I am hero. 

Unique chain of events today led to me potentially saving this dog’s life tonight. Who am I kidding … I saved its life! I AM A HERO. I didn’t wanna do it. I was cold and hungry, much like this dog was when I found it walking outside Chick-fil-a on Sunset Blvd. (busy area). I had my to-go order in hand, on my way to the car, free from responsibility! Until I reluctantly stopped to pick up little doggy. It moved slow and tried walking briskly away from me. Its pursuit of escape failed miserably. I lifted him with one arm, food and drink in the other, and prayed the little guy didn’t pee on me. Didn’t. Went to the nearest table I could find which just happened to be in an area with 40mph winds and some crazy guy who was talking to himself. I called the number on the dog’s caller, “My Daddy” was the owner’s name, and left a message, sent a text, and he finally called back, desperately grateful and said he’d be there in 5 minutes. The dog shook in fear every 7 seconds, despite my soothing petting and happy falsetto voice. Still didn’t pee thank god. Meanwhile I took the disgruntled photo below and collected the following quotes from the crazy guy whom I successfully avoided eye contact with: “You’re sinners!” He then spat violently on the ground. “You’re a loser you’re not anything. Look at that big fuckin nose. Looks like a duck.” Don’t think he was talking to me … profound stuff … anyway the owner finally showed up. He said the dog is 15 now and he had it since it was 2 months old (which I assume he said in order to prove to me he’s been a good owner for the last 14 years and 10 months). The crazy winds knocked down something in the yard allowing the dog to escape. I didn’t hint at any expectation of reward, but as soon as the conversation lulled he said he’d give me free weed at a dispensary he owns.. Great.. SO much better than money….. (seriously 😎👌) Anyway … chain of events that led me to that moment: 
• On a film set all day that finally wrapped at 6, then we went to drinks and took our sweet time doing so. 

• Show up at Chick-fil-a and the drive-thru was CLOSED!!! Which never happens ever. 

• Park and get in line, which of course is super long cuz closed drive thru, and stand in line in heavy wind for way too long. 

• Naturally as soon as I order I notice the drive thru is now open, and when I leave with my food the line is 1 person long … 
…and it all timed out perfectly for me to walk by this dog as I left. 
In retrospect I should have taken a friendlier photo, but in the moment I was uncomfortable, scared of crazy preacher man, and annoyed at having to be the one stuck doing this good deed … and hungry! I’ve hesitated to do this in the past and this is the first time I’ve actually ended up calling the number on the collar and waiting with the dog. Such a risk, getting involved with a stranger’s life! But, I reunited a family member, ate cold Chick-fil-a, and may potentially get some free drugs. Plus, look at all this quality time we’ve spent together! I can’t believe you read all this!! You may have lost track of time … if so, forgive me. Quick, look at the time! Oh no you’re late!! Sorryyyyyy!!!! To the rest of you, happy pooping.  

 

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Sub Life

That moment when you’re subbing a high school theater class in a repurposed church trying to coerce the outsider student to join in the class activities when suddenly you hear a noise behind you and turn around just in time to see the kid in crutches with a leg brace slip and fall and break his arm requiring you to wait patiently for a half dozen paramedics to arrive while you calmly continue “subbing” or whatever while the rest of the class is rubbernecking and naturally can’t concentrate until the kid is finally rolled out on a stretcher after twenty minutes so now that class proceeds as normal you then approach that outsider student again who promptly hands you a poem she’s been memorizing and asks you to check for mistakes as she delivers a very powerful performance explaining how “Anglos” (what I look like) negatively judge “Latinas” (what she looks like) as the rest of the distracted class poorly sings “Arabian Nights” in the background … is a moment that just happened to me. 

Apple Store

Whenever I go to an Apple Store for some unfortunate reason I always feel the uncontrollable urge to tell the person assisting me that I, too, once worked at an Apple Store and whenever I aggressively and inorganically work it into the conversation they always pretend to give a shit when they so don’t care and I don’t blame them as I really have nothing to say about it anyway thus the conversation always dies as soon as I bring it up and it’s always awkward yet I still always do it always.

