!?

I don’t want to watch a show where girls in New York City live the life of Carrie, Samantha, Charlotte and Miranda.

As entertaining as Sex in the City was, that simply is NOT the reality anymore.

I love GIRLS because I see MYSELF in these women. If I want to fantasize about what I would love my life to be like living in New York, all I have to do is pick up an issue of Vogue. BUT, if I want to watch a snarky, slightly-exaggerated, albeit quirky version of what it’s like as a 20-something woman, I will watch GIRLS.

My next issue, is with women bashing on other women.

One big argument a lot of women put on Facebook was how these women seem “weak” and how they longed for the characters to appear “stronger.”

Why isn’t it okay to show a vulnerable woman? If we, as feminists, are TRULY fighting for women’s equality, why can’t we embrace both ends of the spectrum??

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Why do we, as women, have to go around judging other women CONSTANTLY. Do we feel the need to make ourselves feel prettier, stronger, better, more successful??? Why must “slut-shaming” be a term, which we are so familiar?

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Isn’t it okay that women in today’s world want to find out who they really are? Isn’t it okay that some women want to find husbands and others want to find careers, and others want BOTH!?

Isn’t it okay that women want to air out their dirty laundry for the world to see, because that makes them more liberated, or human, or just because they fucking CAN!?

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We need to stop saying that women in the media are “setting women back,” or “giving women a bad name,” because the fact of the matter is, in 2014, we HAVE A NAME.

The fact that some women demean other women for their choices, ironically gives THEM the label as setting women back.

This world is a big place, full of “smart” women, and “dumb” women, and “sluts” and “whores,” and “Madonnas,” and “prudes,” and “ugly” women, and “over-sexualized” women, and “crazy” women, and “psychotic” women, and “emotional” women, and “driven” women, and “liberal” women, and “conservative” women, and “sluts,” and “bitches,” and “CUNTS.”

There is room for everyone on this earth, and if you really see yourself as a feminist, we can either choose to embrace this an move forward with our own lives, or continue to shame other women, thus keeping us all down.

Just some food for though.

Signed, a crazy, emotional, smart, driven, floundering, sometimes unstable, sometimes stable, BITCH

Shannon Rose Allen

A Pre-Thanksgiving Tidbit

I got to Boston this morning at 3:45 a.m.

I’m exhausted.

But I’ve had an epiphany in the last few hours.

I’m SO thankful for my family, my friends (who are like family), my health, and the opportunities I’ve been given.

Jackie and I watched the HBO documentary “The Education of Dee Dee Ricks” today about a woman who had “everything” and was diagnosed with breast cancer.  It documents her journey of recovery, as well as her less-fortunate friend, Cynthia, from Harlem, who was not so lucky in her road to recovery.

Please check out this website: http://www.theeducationofdeedeericks.com/

And watch the trailer…

Dee Dee’s story is important. It’s one of honesty, empowerment, and the shifting of life goals and expectations.

Today… I decided to shift mine.

Life is too short.

Let me rephrase… life is too FUCKING short.

Today I decided that 2013 will be DEVOTED to my music, spreading love and helping others.

I’ve had a few doors slam in my face lately, but I think that all these signs are pointing to the fact that I MUST follow my heart and be a performer.

I don’t care what I have to do… I NEED to perform and keep making music.

I’m grateful that I have two feet to stand on, a voice to sing with, and the means to help others with my story.

BIG thinks are coming.

I just needed this week to push me over the edge.

2013… WATCH OUT!

Here comes your girl,

SHAN HALEN

NYC vs. LA

For those of you who don’t know… I took a week-long trip to LA.

It all started when I got an executive callback for the NBC show, The Voice, back in August.

Yes.

I got a callback from The Voice.

I flew out to LA last Sunday, determined to show NBC that I was the best damn singer/performer that they’d ever seen!

Well. They cut me.

I was shocked, especially since I gave my best audition to date, but that’s show business people!

The real story of this blog post starts when I asked miss Christina Brehm to pick me up from the hotel after I got cut.

The producers (who were incredibly nice and AWESOME) were nice enough to delay my flight so that I could spend the rest of the week with my best friend on the West Coast.

