I have a confession to make: I’m a secret stalker! Well I guess it’s not a secret anymore since I’m writing about it, and I make it public on Facebook! But I stalk a friend of mine. I met her at a writing retreat about a year ago, we bonded over French press coffee, ranted over our writing, and we became Facebook friends. Soon after that day, I started stalking my now friend Abbey Schatner.
Why do I do it? How did it start? Well, you see, I have another secret: I’ve always wanted to be on stage, perform, and do stand up comedy. About a year ago, I wrote, performed and produced my own one-woman show called “The Nurse and The Hypochondrics” and I really sucked! Technically, I had not been on stage since my senior year in high school when I played the ‘Nurse’ in “Romeo and Juliet.” Instead of going into acting, I chose to go into nursing so that I could “SAVE” the world. After about 16 years in the profession, I know that will never happen! So, I’ve decided to unleash the right side of my brain and let it run wild, sharing my nursing stories with the world instead.
Before I knew it, I had immersed myself into a writing world taking classes at ‘The Writing Pad’ in Los Angeles, publishing a nurse related ghost story on SCRUBS.com, and wrote a one woman show “The Nurse and The Hypochondriacs,” and assembled a team of writers to help me edit and add jokes. I hired an artist to make flyers and found a small stage on Melrose to perform. Although I got some laughs, I knew I sucked, and just put away my red stilletos along with my script.
About a few months ago, I started noticing that Abbey was posting her stand up shows on Facebook. That’s when it began, I started to attend her shows and I was hooked. I then started to notice some of the shows invited amateurs like myself to perform, and they offered a somewhat safe “heckel free” environment.
I started to follow in Abbey’s footsteps and began to perform where she was performing. My first stand up show was at “Mouthy Pants” an open mic held every Tuesday night in North Hollywood, at ‘The Other Door.’ I remember my first time was absolutely exhilarating when I got some gauffaughs as I pulled from my “Nurse and The Hypochondriacs” material. I noticed the non-nurse audience loved my nurse related jokes and stories!
Next, I wanted to try story telling at The Moth, a storytelling show that happens every other Tuesday in Los Angeles. I had noticed that Abbey also preformed at the Moth. My moto slowly became, ‘if she can do it, I can do it!” So, for a few Tuesday’s I attended the Moth when it was held at Los Globos in Silver Lake. I had put my name in the hat 2 times, and I did not get picked. One night I decided to attend with some friends, who also put their names in the hat. Abbey was there too! The venue was packed, a sell out, and I was not nervous due to my prior luck, I did not expect to be picked!
As I was sitting in the back room of Los Globos, sipping a Jack and Coke, I heard Brian Finkelstein (the host of the Moth) call out my name, and he did say it perfectly! Stunned, I choked on my Jack and Coke, and walked onto the stage. The theme was ‘The Underground’ so I decided to tell my story about a recent girls night out where I attended an Exorcisim! Again, laughs applause, and somewhat decent scores.
A few days ago, I saw that Abbey had posted another show she would be performing at on Facebook taking place at Bar Lubitch in West Hollywood at a show called “Sunday Night Sex Talks” hosted by Jessie Rosen.
I ended up attending the show last Sunday, I had no expectations, and was open for anything. As I walked in to the entrance of the bar, Abbey was sitting at a table reviewing her script complete with her personal coffee mug of black coffee, and smoking a cigarette. I greeted her and told her how proud I was of her. She then replied, “You can do this too!”
The show was a packed house of all women, because no boys were allowed! As the evening progressed Jessie opened the show with a story on Sex Ed.. The theme was sex Ed. after all. Then Abbey went on stage and told a hilarious story that included a puppet show of sorts. Very interesting and creative to say the least! There were 4 story tellers, and they were all incredibly talented and moving. The stories were deep rooted, funny and passionate. One of the storytellers encouraged all women to tell their stories and not hold back, the world is ready! I left feeling very entertained, and I learned something personal about all of these women who were able to share a part of their soul in such a beautiful creative way.
The next day, I once again followed Abbey to “Write Club” held once a month at the Bootleg Theater in Los Angeles. The power of the pen is fierce when 2 writers battle each other with their stories. I had a premonition that Abbey would win and she did with yet again another puppet show! But, I was dumbstruck when I saw another Nurse go on stage, dressed in her scrubs and badge that said “RN”! And yes she also won! I ran to her and felt like I had met a soul sister! We talked about our story telling and embraced our nursing tales hoping to work together using our right brains in the future!
As I was speaking to Nurse “Helene,” another woman approached us. She stated: “I did not know that Nurses could be so creative!” Both of us looked at her and scoffed, “Nurses are some of the most creative people I know!” I said, after all, we have to be able to think on our feet, respond at the drop of a dime, put on a happy face, be great actors in the midst of chaos and code browns, make up funny names for medication (like calling Versed ‘Happy Juice’), learning to play Mad Libs when your patient’s don’t know their personal medical histories, putting on puppet shows with medical equipment in order to get your pediatric patient to follow directions and being able to find humor in the most tragic and traumatic events in order to keep your sanity intact.
I started my career as a nurse on the stage, and now I know I have to continue. Maybe this is how I can “SAVE” the world or at least educate, and entertain? Bringing awareness to the nursing profession through the art of story telling! Thank you to my great friend Abbey for opening doors, all the people putting together the story telling shows, and the many Nurses like Helene who aren’t afraid to show the world that “yes” nurses are creative!
If you are interested in attending or performing at any of the shows mentioned here are the details:
Sunday Night sex talks is an all female storytelling show: performed by females for females. The show will be celebrating it’s 2 year anniversary in October. Check out the Website for schedule and performance. http://sundaynightsextalks.blogspot.com
The Moth Story Telling show http://themoth.org
Write Club https://www.facebook.com/WRITECLUBLosAngeles
Mouthy Pants https://www.facebook.com/MouthypantsComedy