Wednesday, June 22, 2011

How NOT to live in NYC

Let me preface this by saying...

I know many of you, upon reading this, will suggest lifestyle changes.

Such as: take a breather, walk more slowly, be more aware of your surroundings, find certain places to place certain items, relax, BE MORE RESPONSIBLE GOSH DARN IT.
My mother will tell you that I am totally aware of these things. It's just that…at this day in my life, I was incapable of following this piece of advice. So indulge me as I openly complain about my irresponsible actions.

If you take away anything, take away how NOT to live in New York City.
Today I rushed out of class, in the middle of class, in a frenzy, realizing that I needed to place an important order via the internet.
I ran out to the nearest McDonalds to use their wifi (Starbucks are ALWAYS so CROWDED!) and stood in line to order something because I felt obligated to, in order to use their internet. After I sat down with my post-breakfast, pre-lunch McDonalds at 10 AM, I placed the order via the internet, and ran back out to class.


Not walked, ran. Like not-classy, not-keeping-my-cool, “I’m late for class!” kind of run. This was my signature campus sprint across UNI back in the days...(aka a few months ago)...many times carrying a flute, saxophone, clarinet, and backpack.

En route, I lost my debit card.

NOTE: Generic Card. My name is not "LEE CARDHOLDER"

After class, I went into the nearest Starbucks (Cappuccino was WORTH the crowds at this point..) to cancel my debit card. Then I realized I was late to the post office for an important package I needed to mail. So I RAN there.
Through the sweaty, muggy subway system. This was accompanied by “Sorry! Excuse me! Sorry! Teehee!”
Yes, the "teehee" is a necessary bonus to seem innocent. When really, I'm just a crazy running jerk.
After the post office, I headed to Verizon.

I was going to exchange a phone accessory. Ironically, I realized, I had lost my phone between Subway and Post office!

It is still gone, by the way. I tried calling it. No one picked up. SO I retraced my steps, to no avail, then came back, even sweatier, to Verizon. I had a little teary diva fit for the Verizon Man, which was coupled with laughter, and more tears and laughter. So Verizon Man had a good time, I think. Either that or his smile really was an “I don’t know how to treat an insane person” look.

NEXT I went to the Subway station to go back home. Too preoccupied in my own thoughts, I took the train downtown instead of uptown. I was also rehearsing something, out loud, so I got many stares. But what the HECK. That's NORMAL in NY…that is one thing that I will take advantage of..the normalcy of talking to myself in public. Sad but true, people!


Reenactment. I'm the guy in the blue sweater.

When I FINALLY made it home, I was greeted by a gigantic rainstorm outside the station, and I had no umbrella. I think this was a good thing, actually. I delicately adorned my head with a blue best buy sack and ran (not walked…RAN) back to my apartment.

Lastly, when I finally reached my room, with mascara running all over my face from the rain and maybe tears--but mostly rain, I swear--I dumped out my entire bag on my already-messy floor. My goal was to try and find—if at ALL possible—my phone. And I did not find my phone, but what I did find…
My Japanese Seafood Udon Noodle soup had spilled all over my pictures and laptop!

Hey, it's better than something I ate the other day called "BIM BAM BUM"

And now I am here. But I am actually having a good time. Because here are some GOOD things!

1) By the time I had called in to cancel my debit card, someone had already cancelled it for me, and a new one was already in the process of being shipped
2) I’ve lived without a cell phone for a good portion of my life. So….I’ll survive.
3) Whoever saw me running with black mascara streaks and a plastic bag hat, I hope you enjoyed the show. Next time, tickets aren’t free. I’ll accept cash, or debit (or MY debit, if you have it
4) My pictures/laptop are eau de know, like in Legally Blonde, when she puts perfume on her pink resume? Yeah, basically same idea, right?

5) I have two arms and two legs, which are functioning. I have a lot of great people in my life. I have a roof over my head, and food. Look, even my laptop gets fed (sea)food. There is a lot to be thankful for.