And then began one of the CRAZIEST, most memorable, half weeks of my life!

Let’s just say it was so nuts that I feel like it’s best left as a big secret to live on in infamy in my own brain.

But for those of you who want hints as to what this infamy entailed….

Here is “Shannon Allen’s guide to NYC vs. LA”

We’ll start off easy.

1. In LA, you drive. In NYC, you walk, take the subway… or if you have expendable cash… take a cab.

2. In LA, we have beaches. In NYC, you have Central Park.

3. In LA, you speak in highways and exits (Get off the 101 and take Mullholand, to blah blah blah blah.. (I have no clue). In NYC you speak in cross streets (drop me off at 59th and Broadway)

4. In LA, everyone smokes weed. In NYC… everyone smokes weed.

5. In LA, everyone is a bartender/actress/model/musician. In NYC, everyone is a bartender/broadway hopeful/artist/musician.

6. In LA, you have big, high gates. in NYC, you have doormen.

7. In LA, you have traffic. In NYC, you have train delays

These are some of the more obvious differences.

Now here is “Shannon Allen’s PERSONAL guide to NYC vs. LA”

1. In NYC, all my friends are gay. In LA, all my friends are lesbians. (Hey… I’m just a Queen Queen, what can I say??)

2. In NYC, I’m the “cool” girl FRIEND who watches football with the guys, talk politics, and music. In LA, I’m the cute, mysterious girl from New York who works in the music industry.

3. In NYC, I buy my own drinks or go to the gay bars when they have open bar. In LA, boys (and girls) buy me drinks… LOTS of drinks…

4. In NYC, I have yet to have my first New York date. In LA, I met a boy who wants to take me on a date when he comes to visit.

5. In NYC, I have yet to have my first New York kiss. In LA, I had…. a few kisses…

6. In NYC, everyone likes that I can identify my surroundings by cross streets (or else it’s a pain in the ASS to meet up with friends.) In LA, everyone rolls their eyes when I talk about that place on 101 and Broadway that has the BEST BRUNCH in town.

7. In NYC, I drink whiskey, beer, and wine, then go out at 4 a.m. for a fresh slice of New York style pizza. In LA, I drink cocktails… and whiskey, beer and wine… and get sick.

8. In NYC, I live in the “poor” part of town. In LA, no one fucking knows me. Hell! I live in Beverly Hills if that’s what you wanna hear! 🙂

9. In NYC, I take a walk in Central Park, and see a bum shitting on a tree. In LA, I walk a canyon and am almost on the show where Betty White has old people prank young people. Fucking NUTS!

And finally… my favorite comparison (although there can never be a comparison between these two entities) between NYC and LA…

10. In NYC, my #1 bitty/partner-in-crime/singing buddy on the subway/beer drinking bimbo/fruit fly dancing/shake our asses in the street and not give a shit/wing-woman is Miss Jennifer Chianesi AKA Lady Nesi.  In LA, my #1 bestie/beautiful blonde babe/make me feel okay when I embarrass myself/watch ridiculous chick flicks/stand up for what we believe in till we die/dancing divas/walking around the city telling people who don’t like us to “FUCK OFF”/cry on each other’s shoulders/hold each others’ hair back/wing-woman is Miss Christina Brehm AKA Brehmy.

I wish I could carry them both in my pockets, along with all my other best friends from around the country.

And SPEAKING of best friends… don’t think that the rest of you aren’t loved!!! You know at my wedding I’m going to have just as many bridesmaids as bridesmen. Hay Hay!

Love the bi-coastal, big booty, babe who can pick up guys around the world, Lady Business chick,

Shannon Fucking Allen.

Diamonds, Studs, Roaches and Bugs plus one DAMN good guitar player!

I tried to make the last part of my title rhyme, but that didn’t work…

Anyway… This post is basically the highlights of quite a crazy week! My life has continued to be a spider web of crazy happenings, all weaving into one eventful, hilarious and jam-packed week filled with some interesting highs and lows!

Side note: Sometimes I don’t mention names of people on my blog, because I’m not sure if they want their “lady businesses” exposed.  Until they tell me it’s okay… I won’t refer to some people by name. 🙂

High: Obtaining the Brazilian visa for my boss.

