A glimpse into one actor/writer's life in La-La Land. Part lampoon, part harpoon, all good.

Monday, October 16, 2006


I have severe adipophobia (from the medical term for fat - adipose). And, quite unfortunately, I seem to have somehow actually gotten it - fat, that is. Okay, to be fair, I know that most people look at me and think, "You're not fat, you crazy person." But in the last year I have grown exponentially. And while I don't mind the attention my newly acquired J-Lo backside seems to bring, I do have a problem with the fact the my waist size is rapidly approaching my age. Seriously, it's so bad that I don't even have to shop for Thanksgiving; I'm just going to hack a ham off of my back. (How convenient.) What's worse, my friends and family seem to love it. "You look great," so many of them recently said when I travelled back East. I appreciate their support and their opinions; but they don't understand the pressures of being gay, being in Hollywood, and being gay in Hollywood. It's really a whole different world out here. Bodies and eye candy abound. And if you're not eye candy, you're basically invisible. (Unless, of course, you're Dennis Franz. God bless him and his big bollocks for doing that historic shower scene. When I did my first - and only - nude scence, I was at the damned gym every day before I got my but on that stage.)

Which brings me to the point: I haven't actually been to the gym in a year. Between my mother's illness, my crazy ex-boyfriend, and rehearsals and writing in New York, I just kind of quit. Okay, that's admittedly a really lame excuse. I just procrastinated. I put it off. I made working out this huge difficult thing. Like balancing my checkbook, paying taxes, or listening to George W. Bush speak. And before you know it, it rolled out of control like some giant shitball from hell. So this week, after indulging hedonistically on my two week vacation, I decided to get my (growing) ass back to the gym. My friend Quincy had left what is quite possibly the cruelest message that I have ever received. He was just giving me a "helpful reminder" that I was in Hollywood now and that if I wanted to be successful...you can imageine the rest. It was actually totally good natured and I called him right back; together we had a good laugh and then I pulled up some athletic pants, put on my pumas and plopped into my car.

The decision, actually, was easy. It was the getting there that was difficult. Just the idea of going to a gym in Hollywood put me into a panic. I imagined myself bounding onto a tread mill right next to Christina Richie and immediately felt the need for an inhaler, like one of the Tri-Lams from Revenge Of The Nerds. As I drove, I thought, "How much can I throw up before I get there?" But, alas, there were no suitable containers in the car. So, I lit a cigarette instead and pointed the Jetta right toward the Hollywood sign. Crap - as if Quincy's call wasn't enough of a reminder of what I was up against, the dreaded sign was like a biblical prophesy. It was just sitting up there, all white and pretty; I could hear it taunting me, "Langdon, you big, fattie...come on, come on." So to drown out the voices, I had a second cigarette and turned the radio on. Thank God for Joan Jett. I hollered the whole way up Van Ness, "singing" along with her.

So I get there, park the car and get stopped on the way in for an autograph. The fan obviously thought I was Oprah Winfrey and I didn't want to disappoint her, so I signed a parking ticket I recently received. (Maybe she'd pay it, too, I thought.) It's easy to see how the mistaken identity occurred: afterall, I am a beautiful black woman; I was sweating like a pig and hyperventilating; and, when I hit the doors of the gym, my knees nearly buckled. Just like the real Oprah this past week at an important ribbon cutting ceremony in Mississippi. (Sorry. Despite multiple searches of every celebrity gossip website, I couldn't find a single delicious picture. Oprah's attorneys must have been on that one like Kate Moss on a plate-full of coke.) But on the flip side, if you, Dear Reader, can find and send one to me, I'll give you a dollar.)

With great trepidation (and gastronomic distress) I entered the gym and was happily surprised to find it filled with normal people! Sure, there were some model-types and gorgeous hotties; but there were also a significant number of average Joes (and Joannes). Regular folks with regular bodies. There were even a number of elderly men and women doing their doctor-prescribed daily tonics. This gave me great relief and I actually did a full work out. I did a nice cardio on the bike for thirty minutes and then hit the weights. I don't know if it was the effects of dehydration and starvation, or the wonderful release of endorphins; but, when I finished, I felt fantastic. I had finally done it, I had faced my fears - and my flabdomen. I really did feel absolutely fabulous, just like Ugly Betty did this week after her ghetto make-over. Now, I just hope that America Ferrera (who's a wonderful actress - and not at all ugly), "Ugly Betty" (her fantastic hit - and my pick for best new show) and myself can all keep it up.


Blogger Betsy said...

How much can I throw up before I get there?


This post was hilarious!

I have a really (really, REALLY) hard time picturing you with a JLo derrière.

Good for you, though, for hopping back on the wagon, just because it's healthier.

Can I tag along and dab your brow every time you break a sweat? Pretty please?

12:54 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was hoping you'd do a weight and fitness column! I've been struggling with my 8 lb friend YoYo-landa lately and feeling very uninspired. If you're Oprah, I am SOO Ugly Betty. Truly, I am her doppelganger - and I don't mean the attractive-in-real-life-actress either. By the way, did you mean bollocks or buttocks, 'cause you know in Ireland, bollocks refers to the frontside of Dennis Franz and I doubt broadcast television would be showin' that. Um-hmmm, grrrl.


1:02 PM  
Blogger Betsy said...

Ugly Betty my ass! Lisa is as tasty a morsel as ever.

Aside from the picture on this post I've never heard of Ugly Betty before, but get real, people! Oprah is rich, powerful, elegant and (IMHO) very attractive! I wouldn't mind becoming a little more voluptuous if that came along as part of the package!

Take it from someone who is well on her way to becoming one of those scrawny old ladies whose panty hose pool around their bony ankles because they've got nothing to hold onto.

I'm just saying, is all...

11:52 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You always did have a nice backside. Those size small green scrubs when we worked together at L&D.

LHR, the other Lisa

8:28 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What's IMHO? Sheesh, you've been married for years, Bets. You're an even tastier morsel but that doesn't make you a 'ho.

One of the Lisas

6:14 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wait...Betsy, so you're COMPLAINING about being too thin?? Gee, I know exactly what you mean, I have another friend whose poor biceps just handle the sacks of gold coin she has to carry around. Life is so tough.

11:21 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I absolutely LOVE that you guys are debating in here! Fabulous. (And so are you!!!)


1:13 PM  

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