That being said…I think I might start following some of my mom’s advice. You know, about living a slower life and all. :)

Monday, June 6, 2011

YOUR MOM. (ok, my mom)


Recently, I flew back to Iowa for two weeks to spend time with my family. It was soSOsoSo great to see them.

I mean, I am very lucky to have a family like them. Is it weird to not ever get bored of or sick of your family?
AHHH im so uncool i mean my parents are ok i guess i dunno it's not like i hang out with them.
once you get older, does it become acceptable again? I can't help it! They are very entertaining.

Mom dancing on the table @ the Indian restaurant during last Dec on her 27th** bday party

**see below

MOM is a total drama queen. but it's all good. I taught her well. The day after I flew back, I watched her in a local community theatre production, Neil Simon's "Plaza Suite".

She was very, very animated onstage. Some people probably watched and thought, "My, how good she is at acting animated and overly dramatic! The exuberant hand motions--the heartfelt reactions to multiple crises! What a CHARACTER!"

While my sister and I were sitting here thinking. " she even acting?"
(my mom thinks these pics make her look "ugly and like a middle aged woman...which I am NOT, by the way!!!" ) Ever since I can remember, my mom has been 27 years old. The older I get, the more disgusting that thought is.

So it was really fun watching Mom. PLUS, it was directed by my HS Drama Director, Mrs. Halane Cummings! Who said, "Now I see where Eva got it from."

Compliment taken.

on another note, Mom just recently set a Guiness World Record with her high school Biology Club that she founded. She is a bio teacher. Actually, she is the modern-day Ms. Frizzle, basically.

(you know Ms. Frizzle from "The Magic School Bus." Don't PRETEND like you didn't watch it! I know you did! Or at least played the computer games! They had multiple ones--nature, solar system, human body, planets, etc. In the human body one there was a cool game you could play where they equated the functions of the liver to a car wash. I was addicted. And now I have revealed too much)

the only difference is there is NO WAY she has planets on her dress. Because neither my mother nor I share an affinity for astronomy. In fact, I got SO STINKING FRUSTRATED with the dumb planets during my Astronomy Class at UNI!! Because unlike music or math, SATURN doesn't come NATURALLY to me! My professor was actually very good. He was hilarious, and brought toys to use as class examples. In fact, he wore a little belt buckle with the planets on it.

THEY DON'T SELL THOSE THINGS at Urban Outfitters!! IT is probably specially-made for ASTRONOMY PROFS!

So anyway, on May 11th, 2011, my mom set a record for "The largest amount of people completing jumping jacks for two minutes straight" with the CPU K-12 students. She got around 1000 (??) students to complete j.jacks simultaneously for 2 mins straight.

It sounds really random. And partially, it is! But it was for the purpose of raising health awareness.

In the local news here:


Mom had been driving my car while I was in NY, and when I came back, there was a skeleton in the back seat. For those of you who have met my mother, you know that I am indeed telling the truth.

Hello, skeleton!

Generic Skeleton Photo.

She claims it was for the science classroom. I liked it so much that since I've been back I have started hauling a skeleton around the NY subway system. Mother knows best!

Thursday, April 7, 2011

A New (York) Beginning

This…this is the city that really never, ever sleeps. Which stinks, because I like to get to bed on time. But I’ve fallen in love. So, since lovers make sacrifices, I guess I’ll adjust.

Iowa, you still have my heart.
Iowa is great. I LOVE Iowa. Nice, hard working people with good values, quiet places, beautiful, flat land, wild raves, friends and family. But as much as I wish that this beautiful state was the media capitol of the nation, it’s not. I mean, don’t get me wrong—Cedar Rapids has it goin’ on,
(Ad on the NY Subway...first time I saw it, it shocked me a bit!)