I think my blog post about this says enough.  SHIT! Glad that’s over.  Luckily I have an AMAZING boss who was incredibly understanding through the entire process.

I’m tired of talking about it. moving on.

High: Seeing a good friend from Berklee after not seeing him for months! Plus… dancing the night away at several gay bars!

It’s always great to see an old friend! Meeting up with him was like we never spent time apart. Is anyone surprised that I ended up at a bunch of gay bars??? Neither am I.  🙂

Guess it’s just my lot in life to be surrounded by sexy men… although I can never pursue them. Sigh…

I don’t think I have ever sweated so much as I did at the gay bars.  Our entire group of friends was the LIFE of the party.  We were singing, posing, laughing, whipping out hair back and forth and doing runway walks that would make Tyra jealous! We definitely had  quite the Kiki, and I was surprised to know that I knew more about gay life in New York than my gay friend from Berklee! Don’t worry… I will teach him my ways! 🙂 And introduce him to many, many sexy men.

I think I want to become a gay match-maker.  I can see the reality show title reading “The Fruit Fly Matchmaker.”

(In a dramatic voice) “Watch as Shannon Allen, self-proclaimed Princess of Pride and Fruit Fly, as she sets up the sexiest men of New York City… WITH EACH OTHER!”

I’d watch it 😉

Low: Although I was happy to see my future roommate, waking up at 5:30 a.m. to let him in the door after dancing the night away, was not so much fun!

When my phone rang at 5:30 a.m. I was so delirious and I probably looked like a sweaty hooker with my raccoon eye makeup and Dark Knight Joker-looking smeared lipstick.  Not to mention my messed up high bun that I sleep in because my apartment is 100 degrees.  I think I must have thrown a pillow at him, and flopped back onto my bed.  I knew we had to be up in a few hours to go to apartment showings, so I went to sleep like a rich housewife on sleeping pills.

Low: Seeing some terribly overpriced apartments and dealing with shady brokers.

The next morning, we woke up and got ready to head downtown for a few apartment showings.

We had a broker basically lie to us about the initial price, and were shown four apartments that were so out of our price range, I wanted to barf.  Not to mention the vapid group of girls who came on the tours with us, who said “like” every other word and complained about everything.  We got the fuck out of there ASAP and headed to our second apartment showing.

When we got to the apartment, there was a line outside of potential renters.  This apartment was a little over our budget, but we figured it wouldn’t help to see what this two bedroom looked like.

It was a closet.

A fucking closet.

My first apartment in Boston was bigger than this apartment.  And that thing was TI-NY! Again, I almost threw up.

High: Meeting an honest, AMAZING broker, who later showed me some AMAZING apartments!

Even though the apartment seach was looking bleak, we met an incredibly nice broker who gave us the harsh reality of looking for apartments in New York. I appreciated her honesty, as well as her willingness to work with our lack-luster budget.   We gave her a realistic wish list, and she promised to show me apartments on Monday, since I had taken a few days off work to get all my ducks in a row for my permanent move to New York.

High: The Upper, Upper East Side Supper Club

My ex boyfriend’s old roommate was born and raised in Queens, and he invited my new roommate and I to his girlfriend’s place for a dinner party.  I am SUCH a fan of his cooking, and this dinner party did not disappoint.  I made some new friends, ate some good food, and had some GOOD mint juleps! My new roommate and I are now officially a part of the Upper, Upper East Side Supper Club!

High: Spending all of Saturday night listening to live music and dancing.

After a delicious dinner, we headed down to the village to see some live music.  We went to about 3 different clubs before hitting up a bar with a live cover band.  This band was incredibly talented and reminded me a lot of what my nights used to be like in Boston, listening to hit songs from across the decades. Drinks were reasonably priced and the lead male singer was killing it!

Low: Douche bag men at the last bar.

After the cover band I really liked went off stage, another cover band took their place.  It was a 90s cover band, which in normal circumstance I would be psyched about, but then all the bros showed up at the bar.  I felt like such a loser next to all these men who would NEVER be interested in some poor girl with cut off jean shorts, purple chucks, and a screen printed tee shirt.  No… these men were douche-tastic idiots who took one look at me, and drunkenly fumbled around to the hot girls, all the while almost knocking my whiskey diet right out of my hand and all over my shirt.