Comedy HAtline

Just got a call from a blocked number. I always answer those cuz, ya never know, could be the FBI or something. To my surprise there was a person on the other line who introduced himself as “John” which I felt was a lie. He said, “I’m feeling depressed, can you tell me a joke to cheer me up?” I was kinda freaked out. Heart began racing as it felt like a prank phone call, or worse—someone’s life depended on my telling a good joke. Without hesitation I went with one of my go-to street jokes (as a comedian people spontaneously ask you to tell them a joke at any given moment—some comics hate this and get frustrated responding “I don’t tell you to do YOUR job when you’re not working” or something unfunny like that—I’ve grown to expect it. I’m generally eager to please so I come through for them, but never use my own material in such situations as that’s way too dangerous. Anyway, my joke worked and I heard both “John” and a now-revealed friend of his start laughing. I felt a sigh of relief. Then I asked if he knew me, he said no. I asked how he got my number, he said, “This is a comedy club right?” My number is attached to the Yelp page of a comedy show I sometimes produce in the Bay Area, so, I was no longer fearing for my life at this point. Naturally he demanded another joke, for which I was readily prepared. They laughed again, said thanks and hung up. I now consider the possibilities of a call-in comedy hotline. “Need a laugh? Call this number!” It could save lives.. If anyone wants to do all the work to make this HA-tline happen, please do and give me an inspiration credit on all official paperwork. 

Why Some People Are Not Photogenic

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This is purely speculation, but also common sense, really, to me.

I used to tell people, “I take a thousand photos, so hopefully one of them turns out alright.” With years of practice I’ve narrowed it down to maybe 10 or so at a time, and yes 1,000 was hyperbole.

There are some people that always look like themselves in photographs. It seems they simply cannot take a bad photo! If you hate those people, keep reading.

For many people, when they know a photo is coming they get abnormally self aware to the point that they end up making a face that they’d otherwise never make in their lives. When a camera isn’t around, we’re more or less living in the moment, not concerned with our facial expression. But suddenly, there it is! Camera in 1…2… panic! umm.. half smile, don’t squint your eyes, hands behind your back—AHHHH and I blinked. Result: awful photo. Moment ruined. Experience forgotten.

This is why many people can’t act. Sure you can behave truthfully under imaginary circumstances, but put a camera a foot away from your face and all of a sudden you forget how to be human and start thinking about your facial expression instead of viscerally experiencing the moment. You try and indicate what you’re feeling by changing your face accordingly to how you think it should look, and when you try and do that you look totally fake. Why? Because you’re faking it! Facial expressions happen naturally, without thinking about it, which is near impossible for some people to remember when there’s a camera about to snap.

As a former introvert and chronic head case, I’d get anxiety before taking a photo, just knowing it’s going to come out terribly because they always do! I’d always look unnatural because I was making a face, not living in the moment, but I could never understand why they came out so ugly when I’ve been told my whole life I’m “so handsome.” So I stooped to doing extreme smiles and goofy expressions that would mask my self-consciousness. “Yeah it’s a bad photo, but look at how much I don’t care by this moronic expression I chose!” Over the years I’ve gotten over it. And I think I know how you can to..

When posing for a photo, don’t think about how your face looks, think about how you’re feeling.

Think about an interesting emotion (excited, paranoid, skeptical) and FEEL that instead of trying to SHOW it. Maybe even think about particular events or people in your life when the camera gets ready that’ll result in the right expression, have a couple of those you can go to in a moment’s notice and forget the camera is there (despite looking right at it)—Bring out the actor in you just for a snapshot moment (of 15 as we are all so snap happy) and I guarantee your photos will take a turn for the mediocre, as opposed to the god awful. Happy Instagramming!

TL;DR— It’s more about how you feel, not how you look.

TL;DR— It’s all mental. Get out of your head, just for the moment!. If impossible, meditation can help with that.

TL;DR—Tips:

Imagine a word of phrase that you’re about to say at the camera and just hold it for a moment.

Look at the camera and imagine you’re looking at insert someone you love.

Fantasize about being on vacation, or living your dream job, or driving your dream car, then hold that feeling.

Judge the camera—you like it, but you think it’s up to something.

You don’t always have to smile.

If you know yourself well enough, show your personality by feeling who you are. (wow that’s deep—yeah! If I had a dime..) hey! you’re still reading. that’s very sweet of you.

Hell…

There’s a special place in hell for those who order every last remaining everything bagel from Noah’s by phone, whereas here I am in person, looking at them all, unable to grasp, settling for another. This place in hell I speak of is full of only the plainest bagels to be found; unfortunately Jews don’t believe in hell, and as an Agnostic Jew I don’t believe in anything.Screen Shot 2015-12-04 at 6.35.10 PM.png

I EXIST

Came in to sub and the receptionist said there was coffee and donuts in the teacher’s lounge. I went to indulge. In doing so another sub comes in from the same company I work for (we have matching lanyards) and I promptly told him about the free donuts. He responded in a sense that suggested he didn’t like donuts, to which I responded, “Who ARE you?” in a friendly, welcoming, nice-to-meet-you tone. Then HE responded, “It’s more for health reasons” to which I responded, “Oh so you think you’re better than me?!?” because I generally feel way to comfortable around people way to soon. Even so, that was the end of it, can’t remember how it fizzled out after that, but it did. Then… THEN… during lunch I’m sitting at the back table, alone, and he comes and sits next to me. Never looks me in the eye. Not even as he’s taking his seat to say “Hello person I’m sitting directly next to.” Stuck on his phone the whole time. For like a half hour. Doesn’t look at me once. What a dick. Right?!? Yeah.. .YEAH.. yeah.. WHO’S WITH ME!? WHO’S COMIN WITH ME?!?! CHAAAARGE!!! I’m fine.