(Um...HeLLOOOO!? did you visit the movie theaters in the past few months?!) but I just don’t see all of the major networks setting up shop here within the next 10 years. Unless they're going to start up episodes of America's Next Top Soybean.
Good old Iowa Time in October with President Ben Allen and Pat Allen of UNI,
and the Alpine Yodeler, Isaac Brockshus

So... last summer was my first venture outside of Iowa, to Los Angeles. I tried out the California lifestyle while interning at Entertainment Tonight. My thoughts on Cali? Amazing. I had a blast with Mark Steines at ET, made some new friends (Jay Leno?), found a great church, and loved studying at the Groundlings improv school.

But even though I had the Hollywood itch, I had a semester to finish up my college degree.

WHICH—boys and girls, is VERY IMPORTANT! So pursue post-secondary education, because it is the stinkin TIME OF YOUR LIFE!! (Especially if you go to UNI.)

And, though I had been to New York several times before, needed to give it a fair try before going back to LA, so I figured it was time to give New York a shot for a few months. Cue internship at the Colbert Report.

And now I’m here and I love it and I don’t wanna go back. At least…not this year, or the next…

This is my roommate, Rachel. We share a room in Student Housing in the New Yorker Hotel, just a few blocks from Times Square. Rachel is kind, motivated, thoughtful, and intelligent. We have so much fun together! She is studying at New York’s Fashion Institute of Technology—more commonly referred to as FIT. It is the most noteworthy fashion institute in the nation, which boasts alumni such as Calvin Klein.

We love to go to shows, meet new people, explore new restaurants and shops, and play dress up. And NO--we are not to old to play dress up.

Keep an eye on this girl, because she's the next biggest thing in the fashion industry...
Because Rachel and I are both new to the city (she is from Boston) we can explore together. And there is a lot to explore. If each day was 500 hours long and I lived 10,000 years, I would probably only THEN begin to fully see and appreciate all of what New York has to offer.

But I'm 21 years old, and there are only 12 hours in a day (if I want to sleep...which I mentioned up top is very important to me...)
So for now, I'm just scratching the surface of this amazing town.
But there's no rush.
I have all the time in the world, and I couldn't be more excited.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

To Los Angeles and Back Again

When I got the call to reappear on Jaywalking on the Tonight Show, I remember jumping around my dorm room in Campbell Hall, singing with excitement. Or maybe it was more like sing/screaming. Oh boy oh boy, back to Los Angeles!!! OK-so maybe I was selected because I was at the cream of the crop of foolishness, for Battle of the Jaywalk All Stars, but still--I was pumped.


Okay, actually I flew into Burbank, but whatever. You get the point.

When I stepped out of the plane into the PERFECT weather, I thought to myself, "Now, why did I ever leave Los Angeles? Well, school, yes, but besides that…?"

The Tonight Show had arranged for a limo service to pick me up. I was spoiled! I felt really goofy because the limo driver acted all professional and everything, opening the door for me.

"So…do you sing?"

"Yes, I sing a little bit," I said, wondering why he had asked. I came to find out that he actually thought I was the musical guest for the next day's show! I giggled and told him, "Nope, I'm just here for jaywalking." Then I asked him if he had driven any divas recently.

"Pamela Anderson," he said.

Day of the Taping

The next morning, I woke up and danced around my hotel room. I cranked up Miley's "Party in the USA" on my laptop speakers and jumped around on the bed. Then I heard three pounds on the wall from the room next door. OOPS! Maybe not everyone is filled with energy at 7AM. I abruptly shut the music off.

I packed up my three stuffed corn cobs--Iowan souvenirs for Jay, and two of the show crew members who coordinated my visit--and got into the limo.


I was so happy once I got there! I had my own dressing room, filled with a fruit tray, a large selection of pastries, coffee, tea, fizzy water, and nearly everything except for a Thanksgiving turkey. As I was getting my bearings, a guy walked in with a cart and said, "Do you need anything else?" After telling him I was more than fine, I said in a drawn-out, snob voice, "Oh Yes, I'll have a bottle of Cristal please." He laughed and said he'd grab one.