Now, I’m not attempting to be self-deprecating here, because I’m well aware that I’m a decent-looking human being, but it was SO glaringly obvious that these men were not interested in anything to do with me… and honestly… I’m pretty much putting the whole looking-for-a-guy thing WAY on the back burner for now.  I’ll stick to my gay friends who get me drinks, NOT spill them all over me, and dance with me, no matter if I’m in stilettos or chucks!

See you later straight boys, I’m off to have a kiki!

High: Having a mid-day wine kiki at my roommate’s salon.

Chetan was planning on going out in drag Sunday night, and had forgotten to bring his lady business to work with him.  My new roommate and I went downtown to run several errands and to drop off Chetan’s clothes really quick.  Little did we know that we walked into the salon and were greeted with glasses of wine along with rich conversation.

My new roommie is straight, and BOY did he get schooled on gay culture! He now feels great about himself because the owner of the salon was DROOLING over him as well as giving him pointers on how to dress and act in his new city!

What we thought was going to be a quick drop off was a two hour kiki. I didn’t want to leave, but I knew I had a lot of things to get done.

High: Seeing four awesome apartments and picking out my (hopefully!!!!) new place!

The next day I went with Chetan to look at some potential apartments. My broker was again, very honest and friendly.  We saw four place, two of which I LOVED! I immediately talked to all parties involved and decided to move forward with our favorite apartment: number 3 which is currently being renovated with a NEW bathroom, NEW kitchen and two HUGE rooms! Not to mention a killer living space for parties and hangouts!

I was expecting to get this deal locked down within a few days.

Little did I know what signing a lease in New York meant…

Low: Learning how difficult it is to sign a lease.

Being New York, we expected to pay a broker fee, which sucks, but at least it was expected. Our potential new landlord want bank statements, tax forms, letters from employers, pay stubs, proof that we pay utilities, social security cards.

Should I just bend over and get it over with??? Jesus… what do they want, my first born too??????

So it’s safe to say this week I’m going to bust my ass to get all this sensitive documentation, JUST so I can be CONSIDERED for a lease.  Not to mention that my roommate’s parents and my dad are acting as guarantors and there are background checks subjected to all leasing parties.  Great…

Low: Chasing around a cockroach (that we later found out was a water bug) around my room at 3 in the morning when Jen and I got up to take cough medicine.

That night I went to bed early, but woke up after feeling a little chest congestion.  Jen was feeling bad too, so we both were taking our respective cough medications when I spotted THE LARGEST BUG I’VE EVER SEEN crawling on our wall.  It was obviously some kind of roach-like thing, but we were later told it was too big to be a roach and was probably a water bug.  It makes sense, since our shower has been leaking, and it probably plopped out of the shower and scuttled into our room.

Mind you, this is around 3 a.m. and our windows are WIDE open.  I started screaming, and Jen ran away, only to return with a large skillet, ready to kill this GIGANTIC bug!

We chased the roach around for about 20 minutes and this fucker was GOOD! He ran away from all our attacks and then we lost him behind my bed.  We shined a flashlight under the bed and then WE FOUND HIM CRAWLING ON MY SHEETS!!!!!!!!! I jumped up and down, screaming like an idiot, while Jen yelled at me for not helping.  I didn’t care… I don’t fuck with roaches.  No, no, no sister friend… I don’t do bugs! Especially after all my bouts with bed bugs.

When we lost him again… we tip toed around the bed trying to shine light under the bed, so we could finally catch him.  After another five minutes of sweating and panicking, we were done for the night.  I took all twelve of my stuffed animal friends and put them on top of my wardrobe because I didn’t want no bugs all over my cuddle buddies! Then I grabbed a sheet and a pillow and slept in Chadd’s room.

We still do not know where the mystery bug is. I can only hope he’s in roach heaven… or HELL.

High: Getting my hair dyed by Chetan for next to NOTHING!

