me on my travels
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MaryBeth is an actress, model and vocalist.
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me on my travels
selfies from on-set (because i forgot my book yesterday! ugh!) also, check out that in-studio fish!!!
Sometimes my day is difficult because I am a lady. Sometimes weird old men on uncrowded subways lick their lips and make kissy faces at me, tactless young men bark at me and yell things. In the summer, sometimes men decide my name is “Legs”. A man in my old neighbourhood used to yell his telephone number at me while I was getting the keys out to my apartment. I mean, he did it a few days a week. It wasn’t once.
I’m rarely offended. Sometimes I feel unsafe. I’m always full of pity for the person in that moment.
One time I had to elbow a guy in the neck for grabbing my butt on a crowded bus, one time a guy on the subway hockey checked me on his way out because I said “I’m sorry I don’t feel like talking right now.” when he attempted to engage in conversation with me earlier on the ride. I almost followed him out—-I wanted to beat him up with my guitar case! But that wasn’t my stop and he wasn’t worth it. I ended up just feeling sadthat he needed to express his feelings through violence. He should learn to paint, I thought, or perhaps some kind of expressive dance style. Also, it didn’t hurt me that badly—-it was just childish and strange. I definitely cried about it later to my friends and was super shaken but by the next day I was fine.
I must say, though, these instances have lessened for me over the years. Maybe it’s just because I’m an old crone (I’m 27 so I might as well live in a witch hut and sell love potions to naive teens) or I’ve developed a tougher attitude while travelling. The few times I’ve been shouted at in the past year, it’s been more funny than anything and it’s been quite obviously unthreatening because of the amount of people around. At this point, there have actually been a few times where I’ve given an “I pity you” sad face to my assailant of vulgar words and said assailant has stopped.
Things I once felt were threatening have turned into purely comedic scenarios. On my way to work, a man started walking beside me and talking loudly. I couldn’t hear what he was saying! I had headphones on! “I’m sorry, I’m not very social!” I shouted back at him, pointing to my headphones. It was light out—-this guy was just suffering in his tactlessness. A group of tourists laughed hysterically and the man retreated.
I don’t hate men but I know some people just suck. I refuse to let stressful situations plague me and I’ve consistently maintained a positive attitude after these experiences because I just don’t have it in me to let someone ruin my day.
It helps that I am almost monomaniacally focused on my goals and ideas within my head. I assess the situation while travelling in an objective, clear manner and make sure I know where and how I will exit, I quickly analyse the objects I’m holding and make sure I’m situated as politely as possible, not taking up too much space so other patrons can be comfortable, and I play out three really awesome action film-like scenarios in my head where I’m the hero and save all the babies on the train. Then, with my action-hero loner attitude, I get where I need to go, survive and let nothing bother me.
I was raised with a “sticks and stones” (will break my bones but words will never hurt me) philosophy. But words, words, words are what we build our world from and we often want to think every word is valid, every word counts, that we need to listen and let words hit us. I have found, however, that words are only important when we personally give them validity. I refuse to be the receptacle of misguided words directed at me by strangers, they cannot ruin my flow. Verbal street harassment that is just verbal is not something I would ever take a victim mentality about.
Women should not be shouted at from cars or on subways or walking to work. This sort of behaviour towards ladies should certainly change! It’s embarrassing for the dudes. But I think having the cognitive awareness to choose how to react is just as important a step as the assailants learning the cognitive awareness to be tactful. Early in my experience with this, I would want to react violently, furiously—-but the bigger power has always been in dissolving those feelings and letting them go ASAP.
I refuse to identify as a “victim” of this and I encourage others to shake it off and keep in mind that if the situation passes—-there is no need to stay angry and there are much more important places to focus that energy. Feel your feelings, that’s totally cool, share them with your pals, cry it out to your rancor stuffed animal—but know you have the power to be cognitive enough to control your reactions. You aren’t a victim, you aren’t small, you aren’t unimportant. Some guy is just a impolite. That’s just who he is and it has nothing to do with you.
Most people are not rapists. Most people did not leave their houses with the agenda of “goin’ a rapin’”. And if they did, rest assured, you as a powerful human being would find a way to fight and win. If you give yourself a moment to think about that, it can be very empowering.
Note: If I spell certain things the British way, it is because I bought this computer in the UK and haven’t adjusted the settings to American English. I’m not doing it to be pretentious. Hey, but since I’m a “back and forther”—-who needs to change the settings?
I’m funny. We’re all really funny with our humanity and it’s physical limitations. We can wax poetic all day about the depth of the mind and breadth of the universe’s majesty and then just really need a nap or a cheeseburger. I love that, I love that humans are these cerebral animals creating in worlds of the mind, and then—-just needing simply, earthly things.
I’m learning about the animalistic nature of ambition. Something pulses in me, makes me impractical about sleep, makes me want to do everything. The nature of the ambitious person, I’ve learned, is something insatiable. When a milestone is reached, there is little time for celebration or even a pat on the back. Joy isn’t immediate because the ladder is endless. I both climb and build the ladder. We all do.
I love people. I understand competition in my heart, I love competition and struggle. We all seem to run around sharpening ourselves on one another and I accept that. I have love for the ambitions of others.
What’s most funny, though, is ambition is built. BUILT by people. So when this becomes a driving force, earthly needs can be forgotten. And then the ambitious person, ever looking to build, forgets the fuel that makes the machine run!
I’ve gotten very good at self-nurture only when I justify the care of the body as a part of the ambition and work. I think becoming a soldier to the care of the self is the most important foundation of maintaining my ambition.