Larger-than-average-size fish in pretty-average -size pond

Eating breakfast at a local restaurant in my hometown of Vallejo yesterday. Someone walks past the table and says, “Matt?” I look up. “Matt Larson?” Yeah…? “You do the comedy shows! I’ve been to a few of them. Thanks so much for bringing good shows to town. I’ve also been reading your restaurant reviews every Thursday.” Hey! Yeah! Thanks! Working on one right now! Hahha. We laugh, life goes on—THEN, after the moment passed, he comes back later with two mimosas, one for me and mum, and says “I finally saw your COIT commercial too!” Wow! Thanks! And I didn’t even recognize the guy. It was the most famous I’ve ever felt. And now? Now I’m back in LA…unknown….and all alone……

Leg Shake Movie Man

I was at the movies last night. Guy next to me was bouncing his leg, as people do, and was shaking my chair without realizing it. I was terrified to tell him to stop. It’s a confrontation—with a stranger! Silly to be nervous, but I was. Like, what’s he gonna do? Say “FUCK YOU” and start shaking harder without breaking eye contact? No. Still, my heart was racing. I started to try and convince myself that I liked it. “It’s kinda nice.” I thought as I sat with my chair shaking ever so gently. “Yeah, like a free massage.” I soon decided I hated it and wanted him to stop. To procrastinate the confrontation, I started bouncing my own leg obviously in his general direction to try and hint at him that the seats are connected and Newton’s laws of motion are still a thing. Then, suddenly, someone on the other side said TO ME: “Hey asshole quit shaking your leg!” Just kidding. Thank god. I’d have peed. Anyway, my leg shaking went unnoticed. I had to say something. ::deep breath. pause:: “Excuse me?” I delicately whispered, waving my hand vaguely in front of him. He didn’t respond. (DAMN). Here we go again. Louder whisper, “Excuse me?” and I tap his arm (woo! confidence! alpha male status achieved!!!) He looks over. “Could you stop your leg?” I said, gesturing toward my own. He does, looking apologetic. I felt immense relief, and was kind of embarrassed by how fast my heart was racing. Geez. Anyway, I settled, watched the movie, and that was the end of it. And this is the end of this.

Mr. Larson

Subbing at a high school, sitting alone in the classroom during one of the teacher’s off periods. Mindin’ my own damn business. When suddenly … SUDDENLY … I hear from the hallway: “Mr. Larson?!?”

I’d subbed there before, in the classroom just next door actually. It’d been a few months. Thought I was long forgotten, though I was there for four consecutive days.

“Mr. Larson’s here!” some kid exclaimed as he jogged toward me with a smile only wider than his outstretched arms. 10 seconds ago I was peacefully browsing Reddit on my phone in a comfortable office chair. Now? I’m hesitantly reciprocating affection to some 10th grader looming over me for the most awkward hug in the world. He runs off to get his friends.

In the distance I hear “Mr. Larson” spouted several times. A girl runs out and says “OMG!” and tells the other students not to tell Jamiroquai (name changed to protect student’s identity), they said not to tell him because he still talks about me almost everyday.. weird..

Anyway they all go to class and I’m alone again.

5 minutes later three vaguely familiar faces come in and I get an unexpected group hug. “Hey guys…” I said, turning back on to teacher mode and getting my mind of the addiction that is Reddit’s front page. They all start talking at once, I cut them off “Shouldn’t you be in class?!?” to which one of them responds, “Our teacher literally said: If you’re done with your work you can either play on your phone, do other classwork, or go see Mr. Larson.” Woah. GREAT. Now we’re hanging out. Which was fine actually, they’re good kids and it was fun being cool in high school for the first time in my life.

They left. Next class came in and I was totes confident that I’m the coolest sub they’ll every experience.

I let them watch a family friendly movie on Netflix, meanwhile two other students kept conjuring up conspiracy theories connecting me to the illuminati, meanwhile other students kept asking questions about my beard such as how long I’ve been growing it, pointing out the odd white patch you’ve all consciously ignored while talking to me—not all actually, most of you feel the need to remind me that it’s there, just like the high schoolers—and they even asked HOW I grew my beard to which I responded: by doing absolutely nothing, of course.. that’s the only way I seem to get anything done *sad bear meme*.

Long story short: I’ve had worse days.