I woke up after a sleepless night to my phone ringing.  Chetan was calling from his salon to tell me that I could get my hair dyed simply for the price of the dye because he’s still in training! I went to the salon and got my hair dyed a beautiful dark chocolate brown and it looks fabulous. 🙂

I told him if he screwed up, that I know where he sleeps! 😉

High: Finally filling out my application for Theta’s alumni chapter and Women in Music

After the salon, I was on a MISSION to find a fabulous pair of spiked shoes that I’ve been eyeing for a while, so Jen and I ventured out into the heat.  I found a post office and am not OFFICIALLY a dues paying member of both Kappa Alpha Theta’s New York City Alumni Chapter as well as BMI’s Women in Music network!

Yay for networking.

Low: 99 degrees on Tuesday while walking around the city

On a shitty note: IT WAS 99 DEGREES ON TUESDAY! The sun was brutal, and it was so humid, you could cut the air with a knife. I always heard how bad New York summers were, but DAMN, it’s HOT! I sometimes take up to three showers a day because of all the sweat and grime that is layered on my skin after a day like that.

Ew.

High: buying the most FABULOUS pair of studded platform boots and a matching bra!

After all the heat, I reached my destination: Necessary Clothing in SOHO.

Yes: these now belong to me!

And so does this:

Look for these at my next gig.

Low: Tourists

The biggest misconception about New York: the people aren’t friendly.

I will explain to you why this misconception exists:

New York people HATE tourists but love other New Yorkers.

If you are going to a foreign country, it is polite to learn the new culture’s way of life. I expect non New Yorkers to have that courtesy when visiting the city. Yes, the city is confusing and YES it is large and filled with a lot of people, BUT THAT DOES NOT GIVE YOU THE RIGHT TO ACT LIKE A DAMN FOOL!!!!!!! Get out of the middle of the sidewalk and for Christ’s sake: WALK FASTER! THIS IS NEW YORK PEOPLE!

If you simply cannot move faster, I don’t mind; there are lots of elderly people in the city. But if you are young, fit and capable of walking faster down the street, across the crosswalk, up and down the subway stairs, and in and out of trains, PLEASE DO.  Not all of us are here on vacation, and we can’t STAND when you hold the subway door because your wife is standing on the platform looking at her subway map upside down instead of moving her sweet ass into the train! I HAVE TO GO TO WORK! Stopping the train from leaving 42nd street station leaves me irate.  My commute is long enough without your stupidity.

On a lighter note, New York people are extremely friendly (to non-tourists that is).  Actually, I should rephrase that; not ALL tourists make me this mad… only the fucking idiots… which is most of them.

I will tell you that I’ve met more people on subways, streets, restaurants and coffee places than I ever did in Boston.  No one is afraid to compliment you on your style, or ask you how your day is going.  The lady who make my DELICIOUS Italian subs for lunch is incredibly nice.  Today we talked about how we make our spaghetti sauce and what other family dishes we love to make.  The people who work at my favorite coffee house (ironically named Grumpy’s) are so nice to me, that I always find myself giving them a tip because they are so friendly.

So a tip to everyone who wants to visit New York: DON’T ACT LIKE A TOURIST!

AND THE BIGGEST HIGH OF ALL: Watching my guitar player of THREE YEARS, Mr. Ed Ricco, win Guitar Center’s Battle of the Blues regional competition after TWO TIE BREAKERS!

My long-time guitar player, Ed Ricco, was in a pool of around 3,000 people and has climbed his way into the TOP 6 BLUES GUITARISTS! There was some tough competition, with TWO tie breakers that (of course) left Ed the winner.

Here are some videos! Jen and I are probably pretty obnoxious in the background, but we were definitely the most “spirited” fans of the bunch!

There are no words. Just none. Incredible.

I really do have the best friends and an unbelievable love-filled life.  I am so thankful that my lady business is exactly where it needs to be: here in New York!

Love,

Shan

Just a Rock and Roll Queen, looking for my Dave Grohl…

It’s been a while since my last post, and for that I apologize.  Lots of things going on in the busy world of Shan Halen, and I’m finally starting to put my big girl life together.

I’ve been in New York for about a month and 1/2 now and there’s something I want to discuss.

Men.

Yes, I’ve talked about this before in posts, but this post is not some jaded, just-broken-up-with Shan post, this is a post about FINDING a man.