I never got it, by the way...

I went into wardrobe and make up to get some finishing touches on my look. "I love your shoes!" the hairstylist said. I had chosen to wear my Paris Hilton black platform pumps, because I was told I would need to grow a little bit to be seen.

Jay walked into the dressing room to say hi, and I gave him the stuffed Corn Cob. It actually had a tag, with a name, "Corny Cobb." He appreciated it!!

Corny Cobb had a relaxing time in my dressing room...


The other two contestants were Nadia, a 20-year-old model/actress, and "Fabulous", a celebrity hairstylist and stand-up comic. They were both from Los Angeles, so I was proud to be representing IOWA!! It was taped in front of a live studio audience, even though it will not air until *tentatively* November 10th. I had SO. MUCH. FUN. Jay asked us questions for an hour and a half…mostly about history, politics, and a few about science. To my complete surprise, I actually did alright! Maybe I learned something from my mom who was on Who Wants to be a Millionaire? when I was in 8th grade. But I still spaced on a few questions...and I'm sure that they'll feature those.

I was bursting with energy and I think I actually sang a few answers. Now, I won't spoil any of it...after all, it hasn't yet aired!

Nadia and Me


I went back to Entertainment Tonight to visit friends from where I interned this summer.

Mark Steines, Host of Entertainment Tonight and spectacular mentor!

It was, as usual, SO GREAT to see Mark! I had lunch with him and Michael, my favorite editor at ET! That night I had dinner with another amazing friend, Amy, who works in marketing at ET. She is such a blessing and a wonderful role model. And we went to get FRO, how I missed the California frozen yogurt shops!!!!

To top the night off, two of my friends from my summer acting class at Groundlings came over to my hotel to hang out, and we watched The Women of SNL. (very inspiring!) I was overjoyed to see them--one of them had just starred as a lead in an episode of America's Most Wanted. I was really proud of him!

Such a whirlwind trip--it makes me even more energized to get back into the entertainment industry!

NOVEMBER 10th...For now...

Tune in--at my own risk of embarrassment--to the Tonight Show on November 10th.

(Who am I kidding, I don't get embarrassed!)

Sunday, August 15, 2010

The Best Gifts come in Packages Wrapped in Purple and Gold


Mark Steines

Okay, so he was pretty much the Big Man on Campus when at UNI. He played football for the Panthers and took classes with professor Ron Steele (who is still here!). Fast forward a few years, and he is the big-time host of Entertainment Tonight, America's #1 Entertainment News Show.

Not only is Mark an incredible host of Entertainment Tonight, but he is an extremely loving father. Oh, and he is married to Miss America 1993!!

He has been my internship supervisor this whole summer, so it was a complete joy to be able to give him a special gift.

Mark was really happy, and it made me extremely happy to spread Panther Love. After all, we all Love to Be a Panther!

UNI ALUM #2: Nancy Aossey

Nancy Aossey, is CEO and President of International Medical Corps in Santa Monica, Califonia. This organization provides international medical relief to over twenty countries in Africa, Asia, and the Americas. They have broken ground in a number of ways, being the first to respond to many international disasters in ways that no other relief organizations have, such as empowering female doctors in Africa to provide medical help in their communities.

She has also been friends with my mother since second grade!
Mom and Nancy tease each other about some grade school drama.

She received an honorary doctorate degree from UNI in May of 2009. And well-deserved! She built the organization from the ground up, and is a wonderful, genuine person. Also, she had us for dinner, and makes great chicken!

My favorite part was learning about the photo camps they sponsor in Africa, where they hold three-week courses with Africans and teach them how to use a camera and take artistic photography. This provides them with an artistic outlet to communicate the struggles in their lives.