Because then when I fail, when I am turned down, when I am using energy toward extreme mental fortitude—-I am physically supported.
And it seems so simple. But I meet so many ambitious people who wear thin and forget the body.
I’m going to go put some olive oil on my face.
photos from my lomography camera, la sardina
By my troth and maidenhead,
I would not be a queen.
Beshrew me, I would,
And venture maidenhead for’t; and so would you,
For all this spice of your hypocrisy:
You, that have so fair parts of woman on you,
Have too a woman’s heart; which ever yet
Affected eminence, wealth, sovereignty;
Which, to say sooth, are blessings; and which gifts,
Saving your mincing, the capacity
Of your soft cheveril conscience would receive,
If you might please to stretch it.
the gentle, subtle moves of my freestyle dancing
HUMANS! a quick thought about humans, being a performer and HUMANS!
Humans are my favorite animal.
Most of my family have been human.
Human is a funny word.
“That’s a very human thing to do.”
is used for behaviours that are
the list goes on, you get what I mean…
Being human implies a certain ruthlessness, limitlessness, resilience, adaptability, empathy.
It is not only our race but an umbrella under which a limitless amount of adjectives are at our disposal at any given moment.
Today I will be ruthless.
Tomorrow I will be kind.
I will be ruthless to the circumstances in the way of my goal.
I will not stop.
Humans don’t stop, we can’t stop, it’s not our thing.
Hugo Weaving is really insulting to humans in The Matrix
he says we’re like a virus.
And even seeing the likeness, even knowing what the similarities are,
we know that this is not reality, this is a movie,
this is a movie designed by humans for human consumption!
We know we are both the virus, the nasty animal and the receptive, understanding creatures.
We create things like bombs and obsess over things like love.
The ability toward shaping our own individual realities is massive in every person.
Potential stirs in everyone, dreams live in every cell of a human.
And limits in circumstance seem not to hold us back when we know what we want.
We just keep going.
We admire and hate even one another, we can admire and hate even ourselves, we have the skill to throw away behaviours and traits that aren’t serving our goals, we have the ability to change and to choose to change when we want it badly.
When we want something badly, the world becomes our medium through which to express——not a barrier holding us down.
There is a part of me that has always believed this since I was very young.
That part of me fought to get to the forefront, to push to the front of doubts and fears, etc.
The human part isn’t necessarily compassion or vulnerability, cruelty or hate—
it is just that UNSTOPPABLE thing.
I sat on a panel of women career artists once. Mostly musicians (I am an actor and songwriter).
We spoke about our paths as women in entertainment careers to students.
When asked if I had faced challenges because of my gender, I didn’t really know the answer to that because I believe everyone faces challenges and I’m not quick to blame it on one trait or another because every rejection comes with a lesson and though I have faced rude people, to me, they’re rude people and I’m always the winner if someone else is being inappropriate.
I said “I believe you need to take the world by the horns and ride it. Everyone gets bucked around, I just do what I feel is right and work hard. My work is satisfying enough in practice just to keep me going.”
I was dismissed by a woman on the panel for being “lucky for being tall and thin” and by another woman in the audience for “not knowing what it feels like to face rejection based on appearance.”
I was put in the position of needing to sympathise and empathise with these people who assumed I didn’t feel the same kind of pain and rejection because I’m the ideal of body that they happen to think they need to be in order to succeed.
I was polite and empathetic because I don’t like it when people are in pain.
But years later, I still think about this experience.
I get turned down about my body all the time but I knew that getting into acting was the art of using the body to the best of what IT can do. The craft, for me, was always about physical perfection in a way that is highly individual and varies from person to person. Technique and development are all about the body, they’re all about knowing the body, knowing one’s own individual form in a mastery of specificity, with complete control. We need so many people to look different because there is such gorgeous variety and usefulness to many forms in many shapes filling many roles and exploring.
I face more rejection than acceptance right now and I’m considered to be doing pretty well in my career, building what I need to build and forging forward.
Part of what I was taught was to not take it personally when one gets rejected.
Even when I’m told I’m too big or too thin or too tall or too short-haired or too muscular or too toothy…
I don’t seek to change those things about myself.
I seek to hone my craft, in this body, for the sake of storytelling, for the sake of exploring the human condition.
And it is a complete waste of time to think about what others want and try to fit the mould.
Especially in creative fields.
Professional standard, yes. Guessing what other people want and changing yourself based on rejection, no.
I prefer to reach within to find who I am, be that person, and find more of myself on the faces of the people I communicate with.
The thing is, if you’re good enough, they’ll change your hair or work with you to change your weight or do some masterful styling. Know yourself. Know where you fit and where you can stretch to. Know where you’re willing to stretch to and where you’re not willing to stretch to.
But work hard on being GREAT with what you’ve been given. It is a whole new problem to need to meddle with your body in your down time. You don’t have time for that. Be awesomely yourself and awesome at your craft. That is your job. It isn’t your job to force judgmental overhauls on your body. If you’re an actor or a model———that’ll be someone else’s job. And once you book something, it MIGHT be part of your job but you’ll be awesomely fortified with who you are to know exactly how to go about doing it.
Don’t twist, don’t bend, these aren’t the right uses for your empathetic, emotional talents. Save them for something precious, something worth using them for.
HUMANS!! NEVER STOPPING. THE LOCOMOTIVE TRAIN OF HUMAN WILLPOWER.
Selfies from my glamorous life. HAHHA.
I’m an actor who has modelled as my day job for several years. I’ve been so blessed and worked with awesome people. Sometimes it is completely ridiculous, though. And that’s fine.
LIST OF FUNNY THINGS PEOPLE HAVE SAID TO ME