As nice as everyone has been in New York City, I find that 20-something men, (in general) are incredibly unapproachable.

Not to mention I hang out at gay bars most of the time… but we’ll get to that in a minute.

Here’s my main problem: I HAVE NO IDEA HOW TO DATE!!!!

The last time I dated, it was 2009, and I had just moved to Boston.  I remember how exciting it was when I received my first number at a bar and how grown up I felt that some guy ACTUALLY picked me up! It was exciting meeting new people and exploring my options as a young, 21-year-old girl.  Oh how those years passed me by…

I don’t regret my last relationship… it’s just that I thought I was done searching for men.  I thought that my last relationship was the one to last forever, so I never bothered to think about the fact that I would be in my mid-twenties, living in New York, and looking for love.

I feel like Carrie Bradshaw… except I like to fart and burp, and I definitely don’t have enough money to buy the kind of clothes or shoes she wears.

I’m just a fucked up rock and roll bitch, looking for my own personal Dave Grohl….

——————————————————————-

So back to my original problem… I have NO idea how to date a guy!

First of all, why does everyone want to text… ALL THE TIME!?!?!?! I love talking on the phone.  I like hearing someone’s voice.  I’m not into this whole, let’s exchange flirty texts and then be super awkward in person thing. Why is it that men can seem incredibly charming over text and then be total duds on actual dates.  I’m all about actually having human contact with a person.  I’m not sexy over text… not even CLOSE.  I have a loud voice, a big personality and a LOT of things to say, that just don’t translate into a 160-word text that may carry unwanted connotations.

And what is up with people “sexting!?!?!” I just don’t get it.  Again, I’m NOT charming or sexy via text.  I like writing, but if I wanted to hear about some hot, sexy love making scene, I would rather read “50 Shades of Grey,” than listen to your awkward text about how sexy you think I am.  Call me crazy… I like a man whose voice I actually recognize because we talk on the phone instead of exchanging texts with one another.

On to my next problem…. I have no problem calling people out on their bullshit… AKA…. I’m not appealing to men who want to control their women.

Ladies… I’ve read all three “50 Shades of Grey” books.

FUCK those books.

Yes… I said it. FUCK those books.

Every single time Christian Grey yells at Ana for “disobeying” him, I want to punch a man in his balls. Literally, I would NEVER put up with the kind of blatantly disrespectful behavior that goes on in these books. Yes, I read them all, but that does not mean that I want, nor condone the behavior in the book.  If you’re into S&M, that’s fine, but there’s a difference between that and being a closet freak and wanting to beat the shit out of the woman you “love.”

No man will ever “control” me… nor do I want, or fantasize about that.

Man… it feels good to get that off my chest.  Sorry America, I disagree with your taste in novels.

If you don’t believe me, listen to my song, “Easy.” (It basically outlines everything I just stated)

Here’s another problem I have with meeting me: I have been taught to fear for me life, via my father.

Every time I speak to him on the phone he says, “Shan… just BE SAFE.”

This is what my dad things dating a stranger in New York means :

Every time a man approaches me, I am trained as a child of my father, to believe that this means he is going to kidnap me and sell me into sex slavery.  It’s not an easy emotion to deal with.  I know that there are many perfectly, normal men in New York, but NOT according to my dad! Everyone is an enemy!

Next, a problem with dating is that I prefer to go out to gay bar, instead of hanging out with heterosexual men.

Call me crazy, but gay men make me feel much more myself than ANY straight man has EVER made me feel.

My gay friends are comfortable with who they are, and they embrace themselves completely.  I never feel like I have to be a certain kind of person around them… I’m just myself.  When I try to impress a straight man, there is always an underlying worry that I’m not what they or looking for, or I’m not the typical, beautiful, seen but never heard girl.  That’s not me.

And I’m not sorry.

So in conclusion… if there are ANY straight men STILL out there, who MIGHT want to date me, I’M HERE!

I’m loud, crazy, obnoxious, emotional, and plenty of other traits you probably AREN’T looking for in a person… but that’s me.

Dave Grohl… I wish you were still available… but you aren’t 😦

So I’m looking for the next best thing! 🙂

Love,

Your Crazy Lady Business Chick,

Shan Halen