(this photo was taken by an African community member)


Friday, August 13, 2010

Interview with Jay Leno

J to the LENO.

'Twas a bit random, I must say, that I happened upon Jay Leno the other day when I got out of the Groundlings. I got out of class and mom gives me a call,

"Eva, go down to Melrose and Gardener...we're here with Leno!!"

So I skip down the street. Sure enough, he was there, interviewing some reality stars!
I walked to the front and started smiling really big, so when he finished his interview he came up to shake my hand. We started talking...I told him I'm proudly from Iowa...and got a picture.

Dad, who is already anatomically connected to his camera, could not stop snapping pictures.
I was so happy, I left for a second and walked around the corner and did a party dance!!!

I walked back and started chatting with producer. His name was Dave, and he actually attended college in Iowa! He asked if I had any good break up stories to share with Leno, because the issue for his Jaywalking segment was "relationships". I had a couple of good stories.

Then Dave, the producer, gave me 2 tickets to see the screening of his show in 2 days.

Jay was pretty nice. I think I blabbered a lot. There was an Italian guy standing next to Mom who said, "Is she an actress?"

Mom said, "No."
"Oh, so she is normal person?"


"She is very strange for normal person."

Thanks, Italian boy.

Overall, it was extremely fun!!
So I guess it is going to air within the next few weeks or so. Who knows if the editors will even put me on...but if anyone sees it, let me know!

ON a much different note, I finally finished my intern project about Women's Roller Derby. Check it out here!

Parents and Street Performing!

Andersen Parentals Visit LA!

Last week, I cleaned my car and apartment for the first time. Why?

My parentals were coming. And of course that means I have to be on my best behavior! If they're going to let me live out here after graduation, I have to prove that their little girl is living a fine, independent life in LA.


My mom brought little stuffed corn beanie baby things to give to my church friends. If this is their only impression of Iowa, I am satisfied. My friend
Grace really enjoyed hers--its name is "Corny Cobb!"

Eating out with Friends and Roomies in Santa Monica!

I took Mom and Dad hiking in Griffith Park. Dad, who just rode on Ragbrai, was totally game. Mom huffed and puffed and asked if there was a trolly ride back down.

Then we visited the LA FASHION DISTRICT!!!

It was great. Poor Dad was bored and texted the whole time. He unfortunately does not have the shopping bug like my mom and I!

I was completely enthralled by all of the fabrics and beads, and I contemplated what material I could buy to sew my dream Disney Princess dress.

I bought some hair flowers and a purse. Not this one, though...though it would be great for
storing large appliances!

On Monday afternoon, I decided to get out my saxophone and play on Venice Beach. Venice beach is known for its kooky (at best) performers and vendors, from a skateboarder with no feet to psychics to break dancers. I thought--if they can make some money, why can't I?
But did you know that you have to have a permit to play with your case open? If you are collecting money, you have to reserve a spot along the beach...kind of like a parking spot. I made a sign that said "playing my way through college", but I couldn't put it up, because I didn't pay for a spot.

The cops started coming near me. So I just decided to be the strolling saxophonist!

I took requests. Many people requested things like Taylor Swift, and I told them that even though a saxophone couldn't really do that type of song justice, I played it anyway.

My favorites were when people requested jazz standards more suited for the sax, like Summertime or Misty!
I stumbled upon 2 other street musicians and we jammed for awhile. I tried to ask them about their musical background, but the sax player told me he was a brain surgeon and anthropologist.

I chose not to believe him.


Lastly, I came upon this guy!! Harry Perry has been playing on Venice Beach since 1973.

He plays something he calls "Science Fiction Rock", wearing a turban and roller skates!

He's even made cameos on Heroes and CSI.

Here's a link to his act on YouTube...


6 Dollars!!!!!!! Those dollars came from handshakes with money concealed--a secretive exchange because I did not have a permit. But I'll check into that for next time.

But for now, I can buy an ice cream cone with my earnings. Yay!